Sunday, November 1, 2009

Maiden Lane

Sunny Sunday afternoon in downtown San Francisco, but not many people around. The Bay Bridge has been closed for several days and remains closed, so that probably kept many shoppers away. Others may have been recovering in the privacy of dim rooms from last night's Halloween revels. Halloween is San Francisco's favorite holiday, by far. I got home from the opera about 11:00 last night (Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Florez both singing brilliantly in The Daughter of the Regiment) and my neighborhood was packed with costumed whoopers and bellowers advertising their Halloween spirit with drunken enthusiasm.

This afternoon after buying a blanket on sale at Macy's and a pair of running shoes at Niketown I wandered into Maiden Lane, seen in long view above.

Since I don't shop in Maiden Lane, but only ogle the windows, I don't really know what Chanel's situation is. The bigger site was up and running today, while the smaller one a few doors down was under construction. Perhaps Karl has abandoned the smaller one for the bigger one, or perhaps in some Chanel-happy future they will both be open.

The two pictures above show details of a small Maiden Lane building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Greek-key light-fixture seen up close is made of plastic. Many, many tenants have rented this space in my own memory – mostly clothing stores or art galleries – but the constant turnover seems to confirm what I have read and heard about many of Wright's buildings – that they are pleasant to look at but inconvenient and uncomfortable to inhabit. This one, for example, has no windows.

I came home to an early sunset – or early-seeming due to the time change last night – above the Mission world of residential hotels and blanked-out billboards and many wires.