As the autumn settled in the City, and the last months of 2020 are following their course, people are trying to adapt to an ever changing new normal -or whatever that is. But even with challenges and change pouring in, there is no town like San Francisco!
Where is everybody?
To walk through downtown in the afternoon and feel the silence instead of the bustle is surprising. To not see or hear the steps of those who come, go and come back is weird, to put it simply.
Like any other major city, in 2020 San Francisco has been affected by months of closures and restrictions due to the pandemic, and its impact is felt in touristic areas and in the neighborhoods. Although you still see people going on with their life and routines, the population numbers are low compared to the many people living and working in and throughout San Francisco before the pandemic.
The autumn this year has seen the “For Rent,” signs showing up a little more every time, while small business owners —specially restaurants, cafés, and bars try their best to adapt and modify their operations to comply with the city’s regulations so that they can continue doing business. They have built open spaces, they have had to close the entire establishment, you name it.
Close. Reopen. Close. Start Over.
Museums and other venues are managing the “reopen” or “close” directions from local and state authorities. Stores and business must follow the reduced capacity indoors. Due to conviction, political correctness, the fear of being fined or blamed, establishments that deal with the public seem to follow orders.
The main question is obvious: How are they going to survive these closures? Government loans have been allocated, but the question remains.
Golden Gate Park and other open spaces are seeing a good number of families in their grounds. Open space, fresh air and greenery is good for the body, the spirit and the mind. But this is closely monitored by the people in charge.
Like it or not, COVID 19 is here
You, many and I may have theories about COVID19 and how and it has been presented to us. Whether we believe or despise everything we are told, whether we trust, or to the contrary hold conspiracy theories or higher levels of fear in our hands and homes, the fact is, no city wants to experience a massive public health problem. Hence all the preventive measures.
The City is still the City
Call it San Fran, Frisco, or the City by the Bay. In the midst of these challenges, San Francisco remains as beautiful and intriguing as always.
I have made it my task to walk around the city as often as possible, face-covered, with sanitizer and gloves on my purse, maintaining social distancing, and trying not to touch anybody or anything.
I also have my daily dose of Emergency “C”, lime juice, Listerine, garlic, and a shot of Tequila —all to protect me from the virus.
With its shining lights on display, December has brought a sense of sheer and uplifting spirits to San Francisco.
Christmas is around the corner
The Macy’s Holiday Tree in Union Square is gorgeous, along with the light show around the buildings at night. The Christmas tree outside City Hall and the one by Bank of America in the Castro District are both beautiful, and for a change, the upside-down tree at the Westfield Centre is delightful and it warms your heart.
My favorite is the Tom and Jerry Home up the hill on 21st Street. I had seen it for years but now I appreciate even more, specially because of Tom’s passing recently in October. His legacy continues as his husband, Jerry, family and friends are making sure the beautiful ornaments are in place, almost covering their home. The gigantic Christmas tree is simply beautiful! Walking or driving by, one cannot but feel the Christmas spirit.
-Lupita Franco Peimbert