Just back from San Francisco RWA and sitting in for Loretta, so I’m completely out of synch, which means you’re subject to whatever is at the tip of my fingers today.
For all the people I met last week—hi, how are you? Hope I see you in DC next year! And wear your name tags, please. I could say my memory isn’t what it used to be, but that would be a lie. I never had a memory for names. I barely have one for faces. (Did you know there’s such a thing as “face-blindness”? Here’s a site where you can test your ability to remember faces: http://www.faceblind.org/facetests/ . I managed 50% because I seem to be able to remember noses!)
While I had a lovely time seeing old friends and meeting new ones, (crab photo from pier 39, Andrea Pickens, Mary Jo, and me, incognito) giving away books and autographing them, dining in exotic restaurants (I don’t think San Franciscans eat normal meals—even hamburgers
come with soy sprouts or something else weird), and otherwise enjoying the conference, I loved sightseeing even more.
How can anyone who appreciates history not enjoy San Francisco? We strolled on rock solid ground covered up in gorgeous architecture—that was once a harbor full of
wrecked ship hulls.
We craned our necks looking up hills so steep even horses couldn’t climb them—which is why they still have cable cars today. Since the earthquake destroyed some of the earlier grand architecture, such as the Palace Hotel which once entertained royalty, many of the buildings (including Chinatown)
have only been there since after 1906 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1906_San_Francisco_earthquake) . But the people who rebuilt were determined to have the most gorgeous city in the world, and what they
produced, given the location and the time period, was truly awesome. We spent one evening in the Neiman-Marcus Rotunda, which was originally a showroom for the City of Paris department store where shipments straight from Europe could be exhibited to their wealthy customers. Anywhere else, the stained glass dome would have been in a church!
I can’t begin to cover all the wonderful historical elements I saw, but I’m longing for the days of
American historicals where I can set my characters against a truly challenging backdrop! (the photo is of Alcatraz from Pier 39) One of the rumors I heard at the conference was that the early twentieth century might be the next wave of historical romance.
Maybe I could throw a face-blind wench into an earthquake and let her save a tot from a cable car or go surfing with the seals.
Maybe we could all come up with western plots and bombard NYC so they have to listen. What do you think?
Have you been to San Francisco? What impressed, or didn’t impress, you?