Monday, June 27, 2005

Checking in...irenie Babble...

It's time to get packing over here..
For me that means cleaning out my drawers and closets because it's the easiste way to find stuff...rather than tear through everything looking for whatever, leaving my room looking like a crime scene, I merely empty all my stuff on the bed and make 3 big heaps- stuff to be donated, stuff to reorganize and stuff to take. Did that yesterday with my accessorydrawers - jewlery,cosmetics and paper things like addies...Found one set of voltage converters and both battery chargers with rechargable batteries...Not too bad- but considering weve only lived here about 10 months, the junk sure piles up!
Doing pretty well, off work one week now and a week from now, we'll be on our way!
I googled up the Virgin Atlantic Airways and enjoyed purusing the site- looked up which movies & programs they'll have going across and back...Nice to see the have video games on the plane- that should keep the 10 year old reasonable entertained..
Anyhow last week was some scrambling around..wanting to play since school was over but needing to get a few things workied out.
We celebrated by spending an entire day wandering through the streets of SF...
Grabbed the Millbrae BART around 10 am
Usually when BART stops at the airport only a few folks get in or out..but Friday it was crazy! Loads of same sex couples getting into town for the big Castro Street Gay Pride weekend..
So many same sex couples in the city on Friday that it almost felt a little like the 70's...almost.
walked up Mission from 24th street- a much nicer direction than coming down 16th (trust me on this!)
Spent a few minutes at the shop with Scott, choosing dvds to take on the trip from the used dvds they sell.
Decided too early for lunch and so headed out to Mitchell's for ice cream (no relation to Mitchell Brothers sex shows)...We walked up to Valencia all the way out to Cesar Chavez boulevard (2&1/2 miles) Still couldnt find Mitchell's (because it's on San Jose not Valencia-doh!)
So marched back to 24th St BART and decided to go downtown- in search of adventure on Powell street...
We wandered around Union Square unable to decide on where to lunch...remembered that the Virgin Mega store had a cupcake cafe on the top floor so headed there...the cafe turned out to not be what we wanted after all...but still the kids took their time looking through the immense book section...
Another march up to Grant street where in the distance the entry to Chinatown was noted..and so we decided to walk through it to get to Columbus...It took forever to get to North Beach- Chinatown is pretty damn big!
The kids wanted to peer through City Lights Bookstore - We've never found a bookshop we didnt like or car to explore..
this mightve happened because they get their allowance in Borders gift cards..
Marching up Columbus I spied one of venues where Kenny Brooks plays sometimes 'Jazz at Pearl's' is the place, and because my head is in a plane heading to London these daze, I got very excited to see a sax in the window- so I hoped maybe there was an early Kenny gig- but nope a different group was setting kids and I headed back out in search of lunch which we took at Buster's cheesesteak place..avoiding all the yum pizza places since we were gonna be returning to North Beach later for pizza at Tommassos.
Though the city was buzzing with tourists no one was dining at Buster's (it was about 3pm) but us so the management was kind enough to let us takeover an outside table for about an hour..the kids read and I just loafed in the sun, counting the tourbuses stopping (8)to comment in front of the Vesuvius cafe (across the street from Buster's).
We then moved down hill toward the Pyramid building and ending up on Montgomery street heading to the Montgomery BART station. We looked for our Jason among all the suits and ties since he is now gone corporate and working right there in the financial district..
Back on BART this time we took the 16 street exit back to the shop. I was ready to head back to Valencia to check out Beadissimo but the kids just wanted to rest. So we went up to the apartment..The weather was still really pleasant so we sat out on the deck Kids again submerged in books, I again just loafing, enjoying the views- From the back deck, some of the Pyramid is visable and you can see the tops of the shops along Mission from the front deck you can see twin peaks and the rainbow flag of the Castro and the top of the Mission church...
Finally 5:30 arrived and we watched Scott appear from around the to Tommassos to re- consume all the calories we walked off.
A pretty great day practicing being tourists in our own big city!

Was very upset to hear/read of Chet Helm's death!
The fragility of life sort of had been haunting me through the day in SF...Lots of memories of back in the days (my era being the 70's & 80's not really the 60's) when (mostly unbelievably gorgeous) Gay men ruled SF...My buddy Stan, from High School had just come out of the closet in 76 and in between boyfriends and husbands, when I was really really depressed, Stan would insist we go to SF and see what mischief (mostly he) we could get into...Stan like so many others (including Scott's friend Michael) died of Aids in the early 90s...seeing the return of so many same sex couples in SF all day was a bittersweet reminder of the old days with Stan
Do the hustle! YMCA!
I'm just a love machine!
But then to learn of Chet Helms passing, brought me down...
Cant say I knew Chet Helms.. he was everywhere but he was as gentle-practically timid- compared to all the other great charactors of the 60's that still pop up at Dead related events..nothing surreal about Chet with those big doe eyes of his..Anyone and everyone could approach him and he seemed a little shy but happy to oblige with a little conversation or a gentle smile...I mightve found myself having traded pleasantries maybe a few dozen times with him...when they say he was the polar opposite of Bill Graham, I'd have to agree from what I knew of them...
Time to get back to packing...