Posts Tagged ‘Embarcadero’

Christmas in the City

December 25, 2013

In the city by the bay.





Like that.

What a gorgeous day today was.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Simply and unutterably, almost intolerably, beautiful for December in San Francisco.

I was almost done with my half day of nannying in the Castro, and though my little elf was a jolly doll to hang out with, I was ready to start my Christmas.

I took a load of photographs today, of which I just spent the last hour and a half sorting through and posting, some to facecrack, and one to my photography blog.

I may post more there, but as my computer was not happy about all the photographs and the blogging platforms and the down loading and shut down on me without my permission, I must say, I don’t know that I will be putting up a lot more photographs tonight.

But I will sneak in a few for you, because, well, it’s Christmas time and one of the gifts that I continue to give to myself because it makes me happy, and when I am happy I am a better person and damn it, that’s actually important.

“What principle are you practising today,” she asked me over the phone as I called to check in on my way to work.

“Brotherly love,” I said with a smile, I had already said good morning to every single person I had seen on my walk (since I was just a few blocks away house sitting already, I decided to leave the bicycle there and walk to the nanny gig) and smiled at them.

I continued to do that to the best of my abilities, wherever I went, to whomever I saw.

I have to say that by the time I made it to the 8p.m. at 2900 24th street I was a little blown out and had about enough of that principle at that time of night on Christmas Eve, but when the bum chatted me up not once, but twice, I just smiled and said, yes, you’re right and let it go.

I was reminded that I get to practice something on a daily basis that not most people practise, except, well, maybe, at Christmas  time.

It’s some how allowable to smile and say something bright and cheery at Christmas time.

Although, I do have my fur rubbed the wrong way when I am expected to suddenly throw showers of money on panhandlers because it’s the holidays.

Man, back off, I just paid my student loan payment today, don’t hassle me, I am working.

“Merry Christmas,” I said, and smiled instead.

That felt much better, let me tell you.

I even bought my little charge a Santa hat, he was all dressed up in Christmas colors, and I just couldn’t help myself.

I popped into the Walgreens at Castro and Market and picked him up a little velour red cap with fake white fur trim and a snowball pompom and watched faces light up with utter joy every time he hollered, “HI!” from his stroller.

The word is in contention for his first word, he waves and jumps up and down and wiggles and it is adorable.

He charmed the clerk so much once I had the little hat on his head, she came out from behind the counter to bat her eyes at him.

I felt like I was doing service, being of good cheer, and spreading some cute baby love to those around me.

And I took a ridiculous amount of photos of him.

I flooded mom’s phone with text messages and photographs.

Made me quite happy to do so, he’s such a photogenic child, it really is amazing.

Santa's Helper

Little Elf

Christmas Elf

Christmas Elf



I probably took 50 or sixty shots of him and the neighborhood today.

I left around 2:30p.m. in the afternoon with my time set up for Friday and a card with an hour and a half session with a body worker!

Yes, there really is a Santa Claus, and he wants me to get another massage.

Thanks boys!

I drifted to Castro and Market and hit up the F-Market line train down to the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero.



Shadow Selfie

Shadow Selfie, Ferry Building, SF

I wandered through the building headed toward the opposite side, taking in the crowds and the last-minute shoppers, the frenzied shop keepers and the bags and strollers, the tired children smacked out on sugar, the multitude of languages being spoken, French, German, a lot of Italian, and good old USA Midwesterners.

For a moment I thought about turning back around and saying forget this.

But I went through the building and headed outside, the light was gorgeous and I went to the ferry terminal, spoke with a gentleman there and bought the last round trip ticket out of San Francisco to Sausalito for the evening.

It left me with an hour to kill so I went back inside.

Hoping for some Hog Island Oyster action.

But they were swamped, the line too long, and the restaurant closing down.

So I just walked through the stalls and went to Book Passages and bought a magazine and a 50 cent postcard.  I sat in the book shop and flipped through a Nylon and wrote myself a little holiday note.

My tradition–to send myself postcards from my artists dates, it’s a cheap souvenir and I always remember what I did that day when I come across the card later.

I got up after a bit, checked my watch, ferry leaving in fifteen and headed to the terminal.

On my way I happened to pass the San Francisco Sea Food Company, and there they were, my Christmas oysters sitting fat and plump and tender atop some ice in front of the store.

Oh damn.

I bought five Blue Points and tipped the girl in the apron behind the counter and smiled, wishing her a Merry Christmas and a speedy end to her day.

Three oysters drenched in lemon juice.

Two oysters smothered in hot horseradish cream.

Oh heaven.

Thus fortified, I ducked over to the ferry, walked up the gangplank and set sail for Sausalito.

The $20.50 fare for the round trip worth it from the moment I stepped aboard.

The skyline.



The Bay Bridge.

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Then the cold wind whipping my hair around my face, thankful for my new warm scarf from my housemate, the tears streaming out of my eyes from the air blowing under my glasses, but my heart, so full.

To let myself do things like this and not listen to the head when it says, listen, it’s ok, you know, just stay back at the house with the cat and watch Sex in the City reruns on cable.

