Landscape organizes everything within sight.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Postcard from San Francisco: The International City

I walked outside my back door this morning to hear the French coverage of the France-Switzerland match and glimpse a lasso swinging.

I live in one of those victorian working-class row houses -- three families to a lot, stacked in front of each other; work lots of backyards with nineteenth-century wooden fire escapes down the back, used for the most part for drying laundry. Ours has laundry flapping around basil plants and succulents.

Our backstairs neighbors include a Franco-British family, which had apparently invited over every other Frenchman in San Francisco. Cattycorner dwells a retired Mexican couple who hold barbeques in their back yard every Friday afternoon in the summer. The Mexican family typically plays ranchero ballads, which come soaring over the fences while the men, in enormous cowboy hats and neckerchiefs, sway.

The French family have a spreading fig tree, under which their daughter plays.   The Mexicans have a large dirt back yard, edged with neat rows of vegetables: cabbages, epazote, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Their sons are over practicing throwing the lasso. 

I was yelling over the fence at the French family, attempting to egg them on behalf of Switzerland (alle la Suisse!!). I made no impression whatsoever over the loud cheering and focussed consumption of Stella Artoises.  But it has definitely attracted the attention of the lassoers, who keep winking at me as I sit typing in the sun.

Happy Sunday!

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