San Francisco

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Emma is the editor & creator (and occasionally writer) for The Messy Heads. She enjoys yellow curry, print media, and singing to herself.

Driving down the 101 with hills rolling by, music blasting, and an entire bag of bananas to keep us company on our seven hour drive. Haley was at the wheel, I was in shot gun, and our friend Izzy was in the back, slumped over a pile of luggage dead asleep. As we cruised, we gasped at every turn that revealed a beach, mountain, rolling green hill, stunning orange valley, or a pasture of cows. Kali Uchis’s melodic voice swirled in the car and seeped out of the cracked windows. We were bound for the bay.


My parents actually met each other in San Francisco, so whenever I visit it feels like walking through their photo albums. There is the bagel shop my mom worked at, there is where their first apartment was, up this hill is the bar they used to go to, make a left here and you are at my dad’s school. I always view the city through the same sort of film filter those 4×6 photos are in.

But in this city, I am still a tourist, so we did the touristy things. We rode a cable car and ran off at the next stop when we realized the fare was $7.50. We visited the Oscar De La Renta exhibit at the de Young. My Godparents are museum members and took us to their favorite exhibits and paintings while we waited for our ticket time. We also climbed up to the observatory to reveal a hazy view of the city. Apparently on a clear day you can see Golden Gate Bridge from the top, but I still really liked the mysterious view that I got. It reminded me of a romance novel, especially since I shot the view on my Fujifilm.

It rained from Thursday to Monday, so we all huddles under a big umbrella and walked down Haight street. We admired murals Clarion Alley and thrifted in the Mission District. No matter what street you walk down or neighborhood you are in, around every turn are tall, candy colored houses. The wooden slats are painted in every pastel. Hills in the background protrude like pages from a children’s pop up book. So whimsical and magical, especially with lights from stoplights reflected in streets wet from the rain.


One of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco is China Town. Just two blocks from the Cable Car museum you find yourself in a foreign country. The main street is strung with red paper lanterns and rows of primary colored buildings. Signs are in a different language and the smell wafting through the streets takes you back to 2 am Chinese food cravings while you are in the midst of binge watching Netflix. While wandering the streets, we tried fruits I have never seen before, visited the fortune cookie factory, and saw a psychic.

What’s a road trip without stopping at a few diners. In San Francisco there is a diner with vegan milkshakes, pancakes, scrambles, huevos rancheros, and a chorizo hash. We ordered just about everything and stuffed our faces at St. Francis, both a vegan friendly greasy joint and the oldest Ice Cream parlor in San Francisco.

We also met up with some inspiring local ladies. Over coffee we chatted about what our true passions are, what makes us happiest, how we can change the world, and the power of feeling like you have found purpose. We exchanged laughs and life lessons with each other. So thankful to be able to genuinely connect with people from the internet in a face to face format.


All photos from this trip were shot on a FujiFilm X100, a digital camera that feels like film. I absolutely loved working with it, courtesy of Lumoid. Lumoid is a San Francisco based camera rental company that allows you to work with insanely cool cameras for as little as $10 a day. Haley & Iz got to shoot on some big DSLRs that we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. I absolutely love this company because it gives young artists the chance to practice their skills without spending thousands on equipment.

Lumoid is helping us give back to you guys by giving one of you $250 in gear rental credit! We want you to get inspired and get out there and shoot. All you have to do is enter your email address at this link for a chance to win! GOOD LUCK!



  1. Kayleigh says

    San Francisco is absolutely beautiful. Love this post! Hope to see San Fran in person someday ☺️

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