Because, you know that says Merry Christmas like nobody’s business.

I chatted with tourists from Houston, Texas and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I took photos for other folks.

I flirted, in a not too serious way with the boat hands and got smiles from grizzled ferry-boat operators ready for their Costco t-bones and six packs.

Then I got a quick walk, and I do mean quick, it was only a twenty-minute layover before the ferry turned back and there would be no more running for the night, around Sausalito and a few more photographs.

Skyline, Sausalito, CA

Sausalito Skyline

Back on the boat I thanked the operators again and headed back outside.

I munched an apple I had bought yesterday at Rainbow Grocery, a beautiful deep crimson red Arkansas Black Heirloom apple, and watched the dark indigo sky swallow up the bay.

Then, well, you know me, more photos.



Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge




It was absolute magic and the best gift I could have given myself.

Merry Christmas friends.

May all your dreams come true this year.

Love to you from San Francisco.

And to all.

A good night.











Pay Day

December 21, 2013

And like that.


I have all the money for Barnaby.

I just made a deposit to my online savings account and without even realizing that I had, I pushed over the amount I owe him.


No more.

I am done.

I hate having debt to someone, hate it.

Appalled that I had to take out that loan but there was no way, no fucking way I was going to be able to get back home without it.

Home, where I am supposed to be, though, currently not writing this from my home, rather my house sitting gig in the Mission.

Where there is a cozy kitty and a plush bed and yes, thank you very much, internet.

The guys I am house sitting for got the password to me after a few failed attempts last night, I now am home free and while I am not exactly at home, I do feel a lot better being here and also, I have to say, it is kind of nice to be in the Mission.

To get to see a few folks that I don’t typically see, not since moving out to the beach, and to re-connect with people who I used to see on a weekly basis.

“Oh!” She said to me over tea at Sugar Lump, a cafe on 24th between Florida and Bryant, “you should come over to my house for Christmas!”

We were discussing holidays, family, plans, New Years.

And as soon as she said it, I knew that was where I wanted to be.

There will be two sweet dear ladies there that I know and love, a three-year old who I got to hold in my arms in her first week of life and friends who I haven’t seen for a while, since they moved over to the East Bay, and their son, who is I believe also three.

Rock on.

Really relaxed, really sweet, intimate, in a cozy, cheerful home with dogs and little girls and boys running around, good, good people and good food too.

“Oh, I will be doing all the cooking,” she said adamantly, “I am making all the food I like!”

She’s a vegetarian and her family has just never quite gotten what that means.

“And I know what to make for you!”  She added, smiling brightly.

I don’t eat sugar or flour and she is well aware of it.

Oh my god, to not have to tell someone who I won’t be having the stuffing or that cookie, or no thanks, no pie for me.

Just to sit and have a nice meal and not worry about it and be amongst dear friends.

Sounds exactly like what I am supposed to be doing.

And when the checks for all the families and the money from the house sitting gig hit my account I was excited to see that I am doing exactly what I should be doing.

Paying off my debt and enjoying the little extras that I don’t always get for myself.

Nice toiletries, because it’s nice to have good smelling stuff of your own when you houses sit, some new hair clips, and I was even able to make a quick dash over to Nordstrom’s after my evening duties were finished.

I did not find a thing and I left quite happy to be, well, leaving, empty-handed, but with plenty of money still in my wallet.

I just got the things that I really can use today and decided to put the money in the savings and then see what was left over.

And there is left over.


I am not planning on going crazy, but maybe I will get myself a little something for Christmas, I did give myself an experience–the horseback riding–for my birthday, so maybe something along those lines.

I was thinking as my friend spoke of Christmas plans, that I still do want to do a little small something for me, and as I was listening, a sudden thought popped into my head.

I could go on a ferry-boat ride on Christmas Eve out to Tiburon!

Or Sausalito.

Or Angel Island.

How fun would that be?

I am working on Christmas Eve, but just a half day in the Castro, and when I finish I could take myself down to the Embarcadero and catch a ferry out across the bay.

I could wander around the little towns, walk Sausalito, which I normally ride my bicycle through, oh, hey there, that’s a sexy idea, I could take my bike on the ferry!

And then ride the boat back at sunset with the lights of the city, all Christmas decked out, sparkling on the bay.

Maybe a little special dinner at the Ferry Building?



Or Slanted Door.

I could go to a movie at the Embarcadero Center, which has some of my favorite art house movies, and call it a night.

I am liking this idea.

I am also liking that I am making a run down to Ocean Beach tomorrow afternoon to drop off a few things at the house and grab some more clothes.

I can get my camera, which I did not bring with me.

If I am going to go out on a ferry-boat, I want my camera with me.


I am excited.

This is exactly what I want to be doing!

Christmas Eve ferry-boat ride in San Francisco followed by dinner and a movie.

Christmas Day dinner with dear sweet friends and their families at a warm cozy house with good food, I can eat!  And a tree and kids and Christmas movies.


Merry Christmas indeed.



It’s 11:48 pm, Do You Know Where Your Blog Is?

