I took the afternoon to do this watercolor at Mint Plaza, a spot downtown off 5th Street that's forever in a state of flux; gentrifying slowly, but strangely. It's not entirely Safe with a Capitol S, but getting better in fits and starts. Still kind of crazy. At one point, in the corner of my eye I saw someone fly by and stop right behind me. I quickly turned around to see a wild-eyed tweeker looking at my sketch. He said, "NICE! I do ACRYLICS!" I stayed silent, like I didn't understand any language. He left. So did the guy who wanted money. I focused on the vintage Beetle in the middle of this piece.
Then a woman came along and asked me about the recently closed restaurants on the Plaza. I ended up having a long chat with her about the neighborhood. She asked about my work when I'm not doing Art ("what do you DO?"), Real Estate and housing, her decades in San Francisco working for The Chronicle and retiring just in time (2005), persistence and investment, planning for the future -- "Riding those Waves," she called it -- and her upcoming trip to "The Holy Land. Egypt!"
As she walked away toward the Bug, I realized that she's the owner of the Volkswagen. I quickly put her in the center of the piece, right there beside the VW, looking back at me. Such a sweet bit of serendipity that can sometimes happen when I go out into the city, find a spot, and set my mind and hand to art work.
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