Pinky Pie

A shoe, my heart, San Francisco & Me

Posted on: October 14, 2010


I get a little hair and it goes to my head here in Chinatown in San Francisco.


For a moment yesterday morning I thought I had left my shoe – not my heart – in San Francisco.

That morning as I was trying to get ready for my walk, I found one shoe in the kitchen, but not two. Hence, I made like Tony Bennett and sang, “I left my shoe in San Francisco.”

Having not completely emptied my suitcase, there was still a chance that the other was waiting for me. And there it was.

I now understand why my mom sang, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” around the house. She and my dad suffered through World War II in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.


My dad (and Mom) after the tank ran over Dad's foot in San Francisco.


Stationed in San Francisco did not mean that my dad escaped unscathed. There was that time that a tank rolled over his foot. It turns out that my dad, who worked in Army supply, had an oxygen tank roll over his foot, not an armored vehicle. There is a photo of him on crutches, but his injury was story worthy, not purple heart worthy.

The last time I was in San Francisco was between colleges in the early 1970s. This time we were there for nephew Evan’s wedding just north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, a.k.a. wine country. We spent the first few days in San Francisco before hitting the wineries, I mean, attending the wedding.

Evan, incidentally, is a mensch. It’s a Yiddish word meaning honorable, decent, and responsible and having strength of character. I would be happy to tell why privately.

Within 24 hours of our arrival I turned to Dick to ask, “Why is it again that we don’t live in San Francisco.” His response: “We couldn’t afford it.”

It’s true. For six nights, we threw money up in the air in this very expensive place but had a wonderful time with family. Daughter Maggie and son in law Mike were with us as we did all the great touristy stuff. We did all of the touristy things – cable cars, China town and Alcatraz (they did let us out).

We walked all day long, up and down the city’s steep hills, which meant burning enough calories to maybe compensate for an overeaten meal. Or, maybe not.

On Sunday, which was my birthday eve, we actually shared not one but two sundaes at different places. The first was at the Bi-Rite Creamery, which was recommended by nephew and niece Marty and Meagan. To be perfectly honest, we went there after going to Tartine for a morning bun. Meagan described the place as “the holy grail of pastry.”

Later that night after Dick and I had dinner from a Thai restaurant, we hit the other ice cream sundae in Ghirardelli Square. We shared the sundae between four of us, although two of the four us may have had a bit larger portions than others.

To our defense, we walked up and down a lot of steep hills, although clearly not enough to equal our sundaes and morning bun day.

In the interest of full disclosure, we took a taxi both ways to Ghirardelli.

That last ride, however, was pretty intense in the back as the seat was not fastened to the floor and the driver banged up and down hills like the cars in the movie, “Bullet.” The driver was a former (or perhaps current stoner) who arrived in San Francisco in the 1970s.

How many calories did we burn just hanging on? Certainly not a chocolate cookie sundae’s worth at Ghirardelli, even if shared. But it was a high but delicious adventure in the city by the bay.


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