Posts Tagged ‘NextBus’

You Get Around

May 5, 2015

I do.

“I follow you on Facebook and read your blogs, it’s good to see you in person, you really cram a lot of stuff into your day,” he told me as we were filing out of the room tonight.

I smiled.

I believe I thanked him for reading.

It’s nice to know that folks read these things I put out into the Universe, so often without much thought or effort, it would seem.

Although there is always much thought.

The effort really has to do with sitting down at the keyboard and figuring out a title.

Once I have a title, I don’t need anything.

I knew I was going to be writing “Inbound to Richmond District” the minute I saw it on the NextBus app.

There was something really musical about it to my ears.

And I do get around, but I suspect, many of us do, I just happen to document the getting around.

This brought to mind all the places I have lived in San Francisco as I enter my second year of residing in one spot.

It’s about a year and three-quarters, Labor Day weekend, just after Burning Man, will mark two years here in my little studio by the sea.

I can’t remember the last time I lived in one spot for two years.

It must have been when I was up in Nob Hill and technically I did move, albeit across the hall, but that was a move and challenging in its own ways.

I also may have resided at 23rd and Capp for two years, but I’m not certain I did, it feels like it was two years.

But as I explained to my charge today, “feelings are not facts,” I said with a smile and also relayed the message that “this too shall pass, the good news is you will have feelings, the bad news is you will have feelings.”

Then I tickled the grumpy out of him.

He is just such a sweet pie.

“Carmen! Carmen! Carmen! You have a star in your hair!” He excitedly reported to me.

“I do!” I replied, “what color is it?”

“Glittery!”

Heh.

Close enough kid.

“Silver,” I said, “you like stars, don’t you.”

“Yes!” He said and picked up his stuffed cat, “Meow Meow really likes stars too,” then he began to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, replacing the twinkle twinkle part with meows.”

Oh my god.

The cute.

Stop.

Wait, don’t stop.

“Stars are beautiful, you are beautiful,” he continued, “you must be a star.”

I just about fell out of the bed.

I was waking him up from his afternoon nap.

“You must be a star too,” I said and squeezed his little paw in mine, “Meow Meow is definitely a star as well.”

“Meow!” He said and kissed me.

My job might tire me the fuck out, but it is surely satisfying, yes, yes it is.

We had adventures to the park, both Dolores Park–in the morning, and Mission Playground in the afternoon, plus a trip to BiRite and to the market on the corner.

It made me remember when I discovered all these places when I first moved to San Francisco.

All the sites, the personal treasure map of love that San Francisco has imprinted on my heart.

The first time I went to Dolores Park was before I lived in the city, so that must have been in 2000 or possibly 2001.

Or The Elbow Room.

Blondie’s.

Casanova’s.

Kilo Watt.

Dalva.

The Roxie Theater.

When the New College was still the New College and I could still go to Osento and take a hot tub.

I still say I need to go to Osento sometime soon and then realize once again that it is gone.

It actually, or where it used to be, abuts the property of the people I work for.

I might have been naked on the roof of the spa soaking in the steam on a wood bench catching twinkling stars in between the clots of fog moving over the courtyard, the two wood barrel saunas, the outdoor shower, and the cold plunge–my current boss in her backyard hanging out on the other side of the fence.

I remember times when I was the only person there.

It was lovely.

You may have gathered that I lived a good portion of my time in the Mission.

My first residence in San Francisco–Labor Day weekend–it’s like my personal version of New Years, was a two month sublet at 20th and York.

I stayed past my two months and when another woman moved out of the room downstairs, I took it over.

I think I was paying $650 with everything included.

Granted there were five ladies living there, but we each had our own space carved out, technically the house was a three bedroom–all three upstairs–but one of the girls had carved out a weird little bedroom out of the kitchen pantry and then there was the studio/inlaw in the basement that I had.

It was great.

Until the house was sold and there was an owner move in and in less than two months we had to all get out.

I think it was actually 45 days, it happened so fast.

