September 6, 2007

Fading Away

Walking to work: Still on the lookout for old hotel signs.

I let my walking to work fade away in the high temperatures of our heat wave, or through flat out laziness, but now the numbers are down again and I’m walking. When I’m downtown, I keep my eyes out for old advertising signs. There are so few left painted on buildings themselves, but a few metal signs remain. They are works of art in their own right, and I carefully catch as many as I can in my lense on my way to the ballpark.

This nice sign, in two languages, sits just south of the Lion’s Retirement high-rise building. Pre-Moderne, this sign is original complete with it’s metal gusset that confuses what the hotel’s name actually is. I’d say “Callan” as someone has carefully painted part of the metal piece to make a “L” read semi clearly.

The Gaslamp Hotel may have been there in 1889, as the sign tells us, but both the name and the sign are new. The “Horton Grand” Hotel below, isn’t new at all, but it does combine two old hotels moved onto one new site. Yes, it is wonderful to save these buildings, but their signs aren’t worth photographing.

After the next very long, ten day homestand, I’ll be working only one to two days a week through January. I’ll be walking around home, bay and beach diligently and doggedly. Or at least I will try. For just a month of not walking regularly leaves me in appalling shape. The two chocolate chip cookies a night at work don’t help either.

This 1850, downtown house sits right in the middle of all the new redevelopment, has been restored and is on its original site, but the sign certainly isn’t new at all. In this day of wipe out all the old and preserve little, it’s magic that this mid-century home survived successive waves of modernization around it.

This is a very new building and new sign, but the art work on the fa├žade is worth photographing in itself. I’m going to try and keep this kind of thinking going this coming winter as I keep my walks more suburban. This afternoon, I will walk, bus, and trolley to meet my G at Costco…so we won’t have two vehicles down in the valley. Instead of thinking that there will be nothing new for me to view on my wander, I’m packing my camera. As I head out, down hill, to the bus that no longer runs in front of my house and out into a world that isn’t downtown and isn’t the ballpark, I’ll remind myself that I have to keep those little grey cells growing and changing or I will fade away early.

Fading away isn’t an option.

Me: Great day. My legs look like my legs again. Cutting on first new quilt block. Strawberry shortcake for dinner and fake, no fat, no sugar, whipped cream….that kept me up half the night in semi-misery and massive nightmares. Served me right.

G: Looking and sounding great….but neither of us are happy about his new hours. G and Irish talked about an old friend celebrating 48 years of sobriety who is in much the same state as Duck yet still living at home alone.

Duck: Talked with both Duck and Fred again. It’s the first time Fred has been semi awake since Duck moved into his room. Fred said his last roommate died and he really missed him.

Friends: Pete: Waiting to hear from him about that tumor in his lung, and waiting for him to correct the days’ apostrophes. Irish: His doc told him he should have come in years ago. His prostrate cancer has metastasized. He had no medical insurance. Carrie is patiently dealing with an irascible husband whose cancer is also wandering along.

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