MARRY ME! (AKA: Flashing San Francisco)

This is not a literary post. I’ll just put this out there now.

And this:  Screw Georgia.  San Francisco is on my mind.

Last week, I returned to real life after a magical journey to San Francisco. I had been to the city once before when I was 16 and wanted my memory to hold up to what I had seen back then.

Upon landing in the city my exact thoughts were:  Oh, put a goddamn ring on my finger and marry me, San Francisco.

I cannot explain my joyous feelings toward this city. They are protective. Envious. Orgiastic. I have some sort of ingrained kinship. I want to stroke it and call it mine. My stomach literally bounces when I think of the Golden Gate Bridge, of Haight Ashbury, of North Beach. I know I had a past life and San Fran was it. It may be token and trite but I like to imagine I wore flowers in my hair, called policeman “pigs” and had the largest bell bottoms in town.

I could wax philosophic about this trip but feel my words would become mashed and diarrhea-like. You’re welcome.

So since I am a flasher, let’s break this down like that. Quick and painless. And use pretty pictures.

Haight/Ashbury

Beyond my wildest dreams. I saw Amoeba Records. I ate a kick-ass beef tongue sandwich at Alembic bar. I visited a shop called Loved to Death and there saw squirrel-skull necklaces, books made of human skin and forceps that could disembowel even the tightest pelvis. I paid way too much for souvenir magnets. I saw beautiful girls with blunt bangs and tatted sleeves and I smiled. I salivated over the Grateful Dead house, scoffed at the Ben and Jerry’s. I got drunk at Magnolia Bar and frolicked with 19-year-old hippies reeking of BO. I flirted with the Haight/Ashbury sign and photographed it to no end. I stood on the same streets as Janis and Jerry and Grace Slick. I got a tat.

The Grateful Dead House looms

The corner to be.

Father was proud.

Um, yes please.

China Town

I ate nothing here. It was the 99 cent sushi that convinced me.

The Panda convinced me as well.

Clearly China Town has their color palette down.

 Vesuvio/City Lights

I have been clamoring to go here for the longest time.

Since I’m lazy and don’t want to explain in my own words – I will let this nifty travel site do it for you:

City Lights is where Beat bard/publisher/artist Lawrence Ferlinghetti has kept the candle dripping over the chianti bottle for 50 years, and where you can find nearly everything ever written by and about Kerouac, Corso, McClure, Rexroth, Ginsberg, et al.

Vesuvio is the famous bar and literary hangout that was once the favorite watering hole of Beat icon Jack Kerouac.

I celebrated at CityLights by buying the classics: Ginsberg and Kerouac. The female clerk and I shared a smug laugh over a young man didn’t know who Kerouac was. I felt like educating him while simultaneously face-palming myself.

I ordered the Dark and Stormy (Gosling’s Black rum and ginger beer) at Vesuvio and chatted with the bartender – a cute, librarian-looking sort, who danced behind the bar to the indie music being pumped over the speakers. Her name was Jan and she was amazing.

I wanted to pick Vesuvio up, put it in my pocket and take it home with me.

Popping a squat in a bookstore is not the only thing I do well.

Flying books set my heart a flutter.

  

 

My Hotel

Hobos clanging beer bottles in alleyways at three in the morning and still finding comfort.

I like to affectionately call it “my alleyway”.

Straight from “The Shining”, bitches.

Alcatraz

I found an orb. No shit.

 Golden Gate Bridge

This bridge intrigues me.

I am particularly fascinated by it after seeing the documentary The Bridge. I urge you to rent it. While the bridge plays a part in the film, it is a heartbreaking look at mental illness in this country. The movie had me transfixed.

Anyway…enough with the heavy…back to the Golden Gate…

Its awesomeness abounds. It’s gorgeous and orange and strong like Hulk. Seeing it encased in fog, walking along the pathway, and hearing the sounds of the cars ker-chunk, ker-chunk across it, was better than anything I could ever experience.

Bow to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In fact…everything was.

I’ll be back.

No Comments
  • Reply

    Harley May

    August 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Gorgeous! I love the way you look at things.

  • Reply

    susan tepper

    August 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Jules there is no question that you had a past life here. I’m sure your bell bottoms were huge and flappy and your elbows divine…

  • Reply

    Hubert O'Hearn

    August 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Really enjoyable article Jules. I’m planning on taking A Book and a Martini Live! there in February, so you’ve made me impatient. Will definitely check out Ferlinghetti. Cheers! – H

  • Reply

    julesjustwrite

    August 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks HM. Appreciate it.
    Susan – haha…yes, flappy bell bottoms and divine elbows are what I’m all about…
    Hubert – thanks for reading. I am jealous of your February visit…say hi to vesuvio for me…

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