Thursday, February 8, 2007

San Francisco Idee Fixe

My word of the day today was: idee fixe. Really? Are they making this stuff up? Apparently it's French for fixed idea, or something you can't get out of your head.

I'm in San Francisco today, for the next few days in fact, for work. Like everyone else I love this town. I've been trying to put my finger on it, but it's elusive. My best guess is that everyone that's here wants to be here. It's not a transition locale, but a destination. There's an optimism here, possibly brought on by the mild weather and rolling hill landscape, that leaks into visitors like me.

I'm staying at the Hotel Carlton, that I've learned has nothing to do with the cousin from Fresh Prince of Bel Air (Carlton) unfortunately. I would have loved to take advantage of their social hour dance classes if he had taught them--but I digress (down an unfunny path). The hotel is a very European boutique style hotel. Small, but charming. Upon my arrival I was entertained by 20+ gorgeous French travelers , all about 21 years old and every one of them stunning. Is there a model convention in town? Hope so. I felt like a dot com
Willy Loman (Death of a Salesman) and shuffled on to my room.

It was only 10:30pm when I arrived so I decided to wander the city before bed. It was raining, but that was kind of nice. I wandered down streets that I seem to wander down every time I'm here, to the Fairmont, where I stayed last time, through Chinatown, over to the Coit Tower and a few other areas. It was nice timing to see the those on dates starting to spill into the streets after dinner, arm in arm. Lots of drunk kissing in the middle of the street here in San Fran. Maybe that explains the police scene I saw too. Apparently a car had hit someone right before I got there, giving lots of bar patrons something to watch on their smoke breaks. I stood there for a while and watched the cops (that still carry night sticks and walk the beat) investigate, but got bored and moved on. This kind of thing is much better on TV I suppose. I had a burritto and a beer from a hole in the wall and hopped a cab back to the hotel to catch up on some work. Always nice to see what SF is up to.

It's morning now, and I woke up enjoying the view from my room of the city. I'm pressing my business man uniform and reviewing notes for the meeting I have today, but making sure to enjoy every minute of it. I don't know if it's the war or just maturity, but I haves learned to appreciate everything I have more than ever these last few years. It's important to do that, it's idee fixe for me.

1 comment:

paul said...

I too have developed an Idee Fixe the past 18 months. It's kayaking. Though I paddle with a partner 90% of the time, it's the 10% that I paddle alone where I feel I commune best with my surroundings...with nature. The sounds of nature, the boat moving through the water, and my own breathing patterns. Though my paddling skills may be light-intermediate at best, I feel partly stoic of my bravery to tackle the shallow and calm waters around me and partly scared of paddling solo for the same reasons. If it's possible to drown in an inch of water, the risk certainly increases in my boat...and with mating seals in proximity.