Sunday, December 16, 2007


Recently, we had a very distinguished visitor spend a few days with us. Biased as I am, still, it is nice to know others impressions of our town. I have not been everywhere but I've been most places and still feel that San Francisco is the greatest in the world. I often joke that I should be an ambassador but the City doesn't need one. Anyway, I wanted DeLONE to give us his views. (DeLONE often says about his name: think of it like this, DeLONE Ranger). I like it.
What is the one thing you'd say about San Fran? Well, I think it is the beauty of it, really. For those of us who don't live here, we have our own images of the town; most of them are political with an idea that every nut in the world has shown up here: gay mecca, liberal to the max--every stereotype that you can imagine. And, then you are at the Golden Gate Bridge, you have just run across it and are catching your wind from the three and a half mile trek and you look out across the bay and the ocean and you are simply overwhelmed with its beauty. And so the beauty overcomes the other things. Absolutely. How about the people? I had some interesting encounters. I think riding the buses is an experience. Here we are on the bus, having been down to Pier 39 which is a little like the North Carolina State Fair, ending our visit with a great banana split at Gheradelli Square. I mean, we are leaving heaven. We are talking about our stop and this really nice individual thinks we are tourists and tells us that our stop is several away and then he says, "Guess you guys are going to Tommy's" (I already knew it to be a world famous gay bar). My Uncle bust out laughing, the guy assumed we were gay. In San Fran., when you see two guys together, you automatically assume, probably not a good idea, but what the hay, I'm human--you can assume they are gay and more than likely you're right. Oh well. Other experiences. So many but this one sticks out. We are on the bus again. I'm seated beside this fairly nice looking girl and she is engaged in a conversation with this homeless guy-I think he's homeless, he has the look. In San Fran, hard to know based on how everybody dresses, weird sort of milieu. This is not a "hit" just hard to know. Anyway, she tells him she just graduated San Diego State with a degree in tourism and is here to see her boyfriend. He says something like, "I'm in the tourist industry too, an independent contractor but I'm thinking of going all Internet." It was a funny scene and definitely one of those, "you'd have to be there" times. Here is a guy that a bath has not known in many a day and fingernails that are at least a half inch, most so long they are curling, and yet he's right there with her. Yes, he is in the tourist industry. I will have to say that for a 22 year old, I think, that I enjoyed flirting with as we exchanged a few comments, she was pretty poised. My Uncle hassled me that I didn't get her phone number. Oh well, life is a series of lost opportunities. Other impressions. I loved the wine country. I'm not a wine drinker but got some for my friends. Fascinating, how it's all done and the culture of it, noted. I think the thing that amazed me most is that here we were in Sonoma and Napa, California and it is like another world from Frisco (the natives hate for you to call it Frisco). California is like a country, the 6th largest economy in the world--truly things we don't think about, i. e., they raise more beef cattle than Texas. Anything else? Well, hundreds, I did see a Sharks game. My cousin's husband is a big sports nut: I almost rival him but not quite. What I found to be the same as in NC, you almost need to take out a loan to get tickets and buy a beer. The game was good. Wow, you got around. Well, you did asked. Visit any non tourist stuff? Of course, a comedy club for the locals and I loved a couple of bars; one called the Pig and Whistle and then this great Irish bar in the Haight Ashbury area called Martin Mack's. I've just seen the documentary on the Summer of Love in San Francisco and to be in the Haight where it took place was a little like going back in history. I expected to see lots of left over hippies but mostly young iPod types. Very interesting. Are you going to come back? You bet ya, but I'm going to do it differently next time. Like what? I'm not telling.