Storms and the Sunset

I’m really amused at how excited I am about the current round of storms here. By the east coast standards of someone who has seen hurricanes, this El Nino crap is pretty tame. But in my five and a half years in San Francisco, this is the first storm I’ve seen which has been even moderately worth paying attention to.

To start with, there was thunder and real lightning, sporadic though it may have been. There was even actual real (almost) hard rain, but of course, this didn’t really compare to the east coast soakers which force even the most arrogant drivers to the side of the road.

All the same, it was pretty, unless you had to experience it as your house was sliding down a hill or rushing down a river. The roomie and I were inspired to make a quick beach trip during a lull on Saturday afternoon, in search of carnage, choppy seas, or at least the woman we’d been watching all weekend on the Weather Channel. We found the choppy seas, but settled on lunch at the Doggie Diner in lieu of the rest.

Aaah, the Doggie Diner on Sloat Blvd…it’s the last relatively-intact remnant of a mid-century Bay Area chain. One still stands in Alameda, but minus the defining doggie. The SF location, across from the zoo and now known as the Carousel, serves up great burgers and chili dogs, and makes you forget completely that you’re in the most pretentious city on the west coast.

People know each other here. People are friendly here. The guys are very cute in that semi-suburban way which says they haven’t yet bought into the wholesale fashion culture mandated east of Twin Peaks. Everybody in the place knew the guy shown above; they talked about how he was going to Chico State now. I had really intense cravings to follow him there, not just becuase he was fuck-gorgeous (which he was) but also because he looked like he was capable of having a really good time on the spur of the moment without getting too complicated or worrying about what he was wearing or how developed his pecs were.

It’s like this all over the Sunset, actually. I worked in the area for a couple of years and was amazed at how different the west side of town is. And while I’m not itching to pull up stakes and move here, I’m also not convinced that this difference is necessarily as bad as we on the “cool side of town” seem to believe.

But I digress. Back to the storm. After the Doggie Diner, we took the unbelievable maze of subdivision roads into Pacifica, where some real weather was starting to kick in. The pier was closed, the roads were getting wetter, and just for a minute it almost looked like an eastern coastal town (except, of course, for the mountain backdrop).

Pacifica is such a creepy place, but I’m fascinated by it. The overall tone is suburban, but I’m not sure if it’s a suburb of San Francisco, Daly City, or just the ocean. It doesn’t really act like a beach town either. Maybe the perpetual fog just attracts those who would rather not be bothered by anyone else and who want an eerily quite space in which to commune with the sea, each other, or whatever.

Darkness set in, and we headed back to the City, still being amused at how exciting this relatively low-level storm seemed given the general blandness of Northern California weather. I watched the Weather Channel some more. This may be the closest experience to a “blizzard watch” I get for a while. That’s probably not a bad thing.