Heart of the City Archives
Springtime in the Bay City
by Hank Donat

Birds do it, bees do it. So goes the Cole Porter tune. At the Palace of Fine Arts turtles do it to the squeals of tourists and children visiting the Exploratorium there. "Why didn't you bring the good camera?" a visitor demands of his wife. A lusty turtle just can't get any privacy. Even a nearby pigeon seems to bob plaintively, "Get a room."

Further evidence of spring is popping up all over. The Giants home opener and the birth of the mayor's new daughter Sydney Minetta Brown sound of new beginnings as the fragrant Sweetshade and bright Red Flowering Gum trees offer scents and sights of same said springtime. "Ah," says San Franciscan Evanova of Nob Hill, who watches the fog sweep overhead like a Hollywood special effect, "winter is always a day away."

Non sequitur Part I: Over on Union Street an elderly gentleman introduces himself to a merchant standing on the sidewalk in the middle of a cigarette break. "I was born on 29th and Dolores," he says, "and I need a beer." No problem says the shopkeeper who directs the man to the Mauna Loa bar nearby on Fillmore. The local gent tips his Washington Square Bar & Grill baseball cap before he disappears inside the saloon.

Non sequitur Part II: As Help Wanted signs come down and For Rent signs go up, San Franciscans watch for other economic indicators. One spy says locals can gauge the economy by the length of time it takes for a battered sofa to disappear from a downtown sidewalk. Last week a love seat on Bush Street lasted three and a half days before being scooped up by recyclers of household goods. The last time there was a Bush in the White House, a devan could go in three and a half hours. Does this mean things could get worse?

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Copyright 2001 Hank Donat
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