The City of Many Wonders By Taylor Mari, Julia Vrins, Kristopher Reiland, and Marlen Lourdes Perseveranda

The Prologue

San Francisco is not just a city -- it’s a way of life. The city itself lives in a way, breathing and moving as one does, seeing through the eyes of thousands as they go about their day. From the bums that wander the bustling streets, sleeping in alleys and begging for food -- to the CEO’s looking down upon the city from their corporate offices, the city lived through them taking on the image of each individual. Seen through the eyes of an outsider, San Francisco might seem like a beast, terrifying and overwhelming, swelling with grandeur as they watch determined people pass them as they themselves have no direction. Knowing the city from the inside, you realize that it is not a beast but a life force running its daily course as the people do. The things that lurk in the shadows wondering and waiting for their next victim are all part of this life force and work as one to provide San Francisco its very own life.

In the middle of the city there is a bustling, crowded, humid mess of all walks of life. Words one can’t understand are yelled and people duck in and out of small shops and markets where they can find authentic foods and dishes. This small section is labeled Chinatown and is painted red from head to toe. As cars ease around corners and pull into spots they are passed by determined trucks full of stock for stores beyond the reach of just Chinatown. Past the bustling little neighborhood and up a large hill is a land of hippies and oddballs. Stores of used clothes that are ready to be given a new home lay impatiently on either side of the road -- framing it with their eagerness. Beyond that the stores selling newer clothing, thread, sewing machines and other products taper out until all that is left is rows of housing. Taking a turn you could find yourself in the lively area where the streets are painted brightly and clubs are in no short supply. This street is called The Castro and is full of life and excitement. Falling back from The Castro all the way back to the shore there is only the cries of seagulls and the voices of people just teeming with excitement, this is where you will find the piers. Whether it is a building made for science or a long stretch of endless entertainment, the piers have it. They bring life from across the water on large metal beasts that haul in every walk of life. Only then does this city take its form, when all of these places are in full swing does the cities life force grow and swell until it has become a being all its own.

Beware the Businessman

Smart and resourceful, the businessman is an all american icon. Building his cities and forging his empires, he is the center of all that progresses in an expanding universe. The businessman creates innovations in technology so that his people may thrive in the city below and he provides jobs for those who are down on there luck. Being a true visionary, he is the key to a company’s success which in turn is what we the people rely on to have what we have today. The businessman helps all people thrive in his domain no matter what or who they are. All this is what the businessman wants you to know. In reality, his drive isn’t so pure as he’d like you to think. The businessman deals in the dark on a regular basis. He is motivated by his own self interest and lives in a world where it’s kill or be killed. Whether the intentions of the businessman were good or not, he will always turn out rotten and cold hearted at some point. Teetering between good and evil, the businessmen run our nation in a chaotic environment. Should one ever cross paths with the business man, they should be wary of the danger he poses to society.

The Story

Short story

After months of preparing for this move Peyton was finally on the road to their first day of school in their new CIty of San Francisco. The school wasn’t far from their house, just a short car ride away. The morning was grey and damp, they were nervous- stomach churning with all the possible worst case scenarios twirling in their head.

“I don’t think I can do this.” They said staring out the car window at the large school that loomed over them like a creature of nightmares.

“You’ll be fine.” Their father insisted with an encouraging smile, “You’ve gone to a new school before.” he said.

“Yeah! But I was in elementary school, it’s harder in high school.” They said nervously and held onto the strap of their backpack that sat limply at their feet.

“You can do this, it’s just seven hours.” Their father said with a grin.

“You’re not helping.” Peyton replies with a flat voice before pulling their backpack on and leaving the car after saying their goodbyes.

The school was a cold building of hard concrete and fortified walls. Diverse groups of teens mingled on either side of Peyton, some walking beside them. Peyton held onto the strap of their backpack tightly as they wondered terrified into the prison that was the new high school. As they walked through, terrified of all the new information they were receiving around them.

After losing their way a few times, stumbling lamely throughout the hallways, Peyton found their classroom. All of the students looked so much more mature than they did, standing awkwardly in the doorway.

“Hey, come in.” A tan boy with short brown hair and a thin shaven stubbly beard. His body was almost as relaxed as his voice, resting his weight in his back with his elbow resting on the desk behind him. Peyton nodded and shifted themselves into the empty desk beside the boy. “My name’s Cal,” He said and flashed a smile at Peyton.

Cal Morrison (Peers/ House boat)

“Peyton.” They said and gave off a smile as well.

Cal nodded while his arms crossed over his chest, “You’re new right? You want to hang out with my friends and I at lunch?” He asked.

“Uhh yeah,” Peyton responded, smiling, “That’d be really cool.” they said.

After half the day was through the students got out for lunch and filed themselves off to their respective places. Cal waved down Peyton, introducing them to their little band of misfits.

Ai Zhang (China Town)

There was Ty, he was Korean-American and very tall; his hair was dyed blonde and he had a very mature demeanor. Next there was Ai, she was a short Chinese girl with long back hair and bangs that were pushed to the side, she was intimidating to look at but she proved to be very sweet. Finally here was Rita, she was an African-American girl with a warm heart, her curly hair stayed by her shoulders and she wore vintage clothing.

Rita Martin (Haight Ashbury)

Peyton felt oddly at home with these kids, “So where do all of you live?” They asked, wanting to know in the case that they wanted to go hang out with any of them.

“I live all the way up on Haight Ashbury” Rita said, her hands resting in her lap.

“I live with my family in Chinatown.” Ai responded.

“My dad and I live in a houseboat on the peers, it’s so fun- I get to go to peer thirty-nine whenever I want!” Cal exclaimed gleefully.

“The castro.” Ty said, last, “What about you Peyton? Where are you from?”

Ty Lee (Castro)

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