Despite my severe lack of sleep the day/night before, I still got up before dawn today. It happened naturally and I was quite pleased because I was able to pull myself together and get to the beach for sunrise. So yes, the beach faces west, so actually the sun rose over The City, but it was magnificent nonetheless. The water was light blue and grey and the sun was pink tinged. The sand all around me was the softest tan/gray hue. There were a few intrepid surfers and dog walkers out, but mostly I had Ocean Beach to myself. I snapped photos, got my feet wet in the chilly Pacific water, and did some exploring. I Facetimed with Pappy and Emily. It seemed too good a moment not to share!
I came across a cement structure absolutely encrusted with graffiti art. It looked beautiful with the rising sun behind it. I just couldn’t get enough of this work of art and probably took too many photos. I only posted the best ones in order to spare everyone.
After returning to Home Base I met back up with Sonia and Thibaut and we got some much needed coffee and breakfast at one of the beachside coffee shops. They had to book it to Los Angeles for the next leg of their trip, so we made only a brief excursion to see the ocean before they were off. Now tonight I had completely new housemates at the AirBnB. I will miss Sonia and Thibaut!
After out goodbyes I hopped on the bus/train and headed downtown. A brief stop in the Mission at a thrift shop was disappointing,and in any case, a friend from back home was waiting for me in North Beach. It took over an hour but finally we found each other in City Lights Books! I will never tire of that wonderful shop. I wanted to spend all day there, but it was crowded and most of the good places to sit were filled with bored-looking people waiting for their friends to finish shopping. City Lights is a landmark here and has a long history in San Francisco. Check out more about it Here. I purchased a book called The Final Solution by an author I had read before and revered, Michael Chabon. His earlier book, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was one of those books that hits you like a ton a bricks and stays with you. It reminds me of Jonathan Safran Foer, whose book Everything Is Illuminated is not only one of my favorites, but it also and excellent movie.
My friend Tai and I then went in search of a cafe. We found one that I had actually visited (and loved) last summer, and I had a stunning glass of wine in front of me before long. Tai went for a crisply refreshing beer. We talked long and loudly, and left in search a sandwiches, which we found nearby. Then it was time to leave North Beach (sadly!) and meet up with more of our Wisco group so that they could go to the wedding rehearsal and dinner. This left me as a free agent at last and I wasted no time in catching a bus back into the Mission to look for Mission Thrift. This shop had been highly rated so I figured I had a good shot at finding some treasures and I was not wrong. The shop girl was bored and disgruntled, but he store itself was wonderful. Clothes of all vintages and brand were crammed cheek by jowl and only vaguely labeled. I wanted skinny jeans and I wanted an extra shirt/sweater/layer for warmth. I found these after some very harried searching, since the shopgirl kept announcing how soon they were closing. There were lots and lots of vintage treasures, but I didn’t have time to admire them all, let alone try them on! I simply must go back when they are not closing imminently.
Leaving Mission Thrift the sun was beginning to set and the race was on to make it all the way back to the Out Sunset where Home Base is before it got too late [dark]. I got to South Van Ness and Market okay, but the 7 bus never showed, so I hoofed it down underground to catch the N Judah train. This turned out to be the right choice because not only is it faster and smoother than the bus, but the route it more scenic and the people watching opportunities the train afforded were great. My stop, 48th and Judah, is the very last stop, and I disembarked just after the sun set. So much for catching that show at the beach. Anyway, it’s only a two block walk back to Home Base from there, so I made it in good time. Home Base is packed to capacity tonight with all new faces. It seems that everyone only stays the one night around here except for me. I’m busy chatting up the latest batch of travelers while I write this and drink my Anchor Brewing IPA (a gift from Thibaut). It may be a Friday night in San Francisco, a city with admittedly fantastic nightlife, but after so little sleep and so much exploration, I’m beat. It’s time to curl up in bed with my new book.