Every year, we seem to be out of town for my birthday. Although this year’s birthday has been bookmarked by trips: Last week in the Finger Lakes and Niagara-on-the-Lake and next week in Monterey, we spend the entire weekend in San Francisco.
Saturday Jazz and Fringe
Since we already had my “Official Birthday Dinner” at one of our favorite restaurants in the city (Gary Danko), we decided to do a number of informal things this weekend. Saturday morning began with a drive to South San Francisco’s New England Lobster Company, where we bought a five-pound bag of littleneck clams and two 2-pound hard-shell lobsters.
When we got home, we steamed the clams for lunch and walked down to Eddy Street for one of the two days we were in town for this year’s SF Fringe Festival (see below). We return by way of Geary Street (with stops at a few galleries) to North Beach’s Savoy Tivoli, for a drink and jazz. We returned home, steamed our two lobsters (eating as much as we could) and settled in for a movie.
Sunday Jazz and Fringe
After our standard Sunday morning news fix, we headed down to Farmer Brown’s for its Sunday Jazz Brunch. Although the food (buffet of fried chicken, grits, biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon and, for those who really needed it, fresh fruit!!) and libations (bottomless mimosa) were just as we remembered, jazz had somehow transformed into very loud rap by a group that seemed to pride itself in never taking a break and in making musical transitions between numbers, such that it was almost impossible to hear people across the table.
We then walked the block and a half to the Exit theater for our second and regrettable, last play of the Fringe Festival, before walking home via Post Street Galleries and the small exhibit at the Samuel P. Taylor park at California and Taylor. Then home for an appetizer of heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and balsamic and a lobster soufflé entree.
Overall, a very nice B’day weekend.
Although we really enjoy many of the plays at the fringe festival, we were, unfortunately, only in town for two of the 12 days. We selected two one-person plays:
- Girl in, but not of, the ‘Hood, about a girl who grew up in and temporarily moved out of the ‘hood and went to college, before returning to the ‘hood to live with her mother in an attempt to save money for a condo in the suburbs.
- Differently-ABLED, another autobiography about a boy who contracted and grew up with and Reye’s Syndrome, but still managed to pursue his dream of becoming a standup comic.
Although both plays were essentially self-therapy session, there was a big difference between them. In “Girl” Genevieve Jesse convincingly portrayed four characters (herself, her mother and grandmother and a childhood “girlfriend”). Malcolm Grissom, in “Differently” played himself. On one hand, both plays took us through experiences that neither Joyce or I had ever been able to really imagine. The big difference was that Genevieve helped us to “feel” her experience. Malcolm “told us” of his.