“This,” said a friend, turning and surveying a backlit crowd, bopping and blazing under an unlikely October sun, “is the real San Francisco.”
I’m new to this city, and its croaking cables, faddish food trends, steep hills, all-aboard attitude, and free bluegrass festival have captivated me.
I was stuck in the largest forested mob I’d ever seen, between the nubby hills that form Hellman’s Hollow. To my left a drunk woman shouted into her cell on the shoulders of a drunk man, to my right a bare-chested beer-bellied man flapped his arms above his head, and ahead, the String Cheese Incident spread a bluesy beach jam over this valley of ears.
Waiting for the second manicure of my life, flipping through trashy magazines with my excitable fellow preeners, I came upon a photo of glittery purple monster Katy Perry; the conversation switched to her skills as a pop singer and place in the cultural zeitgeist (general consensus: the candy-coated songs are terrible guilty pleasures, her candy-coated bosom and infantilizing sexuality are kind of ick). We flipped the page.
Fast-forward several hours and – tickled by intense declarations of love and copious champagne at an intimate ranch wedding – the preeners and I are ecstatically throwing our whole selves into this “Teenage Dream.” Limbs in the air, with broad toothy smiles, we were in it, and without any trace of remorse or snark. Read more »