Posts Tagged ‘gentrification’

Sorted, Satiated, Seduced

July 5, 2016

By my sweet foggy city.

Home.

It is such a nice place to be.

I am so grateful I put it all back in place to when I got home last night.

I unpacked and put away all my little treasures from the trip.

Some flower hair clips.

Two vintage cardigans.

A couple pairs of cheap earrings.

Some stickers.

Two pounds of locally roasted coffee, one from Mojo and other from Hey Cafe and Coffee.

Two pairs of new sandals.

And the little bit of swag from the conference.

I was a little wound up from getting home.

I got the butterflies and the happy sparklers of joy in my belly as the plane flew in over SFO International Airport.

It is this way every time I fly into the airport.

This feeling of happiness and glee.

This recurring knowing of being home, even before I called San Francisco home, it was home.

I still remember, sixteen years later, how it felt the first time I flew in over the city and how giddy I was with it.

Anticipatory joy and love and awe.

Awe that I was coming and getting to see the friend, a man I was in love with, romantically crushed out on, a man that though I did eventually get to have for one one night, was not the man for me.

But.

I will always be grateful for that unrequited love song that yearned in my heart for it led me to this city, this amazing space and land and confluence of fog and love and flowers in my hair and self-discovery.

And.

Of course.

No matter what.

No matter where.

It will always be home because it is where I got sober.

No other place can lay claim to that piece of my history.

So on top of the general body and soul and heart knowing, there is this deep pocket of grace that I am here.

I leave and return.

I tried to move to Paris.

That didn’t work.

I could see living in New York, it has it’s energy and allure and spark.

But.

Yet.

I am here.

And I continue to return and be soaked with gratitude every time.

I could live in New Orleans.

Oh, the hot humid sexy of it.

The big lushness of it, the flowers and trees, the moss in the trees, the drawl of the voices, the funky, bluesy, jazzy’ness of it, the art and the creative.

And also the underground dark scary spooky.

I suppose everywhere has pockets of wildness and dark.

But I could sense it closer to the surface there than a lot of places, maybe any other place I have been.

Death and sex and hot damp over abundant wildness.

It is there just skimming along below the pulse of warm air on your skin.

I can’t quite describe it, it is intense and dark and surreal and powerful and made my skin feel electric at times, the small hairs on the back of my neck rising in silent acknowledgement of the old the, wild, the barbaric yawp.

I feel it at times, in a different kind of way, but a dark wild way, in pockets of Golden Gate park when I would ride my bike through it at night.

Not always, but often, and though a different kind of energy then what I felt in New Orleans which was at once languid and violent, it too has a dark windy animal howl.

I am compelled by both those energies, softly drawn and also quite aware and wary that it is not my space to wander through.

I get to give it a wide berth.

The other thing about New Orleans was the architecture that was so heavily French influenced.

I do have a thing for all thing Francophile.

It is a definite and well defined influence that I really felt drawn too.

Plus, the colors.

Oh, so bright and many.

And that too, is something I find wonderful and compelling about San Francisco–the Victorians and the architecture here, gorgeous and bright and colorful as well.

I also recognized a kind of art and brightness that I normally associate with San Francisco and the Burning Man culture here.

In fact, at one point when I was in a little store on Magazine Street, I recall thinking to myself that I didn’t know New Orleans was such a Burner’s city.

Then I realized that it was Burning Man influenced, though, there may be some of that too–I know Burner’s Without Borders did a lot of work in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina–it was Mardi Gras.

The store was full of costumes and feather boas and masks and at first I thought it was a store like you might find in the Haight that specializes in festival gear and clothing.

Nope.

Mardi Gras.

Either way, it’s dress up.

For me, though, although I flew my personal little self-expression flag high, I was not as comfortable with it in New Orleans as I am in San Francisco.

I felt at times, if I were to live there, I would tone it down a bit.

Then.

I realized.

Nope.

I am not toning it down for anyone.

I am wild and free and wonderful and live a happy, joyous, compelling life.

And so far.

That life has been focused and centered around living in San Francisco.

Even when the fog, Karl, sweetheart I did miss you, is so thick you can’t see the fireworks display in the sky on the fourth of July.

Even when I needed to unearth the heavy sweatshirt today.

Even with the tech kids and the Millennials and the people getting pushed out and the high cost of living.

Even with the extra traffic and the gentrification.

I still love it so.

I still get feathering tickles in my body of joy co-mingled with electric blue sparkles of anticipation and awe, the wonder of it all.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I.

So.

Am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

So, So, So Close

May 15, 2016

I can taste it.

It tastes like Lacanian sherbert with Milly D. on top.

It sounds like Vagina Punk.

It swims in the electric blue seas of eros.

It is the Psych(e)dynamics paper.

And.

It is all I have left to do.

I have finished my Ethics and Family Law take home final and sent it in.

I have finished my last paper for Applied Spirituality and sent it in.

I sent in my huge 11 page paper with references on transference and countertransference last night.

I have one paper left.

ONE.

I can’t do it tonight.

Oh.

I suppose I could.

I probably could spit something out in an hour and a half of so.

I know what I want to write on, although I may change my mind, I already discussed it with the professor, Mildred Dubitzky, my punk rock, radical feminist, pro-Freudian, professor, and she gave me the thumbs up.

The only fly in the ointment is that two years ago another student wrote on the same topic and I’m a little loathe to write on something she has already read about.

So.

I may change my topic slightly, depending on my mood.

But, not tonight.

No.

Tonight, the rest of the night, is not for going out or being crazy or trying to get across the bridge and hit the party at NIMBY, although I got umpteen requests and questions regarding whether or not I was going to go.

