San Francisco

By Andrei Codrescu

San Francisco is a city for the use of its citizens. There are parks, bike lanes, museums and cafes. Pedestrians walk for pleasure, not in fear of their lives. The toylike jumble of pretty Victorians with freshly painted detail give way to views cultivated to lift the spirit. The air is perpetually fresh, as the Pacific Ocean and the bay churn against each other’s currents, slapping one’s face with freshness and the occasional aromas of roasting coffee, garlic and spices. By the ocean it smells like sage and eucalyptus.

Many pedestrians don’t just walk, they run up steep hills and fling exhilarated sweat in their wake as they display steel-like thighs below their shorts. The Thigh Pride Festival takes place right after the Gay Pride Festival, which follows the House Pride Festival, an event that attracts thousands of proud homeowners who’ve paid in excess of $2 million for their room with a view. There are festivals and organic food markets every day from Chinatown to the Haight.

There is always a twang of guitar in the air and a sizzle of meat on kebob grills, discount shopping and the occasional naked protester holding a sign that says, “Bush Lied.” No inorganic peach is allowed to enter these markets and samples for the tasting are liberally handed out by jovial white-bearded men named Mr. Natural. On Nob Hill and in the Marina, streams of espresso flow on the side of streets and day spas catch the caffeinated passersby and mold and rub their bodies in edenic substances while righting tilted auras and aligning crooked chakras. Chinese silks and woven Peruvian shawls cascade from shops.

Everything in San Francisco is for the benefit and well-being of its inhabitants, even the fragrant groves in Golden Gate Park where the homeless make their bucolic homes. There are a lot of homeless, but The Terminator may put an end to that.

Most ultramodern art museums are already in place, but one yet more modern and more gigantic is already in progress. There is, in fact, construction everywhere, being conducted on sites covered in soundproof netting. The workers use muffled saws and hammers wrapped in velvet so as not to disturb their neighbors. San Francisco is a quiet city: sounds carry through the hills, so no harsh word is spoken, because every curse can be heard. The San Francisco city government doesn’t approve of aggressive language or behavior, and also, it doesn’t do business with polluters or with companies that pay slave wages. The locals are rightly proud of their city, although they are a little nervous about the millions of dollars they are spending on credit, and tend to be a little abrupt and sometimes rude in their driving and moving about. Some use their steel thighs to strangle each other.

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