Everyone Should Have a BAY AREA Granddaughter



But it was that beautiful cut of clouds I could always see

Above the little S.P. alley, puffs floating by from Oakland

Or the Gate of Marin to the north or San Jose south,

The clarity of Cal to break your heart.

It was the fantastic drowse and drum hum of lum mum afternoon

Nathin’ to do,

Ole Frisco with the end of land sadness—the people….

What could be better prep for a San Francisco weekend than listening to Jack Kerouac’s famous reading/rendering of “October in the Railroad Earth?”

Nothing of course. But the experience could be filled in, colored even more brightly, by also reading Ron Silliman’s BART.  It’s just right to set the mood for a few days by the Bay. …I’m going south which in my head means down but I’m going forward, she says he should turn around, off at Powell , see Union Square, see Chinatown, last day of the season so they say, visualize tourists…

 In the Bay Area for the weekend. Granddaughter Teresa’s apartment in Berkeley to be exact. Love this place, this chilly civilized bookish intelligent mellow California place. Teresa and her 24 fellow Geotech/Engineering grad student classmates are busily studying, learning, preparing to take over the world—hopefully. I think it’s good to be young and smart here.


I lived across the Bay in the Mission for three years and today T. and I walked it…all my old haunts and it’s…still the Mission, not taken over totally by Silicon Valley after all. ..but that’s my story for tomorrow.

Friday evening we ate at a tiny pink and orange Middle Eastern restaurant and curled up in our blankets for one of those chill evenings the Bay area does so well.

Yesterday was the big event of lunch at Chez Pannise, where all this California cuisine stuff/farm to table movement was invented. We ate there once when Teresa was eight or nine so this was our catching up with how good food can be when promoted and produced by Alice Waters.

Honestly, truly, cross my heart, the best lunch I have EVER HAD. The trick is obviously freshness but also no cute quirky seasonings or anything else just for effect. Fresh, olive oil, fresh, butter, fresh, salt and pepper, fresh—the vegetables bright green and gold and simultaneously tender and robust and meat roasted just exactly right falling apart crispy tender salty and almond cake with cream and little orange glazed bits. We even went with the recommended wines and yes, it does make a difference which and what wine you have but I never know how to do that so our server recommended and we listened. It was just so damn perfect.


Sunny day. Hung around campus. I found one of those perfect little bookstore/music store/coffeehouse places to hide out in while Teresa went to hula class. Every city should be required to have a place like that. Albuquerque’s Bookworks could be if they could just take over Flying Star with more books, less food, less noise.


Today off on BART for the City…Mission, Nordstrom’s, tasty something or the other, new jeans I think, all around the funny old Mission …to be continued.


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