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small red square So I was up in the City yesterday. On the outskirts I passed this storefront: "Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church"... first I went to "Amoeba" and turned in some CDs; in essence I exchanged them for:

  • Peter Paul & Mary - Ten Years Together
  • The Rolling Stones Now! <1>
    their second or third LP, depending on which is your side of the Atlantic
  • a Jackie Gleason record
    since I've never heard one
  • Journey to the Stars the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra doing sci-fi movie music, including "Things To Come"
  • People Mover by the Elevator Drops
    This is almost new; I was attracted to the cover art, then when I turned it over & saw the altered photo of Shibuya <2> I had to have. It's energetic yet shallow pop-metal - may grow on me.

small blue square Then I went over to Castro Street to see the Barbra Streisand museum/shrine "Hello Gorgeous!!"; had to see it now since its owner is closing the thing down and auctioning off his collection in a few weeks. Apparently he's become so annoyed with Babs' contempt for little people (even him) that his awe of her has become sour. There's four components:

  1. The entrance hallway, lined with her movie posters and some other full-sized advertising. Some have adjacent push-buttons which initialize playbacks of the productions' big song.
  2. The gift shop, quite extensive. Books, videos, CDs, soundtrack LPs (at $2/per, a real steal if you're into sealed virgin vinyl of "The Way We Were" or "A Star Is Born"). Many items now tagged with auction numbers.
  3. Upstairs, a small room behind glass, furnished to look like the early 60's, which was supposed to have her first special playing on the TV set, but it was dark.
  4. A room with a white grand piano and some outfits and props from her films, plus many oil paintings - all this stuff was tagged for the auction.
Since la Streisand's charms have ever eluded me (granted, I don't think I've ever seen any of her films, only excerpts here and there) none of this made much impact, but I was glad to see what it was all about before it's gone.

small purple square Back outside I explored the rest of Castro Street. Many gift shops there selling items in the motif of the spectrum-striped flag which has become the homosexual banner (its symbolism was explained to me once as representing "fruit salad") plus a new flag of black, white and blue strips with a red heart in the upper-left corner - research continues into deciphering its meaning. I looked through these places in vain for Keith Haring postcard - I want to send one to P so she knows who he is (I told her how my alma mater had videos playing for both him and David in a special show of their artist-graduates now dead from AIDS.) One can find shops on Castro selling wonderfully unique and tasteful furniture and other accoutrements - in a place called "Brand X Antiques" I saw 2" ($60) and 3" ($225) crystal cobalt-blue glass spheres - going back for a big one is a strong temptation.

small violet square Then I went over past City Hall to the "California Culinary Academy" for another one of these "singles events" I'm going to now - they set up dinner parties. I've heard great things about this restaurant and was eager to attend, but found the food to be almost mediocre. There's an upstairs restaurant and a downstairs buffet; there may be a big difference (we were downstairs). The other two men at my table were a red-faced, older Otis Spunkmeyer cookie executive, and a Department of Energy guy from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, who was easily the most interesting present - before his present task <3> he worked on the Super-Collider in Texas. The women included a Filipino H-P executive, a hefty lady who works on-base in a trailer real close to my own (!), and a tall, skinny and vivacious mother of three who sounded as if she had no job or income, yet was obviously affluent with two of her kids in college (said she was a volunteer for various causes). For some reason at one point she brought up OJ, so we had to air that stale laundry for a while.

small yellow square Garrison Keillor was very good this weekend.

small green square Phone status: not even a dial tone. So for my Mother's Day chat with my parents I was standing outside at the McDonald's down the street, standing in the sunshine facing the drive-through lane. I'd tried earlier at Trader Joe's but it was busy. When I was in Menlo Park I bought a book I've been looking for (Riddley Walker) at the excellent used book store there called "Feldman's Books" - it's happened several times now, when I've made the rounds for a specific, suddenly urgent older title this place has had it - and at very resonable prices. Plus their inner courtyard with tree, bench and restroom is pleasant.

H-P - Hewlett-Packard OJ - Simpson

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<1>Restoring to my vinyl stack an album my brother J gave me for my birthday in 1973 Back

<2> A shot almost identical to a photograph I took myself, same scale even. Back

<3> They're going to try to replicate the Big Bang in miniature in the Long Island Brookhaven lab. This test is scheduled for September 1999, a date which will probably slip. Back