Sunday, June 26, 2005

Garage Sale Blues and Neighborhood Pride

Well, I didn't know you could actually fail at having a garage sale. Didn't occur to me.

I just sat with my garage for two hours. We had one person come by who didn't buy anything. I closed the door. I feel like a kid who sets up a lemonade stand and gets no customers, except that I can't drink all the lemonade myself. I just wanna get rid of this stuff! We're going to Goodwill once himself the boyfriend is conscious.

Okay, I didn't advertise a lot. And it's drizzly outside, driving us back in to the actual garage. And my father is trying to reassure me that since today is the Pride Parade in downtown San Francisco, all my neighbors are probably at that. ("There are millions of people there today!" he tells me brightly.)

I live in the Sunset. It's mostly elderly Chinese (straight) couples as far as the eye can see. I don't doubt that some of my neighbors are at Pride today, but the neighborhood hardly empties out for it. Ah well. Maybe they are all at Pride. I hope they have a good time. I should be at Pride, except I'm moving, which has become my excuse for everything. But I may join my father later and check out the festival.

The Sunset is fine, really. I was raised in the Richmond District across the park. The Sunset is the other residential west-side-of-SF district, and like the Richmond, always gets described in the press as 'solidly middle class'. I don't deny the description, but it's a little colorless, and the Richmond, in particular, is NOT colorless.

The description I like best comes from a Laurence Yep young-adult novel called "Ribbons", where the young heroine describes her neighborhood:

"Some of my schoolmates from the sunnier, ritzier parts of San Francisco found the Richmond dreary and called the buildings here 'ticky-tacky boxes'. But I wouldn't have traded it for anything. Dad liked to say the Richmond was like some foggy spot on the ancient Silk Road, where cultures met."

Yeah. That's it.

The Sunset is more insular and less cool, although it has many of the same characteristic as the Richmond--similar ethnic mix, similar shopping streets full of small restaurants, Chinese groceries, Irish bars and weird dollar stores. I have liked living here though. Even if my neighbors can't be bothered to buy my used paperbacks. But Clement Street and the Great Geary Way are where my heart lives.


Eliyahu said...

i have never been a huge fan of garage sales, but some people do well with them...hopefully, the goodwill is close by. your blog is great....if you do not have a "gmail" email account (web based, for privacy) send me an email & i will send you an "invite" or go over to, email her, and she will send you one. DovBear has invited you to do a guest post, or just ask him to welecome you in a post, and that will send some readers to you. love your blog, and blessings on moving.

Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

More blog stuff! Can you explain to me what an 'invite' is?

Eliyahu said...

"gmail" is the sort of new free email service by google. you can access it with just a browser, like microsoft's hotmail. anyway, it is still "beta", meaning it's not offered to the public, but is available only through "invites" from people already signed up. i have heard that once you are signed up, then "invites" show up on your screen. they did on mine, so it may be the perfect marketing system. if you google "gmail" it offers some details.