Our apartment overlooks the Embarcadero in San Francisco and at 17 floors up, I get a bird’s eyeview of all that happens, traffic-wise.
Tonight, as I waited for dinner to bake, I watched hundreds of people carrying pillows, heading towards the Ferry Building for a flash mob pillow fight. If I had known far enough ahead of time this event would be happening, I would have grabbed the camera and headed over, sans pillow. I need the two pillows we have in the place.
It is a 3-day weekend, Valentine’s Day, and Chinese New Year so the traffic, both foot and car, is the most I have ever seen. Sundays are pretty quiet around our end of town, but not today. We got stuck in traffic coming back from San Mateo, making a 20 minute trip almost one hour. The northbound car traffic on the Embarcadero has been backed up all evening. Usually Monday mornings are busy around here; wonder what tomorrow will be like.
It’s Monday morning in San Francisco and the rhythm of the place is much different from the weekend days. Not only is there more car traffic (I can’t run across Howard Ave on the red), but the foot traffic is different. Our apartment building sits on the fringe of the financial district and among many tall office buildings where the city’s commerce takes place.
On Sundays, there might be a jogger or two, maybe someone walking their dog, but on Monday there are all the well dressed people heading for work. I felt like a frump in my slacks, tshirt, and tennis shoes. Although, I did put on my makeup before heading to Starbucks, so maybe I wasn’t too out of place.
I’ve really got to rethink my wardrobe to live here. I’ve not bought clothes this winter, except for a pair of navy slacks, a black jacket, and a hat, this season. Well, I guess I have bought a lot, but all of it with San Francisco in mind. I want to see where I will work and what the dress code will be for the place and what kinds of duties I will have. My current wardrobe is wash and wear because I have to crawl around on floors checking cables and plugs when I hear, “Mrs. Zody, the computer won’t work.” It will do fine for weekends, but come Monday morning, I need to look spiffier.
Saturday mornings…I like to get up early (not as early as school mornings, though), get a few loads of laundry done, and then head out to run my errands. I’m usually on the road by 9. This morning, so was everyone else. The traffic was heavy; I was surprised. Usually early Saturday mornings are quiet.
I got to Whole Foods and there were long lines at all the checkout stands as I was coming into the store. Wow, these people were out even earlier than me?
By the time I did my shopping, the lines were gone and I sailed through the checkout. The next store, same thing. By 10:30, on my way home, the traffic was nonexistent. Guess everyone got out early and then headed home or onto the next activity. It is supposed to be over 100 degrees today so that may have been the incentive. It sure was for me.
Now I’m headed out to lunch with girlfriends. Wonder if I’ll run into crowds again?
All summer the traffic has been light around town. Perhaps it’s the high gas prices, perhaps it’s the heat, or perhaps it’s because everyone left town. I’ve also not had to deal with crowds in the stores the few times I’ve been out shopping, usually early in the morning so as to be home by the time the temperature reaches 100. Every Saturday morning I head to Whole Foods very early to grocery shop for the week, and it’s been quiet and relaxed on these summer Saturdays.
Today, it all changed. The traffic was heavier, the stores I visited had PEOPLE in them, and Whole Foods? Whole Foods was, as my mother would say, working alive. I had to say “excuse me” a couple of times to get past people blocking aisles. I couldn’t get help at the fish counter because there were people ahead of me. I gave up at the prepared foods area too because I really didn’t want to wait. I maneuvered my way into the baked goods so I could buy bagels, but then I had to carefully navigate the checkout lines as they were stacked up. And this was all before 11 a.m.
Everyone is getting back into the routine. By Monday all the schools, including the colleges, will be back in session. Some schools have been back for two weeks now. Everyone who went away for the summer is back; they are on the streets and in the stores, and I am just going to have to get used to it.