Sunday, October 14, 2007

Day 15: San Francisco

In our original plan, my reading in LA was to take place on Tuesday, leaving us three days or so to check out San Francisco. However, the reading series changed from Tuesday to Thursday nights, which meant we had to drive to SF and read on the same day, then leave the following day in order to get to Portland in time for a reading on Sunday night.

Driving north from LA through Bakersfield, et al, is kind of dreary. Lots of industrial land, lots of farmland, but nothing terribly scenic. It was interesting to realize just how many different crops grow in California. We saw field after field, orchard after orchard, truck after truck bearing a mind-boggling variety of agricultural products. Did you know they grew cotton in California? Neither did I.

Anyhow, it's a pretty quick drive and we made it to SF by about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. SF was also a Buffalo reunion, as we stayed with my old friends Taylor Brady and Tanya Hollis, who also hosted the reading in their Mission district apartment. Taylor took us for a late afternoon walk up to Bernal Heights, where we could see almost the entire city, including the legendary fog rolling in, several rainbows and a mysterious light reflecting off the mirrored peak of a downtown hotel.

We had a small crowd, maybe 10 people including myself and Lori, at the reading, but the intimacy of the living room made for a warm and more intense atmosphere. I got to spend a little more time with some of the people I met, including: Jocelyn Saidenberg, Suzanne Stein, Rob Halpern, Nicole Hollis, and another old Buffalo pal, Brent Cunningham, who managed to make it even though he recently became a father.

I spent the most quality time with Rob, who's very smart and interesting guy. I am looking forward to reading the book he and Taylor wrote together for Atticus Finch books. His partner, Lee Azus, is equally interesting, and owns a travel bookstore called "Get Lost." Great name!

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