I went downtown today. I've been going downtown again lately since my roommate RL suggested that I cure my eternal schlumpiness ... my word, not his ... of dress casual by letting Macy's do it for me. This all started with the new glasses, my first pair of all-day bifocals, whose fashion-forward frames are handmade by the German outfit Mykita. You have to check out the web site ... it is almost a parody of the features of German design that they lampoon on Saturday Night Live. Still, they are cool glasses, and they had the effect I solicited from them. They changed my sight lines.
Life in the broad masses, even for us eclectic do-it-our-own-way types, has a certain feel of longue durée, and it is worthwhile taking each little blip on the horizon, each change of yarn in the knitting, as a way to revisit commonplaces and habits. True even for those of us who seek out habits and hang on to them.
So I have been upgrading the haberdashery with the aid of Leland, fourth floor salesman. Leland is an elegant middle-aged, impeccably dressed black guy who has to be gay, though I have no warrant on that. He interrupted me chiding my fabulous ex, Richard, for daring to assert that I might try something different, and he has led me through this intense process of dressing like a grown up. Two pairs of shoes, four pairs of dress pants, five shirts, three ties, and sundry accessories later, I am looking a while lot better. Still not good, gawd noze, but better. It's been fun.
So I went downtown today to pick up the latest altered pants, and ended up in the Daily Grill Where I ordered a martini and a slab of seared tuna. The waiter, an older guy with a surfeit of personality reminiscent of bygone days in San Francisco, asserted with jocularity, when I took a pick of the eats, that this was his intellectual property. I volunteered to give him a plug and I hereby do ... he is Ken --------. Alas, he does not have a computer, so he will not see this, but if any friend of his stumbles across my little screed, please let him know that I fulfilled my part of the bargain, and I enjoyed his service.
Ken also asked what I was reading, and was impressed that I was reading Herodotus. He is currently reading a biography of Patton, before which he read a biography of Walt Disney. He also scorned MRU, the major research university where I count stitches just in time to get the nine that feeds me and pays for my new duds. He was schooled, evidently some time ago, at Cal, as was I. I variously told him that I had been in printing for life, that I have a PhD, and that I work for MRU. He did not ask that I stitch this unlikely pastiche into a whole cloth and I did not volunteer. I originally planned to use this post for such a stitching .. but that would seem contrived.
Martini consumed, Ken tipped, Herodotus stowed away, I took one of San Francisco's classic streetcars home and had a nap. That was Saturday in the city.
Photos by Arod, today, in downtown San Francisco