10 October 2009

Ambitious Vacation (iv.b)

San Francisco, 28 August 2009

We could only head east from Ocean Beach, and that made planning the rest of the day pretty painless. We stopped in the Haight, where we saw intricately designed (and purple) houses. We walked saw the head shops, ignored the people happily smoking pot in the shade and made our way to the Painted Ladies.

I never watched Full House. It never ever appealed to me. So I'm fascinated by all the people who come to take pictures of that row of houses. I wonder if they're fans of the show. I wonder if  even they know why they want to take pictures of other people's houses. I wonder why it matters that a fake family pretended to live in one of those particular houses. I mean it's not as if the show were actually shot there. We have no idea what the house looks like on the inside. Yet people come from here and there to take its picture. Angie says it's because pictures of the Painted Ladies capture both a "city" and a "residential" feel. She says it's the juxtaposition that gets the attention. I don't give people that much credit.

We had to leave the Painted Ladies because people kept asking Angie to take their pictures. Her camera is intimidating. If you were to see her wearing it, you'd say "there's a person I can trust to a) not steal my camera and b) take a good picture." Her popularity was getting to be too much. We had to look busy and slowly back away.

We lunched at Squat & Gobble, where I am pleased to say I witnessed Angie eating and enjoying her first crepe. In honor of Jesse not being there, we ordered the same thing. Actually, we both ordered what we wanted, which turned out to be the same thing. And since Jesse wasn't there, I didn't have to change my mind. Sometimes It's the simple pleasures.

The Haight was good to us. We saw what we needed to see in less than two hours and without getting a parking ticket. We tried our parking luck again, parking at Dolores Park and walking up, into, and through the Castro. We saw cute shops and giggled at the clever names like Hand Job, - which is a nail salon. We looked at even more intricately designed (and still purple) houses. And as we were strolling through the neighborhood, we saw the ugliest cat either of us had ever seen in person.

I don't remember its name, but its owner had a sign asking for pictures of the cat to be emailed. The cat was just creepy. He was totally into watching the people who were watching him. He did it with a frightening enthusiasm. It was disturbing and even though we kept walking, we did not stop talking about that odd little beast. We may be forever scarred.

We stopped at the famous Bi-Rite Creamery for ice cream and people watching. I exchanged a nod with a man wearing a "Cornell University" t-shirt. I (you may recall) was wearing my favorite "Ithaca is Gorges" t-shirt. So while we didn't know each other, we had at least both spent time in an east coast town. I should think that's rare enough to warrant a nod.

After that, our city tour of San Francisco started to wrap. We drove through the Mission, which has little appeal to both of us. It reminds us of parts of New York City, where Angie & I both lived as kids. We headed up to Twin Peaks (sight of the Christmas Card Photo Shoot of 2008) and Angie took more pictures of her landmark-quarry. And then it was time to really focus.

We had a ridiculously ambitious Saturday planned and we needed Friday night to prepare. We got road trip snacks from the grocery store. We ate a pasta dinner to get ready for our 9 mile run. We recognized we needed rest and called it a night early. But some damage had been done. And things did not go as planned.

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