On Failing to Stay Depressed in San Francisco

I’ve been in a bit of funk since I got to San Francisco, perhaps because of the time difference, the long flight, or the head cold I’ve been fighting for a few days. Or maybe the conference is forcing me to dwell on how I’m going to finishing my dissertation this year and where I’ll be heading next, topics of reflection that don’t usually inspire my rosiest moods.

But I think I’m pulling out of it now that I’ve had some good conversations with people at the conference and have had time to walk around the city with friends. On Wednesday I met up with Andy for a stroll through Golden Gate Park and tea at the Japanese Tea Garden. We also drove the top of Twin Peaks for a stunning view of the city at Sunset.

Last night I met up with my college roommate Ajai in the Mission District for drinks. Sitting outside on the sidewalk in front of the cafe, we caught up on life and reminisced about when I was here a few years ago. Eventually, we continued our conversation on foot as we wandered up Valencia and 16th Street all the way to Castro, taking a detour here and there to check out the ally murals.

As we walked, I was overcome by that feeling of well-being that I get when exploring great cities. In light of this, Jarrett’s Epionion’s piece on “How to Be Depressed in San Francisco” was particularly enjoyable to read this afternoon. Despite his tongue-and-cheek advice for how to maintain a melancholy disposition, the city hasn’t allowed me to stay depressed for long.