Love Letter to San Francisco

This wonderful love letter to San Francisco is the first post from Lael DasGupta who will be writing a monthly guest column with tips for joyful, frugal living. Whether you live in San Francisco or have thought about visiting, Lael’s ode to San Francisco paints a picture of life in my favorite city.


Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

I was riding the bus this morning at 6:30 am and I had the following thoughts about San Francisco.

Thank you SF for being you. I love that my family only has one car. I can ride my bike, take the bus, or even walk to work. Thank you for the huge choice of open and fantastic coffee shops, on the way to my job, where I can get an excellent cup ‘o. At 6 am.

Thank you for the diversity of people I see and interact with on my way to work – differences keep my mind fresh and open.

I love the quiet and clean sleepy feel of the avenues, the family and pocketbook friendly eateries within walking distance of our apartment. I love the cosmopolitan feel of some neighborhoods in the city. I love looking in the windows of posh boutiques, walking down winding roads past French bakeries, climbing up steep hills filled with tiny jewel like shops.

I love that I can eat at cutting edge restaurants, tiny dives, or get fresh produce, meat, milk and eggs from a local farmer – who I know by name. I can chat for hours with any San Franciscan about favorite eateries, delis, sandwich spot, pho, sushi, you name it.

I love the fog rolling in – so romantic! – blanketing the hills and nestling into cracks and crevices, reaching for the sunny open spaces on the east side of town. I love the wind in my hair as I hike through the trees in the national park that is literally next to our apartment, looking out over the ocean. That vista opens my eyes, clears my head of cobwebs and connects me to the planet. I love the sweet ocean air I breath each day – clean and oxygen rich. I love the way our city smells after rain, the green of all the parks near where I live, picking blackberries down the street from our house, and runs past the bison in Golden Gate Park. I love being able to be outside year round!

I love watching people on the bus help small children find seats. I remember how kind everyone is to my daughter when we ride the bus, chatting with her in a host of languages, giggling and connecting in some common baby language.

I love working at a world class organization – a non profit to boot. I love knowing my work each day helps others all around the world and right here in SF.

I love the crazy bust and boom cycle that means I have to develop a strong inner sense of what things are worth and not be swayed by hyper-intense market conditions and other people insisting things are worth far more than I think they are. I love packing my lunch, pinching pennies, managing a budget for my family, cooking dinner with my daughter, and making sure I get the best deal possible on organic beans. Being frugal and saving money are good ideas and a great skills no matter where I live. I love rising to the challenge of keeping my daughter grounded in a city with such wealth and Lael DasGuptasuch poverty – I know our nation as a whole suffers this same problem right now.

I love packing dinner, picking up my daughter from her amazing public preschool, and heading to the beach for a meal al fresco at Baker Beach.

I love having a small apartment. I can’t imagine having to clean a larger space. I also love having a great reason to keep our possessions to a minimum and to curate my daughters toys, our library, and our closets.

In short: I love living here, San Francisco. Thank you.


About Lael DasGupta
Feminist, progressive, bicyclist, environmentalist, & Mom living in San Francisco, #westside. I run with scissors and given a chance, with wolves. All opinions my own. Find me on twitter: @daslael or writing at


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