Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Musings

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood – 75 degrees, sunny, a pleasant breeze -- what to do with the afternoon?

In just a week, I’m already paranoid about moving my car – if I drive somewhere, I’ll lose my parking spot just half a block from the house, and weekend parking seems harder to come by than parking during the week. I studied the bus routes to assorted destinations. I studied the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) routes to other destinations. Then I went for a walk.

I’m walking every day because it’s easy and because I’ve not yet joined a gym. Besides, on previous walks I have observed:

• A family of four painting a bookcase on the sidewalk in front of their home.

• The roof of a convertible (unsure what model) draped around a tree, as though for safe-keeping.

• A woman bedecked in many a colorful tattoo – and those were just the ones I could see.

• An ebullient young man hanging half out of a car window shouting, “Hello!” to everyone. (Maybe he just moved here, too?)

• A German shepherd tied up next to a sign outside a restaurant called The Little Chihuahua.

I headed west on Oak to Divisadero Street. San Francisco is divided up into dozens of small neighborhoods, and Joel has described this one as the Middle Haight, nestled right between the Upper Haight, which is where Ashbury intersects, and the Lower Haight. I popped into a store called Cookin’: Recycled Gourmet Appurtenances, owned by one J. Kaminsky. Hundreds of thousands of kitchen items fill the cluttered shop – if you ever owned it or you ever needed it, it’s here. Four of us were meandering up and down the narrow aisles while Ms. Kaminsky answered questions, located items and chatted with her dog, who works part-time at the store.

One table holds Le Creuset cookware in all sizes, another displays a bevy of teapots. A tea cozy in a fish-print fabric is for sale, as are many, many sets of dishes. One man found a Calphalon accessory he said he’d been searching for over the past decade. A cookie cutter in the shape of a crab was on a shelf. Hundreds of salt and pepper shakers were available, as was a brand new, 24-inch-tall pepper mill. I admired a pretty red ceramic pitcher, an enamel cup sporting a cow and the best nut chopper I have ever seen, but left with only a Corning dish with a lid and an Oxo grater for me and a metal trivet for P&J.

A door or two away I entered The Other Shop, which is filled with vintage furniture, records, clothing and accessories. (Note to Gail and Other Gail: I spied not one, but TWO sets of nesting Pyrex bowls in primary colors – one marked $58 and one marked $78.) A desk lamp in primary colors, made in the ‘70s, caught my attention right away. Too bad it was by a famous designer and cost $62. A teak filing cabinet intrigued me. I liked the coasters from Australia with Aboriginal designs. Then I spied two Hawaiian shirts in perfect condition, both made in Hawaii. The shirts cost just $18, so I bought one! And I bought Edward a Not Birthday Present.

While I was in the shop, I overheard the manager order a sandwich from King Foot Submarine, a little place across the street. When the order arrived, they showed me the different sizes – you can get a tiny sub sandwich as well as a bigger one. I walked there and ordered the tuna sub with bacon and avocado, and sat in the window enjoying my lunch.

“I live here,” I said aloud. (No one was nearby to hear.) I laughed and then went back to my sandwich.

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