ahoy chicagoans

To those readers living in the Chicago area: if you’ve reached the point where you feel you can leave your quarantine unit without enduring heart palpitations in order to do some socially distant browsing at one of your local bookshops, my novel A Set of Lines is now available at that fine Chicago institution known as Quimby’s. New stock of Bunker Diaries and Inner Harbor Field Reports has also arrived at the store. Just a heads up that the supply of these two publications is dwindling, and there are no plans for a second printing. As always, thanks for reading and be well.

gather to hear the sound of barrel scraping

Across the street from work crouches a vicious corporate bookselling machine. I ventured in there during my lunchtime walk to see if they had any Anne Carson books that I could read while loitering in their cavernous stacks. Their poetry section looked like it had been gleefully ransacked and subsequently rearranged by illiterate trolls. Seriously, there were kids’ books shoved in there, completely randomized alphabetization, and all kinds of other unspeakable chaos. I almost threw up. The only Anne Carson book I found was Nox but it was sealed. Well, that and Antigonick, which I did flip through and find intriguing. Meanwhile, behind me in the video section, two middle-aged guys were tag-team harassing this clerk about obscure psychotronic films. It was totally absurd. They just kept badgering him. I almost heaved Nox in their general direction. The clerk kept his cool, but I’m sure he was seething inside. Then I stood up too fast and felt dizzy so I left.

sf trip: day one

I arrived in San Francisco on a Sunday afternoon, having gained three hours. My boss (hereafter referred to as DD) and I trekked over Nob Hill, through Chinatown, and up Telegraph Hill. Here’s a cable car coming down Powell Street. I didn’t ride on one, thus missing out on a quintessential San Francisco experience. I don’t feel too bad about that.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Cable car cresting Powell Street into Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco, California

I found this interesting ivy-colored building on the edge of Chinatown. The street was otherwise devoid of greenery.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Ivy-covered house in Chinatown, San Francisco, California

We walked down Broadway where a man who may or may not have been schizophrenic made threats to anyone who met his roving gaze. I looked elsewhere and turned the corner to find City Lights Bookstore. I did not buy anything, although the selection was impressive. I prefer used bookstores. Still, this store is an important part of U.S. literary history so I figured it would be worth popping in for a visit.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, California

From the bookstore we walked up Telegraph Hill, where I found a Lesser Goldfinch feeding in some exotic tree I’d never seen before. Here’s a view of San Francisco Bay from the hill. DD was likely cursing me on the inside at this point. Little did she know how many more hills still stood between us and the hotel!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, San Francisco Bay as seen from Telegraph Hill

We finished the day at Millenium, where I had the Maple-Black Pepper Glazed Smoked Tempeh, with olive oil mashed potatoes & horseradish, sauteed spring onion, asparagus & baby carrots, Dijon-dill cashew cream, grilled lemon, parsley & radish salad. It looked like this:

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Maple-Black Pepper Glazed Smoked Tempeh at Millenium Restaurant, San Francisco, California

Dessert was Chocolate Almond Midnight: almond cashew crust, mocha chocolate filling, raspberry sauce, white chocolate mousse.

By then, the three hours I’d stolen earlier began to feel missing so I crashed for the night, a sleepy and satisfied vegan traveler.

Next time:  Vegan donuts at the waterfront, Western Gulls vs. The Crab, a stroll through Chinatown, and the only photo I was allowed to take at the Mechanics’ Institute Library.

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