Summer vacation

As yesterday was a statutory holiday (Natal Day) on which I worked, I took off today–and Carole and I took off to SF for an amazing smorgasbord of experiences.  Although we had planned to go to the Frida Kahlo exhibit on at the SFMOMA, we hadn’t planned well enough to get past the line and so ditched that for touring the city instead.

First stop, Peet’s Coffee, at 3rd and Mission, and  a huge press pot of Las Hermanas coffee to go with the people watching.  Best sighting: the passing produce truck “motto-fied” with a quote from a Portuguese poet:

There’s no metaphysics on Earth like chocolate

Carole tried to catch up with the truck to catch the poet’s true name but oh, well, and time to move on anyway.

We took the 21 bus to Hayes Valley and walked past an impressive brick school building where, three hours later, every fire department vehicle in town seemed to be congregating.  But that was later….first, we had lunch.

And whatever aesthetic edification we missed by missing the museum, we made up for at Abacus. It’s a small, narrow room with a very serious family in charge. Every detail had been considered with a keen eye for teasing the visual/syntactical palate: chartreuse chairs and black tables echoed in chopstick pairs combining chartreuse and black fraternal twins; iconic landscape paintings (the Bay Bridge, etc.) to which were affixed to-scale superhero toys; and especially–oh especially–flower arrangements such as I have never considered.  

A young man–blue tooth implanted in his ear–was undertaking the arrangement with deliberation and grace.  A huge glass vase, loaded with a column of whole lemons as well as clear water, supported a couple dozen lemon yellow tulips. A green orchid’s leggy stem was to be wrapped in a matching green ribbon which he then tied into a bow as stiff as one worn with a tuxedo.

The food was equally exquisite without being precious: spicy hot and sour soup, meltingly sweet tuna sashimi, fresh vegetables.  I ordered a glass of wine merely for its name, from the list titled “Other interesting wines”: “pink wine–two wives.”

From lunch, we walked to the Haight, telling each other stories through the whole day. The fact that a young woman was singing to her sentimentally plucked acoustic guitar was more sad than silly–it’s been 40 years already and her mother probably hadn’t even been born then. We had both become fiends about recording the trip with our cameras and spent time lining up steeples and rooftops, street signs and inadvertently silly ads.

From Hayes Valley–and after getting sorted through the scene of the fire equipment–we trickled down to the Ferry Terminal and checked on how the rich shop for salami, caviar, and heirloom tomatoes.

But the day wasn’t over yet: next stop, which for Carole was merely practical, was exotic as well: the Berkeley Bowl. And from there to the Farmers Market on Derby–more, more more, heirloom tomatoes, olive bread, aging hippies, babies stuffing new grapes….


4 Responses to “Summer vacation”

  1. Marg Says:

    Hey, I love Halifax. It is a nice town but you are going to miss living in the Bay Area. I’m glad you are enjoying the last hurrah. A bit like comparing apples and oranges. I can imagine what you are feeling because I know what it is like to be an ex-pat – not quite here or there. So for me for now I am here but most likely will end up back there or not quite there – maybe Toronto. Halifax appeals but you can’t deny this place is pretty damn close to perfect.

  2. Amy Cheney Says:

    Great to get the travelouge of SF… clearly I need to get out more!

  3. holiday travel Says:

    well this is useful… (at least for me)

    very thanks

    holiday travel

  4. Bookmarks about Vacation Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by klaynexas3 on 2008-10-25 Summer vacation – bookmarked by 5 members originally […]

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