…outside San Francisco.
San Francisco, of course, is on a peninsula, but when we say “the Peninsula” we mean everything south of The City (capital letters quite intentional) that’s still bounded by water. And, to be perfectly honest, we tip-o’-the-peninsular types often think of those southern expanses as one big Ikea parking lot — sort of a “there but for the grace of God” kind of suburban hell.
Well, color me surprised. First of all, we hung out with two stay-at-home moms whose little fingers were hipper than I’ve ever been: Patti the Childbearing Hipster (tagline: “ceÃ§i n’est pas une mommyblog,” which means, I believe, “my kids are so frikkin’ cute” in Esperanto or something), and Alisyn, one of those people who can express in one paragraph the sort of sentiment I’ve been trying to get at pretty much over my last six months of blogging.
And the Peninsula? Not so bad, really, if maybe a little odd. We started at a blues club — cool, right? — except that there was a five foot computer screen over the bands’ heads spinning ads for local realtors and ice cream parlors. Blues is frequently sort of nonsensical, but some of the talented insurance agents on stage belted out lyrics that stretched the genre in ways I’d never heard:
“Well, I’ll be your slave…
Oh, yes, I’ll be your slave…
I’ll be your slave if you shine your headlight on me.”
Our little circle of bloggers moved on to a bar that’s about as close as Silicon Valley can get to a “dive” — I mean sure, it was next to a bail bondsman and the obligatory (and sort of sad) old drunk guy perched at the bar, but they also had WiFi (yay, bar blogging!) and a seriously souped-up, iTunes-inspired, nostalgia-infused MP3 jukebox. (“Devo!” Alisyn exclaimed.)
So we ran into a lot things I wouldn’t have expected on the Peninsula: A downtown. A free outdoor movie showing. Pedestrians. I’ll admit it: I was wrong about things south. And maybe, just maybe, I’ve been a little too harsh in my usual distaste for all things suburban. Is it possible that some “suburbs” are old enough and well-designed enough to nurture a real community?
Apparently so. There goes another lifelong belief of mine. At this rate, I’ll be dogma-free by Christmas.