Wednesday, October 20, 2010

City of coffee

The rock called Telegraph Hill is wreathed at its base by coffee houses, roasting their own every day, for generations. Everyone has a favourite, but coffee infuses the sense of place so profoundly that it literally tastes different, elsewhere. 

One's own flat was the first of those tumbling down the east slope beneath the tower. Being the most westerly promontory in the city, the weather is its most salubrious there, and much of life takes place outdoors. Certainly, everyone who came to visit felt drawn ineluctably there, and there for the most part, we would stay. The quality of that space wrought a consistent shift in borders between indoors and out, and encouraged that shift to feel right. Coffee, for example, was taken on the terrace.

I am aware that this blog seems to some to rely too much on this terrace's permissions. And I think the fault for that lies not in transgressions, but in one's neglect to extend a proper welcome to its shelter, as of a very natural if unfamiliar kind. The quality of mystery is not strained, nothing is simplified by simply knowing where one is. This is a city of coffee, its essence is everywhere. How nice it is to be able to step outside with it, I hope you find, even if it's not your roast. The view is everyone's.

Thomas Tallis, If ye love me
San Francisco Chanticleer
I have had singing, © 1994

Landscape, Laurent, Leica M-6

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