Hello, hello, hello! So, as I confessed to Angela and Laura as we shared a bottle of classy vino after last Sunday's event, I sometimes grumble to myself as a readup approaches, saying, "Why did I schedule this? There goes half my weekend. Time is short. Life is shorter. I'm getting *old.* It's all flying by so **fast.** I need to just stay home and ***accomplish things.*** I need to hoard the flitting minutes like a miser of moments." And then, you know what? I go to the readup, and I have a _profoundly_ awesome time. Yet again. So, let's do it again: Let's have a profoundly awesome time. And let's do it in a profoundly awesome place: Washington Square Park in North Beach. Really: It's right out of a storybook. And that seems perfectly appropriate, yes?
As always: Bring a reading of 10 minutes or so. Anything goes--don't worry; be happy (and come share your reading, and your profoundly human self, with all of us). Also consider bringing a collection of unpredictable-San Francisco-weather togs (though I'm choosing Washington Square Park in part because it's August and North Beach is more likely than some other places to be sunny--cross your fingers). And bring food and bevvies to pass around (we'll need to be discreet about wine and such, 'cause alcohol is verboten in most, if not all, public parks in this town--you can be clever like Cindy and Paul and transfer your wine to a Pellegrino bottle; though we didn't seem to have any trouble in South Park passing Chardonnay back and forth in a very chichi SFMOMA bag). And maybe bring a folding-chairish thing if you think your knees or back or derriere or whatever might be happier that way. And bring a sun hat and maybe some sunscreen. And bring your singing voice just in case Laura (or blue-ribbon newbie Diane) decides to lead a singalong (for _profound_ bonus points). And, um, Paul... bring your **reading.** (Poor Paul.) :0)
The theme, you ask? Hmmm. Well, here's one thing: Why is it that *Washington* Square Park has a statue of *Benjamin Franklin* in the middle of it? You could make a theme out of that somehow. Other themes: Italy; delicatessens (Molinari's is just down the street yum yum); small, tight, traditional neighborhoods; tourism; printing presses (I'll tell you all about that when I see you); Beat poets; cable cars; bocce ball; Chinatown(s); and... (drumroll, please) delicious pastries! Yes, those are the given themes. As always, interpret them as creatively as you like, as lightly or seriously as you desire. Or ignore them completely. It's up to you.
Public transit? Well, I seem to remember that you can nab the 30 Stockton from Market Street somewhere not too far from the Powell Street or Montgomery Street Station and ride over on that. Check 511.org. It's also a pretty comfortable walk from Market (and a very interesting one--I suggest going through the Jackson Square Historic District, being sure to catch the stretch of Jackson between Sansome and Columbus). I'll leave it to others to chime in on transit and parking options below, in the Comments section. Oh, and please bring two smackers in bills to help me defray the monthly Meetup fee--I hate to ask, but, well, Meetup does put the touch on me.
Hope to see a dule of you! We'll meet on the lawn, just to the southeast of Mr. Franklin.
P.S. As always, I may update this, but the essentials (time, date, etc.) won't change.
P.P.S. Additional thematic material: Christopher Columbus--and all that implies. (How's that for an easy-to-manage swath of the human experience?)