Today in My History
19 June 2020
I found a bunch of beautiful prompts on the Isolation Journal Instagram page. I've copied several of them and will use them, over the coming weeks, when I need inspiration.
Dear San Francisco. This is a love letter....
When you read the answers people always give to places they want to visit, or places they have visited and loved, 99% of the time, San Francisco will be on that list. How fortunate I was to have been born in everybody's favorite city. Other people can dream about it, or enjoy bits of it during a brief vacation. I got to know it inside out for 18 years and it still remains "my city" though I haven't actually lived there since 1961.
You are a beautiful city and it's not difficult to find iconic pictures that show off everyone's favorite parts of the city. Who doesn't love the Golden Gate bridge?
Everyone wants to ride the cable cars
Maybe people get down to the Marina and enjoy my favorite structure, the Palace of Fine Arts.
Do they know it was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific exhibition and was expected to be torn down, but was so beloved that the rest of the exhibition was turned into homes, but the Palace remained until it started to disintegrate. Do they know it was completely torn down and rebuilt from 1964-74 and is now a permanent structure. Would they know that I have a head from one of the pieces that was taken off of the original?
Tourist places to see--Market Street, Twin Peaks, the twists of Lombard Street, Coit tower, Chinatown, and many other places including all those hills. But I love the feel of the city. When I was growing up, I loved waking up to the sound of fog horns, the feel of fog on my face as I walked up our hill to catch a ride on the cable car, a block away, to take me to school. I loved the smell of mocha in the air, the odor from the Ghirardelli chocolate factory mixed with the roasting coffee beans of the Folgers plant. I loved the sound of the cable cars as they rang their bells and pulled on the lever that caused the car to move or to stop.
I loved all those people downtown, the women in their hats, gloves and high heels going through the many department stores, having creamed spinach at the cafe in the City of Paris, or the best sub sandwiches ever at Woolworth's. I loved the flower vendors on the corners downtown, with their panoply of colors and the aroma of gardenias floating by if you got there on the right day.
I loved knowing that the best omelettes were in a motel dining room near the ocean and that the Buena Vista was the place that invented Irish coffee. I loved the smell of crabs boiling in those hugs pots on Fisherman's Wharf.
I loved looking at places I'd seen in movies made in the city and smiling at how they got it wrong (Kim Novak would have a hard time committing suicide jumping off a ledge under the Golden Gate Bridge, since it's only a couple of feet down to the water!)
I loved taking tourists down Lombard Street, but mostly so I could admire the apartment building across the street with the wall of bougainvillea -- how can it be in bloom all year long?
I loved reading "Tales of the City" and knowing that I lived across the street from where it was set.
You aren't exactly "my city" any more and I would never like to move back again, even if I were a millionaire and could afford it, but I love my memories and my very favorite thing is to drive to San Francisco on a clear day and see the bridges as we round the corner at Berkeley, and feel that I have come, if only briefly, "home" again.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Lester loves water
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This is entry #7392