East is East. And West is San Francisco

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‘Gamboling around the Golden City’

Some wag once said that when you get tired of walking in San Francisco you can always just lean against it. Which I am here to attest is entirely true.

Dr. Dude and I were on our third day of his AAO meeting when he decided it would be a good idea to “drop my bag off at the room before we go to the museum.” The bag in question being the one where he was stowing exhibitor swag — Starbucks gift cards! Eye drop samples! More Starbucks gift cards! — as well as toting meeting materials like schedules and maps. I must admit that it was looking a bit on the heavy side.

To be sure, the meeting venue, Moscone Center, wasn’t all that far from the Pacific Union Club, where we were staying. And we both had strolled on down from the tippy-top of Nob Hill where the Club, affectionately known by one and all as “the PU,” is perched to get to our activities each day. But, thanks to Uber and accommodating relations with cars, we hadn’t strolled back up.

Me, almost blocking the view of the PU. I’m waiting for Scott and Susan to pick me up for an outing to SFMOMA

Trust me when I say that walking up Nob Hill is not for the faint of heart or the high of heel. All I can say is that it’s a good thing they don’t get snow. No wonder there are so many Ubers. And driverless cars. One of our Uber drivers, after picking us up at 1000 California Street, said that he “thought the place looked familiar. I’m starting a new job there tomorrow!” He said he was going to be a waiter and that he’d spent an afternoon learning how to fold the napkins so the “PU” shows.

Susan and I join our friend Frida at SFMOMA

Another of our drivers expressed dismay and consternation that we lived in New York. “You actually live in New York?!” I hauled out my stock answer (the same one I gave Mom’s new pal Bill a couple of weeks ago): “Well, yes. A lot of people do.”

I found this particularly interesting since I got a parallel reaction from my New York friends when I told them I was going to San Francisco. “You’re going to San Francisco?!? Gosh! Be careful!

Scott exercising caution — and shooting some “sculpture” — at SFMOMA

Well, I’m happy to report that San Francisco is alive and well and is still a pretty peachy place to spend some time. Other than go to the Moscone meeting (yes, I went too; it was pretty sociologically interesting watching the doctors and the exhibitors interact), we ate at some pretty great restaurants: a pizza place with a gorgeous and gorgeously-accented Italian waitress, an Argentinian grill and, best of all, a place called State Bird where people start lining up at 5:15 to snag an unreserved table. (We were first in line; we scored.)

Digging the vittles at State Bird. (Yes, we had some quail — the “state bird” — too)

Sadly, we could not get into Lazy Bear, which is one of The Child and The Hub’s faves. (We had told Her Childness that we didn’t want to go to any of the Academy’s suggested restaurants where we’d be eating with a bunch of old doctors, and she lived up to her brief, and then some.)

But back to stowing the bag and (thank god after that uphill walk) Ubering to the museum. The museum that I intended to go to was the one up high on a hill where they shot some of Vertigo. Instead, we pulled up to one in Golden Gate Park. I had gotten the names confused, and, instead of the Palace of the Legion of Honor, we were at the de Young. No matter. We toured the de Young — especially loving the 8-story tower — then headed up to the Palace of the Legion of H. They are both part of the Fine Arts Museum of SF, and one admission covers both. Score!

Dude and I face off with camera phones in the Palace of the Legion of Honor

But there was more confusion to come. When we told The Child we were on our way to the Palace of the L of H, she thought we said we were going to the Palace of Fine Arts. Which is neither of these places, and has no art at all inside.

The Child points out a point of interest on our post-Legion of Honor walk

We polished off the afternoon hiking down a (moderate, compared to Nob Hill) hillside with spectacular views of Golden Gate Bridge. All in all, we worked up quite an appetite. Lining up like early birds at State Bird was definitely the way to go.

Dude Man makes like Rodin’s The Thinker at the Palace of the Legion of Honor

Back in New York City. November 2023

I left my heart in San Francisco

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‘And my life between the moon and New York City’

This is a story about how The Child almost didn’t come to be.

I had almost forgotten about her near miss with existence. But, just the other day, my memory was jogged by Her Childness herself when I asked, “Where are you now?

See, The Child, as you well may know, has taken the concept of working remotely and sort of super-sized it. She and The Beau gave up their apartment, stored their stuff (mainly in my attic), bought an F350 with a BigFoot camper shell, and hit the road.

Trailer Hitch: Child and Beau a few months after the start of their trip — and a few weeks after their engagement

(If you can do it without going all green with pent-up-in-my-darned-house-for-almost-a-year envy you can read about some of their adventures in “Her Personal Truck” and “Deeds of Derring-Don’t.”)

Well. It turns out The Child is in San Francisco. When I heard this, my soul was suddenly filled with longing.

The Traveling Two entering the Golden Gate

I have previously regaled you with the story about how I got myself to New York. (It’s a pretty good yarn called “Take a Letter, Miss Henry.” A rubber chicken is involved.) But I failed to mention in this story that my other very-seriously-considered option was to move to San Francisco.

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“Let me go! I want my Mommy!”

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‘The time The Dude (almost) got arrested for Childnapping’

I once took a crack at a funny story about dentistry. (You can chuckle at the result — or not — by clicking on “Is it safe?”) So I thought a humorous take on kidnapping might be worth a shot.

See, you wouldn’t know it from the idyllic father-daughter-on-the-beach photo at the top of this story, but one time┬áThe Child was screaming at the top of her lungs (in public!) for The Dude to unhand her.

Scream her lungs out? This little Sweetheart?

We were on a trip at the time, to one of The Dude’s ophthalmology meetings. The American Academy of Ophthalmology, to be specific. This outfit holds these in a different city every year. Nowadays The Dude and I make it a point to go to the “good” cities (Yay, New Orleans and Las Vegas!) and avoid the “bad” ones (Sorry, all-paved-over Atlanta and Disney-fied Orlando). That year the meeting was in San Francisco, and it was the first time we’d go as a family. (And the last, it turned out.) Continue reading