Monday, March 03, 2008

Make-Over, Please!

First: Family
Then: The City

March 7th Update, With Photos Added

We made it to Bill and Alison's, and the Taqueria, and we oohed and ahhed over Dominic, because he is such a honey of a boy. We ate Olallieberry pie in honor of William's birthday, and we even visited some open houses, just to get our feelings hurt. The weather was ideal, the views lovely and the company funny and fun, relaxed.

And there was cool timing. Cool timing, because my Mom is making her way south from Oregon to Pasadena and our paths intersected yesterday. It was a quickie visit, that began auspiciously enough at the Teddy Bear Laundromat where my Mom and brother met me with a spicy chai latte. Folding laundry is much easier with company and sips of hot tea. Mom and I got caught-up a bit and it reminded me of how much I miss doing little, normal things with family. When we met Alison, Bill and Dominic for breakfast burritos, it was another sweet, if brief, opportunity to share the company of some of my favorite people.

We exchanged news, like Bill being really close to having his pilot's license. We delighted in impending joy, because Alison and Bill are expecting. Dominic will be a big brother in September. We admired the beautiful jewelry Delia has been making, including a piece that has been hanging in exhibition in an art gallery. I stole accepted two pieces, a necklace and a ring. Lucky! We snapped some pictures, hugged and parted. Mom going south, us going north and the Family G going in their front door. Sigh.

I know. I pine for Hawaii, then the Central Coast, and in a few days I'll be waxing poetic about Wisconsin. It's a blessing, and a problem. I really wish there was a way to live within our means, in close proximity to family and surrounded by natural beauty. What? I can dream.

Now, The City. The one on the Bay, with the bridge and fog and hills. This city is amazing and exhilarating, confounding too. Geoff got us checked into a very nice hotel, where there is silk on the walls and a flat screen TV hanging on our wall. We are way up on the 19Th floor. The lobby is elegant, modern and makes me feel compulsively inclined to beg for a complete make-over. Pull out my pony tail, exchange my men's wrangler's and boho blouse. Manicure please, and someone corral my eyebrows. Do I own a razor? Can we say exfoliate? How about moisturize?

Did I mention this city is confounding? After my initial assumption that I am ill prepared to be seen here, we cruised Geoff's old neighborhood on Belvedere and Haight. Suddenly, I wasn't funky enough. Suddenly, my eclectic, mascara-free, throw caution and fashion to the wind, style looked way too Suburban Mom plays tourist with the groovy crowd. Driving around here, among the dreadlocks, love beads, yoga posing, granola crowd, I felt sadly conventional, and really, I am not. Really. I think unconventional is one of the few things I have going for me. I could never keep up with Geeky-Glitzy-SOMA-Super-Models of the Urban Jungle, and apparently I am not hip and radical either.

Enough. I am what I am, and if some funky sophistication, some polish or some grit, rub off on me, that might be good too.

Last night we had dinner at Fisherman's Wharf. The cab driver dropped us off at Scoma's, which is either a locals' favorite, or an overpriced drop-off for gullible visitors, but we were satisfied. After dinner, walking. We walked all over the place and we took in street music that was lively and good, and we watched a spray paint artist and a guy cracking wise while laying on a bed of glass. The cab ride home was an E ticket for sure... thought we were in an episode of "The Streets of San Francisco," flying down hills and bottoming-out at every stop light.

Now we need some breakfast, fuel for a full day of sightseeing, touring and absorbing the crazy mix that makes this city great. Pictures soon, I promise.


Mama Spark said...

When we were in SF last May we at at Scomas too!! Great food, a little pricey. I loved the area too. We parked near there and that's where someone broke into our trunk and stole all the stuff we bought = ( Be careful while you are there!!

nikkipolani said...

You know, I read through your narrative and enjoyed the glimpses into your SF visit, but that first sentence and that word 'taqueria' has made a strong impression - can you tell it's nearly lunch time here? :-)

Anna Banana said...

Were Geoff and I neighbors when he lived in the Haight? I lived on Carl and Cole in 1982-3. Did we already talk about that? Probably (emu brain here). Anyways, the DWP was excellent on Blue Ray!! Benjamin and I are getting married. At least he seems to think so. Happy travels!

Jennifer said...

"E-ticket for sure" -- I LOVE that! I know the draw, the pull, when your family and friends are scattered, and I also love that you spent time together doing such normal, beautifully small things like laundry....

Julie said...

Suddenly, my eclectic, mascara-free, throw caution and fashion to the wind, style looked way too Suburban Mom plays tourist with the groovy crowd.>>

I feel this way every time I leave my little city. Is there any hope for us?