The rain, it is constant. So are the grey skies and the technical blips and beeps and blog outages. My tech support, aka my husband, has promised to rectify the recurring problems once and for all. Exciting stuff, but I have a feeling no one’s noticed? This blog is quite incognito after all.
This is my favorite photo, and I’ve had it for almost 15 years. When I lived in San Francisco, I went to a rather well-known little venue called Cafe Trieste daily. Purported to be the hangout of the likes of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac back in the day, it was a place steeped in history and I imagine it looked exactly the same in the 50s as it did in the late 90s. There I became friendly with a lot of colorful characters, most of whom I never knew by name. We would greet each other with hearty ‘good morning’s, grab our coffees, have a quick chat and get on with our days. On weekends, a group gathered to perform live opera with an accordionist. I was such a regular customer and so predictable, the baristas would have my drink ready for me as soon as I stepped through the door (cafe au lait, extra hot, served in a slim curved glass).
The photograph was a gift. One morning out of the blue, one of the many older men who seemed to meld into the wooden, rickety chairs beckoned me over. He had a heavy Italian accent and the clearest blue eyes nestled in intricate wrinkles. “For you,” he said. A black and white image of a rainy day in San Francisco, printed on thick, beautiful cardstock. The quintessential cable car. The Victorian and Edwardian houses I loved so much. “1960s. I took photo,” he clarified, pointing to himself. He smiled and shooed me away.
I didn’t see him again and to this day, I don’t know his name. There was a signature scrawled in the corner, but it has faded over the years after so many moves. Whoever he was, and most certainly he was a talented photographer, he gave me not just a photo but a lovely reminder of the surreal years in the most breathtaking of cities where anything seemed possible. It was the kind of place where someone would make you smile with a simple and unexpected gift just because. All this rain, it’s making me contemplative.
Incidentally, Trieste is where M and I met. A story for another time. It’s a good one.