Father Time is a grouchy old man, seldom kind to anybody or anything. He works a little bit like termites, silently and insidiously, and you rarely notice any change in your environment… until you stop running and assess your balance sheet. You are usually shocked. Nothing or nobody looks the way you remember it.
Yesterday, I enticed my consort to have lunch in San Francisco’s Marina district where I previously resided for 25 years. It turned out to be a major disappointment.
Chestnut street which looked pleasant 30 years ago, now looks shabby. Due to Covid, all the eating places have hurriedly built ugly street additions, which makes the whole area look like a refugee encampment.
With cars double-parked everywhere, and cheap fast-food places encroaching the whole area, the place looked as appealing as Murder Alley. And some guy lying motionless on the sidewalk did not help to correct this first impression.
The only saving grace in my eyes was a spotless, newly opened business named La Fromagerie. As the name indicates, it is a cheese shop that features French cheeses, salads, and sandwiches. You can also buy some “saucissons, rillettes and croissants”.
I struck up a small conversation with one of the young French ladies behind the counter and she proved friendly and helpful. I would have been happy to have lunch there, but unfortunately, the place is rather small and cannot accommodate any sitting customers. It is still worth a visit. I bought a “Rosette de Lyon” saucisson and left.
We also drove through Union Street which looked a little more appealing than Chestnut Street, but ultimately, we decided to leave the city and have lunch in Sausalito instead. A wise decision. Probably due to Covid, and the afflux of homeless people, large cities are becoming less and less welcoming every day.
We finally stopped at Fred’s in Sausalito and sat down for some good old-fashion eggs Benedict. Impersonal, hurried junk food, or “malbouffe” as the French call it, is definitely not my cup of tea. Life is too short to waste a single second on bad food or bad company.
“You cannot go back in time, even if you wish it with every fiber of your being, your heart and soul, even if you think about it every day. Trust me. I know.”