This Is Not New York City.

I had such a lovely day today. I walked all the way from my apartment in the exciting, scenic Tenderloin, to my friend Carol’s house at 25th and Cabrillo. Actually, I couldn’t make it non-stop. I had a serious need for a fuel-infusion in the home stretch, so I ducked into Gordo’s on Geary near 19th (I think) and had a chicken burrito.

I hold Gordo’s in very high esteem in Category: Burritos. My friend, Stephanie, opines that Gordo’s burritos are tasteless and maybe she’s right. I do tend to enjoy rather bland food, so perhaps my recommendation is rightly an indictment.

We girls, Carol, Stephanie, Nina and me, had made a plan to meet for “coffee.” We had been seated at Starbucks for all of about five minutes, when Stephanie and Nina required lunch and it had to be immediate and sushi. Damn! And me with my stomach full of an enormous burrito.

Carol and I sat in Kitaro (Geary near 19th, 20th?) and watched Stephanie and Nina snarf down some truly beautiful looking sushi. Carol’s non-eat excuse was that Monday is her payday. What does this say about us, her mean friends, none of us offering to treat her?

Did you know (I didn’t) that SFUSD teachers only get paid ONCE a month? How do they do it? I guess they end up sitting in restaurants, watching their friends eat on the 30th of the month, huh?

That is less shocking, however, than another factoid I learned today. Carol, who is a speech therapist, receives no supplies from SFUSD for her classes. Yes, you heard me right. No paper, no scissors, no pencils, NOTHING. Call me naive, but I was utterly floored by this.

Carol told me that each teacher receives an Office Depot gift card with $200 on it that represents that teacher’s supply money for the ENTIRE year. Outrageous! Carol teaches 50 kids. That’s $4 per kid, per year. What the hell can be done with $4?

After Nina and Stephanie departed, rubbing their happy sushi bellies, Carol drove me home. (God bless her!) Her son, Michael, 13, came along for the ride. He is such a great kid. Today he was chattering about S.F. landmarks, most specifically, Coit Tower. “Have you ever seen it?” he asked me.

“Are you kidding me?” I retorted.

It turns out that Michael, born and raised in this fair city, had never seen Coit Tower. Carol and I gave him a short tour, including North Beach, the Broadway strip (I described the old Carol Doda Condor sign to him), Lombard Street and Coit Tower. I told him the story of Lilly Coit, her obsession with firemen, and her towering (so to speak) tribute to the firemen of San Francisco. Since Michael is only 13, I couldn’t make any jokes about firemen’s hoses….

I know people grow up in New York City without ever seeing certain sights, because New York City is so damn big, but San Francisco? Can people really grow up in this city and not have seen these sites?

It was a shocking afternoon all around….

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