4 min read

Returning to San Francisco and Missing Los Angeles

Recently, we had some of our LA friends come visit us, and it made me reminisce about my time in Los Angeles.
Returning to San Francisco and Missing Los Angeles

In late 2020, I moved to Los Angeles County to be closer to family during the pandemic and explore a new city. With the help of Veronica’s dad, we packed up our belongings and drove South in our then Subaru. We rented an apartment above Veronica’s uncle in a lovely city, Norwalk, CA.

I had a great time in Los Angeles learning more about myself and leading a team through the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Although I spent most of my time in LA County with severe COVID lockdowns and restrictions, Veronica and I managed to travel to view all of LA (we even went to Malibu). Emotionally, we lived somewhere between LA and San Diego as we also visited my parents a ton.

We recently had some of our LA friends visit us, and it made me reminisce about my time in Los Angeles.

Top things I miss about Los Angeles

1. The Latinx community in LA

Over 100 Lowriders Cruised Through East L.A.'s Whittier Boulevard for the  50th Anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium (Photos) - L.A. TACO
Whittier Boulevard – East LA

The LatinX community was something new to me when I went to college. I grew up in San Diego and partially in Guatemala, so the sense of cultural identity for me was always extremes. Either I was in San Diego in a very diverse city (tons of cultures but no strong force) or in Guatemala with a lot of culture and community.

Los Angeles is a diverse metropolitan with one of the strongest and most diverse Latinx cultures. From the strong Oaxacan culture in Korea Town to Guatemalans throughout Los Angeles, LA has a vibrant and diverse LatinX community that is hard to replicate and experience in other cities.

2. Food Scene

Chef Wes Avila’s Ka’teen

LA has a top-notch food scene. LA constantly has new restaurants opening up like Ka’teen led by Chef Wes Avila which takes you on a journey through the Yucatan Peninsula through food. Veronica and I managed to attend the opening night.

Every night in the Westlake neighborhood in Los Angeles, vendors gather at a market to serve Guatemalan food.
Source: New York Times

In addition to high-end restaurants, small pop-ups like those in Little Guatemala cater street food from back home.

Blue Corn Tacos – Echo Park

I probably had the best blue corn quesadillas in my life next to Echo Park.

Sugarfish Vows to Retain All 600 Workers for Entirety of the Pandemic -  Eater LA
Sugarfish

And how can I forget about Sugarfish!

3. Closeness to Family

One of the big reasons I enjoyed living in Los Angeles was the ability to easily visit my parents. In Norwalk, it was only a 1.5 or 2-hour drive to La Mesa, CA, outside of peak traffic. I could decide to visit them and go out to our favorite outdoor restaurant on a whim.

Late 2021 – Returning to San Francisco

I moved back to San Francisco with Veronica in October 2021 to a beautiful apartment near Golden Gate Park. It’s now March 2022, and I’ve enjoyed my time here. I primarily moved back since Finix opened up our office in downtown San Francisco, a historic milestone.

I’m part of an in-person pillar of the company, and I’m excited for the return to the office. San Francisco and its community have been a personal blessing for me. This city opened up many opportunities for my family and me, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s also where I met Veronica!

Looking forward to 2022 in San Francisco

I’ve lived in the bay area for approximately ten years, starting when I was 18 in 2011. I feel that I’m somewhere between a Bay Area person and a SoCal person

For this year, There are many things I’m looking forward to this year such as:

  • Catching up with friends that live in the bay area
  • Exploring Vero’s and I’s favorite places in the bay! Post coming soon!!!
  • Deepening my professional and personal relationships in the bay area. It’s hard to keep up with the pandemic, and I’m looking forward to meeting people in person.
  • Continuing my seasonal adventures snowboarding and paddle boarding/kayaking in Tahoe
  • Biking and exploring golden gate park
  • Leading our Pre-Processing product pillar at Finix in our San Francisco HQ

Closing thoughts

I do miss LA, and I visit her every month and a half. This is my love letter to Los Angeles. ¡Hasta pronto!