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  • PREFund

Why I Choose to Raise My Son in San Francisco

I didn’t plan anything! I arrived in San Francisco by car on September 11th, 2008

around 9pm, young, single and childless, the last moments of my journey driving across

the country culminating in the steep climb up 17th street just past the blazing super

sized rainbow flag in the Castro. “I’m here!” I shouted out the window.


I had planned to stay in SF briefly with a high school friend, but after a week I realized

this was the place I belonged. I made fast friends. Secret staircases, Golden Gate Park,

views of the bay and the Pacific Ocean from the tippy top of hills made this city feel like

an actual paradise. I was attracted to the vibrations of the culture. It was creative,

compassionate, intellectual, aware, and a little bit wild. There were parades, costumes,

dancing, and music.


In April 2009 I met the person who would become the father of my child. We met at the

Hotel Utah, one of SF’s most beloved music venues. I had just played a song, and he

was just stopping in, having been a regular for years performing original spoken word

pieces. As soon as I saw him I couldn’t stop looking at him. He had painfully gorgeous

blue eyes, shiny black hair, and he was wearing a black leather jacket. His hair was cut

like a ten year old boy’s. “I can fix that,” I thought. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.


We’ve been devoted partners to each other ever since. In 2013 we were blessed with a

baby boy. In those early days the city took care of us in many ways. There was always

good healthy food and delicious coffee nearby. The Golden Gate Mothers Group and

the Children’s Council of San Francisco were resources that made us feel like we had

support and belonged in SF with a baby.


As my son grew we became members of the Academy of Sciences and I spent many

days strolling around with my toddler in the aquarium and watching the penguins swim.

We spent time at the Botanical Gardens and the Conservatory of Flowers. We became

members of the Exploratorium and the Children’s Creativity Museum. There are so

many enriching experiences for babies and young children in our city.


For our family, the best part about living here is being near beaches and redwood

forests. There is nowhere more beautiful than the landscape along the great Pacific

ocean; tide pools, redwood and eucalyptus trees, succulents, pelicans, sea birds, gulls,

hawks, dolphin pods, whale breaches, friendly harbor seals, and barking sea lions. This

is an ocean town. This is a bay town. Fog, sun, heat, breeze, fish, sea, salt, sand, hills,

and vistas. We love living here. My son was born in one of the greatest cities in the

world. I didn’t plan this, but, San Francisco, I can’t imagine choosing anywhere more

vibrant or beautiful to raise my son.


Sara Judge is singer-songwriter, theater artist, and IT Support Specialist for Wharton San Francisco. She is currently working towards an MFA in Writing at California College of the Arts. www.sarajudge.com


“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.



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