I found a room on craisglist, for less than I was actually paying at the house with all the girls, on 22nd and Alabama with a wild woman from Northern Italy who had been living in the house so long that she basically paid her rent by collecting from the two room mates and turning around and paying the landlord.

I could have cared less.

I was paying $500 a month for a huge room and access to the kitchen, bathroom, the gigantic glassed in back porch, where I spent three agonizing weeks drifting in a hammock, sleeping like the dead, out sick from work with Mono when I was 31.

MONO.

At freaking 31.

And it was my second time having it.

I had it the first time when I was 17.

Good times.

While I was living at 22nd and Alabama I had a friend turn me on to cocaine and his dealers number.

After some months of battling a rapidly growing habit, I decided, like a truly rational addict, that I should move out because I had the opportunity to move into a big beautiful house on 25th and Potrero (you would have never guessed how lovely the house was from the facade on Potrero–wood floors, Italian marble, skylights, pocket doors, fireplaces in two rooms, an office, two bedrooms, one and a half baths, laundry in the basement and the prettiest garden in the back) for $1100 a month.

That’s what my problem was!

My rent was too cheap!

If I just moved somewhere that was more than double my rent then I wouldn’t spend as much money on blow.

That didn’t work out so well.

But I did subsequently hit my bottom.

And the rest.

Well is his (her) story.

And I got around a lot after that as well.

Living at the following places:

Kingston and 30th.

Potrero and 26th.

Palou and 3rd.

Capp and 23rd Street.

Washington and Taylor.

Not once, but twice–the infamous move across the hall.

Homeless for three months couch surfing when I quit my high paying nanny job and went to work at bike shop in the Mission (crashed in the attic of a former family I nannied for on 25th and New Hampshire, “housesat” for a month at a friend of friend’s house that I met only once at a wedding, where I did her make up for the ceremony on a tiny side street at the bottom of Bernal Hill, and then on the couch of my friend who lives in Nob Hill on Clay Street) making half the salary I had been used to.

Then a teeny tiny box of an in-law in the Mission on 22nd and Folsom.

My bathroom was my kitchen was my garage (I hung my bicycle on a rack above the toilet).

After that.

Graceland in East Oakland for two months.

Then Paris–Rue Bellefond–in the bobo (bohemian bourgeoise) arrondissement, the 9th, just between Square D’Anvers and Cadet Metro Station for six months.

Then back to East Oakland for two, maybe three (?) months.

Can you say culture shock?

And finally.

Here.

46th Avenue between Judah and Irving Street.

And yes.

I moved in right after Labor Day weekend.

Where the hipsters meet the sea and the surfers rule the coffee shops.

And one wild woman with curly hair (pink!) rides out each day (well five out of seven anyway) six and a half miles, right back to the Mission, on her sparkle-pony whip of a bicycle.

I may be living in the same spot for a little while.

But.

I still get around.

Inbound to Richmond District

May 4, 2015

You got to love NextBus.

I don’t often ride the MUNI trains or the bus, but when I do, this is the best app ever.

EVER.

I can sit in my house, noodle around, and when I have about three minutes, maybe four, if I’m feeling anxious, walk out the door, walk to the end of the block, and voila!

Bus arriving.

So nice.

Remember when you just sat and waited?

Forever.

It would say bus every ten to fifteen minutes in the schedule, but it was 49 minutes later and you’ve seen 18 buses headed the other direction and yet, here you are, alone, cold, shivering in the fog, waiting for the fucking bus to come.

Not waiting for Godot.

No never.

Waiting for the 22.

Or the infamous 24.

Or the 33.

Oh how I have waited for the buses.

Today, I just scrolled my finger on my phone, popped open the app and saw when the next one was coming and even better.

The app also has the time that the bus behind it is coming.

Brilliant.

Therefore allowing me time to do what ever I need to do at the house before leaving the house.

I got up early and got my errands, chores, and laundry on.

