San Francisco may be known as the beating heart of the tech world, but after many visits, we know it’s much more than that. Teeming with unique and rich histories and cultures, with delicious food and world class music, San Francisco is easily one of our favourite cities in the world. With that in mind, we’re excited to profile this vibrant city this month, celebrating its character through the eyes of talented creatives.
Our second from this series is a photo diary by Adrian Ho, a designer with too many hobbies and an endless curiosity for the world.
Flying down to San Francisco from Vancouver is always a pleasant experience. The city maintains an identifiable west coast vibe, but this time with a distinctive American twist. Everything is bigger, there’s more people, and rich history and culture is embedded in the architecture and landscape.
Walking up and down the sunny hills across neighbourhoods, I can’t help but think of all of the skate clips and fixed gear hill bombs filmed on the streets I walk by. There’s definitely a lot going on in San Francisco: there’s dozens of interesting local shops to check out, vistas to take in, and vibrant colours, graffiti and murals around nearly every corner.
Heading into the Haight-Ashbury district after tacos, I dig for some records and talk to the shop owner—who’s super enthusiastic about sharing his love of drum breaks. As he talks, my eyes wander to the vintage show bills posted up around the store, and I think of San Francisco’s psychedelic past. It’s interesting to think about how movements evolve, and how some–such as psychedelia, still have lingering influence up into modern day.
Continuing on my walk, I hear a more modern hip hop beat pulse through the streets. I don’t see anything at first, but upon investigation I find a DJ set up in a little nook beside the neighbourhood bar. Things like this happening at the height of day is what makes this city so special—familiar, but full of surprises.
— Written and photographed by Adrian Ho