Between 2008 and early 2013 we spent every two to four weeks in San Francisco. When my husband was having chemo we stayed there for four weeks, with weekends out with family in East Bay. It was stressful because my husband was weak and sick due the radiation treatment and healing up from his first surgery.
We came to know the people in the area. The hotels we stayed at (two nearby the hospial) were always kind and tried to accommodate us and our crazy schedules.The downtown Marriot even helped us out during chemo--two weeks at little cost.
The Turkish market down the street made the most mind blowing coffee I have ever tasted before. He knew me by name and started up a cup as soon as he saw me. There was usually someone playing a doumbek drum or people playing chess in the store. It was the local hangout.
I miss the food. The variety of fruit and vegetables mean that most of the places we visited had real food in their recipes. My two favorite restaurants were side by side U C Sushi (named because it was only a block from UCSF medical center. The other place, right next door, was a little Indian place that had the best chai--all you care to drink, .Nan flowed like a river to your table.
I miss the people. Unlike other big cities I have been in, San Francisco has some of the nicest and tolerant people that I have ever met. Yes, I only saw a small portion of SF but I always loved coming. Even in crowded busses and trains people would find a spot to squeeze in closer and apologized if someone's foot got walked on. (This was a shocker after going to DC where everyone kept their heads down and never dared to make eye contact with anyone else.)
I miss the people. So many families helped us out between transportation, lodging, food, and a friendly shoulder to cry on. I don't think that any of them were blood relatives, besides my brother--thanks for the loan of your truck! My inlaws used to lived nearby and had lots of contacts that were glad to help.
The doctors were always courteous and supportive, even when news got bad. The hospital staff were always ready to help and made the entire process go much smoother than in any other hospital center I have been to. They seemed to actually enjoy helping others, even when the people they help are dazed and confused (they helped me make sure everything was as stress free for the weeks of my husband's surgeries and scans).
I miss our little trips--usually private planes flown by volunteers. No security lines, no checked baggage, just fly and get there then hop onto transit to get out to the appointments. AngelFlight was a godsend for us, especially when my husband or I were having bad days.
I miss all of San Francisco, at least the parts we were in.If I could afford a place there it would be my dream to live down in that little part of town, but that isn't going to happen any time soon.