Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 19: So Close I can Touch It

(listen to today's theme)
All I can remember about the San Simeon National Park was the cool air in the trailer that morning. I was in California already, halfway through; in the middle of Highway One, the road I had traveled up and down so many times before for the two past years, accompanied with friends, with the dream of great Summer internships. This time, however, was life-changing.

Highway 101 is strangely paved. For many miles, one of the two middle lanes has a crease that causes the car to handle funny; nothing a slight tilt of the steering wheel would not solve. Bit by bit, landscape after landscape, tree after tree, fruit post after fruit post. San José, Daly City, Southern San Francisco. The ships in the distance, the condominiums in the hills.

Soon enough I was somewhere in the Western part of the Peninsula, crammed with tiny townhouses of various styles: Victorian, neo-French, Spanish, Art Déco, even Magrebi; all painted in pastel colors. I had to keep going to stay at my friends' for the remainder of the week until I find a place to stay more or less permanently.

A couple Summers ago, I thought it would be a pretty cool idea to feed Garmin Sandiego with "The Best Bridge View Ever" placeholder, which I saved in My Favorites. Such spot is a narrow tract of land, a small parking lot overlooking the Golden Gate, place to stay for hours on end. Unlike the last time I had been there, the fog was not covering the top of the bridge. This time, the Golden Gate was shown fully in its exuberant proportions, standing tall above the Pacific, bright red, bathed by the sun; just there, proudly, with pose, like a showman who, after shrugging his shoulders, opens his arms to welcome you to a small cabinet of wonders.

On to Petaluma, hometown of the Good Ol' Moonies. Mr. Mooney, dubbed Moonbear, is a former Wall Street broker who currently designs websites. His loving wife is a Textile Conservator and excellent cook, always with a good joke on her sleeve. One of their daughters, a hyperactive, six-foot-two heap of excitement, had gone to RISD, and introduced me to the family a couple years ago.

The first thing we did was to start up Moonbear's old Ford Galaxie for the first time in two months, and wait for it to warm up while his wife finished a couple errands. Then, with the top down, we rolled through Sonoma county and had one of the top five hamburguers of my life at Mike's Mean Burguer. Excellent, just as I remember.

At this point I start realizing that this is the area I will be living at, and that the Bay Area will be the cradle for my madness for many years. It is both a wonderful and strange feeling, with the occasional shivers of fear, to meet a life-changing decision face-to-face; to steer one's life with an equal amount of confidence and uncertainty.

That night I proposed myself to look out for some cottages to rent.

Not for me!

A must: Highway One beauty shot.

When you see things like this, you know this is the State to stay at.

Little boxes, little boxes, made of ticky-tacky...

San Francisco is just a cavalcade of piled-up wonders.

Emailed this picture to my parents. I only wrote: "I arrived".

The final shot in one of my films, and beginning of a new life.

On my way to Petaluma.

Kicking butt, as it happens daily at the Mooney State.


  1. So have you found me a home yet?

  2. Found a Victorian in the city of Vallejo (safe and affordable) yesterday. Cheap.