Early on a Sunday morning. I wake up and open the living room blinds to a sea of white. On most clear days, I have a view of half the San Francisco skyline, a portion of the Bay Bridge, and several nearby hills filled densely with houses and apartment buildings. Today, thanks to our typical ground-hugging summer fog, I barely see a half block down my own hill. The downtown skyline, nowhere in site. A morning like this begs one to either curl back up in bed, or head to a warm, quiet cafe to work next to a steaming cup of coffee and a small breakfast. I decide the latter, and head to Canvas, arriving fifteen minutes after opening.
On my drive over, a thermometer in the car grudgingly displays a chilly outside temperature of 51°F. This, on Independence Day weekend, headed for the middle of July. What a crazy city. We had sunny, 90-degree temperatures earlier this week. Now it’s cold enough to warrant sweaters, jackets, and scarves for passersby outside on the sidewalk. Confirmation of the oft-overused quote — supposedly attributed to Mark Twain — which every tourist hears when the fog rolls in, after they’re already stuck in Fisherman’s Wharf with nothing more than shorts and a t-shirt:
“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
Thus, here I am again… sitting in my favorite corner of my favorite cafe. The corner is really the best spot — despite the hard, flat bench — as it affords a nice overview of the wide open space. The corner walls partially shield the bright light coming in from floor-to-ceiling windows, and provide rest for the back. Canvas is nearly empty this morning. Everyone must have chosen the first option of remaining in bed. A CD plays softly over the sound system. Appropriately enough, “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.