HABITS OF THE SOCIAL ANIMAL
But the fragrance of my pipe provides a dissident note.
The views yesterday were splendid, the Bay is beautiful on a clear winter day.
I rarely pause to admire the vistas of Angel Island or Alcatraz, and regarding the Golden Gate Bridge, it is at it's best when you cross it in fog.
But I do not tire of the streetscapes in my part of the city; the slopes of the hills -- Nob, Telegraph, Russian -- and the narrow one-way streets that cross over, as well as stretches that are dense with trees, such as Hyde Street between Washington and Broadway. That, probably, is my favourite stroll. It is near the apartment, and far enough uphill that neither alcoholics nor tourists infest it much, though they roll through on the cablecar periodically. This is a mixed neighborhood, with shops and many small restaurants, some very inexpensive, some far less so.
Perfect for a stroll and a pipe at teatime as the scant daylight of December fades.
Years ago there were half a dozen bookstores within ten minutes easy walk of home. For reasons I need not detail there is only one left. There are fewer "destinations" for the wandering bachelor, and though there are coffee shops a-plenty, you will understand that besides being non-smoking environments, they too no longer present a welcome end of the journey.
There's something off-putting about places filled with yuppy cellphone yack or laptop frenzy. Do people even own books anymore?
If so, how did they buy them, and where do they read?
I suspect that walking around with a book nowadays is similar in some ways to showing a visible disease. Unsettling, and evidence of tree-murder and deviance.
Much like enjoying a pipe.
But at least I have earthmother repellent.
It's at full blast, offending greenie-weenies wherever I go.
If certain old-fashioned vices don't displease you, you could join me.
You might end up smelling faintly smoky, though.
I hope you don't mind.
We can read a bit.
NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.
Labels: Hyde Street