Call it a malaise, but the most pervasive feeling these days is one of fragility. From another perspective, vulnerability. Am I simply feeling my age? And if so, what about my age? Or am I, like virtually all of us, feeling at the mercy of a new brand of Dr. Strangelove without the humor…. In any case, I am not feeling robust. Overwhelmed, comes much closer. This is particularly true of any gesture at movement. Leaving the house seems risky. Driving my car to my doctor tomorrow seems challenging. Read more [...]

Philz Fills

Blame it on the dodgy lift at Sha’ar Zahav or the torrent of Hebrew at Chabad, but on this Saturday the animating force or higher power is public transport. And today it will do. Today's being the morning of all mornings. After protracted California rains, there is this, blueness of sky, clarity of light, and even the 35 Eureka bus. I have misgivings about catching it. With the rains, I have been driving little, and my rustiness shows. Do I dare to eat a peach? Do I dare to park in a space? But Read more [...]

Urban Potatoes

Simultaneous with the nation's crisis, is California's water crisis. Pundits currently argue about whether or not it is over. This alone marks a milestone. San Francisco is well ahead of normal rainfall. Even I will admit that a few dry days would be welcome. And a few dry days are all that we can expect in the current forecast. Meteorology has given us one less thing to worry about. Now we can shift to the others. For months the media has been arguing about the national divide. What are the faultlines? Read more [...]


If there is a problem living in San Francisco at this moment in American history, it's that so much good, cooperative good, is on display…that the noises coming out of Washington make no sense. So little, that one is inclined to ignore them. Which, of course, one does at one's peril. Nonetheless, day-to-day life is at least confusing. Leaving the house in the morning, I plunge into the commons. Yes, my neighborhood is part of this, yet it is an elite part. No, the real commonality begins with Read more [...]