Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pride Day above Market Street

It's Gay Pride Sunday and I'm on BART heading for the city.

Someone has arranged 2 beautiful baskets of artificial iridescent flowers. 
(my cell phone picture doesn't do them justice !)

While sympathetic, I'm not on my way to the parade and festivities.
Instead I'm looking forward to my favorite Sunday morning activity:

Ballet class at SF DanceCenter.

The 'morning class' is a ritual that all professional Ballet dancers do daily.  I will never know the life of a professional, but once a week I can indulge in the spirit of starting the day with 'morning class' just like the pros do.
There's a live pianist to accompany the dancers, the air is still cool and fresh, it's heavenly being immersed in an atmosphere full with art and aesthetic.

Class started at 10am as scheduled.
The Pride parade started at 10:30am as scheduled.
We are 4 stories above the parade route along Market street and soon catch the full sonic fury of the parade's motorcycle contingent.
The piano is overwhelmed for a few minutes until they pass out of earshot.
Time for a quick peek or two at the spectacle below.

Soon, happily, all's back to normal...   and we return to our labor of love...

What a great day !

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Quiet Circle and the TimeBomb and the Generational Divide

Recently I took a trip to Coos Bay, Oregon.   I was last there in the '70s when it was a busy logging town.   While the logging industry is still in operation, it has declined and is nowhere near as large in scale as it had been in the past.

Predictably, and sadly, there are consequences for the vitality of the rest of the Coos Bay.

A visit to a nearly deserted downtown showed well kept streets, but no amount of cleanliness could brush away an overwhelming sense of decline and doom that comes with empty store fronts and a few businesses that you just *know* cannot compete with Amazon or eBay in the long run.

There was one spot of brightness in the midst of this, however, a shining champion of a spirit determined to go forward and 'make it happen' with a freshness and flavor uniquely its own.

Welcome to 'TimeBomb' !

A clothing, sports gear and specialty skate 'exchange'.    I gather that declaring the business as an 'exchange' is in line with the contemporary notion of a 'sharing economy', except that instead of individuals 'sharing' their clothing or sports gear, the store acts as the intermediary to 'share' the items amongst community of sharers.

Pretty cool.

Here's shot of the brightly colored store and uh, the company car.

Inside the store hanging on the walls are various t-shirts adorned with the names and logos of vintage bands from the punk, new wave and metal eras.  Sets the tone, nice flavor.    I think I got a little 'look' when I mentioned that I still had some 'Buzzcocks' and 'Circle Jerks' at home in the originally issued vinyl  :-)

I bought a tank top that has their mission printed on it:

'Get it, Rock it, Swap it'

Like it ?   Then get it and have fun with it.   When that's over swap it and let someone else rock it for a while.    The store has 'funky community' written all over it.   It's a place where one 'wants' to go visit even if there might not happen be anything to buy, err...  swap.

It just so happens that only 1 block away from the 'TimeBomb' is it's antithesis:
the 'Quiet Circle'.
The Quiet Circle is your classic 'Thrift Store'.
The kind of place that Cher once sang about:

'I never had no money, I bought at the second hand store.   The way this old town laughs at me, I just can't take it no more'.

There's no Rocking or Swapping here, it's all 'second hand stuff' and nothing to sing about (ha ha).

Is there any more poignant scenario that shows the contrast between the old and the new as these 2 'used article' stores, one block apart from each other, one of them being the  'Quiet' place and the other the 'Bomb' ?