Posts Tagged ‘Other Avenues’

Home, Sweet, Sweet

May 24, 2016

Home.

It’s so nice to be back.

Sometimes I go away just to have that feeling again, of how much I love being home.

Home is San Francisco.

Oh.

It could be elsewhere, I did find myself experiencing a very deep fondness for the little neighborhood in Brooklyn that was adjacent to where I was staying in Clinton Hill–The Fort Greene historic area, so, pretty, so many gorgeous brownstones and kids on scooters and the park and the feel of it being a community.

I really liked that.

I could see living in one of those brownstones and sitting on the stoop on a warm night or day, reading a book with a cup of coffee, watching the world go by.

I do like that.

I miss having a place like that to hang out, my place doesn’t have a front porch or a stoop.

However.

There are spots in the neighborhood where I can sit and watch the world go by and I did do that for a little while today after getting back from the airport.

Despite big delays on BART, I still made it home pretty much around the time I thought I would as my flight came in a half hour before it was scheduled, so the time I “lost” on the train wasn’t really lost time.

Plus.

I had my book from the Strand and I pulled that out and started reading and got a good 60 pages into it, popped on my headphones, listened to some Radio Soulwax and just sat.

Sometimes I just need to slow down.

I just got off the phone with one of the women I work with and that was the gist of the conversation, the suggestion to just slow down.

I can get going really fast, I won’t feel, and I will be doing and it tricks my brain into thinking I’m being productive, but sometimes I am just running away from myself.

I take myself wherever I go.

Oh.

There I am again, I thought during a moment of being slightly turned around in Brooklyn and hesitating as to what to do next, literally I was walking around in little circles.

I realized that I was there with me and the “me” was itchy and antsy and getting a little irritated and discontent, which is like my natural state, so I said a prayer asked for guidance and got take out from the Thai place I had dinner at on Saturday night.

Now.

Just stopping and slowing down and letting the world happen, I got to meet Doug and go do the tour of his studio, so even when I seem lost and confused, see, there, I am being looked after and loved.

I sent him a thank you note via e-mail and got just the sweetest response from him today.

He told me the price for the piece I want, several thousand dollars (but he also offered to work out a deal with me, which I super appreciated and despite not having several thousand to drop on an art piece, boy howdy do I aspire to that), and also an invitation to stay at his place the next time I visit–he rents an Air BnB as well, and he said when he comes to San Francisco we must get together.

Also, and I found this so sweet and endearing, that I will make a great, empathetic therapist and I will make loads of money and buy lots of art including his.

That literally brings tears to my eyes.

A very secret wish of mine, to be able to afford to buy the art I love and also to support the artists that I see around me, I love art, it does something to me and creativity and my friends who are artists just blow me away.

“What kind of art do you do,” he asked me outside the doors of the meeting hall, it’s an assumption I get a lot.

But instead of saying I’m not an artist, I said, “I’m a writer.”

And that is a kind of art.

I am creating as I type and when it is right, when the mood is lovely and I am completely transparent I am a conduit and what comes forward is not me, it super cedes me and reshapes me and I am a different person after doing the writing.

In that is great joy.

Yeah.

I want to be an amazing photographer, I am a passable amateur.

Of course I want to draw and paint and sculpt, but those mediums I have never quite had the passion for, the drive for.  I do get ideas and have ways of being in the world that I believe, deep within me, are supremely artistic.

It could just be the way I arrange my hair or hang a photograph on the wall.

But.

I have always wanted to be a patron.

There’s just something super sexy about that.

A dream.

A home, a big one, with lots of light and a studio to write in and a library to read in and rooms for friends to come and do retreats and a cottage in the back and art everywhere and recovery and always the work, the growing the finding of new beauty and subsuming it into my person.

How much art can I hold?

How much love can I give.

That is an art.

The art of smiling, being of service, reaching out, kindness is an act of art.

Art is love.

It is perspective and joy and great waves of sorrow and overwhelming moments of uplift and I can’t comprehend it and maybe, probably, I just don’t want to.

It is an art being myself.

I realize this as I move through the world, how I let myself express myself is an art too.

I can be a living piece of art.

Although sometimes I just need to be a tired human.

The well needed to get refilled today.

When I got home I unpacked my bag and threw my clothes in the wash, I put all my things away, all the notebooks and the few little things I had brought back from my travels and walked up to a little spot in the neighborhood and grabbed lunch.

