Monday, March 10, 2014

Solo Sunday in SF

Sunday I drove to San Francisco. Alone. Just because. No real reason other than me wanting to see things I haven't seen and wanting to be somewhere other than my couch for the day.

Between the time change and my insomnia, I was out the door early and had the road entirely to myself. I pressed play on Marissa Pessl's Night Film and cruised. Since I was in the city pretty early, I took a little hike (emphasis on little more than hike) down the Lands End trail to the ocean. It was beautiful and peaceful and silent. The views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the entrance to the bay are stunning.

I was having a great time until I realized that maybe being alone in the woods at the bottom of a steep trail wasn't the best plan. I turned around and hightailed my patoot back up the hill to the Legion of Honor, where I'd parked. About ten steps up, I looked at the steep climb and remembered some things: I live somewhere flat; I am not super active; I have basically the lung capacity of a small lemur. So I was already all 'fraidy and then I was all gaspy from the not being fit, and by the time I made it back up to my car I felt like I'd exerted enough energy for a whole week. Ta-da, PDawg.

So that was enough exercise. Please, someone, go back to San Francisco with me and hike this trail for real so I can enjoy the views without the constant fear of Stabby McRaperson jumping out of the thick brush to attack me and then toss me down into the sea.

After that jaunt I drove over the de Young to see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit. It's a smaller exhibit than some of the others I've seen there, but I was looking forward to seeing her work. And since I was one of the first people in the museum, I felt like I had that all to myself too. You know those benches in the middle of the gallery that nobody uses? I could actually sit on them--just sit--and look at paintings for as long as I wanted to with nobody standing in front of me. Bliss.

Best thing about the G.O. exhibit: Seeing iconic images close up. Learning more about her work, including the impact of her husband's photography. I had no idea that his photographs affected the development of her work, as well as how it was collectively received when she first showed it. It was really interesting to see the different phases of her art in a collection, too.

Best thing about the G.O. exhibit #2: The giggling old ladies in front of the most yonic paintings.

I just enjoyed myself at the museum so much. I wandered. Stared at whatever I wanted to stare at. Thought about what a cool thing it is to have a creative impulse. And I got that thing again where I just felt in awe of a piece of art because someone remarkable painted it. I dorked out over being that close to paintings I've seen on prints and calendars for years and years.

After I left the museum, I spent some more time dawdling near the Music Concourse, watching people do T'ai Chi and just enjoying the sun. Please, Lord, let me be the kind of old person someday who wants to move my body, and does not give a single fuck about doing so in a public place. Rock on, old people of Golden Gate Park. From the park I drove over to Trouble Coffee. Home of the toast, if you read that great essay on Pacific Standard. I wanted to stop, but the place was packed and there was no parking to be found. So I looped back around by Ocean Beach and then headed over to meet my friend Pia.

Pia took me to lunch at Park Tavern right next to Washington Square Park. We ate all the pancakes. And we ate all the deviled eggs. And we drank mimosas because we are friggin' ladies. It was divine. Pia had a luxurious and rare day away from her little one and I got to pretend that I was a person who goes places and does things. Just too good for words. She walked me over to City Lights bookstore, I bought some new books, and we parted ways. Then I headed to the Mission to meet up with my friend Megan for another drink at Beretta.

Megan and I shot the breeze and I tried a new tequila (mmm!) and eventually she needed to take off. I spent a little bit more time checking out the Mission area. I hadn't ever seen much of it before. But I found 826 Valencia and Dolores Park. And really, a whole lot of everything. More wandering. More just being happy to be somewhere, seeing things.

The hours flew by. I'm such a cliché, and I don't even care. I'm lucky I live so close to such a remarkable place.

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