THIS is San Francisco?! Or, “From the Mouths of Babes”
Oh, kids say the darnedest things. My nine-year-old Grandson and I went on a little adventure recently. It was a Saturday, and the destination was Ocean Beach. We hopped about the Transbay Bus in Oakland, and arrived at the Transbay Terminal in the SOMA area of SF. We’d been there once before, but not on foot. The downtown streets were quiet that Saturday morning, without the usual cars and people everywhere. That made it cold, but also made for great viewing of architecture, specifically skyscrapers, which my Grandson had never seen. I kept hearing “Look, Grandma, that building is so tall! Oh, my, look at THAT one!!” It reminded me of my visit to Chicago as a kid that surely planted the seed for my love of cities. Of course, one thing that makes SF so awesome is the beach, where we spent the afternoon running around, chasing beach balls, making sand castles and throwing frisbees. The beach and the skyscrapers were terrific, but the amazing part happened on the N Line Muni train, that takes you back from Ocean Beach all the way to SOMA. You take in a lot of sights. Something caught my eye, a mural I think it was, and I sighed, “I love San Francisco”.
“This is San Francisco?! I haven’t even seen anyone’s ass!” cried my Grandson. He was referring to our last trip when we drove through the Tenderloin and someone was prone on the sidewalk, with his pants down. Shocking tstl. After I stopped laughing, I pointed out the irony of how two blocks later, there was a little boy just like him riding in the back of a Bentley. Fortunately, my Grandson didn’t know what that was, so I explained it was a car that people with a lot of money use to “show off”. I talked a little about income disparity in this country – trying to remember my Grandson is only 9 – and he really seemed to listen and to get it. At any rate, I’m glad we don’t see it so glaringly in Oakland, but it is here too. And, across the Country and world for that matter. So, with any luck I’ve planted a seed in his mind that it’s wrong. Between that, and what his Father preaches about giving and loving your neighbors, the poor and all people, I have high hopes for him. That is one smart, thoughtful boy, even if he does have his Grandmother’s crass sense of humor!