Yesterday I went up to San Francisco by train. I wanted to do parts of the Barbary Coast Trail, including Grace Cathedral and Chinatown.
I love Grace Cathedral. The Episcopal Church has been dear to me since it saved my faith back when I went to Berkeley and I love it for that reason alone. But also because it has icons of John Donne and Martin Luther King, Jr, an e=mc2 stained glass window, and a Peets Coffee in the basement. Unfortunately, I got there too late to participate in the Holy Eucharist, so I just wandered around the church, leafing through the Book of Common Prayer and lighting a candle or two. Afterwards, I sat on the steps for a while, just soaking up the sun. (Have I mentioned how much I’m enjoying the weather here?)
Then down California Street into Chinatown. Reading American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods has changed the way I look at these streets. I thought about the stories in the book of growing up in tiny apartments and poverty whenever I saw apartment buildings with the washing hanging from the windows to dry. It made it more three-dimensional somehow. No less fascinating or fun, but it did make it a bit odd to walk around taking pictures.
And then I met my dad at Peets (where else?), where we did a crossword and indulged in coffee before going on to the Alexander Book Company.
And then on to the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The exhibit on the (informal) black-Jewish alliance (demonstrated through music) was particularly fun, as this was the exhibit:
you could sit down at the tables and flip between songs on the iPads bolted down. (Although you were kindly requested to not play on the piano.)
And to top it off, we finished off the day at the Fog City Diner with a delicious burger and fries.