Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Harold & Maudeland

The thing I love about the Bay Area is that you walk through bits of literature and history. Like the Sutler Baths, which burned down 30-40 years ago, and which were used to shoot a scene in the movie Harold and Maude. Elsewhere, you wander through the land of the Beats in the North Beach neighborhood around City Lights, see the literary ghost of Steve McQueen pitch down Nob Hill streets, and come across the settings of Tales of the City. You end up with a feeling that's the opposite of nostalgia--the feeling that if something happened here, and here, and here, you might be about to step into the middle of a story of your own at any moment.

The corollary of this idea, or maybe just its twin, is the sense you get from everyone you talk to that their career is just something to pay the rent; they're really in the middle of the story that's happening right at the moment you're talking to them.

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