I sat inside, then I realized I just wanted to sit for a while.

I pulled up a seat at an outside table and sat and watched the ocean in the distance and the neighborhood doing it’s neighborhood deal and then I read for an hour.

Occasionally closing my eyes to the sun and I realized I needed a nap.

So a quick pit stop at Other Avenues for some household stuff and then home.

And a nap.

Oh such a nap.

I slept three hours.

I woke up twice to a text message and to pee, but really, I slept nearly three hours and I can feel I am a bit jet lagged still.

So easy does it the rest of tonight.

Full and grateful heart and a gentle song of jazz on my radio and a little more tea.

And sleep.

In my own home.

In my own bed.

In my favorite place in the world.

San Francisco.

Where my he(art) is.

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Cozy

April 6, 2015

You know you’re a San Franciscan when you buy your fourth hoodie and it feels  like a necessary purchase.

Well and its stupid cute.

And cozy.

Oh my god, the coziness right now is off the hook.

I may never take it off.

I may get naked and do censorship worthy things in it.

Just me and my new hoodie.

It’s like I’m on a non stop date with myself today.

All wrapped out in my own person.

It helped that I had a really lovely and engaging morning, with yes, myself.

I had a lady cancel on me and an extra hour to spare before my second gal of the day made her way over to my place for tea, conversation, reading, experience, strength, hope, etc.

I decided to make a quick run to the grocery store, in my malaise yesterday I did not get all the things that I wanted.  Sometimes, though I am loath to admit it, grocery shopping is too much for me, too much information, too much interaction, too many choices (or not enough of what I really need and I have to hunt and peck) and I just need to get out.  That happened yesterday, so I thought, after doing my writing this morning, I’ll spend that extra unexpected hour doing some extra errands.

However, the weather, that fickle thing, had its say and I had no desire to hop on my bicycle to ride down to the SafeWay in the rain.

Nope.

New sponges can just wait until next week.

Yeah, I know, exciting.

I was going to go off and buy some sponges, a few other things too, mainly, looking back at the decision, it was to get out of my house so that I would not be in my head.

I love having my little Sundays by the sea, but sometimes, if I don’t catch myself, I can get maudlin about being alone.

Not lonely, I am great company.

Fabulous really.

But I can get a little sad in my pants and I really wasn’t feeling like being sad.

I wrote an extra long list of all the things that I am grateful for in my morning pages and felt like today, no matter what was happening, was a great day, a day of prospect, of treasure, of new adventure.

Perhaps those weren’t my exact thoughts as the day was unwinding, but the undertow of it was there, stated or not, I felt adventurous in my being, even if it just meant adventuring in my own neighborhood.

When I opened the garage door and stepped out with my trusty steed to find it raining, I gamely parked her back in her spot, went inside, grabbed a cloth sack (my favorite one from my favorite book store in Paris, which is not Shakespeare and Company, should you be wondering, but Le Merle Moqueur in the 20th arrondissement) for my groceries, and my umbrella and headed up towards Other Avenues.

I decided to walk about the hood instead of directly go to the co-op for my organic oatmeal and soy based kona coffee candle (shaddup you dirty hippy) and walked a little further up Judah to discover that Aqua was open and I poked my head inside.

I’m not sure how long the outpost has been open, I had heard about them losing their spot on Sloat and wondered where they would be going and as it turns out, just a couple blocks from me.

I was not there to buy anything, just to look.

But.

It was raining and cool and my light wind breaker was too light.

This is what I tell myself, this is how I justify, but really, it was just too cute and cozy to pass up.

I tried on a cream hoodie with a big fuzzy sherpa hood and fell in love.

Oh my the deliciousness of this hoodie.

I have three others.

A black one from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition that they gave me for selling the most memberships when I worked at Mission Bicycle Company.

A grey one that I found, lucky for me, it really saved my ass a few times when it was cold, on my way to Paris in the airport.

I scooped it up and kept it.

I wasn’t sure why I didn’t turn it into lost and found, maybe because it was an Old Navy sweatshirt and not worth that much, or maybe because I was boarding and didn’t have time, but I took it.  I suppose I owe someone an amends, now that I think about it, but I still have that sweatshirt and I still wear it.

Then there’s the black one that is all sleek and sexy and trim and I love, it hugs every curve, but it’s not actually all that warm, it’s great to pair with my jean jacket though.

