I went to have dinner at my friend Charlotte's house tonight. I've never been to her new gaff, since she lives in an area where parking is abominable and not at all convenient to my windswept westside lifestyle. But, in an effort to both represent for my girl and live up to my Lenten commitments, I decided to cowgirl up and do the deed. Suffice it to say that driving from the beach to the Mission (where I had a late-afternoon interview) to Hayes Valley during rush hour (complete with a power outage around Valencia Gardens that created near-gridlock) made me positively apoplectic - but after a plate full of biryani and several hours of quality conversation, I was feeling pretty chill.
At about 10 I decided to split. On the three-block walk back to my car, I had the chance to see what's become of Hayes Valley, which, when I moved to the City, was a blighted, hooker-trodden no man's land underneath a ghastly freeway overpass (my little ratty '78 Corolla once ran out of gas down there and I had to walk home to the Upper Haight - an interesting night). It's now a chic little hipsterville of quaint (and expensive) shops and cute restaurants, and has a sweet, almost West Village-y vibe.
Feeling sated and philosophical, I was meandering down the sidewalk when I passed a shop called Plantation and was absolutely captivated by this amazing blown-glass octopus in the window. I stood there and gazed at it longingly, imagining where in my house I could find a place for such a delicate masterpiece. I thought of giving it its own shelf. Or own table. Perhaps even its own room. I took photos of it with my cell phone and vividly fantasized about glass-octopi ownership, which is about as remote (once I got a price quote - $395! - via email) right now as home ownership. Though a penchant for blown glass runs in my blood, I have other financial priorities at the moment (you know, like $350 power bills) that preclude such fancy and whimsy.
But still. I want it, I want it, I want it. Badly!