Friday, October 13, 2006

Gazetteer Entry: The City

Bald Man Crosses Street, originally uploaded by camille94019.

The City lays at the throbbing heart of 327land. How can I categorize a place where kissing first discovered me, where I learned to drive a clutch, where my feet pitter-pattered in the hallowed corridors of Higher Learning, where I drank my first and last tequila, slept under stars, wandered through pitch black woods and had the first inklings about what it meant to be Camille?

Primordial Associations watching the endless lines of bubbles in my grandfather's yellow champagne on innumerable Sunday Champagne Brunches in an epoch when hippies were still a powerful urban influence (the hand-lettered menus, the ubiquitous microbuses). John the Baptist's head on a platter-- this heart-warming bible story came alive when I was 7 and I saw the 6 foot tall painting at the Legion. I ran screaming from the gallery.

Geography Waters surround the City, its nearly an island. To the west, lay the world-embracing waters of the Pacific, to the north, water, and to the east, even more. To the south, the rolling hills of the Pennie.

City Planning is stubbornly cartesian, in spite of the wild bucking and rolling of the northern cousins of the Flip Flop foothills. The local cows had nothing to do with the layout of the streets, like they did in Flip Flop. When God gave the early City fathers dunes, they planted a forest, and when God knocked the City down, the resourceful citizens built it again. The City stands as a testament to the very best things that people can do. This is the town that Mark Twain brought his dictionary to, just in case he ran out of words.

pros Perfect coastal weather, with pleasant sunny spots. Plentiful burritos. Excellent crepes. Fantastic indigenous yeasts that the locals corral into a delicacy called "sourdough bread." Beautiful places to walk through and lots of stairs. So much good architecture that it makes The City a west coast aberration. And the bookstores! And the old Movie Palaces! And the museums! And the galleries and carousels! It has no wastes, on just about every street corner, something interesting is happening. Even the suburby bits are broken up by organic neighborhood centers. This is a place where its hard to find a strip mall, acres of parking lots, big box stores, and ugly buildings of any kind. And the people! This is the town where I met the Poulet, the Wobbly, Currer and many other wonderful brilliant kindred spirits.

cons There are none. I wish I could spend more time there.

post script The City has always been a place of learning and discovery and in its dulcet limits, I discovered what kind of kisser El Cab is. :)

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