Laissez-Faire in the City
November 19, 2012
As a general rule, I avoid going into the city. No offense to the city of San Francisco, although I do hate driving in or having to find parking there because let’s face it – Market Street mixed among other wackadoodle streets and city parking are the pits, but this homebody is far too easily fatigued and thus unmotivated so can easily push off any single errand to SF until there are at least several things to do or someone’s come to town.
We had such a confluence this weekend with mutual friends in town so PiC and I had a bit of a lark. With nearly 12 hours of sleep under my belt, I had my fingers crossed I’d make it all the way into the evening. We had one errand each, and then an open-ended “we’ll meet with you for ….. ”
We had Clipper cards with varying amounts of money on it for travel, but his card required an agent to work some kinda something on it to make it work again.
My travel: Free.
His travel: $3.55, no agent at the booth and I’d accidentally left behind my backup Clipper card in case his didn’t work. Whoops.
It was a surprisingly long two-thirds mile trek through groddy-town to get to Hayes Valley. Disturbed flocks of pigeons there, along with all the smells of back alleys, discovered a freeway entrance where one didn’t seem to belong and then found ourselves suddenly in an utterly too-nice nice neighborhood. I guess this is how gentrification works/worked in San Francisco?
My errand: his belated birthday gift, a secret thing, a coffee, $42
Back again, through the puddles and the pigeons, and ponderings if we should just walk all the way to Union Square. Pondered all the way right back onto Bart. Hopped on, hopped off.
Meandered up and out, moved as part of the crowd up the way toward Powell, toward, Geary, toward Post, toward all the major landmarks of the Square. H&M (one of three), a new Uni-Glo, Bloomingdales looming(dales), Macy’s. The tree was up, the ice rink was out and holiday crowds were out in force. Oddly, I was ok with this.
His errand: a shirt, value, $80. Free with coupon.
Unscheduled stop, H&M: poke and pruned until we find a blouse, $30.44, with 20% off coupon. Still a little steep given my ambivalence (oh and I forgot to try it on), and btw, I was stung by the 10 cent bag fee, thanks a lot, forgetfulness!
I was chilled, nibblish and shaky by 2:30. We’d only been out and about for… an hour? Yeah. Stamina, spamina. The food and sugar kept me going for another several hours so even though I rarely buy random street food like this around home or go to Starbucks, we made a beeline for the first one we saw. NOM. There’s something delicious (pun intended) about just getting what you want.
Street dog: $4.25
Starbucks venti Hot chocolate: $3.15, free with coupon
We settled into the Westfield for a while to wait for friends who were, in fact, much closer by than we had expected, I caught up on some Twitter and PiC snagged a free Ghiradelli square. Jealous. It was peppermint. Less jealous.
Dinner was a non-glamorous booth affair at a standard chain restaurant with children clamoring and clambering all over the place. Crayons only held their attention for as long as they could race to an ungainly win, assisted absentmindedly by one adult or another; I was starting to see how the mom was so keenly aware of the judging stares of others when they went out. As normal as it is for kids, and boys at any age if I remember growing up with my cousins rightly, to be unruly, attention hungry, wound up or full up with energy, these fellas were like sprung-loose jack in the boxes, wound up and loosed to wreak havoc. It took fast thinking to talk them down from, off of, out from under, apart, or back from wherever they’d gotten to and that was entirely apart from the chattering at hypersonic speed and three decibels higher than an inside voice. Oh, kids. It was entertaining until we started becoming public nuisances, then we had to start clamping down. Gently and teasingly since they’re not ours but still. No one around us was amused when they stopped up the doors.
We trekked back, exhausted, quiet and sleepy, late.
Through heavy lids, we watched my joints puff up like wee sausages on the ride back. Cute. Chasing down and hefting kiddies was fun but more than a little strenuous.
All in all, not a bad day.