I was born and raised on a tiny island that sits nearly 49 square miles on top of the Pacific Ocean. Nowadays unfortunately San Francisco is nothing more than a place I outgrew. I no longer feel like I can flourish and shine here, all I do is pay bills, eat and pay rent, been doing that for years. I have always been practical, but lately while practicality is a necessity, it is also very tiresome, boring and unfulfilling.
It was time for me to move on years ago, but I never had enough encouragement, help and money to do so. And COURAGE, I am so afraid to take that “leap” only to find myself without food and shelter, the thought renders me physically sick. But, I am not without hope, I just need an incentive.
Well, that “incentive” is the high cost of living and constant loss of small businesses that I enjoyed frequenting. Plus, I have grown older and more set in my ways, that might be part of it, but the beauty that once was my city and the opportunities to flourish for an artist and writer like myself are all long gone.
Sure, online business are a great way to make money and thrive, but closer and more tactile businesses, places that used to be within reach including “mom and pop” stores are no longer a staple here and that saddens me. “Working class” can no longer afford to live in a city where Twitter, Silicon Valley and greedy, rude, evil landlords’ money is more valued. Course, it has always been the case where rich bowls over working class, I get it, but now the “sting” feels worse, mainly because working to pay bills never dies while doing what makes one happy usually becomes more of a dream than a reality. ~sigh~
One of the things that made me very happy was to visit a bead store when I worked for the City & County years ago. I spent almost all of my lunch hour at Beyond Beads at 1251 Howard Street, my only respite that was housed down the block from my job. I dreamed creations in my head as I sifted through strands and porcelain jars, trays and table settings filled with glass, stone, pearl and Austrian crystal beads to name a few. And, all the tools, chains and supplies I needed to make up whatever I imagined.
It was a small collection compared to a larger bead store, but I love the intimacy of Beyond Beads and the design and decor, high beamed white ceilings and odd drawings and paintings on the walls behind the counter had me feeling like I was in a creative artists’ abode rather than a retail shop.
Beyond Beads is owned by a quiet man who when I first met him was rather stiff, serious and slightly unfriendly at first glance. But, over time Gal Ben Shaul warmed up to me, well, I can be a chatty handful when I am in my zone. He was especially friendly when I visited after having recently learned Gal was closing shop.
I had not seen Gal in over four years since I was laid off work from the City & County. I learned Gal’s rent nearly tripled and I learned from one of the employees at General Bead that they owned the building Beyond Beads was housed in. Most of San Francisco commercial and residential rents have gone up, my rent goes up a percentage every year or so. I was not surprised, but I was a bit sad.
I will miss visiting Gal’s Beyond Beads, but I am sure he and his wife will flourish and find their other passions whatever they may be. Until then I will continue to move forward in my goal to move to NYC and live my life doing what makes ME happy. ~sigh~ I keep saying I will LEAP, but I am not yet there, but I am determined.
And when I do move I know living in a city where everyone’s hustle and ambitions is very “real” will work out just fine with me. Although, hustling is not my forte, I do believe I will flourish and my dreams will see a positive fruition.
As for my hometown? I was born and raised on a tiny island that sits nearly 49 square miles on top of the Pacific Ocean. Nowadays unfortunately San Francisco is nothing more than a place I outgrew. But, I am good with that. Maybe one day I’ll return to visit SF, maybe to live, who knows? But for now Beyond Beads and LD must move on and find our passions where they will allow us to flourish and shine! And there it is. Cheers!