Friday, April 25, 2008

Sax in the city

Jazz Jam Man
Originally uploaded by Vermin Inc
God knows why I waited so long to eat dinner.

I suppose it was one of those lucky coincidences. I kept thinking that I was going to be finished my work “in a minute” and so I kept doing “one last thing” and suddenly it was 10pm.


Alone and hungry in San Francisco at 10pm with no idea where to go. What else to do but as the concierge. And so I did. And he made a wonderful recommendation.

So I walked about 10 minutes up?down? to Union Square. I was passing it, wondering what the cute little square was when I realized it was the big thing on the map that I’d been planning to see. I passed gorgeous stores. Macy’s. Saks Fifth Avenue. And my favourites of a slightly more modest scale: Banana Republic, Max Mara and the like.

I almost too quickly got to the Prince Drake Hotel. A gorgeous old style hotel. I was not expecting that. I don’t know what I was expecting, exactly. Generic and mundane? This one has character. And I looked at the menu at Scala. It was perfect: Italian. I was seated quickly, served quickly and ate with pleasure. I looked around me.

I was surrounded by a huge group of Italian-speaking friends or family. A couple in front of me was clearly having trouble communicating – spoke two different languages, I suspect from my eavesdropping. Over there, a slick gay couple, one man so stylishly feminine, I wasn’t entirely sure he wasn’t a very masculine woman at first. They had martinis and fancy appetizers eaten with pinky out and beautiful meals and they worked on their shared PDA. The rustic brick wall by the kitchen was partially hung with polished copper pots and the waiters in white shirts, black ties and vests weaved around each other pleasantly about their busy ways. As I watched the boisterous crowd at this time of night in the low-lit room, a cable car trundled up the hill outside. I dipped my perfectly crusty bread into the grassy olive oil and smiled to find myself here, experiencing this.

On my walk home, I passed a guy playing “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” on his sax. At a random corner, for no one. But me. It was a perfect night.

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