adam and the cable car

Our long weekend in San Francisco was capped off on a serendipitous note when a chatty, exceedingly amiable gripman on the California line let Adam ring the bell. The picture below, however, is from earlier in our visit on Saturday when Adam and I were doodling along on the Powell Hyde Line, which is so consistently mobbed by German tourists and crabby families from Minnesota you could never expect such a charming thing to happen such as being allowed to ring the bell.

I adore San Francisco.  Does anyone not, really? If the Sierra Nevada weren’t so far away and the Bay Area wasn’t in California and I was fifteen years younger, I’d move to San Francisco for awhile. Occasionally I ponder how different our lives could have turned out if I’d decided to go to Cal-Berkeley instead of UW for graduate school, I was fairly confident of getting admitted to either program.  But back in the day I’d fallen in love with Seattle hard and we followed the dream I had for years of living in the shadow of the Cascades and Olympics in the land of fir trees and lapping inland saltwater. The decision was clinched when a float-plane glided over us while we were sitting on Kite Hill at Gas Works Park. I never even sent my application to Cal.

I think things turned out the way they were supposed to because the idea of living anyplace besides Seattle seems like so much nonsense. Our children are from here. So is our dog. But on our way to the house from the airport last night, the Emerald City felt more disappointingly suburban than ever. All the blank spaces and front yards made me claustrophobic (in a reverse sense I won’t even try to explain). Later in the night we were laying in bed reading and trying to block out Adam’s snoring on the baby monitor. I was thumbing through the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sunday Real Estate section. I asked Diana if she wanted to move to San Francisco and buy a Victorian triplex in Noe Valley but she said no. I guess we’re just going to have to visit San Francisco more.  I etch the city with good memories every time I visit and yet every time I leave part of me despairs because it dawns on me- maybe I still only know San Francisco the way most other tourists do.

I took  a lot of gear (tripod, filters, extra lenses) for shooting but it basically never left the hotel. It was more fun (and practical) wandering with just my camera slung over my shoulder.

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