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Solstice Done Right!

We had one of our periodic heat waves, but it broke today. Luckily it hung around for a few days, just over the solstice, so everyone got to hang out in the streets, walk around in that happy daze that San Franciscans get when it’s actually nice outside at night and you don’t need a jacket!

My evening was particularly sweet because my lovely daughter and I decided to go out for a nice dinner to belatedly celebrate her 22nd birthday and my Father’s Day… Here she is enjoying a white Cotes du Rhone which surprised us both with its character and crispness…

We had the prix fix dinner at La Provence on 22nd and Guerrero and it was actually quite good. I had mussels, something I always enjoy… after eating we took one of my favorite long walks up Liberty Hill to 21st and Sanchez, and here was the view just at dusk…

While we sat on the odd little memorial bench and enjoyed the balmy evening sunset, a gaggle of young Latina women with a small boy appeared across the street. It seemed odd at first, as none looked to be the normal ‘walk-up-a-steep-hill-after-dinner’ type, whatever that is… one of them came over and gave us a flyer–turns out they were looking for housecleaning work. A quintessential moment in our daily lives these days, the odd overlappings that characterize urban life, right at the top of the hill across from Sunny Jim Rolph’s Pleasure Palace too…

Francesca and I carried on, walking past Corwin Community Garden, over Kite Hill, up the Pemberton Steps and then finally to Tank Hill, still one of the premier destinations for walkers. There was still a hint of purple in the sky as we joined a dozen folks perched all over the rock outcropping up there, everyone chatting and drinking and smoking. Then down to the Haight, back east, through the pitch black Buena Vista Park, and finally down to the Castro where we got lazy and caught a cab home.

Thursday was still a heat wave, but you could feel our automatic air conditioning kicking on as the day wore on and the wind came up. Francesca and her friend Greg joined me and Stephanie for a lovely long walk down to Yerba Buena to see the Black Panther exhibit. The exhibit is interesting, though it does throw a kind of nostalgic glow over the story. (I’m biased since I lived in Oakland as a kid while a lot of that was going on. I remember it through the filters of early adolescence and the various amazing and occasionally traumatic events that I lived through then, including the terrifying experience of having our elementary school attacked by kids from the nearby junior high school after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.) Kudos to the curator for bringing in current political prisoners by video to tell their stories. Plus, upstairs is a fascinating complementary exhibit by several collectives, showing ingenious artifacts made by prisoners, casting a new light on the idea of DIY…

After that Stephanie and I went to the new Pier 14 where this Burning Man sculpture called “Passage” has just been installed…

And Pier 14 is cool! Kind of weirdly metallic and modernist compared to our old familiar friend Pier 7, but I’m glad it’s there. Here’s a view back from it with the late afternoon sun in my eyes…

And after all that we went to the opening party for Mike Rauner’s new book “The Visionary State” at the art gallery where his photos are now on display and for sale… check it out!

Oh yeah, the World Cup! Go Ghana! Way to knock out the grossly overrated and boring U.S. team. Hope they discover how to play one of these years, but then who cares? I’d much rather see teams from the rest of the world. I’m rooting for Ecuador and Sweden tomorrow, but I doubt if either will win. I am predicting that Germany will take the whole thing, mostly because they’ve been playing well, they can score and play defense, and they’re at home. Home field seems like such a huge advantage in soccer at this level… I was really hoping to see Korea make it through and France go home, but it was not to be, alas. Still have to pull for Australia just cuz, and Brazil because they’re the ones who will save us from an all European final… And I’ve been advised by folks who should know that we all really want Mexico to lose so that the politics in the country will swing to the left. If the team keeps winning (unlikely against Argentina tomorrow anyway) it tends to strengthen the old patronage system in Mexico… it’s a theory anyway!

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One Response to “Solstice Done Right!”

  1. 1

    Interesting post – thanks for sharing! Summer (and for that matter, Winter) Solstice is a big thing in Norway). We celebrate it as St. Hans’ Day the 24st of June (Hans is short for Johannes – the baptist). Greetings from the land of the midnight sun:-)