This new hoodie, dear darling thing, though,  feels like my ‘officially a local’ Outer Sunset sweatshirt.

I live here, I’m supporting a local business, it’s a surf shop, and it was needed, I really did need a cozy walk about the neighborhood hoodie.

I may never take it off.

Oh.

I suppose I won’t sleep in it.

Sleeping is naked time and will always be naked time.

No pjs for me.

But in between the waking hours, I shall be lounging in said article of clothing until it falls off my back.

Yes.

I did just write my entire blog about my hoodie.

What should I have done instead?

Written about the hour-long conversation I had with a guy I met on OkCupid.

I suppose.

But then, a girl likes to keep somethings to herself.

I’ll keep you posted however.

We have a date for next Saturday.

Picnic in the park.

It’s been years since someone has asked me to go on a picnic in the park.

Suffice to say I’m excited.

And we talked for an hour on the phone, we could have talked longer, smart man, cut the conversation off before it got out of hand.

Discretion is the better part of valor.

Or so they say.

At least I know what I’ll be wearing.

My new hoodie.

Please.

You think I’m going on a date in the Inner Sunset without one?

You obviously don’t live in San Francisco.

But that’s ok.

I do.

I’m officially a local.

I Didn’t Do Much

January 4, 2014

But I did a whole lot of it.

I had one of those days, still am, I believe, where I feel like I did not accomplish a single thing, but upon reflection did a lot of things.

I went grocery shopping at three different grocery stores.

That is what may have set me off.

Realizing this morning that I either was going to have black coffee or make a run up to Other Avenues to buy some almond milk for my breakfast.

I don’t mind shopping there, it’s just super expensive.

More expensive than Whole Foods.

Pricier than Rainbow.

It’s a co-op that I cannot justify buying a membership to as I won’t spend enough there to make it worth while.

But sometimes you just gotta have the milk for the morning coffee.

As I was sitting back at the house, having gotten back without too much of a dent in my pocket-book, I sipped my coffee, and thought, I really need to do a big grocery shopping trip.

I had recently done my spending plan for the month of January and I was reviewing how much I spent on groceries and eating out in December and it was a lot more than I wanted to be spending.

Food in San Francisco is expensive.

And, too, I realized yesterday after sitting down and talking in a cafe with a confidant, that I was eating too many convience meals.

Eating out more than once a week for dinner or not spending the time to really cook a meal, so I rely on a Japanese sweet potato microwaved in the oven at work with carrots and hummus for snacking and an apple or pear to get me through.

And while that’s all well and good, it does add up when I am not actually cooking my food, when I just grab and go.

Plus, there’s something about having a home cooked meal that is really nice for me.

So, as I finished my breakfast and decided yes to another cup of coffee, I made a list of groceries and resolved to actually get to Rainbow and maybe even Trader Joes, Bed, Bath, Beyond, et al at the little shopping outlet down on 9th and Harrison.

I also took down the Christmas tree.

Wrapped up all my ornaments, curbed the tree, and cleaned the house of all pine needles shed while dismantling the tree.

I did two loads of laundry.

Wrote three pages long hand.

Meditated.

Moved stuff around the garage and re-arranged my space a little.

I am resolved to get an extra chair in here where the Christmas tree was so that when I have guests over I can entertain a little better.

Nice to have a cup of tea and sit across from someone.

Also something I did today.

I had someone over and we sipped cups of tea and read some stuff that’s pretty important to my life and hers.

Then I hopped a ride down to the Castro with her having put it out to the Universe, ie Facecrack, that I needed a ride to run some errands and gotten an affirmative response almost immediately, I had an errand to run at Church and Market then we were going to meet in the Mission.

I went to PhotoWorks and decided to really drop a dime.

I am in possession of my grandparents, on my mother’s side, wedding photo.

I believe it’s the only one in existence and it’s torn in half.

I found it tucked in between the pages of a book my mom had sent me years ago and she must have gotten it from my grandparents house when my grandmother passed nine years ago this Christmas Eve.

I unearthed it with my things when I unpacked the things I had in storage when I left for Paris.

I have had it propped up on my bookshelf for a few weeks now and decided last week that I wanted to restore it, frame it, and give it back to my mom when I go see her and my sister in Florida next weekend.

I fly a red-eye out from SFO next Saturday.

