Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Crystallization --- Days 10/202 & 203

Walk: 1. SFMOMA to give art tour  2. Hood

Distance: 1. 4 miles, small yoga  2. 4.6 miles

Joan Mitchell (1925-1992, American, also active France), Untitled, 1992, oil on canvas

Probably of  sunflowers, this luminous painting by abstract artist, Joan Mitchell. is possibly her last before dying in 1992.  It is rare to see such vigor and freshness late in an artist's life.  

An inspiring way to end and crystallize Ciwt's recent tour of SFMOMA with a young couple who are eagerly beginning their art journey.  

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Thanksgiving Leftovers --- Days 10/199, 299, 201

Walk: 1. SFMOMA via Cable Car Museum 2. Brief Hood 3. Ditto (busy preparing art tour)

Distance: 1. 9.4! miles 2. 2 miles, yoga 3. 4.7 miles, a little yoga

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Favorite Holiday --- Day 10/198

Walk: Presidio, But mostly day at home feeling thankful for it and many other things & people (like CIWT readers 😊)

Distance: 5 miles, Yoga

Ciwt wishes you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Personal Preparations --- Day 10/197

Walk: Vogue Theater

Distance: 3 miles

Thanksgiving is tomorrow so Ciwt decided to beat the usual throngs at grocery stores by buying her full personal feast yesterday.  And keeping with the same wish to stay away from holiday movie goers (probably not that many this covid influenced year), she joined six other people in random seats scattered throughout her neighborhood Vogue Theater.  Our movie was Kenneth Branaugh's semi-autobiographical Belfast.

Hard to imagine a basically light, tender, loving, family movie about The Troubles in Northern Ireland during the 60's (with flare ups that continue to this day).  But that is what writer-director Branaugh achieves through his innovative script and selection/direction of superior actors including a young newcomer who holds the screen as well as the incomparable Judi Dench. The use of the Irishman, Van Morrison's music throughout is a master stroke - and wonderful for Ciwt to hear again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Perspective --- Day 10/196

Walk: Pre-Thanksgiving Hood Errands

Distance: 5.5 miles 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Monday and What an Answer! --- Day 10/195

Walk: Presidio

Distance: 4 miles, Yoga

Pacific Avenue, 1929 (notice the brick wall; it's the exact same location!)

Pacific Avenue, 2021

Thank you, internet, for solving yesterday's mystery of the benches on the sidewalk a block above Ciwt's home.   

There's no transportation up there on Pacific now, but, turns out There Was!  A Cable car! And it turned around right on that block of Pacific Avenue!  AND when the line closed in November 1929, it was such a monumental event that its last run was professionally filmed.

There's more!!!   That very film is right here https://www.streetcar.org/incredible-film-cable-cars-on-pacific-ave-1929/  Absolutely must viewing for those of you who love old historical films, railroads, and/or San Francisco.

And here's even more information:

A Movietone Newreel crew spent several days filming the Pacific Avenue cable car line before it closed in November 1929. It was the last line still operating grip and trailer cars, and the crew was particularly intrigued by how they reversed direction at the end of the line. The second half of the film shows the parade marking the end of operations on the line.

The Sutter Avenue Street Railroad had been extended west along Pacific Avenue to Divisadero Street in 1890-91. After the 1906 earthquake, the rest of the line was converted to electric streetcar operation. But the last few blocks at the end were still cable operated, in part because of the grades, and in part because of the affluent neighborhood's objections to "unsightly" overhead wires. The No. 46 grip car and No. 54 trailer car from this line are on display at the San Francisco Cable Car Museum. To read more about the history of this line, go here: http://www.cable-car-guy.com/html/ccs... Thanks to Joel K. and his friend at Market Street Railway for help with identification.

What a treasure trove!!  

https://www.streetcar.org/incredible-film-cable-cars-on-pacific-ave-1929/  (again)

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sunday Mysteries --- Days 10/193 & 194

Walk: 1. Hood  2. Hood

Distance: 1. 3.5 miles  2. 1 mile, Yoga

So Ciwt has walked by this neighborhood house for decades without noticing that it has 4 wood and wrought iron benches embedded in the sidewalk in front of it.  1. Why?*  2. Why hasn't she seen/questioned this before?   Hmmmm...

* No, they aren't for people waiting for buses; there's no transportation anywhere near the house.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Wired Thoughts --- Days 10/189, 190, 191,192

Walk: 1. Hood/Presidio  2. Hood/Presidio  3. Hood/Presidio 4. SFMOMA, West Portal

Distance: 1. 4 miles, yoga  2. 3.7 miles, yoga  3. 2 miles, yoga 4. 4.5 miles

So, Ciwt has an A#1 excuse for playing hooky from CIWT for so many days: The Wire!  

For a while she was feeling guilty, maybe even ashamed to be hooked on an 'ancient' TV show (2002-2008), but turns out she's right on schedule.  Or rather that any time is the right time to shamelessly watch or rewatch The Wire.  In fact, just this month 206 international critics who voted in BBC Culture's poll selected The Wire as the greatest TV series of the 21st Century.  In fact, it might be just about now that The Wire is really coming into its own since the subtitles are much better and the show was overlooked by many viewers when it first aired.  