I still got a good night’s sleep, just a touch over eight hours, and I took a friend’s suggestion and silenced my phone last night.

I will forget and be pinged awake at all hours of the night, texts from my sister in Florida, which is three, no, four hours ahead, at 6:30 a.m.; messages from friends, Twitter alerts, Facebook messages, all manner of social media pings and beeps and boops.

Plus, of course the occasional text and what have you.

It’s nice on one hand to be in the mix.

But sometimes I don’t want to know who has like my Instagram feed.

I want to sleep.

It is with that in mind that I also do not look at my phone, I am not always successful, or respond to messages until after I have done my morning routine.

I can’t flip on my phone and lie in bed and scroll the internet universe.

I will be a grumpy toad before even having tossed aside the sheets.

I love my world, I love my friends, I love, love, love that I am in contact with so many of them through so many different places.

Case in point: having a conversation on the ride back from North Berkeley with my friend about not having a ticket, yet, to Burning Man, this conversation happened about oh, 24 hours ago, slightly less.  Fast forward to a few minutes ago when I saw a post on a private Facebook page for a group I belong to for a camp at Burning Man that I have dear friends camping at.  The post featured a link to another post saying, hey friends, I have two tickets, who wants them?

I see lots of people want them.

Lots.

However, I look closer, oh!!

It’s my good friend from my first year at the burn when I camped with Camp Stella and he gave me my first playa name: Ophelia and has a photo of me hanging in his office from the dust storm I fell asleep in (I got covered in dust, head to toe, had my hands crossed over my chest and was wearing a tutu, face mask, bandana, and goggles, I looked dead).

I have to hook my friends up!

I message both, get a text from both, exchange phone numbers and they just got off the phone with each other and my friend who didn’t have a ticket.

Well.

Now he does!

Fabulous.

It can happen like that.

Sometimes, though, I do need to slow down, take it easy, turn off the technology and rest.

It helps me get clear with the things I do need to do and a lot of that has to do with taking extremely good care of myself.

Laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, composting, taking out the trash, meeting with the ladies and doing the deal.

I had two ladies back to back from noon to 2p.m.

But before that.

I did all of those things above.

Plus my own writing and having a nice breakfast (hot oatmeal with diced pear and blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, raw cocoa, one organic hard-boiled egg, lots of coffee w/unsweetened vanilla almond milk) of my own.

Then later after my last lady bug had left.

I got to have lunch from what I had cooked earlier, dinner too, and I had time to do a field trip.

So.

I opened my NextBus app and saw when the 18 was heading my way.

Richmond bound.

Legion of Honor.

That’s right.

I finally got myself in to see the Brooklyn Museum’s Costume Collection: High Style.

Oh my.

It was so good.

I got all sorts of art high.

House of Worth, Roger Worth evening dresses.

Edward Molyneux evening dresses.

Vionnet.

Givenchy.

Dior.

Yves St. Laurent.

Charles James and the muslims for his ball gowns, breath-taking.

Steven Arpad, for Delman, Inc evening shoes.

Elsa Schiaparelli butterfly day dress and parasol.

I’ll take two please!

Oh fashion, how I do love you.

Plus, you know, the normal galleries with their Monet’s and Pissarro’s, the Rodin sculptures everywhere, the Renoir’s and Manet’s (I like the Impressionists a bit you could say), it was just scrumptious.

The museum was a bit busy, there was also a concert happening–an organ concert by David Hegarty–which I thought about staying for, but it was standing room only and it felt nicer to just wander through the galleries with the sound of the Skinner Organ drifting around me.

I’m ever so grateful for all the tech that this world has, I mean, I am writing a blog and posting it online and sending it out into the inter webs, but I am also a Mensch for the classic, time-worn, much beloved wander through a museum, sit on a bench and listen to an organ concert, admire art, slow and delicious, taking the bus and not riding my bike willy nilly though the park and over the hills.

I believe this is what’s called balance.

Serenity.

It’s a nice place to be in my life.

More please.


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