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Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Concert in the Park--A Post Inspired by a Lunch in Paris

This post was inspired by the book  Lunch in Paris—A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard.   As a member of the From Left to Write Book Club, I received a complimentary copy of this book.  You can read how other bloggers were inspired by this book here.

While reading Lunch in Paris I found that I could identify with the author Elizabeth Bard.   No, I did not fall in love with a handsome Frenchman and move to Paris but on a somewhat similar, yet domestic level, I could relate.

My story is about moving to San Francisco from a town of 900 in the Midwest.  Sure I realize this is a bit of a stretch but in small way it is similar. 

I headed West in search of adventure (and milder winters) and at the age of 23 never thought (nor did my parents) that I would end up residing in the Golden State permanently.

But like, Elizabeth, I met and fell in love with a local.  Yes, a handsome Californian stole my heart at a Jerry Garcia concert in Golden Gate Park and 20 years later I still call the Bay Area my home.   

Thankfully, adjusting to life in San Francisco was much easier (way easier) than navigating the cultural waters of life in a new country.  However, I understood Elizabeth’s  "friend dating" reference.  Finding female companionship is difficult in a new city even when you do speak the language. 

And like Elizabeth, I knew that I wasn’t a tourist any more when visitors began to get on my nerves.  I still cringe when I hear The City referred to as  “San Fran” or “Frisco."  And nothing sounds worse to me than visiting tourist attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf or Ghiradelli Square.  

Sure those were phrases I once used and places I enjoyed visiting (who doesn't love a Boudin bread bowl brimming with clam chowder?) but once I became a "local" all that changed.   San Francisco became "The City" and tourist areas North of Fell St. were visited only when friends and family were in town.

No, it wasn’t lunch in the City of Light with a charming Frenchman that changed my life.   My version started with a concert in the park in The City by the Bay.


  1. When my husband and I first met, I was planning to move to San Francisco with my best friend. We'd visited, checked out neighborhoods, and had solid leads for potential work. She went to Africa for a few months to volunteer and we were supposed to head out when she got back.

    Two years later, she came back from Africa to be my bridesmaid. Obviously, we each ended up on different paths, but I often wonder what might have been.

  2. I so relate to friend dating. After moving to DC and then to North Carolina, I know the feeling of finding the essential new girlfriends to get you through life.

  3. You are all so brave! My husband took a leap of faith to move in to my NJ apartment, leaving everything he knew and loved in OH, except for his cats.

    One of the hardest thing for him has been not being able to find a friend that is not my friend.

  4. Life and love lead us to amazing places. Truth be told, you live in the only city on earth that might make me happier than Paris. If we were to move back to the States, we'd fly right past NY (though it will always be my hometown) and settle in San Francisco. I have dreams about the tart dried apricots from the farmer's market at the Ferry Building...


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