The Civic Center Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays and Sundays) is one of my favorite things about working where I do. There’s no avoiding it (although who would want to?) because it’s right outside the entrance to the BART station. Just as there’s no avoiding the fact that it really, truly, finally is spring. Peaches are here! And how about that use of the word “rich”?
It has indeed been a rich May around here. When you look up from the peaches you can see the State Building, which is where I work, adjacent to San Francisco’s golden domed City Hall and the Asian Art Museum, which represents THE finest example of how to turn a grand library into a really beautiful museum. One floor above the court where I work is the California Supreme Court, and haven’t THEY made this a richly happy month?
If you happen to be visiting San Francisco on a Wednesday in the spring, all you have to do to check out these many riches is hop on BART and get off at the Civic Center stop. Buy some fruit, and maybe a tamale. Go into the Asian Art Museum, which is ahead of you and on the right. If you can’t afford to pay the entrance fee, you can ask for the red chopsticks pass, which gets you into the cafe, where you can have a cup of tea and sit on the lovely veranda overlooking the farmer’s market. And you can still see the beautiful job they’ve done converting the library into a marvelous museum space.
Don’t forget to visit City Hall — and the Main Library, which is across from the Asian Art Museum. There’s cheap food to be had down Polk Street, which is officially “Little Vietnam.” And in another three weeks or so, the Supreme Court’s marriage decision will be final, and they will begin to marry people at City Hall. You can sit in the grass and congratulate people, while you’re eating your tamales, or your fruit, or your vietnamese food.
Some people find this extraordinarily rich neighborhood a little scary. The tenderloin is home to a lot of people who are right on the edge of being okay — and many people who’ve fallen off the edge. And no, they’re not always pleasant. But they’re part of who we are, and there’s no denying their existence around here, and that is as it should be, I think.