12 Photos of “Summer”
For some reason, summer has always been a nostalgic season for me. I grew up on the East Coast so summer is the one and only season of freedom – even if warmer weather did occur in other seasons, they were always accompanied by chilly winds that can easily make anyone sick.
That’s exactly what happened more than two months ago. I got sick from the terrible spring weather in New York, then came back to San Francisco. And I haven’t gotten better.
There have been mornings when I woke up only to begin an hour-long coughing fit. There were nights I could not catch my breath from coughing and had to throw up. Some days I felt okay for unknown reasons, but I learned to not get too excited about it. My voice has been weak and unclear, and it’s affected my energy to spend time with people. My mom thinks I haven’t gotten better because I’m not used to the cold temperatures here. Most people cannot believe that the warmest time of the day in San Francisco in the summer is only about 65°F (18.3°C). And it’s freezing at night because I still make the rookie mistake of forgetting my jacket at home.
I haven’t been well enough to have a lot of fun this summer, but I’ve tried to squeeze in whatever I can. Here’s what’s up in the last two months.
My photography hobby is going strong! San Francisco is as picturesque as ever, because despite the cold temperatures caused by the ocean we still get the beautiful Californian sun.
My friends from New York visited me briefly. I finally got a good photo of me at the Palace of Fine Arts, a very romantic location in the city you can enjoy whether single or getting married. The first time I visited I tried asking other tourists to help me take photos, and somehow none of them even had the palace in the background. I don’t get it. Why would I ask for a picture of me with the sky?
I attended my first Californian fair! I’ve been to carnivals on the East Coast and they’re technically the same thing, but this one had more food and games than just rides, and also looked more like the kind of fair I’d see in movies. My friends and I decided to watch Wonder Woman after the fair and ended up staying out until 2AM. I think it’s now one of my favorite movies, because Wonder Woman is role model material.
For at least once in my life I had to check out Corgi Con, and it just so happened this one took place on a weekend when the first heat wave finally hit – that means it’s t-shirt weather on the beach, which is a huge deal! There were so many Corgis I had no idea which one to pet or take photos of. Some owners allowed us to hold their well-behaved doggies. I probably won’t go again though, unless I get a Corgi and want to make him Instagram famous.
Japantown is still where I visit most, because it’s located near my church. My friends and I usually grab lunch there every Sunday, kinda like how back in New York I would go to brunch with friends in the East Village every Sunday.
Remember those baby hamsters my roommates got months ago? And the one named John Cena? He bred with one of the female hamsters, and somehow two brown hamsters gave birth to the most adorable cream-colored baby! Peanut is one of two creamy ones in a litter of 9, and he’s super gentle! He fearlessly let me hold him when he was only 2 weeks old and looked like a tiny little peanut. He learned how to climb into my hand before I took this photo when he turned 3 weeks. He grows super fast and is much bigger now. His siblings still don’t let me come anywhere near them, so no wonder he’s the favorite.
I visited another friend from New York who has relatives an hour out from the city towards the east (so, not Silicon Valley). I’ve never visited the East Bay before, but I was so excited because the weather there is very warm (over 100°F/40°C). The houses are very cute too. East Bay supposedly has the happiest population in the United States.
I took it as a chance to wear my summer clothes and the big hats I had bought ages ago but never got to wear. I actually had to bring my clothes in my backpack and change when I got there because of how much warmer it is despite how close it is. Now all the microclimates I see in video games don’t seem too weird anymore.
Speaking of video games, whenever I was not well enough to go out, I played Breath of the Wild. I still plan on writing more in detail about this game, but this photo essentially captures why this game is amazing. Horses are so 10,000 years ago (kudos if you get that joke), let’s ride a wild animal!
I also went to my first baseball game. I know, that’s weird since I’m from New York, but I’ve never been too interested in sports, and Yankee Stadium is too far away. A lot of my friends here are fans of the San Francisco Giants so we went as a group, which was fun even if I didn’t understand the game.
I also got to see Matt Redman sing live! He’s a worship singer who sings some of my favorite songs. He led the worship of a conference I attended to learn about how I can make an impact in San Francisco. The city is home to some of the richest people in the country, but also some of the poorest. This gap is quite frightening.
Lastly, how can I not include a photo of my neighborhood? It’s unique because blue skies are rare here. San Francisco has a vacuum phenomenon where sea fog is drawn in by the strange geography, so the neighborhoods on the west side of the hilly terrain next to the ocean (like mine) are nearly always covered by a thick fog that makes it even colder than the already cold weather. And this only happens in summer!
There are other things happened that I could not picture:
- I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago pretty badly when I tripped over uneven ground. It was embarrassing, but it’s another reason I can’t run around exploring the city. I can only walk with an ankle brace right now so I’ve been limiting non-essential outings. It’s painful to go down the stairs even with a brace.
- The sprain happened the day after I pulled several all-nighters for an interview at a very well-known company for a position I really really wanted. I was qualified and the interview went pretty well, though I did not get the job.
- To update on my job search, I’m actually going through a career change right now. I’m tired of how some people love to preach about being “open-minded” and how hard you can work to be successful. I’ve officially stopped responding to companies in the wrong field. In my 3 years after college and through graduate school, the only work I’ve done that I feel wonderful about is user-centered design. It’s still a rather new field that not many people understand, but it combines human empathy into design in such a genuine way that I know is the right path for everything I’ve gone through the past two years.
- I got my first driver’s license after weekly lessons for the past three months, so I’m officially Californian now! I did it yesterday on a sprained ankle and a completely unfamiliar car. WOOHOO! Watch out New York!
Yep, I’m going back to New York again tomorrow night. I got tickets months ago for the Games for Change Festival for next week. I’m also seeing some doctors about my health issues, and spending the rest of the week with family and friends. Here’s to a very short season of rest after a physically tough start to the summer!