Saturday, August 28, 2010

Appearing at the Summer Soirée

Last night, on the way to eat at Hahn's Hibatchi on Polk Street -- a Korean grill with wonderful ribs -- I passed this window display in a French cafe. It really evokes for me the bright end of Summer in a beach town in the 1920s, somewhere Mediterranean with avant-guarde artists who, like the villages of the Côte d'Azur in those times, had yet to be discovered. The names ring down the decades: Saint-Tropez, Leger, Stein & Toklas, Cassis, Huxley, Bandol, Picasso, Sanary-sur-Mer, all fresh from the first season of sun-drenched Modernism.

Appearing at the Summer Soiree, originally uploaded by deanv41.

This Riviera, though, is Polk Gulch, where in the 1990s a colony of French Arrivistes helped bring back a vibrant street life to a classic San Franciscan neighborhood street that had been decimated, in the doldrums, dilapidated after the 1980s. This is merely the latest wave here to bring with it a vision of wine again from withered vines.
When some in the community call to "Take Back The Polk," i wonder if it means kicking the French out? That would be 'une mauvaise idée, d'accord?'

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