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The Sole Prop's Sister?

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October 21, 2009

Energy Just Fine
Wednesday. Awake and up at eight, a decent night's sleep, breakfast at the usual place. Lunch later with Ms. R, a good friend I worked with at APL who lives with her husband and two youngsters in my old Potrero Hill neighborhood. Just across the street, in fact, from the two flat Victorian we called The Rip Off Ranch. We've been threatening to get together for lunch and walk the area now for a while. I'm curious to see how it's changed, where it's gone. Finding myself walking near the area yesterday, on my way to the PhotoShop class, I was noting the number of small graphic design studios, the murals on the buildings. I'm in favor of murals on buildings. It had always been an area with artist studios, but funkier, with more primitive conditions, rabbit warren studios built in empty industrial buildings, Project Artaud in its early days when no one could afford to heat their rooms in the winter.

Potrero Hill then was a funky San Francisco backwater, no ball park down the way, no tide of condominiums pushing in from city center, a transition area going from industrial to something more trendy. Back then there wasn't much you'd describe as trendy. Ah, well. We shall see and we shall know what's happened on the hill in another few hours.

You sound like some old dude bemoaning changes to what by now has become a mythical home town.

I am some old dude bemoaning changes to my home town. The old home town that came after the older home town, that came after the even older home town. I've had a couple of old home towns since.

Later. A very good lunch. I arrived early so I parked near the old Rip Off Press building, the back part of it now an artists' supply store with a sign our front advertising “Amusing Tools and Serious Toys - art/drafting supplies & gifts” and poked around taking pictures. I entered the store and recognized the shape of the interior, the heavy wood plank floors (where we'd had some really good parties) and was surprised by the selection of weird and off the wall stuff they had mixed in with the supplies you'd usually expect to find in an artist's supply store located around here, say, in a university district. I was impressed. A range of things such as small inexpensive plastic figures and weird, I don't know, items: miniature plastic dice, wolves wearing hats, puppets, Mickey Mouse ears. Well, not Mickey Mouse ears, my memory is going as I get older, same for the puppets and wolves wearing hats, but off the wall things in that vein that were surprisingly, well, nice.

We did a walk through the neighborhood and Ms. R humored me as I pointed out stores and buildings that had changed since I last saw them, had probably changed many times over the years: small shops of every kind coming and going, coming and going. The old Bottom of the Hill, now the Potrero Hill Bathhouse & Co. Ltd., had moved into a space that had been a truckers' bar across from the Rip Off Press where we'd go as a group for a big lunch and a few drinks on paydays. Other days we'd go for cheaper fare. High living on paydays in a trucker's bar. So, a good lunch today with Ms. R at a Sushi restaurant (she knows her sushi restaurants), back home by three, a good day, a clear head, energy just fine, thank you.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2009 LovEvolution Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at f 2.8 at 1/640th second, ISO 200.