San Francisco, July 2018 - - Day Two, 7/14/18
Each morning on this trip started with me waking up an hour or more before Howard, taking a shower, and getting myself together (aka getting my look together). Then, when Howard, got up, he made us some coffee and we set out for the day.
I looked up the weather for SF before I left NYC, so I'd have a sense of what to pack. My phone said that it would be a high of 75 each day, so I packed short-sleeved shirts and shorts. Of course I wore pants and a long-sleeved overblouse on the plane, knowing it would be chilly. Well, it turns out that high of 75 must have happened for 90 seconds each day, when I was in the bathroom. The rest of the day it felt like it hovered around 48. A number of people quoted Mark Twain: "The coldest winter I spent was summer in San Francisco." Turns out it wasn't Mark Twain who said it. A friend said it was John Wayne, also not verified.
Anyway, clearly I was going to be needing another pair of pants and another overblouse. Thankfully Howard and I are about the same size, and he had a pair of bright turquoise jeans that looked pretty fly on me.
He encouraged me to take them back to NYC with me, but as much as I enjoyed them, a) I wear jeans very rarely, b) I would wear turquoise jeans even more rarely, and c) their cut was a little slim for my taste. I will continue to consider buying them. And was grateful that I could borrow them while I was in town. I also borrowed a black hoodie.
Howard also generously got me a seven-day MUNI pass, which was good for the bus, the MUNI (sort of the local subway), and the cable car. Came in REAL handy throughout my trip. We took the MUNI over to his workplace, the extraordinary Arizmendi Bakery, so I could say hello to the folks there who I know and meet a few I didn't know. We got breakfast: a strawberry scone for me, we split a piece of blueberry/raspberry coffee cake, and a cappuccino. Oh my Lord, the most delicious breakfast EVER! Which we ate in the parklet (cute as can be seating area outside the bakery). DIVINE.
We walked through Golden Gate Park, so gorgeous. Howard showed me his favorite tree in the park:
I asked if we could go to Amoeba Records, and of course the answer was YES. I love this place and Howard loves it even more. A funny story about my first visit, sometime around 1998 (?), I was visiting from Madison. I walked in and was amazed at the size of the place. Huge. I took it all in and walked over near the information desk. The guy there looked a little familiar and he looked somewhat meaningfully at me, too. Then I placed him.
ME: Excuse me, did you used to work at B Side Records in Madison?
HIM: [laughs] Yes, I did!
ME: Which is weird, because the whole store could fit into this desk.
HIM: I think you're about right.
Howard and I were there for about an hour. Richard got me a turntable for our anniversary this year, so I got some vinyl: a Nichols and May album and a Della Reese album, I think it's called *Della By Starlight.* Also a CD of *42nd Street* and other movies from the 30s and two compilations for me: *Global Divas,* a killer collection I borrowed from Kristina Boerger ages ago. I burned it onto my iTunes and that hard drive done up and died! I was thrilled to find it for $2.99 at Amoeba. The best thing on that collection is "Pihi neito" by a Finnish group called Värttinä. So incredible. Who ever heard of a song in 13/8?
I also got a compilation called *Choubi Choubi! Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq.* Howard turned me onto that, it's amazing.
And we couldn't leave Amoeba without finding Howard's album:
And another request from me: since we were going to the Mission for a show that night, I asked that we have lunch at a taqueria. Howard chose El Toro, which was fantastic. I got the veggie burrito, Howard got something more involved and effusive. I got a lime Jarritos, a Mexican soda I don't see too often. Everything was delish.
We went to one of Howard's favorite record stores, Stranded. I was maxed out on vinyl, but that isn't a setting that applies to Howard! He got four or five albums I would describe as obscure and/or challenging, including one that the owner of the store was playing. Nicely played, young man!
Our destination that evening was (once again) dinner and a show. The show was *Woodland Creatures Series* by a group called marzipanik. Our friend Llu was in the show, and his wife Sue got a group together to see it and have dinner before. She gathered us at a Thai restaurant nearby, Evergreen. It was delish. Here's a funny picture of Sue staring off into the near distance, and her friends Leslie and Stefan. A very fun dinner.
It sounds like a cop-out to describe the show this way, but I'm going to describe it as "interesting." The writing didn't always grab me, and the overall arc didn't hold together too well. The use of movement was very good, and there were some strong performances. Playwright and leading actor Ryan Hill wrote some thought-provoking monologues for himself, which he performed with style. My favorite scene was the central scene, a conversation between six trees about the things that bother them (like beavers). That scene had a sense of whimsy that I enjoyed a lot.
We walked to the train with a friend of Sue's, an Indian woman named Merula who had lived in the States for about 30 years. She was fascinating.
Two more photos before I end the day: a cute picture of me and Howard on the train and an unbelievably cute picture of Howard and our Dad, circa 1964. Howard thinks it's priceless that he's reading the newsy part of the newspaper while Dad is reading the funny pages.