california life san francisco

Here

14 August 2009

[From my window, August 2009.]

Here, there is sun. There’s been sun for almost a whole week — minus a day ago when the fog was back in full force — and light wind and a clear sky. The sky in fact has been that sheer, deep blue of late summer, swept clean of clouds to be left bare and shining. Indian Summer I think is peering round the corners and showing a flash of a smile though it’s not here yet (but soon, very) — this of course means ever more sun and the kind of stolen days that make you never want to live anywhere else but San Francisco, the air charged with the coming of fall.

But it’s summer still on the calendar and thus time still is behaving in its very summery way, with drawn-out afternoons riding cable cars up and down San Francisco’s sloping streets and long runs in the sun down to Ocean Beach and back home again to leave me sweaty and starving. It’s summer still even if it’s not hot hot in the city — though, please, a few days here and there I would take so awfully gladly — and that wind-scrubbed sky proves it.

Lately there have been blueberries, baked into a cake or eaten by the handful or stirred into Greek yogurt. There have been blowy nights when the screens rattle in their sills and my apartment feels like a ship at sea with its quiet creak and boom (note: I do not mind this one bit. I like to feel, especially when it’s foggy, that I am not so tethered to these city streets but in fact am sailing serenely on up the coast to land, perhaps, at Drake’s Beach or further north at Fort Ross). There have been tomatoes in so many permutations: sliced into salads, cooked down into sauce with purple onions, folded into tarts, eaten like little candies. There has been iced coffee and tea in the mornings.

Last night there was hummus and not-so-great dolmades with an old friend and then there was a cup of hot chocolate on Fillmore that was really just melted bittersweet cacao thinned with the littlest bit of water — chocolate distilled into deliciously thick, sludgy concentrate. He had a homemade marshmallow perched atop his while I took a float of whipped cream at the last minute and could barely finish a half cup it was so rich. When we left the cafe the wind had picked up again, and I wished I’d worn my down vest.

Next weekend there is a trip to the mountains and tomorrow there is a trip to West Marin for coffee and maybe the farmers’ market, too. There is still time for gin-and-tonics before the time change, plums eaten sweet and soft, plans for weddings along a river with copious amounts of cupcakes, and letting my mind wander to what I might make for Thanksgiving this year (a new version of an apple pie, for sure, and a cranberry cake).

But right now — here, in this moment — there is sun. It’s Friday and the weekend stretches ahead for sleeping-in and pesto-eating and who knows what else.

  • Jenna 21 August 2009 at 3:00 am

    Nicole! Because of my busy summer I had to take a little hiatus from blog reading. But I’m glad to be back savoring all the delicious food and words you have to offer. You’re the best, baby!
    xoxo
    Jenna

  • sonrie 17 August 2009 at 11:35 am

    Blueberries are the perfect treat for me. Even something as simple as a smoothie or into a crisp.

  • Whitney 15 August 2009 at 8:38 am

    I wish I was there too. Northern CA life sounds amazing.