Monday, September 23, 2013

The San Francisco Treat

This blog entry is my first since July. It has been a busy summer, and hot for the most part. Reading and writing have taken a back seat to traveling and dining (if you count BBQs), and now that the dog days (no bun intended) have dwindled down to a precious few I have fired up my old "Super PowerNote 8510" this ebbing, chilly, second day of autumn out here on the backporch.

The sun has now sunk behind and beneath the nearby Ramapo foothills while the crickets and cicadas have begun their nightly serenade. The lawn-mowers, leaf-blowers, weed-wackers and their harried hired hands have ceased their raucous racket.

I am looking forward to finishing Bellow's "Augie March". I can see how John Updike must have been influenced by him. There's a lot of similarities in their descriptive narrative styles. Saul, though, appears to be a tad or two deeper than John. Both were and remain 'kings' in my book.

My honey and I returned from a week in San Francisco last night. I was there one July and will attest that Mark Twain was correct when he said that the "coldest winter ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." The weather this midlish September, though, was perfect. The downtown, downtrodden derelicts on the downlow, are a constant sorrowful lot, wallowing as they are among surrounding riches. The running of the lavish yachts for the America's Cup made their plight nearly unbearable to witness. One cannot fathom how they can endure their daily suffering.

A highlight of the trip was Bobby "Spiderman" Webb of KPOO-FM who blew many cool sax riffs and wonderfully wailed many a Memphis melody across the Polk Street Blues Festival between Union and Pacific Streets. The free concert was a blast with Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and Tina Turner impersonators doin' they thangs to the crowd's delight....the Robert Mondavi winery in the Napa Valley was nifty...the smoked salmon with dill sauce dip at the Rutherford Grill was 'smokin'!...the kids at Cal Berkeley looked like the Grant Street Regulars...students actually carrying books along with their smartphones and laptops! How novel is that?...through a glass darkly, namely the Tanqueray Dirty Olivia Martini at the Top of the Mark yielded an eye-opening 360 view of sunset over the rolling hills while the Cliff House offered a panoramic Pacific picture along with its hot New England style clam chowder...the seals at the Fisherman's Wharf are getting happy and living off the fat of the, uh, land...Alcatraz remains closed for alterations.

The crickets are beginning to bark for blankets. Me too. Sun's down so, szia next time.