Lyrics by: Douglass Cross
The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay,
The glory that was Rome is just another day,
I’ve been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan,
I’m going home to my city by the bay.

I left my heart in San Francisco, high on a hill it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars.
The morning fog may chill the air, I don’t care.
My love waits there in San Francisco, above the blue and windy sea,
When I come home to you, San Francisco, your golden sun will shine for me.


It’s not every day you get to introduce someone to the wonder that is the city. I love San Francisco as much as a non-native city dweller can. I live in the south bay, but I look forward to spending as much time near the Golden Gate as I can, and all my friends who live up there take the time to introduce me to more and more places to go and hang out or enjoy yourself every time I go up there. There’s never a poor excuse to go, other than to go, and any day where you spend only a little bit of time within the city’s limits is a trip wasted (and I’ve made many of those).

Yesterday, I had one of those unique opportunities to introduce to the city and all its splendor. After picking her up from her place and talking with her sparingly before we arrived in the city (that period of meeting someone for the first time and figuring out the best way to break the ice, in between talking about the weather and other small-talk topics) I had assumed that she had explored the city to a certain extent, since she knew her way down to Pac Bell, but after a brief conversation, it seems that Pac Bell had been all she’d really seen, and ever then, she’d never fully seen the park. During the middle of the fourth, we went to the Fan Lot, she bought a bowl o’ chicken that was bigger than her, had some garlic fries as an appetizer before the first, and then I bought churros… because churros rule and even though they’re ridiculously expensive ($3.50 per churro), you can’t not go to Pac Bell and not have a churro. It’s like garlic fries. I can’t not go and not eat as many garlic fries as I can stand (before I begin to bleed garlic). Anyway, following home run number 668 and the amazing F-Rod being the best player the Marlins had, it was still pretty early, and both she and I had the whole day off.

Why waste it? I said. We’re here, and we can go play. To me, one of the best things about getting a mid-weekday off is the fact that most everyone else is stuck behind a desk or tied to their jobs. Not me. I get two to three weekdays off and I love it. I like being able to catch a day game at the park without having to worry about getting the time off from work; I like being able to drive wherever I want and still stay in touch with my boss (btw, that was the reason I was carrying my badge around with me… in case I got a called in). The point is that if and when you have an opportunity and the time to drive around and show off some of the cooler places, why not? So we did, and first on my list was Japantown.

For those of you who know my special connection with the Japan Center (Kintetsu Mall), it just makes it even better when you walk with someone back to the Kinokuniya bookstore. I recall the first time Ken Lau took me back there and I was just in awe of the amount of books, music, and other cool stuff to purchase. Like I said to Tap, when I was her age, I used to spring free of my job for a couple of day, drive up to the city, and do a serious anime run between four stores (two of which have since closed down), then bolt over to Emeryville to visit the Tower on Powell, and Kimono My House (before the owner over there began to piss me off). I would not go home unless I had spent over $500 of my money, and then I would be set for a good long while… of course, now that VHS tapes are no longer the thing, and DVDs are, all my VHS tapes sit in a storage box in a storage place, degrading in quality as I write this.

After she purchased books and I picked up the latest Every Little Thing album, we grabbed something to drink and then headed for Chocolate Square. The cool thing about Ghiradeli is that it’s right across the street from the beach, where I’ve sat and watched the waves off and on many times. After sitting down and talking, I remember what Tap said about the water being inspirational and making her want to write. I smiled to myself, because that’s pretty close to what it is. I personally don’t like beaches too much, but I like to watch them. I’ve always pictured a beach house somewhere, where I could go and sit with a laptop and write whatever it was that scramed to get out of me and onto the page. I work right by the water, and sometimes I will eat my lunch within view… I can see 3com Park, and it’s like the city is teasing me whenever I go to work! 😉

Anyway, as she wrote in her journal, we talked quite a bit about whatever came to mind. Every now and again, the wind would kick up and I’d end up chewing some sand involuntarily, but it was all right. It was an excellent conversation. A conversation held in mode of stream-of-consciousness is pretty cool, I’ve always thought. It’s like the comedy of Robin Williams, where thought becomes word instantaneously. It’s hard not to appreciate the raw nature of expression and accept it for what it is. I like not having to read between the lines, because I tend to take people at face value, and all the things not said that were said are ignored. After letting the sun fall in the sky a little bit more, we picked up some chocolate, and then headed for the Metreon.

My left knee hurts like hell, now, because I played five games straight of DDR at Portal One. Tap injured her wrist playing Marvel vs Capcom, so right around eight, the walking wounded made their way back to my car where we got in and I took her home. You what sucked about the trip home? Unlike before, where it went quick because I had someone to talk to, it was excrutiatingly slow. Thank god called, because otherwise I might have drifted off to sleep behind the wheel. My excitement for going to the game got the better of me the night before and I only got five hours of good sleep before I had to get up and drive to CCC to pick up Tap. Since it was after 9pm and I was yawning heavily… the car is so damn comfortable, you could sleep inside it without much effort.

Introducing someone to the city takes me back to the first time someone did the same for me. It’s a rare treat to get to do that for someone else, even with my inept guide skills and lack of complete knowledge of the city.. just the spots I like to go to often. I thank her for the opportunity to relive that experience by providing her with one of her own. Let’s not let that be a one-time thing, Tap. I bought the tickets for 5/11, and we’re sitting in the left-field bleachers this time, just like you wanted. 🙂