I turned them all down and said, not today, Ethics final has to get done.

I’m actually pretty fucking proud of myself today.

I got a lot of stuff done.

I got up and went to yoga.

Showered, breakfasted, coffee’d, did some writing.

Hopped on the scooter went up to 7th and Irving and hit Tart to Tart for some heart to heart with my person and some discussion of amends.

Amazing that.

I don’t owe anyone any direct amends.

NO ONE.

Fuck yeah.

This shit works.

I, of course, will stay the course with the living amends that I have had outlined and really I am doing well with those and having fun, actually, who knew, amends could be fun.

Being light.

Letting myself have fun.

Even with all the school stuff hanging over me.

I have had my moments.

I also had a great hour of sitting with my fellows and hearing someone with a lot of time, a lot, 37 years, break it down.

So freaking grateful.

After that I treated myself to a little lunch and a new pair of silver hoop earrings.

Because this girl cannot get enough hoop earrings.

I will be buying some when I go to New York.

I always buy earrings when I travel.

I actually am wearing a pair of pink heart earrings that I got at a brocante (flea market) in Paris that was around Square D’Anvers, right before I left Paris three years ago this May.

I love wearing earrings that I have gotten as souvenirs, never fails to remind of the moment or the place where I got them.

I don’t spend a lot of money on them, typically no more than ten bucks or so and they are small and travel easily back with me from where ever I am.

I’ll be at 262 Taafe Place, fyi, in case you were wondering, in Brooklyn, in Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, which is not as gentrified as Williamsburg.

Which means a little sketchy but good vintage shops and coffee.

As long as I have coffee I’ll be fine.

And I’m not afraid of rough neighborhoods and I won’t look like a tourist in New York and I’m not staying in a place that tourist typically stay.

Ironically it’s maybe a mile away from where I stayed the last time, my first time, in New York, so I have a pretty good feel for what the area is like.

Dirty, bodega, bodega, subway stop, ooh coffee shop with house roasted beans, vintage store, bodgea, bodega, etc, and hopefully, some good graffiti.

God I love me some graffiti.

I could just do a walking tour of the neighborhoods and take photos of graffiti.

I would pee my pants if I saw a Banksy.

A girl can dream.

I have not done a ton of research yet around my trip, I’m still rather in the throes of school.

But I also got my grocery shopping done for the week and my cooking.

I had to grocery shop today.

Tomorrow will be a shit show out here what with it being Bay to Breakers idiocy.

Drunks running around in costume.

Whee.

I’ll be too busy writing my paper to notice.

Or I’ll hang out in the back yard.

Or.

Ooh.

God, wouldn’t this be nice.

I get the paper done early.

I’m not going to make any promises.

But I should have it done by dinner time.

I really do believe that.

Most of my papers for the class I have gotten done under two hours.

Really what it comes down to is reviewing the reading and my notes and just sitting down to my computer and starting.

And now that I have the proper software to format my papers, thank you so much to my friend in cohort who turned me onto it (it format’s your paper automatically in APA so I don’t have to beat my head on the Purdue OWL or the Chicago format page), I won’t have to worry about references being wonky.

I really do think I’ll be done by dinner time.

What will I do to celebrate?

Run around the park naked?

Oh wait, every body else will be doing that tomorrow.

I’m going to New York, I am going to be celebrating there.

Although, you know, finishing my first year of grad school does deserve some instant recognition on the day I turn in my last paper for the year.

I’ll come up with something.

I’m clever.

Heh.

God damn.

I’m excited.

I’m almost there.

It’s been a crazy ass year.

So much has happened.

I have changed so much.

So fucking much.

“You have changed,” she said to me, across the table at Tart to Tart, “you really have, it’s amazing to see.”

I smiled.

I have changed.

I am in awe.

I am amazed.

I am in love with my life.

Fuck yeah.

I really am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

 

Don’t Tell Me How To Do My Job!

September 22, 2015

Or anything else either.

I am feeling a touch overwhelmed.

Can you tell?

First, I had too many people, two, but who’s counting, tell me what to do today while I was working.

Hey, you know what?

I didn’t fucking ask.

Further.

I don’t want your opinion.

And lastly.

Yes.

I did some spot check inventory and some checking in with myself and I understood pretty damn quick as I cramped up in KidPower Park (crack power now!) that I had just ovulated.

Great.

I’ll be getting that friendly reminder in the next day or two.

Which is fine.

It’s on time, it’s doing what it does, the body.

I just knew there was something up with me when I got overly sensitive to the three-year old throwing a temper tantrum on the sidewalk as I pushed the stroller through La Mission, the great gentrification thereof, and it’s nearby environs.

People do not always like kids in the Mission.

The hipsters don’t want to get out-of-the-way of the stroller and no one wants a screaming three-year old disturbing them while they taste artisanal chocolates at Dandelion or while they are getting their haircut at Fellow Barber, or god forbid while they are on a sneaky Tinder date early happy hour at Bar Tartine.

No.

And nothing says good times like a three-year old screaming at the top of his lungs while flailing his feet in the stroller.

“IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!”

Sorry kiddo.

No bagels to be had at 4:30 p.m. on a Monday afternoon in the Mission.

Oh.

I know i could have gotten him a “special treat” at the coffee shop, but I was just stopping in to grab a thank you card for someone who had sent me a Bicycle Coalition Membership!

That was a nice thing to get in the mail.

Especially since I have no extra money and I apparently, I will get to the bottom of this later, I owe money on my account with school?

Anyway.

I had not found out that information and I am not certain to the credibility of it and I am trying to not panic at the thought of owing $3,478.

I mean, huh?

Oh.

Fuck.

I don’t want to write about this right now.

