On January 7th, 1991 I arrived in San Francisco and, a few days later, I showed up to work on what I thought would be an 8 month job at an animation studio called Colossal Pictures… I still cannot quite believe that THIS week marks my TWENTY YEAR anniversary of living and working here in this wonderful city.
I had already visited San Francisco in 1988 as a tourist (back-packing my way across the USA, Canada, Mexico and South America) and I remember well that this city was one of those that actually made me stop and think “I’d like to live here someday”. It was a happy turn of fate that led me back here again a few years later but something more than that has kept me here all this time since.
Put simply, I fell in love with this place. Initially, the reason may have been that I was ready to stop moving and anywhere at all would do. I had just spent the previous 5 years-straight living out of a backpack, always in places where I could barely understand the language. So it’s not hard to see why I grabbed onto San Francisco with both hands; just the fact that I could have conversations with strangers (and perhaps make friends with them) was such a pleasant change after struggling to make myself understood in Europe, South America and Asia.
But more than that, from day-one, I felt that I “fit in” here, in this city of misfits. So much so that I have spent more time in this city than any other place on earth, including my own home town. And the obvious reason is that I feel more at home here than any of the many places I have been to (and I have been to a LOT of places). In this city of weirdos and outcasts a foreigner can feel at home.
This town has given me the absolute best moments of my career and some of its worst disappointments. I have made more true friends here than in any of the many places in the world I have lived in and, largely due to their inspiring example, it was here that I finally sat down and created personal projects for MYSELF rather than for THE MAN. This is the town where I fell in love, had my heart broken only to be mended so that I could fall in love again.
Of course, a lot can happen in a span of twenty years and most of these experiences may have happened anyway, had I lived someplace else instead. But I am so very glad that they happened to me here, in SAN FRANCISCO.
26 thoughts on “20 years in SF?!”
Yay for Jamie!we celebrate 13 years this week too and we feel the same way about Fairfax
We're GLAD you're HERE!
I'm two years behind ya!
Great self caricature….
I'm definitely glad you made it to The City, otherwise I woulda missed out on meeting such an awesome person! Anyone that can find comedy in a man seed sihouette of Michael Jordan, is "OK" in my book.
I am so glad to be here. thanks to all of you. (PS:"man-seed silhouette" is my new favourite phrase. Can't wait to use that one)
"Man-seed silhouette" sounds like an album cover…doesn't it?
hmmm… Ok, what kind of music do YOU listen to, Jeff?
James, I did the same thing in 1979, thought I'd hang out for the summer, and now I'm still… oh, wait.
1991 was 20 years ago. Damn.
20 years really? I'm on my 15th year
gosh…time goes fast…i am here 16 years! can't think of anywhere else that is better! great reading your love of SF. Feel like grabbing vicki and others to go out one night? Ashley xoxxo
and it only took ten years for our paths to cross! xxx
Can I get you a sandwich from Kline's?
ooh! Yes, please. I will have a FRIDA KAHLO.
HA! frikking remember that place. My personal fave was the GLORIA STEINEM.
Jamie..so glad you moved to the States! You are a welcome addition to our fair country. We need more fellas like you and fewer of the homegrown rejects in the news lately!!!
and i thought you were an unruly soccer houligan when i first met you.
Good on ya mate, glad you have found a place that you can call home, 20 years is a pretty good stretch
Re-reading your paen to things SF-ish has generated in me just a wee twinge of home-sickness, the first I've had. Well-done, my friend.
Sorry about that, George!
No problemo, dude! Happy Twentieth!
Eeek, 91 was 20 years? Congrats! I'm glad our paths crossed at CP.
I have to say, this is a great article.
I have wanted to live there since 1984 when a friend of mine invited me to an ILM crew screening of Temple of Doom. I feel in love with the place.
That is a very cool place to spend 20 years.
Agreed; a very cool place. Mind you, I would LOVE to live in Seattle. What a town!