Standing On Top Of San Francisco...
At least the 61st floor of the Salesforce Tower.
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Thanks to everyone who is still purchasing and word of mouthing the B&B blends. Our sazon sold out for its third (fourth?) time! But, we now have more in stock just in time for the holidays. Better catch this Pokémon fast!
It’s impossible for me to talk about the ratchery I involved myself in in order to survive in the early days of me living in San Francisco. And it’s impossible for me to emphasize on how important the Greyhound bus service at the Transbay Terminal on First and Mission was to that survival. And ratchery. Saying it was important is an understatement. It was crucial…to my financial and creative freedom. A continuous double helix between my hometown and the city I now called home. Including that Jack in the Box that was on First in between Mission and Market. The countless times I found myself at those two places in the middle of the night. They’re now both demolished. Just like the casita I was born into.
I don’t found myself in Downtown or the FiDi very often, it’s been at least six years. When I stepped off the 14 (MUNI) on the corner of First and Mission…I looked up at the Salesforce Tower.
A glass obelisk fixed on the corner of First and Mission. Right in the very same spot where the Greyhound and Transbay Terminal used to be. Although I remember when they shut the old Transbay Terminal down and moved it over near Beale and Folsom, where the O/W are caught and offloaded coming from Alameda, I just don’t remember the demolishing of the old terminal. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention. The only thing I recognized on that corner was the Walgreens.
My escort met me in the lobby and took me upstairs. Of course, I was immediately overstimulated by the buzzing employees zig-zagging throughout the floor, the various volumes of voices, the din of the kitchen, constant hissing of the milk steamer coming from the baristas working at, what is essentially, an in-house coffeeshop and the sheer size of the open plan. I’ve never worked in the corporate office world. Could you tell? LOL.
I got to watch the cooks in the open kitchen making eight recipes from my book and all in teeny tiny formats; what’s cuter than a mini Brazo Gitano?
Maybe I’m biased because Salesforce wrapped me in its charms. They purchased books for me to sign, gave me a fair rate, treated me like they were happy to have me (other than I should be so lucky) and all without a single face-off. It’s a rare feeling of dignity. There was something like 50-70 seats. All employees of Salesforce. They didn’t have to be there if they didn’t want to be. They didn’t have to buy a ticket. And yet, it was the second best crowd of people that I’ve had at any event! The first being Omnivore Books.
I’ve done so many fucking appearances and I’m trying to be “on,” and people are not responsive. I make a joke, I bomb and it doesn’t land. I’m trying to answer the moderator’s questions and the sound of participants fondling the disposable aluminum pans attempting to barbarically scoop out the last single grain of rice from the complimentary food on the buffet RIGHT BEHIND ME detours my train of thought. True story.
I don’t know if it was because I was in a room with some of the smartest motherfuckers in the country, but…they were an amazing audience. They were so responsive. They were so attentive. They asked the best questions. And no one fucking asked me, “What inspired you to write Diasporican?” If I have to hear that question one more fucking time…
I managed to pry myself away - from the multitude of handshakes involved that comes with the territory of being invited to do prestigious events - long enough to quietly stare out the window.
A 360-degree view from the 61st floor looking out onto San Francisco! Walking in a circle you spot Sutro Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, TransAmerica Building, Alcatraz, Treasure Island, Oakland, Alameda…it’s like a geomap of the events that have happened in my life. And these lucky fuckers have this view everyday. Overlooking one of the most beautiful cities in the world. My favorite city. A city that has been cruel, but welcoming. Challenging, but rewarding. A city so rewarding that it brought me full circle and 59 floors above my past where I lead a “by any means necessary” lifestyle.
It brought me full circle not to shame me, but to show me that it was all not for naught.