I am still writing about a bagel.

“Honey, I’m not getting you a bagel right now, we’re going to have dinner in a half hour,” I said as I paid for the card.

“IWANTASPECIALSNACK!”

“I made you a special dinner,” I cajoled, accepting the change and rapidly wheeling the stroller out the door and over to the park.

I had agreed to go to KidPower Park as the boys also wanted to stop by the Eco Center on 17th between Valencia and Hoff.

“She made chicken pot pie!” The five-year old gleefully jumped up and down.

“IDONTWANTCHICKENPOTPIE!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!”

UGH.

I had made chicken pot pie.

And roasted cauliflower.

And I was not about to bend on the bagel.

Once in a while a bagel is great, but not right before dinner and I knew I couldn’t justify it and I headed off to the park with a wailing, flailing, screaming child.

“He needs to get out and walk,” a man told me, who was also trying to hand me some sample of something in front of a store.

“No thank you,” I said as I went past.

“He needs to get out and walk,” the man said again, louder, stepping up to me.

I wheeled around with fire in my eyes, “I’ll thank you to NOT tell me how to do my job.”

And I walked away.

Grr.

I hate responding to people like that.

I don’t like being mean and I don’t like it when people assume I don’t know what I am doing, or try to offer help and I realized by the time I got to the park as was booting a homeless man out of the playground who was digging through the trash with a stray dog running around him, that I was about to go on a tear.

I asked the man to leave the play area and was told, “get a job!”

“I have a job, this is my job, you are in the way of me doing my job, get out of the children’s playground with the dog or I call the cops.”

I didn’t raise my voice, but I was dead serious.

He left.

He muttered some things best left unsaid.

I have called the cops three times in the year that I have nannied the boys.

Addict shooting up in the playground.

Pack of adolescents smoking pot and crack in the playground.

Homeless deranged man masturbating on the corner, I mean full on pants around his ankles, dick out and in hand.

Oh my fucking god I did not need to see that.

I got myself under control and then bent over double.

Ouch.

Oh?

Oh really.

Sigh.

Well, that makes more sense.

And I didn’t even need a third person to get pissed off at.

Generally I find that if I call three people an asshole in one day, I’m the asshole.

I got there a little faster today.

Hello.

And.

Happy Monday.

Happy anniversary to me too.

Well.

Almost.

Tomorrow makes one year with the family.

I mentioned it tonight before I left.

Which means tomorrow I ask for the pay raise.

I’m going to need it if I owe money on my tuition bill.

I can’t imagine why I have an outstanding balance and I can see that, obviously, something has been applied to it, since it would be a lot more than $3,478.

But.

I thought I was actually getting back some money.

That once my scholarship and subsequent loans were applied there was going to be an offset of about $2700 to my bank account.

I guess I need to call the financial aid office tomorrow and find out what is happening.

Perhaps my loans have been applied, but not yet the scholarship?

I know that the disbursement was to happen this Friday, although I received the letter from my federal student loan lender that my financial aid loan was applied to my school.

That must be it.

That is the only thing that makes sense.

The loans were applied, but my scholarship won’t be disbursed until Friday when the school disburses funds.

Whew.

That’s a relief.

Anyway.

There is nothing wrong.

Even if I do owe money.

It will come from somewhere.

I have a month’s rent in the savings and that will cover some costs and I suspect I will be taken care of anyway.

I always am.

I do the work.

I show up.

Even when someone tells me how to do me how to do my job, I know that I am doing a damn fine one indeed.

I have nothing to worry about.

Not at all.

Life is good.

Really.

I insist.

I don’t even need a special snack to know that.

It’s Just Wind In My Eye

April 24, 2015

I swear.

Those aren’t tears.

It was a close call, however, to know if the prickles of tears streaming down my face was actually caused by the wind, it was a brisk ride home, or by the fullness and sense of joy I had at riding home through the park at twilight.

The striations of color were like Easter eggs gone mad and I found myself almost stopping more than once to capture the sunset on my phone camera a few times as I rolled briskly along.

I did not, however, dinner was calling.

Loudly.

Normally I eat at work, but there were adventures and play dates and bicycle rides and stuff and things and I actually left the family, mom, dad, and both the boys at the slides in Dolores Park to scoot to my next commitment at 6:30p.m.

Dinner was not an option for me at the work site tonight.

I was alright with that, I pushed my lunch as late as I could and had a late coffee, which really isn’t always the best thing for me, but then again, I did have a play date rumpus with three little monkeys, so it felt like I was actually in need of the caffeine not for appetite suppressing, but to just get through the play date.

I made it though, and tomorrow, oh lovely of lovelies, is Friday.

I’m ready.

It has been a full week.

Then again, when aren’t they full?

I’m also excited to squeak in a tea with a good friend that despite being in the neighborhood of where I work, I don’t get to see all that much.

I’ve got a date with her tomorrow after work to catch up and have a spot of tea and I’m super excited.

There’s news.

There’s always news.

But sometimes you just got to tell a girl friend the stuff and I’m excited to get to do so without the boys I take care of in tow.

I love them I do.

“We are never letting her go!” The mom said today from the sandbox to her friend who is looking for help having just had a second baby a month ago.

I smiled.

That’s always something so nice to hear.

Job security.

I like having it.

I like that I have a place to park my bicycle indoor and hang it up on a rack.

I like that I got to work fifteen minutes early today too and did my stretching before starting the day.

I am sore.

I mean.

SORE.

The stretching I do before work is about a third of the exercises and stretches that the physical therapist wants me to be doing, but I’m not getting down on the ground in front of the house to do the clam shell stretch.

It’s a semi private street in the Mission that the house is located on, but it is still the Mission.

