Window Shopping

As a native Angeleno, I’m far more comfortable with urban sprawl than with densely packed San Francisco real estate. But one undeniable benefit to living on top of one another is window shopping.

No, not in Union Square. Nothing passes a Muni ride or a walk better than appreciating others’ apartments – picking up color trends, decor details, and furniture fads. No, not in a voyeristic way, either. I don’t want to see people – that ruins the scene – but the evidence of their lives, the art work on the walls, the vases in the windows, the window boxes and wind chimes. Cats curled up in the sun and dogs’ noses pressed against a glass door. Conversation spaces, dining nooks, and cabinetry. Ebony wainscotting and ivory alcoves. Beveled, stained, and etched glass. Crown molding and chandeliers.

Of course, at this time of year, Christmas adornments add new levels of interest. Tonight, strolling the streets of Nob Hill after a holiday gathering, I took in the sights: Big trees and little trees. Windows festooned with multicolored twinkle lights or edged in static white ones. Evergreen-wrapped columns and holly-decked newel posts.

By the end of each block, I’ve designed my perfect flat or house – and I’m just one large Restoration gift card from turning my own fine, but needing-some-love victorian into its own set of shoppable windows.

To me, the whole exercise is analogous to appreciating Golden Gate foliage – each tree unique and lovely, even the ones with the peeling paint and broken stoops.

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