22 December 2008

Gluttony In The Dark (ii)

Coming back from dinner Friday, we were heading downhill when we came to our street. Jesse was the first to notice it was darker than normal and it took us a few seconds to realize there was a power outage (or "failure," to keep with my theme). Being who I am, I pulled a tiny flashlight out of my book bag. We went upstairs and I think the outage was fresh. The place was still warm, the computer still had a full battery, and we heard the people across the hall leave almost right as we got there. We grabbed a second flashlight and planned our own adventure.

There were no utility workers on our street, just a man with a radio standing next to an idling cable car. The street was still humming, so the trolley still had some power. But its lights were out, and its tourists were quiet, as if they were going on a Haunted Hayride up our street. I took a picture with my cell phone, but it was dark, and the flash caught mostly the reflective parts.

Jesse and I decided to visit Coit Tower. It's a tower shaped like a the nozzle on a fireman's hose, commissioned by a firefighter's widow. That's the story Jesse and I heard separately, but Wikipedia cites another source, saying that's not true. I like the more romantic idea, so I won't dispute it. It's atop Telegraph Hill, which is steep. It might actually be the steepest hill we've taken since we got here. Maybe it was because we had just eaten, but my butt started burning before we got to the top. And that doesn't usually happen. I mean I get winded, but I don't usually hurt. But like I wrote, I had eaten a lot before then.

The view heading up to the tower is fantastic. It's also something you'll have to see in person because my camera does not funtion well in the dark and without flash. It would probably work fine on a timer and with some sort of tripod. But from my cold, throbbing hands came only shaky lights.

We haven't done a lot of tourist things since we got here, so neither of us knew there was a plaza and a vantage point from the top of the hill at the base of the tower. It was a clear night and we could see both the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. I thought it was a perfect way to spend the evening. It also reminded me that there is a lot more to living here than dealing with poor customer service, running errands, and working out. So far, we've failed at learning San Francisco. It's not entirely our fault (this is a poor time of year to move) but we're both looking forward to becoming locals.