Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Another Tuesday, another 19 Polk. I left work a few minutes earlier than usual when I saw Nextbus predicting the 19 Polk in 5 minutes and 25 minutes. The 5 minute bus never showed up, so I stood in the only shady spot on the hill, peering out from my spot every now and again to see if the bus was coming. The first half-dozen times, it wasn’t.
When it finally arrived it was, predictably, crowded. I sat in the back next to a teenage boy who seemed put out by the fact that he had to move his backpack off a vacant seat for me. I turned up the volume on my music and settled in for the duration.
The bus was slow until we hit 7th Street. It flew down 7th, even though we had to stop to unload a wheelchair passenger, load another, and then stop to let on a couple of ladies with their granny carts.
I checked the time – not terrible, not late yet - and watched the goings on at Civic Center Plaza. At least 40 people lined up for free food at a tent set off from the sidewalk. The usual fountain bathers and campers a few feet away. Several cops milling about.
Around the corner, at the intersection near Larkin, there was street work going on – repaving, or something, all the way down the block past the Asian Art Museum. Our bus waited for the construction guys to signal us to turn. Just before we could turn, a bedraggled older woman with several tote bags stepped into the street and began ranting, loudly, at the bus, the construction guys, the fresh new asphalt.
I thought I muttered, “oh lord,” to myself, but the two guys sitting beside me and in front of me laughed and turned to look at the ranting woman.
Eventually we got through the light and down the street.
A group of pale t-shirt-and-shorts-clad tourists stared at the Muni map in the bus shelter. One man traced a Muni route with his finger. You should probably wash that now, I thought.
New Chinese restaurant further on down the street. Or else, just a bright new awning. Boys in baseball caps smoking out front the bar that used to be the Deco Lounge.
Finally, finally, It’s A Grind. I called a “thanks!” to the driver and stepped down from the bus, and hurried into the cool, dark café.