The environmental landscape in the bay area is beautiful. The water, the mountains, boats, kayaks, paddle boarders, sailboats all make the human landscape somewhat more tolerable. I had thought that people in Northern California would be friendly, laid back, low key and cool but sadly have found that not to be the case. Well, I have met a few. They say that no matter where you go there you are. And that is true but the “you” here is unlike anything I have ever encountered.
I have sampled a variety of venues, towns, restaurants, dive bars, upscale restaurants and even a music festival in Napa yesterday called Bottle Rock. And while the people watching is somewhat interesting at times, I have met more lightly veiled angry people in the last week here than possibly ever in my life. I can honestly say that although I have frequently felt that New Yorkers are angry and can be mean at least they are upfront about it and there is no bullshit. Here there seem to be a lot of mixed up people who are trying to perhaps find themselves or solve their problems via meditation, yoga, retreats, different “healing” techniques but only very slightly below the surface they are very, as a friend who lives in Napa said to me earlier today, “argumentative”. At a minimum I would agree.
I lived in LA and worked in the film business and dealt with some of the douchiest people in the world possibly. LA can be very plastic and superficial and there are a lot of assholes but at least they kind of know it. They almost embrace it. Especially the agents who are often nebbishy Jewish guys who you knew were semi-losers in high school but now they have made it and have some blond with fake tits on their arm and they think they have got it all. And maybe for them they have. So I salute them – sorta. They are still kinda dicks to deal with and as an attorney I was always told I should have been an agent. And maybe I should have as I probably would have been very good at it. But I digress.
The inhabitants of Marin county and some of San Francisco seem to be in constant denial and they proclaim to be one thing but the execution is something else entirely. I have used the word “weird” more in the last week than ever in my life despite the name of this blog. Perhaps that is because I can’t put my finger on how I should describe the folks out here. All I know is it’s not what I expected. At all. I was hoping for low key and kind. I have realized more than ever this week that kindness, at this stage of the game, for me is the most important trait in a person. It may manifest itself in different ways but if one is not kind then I don’t really want them in my life. I am not feeling an overwhelming amount of kindness out here….that said, I have met a few people this week who made it much better. A French chef from one of the better restaurants in Sausalito – certainly one with the best view. A married guy Scott from the concert yesterday who knew all the words of my favorite Jackson Browne song and had good taste in wine. A man I met in the ferry building while having wine who sent me an awesome list of things to do/see. As well as a new friend with whom I shared a rocky beginning but then had a nice two hour talk.
The common denominator seems to be that people I really have gelled with have had major things happen to them that changed the trajectory of their lives in a massive way. And that is why I am here to explore…..maybe a few photos will exemplify at least the landscape, both human and other, a bit better…..
The man who greeted me when I got off the ferry after a long work day….
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite at Bottle Rock yesterday…