I've been living in California now for just a little longer than two months. It's been a cool two months, certainly, but because of my lack of driver's license and my lack of real money I've been more or less stuck in my house/in the immediate neighborhood.
I have some place that I can get to fairly easily by riding my longboard, but it's not the same at back in New York. I feel like I don't get out enough to meet new people or see new things. More than that, I feel like I've been growing complacent about that fact, kind of resigning myself to be stuck at home.
On Friday, though, I got to shake up the routine at least a little bit. In celebration of Superbowl 50, there was a big ol' block party-type event in San Francisco where they had a bunch of beer and food places in and around San Fran's Sue Bierman park.
It was nice to be outside in the daylight, walking around and breathing in some good city air. The niceness was compounded by the fact that I was able to drink openly in public. I love me a good day drinking session.
There were lights and people all over the place, in anticipation of the free One Republic show that evening. I was originally planning to stick around for that, but I was able to get in contact with an old friend from back in high school who also recently moved out to California.
Since security said the event was at capacity, he couldn't get in to see this free show, so I went out to meet him. We caught up a little about how we'd each been doing since we'd seen each other last, at a New Year's party some years previous.
As it turns out, he was heading to a different show at Slim's, so we headed for that. It was my first time riding the BART, which was interesting, because I found it dynamically different from the NYC subway system. They have cushioned seats!
We got to the other venue and saw the opening band finish up their set. The lighting was dim but the venue was spacious enough. The music was good, kind of a throwback to old jam bands, with a little bit of Ska trumpeting thrown in for good measure.
We talked to an older gentleman outside about his life in San Francisco and his work as a systems programmer for the fire department. Maybe not the most stimulating thing, but hey, fresh faces.
Around 11 we parted ways and I made for the Caltrain back home. The walk home was nicely reminiscent of home, as some dudes tried to sell me on their illicit wares as I made my way past them.
Even on the train I was able to keep flexing my social muscles with some of my fellow riders. We were all in that drunk state where walls between people are easier to surmount and everyone's getting along. The ~45 minute ride was made to feel that much shorter because of the conversation.
What's great about this all to me is that I'd been feeling more down and out than I'm used to, and I was attributing it to being in a new place. I think that's part of it, but a bigger part was that I'd been forgetting (or neglecting) the fact that most of my energy comes from being around other people or in social situations. I draw strength from that, and I'd gone too long without charging my battery up.
Now I'm feeling good and ready to take on the world. Maybe. Kinda.