Archive for March, 2006

on a lighter note

US Highway 101, which is the primary route from the city of San Francisco to the assorted industrial parks and exurbs of Silicon Valley, is technically named the Bayshore Freeway.

What it actually is, is the Highway of Diminishing Returns. Observe:

Leaving San Francisco (the corner of 4th & Mission) at 8:30, our hero curses his way through stop-and-go traffic all the way to Mountain View, and arrives at the GooglePlex at 10:00am on the dot.

On a later day, having slept through his alarm, our intrepid adventurer runs unshaved out of the house at 9:30am, and arrives in Mountain View at… 10:10am.

Draw your own snappy conclusions, I’m just happy that I’m now taking the shuttle and don’t have to worry about this any more.

darkness and distance

So, a month and change.

31 days, 3000 miles, from a Spanish-speaking neighborhood with a rapidly metastasizing hipster population in the north of Manhattan, to… a Spanish-speaking neighborhood with a rapidly metastasizing hipster population in the south of San Francisco. I’ve travelled so far, and moved so very little.

Snarking aside, the Mission is lovely, and probably the least dislocating place for an expatriate New Yorker to land: all-night bodegas, honking cars, produce stands and endless bric-a-brac stores. All the comforts of home (plus burritos). I think I might like to live here.

The blocks are longer here, and it’s oddly jarring. I keep walking and walking, and it’s still the same block. The intersections are lit, but darkness pools in the long stretches in-between. Just a matter of perspective, I guess. Everything is.

I miss Miranda. I thought when I first got here that I’d lost the trick of living alone: the huge, empty temporary apartment I was in seemed cavernous, even creepy. The knack for that came back quickly. What I actually am is out of practice in living with people other than her: I have a perfectly lovely temporary living situation, but sleeping on a futon in a room in someone else’s apartment is like going back in time to my immediate post-college years: entertaining and dismaying in equal measure. Seeing her in Philadelphia this last weekend was like having the nitrous regulator removed at the dentist: a sudden shock of remembering how to breathe again.

I miss Jocasta and Alithea. I miss my cats and my books. I miss my poker nights and the Piper’s Kilt. I miss the A train and the Brooklyn Bridge.

But driving up 101 from work tonight, I looked out the window and saw a thunderhead breaking against the mountains. This place is not without its own intrinsic rewards.

public service announcement

Do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be taken to see Ultraviolet. There is not enough beer in the world (and trust me, we tried) to make this a worthwhile undertaking.

Remember Aeon Flux? Right. Now remove all of the narrative cohesion that made it such a worthwhile cinematic experience. No, really.

I have just saved you all $10.75. You’re welcome.