Wednesday, August 31, 2011

25 days

So a dear old friend asked if I would help out a friend of his (Sara Young) that was embarking on a journey to meet individuals across the country in 15 cities spending 25 days in each one. It sounded like such an incredible project how could I say no? To explore a city through the eyes of it's inhabitants is a treat I've always treasured in my travels so I thought it was my turn to return the favor. To read her version of the evening head on over to 25 days.  (can I say her review of the night is incredibly glowing and really so sweet and made me a wee bit uncomfortable as I just don't see myself that way. Thanks Sara!)

I just had one difficulty... Sara the gal I was to meet asked me to take her to my favorite place. Really? Wow... hmm. What the HELL is my favorite place! This question is made more difficult seeing that I often have a love/hate relationship with this city. I'm no longer the ebullient twenty something in lust with San Francisco and filled with romantic notions of her new found (and might I add chosen) home.  Should it be architecturally significant? Should it be emotionally significant? Personal history significant? The questions kept coming and I was no closer to an answer... then once I could finally break through all the superfical questions I came upon the... Where do I really enjoy myself everytime I visit. While there are quite a few of those I also added... where would Sara be able to see what I see as a true cross section of San Francisco. Perhaps that is not what she asked me but well... I guess I can't help but put myself in her shoes. So I broke the rules a little bit and chose two.


First stop was 941 Geary. While the White Walls/Shooting Gallery were my first choice purely because they had been around longer and I had been there more often but they weren't having a show and 941 Geary was and essentially it's the same crowd (and the same owner the one and only Justin Giarla) which to be honest is half as much fun as the shows.We of course brought a few beers and brown bagged it as we walked around the gallery to view the show. Nothing ever pretentious at these galleries, just a good time had by all and incredible incredible talent to be seen.



Second stop Bix. Why Bix... well why not. Bix is one of the reasons why people love to dine out in this town. The Martinis, the jazz, the walk down the alley to then step in through a couple of dark doors that open to a luminous volumnious space. To feel like you stepped back in time to a place where people care about the way they dress (I've always loved to dress up and it bums me out to see people at the Opera in their Birkenstocks and ripped jeans.) And that painting of the ballerina kissing the clown makes my heart sing everytime.

So at the end of it all, I did notice a few things. There are quite a few things that I love about this little/big town which I too often overlook. And that first question of whether it should be architecturally significant or not well, they aren't some of the cities new architectural gems taking us at least into this century (I have no problem stating that San Franciso has a little addiction with it's history which it should be proud of but when that pride stands in the way of growth and letting the future in we all cease to grow and become our better selves.) but they have a few classic characteristics.

Both are entered through an alley and both open up into large glowing spaces from dark narrow streets. Both are built with real honest to goodness brick something us Californians can be a bit nostalgic for since it is now a no, no. Bricks and seismic activity are not the best of friends which gives each space both a permanence in their years and yet an inherent ephemeral character through their structure. Alright I'm obviously getting a bit romantic and far too nostalgic for my comfort zone but well there it is. 

Thanks Sara for allowing me the chance to take a second look at this city I live in and for inviting me to be apart of your project. 

project: 25 days
maps drawn by yours truly
photos are screen shots from mapjack (soooo much better than google street view, check it out! unfortunately it's still only in a few limited cities)

1 comment:

YHBHS said...

your blog keeps gettting wider! i love it!

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