היום ששה ימים בעמר
Today is six days of the omer
A day of foundation in a week of loving kindness
Today may be Passover, April's Fools, and the first full day of baseball, but for me, April 1st is the anniversary of the day I moved to San Francisco in 1986. I've lived in this city longer than I've lived in any other. My total New York years still outnumber those spent in California, although I will hit that tipping point in the not too distant future.
Even after 27 years in San Francisco, I'm still identified as a New Yorker. One of my 6th grade Sunday School students busted me on this the second time I taught the class--"Marilyn, are you from New York?" When I replied in the affirmative, he said, "I knew it--you sound just like my grandmother!" Okay, the grandmother reference gave me a jolt, but I do know what he means. While I'm not sure about having an accent, there's definitely an attitude, a very direct way of speaking that is an integral part of who I am.
I've tried different looks--even went platinum blond for a year or so. With that look, my family, including my mother, did not recognize me. My 90+ year old grandmother thought I looked very Californian. But as you may see in the photo to the right, my New York-ness still comes through.
I think of myself as a hybrid. I'll never shed my New York persona, nor do I want to. It's as much a part of me as my Ashkenazic Jewish soul. And the Californian part of me is pure San Franciscan, which brings its own set of chauvinistic characteristics. I would say that both places consider themselves food capitals, so I'm lucky to be able to claim them both.
So I stand with a foot on each coast, the sum somewhat greater than the whole. No matter which coast I'm associated with, I am definitely a city girl. In San Francisco that means I have acquired some keen parking skills, as demonstrated by the photo below. Yes, I maneuvered into that spot which as you can see, had little room to spare. And both front and back vehicles were still there when I returned. I will tell you that getting out was easier than getting in, but both were accomplished without too much back and forth :)