San Francisco Three Ways

San Francisco has been my family’s home for five generations.  My great grandparents lived through the 1906 7.8 earthquake and I rock and rolled with the 1989 7.1 earthquake during the World Series.  Today I do San Francisco three different ways.

1.  With Pam

SF with Pam means going to see a Broadway show.  Many shows that end up on Broadway are produced in San Francisco and if they’re good enough make it to the Great White Way. 


My first time over the newly completed Bay Bridge.  It’s weird and great!

My parents have season tickets and usually go together, but my dad had to bail at the last second and I got his amazing ticket.  The good thing about going to shows with a seasoned theater patron is that a) she doesn’t see crap and b) she won’t go unless the seats are great.  The musical we saw was the Carole King musical “Beautiful.”


Review:  Imagine growing up in the Greenbaum household.  When mom is going dishes she is listening either to musicals OR to her favorite 1960’s bands: Aretha Franklin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash and Carole King.  We all know every word to Carole King’s Tapestry by osmosis.  It was part of the soundtrack of my childhood. 

Now put Carole King and Broadway together.

It was so good I almost cried.  Unbeknownst to me because I knew the music and not the history, Carole King was one of the most prolific song writers of the time.  Before she did her singer/songwriter act we for which she is most famous, she wrote about half of all the Motown songs you know with her jerky husband Gerry Goffin and their other writing partners.  One Fine Day, Some Kind of Wonderful, Up on the Roof, Locomotion, I’m into Something Good – all written by Carole King.  Not to mention all the songs on Tapestry, many of which were made popular by Motown groups long before she sang them soulfully. 

Halfway through my mom turns to me and asks, “Do you know this song?”  “Yes, mother.  I know every word to every song and I am doing everything in my power to control myself from singing and dancing.”  Ugh, it was so so good!  Now you must go listen to her.  Here:


2.  With Jim

San Francisco with Jim means looking for 1960’s history and going to Golden Gate Park or another family friendly activity.  We went to the fantastic playground in the middle of the park on the most beautiful day I’ve ever seen in San Francisco.  80 degrees and no wind.  Glorious.


In the park we found Jim’s alternative lifestyle option:  hippies living out of their VW van.


We went to Stow Lake to paddle around.  Mimi is showing you where it is.  Go there with little kids, it’s fun.



Jim sprung for the motorized boat which subsequently quit working.  Jude had to peddle us around.

3.  With My Man

Hush has been to SF a few times, but only once with me.  My children were with Houdini and at Celia’s house so we had the day to ourselves.  I’m slowly introducing him to my favorite haunts.  We started in Chinatown and then headed over to the DeYoung museum.  On our way there we happened upon the Full House House.  I thought I was the biggest Full House fan in the world until I met my match in Hush.  He unabashedly refers to episodes of the best show ever and even knows their stupid neighbor Kimmy’s last name.  Gibbler. 


Oh, I forgot to mention.  Hush and I went on a quick honeymoon to Park City and while we were there I turned on the TV and guess who was on.  Uncle Jesse.  Not just Uncle Jesse, but it was the Uncle Jesse and the Rippers episode where Jesse fails at learning to dance.  It was like God telling me that he wants me to have everything in the world:  Hush AND Uncle Jesse.  I don’t have to choose.  Jesse comes along on our trips.  Full House follows me and I love it.


Have Mercy.

Next a quick hike through Golden Gate Park during which I recounted memories of field trips there in my youth and my memorable 13th birthday party at the Laserium watching the Pink Floyd laser show.  We were made for each other. 

Then the DeYoung.  I love this museum and it was fun to get recharged creatively together with my sweet husband.  Every creative idea I have he supports and encourages, it’s my particular kind of heaven.



We were especially taken with an installation called Anti-Mass by Cornelia Parker.  It’s the charcoal remains of a Baptist Chapel burned by arsons. 


San Francisco is an inspiring city burgeoning with culture that I didn’t know I missed.  Shows, Chinatown, Stow Lake, curious art installations all provoke me into wanting to contribute to the culture of the world.  The blog suffices for now, but I think this marriage will yield more creativity than I’d even hoped.



Circe said...

Now I really want to go to SFO. Or at least some great museums!

sarah-lucy said...

I'm happy you're happy. Does Hush have a brother?

Jennie said...

Oh my! I loved both of these posts with all the SF details, family life, updates, and memories. The show sounded blissful. There is nothing better than having such an enjoyable night, especially when it is with someone you love like Momma Pam. But.... I couldn't help feel like you might be leaving our great state soon. Any thoughts of moving back to CA, or is Hush pretty entrenched here with work? I hope you stay a while.

Caroline Bingham said...

OH MY LIFE! Carole King's Tapestry is our "work music". We do chores, we listen to Ms. King. That's what I grew up with, and that's what my kids shall grow up with.

Also: best moment of my life is when my three year old was singing about all the different flavor of people in meat pies circa Sweeney Todd.

Caroline Bingham said...

(My THEN three year old... she's now six.)

Nicku said...

Oh this is one of the things about my hubs that I love...except it's Golden Girls, not Full House. God is good, He knows what we need :P