A little village in the Auvergne hopes to become a sister city with Bruni in the Piedmont, in honor of France's first lady.
January 05, 2009
Business calls me to San Francisco. But since when has a bit of work been something to get in the way of a good time?
We arrive at San Francisco International Airport in surprisingly mild weather and find to our delight that the city has joined the ranks of European good sense: There's a reasonably convenient rail connection to downtown and points beyond.
We check in to our hotel--the delightfully old-school Huntington on Nob Hill--and quickly hook up with a friend who has offered to take us on a tour of the Presidio, the city's emerging swords-into-ploughshares urban miracle. A military installation since Spanish colonization, the Presidio was turned over to the National Park Service a little more than a decade ago.
The de-militarizing process has gone in fits and starts, it seems, so we find a fascinating mix of new development and aging Army infrastructure converted into everything from rental housing to large-scale wine storage.
Turns out the Presidio Pet Cemetery has long been one of the few legal places to bury any body in the city. For those with the right sensibility, its fading memorials are a compelling mix of pathos and humor. Don't think I've seen a more noble summation of any life than the epitaph "Oscar -- One Hell of a Weiner Dog."
After that, it's time for drinks at the Presidio Social Club, a former officers club repurposed with a nice mix of historical integrity and foodie earnestness.
Makes me wonder what other gems are waiting to be discovered in the Golden Gate Recreation Area?