NOTES FROM S.F.
In San Francisco for a week working. I adore this city, which is among the prettiest in the country. A few new impressions. The Castro is definitely straighter. I'm not one of these "breeder"-hating gays--I actually love kids no matter how you cook them--but ya do kinda want the Castro in gay-@ss San Fran to be Queer Central. Kinda like you used to wish that Christopher Street would remain an oasis of all things homo. Oh well! I arrived yesterday as the Dore Alley festivities began. This was described to me as being what the Folsom Street Fair used to be--public nudity, raunch and gay sex. I didn't stop by, but milled around the Castro. Market still has the yummiest salad bar on earth. I didn't want to be too healthy, so I enjoyed it with a bottle of diet Dr. Pepper to cancel out any health benefits from the whole grains. I try no to use plastic shopping bags when possible, so I popped the bottle of soda into the pocket of my sweat pants. As some people stared at the bulge, I wondered if they thought I'd been "pumping" en route to the Dore Alley. This gave me a giggle. Bought something else at Walgreens and realized that I'd better stick this stuff in a bag. The cashier told me that would be 10 cents. OK, I didn't like hearing that. But I had to realize that even a dime IS an effective deterrent from using more plastic. Maybe Californians are more aware of this because that garbage island the size of Belgium that floats in the Pacific Ocean is nearer by to them than to the rest of the country. It costs more to recycle plastic bags than it does to manufacture them, so unless we do stop using them, we're creating more islands of non-biodegradable refuse filled with dead fish and birds. Less convenient? Yes. Necessary? Probably. Some parts of the country are more in tune with recycling than others. I've never understood why New Yorkers often order a cup of coffee and want it in a bag. A drink with a removable lid in a bag? I remember performing Texas and asking a club owner after I'd finished a bottle of water if this can was for recycling. He took the bottle and threw it in the can saying "This is Texas. It's the trash." He was a great guy full of charm, and on one level I had to laugh at his relish in disregarding anything as new-agey or enlightened as recycling. But if we don't voluntarily take steps as San Fran has done, is the time coming when we're all forced by law to wheel an earthenware crock of water and milk to and from the grocery store? Does an ounce of prevention ring a bell? Just a thought...A very long-winded, boring thought. But who doesn't like to spend a day off in one of their favorite cities typing on a screen?