life's journey - USA - 1996 on
San Francisco 1998 on
In 1998 I finally became sick of having nothing to do in Sunnyvale. It had become the Irish Pub routine and frankly I was tired of it. I was totally into Swing Dancing and most of the good events were in the city. So I moved.
I now live in downtown San Francisco in a studio at St Francis Place apartments. Nearby is the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, the Sony Metreon and my favorite the gorgeous Yerba Buena Gardens.
The draw back is the commute I work some 35 miles south in Mountain View.I either take the Caltrain which is a horrble transport system that San Francisco should be ashamed of or I drive.
Most importantly I love to go out dancing as often as I can. My second home from 1998 to 2001 was Monday nights at Harry Dentons Starlight Room.
I like to get out to the beach as often as I can and my favorite is Stinson
Beach north of San Francisco. In particular such events as Shakespeare
on Stinson. I have been known to take a picnic blanket and sleep on the
beach overnight. Another favorite is camping at Point Reyes. Add to that
a trip to Monterey or Carmel or camping in the Pinacles. My favorite local
spot is the Camera Obscura at Seal Rock. Lately I tend to go down to the
Yerba Buena Gardens to lay in the sun.
Nightlife .. I love Bimbos 365 and North Beach in general.
But Swing is (was) the big thing ... theres the Starlight Room, Move to the Groove, the USS Hornet, Lindy in the Park .. all of these events are well documented photographically elsewhere on this site.
Closer to San Jose than San Francisco the weather was great in the first five months of my stay it rained a total of five minutes. Pulli/Sweater/Jumper whatever language forget it until November.
When not at work I could usually be found in the hot-tub at home or during the winter months in one of the many pubs and dancing locals in and around Sunnyvale. To mention but a few Stoddards Brewhouse which is well renound for its Sunday afternoon Reggae in the Beer Garden during Summer. I favour Fibbar McGees on Thursdays through to Saturday nights. But by far the saddest place in Sunnyvale is The Palace. Saturday nights can often lead you into immense trouble or even hospital. However "Friday Night Fever" saw Dave "Travolta" Matthews on the dance floor in wild style. The people at the Palace just ahd no idea how to run a nightclub so Friday Night Fever ended leading me to search for a new place to MOVE!
In the beginning I installed cable TV and tried to entertain my self
during the week as there was little to do in the area from Monday to Friday
except work and talk to friends about .. well work & stock options.
Cable TV turned out to be a brain killer so that was disconnected. I soon
learned that americans have this horrible tendency of being flakey. The
first party (and the last) I threw on 24th August 1996 attracted a grand
total of 13 people despite the over 70 people who said they were definitely
coming. However one important person did come namely Sherie. Although
that didn't lead anywhere I very much appreciated her company and spirit.
Of my important friends of those early days were Larry, Lynda, Lisa, Kelly,
Wendy, Valerie and Rolf.
For a brief period I returned to Hang Gliding until I dsiscovered that the main aim of the Hang gliding school I attended was to extract cash which I did not have. Such that gettin reliscensed to fly in the US was an expensive endeavour.
At the New Years 1997 Party in San Francisco I attended with Wendy I met another special person in my life.... Danita. Although we went out several times nothing developed .. who knows why! But she deserves the best and its a pity that she is no longer in the USA.
As it turns out I was hardly ever at home so I decided to move to save some cash. The Silicon Valley madness meant that my rent increased at Windsor ridge from $1100 to $1300. So I moved to an appartment with less facilities but closer to downtown Sunnyvale next door to my friend Wendy. It cost about $925 per month. My focus tended to remain dancing. I sooned tired of attending the local pub Fibbar Magees. The Palace wasn't what it was. The newly opened BackBeat in Santa Clara was a bright light but its music styles on Friday and Saturday was not what I'd hoped. However on Sunday night its "Swank Swing Sundays" and although it wasn't enough to keep me in Sunnyvale its still one of my favorite dance places. All in all I need a change. During 1997 I had discovered Swing Dancing and most of the activities were in the City. I also thought what happens when in 2030 my Grand Children say "Granddad you used to live in San Francisco in the 1900s .. and I have to tell them I actually lived in Sunnyvale not San Francisco". So I decided you only live once and I will live with the commute so SF it was.