Birds vs. Cars

At 5:10 this morning the city was so still that the chirping of birds overpowered the sound of any and all street traffic on our block.

An airport drop-off later, the tide had turned.

Quiet moments.

I live in San Francisco. Which isn’t New York City, but still a place of hustle and bustle.

In the morning when I walk out the door of my house and walk down the steps I feel the city already surging towards me in waves.

As I head down our street, a MUNI bus whirs by, a quarter full with people heading downtown. The Lyft and Uber drivers, who live in Sacramento, but make the hour and a half trek to SF every morning are prowling the streets, snarling foot and motor traffic. I’m trying to remember where I parked my car in hopes of avoiding the evil-eye of the parking ticket police poised to strike. I give a wide berth to the gentleman yelling to himself. A metal gate designed to keep people from camping out overnight in a doorway bangs shut. At 7am people are already lined up ten deep at the DMV which won’t open for another hour. Another dog off leash smiles at me as I round the corner. As the light changes from red to green, the cars on Fell St. lurch forward, barely missing the bicyclist using the crosswalk and the 50 year on his skateboard.

Cities are magic. But they are not quiet.