I write this blog post from the bar in a Mexican restaurant with a strooooong margarita beside me, a small food mountain of chips and salsa as the gratis snack whilst I wait for my table, and my ears flapping wildly as I eavesdrop on the extraordinarily bratty young woman bitching about her female friends to the handsome Californian god who clearly adores her.
Welcome to San Francisco!
I am very happy. My room in my budget hotel is much lovelier than I’d anticipated and thanks to the several American readers who IMPLORED me to wrap up against SF vagaries, I have a fleece close to hand. I was very touched by everyone’s deep concern on my behalf. For the love of god, Karen, wrap up! Never since my Derbyshire childhood and my mother’s insistence on the wearing of vests all year round have I felt such deep concern for my well being. Bless you all! And as you rightly predicted, come 5pm the air turns chilly.
The trip started very early with a Paddington Bear photo that has quickly become established as Didyoumakethat tradition:
Note the lack of other travellers. It was silly o’clock!
London readers will laugh wryly when they hear that my first sight on riding the escalator to street level in San Francisco was … a Westfield shopping centre! (For international readers, we have two of these in London.) And so the world gets smaller…
But my second sight was of the tram above, and I was staggered to discover the below literally around the corner from my hotel:
First impressions of a city I last visited about 15 years ago?
It’s very … groovy is the word that springs to mind. I think of New York as cool, but San Francisco strikes me as groovy. Wander into a seemingly innocuous hotel lobby and – yes, Handmade Jane! – you have stumbled upon a free-thinking chapter from Tales In The City. (San Franciscians – have I just committed the equivalent sin of saying that Oliver Twist is an accurate reflection of London?!)
In a couple of days, I’m meeting up with some fellow Sewists at the Rouge & Blanc bar, 334 Grant Avenue in Central San Francisco:
Unbelievably, one of the attendees will be a fellow London resident, who joined me at the OWOP cocktail evening! What was I saying about the world getting smaller?
If you’re considering a jaunt in town with like-minded people, a group of us will be at Rouge & Blanc from 6pm, Wednesday 9 May.
Right. The jet lag is making me feel heady. Or is that the margarita? I hope you don’t mind any stream-of-consciousness or erratic blogging from this trip. I can’t promise it will all be about sewing or knitting or crochet. (Though may I just say: High five! Knitting needles, crochet hook and embroidery scissors through airport security no problem. The crochet saved my sanity as a queue crawled through passport control.)
Um, what was I saying…? I’m losing my focus. I think it’s time to crawl towards my bed.