I often say I can’t afford to fall in love with this city. I can’t. I can’t afford to love walking by Levi Square and hearing the green parrots fly over in a big bundle of squawks, or the Americana of Market Street, or all the rolling hills and slanted homes of Noe Valley. I can’t afford to love this city.
But I can afford street fairs. I can afford to love them. And I do.
I love the crowds. I love the booths. I love the smell of street fair food and the sound of street fair hubbub.
One year I got my cards read at the Haight street fair. They told me I was going on a long journey (two weeks later I was schedule to fly to Paris), that I had had my heart broken (Oh-ho-ho, yes I had), and that the love of my life was someone I already knew. I do not remember if I actually knew Kamel then. I probably didn’t.
But it didn’t matter at the time because it was magic. It street fair, in the summer, in San Francisco magic. And then she gave me her card and told me to call her and to set up weekly meetings so she could help me navigate my life. I looked for them this year and they were no where to be found.
You are a crazy city San Francisco, and I cannot afford to love you.