Clarion Alley

My friend’s house in San Francisco borders on Clarion Alley, a narrow passageway adorned with an ever-changing set of murals, like the one above. In the man’s silhouette, you can see almost exactly the view down the alley onto the next street.

The weekend was filled with amazing fresh food, good friends, new sights in an area I know reasonably well, art, sleep, and, above all, sunshine. We hiked around on Mt. Tam(elpais), had lunch in the little cafe and inn that sits perched on the hillside at the base of the trails that wind down to Muir Woods and up to Mt. Tam, soaked up sunshine. Later, we took in a fascinating piece of very dark circus-dance-political-performance-art by Circo Zero (it’s playing next weekend and if you’re into that kind of thing or feel like exploring something new, I’d recommend it). The piece played with the concept of a solar eclipse, exploring how both darkness and direct light can be blinding, asking how we can find truth in a time of war.

The next day I rendezvoused with N. and, briefly, her husband and little Olivia (who knows a lot of animal sounds and proudly shared them while gorging on leftover bits of cruellers from our brunch), and then later, while enjoying the third sweet treat of the day, N. introduced me to a couple of friends, including this guy. My friend describes SF as a city composed of little villages, and indeed, she can sit at a restaurant in the Mission and see any number of performing arts friends wander by, and this gathering of teachers felt the same way. I think those communities exist in NY but we are more scattered geographically… maybe, maybe not. In any case, there are some exciting ideas out there, and while blogging has afforded me the opportunity to have conversations with some folks I’d probably not have met otherwise, I’ve got to hand it to the 408 for turning those opportunities into the possibility of real social change.

I ended the weekend with dinner at Cafe Gratitude, where you order by declaring an affirmation: We were Abundant, and enjoyed a tasting plate heaped with intensely-flavored raw, live olive tapenade, homemade hummus, seaweed salad, sprouted-something-or-other crackers, and several other treats…

On the flight there, a red eye coming on the end of a full day of teaching, I thought, briefly, I could just stay. I could cancel my return flight and just stay. It’s not like I’m that desperate for escape, I do like this town and what I’m doing in it, most of the time… but the possibility of the utter recklessness of moving on a whim tasted delicious. For now I will have to content myself with a new cookbook that was a more practical whim.

through the trees

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Filed under confession, food, friends, photos, randomness

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