I skipped the column last week because of a jam-packed holiday weekend. It was kicked off on Saturday when I spent my annual day doing seva (selfless service) in preparation for a visit to San Ramon by Amma, an Indian guru who counts my wife among her devotees. The work involves cleaning and decoration of the home of Ron, a devotee who contributed the land for the American Ashram and still lives in a house on a hill a few thousand yards from the temple. You are supposed to be quiet and mindful while doing the work (quite a task for me, as you can well imagine), but I find it relaxing. Saturday night, Vicki and I went to see Every Little Step (see review below), a documentary about the casting of a Chorus Line revival on Broadway.
Sunday morning, up and at 'em for St. Stephens' Episcopal Church (where my attendance has been lax in recent weeks because of a coincidental month-long stretch of weekend filling activities.). I was overdressed, because it was shorts and sports Sunday, and I didn't know it. Oh well. It was also 50 degrees, so I didn't mind, so much, being overdressed.
Vicki and I had decided to treat ourselves to a night in the city, so we reserved a room at the Palace Hotel, downtown at Market and New Montgomery, one of the oldest and grandest hotels in San Francisco. We then went to see Woody Allen's The Floating Lightbulb at A Traveling Jewish Theater, deep in the Mission. Since Sunday was also Carnivale, we were treated to a number of costumed revelers wandering the streets (the parade ended before we got there). I was in heaven for so many reasons. Rae came in to join us at the play, I love spending time with Vicki, we had Indian food for lunch. Also, I am a huge Woody Allen fan and has been meaning to see the play for years. And, finally, I was happy because there is an extremely cool and trendy frozen yogurt store three doors down from the Palace Hotel called Yocup.
After a light dinner at Maxfield's (the bar in the Palace with the Maxfield Parrish painting The Pied Piper behind the bar) we watched The Women in our room (a film with no men in it). I never saw it in the theaters. I was saying things about Meg Ryan during the film that I suddenly realized were actually about Melanie Griffith. Oops! Quite a difference between those two actresses!
We decided to have a room service breakfast Monday morning (Memorial Day) because we didn't want to pay the $80 for breakfast for two in the Crystal Court downstairs. Turns out room service breakfast for two is also $80. We did our hour-long walk along the Embarcadero, getting almost all the way to AT T Park, and stopping along the way at the weekly street fair in front of the Ferry Building. I wear tennis shoes to work every day (they have extra support to keep my back from giving out), and they look terrible. F, my teacher friend across the hall, recently pointed out to me that leather tennis shoes can be polished. There is a shoeshine stand on the corner of Market and New Montgomery in front of the hotel, so I got my shoes shined.
We drove over to Cole Valley to have lunch with Marlow at Reverie, a café with a pretty back garden (cash only! No credit cards!). The weather was perfect and the food was pretty good.
I was a bad boy, skipping band rehearsal because being gone for a day had put me a day behind, in exercise among other things. If you're me, and you want to maintain your weight, it requires constant work.
A weekend to remember, for sure.