Under a Mango Moon in San Francisco
Is San Francisco a magical place? YES!
Tuesday night, I came back from the East Bay and decided to go to the
Westin St. Francis hotel on Union Square for some tea to soothe my headache,
which was provoked by my noontime jog on Lands’ End in between the Presidio and
The sounds of the Compass Rose Lounge induced me to sip my chamomile
slowly and indulge myself listening to the singer croon to the likes of Frank
Sinatra and the Beatles. Under the dim candlelight, my pen glided ever
so naturally across my notebook composing a letter to my new friend,
Rishma, in Canada. The lovers danced, the businessmen chatted away (oh what a
no-no) and Susan sunk into her chair in bliss. When the letter wrapped up and
the musicians took another break, I made my way out to the sounds of the
cable cars and tourists wandering around Union Square. “Should I go to Geary
Avenue and take the 38 bus home or shall I wander some more?”, I
pondered. The decision came instantly, as it should to any innate errant soul.
I ascended Powell Street with no destination in mind. Oh how I adore my
meanderings with no map and no end-point! Admiring the expensive
apartment buildings in Nob Hill, I continued to cross and turn at streets. My
roving eyes never paused from taking in the sights.
At Jones and Pine, there was a well-dressed woman talking on her cell
phone and walking her dog. She reminded me of the society women in New
York’s Upper West and East Side fancy neighborhoods. I traversed the street
and a young man next to me said, “Did you see the moon?” We went back onto the street and looked at the moon, the mango moon. I had never seen a moon like that before, the color was mango orange and the shape was that of the oblong tropical fruit.
“Wow!”, I exclaimed.
“I am going to take a look at the moon from my roof, would you like to
join me?” the young man with bleached highlights asked me.
“Sure”, I quickly responded.
We went into his apartment building, 1201 California Street, right next
to Grace Cathedral. I had passed this elegant apartment building before by
bus and had wondered who lived there. Now I know.
The 360 degree view from the roof was phenomenal, like that from the
Fairmont Hotel, the Carnelia Room at the Bank of America and Coit
Tower. I just circled the roof in awe, not able to find the tropical fruit. We
kept looking and did not see the luna. How could it disappear? Did someone
get hungry and eat it? Finally the moon rose above the Bank of America
building and made its majestic appearance. The mango moon was back!
John, my host, with the taste of alcohol in his breath, climbed the
fire escape and hung on like Leonardo Di Caprio in the Titanic scene where
he grasps on to the side of the ship and yells. My intrepid soul would not
let me take the risk of falling, so I remained in the ground (15 floors
above the Earth) and let the cityscape mesmerize me.
“Would you like to see the penthouse?” John inquired.
We went down the main stairs and then up some side stairs that led to
the small decks of the uninhabited penthouses. It was hard to imagine that someone
could own such a real estate gem and not live there. From the deck, we
could see a woman lying naked on her bed with a big wall Indian-looking wall
hanging behind her. John thought that they were practicing the Kama
Sutra. Grace Cathedral stood right by us in all her glory.
“Let’s see the Bonsai Garden.”
“Ok”. Another wonder of the building.
The Bonsai garden was full of Bonsais, mini lights, flowers and chairs.
John commented that sometimes people follow him to find out who he is, what
kind of person could live in this building. I too was curious how such a
young man could live in this elite neighborhood. Family inheritance and
dot-com success combined gave this graphic designer the opportunity to live
Under a mango moon, the doors of metropolitan nobility open.