It’s 7 AM and I’m at The Java Beach Cafe on Noriega and The Great Highway in San Francisco. On the western edge of San Francisco — Ocean Beach. Been a while since I was at this cafe and in the interim they’ve fixed it up; tables shaped like 1940s Wakiki surfboards, and the coffee is really good, as is the fresh crumb donut.
When I come into SF from Marin county, I usually skirt around the northwestern part of the city. A sharp right after the toll gate, thru Army base, along bay, past Palace of the Legion of Honor, then out to the beach on Geary or Lake.
Then this morning, down Highway One to Santa Cruz, where I’m doing a slide show/book signing at Bookshop Santa Cruz tomorrow at 7:30 PM. 1520 Pacific Avenue. It’s one of the country’s best bookstores. I also get to see 13 months old grandson Maceo, now walking and as well, playing his own set of conga drums.
Santa Cruz is my former turf. I spent 3-4 years there on and off in the ’50s, a rare time for surfers in retrospect, before rubber suits. Think four guys out at Steamer Lane on a foggy morning with 8′ surf (don’t get me started). I love going down there, even though it’s over-populated and expensive. It’s still got that slightly SoCal climate and looseness and the beaches are still there, and there’s a good feeling. People play a lot: surfing, skating, biking, paddling, all kinds of activities possible in the warm climate.
Off I go, making this coastal drive for probably the 300th time, through the fields of mustard and artichokes and brussels sprouts, with waves breaking at dozens of beaches.