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sun-drenched wonderland

September 23, 2008

First of all thank you to everyone who has read this lil’ blog and made comments.  I love to get them!

Yesterday, after applying for some jobs at the California Pacific Medical Center I took myself on a walking tour of the city.  I headed first the mansions in Pacific Heights.  They did not disappoint.  Those things are monstrous, with some really beautiful architecture.  I suppose I was hoping that one of the residents would pop their head out of their door and offer me a job babysitting their cat or something.  No luck.  Down the road into the Presidio, which was nice, full of Eucalyptus trees and military housing. 

Next, I walked down the marina and took a seat on a bench facing the water.  What I was thinking about as I looked out at the bay, on the left the Golden Gate and to the right Alcatraz, what I was thinking about was Vertigo, Hitchcock blondes, and cocktails.


the palace of fine arts

the palace of fine arts

The day reminded me of spring breaks spent at my grandmother’s condo in Florida: Fresca and rice krisipie treats, Eucalyptus trees and short thick grass. 

But, the bite of the wind was not Floridian.  And the smell of the sea is the same everywhere, light and blunt so that you could almost taste it, table salt on a tomato. 

And what is the deal with pigeons anyway?  How did they come to have a monopoly on cities.  I had seen signs admonishing against feeding them.  These signs were divided in half.  One side depicted a single pigeon and the other showed 25 smaller pigeons, reminding us how fast they might replicate if fed even one last piece of sandwich.  How easily the city might be overcome by these birds if only they would unite instead of bobbing their beaks at the ground so intent on the next morsel.  Very unlike humans of course. 

Finally, North Beach, which is the Italian neighborhood as well as home to the Beats during the 50’s.  I wanted to go to the City Lights Bookstore, even though I’m sure it’s totally cliché etc.  It actually turned out to be a pretty great bookstore.  Just full of books, imagine that.  There was even an entire floor devoted to poetry, and no one was even up there.  It was wonderful.  So quiet.





3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cathy permalink
    September 24, 2008 4:35 am

    Ramona, you are a terrific writer, I am enjoying your outward escapades and your inner reveries. It is quite wonderful to be walking around with you, learning the city, finding treasures at yard sales. And now photos! I will be checking in often. xo Cathy

  2. Kent McMIllan permalink
    September 24, 2008 5:21 am

    And the smell of the sea is the same everywhere, light and blunt so that you could almost taste it, table salt on a tomato.

    Ah, what an elegant description of the air that flows in from the Pacific over beds of cold kelp.

    By the way, Bernard Maybeck’s Palace of Fine Arts is one of my favorites, but for an odd reason that I may even have invented since a quick google doesn’t find any confirmation. As I recall from some darkened lecture hall of Architectural History, the building was originally built of lath and stucco, a temporary set piece, a sort of maquette.

    The idea was that it would be torn down after having been put to use briefly, but the citizens of San Francisco liked it so well that money was raised to rebuild it in concrete and give it a permanent form. I wonder how many buildings would make it out of the lath and stucco stage if passersby by were given the vote.

    On the other hand, the fact that the Palace of Fine Arts was originally cheaply built out of impermanent materials probably accounts for the inventive lushness of its form.

  3. Sharon permalink
    September 24, 2008 7:29 pm

    Well, any comment would seem lame after Kent’s, so I’ll just say glad 4 the pics.

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