Thursday, May 06, 2021

Bus Report #1069

 I took the 1 California bus downtown this afternoon, to meet S. for our first post-vaccine dinner together, my first dinner out since before the pandemic. 

The bus was not crowded at all, just a dozen or so women and a couple of men, everyone masked (some surgicals, one lovely embroidered one, one mask with Sanrio characters, and one patterned with the Giants logo), and everyone quiet, except for one woman who was listening to music on her headphones and singing to herself. 

The ride down California felt almost normal. Most of the shops and restaurants were open, a few new ones, a few empty storefronts, people walking around. 

A man got on the bus wearing a knit face mask that had stretched out ear bands and an open knit that would be useless to keep anything in or out. Ridiculous! I couldn't knit a better one, but that wasn't the point.

We crossed Fillmore and climbed the hill. I love the apartment building near the corner, the curved one with the multicolored doors on each floor. It always reminds me of a building from an Almodovar film. Out front, paramedics carefully loaded someone into an ambulance. I hope they were okay.

Van Ness, still under construction. 

On the next corner, an outdoor eating parklet. Redheaded smiling man turned and grinned into the bus from his seat.

New graffiti on the old Apple Market building.

Le Beau looked the same, and as we came over the hill and headed down into Chinatown the sun came out for a few minutes, making everything look fresh and bright.

The WHY? painted on the brickwork near Stockton always makes me smile and did again. 

I haven't been to Chinatown in over a year. It was quiet when I got out at Grant and Clay, the shopkeepers already closing up for the night at five to six at night. 

Lots of boarded up shops, plywood covering windows, with security gates pulled across for added measure. 

Li Po's closed, hopefully temporarily. 

People walked quickly down the sidewalk, hunched.

It was too quiet.

Please go to Chinatown when you can - grab food at a favorite restaurant, get a drink somewhere, perhaps at the tea place near Jack Kerouac Alley. Support our neighbors, please.

I ducked down the alley and found myself walking through the Vesuvio outdoor drinking area. All the seats occupied with a good mix of locals and tourists.

City Lights was open. I went in, browsed for a few minutes. A few sections have been moved but I found what I wanted and spent some time in the stacks. Found a new translation of a Guillermo Rosales book I didn't even know existed, rejoice! At the checkout counter the bookseller tucked a bookmark and a postcard into the book and I thanked him and wished him a good, safe evening.

Across the street I sat down to supper in the Tosca shared spaces parklet, ordered a cocktail and waited for S. 

North Beach was busier than Chinatown but honestly still felt too quiet. 

When S. arrived, we hugged for the first time in over a year. I could've crushed him, but I didn't. It wouldn't have been very friendly, you know?


Blogger Kris Sands said...

Just happened to check in, and saw you've updated your blog! Can't wait for everything to get back to normal. Hopefully, next week.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Better late than never.
Thanks so much for reading/commenting!

12:14 PM  

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