— the homeless guy “Slater”, selling “Street Times” in Mission District. Lanky, talkative, friendly; folks as him and the art-lady give human, poignant faces to the word “homeless”.
— the young adults begging for drug money in Haight Ashbury and on the Wharf. Y’know, I feel sorry for the older homeless people; many times they’re not all there mentally, or life’s hit them too hard for them to recover. But when you’re in your 20s and doing nothing but begging for junk-money and leeching off society…forget it. I’m not supporting your stupid drug habit, and the McDs on the Wharf is hiring.
— All the marijuana and bong shops and newspaper ads proclaiming “Pot for Sale!”. SF has embraced, french-kissed, deep-throated, Kama-Sutra’d, and 69’d the whole legal-pot thing, I swear. Forget the post-coital cigarette. They’re smoking reefers all through it.
— meeting Mari Tepper, the artist responsible for many of the art-rock posters in the 60s. Striking up casual conversations with total strangers on public transport is very, very fun.
— sitting on top of Mount Tam, on the rock, 2500 feet up, surrounded only by wind, sun, ocean, and land…
— realizing there’s no place for a “gate” on the Mount Tam peak, proper, dang it, and there’s nothing like a “wooded, shaded jogging trail” as referenced in the Sid story. So much for story realism (so what the HELL was Z Budapest describing? There’s no such place on Tam)…
— …and Muir woods is too busy and too well watched. Damn.
— Tromping thru Mission District and being in awe at mural after mural after mural…THEN stumbling across Good Vibrations — WOOT!!
— man, all these houses are way too close together…and what is it with PINK with these folks?? Especially THAT shade of pink. My eyes still hurt. Good LORD.
— finding the Women’s Center in Mission. WOW.
— the smell of sourdough bread baking in the morning as we watched the sailboats on the Bay…
— …well, okay, a Pink Victorian in Castro district is probably understandable. But really, guys.
— Fire alarms/trucks chasing us out of the Academy of Sciences, a local Modern Art fair, AND off a corner in Mission. Wow.
— Seals. Lots & lots of seals. Okay, SEA LIONS. They’re freakin’ hams, all of them.
— Finding the Fog City Diner on Embarcadero that Journey used in all their ROR promo shots. Not nearly as cool in the afternoon sunlight.
— All the street performers. ALL. OF. THEM. And those over there. And the ones over THERE. Don’t forget the ones sitting over THERE. ACK, DON’T SNEAK UP ON ME LIKE THAT…
— no, seriously, they sneak up on you.
— THEY SNEAK UP ON YOU.
— “This grand glorious freakshow of a city.” That was a headline in one of the entertainment weeklies. Seriously. And they ain’t joking.