Through Two Peepers in Tune with the Times

March/April

Spring was a little late this year. March winds lasted into April. April showers were more frequent. However our rainfall remains just below normal unlike many places in So. Calif. which rec'd more than twice as much as last year. Anyway there were still lots of nice days which I made the most of.

I went over to visit Terry in Oakland. We had brunch at Lyons in Alameda with a lovely view of the Bay & lots of wild flowers along the beach there. We stopped off at a large Marina. Terry would love to buy a sail boat. Then onto to Jack London Sq. Was surprised to see that they have pulled down Jack London Village. Some kind of fair had been going on & there was a petting zoo with cute animals. We went in the huge B&N bookstore, Cost Plus & Beverages & More. I bought some Mcvities biscuits on sale.

On another day Terry came over here & we checked out Macy's Easter Flower Show. This year the theme was Brazil based on the gardens of a famous architect. I missed the usual English style blossoms but it was very well done. There were lots of orchids, palm trees & succulents set in rocks & waterfalls.

Another lovely day I helped Bill T with his move to Concord. He did it over several days. The only heavy item on this trip was his tv. I inherited a small side table, a coffee table, a Picasso & some yellow roses. All of which have blended nicely into my apt.

I like his new apt which has lots of windows & a view of trees, mountains, modern buildings & a park. He is close to a large supermarket & drugstore. Concord has lots of ethnic cafes & most of the coffee shop chains. He already made 3 friends of neighbors inc. Bob L.

I spent an afternoon & evening with Dixie. We bussed through almost every different part of town. Japanese, Jewish, Russian, Chinese, Black, Mexican & Filipino. We visited the Palace of the Legion of Honor for the Toulouse Lautrec exhibit. Then over to the Mission to "Foreign Cinema" a courtyard cafe where they show movies with the food. I had asparagus salad followed by herb chicken, garlic potatoes & 2 kinds of french bread.

I had a lunch date with Jill S at the Boulangerie on Polk St. The yuppie end. She is from Cambridge & used to work at the bookstore. Last year she re-visited the UK & also went to Japan. We had a delicious lunch. Very French. We even sat outside.

One sunny Sunday the Japanese Cherry Blossom Parade came by. It didn't draw a big crowd but it is a very pretty parade.

Vic B, an old friend from the 60's & 70's, who has been living in Portland, called to say he is back in the area. He has bought a house in Sacramento. He invited me to visit. It is 80 miles but the bus only takes about 2 hours. It was a lovely day with a light breeze. I have only been there a few times before & not seen much. This time I was very impressed. It is lovely city with beautiful neighborhoods. Lots of trees that form spectacular arches. A tremendous variety of house styles all with great gardens. I was impressed by all the roses I saw.

Vic's house is a 3 bedroom with a garden back & front. He has peonie, hydrangeas, azaleas, roses & a lemon tree with edible lemons. The house is well insulated. The front room has a big picture window with one way panes & an impressive bullt in sideboard.

We visited the Crocker Mansion Art Gallery. A fabulous restored Victorian. Lots of passable old masters & a modern extension. There was a special exhibit of blown glass by a famous artist. We walked through a big shopping centre, Old Town & along the river. Sacramento has 2 big rivers. We had dinner at an excellent Thai place.

Ballet:

SF Ballet. "Sleeping Beauty". A beautiful production with unusual Russian costumes in the first act.

Paul Taylor Dancers: A free rehearsal performance. They did 3 short ballets. All modern but some classical music. Excellent dancers.

Paris Opera Ballet: "La Bayadere". The Nureyev version. 3 acts. Huge company & lavish sets & costumes. The first act is mostly mime & looks like a silent movie but the other acts are full of sublime classical ballet.

Theatre:

"Saturday Night Fever". I have wanted to see this show ever since it opened. It got mixed reviews but I loved it & the audience cheered it from start to finish. I liked it more than "Mamma Mia". The lead actor was exceptional. The dancing was great.

"Cloud Nine". I went pay as you like night. I have seen this play twice before but I enjoy the British humour & the unusual casting against type.

Movies: This year I passed completely on the SF Film Festival. Nothing I could afford grabbed me.

"Bridget Jones' Diary". I enjoyed this film also for British humour but it was a little heavy handed with too many 4 letter words.

Restaurants:

Eliza's. A Chinese restaurant with a colorful modern decor. Very imaginative food served on beautiful plates. I went twice. Once with Brady for his birthday. Then with Bill H who ordered ostrich!

Love,

Michael


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