Saturday, February 03, 2007

Where I Left My Heart


Y'know, I just had a great day "in the City." And around these parts that means San Francisco.

When I first arrived I resented San Francisco being known as "the City." Having come only a few years ago -- and that number's growing to be some four years now -- from the NYC and having traveled a fair amount, I did not think SF deserved any grand moniker and certainly not "the City."

I live in Oakland. And there's a whole rhetoric, even t-shirts around the "competition." One of the cooler groups DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT is Oaklandish. Actually they just parked their sales van at the end of our block.

The thing is I just fell in love with San Francisco, and maybe for the first time. I just had a fantastic day IN THE CITY. Karen, Emil and I went to a presentation by our friend Patricia Bruvry and her fellow quilters about African traditions at the Public Library.

Today was my first time in the SF Public Library building. It's very important, with its centrality, homeless population, civic engagement and fantastic art commissions by artists such as Nayland Blake, Enrique Chagoya, Ann Chamberlain and Ann Hamilton.

Then we went for eats at Flippers in Hayes Valley. Oh, the food, the people, the sense of unlimited oxygen and the gorgeous banners what read "haYESvalley." I love those banners because they seem to be some brilliant, ad-smart local's throwaway thought that decorates everyone else's world, in which the Business Council and the City have invested. And the whole areas only a several-block big region.


So, I get home, and I'm, um, blogging...and I check a review on Flippers and there's one user comment:

Arkay ate...Never again “With all the great burgers available in SF, I would not spend time or money on Flippers. The burgers are average, but the rats running across the patio makes this a "no go" in my book.” 12/26/2006 1:36:53 PM

The burgers was great, by the way. But, see, that's part of the thing...you can't go to the Symphony in SF without stumbling across swollen-faced drunks, hookers outta the 70's and homeless folks remarkably most willing to break your comfort zone.

After Flippers (no rats) we went to Citizen Cake. We enjoyed Irish Coffees, a glass of Muscat for Karen and a bowl of sorbets -- pink grapefruit, bloodred orange and passion fruit.

I have a vivid memory as child of playing Trivial Pursuit. There was a question about San Francisco that I did not understand:

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Q: What city did the Reverend Billy Graham say is "...so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I'm here."

A: San Francisco


That's right -- this den of iniquity: it's rats; whores; and Mayors cheating on their friends with their friends wives; assassinated civic leaders as well as Big Brother and the Holding Co. all resonant and resident floating on all this extra oxygen.

I fell in love for the first time when I visited the Legion of Honor. I fell in love for the first time when I first met the new de Young.

Today was a beautiful day.

And now I'm home. And my Oakland's fine, real fine.

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