Friday, April 9, 2010

I flew out to San Francisco Saturday -- on a bit of working vacation, but also to give Madi and her partner Diana a hand with things.  After years of feeling little but dislike for cities, I'm beginning to find them interesting again.  Or at least ones like San Francisco that actually realize some of the potential of what cities should be.

After the downpours of Easter Sunday, the city and its air was freshly washed and scrubbed.  The retro, brightly colored streetcars glowed.  People walked, seagulls cruised, morale was clearly high.  From high spots - Bernal Hill or Holly Park - I could see the whole city sprawled below and its bridges out into the bay.  From low spots the colorful, whimsical diversity of San Francisco's hill hugging architecture entertained the eye.  From cafe or bench I could watch the panoply pass.  And the farmer's market at the Embarcadero would break Monica's heart.

I'd go out to find a restaurant for lunch, but both Madi and Diana are excellent cooks, so we mostly ate dinner at home together with their little girl, Lily.  On Tuesday I worked for a few hours in the morning, but then took the tram to the SF MOMA.

Although most modern art leaves me feeling slightly foolish (either because I suspect I'm being duped or just clueless) there are always a few pieces that  make me pause and engage.  But it was the photography -- documenting the scapes of the city and the state -- that was stunning and made me question how I could be traveling without a camera.

Thursday I flew back to sodden Rhode Island and it was good to be home.

I arrived home to lilacs pushing out leaves, yellow blossoms on the currants, and two fruit trees blooming in pots and needing to be planted.  But a rainy Friday re-filled the pools in the yard and doused any chance of gardening.  Just as well, since I needed to get back to work for Cultural Logic.