Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Day after Thanksgiving,

Well, my Thanksgiving guests--my eldest son Eric and my father--have come and gone.

I'll be adding some photos soon, but just to let you know that while Eric was here, we bicyled across the Golden Gate Bridge and down to Sausalito. It was a beautiful, clear day, so doing the journey from Fishermen's Wharf, along the Marina, over the Bridge, and down the hill to the Sausalito wharf, plus the ferry ride at night back to the City, offered some gorgeous views and a lot of good, healthy exercise!

My father arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and the three of us had a nice turkey lunch yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving. But don't think I slaved away in the kitchen! Safeway(grocery store) has a great, reasonably-priced deal--a 12 pound precooked turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, bread stuffing, buns and pumpkin pie--which comes in a big cardboard box, and all you have to do is heat up the contents. Since the meal was for 6-8 people, I now have a lot of turkey on my hands for the rest of the week.

While the "guys" went sightseeing at Fishermen's Wharf yesterday morning before lunch, I attended an interfaith religious service at Grace Cathedral. The service, which was conducted by religious representatives of many faiths-- Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc--was very beautiful and moving. Apparently, it's only the second year they've done this. Last year, it was at the initiative of the Unitarians and a reformed Jewish synagogue. I for one found attending a service of this sort a worthwhile way to give thanks for our blessings and to turn our thoughts to those less fortunate.

Eric left yesterday afternoon, so my father and I took a walk over to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill and then went "downtown" for drinks at the Cityscape bar and restaurant on the 46th floor of the Hilton Hotel. What a view we had! Actually, we'd set out for the "Top of the Mark" revolving bar(where my mother and father met in 1945 while my father was on leave from the war in the Pacific) at the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill, but they were closing for a few hours in-between two restaurant services. As it turned out, we had a great time at the Hilton. It wasn't so "stuffy" as the Mark Hopkins, and the view, as I said, was wonderful.

Today--Friday--is a big shopping day here. No sooner is Thanksgiving over than the big Christmas "push" is on. I saw on the TV that some people sarted lining up at certain discount appliance stores at 3 this morning to buy the latest plasma TVs, computers and so forth. There are already Christmas trees and lights everywhere, and on the radio channels I listen to they're even playing Christmas carols!

I still love this city, but, as in many other big cities, there are big social differences and some rough "quartiers". I'm in a very safe, upscale neighborhood, but down on Market Street and in the Tenderloin, for example, there are lots of homeless, panhandlers, and sick "bag people". I was also witness the other night to a very ugly exchange on a trolley bus: a schizophrenic white woman, who was disturbing some of us passengers, was asked by the African-American bus driver to get off the bus. Her racist slurs upon leaving the bus were inexcusable, and several of us apologized to the bus driver for her.

Voila my thoughts for today...

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that the concert I attended last Saturday night with my friends Nell and Cynthia was wonderful. The charismatic Michael Tilson Thomas was conducting. They played a piece by Balakierev and Symphony No 5 in D minor by Shostakovich, as well as a modern piece called "Atlantic Crossing" by Volans with Marc-Andre Hamelin at the piano.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Please let me hear from you.


At November 25, 2006 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just thought I'd let you know a place where you can make some nice extra cash secret shopping.
I made over $900 last month having fun!

At November 28, 2006 12:56 AM, Anonymous B. Vincent said...

I'm glad you've spent some nice moments with Eric and your dad.
I'd like to see them both again some day.
Enjoy SF and the Californians.
Here everything's fine, including the weather. It's like early September.
My "Lincoln" has reached page 207.


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