Tuesday, June 9, 2020

5/27/20: Memorial Day Ramble

May 27, 2020



I had finished my morning blog, which always makes me feel very virtuous. So it was time for a long walk with the pups, since they hadn't gotten one the day before. It was warm, maybe TOO warm in the sun. But dappled shade would be delightful. Let's face it: You might as well enjoy global warming when it's pleasant.

For the first 25 years I lived in San Francisco, I didn't own a pair of shorts. There were no shorts-wearing days to be had. Now I own TWO PAIRS. Not that I would wear shorts for a long walk like this. But I was dressed in a very light summery way.

It was Memorial Day, which meant that many would be out in the parks. I needed to go somewhere unpopular, somewhere shady.... I know! Sutro Forest! I myself have only been there twice in all the 43 years I've lived here! It's really not a park, more an undeveloped patch of eucalyptus trees and tangled vines between U.C.S.F. and the Haight. No one ever goes there.

I went over the Romain St. pedestrian bridge, turned right on Corbett, walked past the Rooftop School mosaics. Why were there people on that street? There are NEVER people walking there!
I peered through the fence at Rooftop's courtyard/amphitheater with mosaics everywhere.

I've always admired the tiles and climbing roses on this house, but wasn't moved to take its picture until they added chalk hearts to the garage door.

Portrait of a Woman,
Two Poodles, a Cat
(perhaps Schrodinger's),
& the Theory of Relativity
At the top of the hill! What a view! There's a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, on the far left. It's a little misty.

Now I'm turning left to go down the hill to Sutro Forest, which you can see in the background. It IS misty, but I'm not worried! I've got my down jacket in its little bag in my knapsack. Yes, it's there all the time, because I don't want to be driven from any walk by the cold. My friend Elizabeth told me that her Swedish friend said, "There is no such thing as bad weather. There is only not being dressed appropriately." Or something like that. I took Elizabeth's Swedish friend's saying to heart (even though I can't remember the exact words), after the last time I left Golden Gate Park because of the freezing fog. Yes! I just leave that little down jacket in my knapsack permanently so I never have to worry! I'm so proud of myself for having solved this problem! I've always got it in my... in my.... my knapsack. .....

My knapsack. I forgot it. I had taken it out. I had put it on the table next to the door. I never put it on. Oh well.

When I get to the end of the street, there are the stairs up to the path into Sutro Forest. Someone is coming down the path, leaving the forest, so I wait. Then some people are coming from the right on the street. They can't possibly be going into Sutro Forest. But they are! Then MORE people stream in! What the fuck is going on? Is it rush hour in Sutro Forest??? I never saw anyone there, the two times I went. But it looks like everyone has the same idea I had: a cool, secret place.... Secret! Hah!

I have already discovered in Glen Park that it's no fun to be on narrow trails with a whole bunch of people during the pandemic. However, I did see this on one of the posts of the stairway into Sutro Forest:
"Thelma (feister?) I sidetrack love you I want 2 marry you 4 reals."

What is "sidetrack love"? So hard to keep up with all the new jargon.
Is this a marriage proposal? Did the person who wrote this intend to bring Thelma for a walk in the forest and then arrange things so that she discovered this writing?

Or is this a public and anonymous statement of longing?

I do believe this person really does love Thelma and wants to marry her. Call me a romantic. I just love "4 reals."

Onward to Golden Gate Park!
Fog be damned!

I do hope, when COVID-19 is a distant memory, that people will still write and draw with chalk on the sidewalks. I'm deprived of visiting museums, so this is my new gallery. Even when the museums return, why waste all this great space for expression? Makes no sense.

You know, the very first public exhibition Keith Haring ever had was in Manhattan subway stations. He drew with chalk on the matte black paper that covered the out-of-date advertisements. I took photos of those drawings, whenever I came upon them. Haring, knowing how good he was, traveled with a photographer friend who took pictures of the drawings as soon as he finished them. Wouldn't Keith be having a great time with the sidewalks if he were still alive?

I love this one. I know it isn't easy to discern, but it's someone walking a dog on a leash. Perhaps the artist or perhaps the artist's parent. It does seem to be a rear view of the pup, so that yellow blot could be the anus -- often so visually prominent on a dog. An adult would never emphasize it, but the artist probably did. Or maybe it's just a yellow blot.
Golden Gate Park! AND IT'S NOT CROWDED! YAY! Of course, the reason it's not crowded is that it's really a little chilly.
First terrier I've ever seen with shocking pink ears, paws, nose and tail. Must be a new breed.

I was very happy to see that the drum circle was still happening, although the social distancing was a bit tattered. But then, that's EVERYWHERE now! And I would love to see a woman pounding away. Never have. The Last Bastion of Male Privilege: The Golden Gate Park Drum Circle! I don't care. I still love them.

It really is getting a little cold. And I have many blocks to go before I'm in my cosy flat. Better start heading home. I head back home on Page Street, which I used to live on. My former very funky old building has been replaced by an ugly new one. So no photo of THAT. But there were many worthy houses to see.
Two parts of one spectacular house

Another beauty, above and right
A copper bannister?? Unheard of!

Does someone know the name of this style? This is a masterpiece.

A for Effort

Okay folks, the blue flyer on the bottom right is announcing the services of Perfect Strangers, who do FREE SHOPPING AND DELIVERY FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED! GO TO THEIR WEBSITE!
Even if you don't need their services, go to their website to feel good and even get a little verklempt (Yiddish, overcome with emotion, on the verge of tears).

Okay, now I'm really getting cold. I'm almost home, back in the Castro.
It was Harvey Milk's birthday recently.

Many shops are boarded up. Very sad.

But then again, it's another space for ARTISTIC EXPRESSION!

Well, Bloggelinis, that was quite a long walk! And I didn't even use all my photos. Is this all starting to seem normal to you, this weird life we're living -- waiting hoping wondering surviving working? Truly, I am learning to enjoy living alone because I MUST be alone. Hard to remember, while we live in this limbo, we must FOCUS on making the future better than the past. Don't forget saving the Post Office!

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