God only knows what is on the sidewalks.

Gentrification still smells like homeless guy pee.

It just looks a little tidier in the neighborhood.

Sidebar.

The Elbow Room lost its lease.

It’s closing in November, hopefully the establishment will find another place, but I shall be sad to see it leave.

I don’t drink there any longer–although I certainly did for a period of time and there are more than one set of smashed photos from the instant photo booth in the bar, but it was one of the first establishments that I hung out in, even before I moved to San Francisco.

I will never forget how hard I danced the first visit I made there and also how I found the neighborhood a little on the sketchy side and I was very happy to be with a tall guy friend on the way to the bar for the show.

It was upstairs and it was Vivendo de Pao–this amazing Afro-Brasillian fusion band.

I danced so hard.

That show alone could be why my knees hurt, and that was over twelve years ago.

They were amazing and I thought I was in love and who cares if he has a girl friend.

He’s the one.

He’s  so not the one.

He’s married somewhere in the South Bay with a couple of kids.

I haven’t seen him in over 10 years.

I fell in love with the venue though.

And have even gotten, in sobriety, to perform there with Sunshine Jones from Dubtribe, who did a song with me from a poem I wrote when I was in my first year of living in San Francisco, called While You Were Sleeping.

I performed that and another and it was a kind of full circle.

That was the last time I was at the Elbow Room.

It’s a great place to dance, though, and I will make a point of getting to the venue at least a few times before it leaves to be replaced by another condo.

Yeah.

That’s basically what is going in its place.

The owners of the building are not going to renew the lease for The Elbow Room and they just announced to the bar owners today that they would not be signing anew.

Ah, good old gentrification, you just keep happening.

“Don’t tell anyone you like living in the Mission,” my friend told me when I had settled into my first sublet on York and 20th.

“It’s already getting a little too gentrified.”

And that was in 2002.

It’s not over yet.

End aside.

I don’t know that I should end that aside, it got pretty long, and in its own way winds into my blog about San Francisco and beauty and how I am grateful, so very grateful, deeply, truly, madly, wildly grateful, to get to live here still.

I don’t intend on moving anywhere else.

I want all the things and I want them here, in SF.

It’s my home and it can slay me with its beauty without warning.

I wound through the park as the light shifted and the colors in the sunset became more glorious and deep, smote my heart, the velvet and dusk and soft light, filtered through the pines and the tops of the trees, the silhouette of a tall Eucalyptus winnowed with orange and umber and red and then violet and indigo, the crescent moon drifting over it all.

My heart swelled and the scene at Spreckels Lake was astounding, the mirror of the sunset on the flat surface was too glorious for words.

I smiled.

I rode around the corner and past the buffalo in the paddock and the green of the hills and the soft scent of the sea the wood fire burning in a fireplace, I swear, it was just the wind in my eyes.

I do cry for joy sometimes.

I might have tonight.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

In my life.

In my body.

In my home.

In my San Francisco.

Bonsoir

March 14, 2015

Indeed.

It is a beautiful night out there and I am planning on wearing some sandals tomorrow.

The energy is full on rut out there as well.

Folks all gussied up.

High heels and spring dresses.

Boys out in their t-shirts with no jackets.

The bar scene a riot of activity already.

The line at Safeway for booze off the hook.

FYI shopper in aisle one through three you cannot self check out your booze, nice try underage girls.

I had to laugh when I was checking out.

The folks in front of me had a bottle of Tanqueray, the big guy, and a bottle of Shwepp’s tonic, a small guy, you might need more mixer there hey.

Or not.

Then there was me with, I kid you not, 8 lbs of apples and a gallon and a half of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and some organic black berries.

After me, divided from the haul of apples I purchased (they were so pretty and they’ve been on sale and I don’t usually buy apples from Safeway, but I tried this one and was pretty impressed–the Envy–reminds me a bit of a Jonagold but slightly denser and sweeter) and almond milk was the gentleman behind me.

One handle of vodka.

Four large bags of gummy bears.

FOUR.

And not the small packet, either, rather the large like 64 oz ones.

In addition, one pack of Dixie cups.

All I could think was that it was some sort of party shot–Gummy Bears and vodka anyone?

Otherwise, the man needs some serious help.

Speaking of serious help, a lot of crazy out there too, not alcohol crazy, although that might be playing a factor in the mix, but crazy crazy.

I had to call the cops on a woman at the park who was having an episode in the public bathrooms at Mission Pool and Playground.

I wasn’t sure if she was getting high in a stall, but she was profane, like Tourette’s profane and loud and she was scaring the crap out of the boys.

Which, though I am deep in the potty training phase with the youngest boy, is not how I want to induce him to poop.

I asked her to quiet down and she screamed and said call the cops and go gentrify the Mission some more.

Hate to break it to you lady, I’m not the one gentrifying the Mission.

I’m barely paying rent in the Outer Sunset.

Suffice to say when the swearing and screaming didn’t tone down, I did call the police.

She freaked out and almost attacked me, but rushed out of the bathroom instead.

The five-year old was spooked, but neither boy saw the woman and both of them accepted my explanation that she was sick and the police were going to come and help her.

Which they did.

She ran out of the bathroom, dashed through the park, then into the American Sign Language after school program.

At least the kids didn’t hear 18 different shades of “fuck” and “cunt” and “bitch.”

Grateful I didn’t have to have a physical alteration and more grateful that the police officer had Jr Police Officer stickers for the boys and they shook their hands and introduced themselves while I made the statement.

I may be pausing in this blog to take a phone call from the Frenchman.

It’s been interesting watching this unfold.

