San Francisco Sanity Breaks

Had dinner at a place called The Dead Fish in Crockett Friday night with Dan and Jamie. It was a good place, but not the dive that the name and building suggested. We were all suckered in. Thinking it had been there for ages, we asked the waitress when the place opened. “November 23,” she replied.

Oh well. They had great scallops anyway.

Afterwards we drove through downtown Crockett and Port Costa. Great un-yuppified river towns, both of them. Not a Starbuck’s nor a smoothie shop in sight. Only a half hour out of San Francisco and you can completely forget you’re in the Bay Area. Which is often a very good thing.

I have a few friends here who are proud to say they never leave San Francisco except maybe on vacation. I don’t understand. Getting out of the city occasionally is almost essential for maintaining sanity. And I say this as someone who doesn’t much care for the country.

I leave San Francisco at least once (and usually two or three times) every weekend, to enjoy things like pizza in Hayward, thrift store runs in Redwood City, bookstores in Santa Rosa, doughnuts in Union City, and the sheer magic of driving through just about any part of Oakland. Half the fun of living in the Bay Area is that there is so very much intersting stuff surrounding it.

A car helps, but it’s not essential. Take BART to Berkeley. Grab a CalTrain to Gilroy or a ferry to Vallejo. There’s a whole interesting world out there despite our snobbish dismissals of “the ‘burbs”. It might do many San Franciscans a world of good to realize this fact and experience the rest of the planet (or at least the rest of the Bay Area) once in a while.