Some pics from San Francisco

I did fall in love with the city ! Perhaps the (unseasonably) warm, sunny weather helped, but each time I came across another neighbourhood, it drew me in: the hipster Mission, the trendy cafes and boutiques in Hayes Valley, the views from Nob Hill, the edginess of the Tenderloin. I always love a city that you can manage on foot or by bike, and the cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge down into Sausalito was one of the most spectacular rides ever. On the less positive side, a big topic of conversation everywhere is the ever growing wealth differential. You don’t go far in the city without becoming very aware of the tech boom (San Francisco is headquarters to Twitter, Google, Facebook, Apple) and, whilst you can’t deny the wealth and vibrancy it’s bringing to the city, at the same time homelessness (and associated mental health issues) have been rocketing. I gather the tech boom has impacted rents and the overall cost of living (California apparently now accounts for almost a quarter of the US’s homeless.) I like my new hip cafes as much as the next person (I’m never out of Hackney !). But it was a stark reminder that it needs careful planning and intervention to ensure whole sectors of society don’t just get left behind.

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