I was born and raised in Seattle, a rare northwest native with a strong tinge of wanderlust. Despite a few stints of living elsewhere (like that one time I lived in southern California for law school and then a few years later in Las Vegas because, well, why not…) I can’t imagine calling any other place home. For the past few years, I’ve done a fair amount of traveling, landing often in Vegas and more recently in San Francisco. There have been more weeks out of the month that I’ve been in hotels than my own home, causing me to reconsider what is really “home.”
Truth is, Seattle will always be home. And after working at HasOffers for almost a year now, that open office loft in Belltown feels like my second home. Lately, though, I’ve been spending an awful lot of time in San Francisco for work and work-related events. It’s become my place to get creative, listen, and learn more and with others than truly is possible in Seattle. There have been dozens of conferences, and as I write this, I’m wrapping up 5 days in the city, which I spent at the HasOffers’ office down here. It was a whirlwind of a week learning our mobile product, sitting in meetings and getting down and dirty with a platform I’ve never actually seen before.
It was also a great mix of evenings spent with coworkers, friends based in SF, and lots of wine.
There’s something to this city that is so very similar to Seattle, yet so very different. On Sunday night I got in a bit early and decided to see if there was anyone who wanted to grab a drink. (No harm in getting to know the locals, right?) So I hopped on OKCupid — which has been a resounding failure for me in Seattle – and instantly had 20+ messages from guys who were down to grab an impromptu drink.
Not quite yet convinced that there really is such a thing as the Seattle Freeze, I headed over to Starbucks on Tuesday morning for a coffee. (Because I’m from Seattle and an addict.) While I was waiting for my drink, a tall, handsome man about my age made eye contact with me. I (sheepishly) smiled back and then he looked straight at me and said “good morning” with a much warmer smile.
To say that made my day would be an understatement.
I knew at that moment there was something about this city. Not only are my coworking counterparts in SF so warm and welcoming, but so is the entire city. There is a vibe here that definitely doesn’t exist in the Northwest. It’s still a little bit hipster, slightly granola, but very embracing and lively.
By Wednesday, people were asking me when I was going to move here. It was like Las Vegas all over again (and we all know how well that turned out). It took all my heart to only laugh it off and say Seattle is home.
But then, today the city came together as one to make the dream of a 5 year old fighting leukemia come true. With the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, San Francisco became Gotham City and the 5 year old became BatKid. This morning our office was glued to the livestream of this child living his dream of being Batman while helicopters circled overhead, capturing the “footage” happening just blocks away. I watched as my Facebook and Twitter feeds overflowed with admiration for the city.
And though it’s not my home, I couldn’t help feel “the feels” in a much more personal way with a since of pride as if it were mine.
Because deep down, San Francisco has really started to feel like it’s home, too.