Archive for June, 2013

My City by the Bay

June 28, 2013

I had a moment at the farmers market about a month ago — the sun was shining, all the summer produce was out, I was selling flowers — and I thought to myself, “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be right now.”

I’ve been having more of those moments lately. I felt that way on Wednesday night in the Castro celebrating a historic moment for gay rights, and again just this afternoon when marriages were allowed to resume in California and two of the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case married at City Hall.

Maybe this has just been a special time in San Francisco — a June that actually felt summery, a time when “San Francisco values”, so often on the fringe, began to truly seem like the future — or maybe I’m just getting better at noticing and appreciating some of the things, big and small, that make living in San Francisco special.

A few weeks ago, I went to an event where some of my favorite local authors (Michael Pollan, Jon Mooallem) were reading pieces all centered on how humans and animals interact. Michael Pollan talked about how when he was 14 years old and raising a pig, he met James Taylor, who was also raising a pig at that time. Pollan played a recording of  Taylor’s hilarious song about his pig, Mona (“Everyone figured you for a barbecue when you died”). Jon Mooallem read about buffalo and polar bears and early U.S. conservationists; his reading was accompanied by the band “Black Prairie”. It was the sort of event — a quirky, thought-provoking half-author-event and half-music-show — just seemed quintessentially San Franciscan.

Then just last night, I was heading home after celebrating a friend’s first home purchase, and as I was walking to MUNI, I looked up at this view of the Shell Building, and, once again, I just felt so darn lucky to live here.

stro (2)



June 27, 2013

Like so many San Franciscans, I was in tears yesterday morning reading online about the Supreme Court’s decisions on marriage equality.


I was in tears at times at the celebration in the Castro last night, too. I thought back to Election Day in 2008 and how we heard the cheers when Obama won and then how the neighborhood went quiet later as the devastating Prop 8 results came in. That night Castro Street was closed, too. Dance music played that night as if it was a party, but it didn’t feel like one.

I got married in the shadow of Prop 8. Mr. WholeHog and I went to City Hall on a beautiful Thursday morning in March and we left with legal recognition and protection, along with 1,000 federal benefits — none of which my sister and her (then) long-term partner had access to.

It was just so clearly wrong.


And the Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t make everything all right, but it’s a start — an important start. Some couples will start to have access to these federal benefits that are connected to legally recognized marriages. Same-sex couples in California, the most populous state in the U.S., will, once again, be able to marry the person they love. As a sign last night in the Castro said, “Love wins”.


Last night, the Castro was packed, full of visitors and locals, gays and straights. Some people draped themselves in rainbow flags; a few went naked (it is the Castro after all). Couples had their pictures taken holding signs that said “Today We Are More American” or “All Love is Equal”. I pointed one foreign couple to Harvey Milk’s old camera shop. There were so many families, so many kids running through the streets last night who will grow up in such a different world.

This was May

June 3, 2013

(Beastie Boys Always On) Vacation
Mr. WholeHog and I took a little road trip down the California coast. We camped, hiked, explored LA, drank a lot of coffee, and visited some Beastie Boys locations.

roadtrip-bigsurbeacha sunnier view of the coast on our drive back up the coast
la-spanishcactushousea home in LA

Back on the Farm
This is my third year working on the BiRite Farm. I started the May work day with a ham biscuit breakfast at The Fremont Diner and then spent my time in the field planting tomato starts and weeding the onions. Red-tailed hawks and kites flew overhead and the BiRite pigs squealed and grunted until we fed them.



Seeing Friends, Riding Bikes, & Setting up House
One of my oldest and dearest friends was in California for work in May (she now lives on the East Coast). I got a chance to see her in SF  (she was our first non-family house guest) and then again in Sacramento, where we biked some of the American River bike trail (another flat, beautiful ride!). The bike trail goes for miles through mostly open space areas — a good reminder that not all of Sacramento has been developed.

sac-americanriverAmerican River

I haven’t kept in touch with many old friends (I am not on Facebook) and it’s really nice to spend time with someone who has been a part of my life for so long.

Setting up House
My friend’s visit motivated Mr. WholeHog and I get back on track with some lingering house projects. We put a few more things up on the walls, (finally) picked out new tile for the living room hearth, and ordered a couple new light fixtures.

Early Summer at the Market
I was back at the farmers market (we sold roses on Mother’s Day). Summer produce and stone fruit (apricots, peaches, nectarines) arrived at the market weeks earlier than usual.

Getting Out of the House
I don’t always take advantage of the many, many things to do in SF but in May, I spent a little more time out of my usual work/yoga/farmers market circuit. I went to Pop-Up Magazine and also to a fascinating City Arts & Lectures talk between David Chang (of Momofuku, Lucky Peach) and David Simon (The Wire, Treme) at the new Nourse Theater. I got in one last visit to the SF MOMA (which is closing for two years while the museum adds a new space): on our way home from friends’ wedding celebration in SOMA, Mr. WholeHog and I realized that SF MOMA was open all night so we took an unexpected second trip through the Garry Winogrand photography exhibit at 11pm.

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