After ten years in Arizona, I’ve moved back to California.
The Grand Canyon State served its purpose. In 2002, after years of working crazy, insane hours during the Internet boom, my wife and I craved a quieter, more peaceful lifestyle, so we moved to the desert.
We loved it.
Then life got too quiet and peaceful. Our batteries were recharged many times over.
So here we are, back home in the Bay Area, spending quality time with family and slowly, but surely reconnecting with old friends – and old landmarks, too.Read More
I reached my gate at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, minutes before my flight began boarding. It was early Sunday morning. I was pre-coffee but awake, excited for my plans for the day: fly into San Francisco, have lunch and then head to AT&T Park for the first game of the National League Championship Series between my beloved Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.
All the seats at the gate were taken, so I strolled up to the dozens of travelers standing in an open area. I stopped next to a friendly-looking guy wearing a Giants cap.
“Hey, you going to the game?” I asked.
He looked up from his smartphone and said, “Yeah, both games.”
It turns out he had a more ambitious plan than me: Upon landing at 12:35 p.m., his friend would pick him up from SFO and drive him directly to Candlestick Park for the Niners’ game, which starts at 1:25 p.m. Sometime in the second half, he’d leave the football game early and take a taxi to AT&T Park for the Giants game.
I told him that was awesome. We talked some more. It turns out he was a Bay area native, too, now living in Dallas. Phoenix was just a stopover for his Sunday buffet of sports. After reminiscing about the 2010 World Series championship and what it meant to us as lifelong Giants fans, it was time to board. I gave him a head nod – and that was that.
About nine hours later, I was at the upper deck concourse at AT&T Park. It was around the third inning and time for another beverage. While heading back to my seat with drink in hand, I heard a loud, “Hey there!”
I stopped, turned to my left and looked at the guy barking at me. I didn’t recognize him.
“You are here!” he yelled.
It was the guy at the airport. No way!
“Heeyy! You made it to the game!” I said, laughing.
“You did, too,” he said as he raised his beer.
We clinked our plastic cups together in Giants solidarity and went about our merry way. And that was that.
What were the chances of running into each other at a ballpark with 42,000 people? Pretty darn near impossible. But it was a cool moment.
This summer, I attended Camper Van Beethoven’s 25th anniversary concert at the Fillmore in San Francisco – and I was one of the younger ones in the crowd. Plenty of gray hair and gray beards in the crowd. I did the math and realized that while I discovered the band in college, they formed when I was in junior high, meaning their core audience is older than me. So I scanned the people around me again, and thought, “Yeah, that’s about right.”
A few Sundays ago, I was in a small Scottsdale club to catch Kate Voegele, and the crowd was dominated by teens and twentysomethings. There were some thirtysomethings, people in my age group. So it was a nice mix. But as two opening acts came and went, and Voegele was halfway through her set, I noticed that the people my age hung back. They seemed incredibly bored. Some paced. Some sat on bar stools in the corner. I couldn’t figure them out. And then I realized, with a bit of horror, that these people were parents and were simply there to chaperone their kids.
I can’t win.Read More