I’m, so far, mildly interested, but mostly because he’s so literate and artistic and says all the right words about French art and cinema and he did theater in New York and it sounds so completely different from my ex that I am intrigued.

I am still gunning for a sober guy.

FYI.

But I’m going to let myself practice with guys outside the fellowship.

He wants to meet me and is intrigued by me and that’s nice and I’m sure he’s sweet.

However.

Holy shit that was too long a phone call.

I just got held hostage, although, I must say I did participate in the allowing myself to stay on the phone too long.

It was nice to talk to someone who knows Paris and reminisce a little about my time there and actually speak a little French.

Just enough to get me in trouble as they say.

Ah dating.

I said I would meet for coffee, but I think we are not quite the match.

It is nice to talk to a man about art though, he’s a professional lithograph restorer as well as a frame maker and artist with a little studio in a cottage in Pac Heights.

Rent control oh how I am jealous.

Dating.

I don’t care if I do and I don’t care if I don’t.

Right now it’s about being free about trying it and seeing if anything happens but not having expectations or hopes.

Just being me and acting if it appears appropriate.

This phone call was practice.

And if I am bored, which I was a little by the end, it’s a tell.

So perhaps not a date.

I don’t know.

It could be that I am tired too.

It’s been a full week.

All the emotions around graduate school, busy week with the boys, lots of bicycling, I’m tired and that’s not much of a surprise.

I am going to sleep well tonight.

The ocean is soft in the back ground.

The night is warm enough that I had the majority of my half hour conversation on the pack patio in my pajamas and bare feet.

I have a fresh sparkly pedicure ready for sandals tomorrow and a baby shower to go to in Berkeley.

I’m going to play the rest of the day by ear, but I suspect I will be around the Inner Sunset around 6 p.m. and possibly back out to the beach by sunset.

I’ll be enjoying the down time no matter what.

Bonne nuit.

My chickadees.

And happy fucking weekend.

Sorry.

Crazy lady rubbed off a little.

If I Ever Have Kids

November 14, 2014

I’m hiring you.

Or that was the gist of what my friend said, in not quite so many words.

I ran into a friend today at the Farmer’s Market, he perused the fruit and vegetable stands with me, giving me ample shit for the amount of apples and persimmons I bought for myself as well as running to grab me a coffee from Ritual when I realized the coffee stand was not present at the market.

Had I known, I would have hit up Grand Coffee on Mission between 22nd and 23rd.

A person has to give it to Four Barrel to have the foresight to be setting up, ala Trouble Coffee, in a small walk up space on Mission Street in an area that is so rapidly becoming gentrified I almost miss the used and rent to own furniture stores on the street.

Almost.

I have to admit, I don’t mind the gentrification of the Mission.

Oh.

Yeah, sometimes it gets weird or strange to be in a neighborhood that I have known rather intimately and be run over by some kid who gives me a snotty look as I navigate the stroller down the sidewalk, but for the most part I really like having umpteen coffee shops and markets and art and nice things to look at.

It makes my work environment rather a treat and it was a treat to see my friend and to acknowledge to him later that he was a part of the process of getting the job.

Not directly, mind you, but through the vast amount of encouragement he gave me to find better work.  He and a number of my friends, including the one who did refer me to this current job, all said the same thing.

You can do better.

You can make more money.

You are amazing.

“You are stellar with kids.”

Thanks man.

I appreciate that.

I don’t have any plans to have any of my own, I was asked that yesterday by the nanny I met in the park who knew the boys from their previous nanny, I mean I am just trying to get a date up in here, let alone planning on having any little guys of my own.

Therefor I feel privileged to get to work with all the babies and toddlers and children I have gotten to work with.

It’s been quite a journey.

I really never expected to be a private, professional nanny, it just sort of happened on its own with me struggling against it for a very long time.

But when I acquiesced, said ok, let’s make this the career, things started to happen.

That’s not to say that I won’t pursue other goals, I really have to.

I couldn’t nanny like I do if I didn’t have outside aspirations.

I may not have a book offer, or a book I really feel like putting back out into the atmosphere, but just knowing that I do write and do have books in me and words and blogs and poems and such, it makes the nanny career palatable.

Enjoyable.

I have a well-rounded life.

A life that includes dancing too!

I was able, finally, after much messing around with my computer last night, to log onto the site and purchase tickets to Opulent Temple’s event Gratitude at The Armory, for next Saturday, November 22nd.

I will be doing my usual gig up in Noe Valley until about 10 p.m. then scooter over to the Armory down in the dirty Mission, and get my dance on.

The party goes until 2 a.m.

I doubt I will go that long, but I can if I want to, I can sleep in the following day, or nap, or not, but I have a chill Sunday next week, so far.

I have nothing happening this weekend.

Yet.

Who knows.

The weekend is not quite here yet.

And.

Oh dear.

I did it.

I just downloaded Tinder.

I have no idea if I am going to like this thing, but I am pretty over OkStupid, just not having any luck with it, nor have I gotten asked out over the last weekend, so, time to take an action.

Any action.

I know that action is the key to getting things happening.

I also know that Tinder may not be the thing that gets the date, it’s sort of like saying, hey, Universe, see look, I am trying new things, I do want some different results, what do you say?

Let’s go on some dates.

It could be amusing at the very least.

The app is still downloading to my phone so nothing to report yet.

Hahahaha.

See how impatient I am?

I decided to flip the dating switch and keep trying to do it.

I haven’t gotten much feedback from friends in regards to how they do it, the dating, that is, but I have gotten a lot of encouragement for putting myself out there, for asking guys out.

“You are so brave.”

Or stupid.

I’m not sure which.