Part of why it was overlooked was that The Wire demands a great deal of its viewers. There are a myriad of characters speaking their various street vernaculars and involved in elaborately plotted - but acutely authentic and largely unpredictable- activities.  

Watching The Wire is a prolonged event. First there is the initial viewing which is a challenge because your ears are straining to understand the lingo (nearly impossible) while your eyes are reading the streaming subtitle as well as watching the characters brought to life on the screen by uniformly brilliant actors. And, your emotions are all over the place as some beloved favorites are betrayed or endanger themselves or double cross other beloved favorites.

After the viewing, there comes the review reading.  One reviewer in particular is stunningly thorough with right on and long reviews.  Then you might read the readers' comments about the review.  All this while you are absorbing the often difficult and devastating action or chomping at the bit to get back to your screen. 

For the most part, The Wire's drug dealers, drug kingpins, dock workers, cops (renegade or straight arrow), politicians (as clean as possible or downright dirty), dock workers (U.S. or foreign) and other characters are far, far removed from people you (or at least Ciwt) know on a personal basis.  But when you watch The Wire, they become the people in your life, the ones you have passions about, the ones that make you feel like throwing something across the room or bring you to tears, breaking your heart in large and small ways.  (Rest in peace Michael K. Williams).

Okay, enough already on her excuse except to say Ciwt has two more seasons (26 episodes) to go .....

Monday, November 15, 2021

Off the Rack --- Day 10/188

Walk: Whole Foods

Distance: 3 miles

Sunday, November 14, 2021

SAD and Antidote --- Days 10/186 & 187

Walk: 1. Vogue Theater (Howard's End, Maurice)  2. probably Trader Joe's

Distance: 1. 3 miles  2. probably 2.5 miles

Today, after 10 hours sleep, it took Ciwt 2:17 minutes to complete the NYT crossword mini.  In other seasons the small puzzle takes her anywhere from 0:25 (her record) to 0:50 seconds.  Thanks SAD.

Every year it's the same for CIWT readers.  They have to read about Ciwt morphing into her fall/winter SAD self.  Like @500,000 fellow travelers, her whole being slows down, waking briefly after outrageous hours of sleep only to look forward to comfort food and bedtime. It's why she was thinking of Pooh bear on Day 10/181.  He and his kind get to officially hibernate; SAD people do it unofficially. 

Doing much of anything feels like an imposition.  But, luckily, Ciwt found a perfect SAD activity yesterday.  She accepted a free invitation by a neighborhood theater to attend back to back screenings of two classic Merchant Ivory films.  While the sun shone crystal clear outside, Ciwt sat inside watching wine being sipped from crystal glasses by late Victorian English men and women.  Their lives so mannered they were more akin to acting than living.  

Nothing particular happened on the surface of either Howard's End or Maurice, at least compared with the non-stop action of so many movies these days.  But that suits the SAD mind; we like to slowly mull and contemplate nuances rather than have to follow ever changing dynamics.  And we love basking in the blue columbines, pink hollyhocks, yellow kingcups and miles and miles of rolling green English country side.  Oh, and those English actors!  What can be better than watching and hearing the tiny and perfect curled lips, raised eyebrow, clipped speech, insincere smiles of Emma Thompson, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter, Hugh Grant and other other superb English thespians? 

Now, yawn, just a few hours before dark...

Friday, November 12, 2021

Adventurer and Crusader --- Day 10/189

Walk: Vogue Theater (Becoming Cousteau), Presidio

Distance: 4.5 miles

Jacques Cousteau aboard his 'mate'

If you are like Ciwt, you know the name Cousteau and his ship Calypso, but, other than his involvement in oceans, that's about it.  So the new and well done documentary Becoming Cousteau was an interesting watch for Ciwt this afternoon.  Also a sobering one as Cousteau turned from a pioneer explorer of the oceans to a pioneer and impassioned crusader on behalf of their future.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The End Begins --- Days 10/185, 186, 187 & 188

Walk: 1. Hood, SFSPCA 2.No, RainπŸ˜€ 3. Refuse Refuse Clean Up 4. the hood

Distance: 1. 6 miles, chair yoga 2. 0 3. 5.5 miles 4. 3 miles

So, TODAY is Veterans Day, not four days ago as posted on CIWT (Please See Days 10/182 & 183).  There was an extensive article and a parade that day which confused Ciwt and maybe had her readers scratching their heads.  But really any day is a good one for thanking service people, animals and birds who have fought for centuries to preserve our beloved country.

Of course Ciwt should have known Veterans Day is on November 11th to honor an armistice between the  U.S.-led Allied nations and Germany. It went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 and is officially recognized as the end of World War I.*

*The treaty was signed in Versailles seven months later. 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Green Grass Brown Dog --- Day 10/184

Walk: Presidio

Distance: 4 miles, Yoga

Spring in November?  Yes!  The grass is so baby fresh and innocently green at this time of year in the Bay Area it brings tears to Ciwt's eyes.  

