Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oh, Pacifica

There is a morning that is unlike any other morning on the planet, and that is the one where you wake up in Pacifica, CA, where you can FEEL the density of the fog creeping in. I've heard others tell similar stories about special, interesting mornings elsewhere... in Woodward, Pennsylvania, where you can view the majestic mountains in the distance... or on the coast of Alabama, where long stretches of sand and Southern traditions meld into a comfortable, homey atmosphere.

Oh, but for Pacifica... what with it's practically incandescent fog, it's slightly chilled air; there is no other place quite like it. The fog rolls in, covers you as if it were a blanket, and you are aware that not far away is the famed city of San Francisco, where people wore flowers in their hair some 40 years hence, but now they just kind of sit back, smoke grass, and blend into the background.

San Francisco basks in the sun, only a short distance away from Pacifica, yet the sharpest contrast. There is Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz, the Rainbow District, you name it... there are little cities within the main one. Something for every one. It is truly the tourist's delight.

But Pacifica is something else entirely. The sites to see here are the ones you have to know of ahead of time, to go looking for... the old Sutro Baths, the Taco Bell perched on the beach where you're allowed to go in barefoot. The ocean swells here, dark and foreboding, and you can't help but miss the calmer feel of the Atlantic, back home on Long Island. The Pacific Ocean is somehow wilder, filled with a sort of reckless abandonment that both terrifies you and draws you in.

I do not know if I shall ever return to Pacifica, but to have another morning there would be more than worth a million spent elsewhere.

No comments: