I have lived outside San Francisco for the past two years, in a town just north of the city on the other side of the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. I live in stunningly picturesque Sausalito. I knew a little over eight years ago when my dear cousin got married, that I would someday retire here. Retirement interestingly looks a lot like work. Good thing I love what I am doing so it doesn’t seem too much like “work”. And while I am decidedly a far ways away from retirement, I’m glad that I live here.
30 September 1999 was a special day, as I sketched these drawings onto my notebook. As of that day, I had yet to pick up a paintbrush. That would come years later. Back then, I drew and I drew a lot.
Why these particular sketches are so meaningful to me, is cos I drew them while visiting Tad in San Francisco, someone who was my youngest brother’s best friend since childhood and by that time, had grown to be one of mine. Specifically I was at Dolores Park at that moment, and staying with Tad in the Mission on Guerrero and 19th, at the place we affectionately dubbed MOTEL G.
MOTEL G was a magical place where a lot of life was lived while simultaneously, life stood still. Part of that life was hazy, but with journal entries and photographs, I remember it all. Back then, we thought we were invincible, and life looked a little different – perhaps dangerous – than it does today, both life-altering and life-giving in their own silly and fantastic ways. The group of friends that walked through those halls are still very close friends of mine. Through my brother George and Tad, I would become close friends with other magical names like Tony & Shea, Ballzini, Brandon, Mo and others. We’re just a bit older now, perhaps don’t move as quickly as we once did. But we are still fierce lovers of life, of each other and our protection of what the moments we’ve spent together truly mean for each of us and each other.
While that day was exactly sixteen years ago today, it only seems like yesterday. I’ve walked by Motel G on several occasions over the last couple years, with each passing a bit more nostalgic than the last. I still very much remember the cigarette butt stuck on the sidewalk that inspired me to sketch. I still remember that day in Dolores Park, sketching what I saw when I saw it. It was also the first (and only one of few times) I’d ever gotten sunburned. My nose was peeling for days, but that’s just a fleeting thought as I remember more the serenity of a day spent in the park.
While the Bay Area looks decidedly different today than it did years ago, it’s become home.
MOTEL G was where my love of San Francisco truly began, and I knew because of those epic moments from those years so long ago that seems like yesterday, that someday I would move here. Someday happens to be today.
Ah such memories!
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.
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