I freakin’ love San Francisco. I mean, I love it.
It’s a weird hybrid of its own unique spirit and architecture and people, and the parts of my home town of Melbourne that make Melbourne, Melbourne. The trams, the street art, the tiny pockets of arts and culture, the live music, the bookstores (and the books)… the mix of parks and streets; green and grey. Progressive politics and e-commerce side by side; innovation and cultural projects and tiny bars down tiny streets that you have to know about to get to.
And, also, Zoe Brock!
I hadn’t seen Zoe since my last (and first) trip out to LA, in September 2009. Over the course of our knowing each other, she’s put me up, bought me lunch, brought me into the fold of TNB, and a million other wonderful things. We kicked back in a bar in the Mission with old friends and new faces; I drank vodka gimlets as Quinn the bartender quizzed me on Australia, the soccer World Cup played on the TV screens, and varied people, weary and drained from the fiesta of Pride, wandered in and out of the place.
Ah, San Francisco. I think it’s about time again, don’t you?
The four days back there were a hustle from place to place – seeing the people I needed to see, meeting the people I wanted to meet, buying the underwear I so, so sorely needed to buy. Walking down Market Street was like walking through a portal in time that took me straight back to 2008.
But with more parades.
Which kinda sucks for me, because it meant I was forced to confront the cold knowledge that San Francisco doesn’t view me as deserving of a parade just for me yet.
I spoke to Zara every day, I think, as the two of us advised each other of where we were going and who we were seeing. It’s hard to believe that we haven’t known each other for a full year, yet, but that’s the way of it – it was that trip to LA in 2009 when Zara and I met for the first time; an odd thing to reflect on, now.
But I digress.
The weather was perfect and I criss-crossed the city over the days I was there – from downtown to the Castro, the Mission to Van Ness, coffees and breakfasts and dinners and drinks. And all too soon, I was sitting on the Muni on the last day and riding that sucker out to SFO to board the plane back to LA. I knew that the next flight I got would take me over the Pacific and back to Australia, and it was scant days away.
First, I had another year to cross off the calendar.
Also, I had to see Eclipse.
And I wanted to see if the America pants Zara and Reno had seen in a store window were still available.
Los Angeles and I had some unfinished business of our own.