Sunday, March 29, 2009

SB Day 3—Le plus ca change le plus ca le meme chose

Today was my downtown SB day! 

By my count I walked or ran up and down State Street at least three times and it was interesting. 

I got up just before 8:00, kitted up, and headed out for a run from my hotel down towards downtown. I had mapped out the run last night and I thought I would have 7-8 but that is not the way that it turned out. 

Pass 1: 

Ran down State Street to downtown and then cut over to Anacapa, a less crowded side street. Headed under the freeway to get to the water front and then over to the Sunday Art Market area in Chase Palm Park. The artists were only setting up and so there was not much to see. No matter, I was busy anyway and continued onto and out to the end of Sterns Wharf before turning around and making the long slog up State Street and back to the hotel. SB is in a long sloping plain down to the water, a number of tsunamis that have rolled up into the city. The upshot for me was a lot of climbing. It was in the sun and with a tail wind which made things more enjoyable. I gelled at 7 and was sucking Gatorade as well and feeling a bit tired but otherwise my legs were strong. This was a good run but it felt good to stop and stretch. 

I got lucky. It was overcast and cool when I started but the sun came out during my run. This trip is all about the sun. 

Pass 2: 

Back to the hotel, quick shower, and then a short stack of blueberry pancakes, an egg, and some tea at Max's Restaurant. So good. Decided to head out down to downtown to walk around before I was to meet I and K for lunch. But first, I had to go see the Moreton Bay Fig Tree just near the SB Rail Station. This tree is the biggest in North America apparently and my picture simply cannot do it justice. 

I strolled down to the bottom of State Street and through the art displays on Cabrillo. Didn't see anything that caught my eye. Mostly the same artists that were around when M and I lived here. Pali is still there and doing some interesting performance art, photography, and (of course) the glass paintings. Nothing caught my eye as much as his "Maori Hunters" did and I get to see that every day in my living room. Took a slow walk up and down State Street to see what, if any, changes there had been. Obviously some restaurants have changed, there is more Indian food, but most of the same businesses were there. I say most because there were also quite a few empty store fronts as well. 

There were so many different languages being spoken, testament to the kind of international destination SB really is—German, French, Russia, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Spanish. Hearing all these languages was refreshing. 

But, you know, I was really bored by the time I finished this second pass and it was time to go meet I and K for lunch. 

Pass 3:

Waiting outside the Natural Cafe I struck up a conversation with a fellow who was waiting with two Salukis. One was four months old and he and his wife had just picked him up the day before. The other was four years old. Beautiful dogs and magnets for attention too because they are so unusual. People were stopping to pet them. The puppy was loving it as puppies do but the older dog exhibited that Saluki "standoffishness". 

His wife and son turned up. The son was barely taller than the older dog and he was carrying a rather large cookie. You can guess what began to happen. :-)

Pretty soon I saw I and K coming down the street and went up to meet them. 

Now, so far, I've been thinking that not much has changed but it really has. I and K had a surprise as it were. 

As we sat down I noticed that they had matching rings and, yes, it turns out, I and K have been married for about a year (thanks for telling me. :-P ). But wait! There's More! They have a dog, more later. Both of these I would not have expected but I have to say that the knowledge of it makes me happy. We caught up over a nice lunch (Turkey Burger and Salad for me) and then we walked up to a Peet's Coffee for more chatting time. 

Another walk up State Street! 

Saw this really, really deep junk-jewelry store.

(Yep, this is not some camera trick. The store really is as deep as a city block.)

The clouds came back in and sitting outside in the court yard became a bit uncomfortable so we walked down to their car and then drove to their apartment so I could meet Ilka the dog and see their apartment. 

I&K's neighbors were having an orange fight when we drove up. They were picking oranges from a rather large tree in the yard, splitting them, and then throwing them at each other, chasing each other down and then squeezing the juice out. There were orange rinds everywhere. It looked like fun but I could not help but thinking "What a waste of perfectly good oranges!"

Ilka is a young, very wiggly, Golden Retriever who gives hugs on command. She is also very hard to photograph because she does not sit still. Here is my best shot!

I had just interviewed for a tenure-track position and we talked about that for a bit. Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed!

Then it was time for pictures and for I&K to do some errands (tomorrow is a school day) . . . 

. . .  and time for me to attend to some other errands as well. There is a chocolate shop that has chocolates from around the world that I wanted to visit (it was closed by the time I got there). 

Tomorrow will be busy too as I will be meeting people up on campus. I'll get up early to go out and run Moore Mesa, a very short 3 miler I think. 

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