Day 66 of Project 365: 7 Courses of Beef.

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This post is late because I ate so much that I could not even contemplate looking at photographs of the meal. Here is one amidst the carnage of our Seven Courses of Beef (Bò 7 Món). If you wish to experience this Vietnamese delight for yourself, Anh Hong on Geary is the place to go in San Francisco. Generous friends treated me to dinner as a bon voyage gift and it was an unforgettable experience.

Day 63 of Project 365: SFlickr.

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Say what you will about how San Francisco has changed. Tell me that I can’t go home again. I’m an adult (theoretically) and I can take it.

As long as I get to reminisce about the glory days of the San Francisco Flickr User Group (a/k/a SFlickr) I’ll be fine.

Participating in SFlickr was such an important aspect of my life in San Francisco, and I’m glad that tonight I got to see some of the great people I met through the monthly meetups. Maybe someday SFlickr will rise again. Or it won’t. Either way, I’m a lucky duck. Er, swan.

Writing from: a quiet home in Marin. Listening to: Zen chasing kernels around a stainless-steel bowl.

Day 52 of Project 365: One inside the other.

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This was one of the best days of my life, and of course I took zero photos of any of the great things that happened. I flail at executing this project at times, I really do.

But I persist.

So today’s photo is of a sign that amused me, and was also notable because it advertises a San Franciscan company with a location in Portland. I know that some locals don’t appreciate the recent influx of Californians, but so far I’ve only received warmth and generosity from Portlanders. And I am grateful.

N.B. I’m a few days behind with the project, so these descriptions will be brief.

Day 47 of Project 365: By the Bay.

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Almost two decades ago, I wandered around San Francisco in awe, occasionally pinching myself in case it was all a dream.

It was, sometimes, but mostly it was real.

Before we left for Scotland, I had grown so tired of living in this reality. A large part of that was feeling continually disappointed by San Francisco’s infrastructure, and trapped into relying upon it.

Today when I saw San Francisco I felt like I was seeing an ex for the first time after we had gotten over each other, after our feelings had transitioned into warm regard, from a distance. I could see all the beauty without my own needs wrapped up in it. I also had two very different conversations with two long-time friends who each have their own relationships with San Francisco. None of it is as simple as I once thought it must be.

Around dusk, I took the same bus across the bridge that I used to take home from work sixteen years ago. Nearly everything about my life has changed since then, but I was on the same bus, and as the bus exited the freeway, that same anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach returned. Just for a moment, and then it was gone again. Nearly everything has changed. I love that about my life. And now I love visiting San Francisco too.

Writing from: a grateful room in Marin. Listening to: FunkyPlaid and Zen drifting off to sleep.

Day 35 of Project 365: Really got a hold on me.

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Today I visited the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. I enjoyed a warm welcome from former coworkers and it was wonderful to be back in their company. But after an hour, the tenor of the reunion changed: I became desperately sad, missing it all so much, then overcome with the knowledge that the library and all the lives it contains exist separately from my memories of working there. The two are not the same. It’s easy to pretend they are from a distance.

After descending the magnificent central staircase so that I could snap today’s photo, I crossed the street and ducked into the Civic Center transit station. Two women on the Muni platform were singing “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”:

I don’t like you, but I love you
Seems that I’m always thinkin’ of you
Though you treat me badly, I love you madly
You’ve really got a hold on me

Writing from: a nostalgic room in Marin. Listening to: The Bobs’ cover of “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”.