Wednesday, May 7, 2003

So. I'm in San Francisco, having spent 26 hours on a Greyhound bus (or in a Greyhound station), one ear constantly plugged up, and my throat is still scratchy and hoarse. But who's wingeing? Not me. San Fran is a beautiful city, and I've only seen little bits of it so far. Uncle Eric picked me up in his yellow Bug, and we drove along the Embarcadero and then into the Mission District, which is where he lives. The Mission is filled with the typical SF Victorian homes (like the ones you see on Full House, don't pretend you never saw it) and also lots of brilliantly colored Spanish murals. Vegetation here is mondo lush: flowering trees, flowering shrubs, flowers in window beds, flowers on the sidewalk, and all these flowers in vibrant colors that jump up and pinch your eyeballs. And the flowers are all these odd shapes as well, and have fringes and spikes and things. Joe, Eric's partner, grows black bamboo in his back garden, and roses in the front one. They have trees extending out of the front garden over the fence, growing over the street, which I bet makes nice shade in the summer.

Thier home is a lovely jumble of art, books, old furniture, three dogs, good food, flowers, and more art. Most of the art comes from Guatemala, as Joe brings up pieces from artists he knows there and sells them for them here. The colors used in these paintings are all very lush; and the detail is quite fine. Usually they depict Native scenes like feasts or rites, or normal activities like farming or harvesting. The room they have given me to sleep in, the library, is not only filled with books but also these paintings. And at the moment, I'm typing from the archive room for this site, looking up at original posters from SF in the sixties. Eric was showing me some original copies of the Oracle, including the copy that announced the Human Be-In back in 1967. I think I have the dates right. When I said how much I loved seeing these things, he showed me the two tall file cabinets filled with similar artifacts. I could spend days in this house alone!

Tomorrow it looks like Eric and I will be checking out the Haight-Ashbury, and the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park. Also, before hand, I will meet him downtown (after taking the BART) and we'll check out the Asian Art Museum, which is, according to Joe, the largest archive of Asian art outside of Asia. Other than seeing the Haight, there's not much I'm burning to see, but with a tour guide like Eric (who has lived here 30 years) I'm sure I'll see some wonderful things.

I can't wait to take some pictures. And I can't wait to show them to you.

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