San Francisco in the Fast Lane.

Or how to see everything in about five days. (Continued)

San Francisco


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day Three

Late! Late! Late! 8:00! 8:00! 8:00! Dress fast, Tall Dude not upset. Why? Oh. 6:00. Go down to lobby, do e-things, have good coffee. See Ric, the Civil Engineer and talk. Invitation to Reno, call or email, given business card. Of his wife.

Puppy. Jump jump jump. Jump on woman, she starts. Her daughter looks frightened. Please move the puppy. She is scared. Mom says no, allergic. Her too. But HYPOALLEGENIC. Yeah, sure. Will be quiet. Nice soft cocker coat, not poodle coat. Won’t give speech. No, no, no. But. He doesn’t listen anyway.

Farmer’s Market, Embarcadero. Yum! Fresh Fruit! Fresh Flowers! Breakfast! What to have? Too many stalls. Lox again? More expensive. Too expensive. You’ve got to be kidding! Butternut Squash French toast with caramelized pears. NO WHIP CREAM! Yum! Persimmons 2.00 more than in China Town. Grin. Bargain shopper! Sample soft persimmons, eat grape as big as plum. Strawberries make the air sweet.

Stalls with weird alien mushrooms, twisted and thin, sponges, hassocks. Goat cheese. Sausages. Rotisserie chicken. Too early for that. 10:00 am must have eggs. Warm. Wind making hands freeze.

ORCHIDS! Mandevillea, Paphilopedium vini! Must have. Covet. Must have. 12.00 each. With pot! Sold! But going to flower market. Yes. So? Paph loses head. Oh Well, next year.

Ann, high school friend on phone. Where to go? Berkeley! By Bart. 2:00? Why so late? Tall Dude: She’s going to the Flower Market.

Go past vendors. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. No gloves. No wallets. WAIT. Ceramic dog pins. My breed? Yes, Cheap. Cheap! CHEAP! Buy two! Christmas Gifts. Maybe. Many real dogs. Buhund! Cool. Bichon, Basenji, Chihuahuas. Lhasa, Shih Tzu. American Eskimo, sheltie. Dogs through the Farmer’s Market.

Flower Market. FLOWERS! FLOWERS! ORCHIDS! Cheap. Cheap. CHEAP! Bug Out Eyes. One of this. One of that. How will I carry them? I’m good. Can pack. Uh, you didn’t have carry on. Tall Dude silent. Uh oh.

Only bought five. No, six. And a Protea. Good for class. Oh. No systematics class this year. Oh well, maybe next. Can I grow it? Must try. Pack it up.

Oh no. How to pack. Orchids don’t smush. Oh well. Can try. Buy another. Oh. I want the yellow and red Miltonia. Mustn’t. Didn’t.


Nap. Crash. Best about vacations. Sleep! Decide no Alcatraz. TOO much wind. Too cold. Saw from pier. Always internet.

Train to Berkeley. Coffee at Tuttle’s, wait for Ann! Ann and daughter, she looks like mom. We were younger than her daughter when we were friends in high school. Shopping! Stuff. Tacky. Go to T-shirt Orgy. Or course. Home of a zillion T-shirts. That one, points Ann. Peanut Butter and Jelly. All out. Save 20 dollars, might be orchids.

Lunch/dinner? Brazilian. Ann speaks fluent Portuguese and talks to a man in a booth. Not a language I speak. Yes, the cafe is open. We walk, small restaurant. Order Tri Tips. Beef, onions, rice, ricotta, and cilantro stuff. Yum! Talk and walk. Who do you remember? Where are they now? He killed his wife and kids and himself. Nice. Her brother knew me? Oh, thru him. What else? Teaching, daughter. Not fitting in then. Now not caring. Can it be we’ve grown up?


Walk around UC—Berkeley. Sweetgum prickly balls, red leaves. Pollarded Sycamore trees. Tree Torture. Old buildings beauty, 70’s concrete blocks. Boxes. Sad. Nice green verdigris gate. Missed gardens. Hug Hug Air Kiss. See you soon? Maybe Christmas. Bye Bye.

Back on the Bart. Lyrical sing-song languages. Asian? East Indian? Wait, that one sounds familiar. ‘Don’t laugh o’ I crack yo’ head.’ But too fast to understand. Sorta English. Need to learn English English, American English, and what? Sorta English?

Back on train, under the bay. Uh oh. Tall Dude is sick this time. I’m fine. Take a break.

Where now? Walk around to Yerbe Buena Gardens in the dark. Art museum? Keep walking. Metron Mall. Boring. Endless arcades. Too hard to figure out unless a teenager. Or preteen? Back outside. Auto show. Walk away.

Yerbe Buena gardens continued on other side. Waterfall Monument. ‘I Have a Dream’. Poetic quotes behind the waterfall. Humans are human, no matter how small. No, more serious.

Walked on poems yesterday. Some were like Mario’s. Didn’t always understand, but I could feel them. Emeralds from the sun. Extinct trains. Brass plaques set into sidewalk at the N train platform.

Crave popcorn, none to be found. No peanut butter either, so can’t pray. Back to room. Look at display case. President Harding died here at The Palace of apoplexy under mysterious circumstances in 1923.

2 thoughts on “San Francisco in the Fast Lane.

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