27 May 2014

Quoth the Raven

A few days ago I passed several hours on the campus of City College of San Francisco. CCSF has been threatened with loss of its accreditation (for reasons not worth mentioning at the moment), which threat, so far, has been successfully held back in court. I happened to be there during a graduation ceremony. I detected no trace of defeatism, depression, despair, or any other sign that anyone actually believes that the college will close. A friend remarked that ravens, who used to inhabit the campus and who had disappeared a year or two ago, had returned. He concluded that just as ravens ensure the continued existence of the Tower of London, so too they are signs that CCSF will not fall.


A few days ago I took myself to the Legion of Honor, to look at the splendidly restored Salon Doré. Since the original house was built a short time before the Revolution, I cannot not help but wonder what became of the residents, pendant le déluge.


I purchased some items at Flax, the art supplies emporium at Market and Valencia in San Francisco. I had heard that Flax will close soon, to be demolished and replaced with condos. But the cashier told me that Flax will move "in a couple of years," so their departure is apparently not imminent. "Happy creating!" she said, as I packed my purchases. But the loss of Hayes & Kebab, my favorite eatery in Hayes Valley, is very imminent, alas. It will close in August, also to be demolished and replaced with condos. The owners intend to move into the ground floor of the new building, "in sixteen to twenty-four months," as one of them said the other day. Sic transit.

08 May 2014

This Rock Within The Sea

I read a few of Farley Mowat's books, two of which I remember, 'A Whale for the Killing,' and 'This Rock Within The Sea' (I still have this one in my library). Outport Newfoundlanders resented their portrayal in the whale book, at least when I was in Newfoundland in the 80s. Perhaps they still do. 'This Rock' is a fine portrayal of outport life, a memorial really, although when I was a clergyman in outports along Trinity Bay, that way of life was still lived. All the scenes in the photos are familiar to me.


Outside a second-hand shop a sign reads, "Cool old things. Ask if they're real." Inside, a chair is on offer for the very real price of $2,750.