In the year since our inception here at Gozamos, we’ve taken you many places with our words and photos. From Iceland to Buenos Aires, Michigan to Puerto Vallarto, Houston to Boston, we’ve given you everything you need to get started on your globetrotting adventures. This summer, I found a new crush, as I now view San Francisco as my second favorite city (after Chicago, naturally). Here’s why:

The Haight

Oh, the birthplace of the Hippie Movement, the sight of the Human Be In, the spot where it all went down in The Summer of Love…

The current crop of Haight dwellers seem to be keeping the spirit alive and well, albeit a bit modernized, but we’ve all gotta evolve, don’t we? Us hippies can adapt with the best of ‘em, and this is evident at Haight/Ashbury with little boutiques like True sprinkled in amongst countless smoke shops and chains like Ben & Jerry’s and American Apparel. There’s even a Whole Foods Market at the very end of The Haight. Go figure. It’s bound to happen, but San Francisco has done a nice job of keeping the hippie spirit alive at its core. They might not be eating large doses of acid anymore, but their minds are as open as ever. I ain’t mad ‘atcha. I got nothing but love for ya. Do your thang, San Fran!

The Sights

Fog City is chock full of famous tourist destinations. The Golden Gate Bridge is perhaps the most synonymous with the city (and America for that matter). Fisherman’s Wharf, the Bay Bridge, Chinatown, Little Italy, Union Square, City Hall, the Castro, the Mission, Alcatraz—the list goes on and on in the City By the Bay. If you’re bored here, it’s your own fault.

The Vibe

California as a state is known for its mellow, laid back, yet culturally aware nature. This couldn’t be more true in the Paris of the West. Baghdad by the Bay boasts the second highest quality of living of any US city and its international personality lives through its immigrants from Asia and Latin America. The liberal politics I’ll reserve for a future rant in Tu Cultura, but let’s just say all are welcome: gays, straights, transsexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, young, old, black, white, brown, yellow, red, tattooed, straight edge, and who gives a shit. San Francisco makes you feel at home and that’s something that I’ll never forget.

The Giants

The current World Series Champions moved here from New York back in the day and they have built a tremendous culture of loyal, knowledgeable and, most importantly, respectful fans. It helps when AT&T builds you an absolutely perfect ball park right on the bay full of diverse eateries, astonishing architecture, and an atmosphere that begs you to come back at least once a summer.

Their starting five is one of the best in baseball right now with my favorite pitcher “The Freak” Tim Lincecum heading the staff and “The Beard” Brian Wilson closing games on the regular. “Kung Fu Panda” Pablo Sandoval is their best offensive player (Buster Posey may have something to say about that once his broken leg heals, but for now it’s Panda’s world) and their combination of offense and pitching has won my heart, making them my new favorite baseball team. Repeat, anyone?

The Weather

When you think of California, you think of the Sunshine State’s palm trees and hot weather, right? Well, the fog rolls into town and creates perfectly chill weather all year. One of our cab drivers told us that it has snowed twice in the thirty-two year span that he has stayed in San Francisco. It gets a little hotter in Oakland, as we found out going to the A’s game at the O.co Colosseum, but the mild weather must be nice year round. Highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s allow you to feel comfortable in anything you wear. Whether it be a hoodie and shorts or a t-shirt and pants, you’ll be fine in anything you choose to wear (which is more than I can say for my hometown where you have the potential to experience all four seasons…in a single day!). Thanks for making me feel so damn comfortable, San Francisco!

I’ve never left a city feeling like a didn’t get the opportunity to do everything it had to offer. San Francisco has long been known as a super progressive city, so it’s no wonder we had such a fantastic time together this summer. I highly recommend visiting and returning, which I hope to do real soon. Man, I wish you were closer, California. Call me?

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