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Showing posts from July, 2012

Hello, San Diego

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We moved into a new home in San Diego in July. It's a big change. I did not expect to leave San Francisco or to live in San Diego. The first time I visited here, I did not like it. When I returned for a second visit, many years later, it was not my choice of destination. But the place charmed me, unexpectedly. It's hard to resist friendly people and warm weather. Later on, we decided to try living here. We live in Carmel Valley, which opens to the ocean at Torrey Pines beach and runs eastward. The land channels pleasant ocean breezes to our neighborhood.  Each day we work at settling in and exploring. All three of us ride bikes along a long, paved bike path through the valley.  So far life has been good here. The big decision still scares me a little. In my past experience, stepping forward, stepping outward has always led to good things, but not always directly. I'm reminded of an article in GQ magazine that explained this issue of w

Driving Through California

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We left San Francisco and drove south. I rarely left the city, so everything looked new to me. California is much more than cities and beaches. There are miles of these rolling, golden hills dotted by oak trees that look like broccoli.  We spent a warm night in Bakersfield, then drove on to the foot of Tejon Pass, between the  Tehachapi and San Emigdio Mountain ranges. These are desert mountains, and the desert terrified me for most of my life. I hated the lack of water, shade, people. It's called "desert" for a reason, after all; people are not well-suited to live here! Desert! Get out! But something about this mountain pass excites me, visually. The mountains look soft under their yellow grass, but they are extremely steep. I expect sharp, naked rock to break through at this altitude, but it doesn't. My knuckles were white on the wheel as we crawled over the giant anthills. I asked Misa to take photo after photo of the mount

Good-bye, San Francisco

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1986 I first saw San Francisco in 1986 . I was married and living in Dallas, Texas. My wife wanted to come see the city on a three-day weekend, and on the third day I decided to move there. We were walking on Ocean Beach, very close to the house I'd later live in. I said, "So how long do you think it will take, two years?" "No, John, at least five years." Exactly one year later, we rolled into town, on Columbus Day weekend. Monday night we slept in our first apartment, and enjoyed this view: 1987 For the next twenty-five years, San Francisco and I were thick, inseparable. Many months passed, without crossing a bridge out of this seven-mile square. 1988 The first apartment was across the street from Lincoln Park, where I painted many pictures. 1988 The second apartment was a few blocks further inland, and gave us views of the Golden Gate and downtown, as well as the stunning Holy Virgin Orthodox Cathedral. 1989 -