A winter on the West Coast isn’t idyllic with snow, dim lights and holiday cheer. Here, it will just get colder– and wet. It’s not too pretty.
But as a San Franciscan, it’s a blur with the seasons. Sometimes that wet winter can last a whole year. Given the city’s infamous fog–the marina layer–this chill and moody setting has become something that feels entirely our own, resistant to the changes in season. Whenever we see this inevitable and mystical drapery, we think of Mark Twain’s immortalized visit out here, recalling that “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Well, winter is approaching. And San Franciscans are prepared for the fog and moisture that will be on full force.
We get by, and enjoy our city for what it is. Our fog is even a person, a living and breathing pal who always seems to have our back–his name is Karl, and he’s made it big on his own Twitter and Instagram. San Francisco streets are beautiful, shrouded and mysterious, with the nearest sight ahead of you disappearing into the mist– it’s like holding your breath as you await the next exciting step in the road.
No pressure, though–either take the fog or don’t. It’s still a unique outlook of the winter months here, enjoyable to look at as you stay dry and snug. I am writing this piece from inside the Ferry Building at a table by Peet’s Coffee and Tea. The bay waters are rippling and Karl’s completely sitting on the water. I can only tell that there’s a distance out there when the seagulls fly down from the fog bank. Dryer and higher into the bank is Samovar Tea Room off of Mission Street, where you can still sit down and lose yourself in the thickening mist that intermingles around the fragile glass tea room and the twinkle-lit skyscrapers visible from the vast space of the Yerba Buena Gardens. A North Beach coffee house might be on par, with a spiced cappuccino and the dreariness of the city lifting your spirits.
Whatever you will be up to, particularly on a day like this, make it count and don’t be disappointed. Embrace this moment, this unique lighting and weather that makes this spot contentedly San Franciscan. Plus, you’ll have gained a new friend in Karl himself. Catch him right now at, well, anywhere!