I am going to be there for an anniversary of my sisters and another of mine that we happen to “coincidentally” have in common.

Life is amazing sometimes.

It really is.

“Good thing the tear is not down the faces,” the clerk at PhotoWorks said to me as I handed him the fragile sepia paper.

“I think we might be able to repair it, but it’s going to take some time and a bit of work, let me get you a quote,” he said and then disappeared for a few minutes behind the door in the rear of the shop.

“Yup,” he said when he returned, “it’s actually quite a bit more than I even thought,” he placed the two pieces of the photo down gently in front of me.

“$150 to do the restoration,” he said pushing the pieces toward me.

“Oh, wow, that is a lot more than I thought it would be,” I said hesitantly looking at the photograph, the smile on my grandmother’s face as she looked up at my grandfather, he towering over her in an old-fashioned black suit and thin tie, a smile on his face that I rarely remember seeing.

I held the pieces in my hand.

“Do it,” I said with some resolve.

It’s only money, Martines, you won’t regret this.

There is more money coming.

Invest in your history.

Do this.

“You can change your mind,” the clerk said, “we won’t be able to get to it until Tuesday.”

“No,” I said with more resolve, “this is it, this is important, please take care of it.”

“Ok, if you decide to not proceed, just call us by end of day Monday,” he scooped the two halves into an envelope and carefully sealed it.

“Do you want any prints of it?” He asked as he wrote my name and information down on a label which he then affixed to the envelope.

“I do!” I said.

Then I thought, Jesus, how much are they going to be, but I want one and I think my sister should have one too.

“60 cents,” the clerk said with a smile.

“Yes!” I said with relief, “I will take three.”

And I walked out of the shopped dazed, but happy I invested in my family.

I am grateful beyond words for them and I can’t wait to see my mom’s face when she opens the box.

I also procured some frames for the photographs on my walk from the Castro to the Mission.

Then my friend called, swooped me up and took me to Rainbow, where I did the novelty of shopping with an actual cart, not a basket.

I got a lot of food.

More than enough to get me through the next two weeks and then a few days more, most likely.  I got extra almond milk and coffee because I don’t get to Rainbow often, I also got the really big container or organic yogurt and extra eggs and string cheese, and the fixings to make a really yummy soup.

I am soaking the cannelli beans now.

We also dashed over to Trader Joes and I picked up some organic chicken to make my bean soup with.  I am going to do a white bean soup with garlic, onions, shredded chicken, black olives, corn, carrots, and peas.  I got extra brown rice to go with it and in between my commitments tomorrow I am going to rock out some tasty soup.

My friend and I sang songs from the Glee soundtrack at the top of our lungs on the drive back to Ocean Beach and the sunset smeary pinks and smokey grays, dusky indigo over the sea and my heart filled with the sight.

We unloaded my goodies (also a trip to Bed/Bath/Beyond for dish detergent, toilet paper, razors, toothpaste all the shit I don’t want to think about but have to plan special trips out for if I am on my bike–toilet paper especially is a hassle in my messenger bag, too bulky) and I made him a cup of coffee.

I drank my tea and we chatted, love and dating and friends and fellows, jobs and school and travels and I thought, how lucky am I to have such a sweet friend in my life?

When he left to go play poker with friends I fished out the Japanese sweet potato from the oven that had been roasting as we caught up, and had dinner.

My brain said, man, you didn’t get much done today, but looking about, the frames in a stack awaiting my grandparents wedding photo, the new frame on my wall highlighting an original photograph I bought over fifteen years ago from an artist in Madison (another find in my boxes of stuff in storage I had forgotten about), the cupboards full of good food, the beans soaking on the stove, I knew I had gotten a lot done.

It just did not feel crazy because I did not feel crazy or rushed or busy.

The day unfolded in a lovely divine mellow sweet way.

Just like my life probably will, as long as I stay out of my way and let the “opinions” in my head just be opinions.

“Feelings are not facts,” I told her today, “I am my actions, not my thoughts.”

My actions, indeed.

Sometimes the acts of basic self-care are the hardest ones to accomplish, and the least likely to be applauded, but they bring me the most fulfilment.

Read a little.

Write a little.

Drink a little tea.

Hug a friend.

Sing.

Cook.

Breathe deep.

Just because it feels like I didn’t do much.

Doesn’t mean that great things weren’t accomplished.

They were.

 


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