Walk About

I want to San Francisco for a class today. Some days, I love the city; others, it wears me out. The place can be magic, and then there are times when the homeless guy walking in circles carrying his sleeping bag is more than I can take. Today, was a good day. The air was crisp. The fog was at bay, and the sidewalks were washed clean except for the habitual urine stain at the sublevel entrance of the Transbay terminal.

To get to class from Oakland, I take casual carpool, glorified hitchhiking. The driver picks up two passengers beside the drug store, and then wheels through the carpool lane on the bridge, avoiding most of the traffic and the bridge toll. I’ve promised myself this year no more riding with the woman in the green Passat, back seat loaded with dirt clods and dog hair. Today, I got a pleasant woman with a clean car, freshly vacuumed with a whiff of pine. She turned the radio down too when we got in the car, perhaps too low. I could only hear the bass on Billy Jean, but then maybe it wasn’t Billy Jean at all. Every song on the radio sounds like Billy Jean these days.

I got a first hand view of the bridge reconstruction. The best way I can describe it is there’s a new part we travel on now, and an old part that ends abruptly. Chop.

I saw a herd in a courtyard between 2 street level coffee shops imprisoned by their resident over lording skyscrapers. Stick horses, but not the variety we rode as kids.
stick_horseI walked past Etrade, still staunchly parked in its make believe gas station despite the stock market hacking at its own wrist with a plastic picnic knife.
unknown_flowerThe street flower vendors always do well, whether times are bad or good, and particularly if they carry a flower no one can recognize. “Is it from Mars?” I asked the vendor, but she ignored me or did not speak English.

More courtyard art. What are these things? Did the taxpayers pay for any part of them because if we did, I want a refund. The children’s book “The Stupids Step Out” comes to mind.

4 Responses to “Walk About”

  1. SF a city I would like to come back to for a visit. Not to stay, just a visit. People get paid to make those faces. Damn, I think I could do that. If I had a recognizeable name, I could get rich. Perhaps not.

  2. SF is a nice place to visit, but I can’t take it on a daily basis. Too much noise. Not the Oakland isn’t noisy, mind you. Yeah, those heads are something. If you are famous you can get rich of stuff like that. If not, I guess you have to wait for the bulky garbage pick up day.

  3. The driftwood horse is cool, the monster heads not so much. I looked all over the internet trying to identify those flowers, they are still a mystery. As for SF, I’ve been a tourist there, but I can’t imagine how much money you have to earn to live there. I remember many years ago you couldn’t touch a house, no matter how small and old, for less than half a million. The family members we visited bought their house back in the 50’s when things were more reasonable.

  4. The housing costs in San Francisco don’t seem to have suffered much with the bad economy. Anything decent starts at $600,000 minimum and then you have to contend with the fog and cold. The weather is not so great. Oakland’s weather is so much better but then you have to contend with the street violence. I rode the bus with an elderly lady who said she paid $40,000 for her house. It was in a swanky part of town. She must have bought it 50 years ago.

    I like the horse too. There was another one but his picture didn’t come out. I like the way they were placed between two buildings.

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