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THE MAGIC OF THE SAN FRANCISCO SEA LIONS

After the horrible 1989 San Francisco earthquake “wild” sea lions started taking over a section of the piers at Fisherman’s Warf. At first it was just about 20, but within days there were 50 and it soon multiplied to over 100. It is thought that where ever they were living prior to the earthquake was lost to a change in the environment triggered by the earthquakes. The sea lions had no where “to dock” Now, this was an area where rich men docked their yachts. But this is San Francisco so the rich men and their yachts were made to leave and the Pier 39 was given to these beautiful, loud, smelly, mean and wonderful creatures. When I moved here back in 1997 this story, or history, really intriqued me. I thought it was so amusing that these wild creatures would want to make the city’s biggest tourist area their home. And I loved the fact that the city welcomed it so easily. And, for some reason, despite the noise (they are LOUD), the stench (they smell BAD), their habits (they can be really mean to eachother and do fight quite a bit) and all of the tourists who crowd up to see them (come on, none of us enjoy hanging around tourists unless we are the tourists or the tourists are our friends/family — admit it! Own it! LOL!) — I found a great deal of comfort in their chaos. I spent hours at this spot watching them, writing in my journal and just thinking. I fell in love with them.

For whatever reason, I have avoided going to visit this site since I moved back here. I kept planning on taking the F train there, but just didn’t. Vic and a couple of other friends had suggested we go out there, but I always found somewhere else to go. Not sure why.

You can’t feed them and you certainly can’t harrass them as the signs advise.

A person who I am rather quite like suggested we take in an outdoor screening of VERTIGO tonight. We were to meet at 6pm. I left about 3 hours early because I can’t trust the “M” train on Sundays and I also wanted some time to visit the sea lions. It was a great start to a really nice evening. The screening was held in the “courtyard of The Cannery which separates the vast building into two parts. Once we got there I did sort of remember it. However, as my friend explained, there was a fire several years ago which caused damage to the structure so it did look a bit different. Also, a lot of the stores and restuarants which I remembered are gone. There is a HUGE In&Out Burger in that area now! And I walked by the first place Karl worked when we first lived there. It used to be a real estate office, but is now a hair salon. I don’t think I was confused about where I was, but I guess I could have been off by a block. However, I doubt as I went there quite a bit.

We had dinner outside at a restaurant called The Blue Mermaid and were able to watch the movie from there. VERTIGO was fun to watch as it showed some great shots of the city circa the late 50’s. So much has changed and yet so little all at the same time. The film was very long and quite corny — am not sure I see why people love it so much. REBECCA is by far the better Hitchcock film. However, the cinematography and the musical score were great — and the sheer “corniness” did make it fun to watch. And, to be honest, I probably was not all that focused on the movie anyway. So, I should possibly give it another chance sometime in a more appropriate setting.

The sea lions still warmed my heart, the movie was fun, the food was delicious and the company was the most important part of the day. I think this might have been the best evening I’ve had since I’ve been back in San Francisco. It was the first time since I’ve been here that I didn’t feel queasy due to my unemployed situation — I was relaxed and in “the moment” of the evening. It was great. Tho, I was freezing by the time we got on the train! LOL! I always forget how chilly it gets!

My friend Beth arrived a few hours ago and I will be seeing her tomorrow afternoon/evening thru to when she leaves this Wednesday! Am all excited about that!

And, I guess I will know if I am to be hired by the place for which I want to work by Tuesday or Wednesday. I sure hope they hire me! LOL! I am a great worker. They won’t be sorry if they do! But, if they don’t — I will find a job. Just wish I could stop thinking about finding one and start focusing on doing one. It will all work out! I have faith.

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August 21, 2005. Uncategorized.

10 Comments

  1. adrock2xander replied:

    I never knew it took the earthquake for the sealions to settle at that famous spot…wow…

  2. snarl71 replied:

    OK – stop it with the pictures. You’re putting me in the state of mind where I want to return to San Francisco.

    All of these memories are coming crashing back to me…like when we took that bus up Van Ness with Jen Breen to go to the Cannery/Ghiardelli Square. And our old Glendale F. S. Bank on Van Ness.

    sigh

    …and those chicken apple sausages from Papa Joe’s.

  3. matt replied:

    adrock2xander — Yeah, I just think that is such a cool story. The ways of natural survival.

    Karl — LOL! I think New England is your home. Glendale is gone. Our branch bank is now a parking lot. Alan told me that Papa Joe’s closed long ago. That section of Polk Street has changed! …for the better. Actually, I get the sense that this is an up and coming part of the city. Looks like there is about to be a new supermarket open there. Not nearly as “skid row-ish” as in 1997/98.

  4. joe replied:

    was that a date?! oooooh more details please. 🙂

    and I loved the photos of the sealions. I remember seeiing them at the Pier and was just mesmerized by the big animals. can you go up other touristy places and take some pictures? like that twisy road? or maybe go take the BART and visit Berkeley? I remember some trashy cafe there. ahhh memories.

  5. g8s replied:

    Geez, Matt, your blog is quickly becoming a positive selling point for the city of San Francisco. Not only the photos, but all the great anecdotes of the SF ‘attitude’ are winning me over out here.

  6. matt replied:

    Joe — Yes, it was a date. A very nice date. I’ve grown very weary of jinxing myself. I really, really like this man! Tho, am only just getting to know him right now, but thus far I am liking everything I am discovering about him as we spend time together. Let’s hope he isn’t reading this.

    Color me blushed, if he is.

    However, today we were talking on the phone and I realized that I have to let go of my nervousness around him — I think I need to take more initiative in asking him to do things/making plans. …which I normally do. But, this guy makes my heart beat a bit faster and I worry I will trip over my words and say something lame! I’ve got to get a grip!!!

    But, I don’t want to jinx myself — so no more details other than I’ve met a really kind, genuine, talented and endlessly interesting person. Oh, and did I mention that he is model-handsome? I mean, he is gorgeous.

    Jesus, I really hope he isn’t reading this! I might delete this comment! LOL!

  7. matt replied:

    Ok, my comment must be meant to stay because I can’t blogger to let me delete it. Oi!

    Oh well, no names mentioned. And, I doubt he would be looking at my blog anyway.

    …but, I guess, if he is looking — he knows I rather fancy him. So, I doubt he would be surprised.

    So, the Blog Gods win out. I will leave the comment! LOL!

  8. joe replied:

    oh no, you’ve been spammed! by the way matt, that was one sweet addition to your story. hope the sparks keep sparkling 🙂

  9. Darla replied:

    Oh I so want to go back to San Francisco! I was only in for a day and a night. my sister flew me into see Phantom of The Opera. I wished I could have seen the sea lions though. I would be like you and watch them for a long time. I enjoyed reading your blog, found it through another one, saw your name of Matt and of course had to check it out. My son’s name is Matt and he passed away a year ago so anytime I see that name, I go look at all the other Matt’s blogs. Great pictures!! Take care

  10. Miss Marisol replied:

    i’m with g8s on this one. you make me wanna be bicoastal. 😉

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