san francisco

I returned yesterday from visiting my friend Beth in San Francisco. I went with two other friends and we had a splendid, savvy-native tour. Good restaurants. Good parks. Good weather. Really good weather. Weather I would like to own. At the Ferry Plaza farmer’s market I ate peaches that made me think that perhaps there was a god. Illogically delicious peaches for a northeasterner who thought she understood them and is shocked to discover she didn’t. I could move there for the peaches, but that wouldn’t be the only thing. The strawberries were miraculous too.

We took a ride north one day, stopping at Rancho Nicasio, just off of the beautiful Lucas Valley Road, a nightclub/restaurant I worked at for a while during an interruption of my Woodstock years. I spent some months doing bookkeeping there, and house-sitting for the owners who were spending an extended visit with family back east. It looked pretty much the same, just cleaned up a bit. Thankfully the dingy dusty animal busts were still on the walls and the dark wood interior was intact. They removed the purple tie-dyed length of Christo’s Running Fence, a project completed in 1976 wherein he and Jeanne-Claude installed an 18 foot high, 24 and a half miles long curtain across the hills of Marin and Sonoma counties. It used to hang from the ceiling, billowing in the breeze of the fans. I wonder if the new owners knew what it was when they took it down, or if it was removed before they bought the place. I wonder where it is now, that 18 by 40 feet piece of cloth that had fleeting fame as part of a project that was deconstructed after 14 days and purportedly left no visible trace. I still think about it 33 years later.


  1. It's with you. A different kind of trace. (I looked it up. It's like the Great Wall of China, only floppier.)

    Come visit me in W. Townsend, and I will bring you to our sites. So much to do, including admiring the many long curtains that hang from the windows in local homes. A nice couple with the last name "Crisco" (close enough) live on Battery Road. Strawberries, peaches, slugs--yeah, we got 'em. I am drafting the 25-page itinerary now. Bring some sun block. I'll make your head spin.

  2. Rancho Nicasio was a wonderful interlude during the San Francisco foray. I particularly liked the volunteer fire department house.

    I bought peaches today at Idlewild and it totally and completely depressed me.