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Salute to a Veteran on His Day --- Days 10/182 and 183

Walk: 1. Very short with 3 Zoom events,  2.Presidio, Hood

Distance: 1. 1.5 miles, small yoga,  2. 7 miles, Yoga

Wallace "Wally" Levin (1930-2021),  'Backer of U.S. Vets and SF Sleuth'

So today is Veterans Day, and the parade that honors it in San Francisco will likely continue its downhill tally of flag wavers and cheerers.  Most significantly missing will be Wallace (called Wally) Levin, the larger-than-life Korean War Veteran who never stopped volunteering after his war tour ended.  

In fact, Wally Levin became a such a visible local advocate for veterans that the Mayor of San Francisco appointed him the city's Director of Veterans Affairs.  And from that appointment on, continuation of the Memorial Day Parade in the San Francisco Presidio 
 and the Veterans Day Parade downtown were assured. Because Wally was overseeing them.  He also was instrumental in the establishment (finally) of the Presidio's Korean War Memorial in August 2016.  

Wally died this year, and his baton was passed to Nestor Tom as director of the Veterans Day Parade. Tom expressed deep gratitude for Levin's tireless service keeping the flames of rememberance alive for all veterans.  “Think of it,” Tom said, “they died young. They never grew up to get married or have kids, go to the ballpark, see their kids graduate from high school or live their lives.” But Levin also wanted to honor those who served their country in war and time of peace. “He honored all veterans,” Tom said. The parade was his way of doing it."

Wally Levin also had other lives.  He was married to his wife, Arlene, whom he had met in high school, for 64 years.  They fathered a son, Michael, who was so influenced by his father's example of service that he became a police officer and later served as a Secret Service agent performing such duties as protecting the Clinton White House and working on cybersecurity and computer crimes.  

Wally also became a sleuth.  He spent 15 years as an investigator for the San Francisco City Attorney's offce where he also became a legend.  His former City Attorney boss said of him "He possessed determination, cunning and old fashioned street smarts.  Most of all, he never tired of doing the right thing."

Even as Ciwt writes this, Wally Levin's Veterans Day parade is passing by down at Fisherman's Wharf and Wally is being saluted by comrades along his final route. Thank you for your service, Wally.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

A Good Day for That --- Day 10/181

Walk: Hood

Distance: 2.6 miles

   Ciwt thought it was a good day to think about Pooh.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

"I Want My Clothes to Make You Smile" --- Day 10/180

Walk: deYoung Museum (Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love exhibition)

Distance: 7 miles

Patrick Kelly (1954-1990; American, active Paris) surrounded by models in his clothes at the end of a Parisian show

So Ciwt went to the recently opened Patrick Kelly fashion show at the de Young Museum* expecting to find over-the-top, zany, essentially unwearable clothes.  And of course there were some of those 

Patrick Kelly and David Spada, Woman's Ensemble, Fall/Winter 1986, Yellow and green plasrtc, pink metal wire, black synthetic rubber

But for large part she found 'happy' AND tasteful (what a combination!) clothes that enhance every body type.  Clothes, many of which she would love to have in her closet.  

Turns out that is exactly what Kelly was going for.  As he said in a 1989 Parisian fashion magazine: "My clothes let you know that whether you are fat or skinny, have big hips or no hips at all, the shape of your body is just fine the way it is."

The mannequins were all super sleek, of course, but you could easily imagine the wrapped dresses above being larger or longer or shorter depending on the wearer's body and sense of style. 

Simply wrapping one soft piece of cloth was one of Kelly's specialties and ways of creating "Fast Fashion." Which really is one way of saying "Affordable Fashion."  Instead of building in the expenses of exotic fabrics and costly couture workmanship, Kelly would do something like take a simple fabric like the jersey many sweat pants are made, of cut it into a refined shape, sew just a single hem and create The Coat that was all the rage in the 80's.

Kelly clearly had an eye and appreciation for classic designers, and many of his pieces are homages to some of his favorites - with his own whimsical or outright funny touches.

Coco Chanel's large fake pearls, anybody?

Or one of her boxy tweed jackets?

What fashionista could forget Yves Saint Laurent's bright fushia and other intense colors? 

Just Happy and Fun:

Ciwt's cats would love (and shred in seconds πŸ™€) this cat dress.

Kelly didn't graduate college so he created this graduation outfit to celebrate his inauguration into the prestigious Chambre Syndicale du Pret-a-Porter 

You could easily wear this tailored outfit to a job interview today. People probably wouldn't even notice the black pattern is rolling dice.

* Patrick Kelly, Runway of Love, de Young Museum, October 23, 2021 - April 24, 2022


Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Don't Wait For Me --- Day 10/178 and 179

Walk: 1. No; Monday blues 2. Hamilton Pickleball

Distance: 1. 0, Yoga  2. 6.5 miles, 90 minutes pickle

Ciwt is finding it a bit difficult to get started these days.....