Monday, October 24, 2005

Dr. Atomic: The Trip

I returned last night from a hectic but fun trip up north to see the closing night of Dr. Atomic, the new John Adams-Peter Sellars wizbang which had its premiere at SF Opera this fall. I'm going to review the opera in a separate post, but here I just wanted to recount the trip for posterity's sake.

We left Friday afternoon after everyone was done teaching sections. Thanks to various logistical issues, there were five of us crammed into my little car. Fine with me, as I was driving, but I suspect a little uncomfortable for the three in the back. It went easily enough however, with only one little pause in Dublin, where we slowed down enough for Pete to roll out of the car and catch the freeway-side BART train into the city. We spent the night in the Oakland Hills, where Elizabeth's mother made us a later dinner and we forced Kelsey to watch Amadeus--an embarrassing movie for a musicologist never to have seen.

Saturday we had a late and lazy brunch, again courtesy of Elizabeth's mother, at Rick and Anne's in Berkeley. It's a classic Berkeley restaurant, one which Elizabeth informed me I should be ashamed of never having been to. Then we headed into the city to meet up with the other half of our gang. It was a beautiful sunny fall day in the city. Sitting in Dolores Park, watching packs of dogs tussle with one another in front of palm trees and the San Francisco skyline, signing left-wing petitions and seeing a man try to sell musical instruments to sunbathers (accordion? ukelele?), it all makes it difficult to believe that one can't actually live here at the moment.

Some book-shopping in the Mission, dinner at a cheap Indian restaurant, a quick change of clothes in a friend's apartment, and we were off to the opera.Afterwardss the night was spent at an apartment in the Haight, which had the most beautiful hardwood floors I have ever seen--a deep luscious red wood that I was afraid to step on

Sunday was The Race. Elizabeth has been training for a marathon for the past few months. It's the Nike Women's Marathon, benefiting leukemia research. Sunday was the big day, so we dragged ourselves over to Golden Gate Park to cheer as she ran by. We were a little slow in getting out of the house, so we ended up missing her at mile 16, but managed to find her at mile 21, threw her a power bar, and cheered as she went past.

Then, it was back to the Mission for brunch with the some former Stanford classmates of Nikki's, at an extremely greasy little diner. Then back to the car, and six hours later, home! I am almost always really glad to be back in Los Angeles. Coming back to LA from New York, London, Washington, DC., Boston, Philadelphia, or really almost anywhere, I consider myself very fortunate to live in a wonderful city. Coming back from San Francisco, however, was a little....disappointing.

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