However, as I pass another old growth tree in the Pan Handle on my way home from the days journey, I know that ultimately what I do with this life is of little lasting consequence.

Therefor, go for it.

I mean, why the hell hold back.

If there’s something you want to try.

Try.

If there’s somewhere you want to go.

Go.

I, speaking of which, want to go to Hawaii.

It’s come up again for me as a friend recently got back from a trip and the photographs she sent me as well as the coffee mug from Kauai Coffee with a hula girl on it and the tea and well, damn it.

I want to go.

So.

I’m going to.

I think there could be a conference or something I could hook into of like-minded people.

I know I will be heading to Atlanta in 2015 for one, I could probably do the same in Hawaii.

Anyway.

Thoughts for today.

I’m a great nanny.

I’m single and available for dating.

I’m going dancing next weekend.

And I want to go to Hawaii.

Ready Universe?

Go!

Try It You’ll Like It

May 13, 2014

That’s the problem, I thought to myself as I walked past the man in the doorway at 19th and Valencia, I know I will like it.

That’s why I got to say no.

I was pushing the stroller anyway.

Not the best time to take a hit from a proffered crack pipe.

Ah.

The Mission.

You can gentrify it the fuck up.

You can take stupid photos with a stuffed gorilla at Beta Brand.

You can get your Marina eyebrows down at The Balm.

You can eat your overpriced, albeit, I hear quite tasty tacos, from Tacolicious.

I still will always prefer El Farolito.

I remember, all too fondly as I don’t eat them anymore, the taste of a super quesadilla suiza with carne asada and salsa and hot marinated carrots and jalapenos and corn tortilla chips, fifty cents extra, shit, I remember when the chips were free.

But, you can’t quite get rid  of the crack heads in the door ways.

I was actually surprised to be offered a pipe.

A. I was pushing a stroller

Then again, I know there are some crack mamas out there, I am well aware from my own personal experience, that yes mom’s can smoke up some crack.

But.

Still.

B. That anyone offered it to me.

When I hit the pipe, and I hit it only a handful of times, but more than enough to know that stuff is cray cray, I was not interested in sharing it with anyone once I got going.

I was interested in hiding the fuck out in my room.

Or plywood shack, as the case may be, which it was when I was 19.

C. Because I have never been offered a crack pipe hit before.

Yes, even in the Mission.

I have scored crack.

Good old 16th and Mission BART station.

Where would all the heroin mules work if they didn’t have that little crossroads of hell?

Actually, crack is the only drug I have scored on the street.

I never did heroin–although it was offered to me on Market Street once.

I never bought a bag of pot from some one on Haight Street offering, “kind nugs”.

I don’t even like pot any way, but when I did smoke it, really quite allergic to it, so the only time I ever did was to convince some guy I was dating that I could rip a bong hit too.

I had a cocaine habit, though, yes, yes, yes, ma’am I did.

But I was all bougie about it.

I had my drug of choice delivered.

And he got it to me damn quick.

I can only recall a handful of times that I did not have bag, or bags, in hand before I could have gotten a pizza delivered to me.

The best thing about it, the being offered the crack pipe, is that I didn’t want it, I wasn’t interested, I was so neutral, “no thanks,” I said, and walked past.

I remember once, about oh, 9 years ago, fresh sober as a new souffle wobbling from the oven, walking down Valencia Street and smelling crack.

I freaked out.

I got so spooked.

It was like I went from 0 to homeless in 60 seconds.

I got on my phone, made a ton of phone calls, prayed, tried to not pee my pants, tried to get the whiff of it out of my nose.

I have since smelled plenty of crack in the city and I will say, it can be disconcerting and I don’t enjoy it and I recognize it like a bomb sniffing canine int he airport, but it doesn’t make me freak out.

I just would rather not be around it.

For those reasons, and perhaps a few more, I don’t say, hang in the Tenderloin.

Not really my scene.

What struck me too, today, as I walked about the Mission in search of a park that had some shade for my little bunny to play in, is that the veneer of high-tech and gloss and art is a thinning patina of slap together condominiums that actually look trashy and tacky and dumb down the reason why the Mission became gentrified in the first place.

It had some character.

The character is still there, but it is caked over by tourist and junk.

I hate it when the neighborhood starts selling junk and trinkets.

I don’t want the neighborhood that I birthed my San Francisco self into to become a tourist destination, even though it already has.

I am not a grouchy displaced Missionite either, don’t get me wrong, I will still hang in the Mission and I still belong, but I don’t want to live there anymore.

I couldn’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t have wanted to live there.

And I still do kick myself, a teeny tiny, bit for turning down the large studio with huge corner window on the second floor of a building at Valencia and 22nd above Herbivore that I could have gotten into for $850.

The window looked out over to Jay’s Cheesesteak and the studio, well, it wasn’t just big, it was huge.

But the floors were carpet and I was smitten with the studio I had found in Nob Hill, which had crown molding and pressed tin panels and Victorian details and polished wood floors.

I took the smaller, more expensive, studio in Nob Hill.

And that’s ok.

It is what it is.

The Mission is different.

The city of San Francisco is different.

And frankly, I am different.

All of the above is ok.

I get to live here and I am lucky to have gotten to live here for as long as I have.

Being crack free probably has a lot to do with that.

You know, probably.

I think, anyway.

So, yeah, dude in doorway was right.

I would like it.

But I got a taste of something even better.

And I like that so much more.

So much more I can’t even express it.

It is the bees knees.

The cat’s pajamas.

And all that jazz.

I really like it.

I really do.

 

Out All Day

April 13, 2014

Up all night.

Well, maybe not all night.

But I realized that I drank caffeinated tea up in ye olde Noe Valley and that was not my intention to do that at 8:30 p.m. in the evening, not at all.