May 29, 2011

Good lord.  I always forget that moving, even if it’s just across the hall, takes more time than I think it will.  However, the upside, is that I get to toss all the crap that I have accumulated in the past year and a half in my studio.  I have cleaned out my closets, started a big bag of clothes to take to Buffalo tomorrow morning to hopefully sell (and whatever I don’t is getting donated, I will not be hauling this shit around to a bunch of different used clothing stores hoping to scratch a few extra bucks.  My time is valuable and I am only scheduling myself a half hour to deal with selling my clothes.  I have a lot more than I thought.  Partially, as I have continued to lose weight, 102 lbs is the new number, and partially because I have no idea what looks good on my body anymore.  I buy things excitedly thinking, woo hoo, I fit into this size, only to discover once the euphoria wears off that said article of clothing is not really all that flattering–this is why I need to shop with some body else in tow) all of it.

I have taken out two full containers of recycling.  I have one big bag of garbage, it’s almost ready to go out.  I have updated my address with the agencies that need me to have my addresses updated.  I almost forgot about my Trustline Registry, and came across the paper work for that and gratefully did not toss it in the recycling.  I have to notify them every time I move to keep my profile active.  Granted I’m just moving from #17 to #19, but I don’t want to get dropped from the registry for something stupid.  So change of address got dropped into the mail box.

I also was about to toss out all the jewelry and hair pieces and clips that I don’t care for or that have been hanging out in different little nooks and crannies.  Then I remembered, I will be seeing a bunch of girls tomorrow, one ladies junk, another’s new signature jewelry.  So, I scooped all that up and am taking it with me in the morning to gift to the girls.

I am a pretty damn tidy person, but there is also a lot of cleaning I need to do.  I have the oven to clean out and the refrigerator, as well as doing a good solid scrub down on the bathtub.  I’m going to dump the red velvet chair I found a few months on the street, it’s not going to fit into my new place.  Not space wise, but aesthetic wise.  It’s been interesting discovering what I like and don’t like in my space.  I like whimsy, and eclecticism, but every once in a while I find that something I have is bordering on trashy or cheap.  So I really looked at how I want my space to be and have been winnowing down based on that.

I did all my laundry as well, which was a bit of a hassle as the washer in the building was out-of-order. I had to take my laundry a couple blocks down to the mat on the corner of Pacific and Taylor.  And it was raining. But it was not too bad as the weather was pretty in a romantic movie sort of way.  It was a warm spring rain, not a kind of rain that I normally associate with San Francisco.  It wasn’t cold and there was little wind.  The sun would also periodically peek through the masses of clouds and a shaft of light would pierce through and illuminate some little corner of jasmine or geranium plant.  There was no fog either, but a rather fine mist that enshrouded downtown.  It was the kind of weather that called for a walk holding your lover’s hand.

So, I decided to stop the moving and the shaking and the hurley burly of moving and take myself on a little date.  I ate a nice home-made dinner and looked up the movie times for Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s newest.  There was a seven o’clock show.  Perfect.  I scurried down to the laundry mat and grabbed my clothes from the dryers and hustled back to the house.  I grabbed my French cabbie hat (I got it in Paris two years ago this week!) and popped in on my head, got my umbrella and dashed down the hill to the Embacadero Theaters.

Unfortunately, I was not the only person who thought that the warm spring misty rain splendour called for a romantic movie in down town San Francisco.  The 7 p.m. show was sold out and the 7:20, and the 8:45 p.m. was about to sell out too.  So, I said, fuck it, I’ll catch it as another day, and because I was still in the mood for French, I went and saw L’amour Fou.  Beautiful.  Sublimely shot and set predominately in Paris, but also featuring Normandy, and Marrakesh, Morocco.  It was the documentary that just came out about Yves St. Laurent–extraordinary.

I cannot tell how many times my heart felt like it might just burst open with all the amazing haute couture I got to see. Plus, the amazing art collection that Laurent and his partner of 50, 50! years, Pierre Berger, had collected.  ASTOUNDING.  I felt like my eyes were getting fed.  And it made me very glad that I had made a date with lady Joan to go to the MOMA tomorrow.  I haven’t seen the Stein exhibit yet and that needs to be taken care of.  Plus, I need some girl friend time.

I had a half hour to meander through the Embarcadero and down to the Ferry Building.  Everything was washed clean and sparkling.  I snuck into Pete’s at the Ferry Building before it closed and got a coffee and took myself back to the movie.  I let myself be submerged in French and the beauty of the film.  Then decided that I needed to sneak in a little more being responsibility, so I took the cable car line up California to Whole Paycheck and got a few groceries I needed and I got myself a gorgeous little bouquet of flowers.  They were so pretty the clerk at the store was trying to figure out what they cost as she thought the floral department had put them together.  I will take that as a compliment.

I picked out two royal purple crocuses and a cutting of tuber rose.  My little studio is awash in luscious smelling flowers.  I was getting down to business when I realized I had not posted to my blog, so here you go, just a little house cleaning, literally and figuratively.

Back to the purging!

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