Friday, May 21, 2010

Nice Chair

Ah! Remember the good old days of college? The days when you rented an apartment and filled it up with lots of stuff from salvation army or hand-me-downs or stuff you found "free" on the sidewalk? The days when someone offered you a thread-bare arm chair or La-Z-Boy that didn't work, and you jumped at the chance for front porch furniture? The days when having that couch on your front porch meant that you didn't need to fumble for your keys at 4:00 in the morning when sobriety was a distant distant memory? You could just pass out right there on that comfy couch and sleep it off til the morning. Or the afternoon. Or whatever.

Guess what my friends? Rejoice in knowing that the good old days are still alive and well! College students still do this. And, they do it A LOT in the Parkmerced Apartments. I am over the moon about it. (If sarcasm could actually drip from a sentence - please envision it dripped off the last one).

Good news is that in our particular little enclave of this massive apartment complex it is mainly families, kids, dogs, and cute little stoops where you can place your requisite potted plant. Nice. Friendly. Quiet. Grown-up. But, just a few short steps to some other sections of Parkmerced and I am telling you folks, we are in student housing for SF State University. (Which, as an aside, I would like to point out that SF is a CITY and not a STATE and therefore the whole name of the University is a little cattywhompus if you ask me).

Walking the dog out among the various sections of Parkmerced is like taking a little spin in my Wayback Machine. I think I recognized some porch furniture from a friend's apartment at Wittenberg from 1979. Seriously. I wonder how it made it out here? And yet, there it was with someone passed out on it at 11:00 in the morning. It was both perlexing and magical simultaneously.

It's been such a long time since I have been immersed this atmosphere. It hasn't changed much. Now I understand what the "real" folks who lived in the "real" houses nestled close to my own college probably felt like. What does it feel like? It feel like I am 30 years past wanting to see a naugahyde recliner on my neighbors front stoop. I don't care how "cool" it is.

Alas. But, students need a place to live too - - and given that this very very large apartment complex is within spitting distance of a poorly named University it makes perfect sense. And, the management does attempt to "zone" everyone in little pockets. The family pocket, the elderly pocket, the student pocket. If I were honest it's all very un-San Franciscan. All this segregation is surely against some city statute or two or eight of them. But, I don't think anyone here is complaining. Truthfully, I think we all like our pockets.

None of my immediate neighbors have miscellaneous indoor furniture in their outdoor areas. And, I suspect that the students are happy that they don't live next door to some Mom of four who is constantly getting in their face about their empties on the lawn where little Mable is playing.

Pockets work as long as everyone is happy with it. I know that I am.


Stephanie said...

Begs the question -- family pocket or elderly pocket?

We did not have front porch furniture in my part of PA. Like the idea though!

Kurt said...

It's called SF State because the full name is California State University, San Francisco. People call it SF State for short... There is also Long Beach State, Humboldt State, Sac State etc, they are all nicknames for the respective Cal State University. I never thought I would have to explain that to someone...