AT ALL.

Oops.

What’s done is done and I won’t die, despite having a speedy mind and some rapidly moving fingers over my keyboard.

Hopefully once I get my frenetic energy expatiated out via my blog I will be able to unwind with some non-caffeinated tea and chill out.

I have things to do tomorrow.

Two things.

Perhaps three.

I really don’t have jack to do tomorrow, but I like to tell myself that I will be keeping busy.  I will make some soup for the week, thinking split pea, and I will go out for a ride or two on my scooter.

I say two, because I believe I may actually get my butt out of the Outer Sunset and go maybe, perhaps further, say to Church and Market.

I have a commitment in that neighborhood at 6:30p.m.

It will go an hour, then I can zip back.

I feel like the traffic on a Sunday at that time won’t be too bad and once I get through the Wiggle I can hit a stretch of streets that brings me down to the Pan Handle and on through the park.

I shall play it by ear.

There’s a big piece of Fell Street that I may not want to navigate until I am a little more comfortable on the scooter.  The park I won’t have a problem with, but Fell, that could be busy.  I will get on my vehicle and scoot around in the morning and see what is what.

Then cook some soup.

Then, I dunno, nap?

Relax?

I was told to explore the joy of living, so whatever that looks like.

Baha.

I actually did ok with that today.

I spent the morning doing my normal little routine, with an extra cup of coffee, one of my few extravagances on the weekend, that and a longer meditation.

I know, coffee and meditation?

But I find I can do it.

And I do enjoy it.

Slowing down for me is not a bad thing at all.

In fact, I slowed down a lot today, I didn’t even ride my bike.

I took the train to my meet up at Tart to Tart, spent an hour there checking in, doing the deal, letting go of some inventory that had to be discussed, then being told to go explore the joy of living.

I got picked up shortly thereafter and rode over the hills and through the woods, sort of, to the Mission and perhaps not to Grandma’s house, but grandma would have approved, to Mission Pie.

Where, I discovered there’s more to them than just pie.

Sat there for an hour then walked with my companion to Scarlet Sage and bought some pretty smelling candles and canoodled about the store.

Afterward I walked back toward Valencia and Cesar Chavez, hit up the Salvation Army, on the hunt to replace my jean jacket, and decide to walk up and down Valencia until I was to be in Noe Valley–dinner date with a salad bar at Whole Foods and a catch up with a girlfriend soon off to Paris.

I walked down one side of Valencia from 25th to 16th, then turned around and walked up the other before heading up to 24th and going up into Noe Valley.

I felt a bit like a tourist and I acted like I had never been there before.

I went into a bunch of stores.

I window shopped.

I found a sweet sweater at Therapy and I got the best tea mug at Viracocha.

In fact, the stop at Viracocha might be my favorite and most adrenalin producing, shopping of all time.

It’s a very cool little store, bit of an artists co-operative, from what I can see, a venue, a vintage store, a music shop, there’s a person playing the piano, the clerk sitting behind the desk is in an old barber shop chair, there’s repurposed furniture, art, cool things that need to be picked up, touched, stroked, appreciated.

I had poked into it hoping the lending library was open, but it had been shut down or was not in evidence so I just noodled around and I saw this very cool Mason jar with a leather tea cozy sewed around it.

$20.

I was torn.

Do I want to spend $20 on a tea cozy?

I mean, yeah, it’s cool, but a Mason jar costs a buck, maybe two, do I need this?  Don’t I have enough tea like things already?

But it sort of called to me.

And then I saw the sign by the piano.

“Recite a poem from memory and receive half off one item in the store.”

Now that could be a big freaking deal if I was buying the $1200 reupholstered vintage couch in the back.

I just wanted the tea cup.

But I wasn’t sure I could do it.

I left the store, but it stayed with me, and yes, when I was walking back from 16th and Valencia, I swung back across the street and peaked in the store.

I walked over to the tea mug and picked it up.

Jar.

Really, it’s a tea jar.

Went over to the counter, said “nice chair,” and then asked if the sign was true.

“Yup, recite a poem and I’ll give you half off,” the clerk said, I was beginning to think he might be the owner, or manager, but I wasn’t sure.

I stood in front of the register, a beautiful old one with the swinging handle to open the cash drawer, and drew in a breath.

“Ok, I’ll do it,” I said and prepared to tell him a poem.

I have done this at Burning Man, recited a poem to a stranger, how could this be any different, but it was.

It was miked.

“Oh, great, now turn around and speak into the microphone,” the clerk said with a wry smile.

My body temperature went through the roof, I could feel myself about to actually start sweating.

“The mic?” I said.

“Yup, into the mic,” he repeated.

Which happened to be next to the piano, which happened to have some one playing jazz on it.

And, yes, I did it.

I recited one of my poems from memory, listening to the soft plink, plonk of the piano being cajoled into a deconstructed and slowed down jazz rag, the mic was mic’ed through the store and I almost jumped when I heard my voice drift down from the rafters.

But I did it, to soft sweet applause after, and I sketched a quick curtsey, told them my name, paid for my half price teacup and collected my new mug.

“That was nice,” the pianist said to me, coming up on my elbow as I was departing the store, high on adrenaline and the quiet applause of the people in the store.  “I really enjoyed playing underneath your poem, we found a nice place together.”

“Thank you,” I smiled, and floated away down the street.

San Francisco you may be a bit gentrified right now, but that experience, surprising, sweet, slightly anti-establishment, kind, and generous, resembled the city I came to twelve years ago.

Came to live.

Came to love.

Glad to make your acquantaince once again.

