Sunday, July 6, 2008

Urban Withdrawal

I just returned from a brief trip to San Francisco. After spending a day driving to Monterey and environs and another day visiting my husband’s relatives, that left one day and an additional dinner in San Francisco itself. I had to wrench myself away and climb onto the plane to leave. I have only been to California once before and then had a 1-hour whirlwind drive through San Francisco, so I wasn’t sure I would even like the city. Now, I want to scrounge up some more funds and visit again.

For those who do not know, I live in central Pennsylvania. You know the place. It’s where those who feel the effects of a declining economy cling to guns and religion. There is a dramatic contrast between my place and the place I just left. Yes, State College has its lively moments. The students of Penn State give the town that youthful, edgy feel. There is an art museum, one or two “upscale” restaurants. We even have boutiques (geared to the young and svelte). Travel a quarter mile from the town and there is “big box” country, McDonald’sTargetBestBuy. Travel a few more feet and you are in the country. Rusty Chevy country. Mullet country. Toppled trailer country. Cows, pigs, shirtless dudes cleaning their guns country.

Right now, I’d give money to see a pigeon and hear a car horn!

I know I will return to “normal” in another couple of days. I will feel less of a need for a city fix. But at the back of my mind, I will see bridges and skyscrapers, café tables and taxis. I will settle in. Birds will be fed. Quiet walks will be taken with the dog. I will revel in my nearby Target.

O.K. things we did:

Fisherman’s wharf – if kids are happy, then parents are happy. What else can I say? Had a good lunch at Scoma’s.

Cable Car – would have been better if shopping at the other end had been in the plan. Got off & then paid & waited in long line to get on again.

Excellent things we did:

Dinner at Luella - 1896 Hyde Street

Walking the streets and alleyways.

Trek to Coit Tower. Love those steps with all the beautiful gardens. A hike in the country does not usually appeal to me. A hike in the city is far superior.

Dinner at Street Restaurant – 2141Polk Street.

So my goal is to go again & do it better. Any suggestions?


paula said...

i'm still laughing at 'mullet country'
glad you had a good time there....

emily dg said...

I had to laugh at the, ahem, rather accurate descriptions my self! :) Sigh...I know EXACTLY what you goodness. I'm glad you got a chance to get to San Francisco. Been there a few times. Oddly, I went there before I moved to PA and thought it was too cold and windy! lol!! Now, that's a joke! Maybe my family will try to get our act together and go out to CA as well...

Anonymous said...

Kim, next time take the ferry over to Sausalito and perhaps a ride to Bezerkley...I mean Berkley...there's just so much creativity in the Bay area. And so much freedom to just 'be'. We left 6 years ago after living there for 20 years...I still long for those cool summer evenings!

Ellen said...

What a great post. Poetic and funny at the same time.I love San Francisco, and also didn't have nearly enough time there.
I can relate, although from a Canadian perspective. I live in a regional belt of conservatism that doesn't exist in most other parts of the country. So a city fix away from plazas and big box stores is a definite necessity sometimes.