I did it because there couldn’t be a better representation on what it means to be an expatriate female artist searching for validation in the art world while trying to get an “extraordinary ability artist” visa. I did it to kill my romantic fantasies about the artist life in San Francisco and move on.

I also did it to feel San Francisco social-economical contradictions in every inch of my body and soul. I did it for art, and I enjoyed it.

However, I would never do it again. The brutality of the reactions – from indifference to sexual harassment – plus the physical/emotional struggle hurt me sizably for weeks.

What kept me moving despite the deep hip pain and exhaustion was the compassion and support I received from both homeless people and fellow artists/art lovers.