This weekend I’m in SF, CA, someplace I haven’t been since the 90’s. The advent of the internet and the bags of money which came with it have definitely changed the face of this town. San Jose airport, which I flew into, now has a private jet area, although the rest of the airport is unremarkable.

I like SF and California in general for visiting, but it’s not so much my kind of place for living. Everything is sort of taken with a breezy unseriousness that I find unsettling. I am going on a houseboat trip this weekend at Lake Shasta for a friends birthday, and decided to come in on Weds to see as many old friends as possible. I’m staying with a close family friend who left academics for the Real World Job and its giving me the willies. But her place is cool and there are literally cable car trolleys outside her window. I feel like some Rice-A-Roni. What is that stuff anyhow?

Weds I met some friends who work at eBay, at an internet startup, and an Asian PE fund down closer to San Jose. Thursday I went to the startup’s office, which included a windowless soundproof meditation room left over from the bubble days. In the evening, I met a friend from school who works at a biotech firm and her husband who works in the wine industry. After that I met up with a friend in Berkeley who worked in public health and was married to an environmentalist. To be sure, I’ve covered nearly every stereotypical Bay Area profession and managed to catch up with a ton of folks.

People here talk of the halcyon Bubble days in such vivid terms, it sounded like a Roman party. Everyone has a story of how much X was done, who sold the most companies and for how much, and the excessive childishness of office environments. Those that “got out at the right time” are now largely taking lifestyle jobs and often times doing nothing at all and those who didn’t are now in regular jobs at large tech companies.

I definitely consider myself a liberal although in this part of the country, I find myself telling hippies to get a job and scoffing at the number of raw/vegan restaurants, herbal healing stores, and shaman drum outlets. It is, however, super easy to get great vegetarian food. Additionally, no one really seems to have grown up here – everyone moved here from someplace else, giving it a very transitory feeling. Also, people speak about how great it is and how much I should move here in eerily cultish terms.

Like I said, a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here.

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