It feels sort of stupid to write about San Francisco, a city so many of my friends know so much more about. I think it’s beautiful there — it was a nice reprieve from New York. The Irish blood in me loves even the gloomy weather. The food, I will insist again, is certainly not superior to the food in New York — or perhaps not even in LA — but I had a pretty astoundingly delicious short rib dish at The House of Nanking, which I will probably remember forever.
I’m happiest when I’m somewhere new — boredom dissipates, and I get exhausted easily. More than even discovering new things, I like the bone deep tired that sets in when I return to my hotel room. I love settling into a clean bed after a bath, and stealing some time to read.
The absolute best thing about San Francisco, I think, is the ocean. In New York, the ocean is a sort of tame beast — even during Sandy, it seeped rather than gushed. But in San Francisco, it is terrifying. On our last morning, Caleb rented a car and drove me to Fort Point, where we climbed to the roof, and stood underneath the Golden Gate Bride.
I’m sort of inured to bridges, having spent so much time going over them in New York — it was the roar and magnitude of the waves that awed me. The desolate coast. The sense that if you fell in, you’d be immediately crushed. I just wrote like 4 other sentences about all of this, but I erased them because who really wants to read another shitty description of an ocean?
In New York, I looked out the window on the stretch of the BQE that I think holds the most gorgeous view of Manhattan from the boroughs — the stretch that extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Statue of Liberty, and encompasses the tip of the island. It looked sort of worn and paltry, after San Francisco. The sparkling office towers looked white instead of gold.
Rather than writing more flowery nonsense, I’m following the lead of photographer Jamie Beck, whose blog I absolutely love. She takes such astoundingly gorgeous photographs, and she herself is really beautiful; I’m unsure why she’s not as famous as Beyonce. On her site, she writes a small text, and then fills the rest of the post with photographs. I follow her lead…
Caleb and I arrived in San Francisco last night. He’s here for work, and I picked up some assignments so that I could make the trip over here. By assignments I mean one review for a magazine and one personal project I’m thinking about doing around the small batch weed dealers who live in clearings in Golden Gate Park.
The city already has left many strong impressions, the first being that it’s clean and beautiful and smells strongly of cologne. The reason why it does that it because every male, even our Prius-driving taxi cab driver, seems to have dipped themselves in it.
I’m going to try to stay away from my computer as much as possible, but I thought I’d quickly write down three observations I’ve had this morning alone, even though all I did was leave the Clift, where we’re staying, to go get coffee.
1. How do you know you’re in San Francisco? When you see an Asian girl wearing a Google t-shirt and running leggings emblazoned with the word “silicon” walking down a hill.
For a long time now, Caleb has wanted to go to the Flushing Meadows Park, where the World’s Fair was held in 1964. Some relics of the event remain; a huge silver globe and the New York State Pavilion, which you’ll probably recognize, if you were a child of the 1990s, from the film Men in Black.
From the BQE, they appear to loom like spaceships over a stretch of wasteland suffocated by the roadway arteries that lead up to the city.
Up close, however, the globe — known as the “Unisphere — is something of a tourist attraction. You know the type. A bland monumental structure lent drama by the carefully manicured landscape surrounding it — the sort of place where tour buses stop out of desperation. It reminded me, for example, of the India Gate in New Delhi. On Saturday, it was only 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and still, there were at least five families crawling over the structure, taking pictures.
On Thanksgiving weekend, Caleb and I spent a night in Montauk with Brad and Jess. For some reason I’m having a difficult time saying “they are our couple friends who are married and we like them a lot” in a neat sentence, so I’ll just write it in bad English like that instead.
Brad and Jess are originally Caleb’s friends, and initially, I was very intimidated by them. Brad has this cool thing going on, and also his Instagram name is “Guy Debord.” Whenever I try to cite Debord’s movement, the Situationists, in an art review, my editor usually writes, “this logic does not make sense.” Thus, I automatically feel stupider whenever Debord’s name even gets mentioned, especially in relation to my boyfriend’s close friend who I am, by nature of the fact that I want him to like me, constantly trying to impress. Another thing editors frequently write is “this is a run on sentence.”