I meant to mention one other great thing about San Francisco: Kennedy's Irish Pub and Curry House, at 1040 Columbus Ave., right where the Powell-Mason cable car line ends. It had everything I could ever dream of in a place to park myself for hours: dozens of microbrews, a great bartender (Max McLean), outdoor seating (the back patio overlooks the cable car terminus; the front, busy Columbus Ave. in North Beach), and tasty dal makhani.
I went there Thursday and Friday afternoons, sat in the sun, drank some beer, ate some curry, and fought off some of the most aggressive pigeons I've ever encountered. (Max told me pigeons are a protected species in San Francisco. This is probably not true, but I still hesitated before swatting one off my book. Imagine the scene below with a pigeon perched on the cover, pecking at my naan: that's what I discovered upon returning from the washroom.)
If they only had WiFi, and if Parker had been with me, I might never have come home.
I'm still scanning all my old photos, now up to slide #964 of 3,828 (not including the 176 rolls of negatives). In addition to the embarrassing photos of me as a gangly teenager, and embarrassing photos of my family (complete with 1980s hair and clothes), I've also found some of general interest, like these two of New York in July 1984:
In the bottom picture you can just make out that the Statue of Liberty is covered in a scaffold. This was during the centennial renovation project that ended with the statue's re-opening to the public on 4 July 1986. Also, you can see the World Financial Center under construction just to the right (West) of the World Trade Center.
That's the 10th St. Beach in Miami Beach, Fla. As I write this the sun is coming up over Lake Michigan. It's just 20°C (36°F) colder there, is all.
Today's Chicago Tribune asks, "Who needs Florida?":
Balmier days are forecast to continue in Illinois over the next few days, a result of warmer air masses flowing in from the west and southwest and the effects of an El Nino year.
While no records are being broken—back in 1876 it was 65°F (18°C) on Jan. 2—temperatures in coming days are expected to remain mercifully above the historic average high of about 30°F (-1°C).
I find this funny because I'm sitting in shorts and a polo shirt by a pool surrounded by palm trees, a light 24°C (75°F) breeze cooling my sandal-clad feet, looking at Chicago's weather report, which tells me it's 1°C (33°F) back home—with a wind chill of -4°C (25°F).
I really can't answer the question "who needs Florida," but I can say the weather's a lot better here than in Chicago.
I'm back in Chicago, but I'm looking forward to my next visit to San Francisco. Here's one more from our walk Saturday:
(Click on the photo to see it full-size.)
I took a walk this afternoon and wound up here:
And then this happened:
Congratulations to Anne's home-town team, the St. Louis Cardinals, winning the World Series against the team that the Cubs last played for the same title. As a Cubs fan, I had some difficulty rooting for the Cardinals (the teams' rivalry goes back to the beginnings of professional baseball in the 1880s), but since the Tigers are in the American League I managed to do so.
Also of note to St. Louisians, it was on this day in 1965 that engineers completed the Gateway Arch.