 

I Am Seeing A Pattern Here

December 23, 2013

My friend said to me as we sat on the bench outside of Philz Coffee at Folsom and 24th.

I had deliberately not planned anything except one thing, meet a lady, have some tea, and go do that thing were I sit in a room for an hour and listen to other people’s crazy.

Other than that, I wanted, as I have been trying to do, to have a free Sunday.

So, when I received the text asking me what I was up to I was able to say, nothing really, chilling, hanging out, maybe a wander through the Mission.

Let’s meet!

She was on call and had to stay in her neighborhood, the Mission, and I for once, was back in the Mission.

Rearing its busy, confused head with tourists, locals annoyed with the tourists, hipsters staying in for the holiday, people complaining about the Air B-N-B situation at their TIC that was trying to get bought out and not for an owner move in, but so that the land lord could rent out the place to tourists.

I will say the Mission is a long way from being full on Disney, but it’s happening.

Truth be told, I don’t have much of an opinion about it all, I find it interesting for sure, the neighborhood changing, the increase in traffic, the people looking at maps, the number of younger and younger people.

Or maybe, I am just getting older, I remember when Philz was actually manned by Phil.

When the coffee shop was a quiet local secret.

Before they had the mugs and the hats and it was cash only and Phil would hand feed me spoonfuls of some coffee blend he was making up.

“Here, now, try this,” he said with deep sensual pleasure, skimming the foam off the coffee roast after having poured piping hot water over the fresh grounds. That same concoction a few weeks later was to become Canopy of Heaven, a very special light roast coffee blend.

Light in roast, high in caffeine–which also may explain why it, Canopy of Heaven and his other light roast, Greater Alarm (blended up for the firefighters who worked the overnight shifts in the Mission) became my favorites.

I learned from Phil that just because those beans are darker roasted does not mean they have more caffeine, nope, it is the exact opposite–the lighter the roast, the higher the caffeine, and the more tender, I believe, you have to be with the bean, to coax out the flavors–lemon, currant, butterscotch in Canopy of Heaven–as opposed to letting it get too bitter.

Oh.

Yum.

Then the heavy cream.

I do mean heavy.

It’s not half and half.

It’s not milk.

It’s not regular cream.

It’s MANUFACTURING CREAM.

Jesus on a pogo stick, when Phil told me that, well, no wonder.

Manufacturing cream is whipping cream, you know the stuff you put on top of pumpkin pie or a Belgian waffle.

Sinful.

I remember when there was no counter, no line, no tables, a battered store front with weird art and odd posters, no restroom, coffee sacks in heaps on the floor, the cooler had six packs and the odd bottle of Champagne in it, eggs, sad-looking bananas by the front, and a couple of old battered metal shelves with the strangest array of grocery store items ever.

It was a down and dirty Bodega with a guy in a fedora hat winking at you while he made you a pour over coffee.

Now it’s being served on Virgin Airlines.

Um, yeah.

And that is what the Mission is.

It’s now in all the tour books and that’s cool, you know, that means money into the local economy, but sometimes when I am waiting ten minutes to order a coffee from a person who is ironically being condescending to the people in line–do you want to get a tip dude–I do miss the old Mission.

However, the coffee, as always, was really good, and the company amazing.

We sat outside, watched the world go by, talked about an upcoming trip she is planning, one in which there is a Paris leg to it, and I down loaded, probably way too much information into her brain, and then, as well, about the house sitting gig I am at and the person who was staying at the house.

They Air B-N-B the front room.

I felt a little bit too much like a concierge.

On one hand I don’t mind sharing tips and tricks to San Francisco.

The guest wanted to ride the Golden Gate Bridge and I told him where to go, whom to rent from, how to get there, what to avoid, when to go, how to get back–take the ferry–and a few other details.

I had no problem with that.

But I did take a little issue to having to show him a few other things and having someone rely on me for information when I was trying to get out into my own day.

And I was not about to clean up the mess he was making.

I recounted some things and told my friend how I was thinking, acting, and learning.

She told me my pattern.

Actually she and a few other folks recently have.

And I am listening.

Truly I am.

I don’t want to isolate anymore by being too busy to see my friends because I am house sitting, cat sitting, being tour guide to strangers I don’t know, dog walking, or baby sitting on nights when I am not working as a nanny.

I isolate myself by making busy.

I get busy.

I don’t have to feel.

We walked.

The sun shone down.

We went down Balmy Alley and I took photographs.

Murals

Murals

It made me chuckle.

I was a tourist in my own city, in my old neighborhood, I was a tourist, no longer quite a local, I live in the Outer Sunset, you know that place way over on the other side of the mountain, Twin Peaks, in the land of Nod.

It’s so much more mellow and quiet where I am, although, truth be told, there’s a bit of the gentrification happening there as well.

In the end, though, I don’t mind, I don’t care, let them eat cake, or hand crafted artisan chocolates with crushed sea salt harvested on the Solstice by young women with owl tattoos and labia piercings under the new moon, in the end, ultimately, I love living here.

Getting to live here.

Getting to be here.

I parted with my sweet friend to get lunch and ride my bicycle down Folsom Street to Rainbow.

I stocked up on the rest of the things I will need as I continue to do my house sitting gig and I vowed to let myself be not quite so busy, not quite so isolated, to get out into the world and see it.

Even if it means I look like a tourist in my own town.

And, speaking of tourists, I returned home this evening to find the Air B-N-B guest had left, cleaned most of his mess, and I now have the house to me, myself, and I, plus one very cute orange tabby cat.

Getting again to get grateful for the fact that I still get to be in the Mission, if just for a few more days, before I return to the beach.

Either way you slice it, I am in San Francisco.

And though I may play a tourist on tv.

This is my home.


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