Every time I look out my kids’ – Ripley King-Ofsiany, seven, and Sumner, four – bedroom window, I’m reminded why we choose to raise our family in San Francisco. We’re blessed with a hilltop home, and can see much of what the City has to offer from this vantage point.
Right outside it’s the birds; hummingbirds, Townsend’s warblers, red-tailed hawks, and scrub jays are all regulars in our backyard. We even get occasional visits from the parrots when our neighbor’s loquat tree bears fruit. Our city kids have become budding ornithologists, watching their very own nature channel.
In the near distance, we can see their schools – Daniel Webster Elementary and Potrero Kids – as well as not one, but two playgrounds, all walking distance from our house. These are the places where we’ve built connections with a great diversity of neighbors in this strong and vibrant community.
A bit further out, as darkness falls each night, we watch Leo Villareal’s iconic Bay Bridge light sculpture come to life. In its shadow, AT&T Park serves up the raucous cheers of Giants’ fans and the music of international rock and pop stars, not to mention numerous fireworks displays. Some might wear earplugs on these nights, but we revel in the reminder that just a stone’s throw away, world-class sports, arts and music are there for the partaking.
Through the glass we’ve seen the Blue Angels soar and the America’s Cup boats practice. We’ve watched the Coast Guard conduct drills and Obama’s motorcade drive past. We even bore witness to the Space Shuttle Endeavor celebrating its last flight with a flyover of the San Francisco Bay. Each event is a reminder of the amazing capacities and achievements of humankind.
Our vista ends at Mt. Diablo. Each December 7 we watch the lighting of the Mt. Diablo beacon in tribute to those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor, and have a rear window history lesson. Our vista may end there, but the City has so much more to offer than just what we can see. What’s outside your window?
Sarah King lives on Wisconsin Street with her partner, Aaron, and two kids. “Why I Choose to Raise My Family in San Francisco” is the brainchild of the Potrero Residents Education Fund, a nonprofit committed to helping create a stronger, more vibrant San Francisco by ensuring that families from a diversity of income levels raise their children in the City. Submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.