Friday morning me and the daughter unit were summoned to the boyfriends place to guard the goods while they moved. We took the underground and walked the few blocks to lower Folsom street. Downtown SF, like most big cities is the sleaziest neighborhood. Our walk was a vivid trip past the homeless, the drug addicts, and- oh look a cop leading someone away in handcuffs. All of this in the shadow of the new and supremely ugly federal courthouse. I was not the least bit disturbed or surprised by the hard realities of street life. However, I’m may never recover from the bad architecture.
While the move continued, I headed to Japan town for sushi and colorful paper. The weather turned from sun and fog yesterday to outright rain today. Shit, I left Eugene specifically to get away from this dreariness but followed me. Curses! I was astonished to see so many people out on a Friday afternoon but I forgot the winter tourist season and everyone gearing up for New Year’s Eve. I wanted to walk around and explore things but Chester insisted we eat first. Fine with me.
Isobune is a sushi restaurant that has little boats carrying the food around instead of a conveyer belt. It’s unique ( they patented it) , it’s cheesy and I love it. Let’s face it food always taste better when a) other people make it and b) it’s presented theatrically. I swear it’s enough to make an steadfast dieter go off the wagon. Chester wanted to ride on a boat but I vetoed it. I was startled when I saw the empty chair next to me slide away and two chefs emerged from underneath. Apparently the only way to get to the prep space in the middle is to crawl through an opening under the counter but it still looked like an prison escape.
I was hoping to find a sword but according to an antique dealer a real Japanese sword is next to impossible to find anywhere these days. I am reminded again of the lost chance to buy one when I was in Japan years ago. Crushing. I find some cool paper to perk me up but still. Like yesterday, this turns out to be a poor trip down memory lane. I realize I have adjust expectations and just relax when on vacation to avoid these small disappointments. Things work out better for me and I can enjoy it more.
The bus ride back was crowded but everyone was in good spirits, even the deeply stressed driver who was trying very hard to be solicitous. I gave up my seat to an older woman with a cane but after a few jerky blocks putting stress on my bad knee she decided I need to sit more than her. Fortunately the seat near to her opened up and we shared the complaint that cell phones were indeed a nuisance. A real phone does one thing- Stay home and is just for calls. Amen sister.
B’s mom is a bona fide famous artist. Merry Renk has a long career creating some stunning jewelry. She even had stuff at the Smithstonian and is mentioned at length in the several art book displayed on her coffee table. I spend time looking up at her large watercolors with a mixture of envy and awe. She’s a bit frail now with age and heart problems but fiercely independent. I arrive back at the house to find her chopping up ginger with a small clever. Considering her poor eyesight I watch the procedure nervously while she cheerfully carries on about her grand daughter and such.