I left more than my heart in San Francisco.

Sunday was bright and sunny. Rachel, Adam, Amy and I were on our way to what we thought was going to an epic spring break trip. Hopes ran high.

After greeting San Francisco with enthusiasm, we found a place to park right next to Golden Gate Park and counted ourselves lucky for finding a spot so quickly. We then went straight to the anarchist book fair, ate lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant and traipsed through the surrounding area and park.

While walking back to the car, we noticed another vehicle parked on the same road as us that had been broken into.

I started rationalizing. We hadn’t checked into the hotel yet, so all of our stuff was still in the car. But that kind of thing doesn’t happen to me, right?



Rachel’s front passenger window was completely smashed in, and everything electronic in the car, including my 5-day-old laptop, was gone.

Random acts of crime committed against you really put a damper on anything, especially a spring break trip. The four of us tried to make the best of it by still going to the SF Museum of Modern Art, still shopping in Union Square and still dancing at some random bar (that last one was really just me and Adam).

It’s times like these when I hate the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” I run over the endless possibilities — why didn’t I just carry the laptop with me? Why didn’t I hide it better? Why didn’t we try to check into the hotel early? Why didn’t we park somewhere else?

But I can’t let myself do that, because then I just drive myself crazy.

I think what bothers me the most is that this happened on a busy street in broad daylight. While we were reporting the incident and cleaning up the glass, at least 15 people walked by. Hundreds of cars drove by. I refuse to believe that no one saw someone breaking into our car. If you’re not going to physically stop the person, the least you could do is report it. That’s common decency, isn’t it?

Lessons learned:
– I will never leave something worth anything alone in a car again.
– Paying for parking is better than having your car broken into.
– Despite it all, things could always, always, always be worse.


So much for no more long nights at the library.


3 thoughts on “I left more than my heart in San Francisco.

  1. I was keeping up with your guys’ tweets. I’m sorry to hear about your guys’ stuff, that sucks. I’m glad you guys were still able to party and do yo’ thang though.

  2. Aw Jessica, that sucks.

    Decades ago a woman named Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death while thirty people witnessed. No one called 911.

    There’s a psychology term for this: “diffusion of responsibility.” When there’s more than about 3 or 4 people in a group, no one will take on responsibility. A rain drop never thinks it caused the flood. That’s why in bigger cities usually, being a witness to a crime is “not their problem.”

    I’m too lazy to find a better source than Wikipedia, but it gives a good overview:


    Stupid, evil human nature.

  3. Pingback: Laptop. « Journalistic Rants and Raves

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