Cathedral Hill Hotel Building Deconstruction

Remember a bit ago when I wrote about the building deconstruction of the Cathedral Hill Hotel? It looked like this:

IMG 4810 764x1024 Cathedral Hill Hotel Building DeconstructionThe last time I went by, the building was down and now it’s rubble:

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Mushrooms in the Neighborhood

My Japantown neighborhood is populated by tree-lined streets. Many of these trees seem to have wild mushrooms growing in them.

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They pop up almost overnight, grow wild and then decay.

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Although sometimes they disappear before decaying. I assume they get taken by urban foragers but I don’t really know for sure.

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I’ve never been bold enough to try them myself but I love looking at them grow and change on my walks in the area.

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Masks, Fountains and Magic


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Yesterday I mentioned that when I went to World Naked Bike Ride it was a beautiful sunny San Francisco Saturday. I was at Justin Hermann Plaza, where there’s a terrific sculpture fountain, and since it was Saturday there were vendors set up. I tried on a million different masks sold by a man named Steve Pogni and ended up getting one. I’m not sure where I’ll wear it but there’s always some kind of costumed event happening in San Francisco so I’m sure I’ll find ample opportunity. In the meantime I just wore it while hanging out at the fountain, listening to the beautiful French music of a street performer who was there at the time. That’s the magic of daily life in San Francisco.

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Sweet Graffiti

One of the things I secretly love and always keep an eye out for is graffiti / tagging that has a sweet side to it. Examples:

graffiti love Sweet Graffiti

sweet graffiti Sweet Graffiti

The first one is from a footbridge that crosses the Pacific Coast Highway to the ocean near Santa Monica. The second one was from a little rock cabin in a hiking spot in Arizona.

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It’s Never What You Expect in Life

collage art1 Its Never What You Expect in Life

I am thinking right now about how pointless it is to be scared in life because the big things that really impact your life are never the things that you expect. I didn’t have a super big thing happened, but something did happen that made me think about this.

Shots Fired

My brother and his girlfriend (plus their little Yorkie dog) are visiting this week. We were walking the other day to get ice cream in Hayes Valley. I was talking about one of the neighborhoods I’d been petsitting in and how it has really gotten frightening there with several recent shootings and other violence. I was just wrapping up what I was saying when we heard gunshots.

I’ve never heard gunshots in my life before. Somehow I knew that’s what they were, though, but then I immediately also thought that maybe it wasn’t. We were only blocks from my apartment, which is in a safe neighborhood. It was all so confusing and blurry in that moment.

We all ducked around the corner but the Yorkie got loose and ran off right into traffic. My brother instinctively ran to get her, right into where the gunshots were. I stayed put but his girlfriend took off to try to find him so we were all split up. Of course there was a whole crowd and we still didn’t know exactly what had happened. My brother and his girlfriend really don’t know the area and I wasn’t sure if they could find the house so I had to go find them.

It took awhile to found my brother. He had just finally caught the dog who was hit by a car and had shit all over herself so we didn’t know if she was okay. It was impossible to tell in that mess she was in whether she was bleeding or could possibly have internal bleeding. But we also needed to find my brother’s girlfriend first.

It took us quite a long time to find my brother’s girlfriend and all get home safe where we had to deal with the dog, who is fine. We’re all fine. But I was absolutely terrified for so many reasons. The positive in all this was that the cops were there in literally one minute and as I was looking for my brother a whole bunch of the neighborhood were paying attention, asking if  we’d found each other, keeping an eye out and asking after the dog. In fact, when we were walking with the dog trying to find my brother’s girlfriend the mailman even stopped his vehicle to ask us if that was the dog everyone was looking for and if she was okay.

It’s Always the Unexpected

This all happened so quickly, so close to home, in a space that feels safe to me. It happened just as I was talking about another place where I was afraid to go because it didn’t seem to be safe. And this reminds me yet again that it’s not the problems we expect that are the problems in our lives.

I mentioned an observation like this recently on this blog in my post about diving fearlessly into the ocean at the start of the year. It’s not the same thing, exactly, but I’d been scared of the experience of going into the ocean before I did it and then while I was busy thinking about being scared I almost fell backwards off of a staircase, which would have done me far more damage than the cold of the ocean.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a responsible person who believes that it is smart to be cautious and not place yourself at undue risk of harm. But with that in mind, there really is no way to prepare for most things in life that end up scaring you.

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