Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pride in the City

If you ask my friends how many times they've been to the San Francisco Gay Pride, most of them will say just once. Some will say never with an attitude. Some locals even leave town during that weekend when the city is most inundated with tourists. The truth is, seeing the Pride parade once is probably enough except when you are showing friends around that weekend or, like in my case, when you are part of the parade itself. I saw the parade for the first time in 1997 with my brother's friends from out of town. I thought the parade nowadays have mellowed down quite a bit.

I've been a safety/wheel monitor with the church float since 2000. It is nice to have seen the Pride parade both from an expectator's and the marcher's view. You see the artistry and the production of each float from the crowd. As a contingent, you witness the priceless expressions and hear the joyful cheer of the crowd as the float passes by.

We were at the assembly area starting at 9:30a but we didn't start marching until 2 hours after so I had time to take pictures. Right after we marched, we were contingent #086, I went straight home to nap.

Taken during the 'Dyke March' which starts from Dolores Park, wounds through the Mission District and ends in the Castro. The march is held on a Saturday, one day before the Pride march.

They are probably standing on those mail boxes or newspaper stands. It is tough to figure out who's local and who's not from the crowd. It is never a guarantee that everyone watching the parade is from out of town.

I remember not having a great view when I saw for the first time the bigger parades like the Chinese Lunar and the Saint Patrick's. It's either you have to be early to secure a location with great views or you have to be really high up. I hope they put on sunblock.

This is the church float. Taken at the end of the parade route on 7th St @ Market. At this point, we get the 'sound system off' signal from the parade officials. It is a good one and half miles of walking.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Glen Park in CNN

I was on a break and I was browsing the news when I stumbled into this. I saw this one before but I forgot how I got here the first time. Who would have thought that my sleepy San Francisco neighborhood would be featured in CNN?

Que estupendo!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

When we moved in to the Glen Park  house the first thing we did was straighten out the main bedroom, the kitchen and the dining room. It was nearly easy. The plan for the kitchen would have been perfectly executed except that it took us a couple of days to find the silverwares. One of the guys we hired to help us move inadvertently put them inside the Sumatra wooden trunk with other unrelated stuff and we didn’t find them until we started to arrange the living room. We did find some chopsticks so this is where our chopsticks skills came in handy for a couple of meals.

Just like in most San Francisco homes, there is a space in our dining room that is intended for the wine cabinet to hold a dozen of select whites and reds and a set of everyday goblets. I was telling the Salvadorean that back in my parents’ house in Novaliches, this same space belongs to a rice dispenser. He smilingly responded that he never really noticed and promised to be more keen on his next trip to the Islands. In the Glen Park house, the rice takes a small area inside the wall cabinet.

The next one to take its form was la sala. We needed a new sofa since we sold the one we have. Fortunately, we knew exactly what we wanted for a sofa, including the size and the color, so choosing a new one was just a walk in the park. The challenge was how to fit our existing furniture and the new sofa in the living room. We tried a few set ups and then everything fell into place after we figured out where the entertainment center will be best placed – not too close to the main entrance and not obstructing the sources of natural light.

The second bedroom is an absolute mess. The only way we can straighten it out is to organize the storage area near the garage. I bought some storage bags from the Container Store to keep sweaters, jackets, coats and beddings from gathering dust. The remaining books will have to stay downstairs as well. I will use the two stainless shelves to store these books temporarily. The sun does not seep into the storage area so the temperature is kept cool which is ideal as a red wine cellar.

There is still a lot of work to do. The deck, the storage, the closets, the misplaced caps, and the list goes on. I found some green Adirondack chairs at Pier 1 that would be perfect for lounging by the garden. The outside corner between the kitchen and dining room is currently the place for my herbs but it can be converted into an undersized outdoor hot tub. I am thinking of converting an area downstairs for my darkroom and the Salvadorean gave his thumbs up already.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

My feet and back are going to be sore tomorrow. We spent the last three days moving stuff out of the Glen Park. aparment into the Glen Park house. The apartment is built up so climbing the stairs is already a work out. Now, imagine doing this several times carrying something heavy.

We didn't want to impose on our friends to help out since we scheduled the big move on a Friday. The more expensive items like the television, wall art, work and personal laptops, and cameras have been transferred days before the big move date. Three day laborers from Ceazar Chavez St. did the heavy lifting while J and I moved less heavier boxes and helped manage the move. Other than the dent on a side of one of the shelves and the scratch on top of the wooden trunk, there were no major incidents and the move went smoothly and right on schedule.

The big piles of boxes scattered around the house will probably take a week or two before they are folded and stored and their contents put away. I get an overwhelming feeling of frustration everytime I see the second bedroom and storage area downstairs near the garage and sigh in disbelief that we've accumulated so much belongings in our five years of stay at the Glen Park apartment. This is after we've donated one load of hand-me-downs to the Salvation Army. It is going to be a big job reselling the rest of them online!

After cleaning up the Glen Park apartment, I realized the we're fortunate to have found the Glen Park house. We got what we wanted: we only moved three blocks, the same San Francisco neighborhood, the same freeway exit, the same ZIP code and the same BART station. We even kept the same phone number.

In addition to the charming garden and a great deck, we're also left with a family of squirrels and a fierce sounding racoon. This is like country living in the city!