Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Eating Apples on Cable Cars in San Francisco:

My past is slowly slipping away from me. Sometimes it hurts, as I look in the non-literal mirror and ponder my own memories. I am starting to have my own history. I’ll be 32 later this year, after all. 11 years ago, I found myself living in San Francisco, and it was the most wonderful summer of my entire life–up until that point. Every subsequent summer since 2006, has been even more exciting than the previous, within my own life history. I have such fond memories of living in Russian Hill in San Francisco, in 2006 and in 2007. I worked in SoMa, and could not have stumbled into a more exciting or welcoming place to work, when I was all of… 20 years old. Suddenly I found myself in San Francisco, free from everyone and everything I had ever known prior, and suddenly found myself as a temporary resident of that city–which I had twice visited before, in the 1990s and early-2000s. I would often leave my house in the mornings, stumble down the avenue to Mason Street, and, if approaching, hop on the next cable car, as it made its way toward me, coming up Russian Hill from North Beach. Often times I would eat fruit on the way to the studio; apples, most often. Sometimes bananas; but it was the apples that really made me feel cool, as I waltzed down the hills to Union Square, and then onward to SoMa, everyday. I loved passing the Prada store; that in NYC, by OMA, had only opened a few years earlier; same for the Prada shop in LA. They were so inspiring to me at that time, for reasons beyond the physical spaces they represented, and instead what they meant to me: the world at large, through the lens of fashion. Who knew that 11 years later–today–all I wear is waistcoats and blazers and brogues… when 11 years earlier, in 2006, I thought that I would, perhaps, be living in San Francisco in 2017, and still adhere to my then uniform for life: shorts, sneakers, and shirt; mainly anything that could be worn at the beach. How times have changed. As I recall my own memories from 2006, part of me weeps. Who would I have become had I stayed in that city? Recalling memories of rounding the crest of Powell Street, while riding the cable car southward toward Market Street; I can almost hear the skin of an apple breaking as I bite through its deep-red skin. I used to hang onto the rail on the outside edge of the car, and loved the feeling of the windows blowing over my face as I glided down Powell Street... It heightened the glamorousness of my experiences, to not actually sit inside the cable cars... how boring. No wind on the face. One hand on the rail; the other on my apple. I had never been an apple person before I moved to San Francisco. In fact, I have never even much cared for fruit. That changed that summer. The summer of 2006, for me, was a season of self-discovery and maturation; alone and in a new city (and completely ok with both of those aspects of my then life), I could not have been more excited to experience all that there was to offer in the city, just outside my front door. Most importantly: the beaches and parks, the cafés, the city’s art museums, and the exciting new buildings and interior spaces then rising in the city that I had previously only seen in magazines, and on the internet. I often miss the care-free person that I thought I was at that time. Yet I was also very much within the early stages of forming myself, and I should always remember that person, with a kind fondness. Looking back I often can’t believe how lucky I was to have fallen into a circle in that city that was full of supportive, caring people–who at that time, were living off salaries that allowed them to live in the Castro or even in SoMa, without working at one of the locally based technology companies, south of the city. Facebook had only been around for two years at that point–hard to fathom. Now that I remember, Twitter had just launched; no one, anywhere, had an iPhone. I miss those memories of myself from my time in San Francisco, mainly because I was so new to the world, in every single way.

Oh how I have grown, since 2006.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Late Night Summer Skies:

At the moment the sky is lighting in brilliant flashes of white, in all directions; I have never seen the sky do this before in Amsterdam. Never does it thunder and lightning here. It may thunder occasionally; though the lightning never seems to follow. That's changed tonight. The past few days in the city have been so hot, and tonight the heat was finally broken by light, and sometimes torrential rains. Truly, torrential. Horizontal lighting has been tentacling across the late night summer sky all evening; though with no thunder. I sit here watching; listening; feeling; absorbing. Suddenly: Boom! The first loud thunder of the night... It’s arrived, after hours of silence. Soundly huge, horizontal, lightning fills and illuminates the late-night summer sky, above Amsterdam.