Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Season Walk

Yesterday Tsunami and I took a nice long walk about town. We started out from the 6th & Brannan loft, went up & over to 9th, crossed Market and went West on Hayes. There were many people out, sales signs in the windows next to wreathes and holiday details.

We continued on Hayes, leaving the bo-ho artsy section, passing the projects and up the hill to Filmore. A right turn on Filmore and down the hill to the lively jazz area. We got some comments and I just smiled. The black street culture is so much more interactive than the land of the bo-ho.

We passed by Japantown, through yuppie Filmore, where I had to put Tsunami in her bag, lest she get trampled by the well shod feet going by. Again, shoppers, sale signs and Christmas cheer. The shops turned to mansions as we reached the apex of the hill. Over the crest and a view of the bay opened up. The few clouds stayed high in the sky, letting a painter's view hang. I saw the bridge, the Marin hills, Mt. Tam, the blue water, the houses tucked in the green, like ornaments on a well decorated tree. Outstanding view.

Down the hill we went, passing Union, then Chestnut and the beautiful people. Strange how my outfit does not change, yet how I feel wearing it changes by the neighborhood. I felt fuddy-dud and style free in Hayes Valley, overly athletic in SOMA, typically white going through the Filmore Jazz-land, perfectly normal in the Marina & Cow Hollow and then invisible while trekking by Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 39. Strange how being adjacent to mid-western tourists relieves me of any insecurity of what I'm wearing.

At almost the end of Filmore, we made a left on Cervantes that took us to the west edge of the Marina Green. The weather was quite cool and without significant breeze, so most boats were in their slips. We picked up the pace as we headed towards Fort Mason. Up that hill and we ran into another wiener dog, Winston. Very nice guy - totally mellow and a wirehair that was suspiciously non-wiry. His coat shone with a silver-gray which looked much like a grandfather's beard. A very sweet dog and I was happy for Tsui to see that she wasn't alone as the only silky wirehair in this world.

Over Fort Mason and down to the Wharf where again I had to toss Tsui into the bad. But this time, I wasn't worried about some Prada heels crushing a hole in her paw, it was death by Adidas that frightened me. We did poke our heads into some tourist shops, as it was suggested that someone in England would like a San Francisco snow globe. I couldn't buy one. They were all heinous. Like garish mockeries of my beautiful city, wrapped in hard plastic with cheap bits in the water. Some things I just cannot do...

We were off again and happy to find the crowds thinning as soon as we passed Pier 39. Tsunami was back on the ground and the sun was tucking herself in behind the hills. We strided down the Embarcadero as dusk fell and the holiday lights detailed the sky scrappers much as the holiday flourishes detailed the goods in the store windows. By the time we got to the Ferry building, the transamerica pyramid star was glowing. At the bow & arrow, there were other stars in the sky to match the one atop the pyramid. So lovely.

Every year the city spiffs itself up for Christmas. I do realize much of it is meant to encourage us to share our wealth with the local merchants, yet I so appreciate the beauty of it all. Time, energy and thought all going into making things prettier, better. I so appreciate it. I get warm and fuzzy as I walk around the city, hearing the big band holiday songs pour out from the ice rink at Justin Herman Plaza. I love it. I cannot understand people for whom this time of year brings out such negativity; and the bravado of wearing their grinch like a badge of honor. Lighten up I say!

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