Monday, October 15, 2007
Warm, Golden Welcome

I'm home from San Francisco.

I'd intended to post once before I left, but it just didn't happen. And this won't be a very thorough post-trip write-up, because I'm fucking exhausted. But it's something.

I had a really good time. I easily doubled the number of wines I've tasted over my lifetime, had some excellent meals, saw some cool stuff, and got to hang out with my darling Smithers. San Francisco is easily one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen -- I mean, the city itself is beautiful, as well as its setting. I went to City Lights Books and the Beat museum, I saw a bunch of Rodin bronzes, we went to Alcatraz, we rode the damn trolley, and we spent Saturday night in the Castro watching Hal Holbrook on the Hallmark Channel. (Yeah, I wasn't quite sure what to make of that, either.) I saw some very, very interesting people. It was a lovely trip.

But it confirmed for me this suspicion: I have absolutely no interest in living in San Francisco. It's nothing personal -- I loved it, I want to go back, and would even like to make it an annual routine. As far as I'm concerned, it's the only city in California worth bothering with. But the only San Francisco I'd want to live in -- the scruffy, gritty one where unemployed artists and poets can struggle with drug addictions and still maintain flats in North Beach -- is long gone. San Francisco now is shore-to-shore gentrification, "funky" in only the most sedate, domesticated sense of the word, and it just isn't worth the effort and expense to me anymore. Not when there are alternatives.

So I was glad to get home. The descent into Portland was perfect -- it was just at sunset, and the whole city was washed in gold. The sunlight was refracting through the clouds, making little rainbows everywhere. Once on the ground, everything was fantastically autumnal -- cool, breezy, big piles of yellow leaves everywhere. I took public transit home, dropped off my suitcase, ran out to get some dinner, and returned to the welcoming embrace of my room...

And the cat had peed on my bed.
11:16 PM ::
Amy :: permalink