It's not that I didn't like my other presents but the late birthday evening out with my friend Moriah was perfect. Moriah had bought tickets to an annual event held at the beautiful Castro Theatre - Rick Prelinger's presentation of the latest Lost Landscapes of San Francisco.
So she picked me up last Thursday on her Vespa. Yes her Vespa! I will admit I was bloody scared. Haven't been on a scooter since the mid-90s in a former life on a Greek island and probably under the influence. But I was playing it cool. Or at least I did actually get on the scooter without resisting and I didn't scream although I did say "Oh shiiiiiiiit!" when we shot down our first San Franciscan hill.
The Lost Landscapes series is a collection of archive footage collected by Rick Prelinger - the film ranged from the early part of the 20th century to the 60s, and from institutional film through Hollywood out-takes and second unit to home movies. We saw the Sunset district when it was just miles and miles of sand dunes, the old cemeteries of Laurel Hill with huge monuments set in grassy hills, Market street lit with neon, streetcar lines that have long gone, the Ocean Beach amusement park that is no more and at one funny moment a very gloomy film which ended by suggesting that the BART was the answer to all city evils. There were three people commenting on the films (including Rick Prelinger) and the audience (which was huge as the cinema was packed) were encouraged to shout out, ask questions and so on. It was fascinating. I love that kind of stuff so thank you, thank you, thank you Moriah for thinking of me.