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San Francisco in the summer is underrated. Yes, for five summers I lived in the humid, bug-laden eden of Nerd Camp and perhaps I always wished to be home with friends instead of stuck in the library and in class on the 4th of July. However, there’s something charming about summertime fog rolling in over the Bridge in the early afternoon. It smells like heaven. I can’t explain it, I don’t think.

When I first moved to San Francisco in 1999, I lived out in the Avenues where fog resided every day. When I jumped off the bus from downtown, I passed by the Boudin Sourdough factory. The smell of fog and warm sourdough, yes, two San Francisco staples, really bring me comfort.

Today, while pumping gas in the Marina, I was so chilled that I groped for a sweater in the back seat. Earlier in the day, I had been in Tahoe with the warmth and sun and dull, dry heat. I like how in a matter of four hours, I seem to cross an equator-like weather shift. Tahoe was 88, San Francisco was 56. Wowza.

Regardless if I love or hate summer in San Francisco, my bizarre worlds collided tonight and I don’t know what to think of it. I raced back to San Francisco to check off a litany of items from my to-do list, none of which were checked because traffic was mind-shatteringly painful. I wanted to attend a Modern Literature book group at my local independent bookstore because it was a book I read last summer by Calvino. I got there in the nick of time, and for the first time since Bread Loaf, had a meaningful literary conversation.

But there were just three of us–one was a much older woman who seemed (and I mean this without a harsh tone) to know nearly everything, and the other was a very young college student who also (again, no harsh tone) knew everything. When I brought my knowledge to the table and told them I took an entire Calvino course, I think they might have felt the same way about me.

So I love my city in the summer, winter, spring and fall. I can see through the fog and wind, and have found more charm in San Francisco in this one summer than I have over the course of my ten years of living here. I am finally living the Armistead Maupin version of San Francisco.

A Boy Named Sue (Live)–Johnny Cash

Heartbreak Hotel–Willie Nelson

Saturn–Stevie Wonder

King of All the World–Old 97s

Readymade–Red Hot Chili Peppers

Don’t Look Back–Boston