Monday, January 27, 2014

San Francisco: Cafés and lists

January in northern California has been exquisite. It's been a month of unseasonably mild sunny weather - day in, day out. I keep opening the windows. I look at  the sky, not a cloud in sight. As the month will soon roll into February, I revisit New Year's resolutions that have zigzagged through my mind; I love honoring new beginnings. 

I have a thing for lists. I make them at work; I make them at home; I make them in my head; I make them all the time. I tell my girls to make lists. Lists are good.

I do not have a lot of solo time. There is a place in San Francisco where I like to return to time and again. I can quietly contemplate my lists, and edit them to my heart's content. There is something quite lovely to me about the Café de La Presse on the edge of Chinatown, in the French Quarter. I easily tune out the locals, the tourists, the demanding toddlers, the bustling waiters. With my camera never far away, I notice details in the worn grain of my table, in the fold of the window curtain shielding the traffic beyond its panels. I gather a few crumbs from the flaky croissant. I ponder. I linger. I love the earth tones. The coffee is strong.

Still in the city at twilight? Another café to contemplate those resolutions. Lingering over the distressed copper-top tables and warm lights of Café Flore in the Castro District will definitely do the trick as well. Mind you by then, it's not coffee that will be on the table; and lists will be perfectly folded and tucked away!

Later I will cross the Golden Gate Bridge, updated lists in hand, invigorated, and rejoiced!

The Café De La Presse is at the gateway of Chinatown. The Lunar New Year starts early this year - on January 31st. The Year of the Horse will be celebrated. Time to ring in the New Year all over again! Does that mean new lists? New resolutions?! Definitely a new blog post is in order… with perhaps a hop across the ocean to China!

A quiet space ~ a simple list or two ~ it is always good for the soul.