Almost five year ago I was studying at the University of Asheville in North Carolina. There, I met Lauren, a lovely American girl studying there as well, originally from Ohio and North Carolina.
Last April, during my San Francisco trip, I got the amazing opportunity to see her again. And five years didn’t change a thing, we had lots of fun and went around San Francisco together for a cool photoshoot (we both love to take pictures of course! Photos below).
This was also the occasion for me to ask a few questions around the life in San Francisco, the US and her next adventure.
Can you introduce yourself in few lines?
I’m a North Carolina native living in San Francisco. I’ve lived in multiple different cities, and travel as much as possible. I love shooting travel, portrait and documentary photography. My two passions are photography and helping others- this is why I’m starting graduate school in the fall to get a Master in Occupational Therapy.
How long have you lived in San Francisco and what did you think of the city when you first arrived?
I’ve been here for about two years now. To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed when I first arrived. I was previously in Los Angeles and despite the immense size of L.A, it doesn’t quite feel like a “city”. It’s very spread out so it doesn’t have a dense urban feel like San Francisco. S.F, after all, is only 7x7 square miles. After exploring and discovering how beautiful the city was, I felt more at ease. S.F has a very romantic feel about it. It makes me want to watch Hitchcock films, drink gin, and hop into divey jazz bars.
What are your favourite neighbourhoods to hang at?
Personally (like many others my age), I’m a big fan of the Mission district. It has a strong hispanic cultural presence (although, unfortunately, the hispanic population is decreasing due to gentrification and rising housing prices), which makes it feel like it’s own unique city within the city. You can’t go wrong with SoMa and downtown, either. I love to gallery hop in these areas.
What’s you’re favourite place in SF?
One of my favorite spots is the Ferry Building. There’s delicious local food vendors, and on a nice day, I watch the boats over the Bay and hop on a ferry to Oakland.
Anything people should know when travelling to San Francisco?
Bring sweaters in June! Summers are cold, but if you come in the fall, expect “normal” summer temperatures. It’s very odd. Also, always carry a jacket! It doesn’t matter how hot it feels- it might be 70 degrees F in the Mission district, but the Sunset may be windy and 60 degrees F. We have a lot of microclimates. Also, don’t leave anything in your rental car unless you want a broken window. Unfortunately, there is a lot of petty theft here. Pickpocketing isn’t a thing, but stealing tires off of bikes and breaking windows, is. Just be smart like you would anywhere else.
Any cities in the USA you would recommend for people to visit?
Yes! My college city, Asheville, N.C, is a fabulous eccentric mountain town where you can do a lot for a reasonable price. It’s great for outdoorsy people. New Orleans may be my favorite city in the U.S. The street musicians and beignets are phenomenal. It’s also a very affordable city.
What should people go see out of San Francisco?
Muir Woods is a must. It’s over the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. Here you can see redwoods soaring into the sky. Try to go during the week, because it’s much less crowded. Go eat oysters in Tomales Bay, also north of the G.G Bridge about 1.5 hours away. Pro tip: If it’s foggy and windy in S.F, just hop over the G.G Bridge or Bay Bridge and you’ll likely find sun.
What have you always dreamed to visit in the US?
Glacier National Park in Montana! Actually, pretty much every national park. I need to get to Yellowstone, as well. The diverse U.S landscape is something we pride ourselves on. You can drive from plains, to deserts, to mountains, to glaciers (with national parks all in between).