Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas in San Francisco

Wednesday, December 21, 2010

For the first time since I've lived in Norcal (twelve years), I went to see the Christmas lights in San Francisco. On this Wednesday night, three days before the Big Day, the city was bustling with tourists (when is Union Square NOT bustling with tourists?!) but the mood was calm and jovial. It was a bit breezy and overcast, but mild (temps in the high 50s).  Some pictures at twilight.  

The Tree, at Union Square
The tree. It's cute, and even cuter with the lights on. So if you go, go at night.

Wreathy Macy's 
I dare not go inside, except to bypass a busy street corner to get to MUNI. The purpose of this trip was to go to Zara, my favorite store of late (there are none in the Silicon Valley), and to see the lights without getting clobbered.  Food was not a part of this trip.

Cable car bus, Christmased-up
I thought the tree at Neiman was impressive.  Classy.  Same with Union Square, in general. I had this fear that it would be grossly kitschy, like Christmas in the Park in San Jose, or my parents' neighborhood in Sacramento.  In both locations, there is EXCESSIVE lighting, and objects like blow-up Santas and reindeer strewn in the yard.  In a word, tasteless. 

Neiman Marcus

In the New Jersey suburb where I grew up, the houses were decorated in lights at Christmastime, sure.  But there never seemed a threat of fire danger or visual impairment because of too many lights, or careless decorating.  Instead, houses often had candles flickering in each window, or would have one one large pine tree in the front yard glowing in large red, green and blue bulbs like the kind in Charlie Brown Christmas. The decorations emitted a vibe of coziness inside the house. When I look at the houses in my parents' current neighborhood, glowing in gold and robin's egg blue, I think: Children's Las Vegas or neighborhood inferno.
Skating rink
Wow. So there is a skating rink in Union Square. Well, it is dinky. It is not Rockefeller Center. OMG I had to bring up New York. I just had to, didn't I.  

Well, New York it is not, but that is irrelevant here, and making comparisons of the cities, especially at Christmastime, is not fair.  Union Square is certainly charming and I will go again next December (and plenty of times before that). Next year in December, I'd love to have tea in The Rotunda. Oooh. Posh.  Include food.  There you go.

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