Monday, September 14, 2020



SEPTEMBER 12, 2020

& Update


Update First: Today there is a fine white ash visible over many surfaces. Carolyn's family and friends in Oregon are all on Level One evacuation alert, which means they should be ready. She says the air in Portland, Oregon is the worst in the world -- over 750 AQI. 350 is "Extremely Unhealthy." Can anyone say "Global Warming"? And then I heard on the radio that Turkey and Greece are on the verge of going to war over newly discovered oil deposits in the Mediterranean Sea! Are they kidding?!? PLEASE LEAVE THAT OIL WHERE IT BELONGS, under water!

Last Wednesday was the only day of apocalyptic darkness. In retrospect, I wish we HAD gone for a walk on the beach on that frightening day, because the air has been much worse since then. I realize now it would have been totally cool, not to mention great photos. But at the time I was too freaked out.

The two other years when we had terrible fires, I would walk masked against the smoke to a cafe and sit inside, get high on caffeine, read and write. With the pandemic this year, I would find a cafe with seats outside and do my thing. But now with the pandemic AND the fires ---- cafe hanging-out option go bye-bye.

Went to a Buddhist dharma talk this morning. I often do three a week. So easy with Zoom. I do not know what I would do without Buddhism. The teacher said, "Buddhism teaches us impermanence, but I really did expect the sun to rise every morning!"

SUNSET RAMBLE 2: Elizabeth and I had walked south the first day and then north the second day. We saw many snowy plovers.

Then they flew.
I resent these snowy plovers. For nine months of the year, I can't take my pups off the leash because they're nesting. NINE MONTHS! In my opinion, a city is for children first, adults second, and dogs third, with snowy plovers way down the list, after hummingbirds and butterflies. Let the snowy plovers nest somewhere else! California has thousands of miles of deserted coastline! And don't get me started about the coyotes in San Francisco...

Then we walked on the path a bit above the beach, where we could see the houses on the Great Highway. This was the most special house of the day.
Thank you, creators of this great gift to the street!

Wonderful sculptures in this window, many of which I couldn't capture because of the reflections. The cat is certainly store-bought, but the others are original. I must say, to be able to create an image in three dimensions is very impressive to me. I feel the presence of the artist's hands shaping it. This is one of my many little sculptures:
I mean, a cow playing the trumpet, who could resist? It's from San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

Color color color. I love deep bright colors. Wish I had the nerve to paint my house this bright a color. But my neighborhood is not funky enough. Good relations with one's neighbors are important.

Perhaps the most exciting paint job in San Francisco

Moving on to the Wilhelmina windmill and the Tulip Garden, which is without tulips at the moment.
There are two windmills in Golden Gate Park. This one is a present from the late Queen of the Netherlands. The other one is from a man who was not a monarch, but a windmill-giver nonetheless. The windmills both functioned to pump water for the park, before there was electricity.

Then on to Park Chalet, where we sat outside and ate delicious food -- after the hostess took our temperature. That was my first time for that.
We saw this group come in and sit down. Elizabeth pointed out the older woman sitting apart. She notices details like that. Undoubtedly this woman was more concerned about her health than the young ones. So she was part of the group, but not part. Needless to say, sitting in a group close and unmasked is not legal. Unless they're a pod. Very doubtful. But Elizabeth and I could sit near each other unmasked LEGALLY! Yay for Podhood!
This is the interior of Park Chalet, which opens out into the park. This belongs to the city. Sometimes San Francisco gets things right.

Park Chalet, which faces Golden Gate Park, is back-to-back with Beach Chalet which faces (you guessed it) the beach. There are fabulous WPA murals from the '30s in Beach Chalet. But it was closed, and I was SO disappointed, because Elizabeth had never seen them. BUT it turned out you had to walk near them to get to the bathroom. They were cordoned off, so I couldn't get close to take photos. The theme of the murals is Recreation in San Francisco.
The stairway up to Beach Chalet restaurant, which is now closed. The banister is made of octopuses carved in marble. When I first moved to San Francisco in 1977, Beach Chalet was a seedy bar. We always took visitors there for a drink. We thought it was the coolest thing in the world to have great public art in a seedy bar. One day I was there with my girlfriend Alice, and I tried to kiss her. She pushed me away, saying "This is not the place for that." Me: "Aw, come on!" Alice: "Listen, I'm the one who would get beat up!"

I realized she was right. She was very butch.
Here's a view of the windmill and Beach Chalet from the beach.

We found a new improvement right next to the beach. Another win for the City of San Francisco:
The Public Convenience Station!

Not only was it convenient, it was clean and had no smell.
And this was the man who kept it looking and smelling so good:

He told us he checked both bathrooms every 30 minutes! Isn't that all amazing and old-fashioned and strange? Just charming!

Yes, life is better when there are attractively built, well-maintained public conveniences on the beach. Thank you, sir, for checking and cleaning every 30 minutes!

Then we headed back to our motel. On the way we saw...
And finally, we were home in our cosy motel room, where Loulou gazed out the window, wondering what adventures she would have the next morning.
None, as it turned out, since the sun decided not to put in an appearance and we thought the world was actually coming to an end. But at least we two dykes with our three dogs had two glorious days at Ocean Beach.

Well, that was a helluva lot of photos, wasn't it? But some things are so special that they deserve to be documented in detail. When Blogmistress goes on vacay, she must share the pleasure with her dear Bloggelinis. Terry

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