Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Day 4. Today we were doing what Ili wished. I got us coffee downstairs, then we headed for the Muni and took the train to Haight. The day, again, was beautiful, and hippie Ili was happy. When we exited the train at Carl and Cole, we spied a crepe restaurant right away. Crepes on Cole. We got a nice table outside and ordered mimosas. Ili had a sweet crepe, I a savory crepes Benedict which was lovely.
A man with a cat approached the table. I wish I had the picture ready to show you here. He was groovy and all that, but when he went to put the cat on the table, Ili stopped him. No cats on the table.
Another mimosa and we were off to Haight. It is nothing like it used to be in a sense, but in another it is. We walked the length of the street, entering stores, browsing, and then we turned and went back. We entered the Golden Gate Park and walked the trails past the ponds and ballparks and the children's playground and carousel, past the lawn bowling field where matches were in progress, and on to the Japanese Gardens. There was a long line and a $9 entrance fee. We passed.
Then we were tired, so we found the nearest Muni station and headed back to camp.
When we left the train, I convinced Ili to go to the Geary St. Galleries with me. In some galleries, passing others by, five floors and little inspiration. Why are they not showing my old work? Oh, yea. They don't know.
Back on the street, the day was gorgeous, clear, sunny, warm and dry. Exceptional light, deep shadows, high, bright light. You couldn't beat it. Just too pretty.
Back at the hotel, we drank wine and I called to book a car. I could pick it up in the morning and turn it back in at the airport. That was a tremendous relief. And so Ili wanted to celebrate. She was taking me to the North Beach Restaurant, an old, slightly upscale place that had been there forever. We had a great waiter, an old guy in a formal suit who made all the right suggestions with a casual, friendly air. We drank a bottle of wine with our meal. We had desert. And when we were done, it was still beautiful, the light golden and intense, the temperature dropping. I told Ili stories about the Condor club, took pictures of a dancer outside a hooch bar. We went into the Beat Museum. The owner asked where were from. When Ili told him, he started telling us about Kerouac's history in that town. Uh-huh. I schooled him that much to his surprise. Ili bought things as she will.
We walked home back through Chinatown. Union Square. We watched the skateboarders, then meandered stiff legged back to the hotel. Beat, we sat on the balcony, watching and listening to the city, heard the "thump-thump-thump" of dace music many blocks away, looked at the lights of the ball stadium in the near distance. We were too tired to go out, too tired to even go to the top of hotel to sit in the bar.
Beat, we showered, had a final drink, and fell into bed.