Fog Line

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A key benefit of moving here from Chicago was supposed to be that weather would no longer be an issue. But as it turns out, weather is now all I think about. Or rather, fog is all I think about. If I'm not counting the days until it returns for the summer, I'm calculating the cost of moving six blocks to the other side of the Great Fog Divide. Six blocks -- that's all that separates me from a summer of backyard barbeques, coffee on the deck, and my God-given right to go barefoot in July.

I should have known not to depend on strangers for advice. When we came house hunting last March, I became obsessed with finding the 'fog line.' Everyone I met -- or rather, the strangers I accosted while they walked their dogs or unloaded groceries from the car -- got quizzed about where, exactly, the fog stopped. The problem was, while everyone agreed the Mission was sunny and the Sunset was not, no one could tell us where the weather changed. Whichever property we looked at, the fog supposedly stopped three blocks west of there.

In Duboce Triangle, the fog stopped at Divisadero. When we crossed Divisadero into the trendy NOPA neighborhood, our agent suddenly seemed to recall that really it was Arguello Street where the fog magically vanished.

In the end, we bought the condo in NOPA, despite the small voice in my head warning me that in a city famously divided into foggy and sunny zones, there's a reason the street just east of us is named 'Divisadero.'

Turns out, that's the one voice I should have listened to. We moved here in July, and every night for two months I walked six blocks through the cold mist to the crest of the hill at Divisadero and 14th Street, where below me, in all its fog-free glory, lay the promised land: the Mission, the Castro, Duboce Triangle. I'd stare for a few minutes at the twinkling stars, cursing fate and our realtor, then turn and disappear back into my rapidly gentrifying but forever fog-shrouded neighborhood.


Now when people ask "Did you leave Chicago because of the cold?", I just smile -- and ask how they like living on Potrero Hill.

With a Perspective, I'm Steve Reidy.