We took a jog the other morning along the waterfront from our motel toward Fort Mason. It was a beautiful, 65-degree, sunny San Francisco day. We stopped at the Safeway on the way back and bought some bottles of water and cereal. The marina district has a very slight seamy side (I’m thinking of some sketchy $39/night motels on Lombard), but mostly seems full of really posh, Architectural Digest-quality townhouses as you get closer to the water. We walked back down Chesnut street, where the occasional keepin-it-real taqueria is sandwiched between Williams Sonoma and a coffee shop (out of which is inevitably walking a woman in sunglasses and running shorts, carrying a latte like a torch).
Behind us was a mother and daughter, maybe 5.
“Mom, I want a manicure and pedicure”.
“Oh, I don’t know”
“I don’t think we have enough time before you have to get to school.”
Pause. Mom says nothing.
“Mom, please check what time it is.”
“Oh, ok, we do have enough time.”
We’ve taken it pretty easy this vacation, opting not for the “Oh, my god, we’re never coming back here, so we must see everything!!!” mania that drives us to every park, museum, shop, cemetery, library, pedestrian street, festival, and parade in whatever place we’re visiting. I exaggerate, and I have deeply enjoyed prior vacations, but I think we needed a more low-key, recharging type vacation this time. California in general and San Francisco in particular seems like somewhere where we very well may return in the future, so we haven’t been packing it in too hard.
(You know, maybe we should; I guess it’s not impossible that a bald madman will purchase a lot of real estate along the San Andreas fault and then send some nukes into the fault so that all of the current coastaline will drop off into the ocean, which, as a child, is what I assumed would happen someday, after watching the original Superman. The plan seemed so obvious to me then that I figured it was only a matter of time before someone just carried it out.)
Anyway, we have done a fair bit of seeing of sights and acquiring of things on our trip. Here are some things I’m very happy with.
- A $0.50 paper accordion in Chinatown that actually plays two notes (but unfortunately can’t be controlled really)
- Several interesting zines and indie publications, most notably, Ker-Bloom, which I found on the indie shelves at City Lights, and whose author, I coincidentally noticed had done them at the SFCB where we saw the steamroller prints being made the other day.
- A corduroy jacket at Jetrag vintage clothes in LA.
- A book of some crazy Sun Ra pamphlets, also from City Lights.
- The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas by Davy Rothbart, from Skylight Books where we went with Patricia in LA.
- Various items from various spots in SF, which we were directed to by Matt Shaw in the excellent recommendation list he made us.
If not, now’s the time. I love Cat and Girl.