I’m back in San Francisco today, where I had the chance to walk around my old neighborhood. It’s always strange and wonderful to come back here. The things that are seductive about the place work such a strong magic on me–the light, the landscape, the architecture, the exotic Dr. Suess trees.
The sense that everything is heightened and stimulating was part of what I loved about it here–and part of what made it hard too. It’s like a radio station that only plays one song and it’s loud and happy and sweet. You sometimes want a slow song, or a quiet one. Or to just turn off the music. And then you maybe start to think: what’s wrong with me? Everyone else seems to like this music.
Anyway, I was up early and took a walk around Noe Valley–got coffee at what used to be Spinelli’s and is now Bernie’s. Sat on a sunny bench and watched Friday morning go by. The grocery store there is now a Whole Foods. Phoenix Books has moved down the street. The sushi place has changed hands they tell me.
Walking up Vicksburg street this morning, I remembered making this same walk, up Vicksburg to Elizabeth where we had an apartment on the 3rd floor of this yellow building. One day there were avocados (avocados!) covering the sidewalk, spilled from the tree across the street. Avocados grow on trees! And another time pulling up in front of the house to see my wife and daughter in the back of an ambulance, about to pull away for the hospital. They were fine, but the ghost of that ambulance was still parked in front of the building today when I walked by.
After I took this picture, I saw a person pass in front of the big bay window in the corner. We never kept curtains on the window either– the light up there was too wonderful. And I guess we thought no-one could see in, or would be interested in looking in on the dailyness that would one day become these ghosts.
My cat fell out of that bay window once. Afterwards, she was fine too.