San Francisco is a world-class city, perched at the tip of a Peninsula, with numerous hills sandwiched in between the water's edge. There are many reasons I love living here, but the 5 that I'll mention today are:
1) We have cultural diversity - this is a wonderful area in which to learn about others, share one's own traditions, and enjoy the parades and celebrations that abound, whether it's Chinese New Year, Vietnamese New Year, the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival, St. Patrick's Day, and Gay Pride, to name a few.
Coming up soon is the annual North Beach Festival with its Italian flair, a not-to-be missed event held June 13-14 in 2015.
2) We have unique neighborhoods. Often separated from each other by only by a hill, or a major street, each has a unique flavor. North Beach, Polk Street, the Fillmore, Union Street (not to be mistaken for Union Square, a distinctly different area), the Haight, the Marina, the Mission, the Castro, Laurel Heights, West Portal -- on it goes. These neighborhoods provide unique shopping and services; one soon gets to know the proprietors, where one is greeted by name. The Middle Polk Neighborhood exemplifies this feeling with its slogan, "a Village in the City."
3) We have staircases. Pedestrian conduits between neighborhoods, these appear when the hills are too steep for motor vehicles. You'll find them all over the city, some grand, some beautiful, some landscaped, some narrow. You can read about the best known tiled stairs; the picture below is the nearby staircase at 16th and Kirkham. A third has recently been tiled I've learned, at the end of California Street, where it abuts Lincoln Park. (I haven't yet explored it-another adventure awaits!)
4) We have free activities! Free Sunday afternoon concerts all summer long in Stern Grove; free concerts at the bandstand in Golden Gate Park; free Lindy Dance lessons; free museum days; free festivals -- look for it and you'll find it.
5) We have parks - more than any other urban area, you can find parks. We have them all - large (The Presidio) and small (Jack Early), manicured (Huntington Park) and wild (Buena Vista), crowded (Dolores Park) and rarely visited (even in Golden Gate Park, you can find solitude.) Park for dogs, for children, for picnics, for group activities. Trails to jog, roads for bicycling and skating, gardens with beautiful flowers, gardens with benches to soak up the sun and peace in the city. Parks for golfing, boating, fly fishing. Disc golf and a ropes course. There's a park for everyone here.