There is only one type of story in the world. Your story. — Ray Bradbury, Zen and the Art of Writing
I had visited San Francisco for the first time in February of 1988 and ended up moving there a year later. There I found what I was looking for and couldn’t find in Seattle. In the words of a friend who visited me there in my first year: it’s just like Manhattan, only liveable!
However, San Francisco has one thing though that New York does not.
I was living in San Francisco for about eight months and was renting an apartment in the Duboce Triangle, when the Loma Prieta quake struck on 17/10/1989.
I was working for the California Bankers’ Association. We were on the tenth floor of a building on California Street, near Chinatown. We were all about to leave for the day, when the building began to rock. Someone shouted: Get under your desks! The building continued to shake for the longest 15 seconds I’d ever experienced. Just as we crawled back out and began looking around us, the lights all went out. Someone had a wind-up radio and we heard that the Bay Bridge has collapsed. Sanchez Street, where I was living, was directly up Market Street from where I was working. I remember once it was safe to leave the building, some of us that lived in that part of town began to walk home. It was very eerie. It was a warm, still evening. Large groups of people were walking up Market Street and it felt like we were in a post-apocalyptic film. My apartment was trashed, though I lost nothing of real value. I remember weeks of after-shocks, days without electricity and a few weeks without a gas cooker, but I never got used to earthquakes.