Friday, March 06, 2015

One Night Out, Six Nights In

Something I did this week and should be doing more often was a dinner with old friends. One is a journalist living in Italy, the rest all live here in the City -- two lawyers, one retired, a retired teacher, a graphic designer, a stand-up comedian and a former anti-war hero, and a political activist in Colorado and Pennsylvania, who once ran for Mayor of Philadelphia and won a majority some neighborhoods.

Smart, engaged people in their 60s and 70s. I know most of them for nearly 40 years -- most of our adult lives. I knew none of them before moving to San Francisco.

This is a special place, even as it undergoes change that causes many long-time residents, including my friends, to complain about recent changes. The tech revolution is tranforming this place in ways that are uncomfortable to many of us.

I thought of that today as I went out to pick up my lunch. It was a glorious, sunny day -- no need for a jacket. The receptionist at KQED's front desk, a wonderful African-American woman named Ernestine who I've known for 20 years, smiled and said: "Good, you're goin' for a walk."

At the Food Truck, I waited in line for an Indian dish called Chicken Rice. Every other person at the truck was young and from over-hearing their conversations, obviously newcomers to the Bay Area. Many had accents -- Israeli, French, Korean.

How aware are they at this early stage of their careers, earning good money for the most part, that they are blamed for displacing artists, writers, seniors, poor people, "illegal" (what a terrible word) immigrants?

Not so aware, I'd bet. They are at the stage I was 43+ years ago when I arrived. This place is mesmerizing if you grew up in a place like the Midwest, or almost anywhere in the world but here, except (ever so slightly) Perth, Australia or Beirut. Even then, the comparison is only with the air and light (Perth) and the hills and waterfront (Beirut).

Oh and then there is Old Geneva.

I'll try to return to this theme in coming posts.


Thursday, March 05, 2015


i do not know whether this blog will make it throught the 300+ posts to make it to that total. It is proving to be increasingly difficult for me to do this work, plus I doubt anyone notices or cares.

Fact is things still happen. At a slightly younger age I had the energy to tell the story. Now I just have to endure the reality.

This morning my youngest and I walked the 2 1/2 blocks to where my car was parked, at 8:15. She had to be at school by 8:45.

My ancient car (2004 Saturn Ion) would not start, thanks to GM, and my inability to get the recall parts installed to date.

Fifteen minutes later it finally started, just after Christine from USAA road service, finally connected through my cellphone. Julia, meanwhile, could not raise a cab via 333-3333 (Yellow Cab).

Long story short I got her to school ten minutes late, with a hand-signed note. No damage done. Funny thing is, unlike most days and nights, she talked to me throughout this process. I felt like we connected.

That was what made today feel special.