Friday, August 28, 2009

Hot & Overcast

It's unusual in San Francisco, today's combination of hot heavy weather and solid cloud cover. Above, the looming sky beyond the back wall of Potrero Center Shopping Mall, which has nothing but nasty reviews on Yelp, I notice:

A miserable asphalt lot. From the street, it just looks like a blank wall; and on the inside, it's a sea of parked cars. It's unpleasant to traverse, with no shade and hardly any sidewalk or crosswalks.

At the very far end, there are a few shops. None are particularly remarkable – a mediocre sandwich shop, an office supply store that is perpetually going out of business, a dress shop for the overweight. There is also the most dimly-lit grocery store I have ever seen. There are plenty of better alternatives in the neighborhood.

A real DUMP, was better as a car lot before, it literally stinks and is seriously dangerous to drive into or out of due to traffic. 

A great variety of places to go to in this centralized location, so what's not to like? Well ... it smells like urine for one ... and two, getting in and out of the parking lot is more of a navigational hazard. Despite this shopping center's close proximity to my house, I choose to go elsewhere simply due to the fact that its cleanliness is questionable at best and the last time I was there I saw someone squatted over in a corner taking a crap in broad daylight ...

* * *

The Yelp reviewers know more about this mall than I do, since I never go inside it but only walk back and forth past it on the afternoons when I'm meeting my trainer at Diakadi. All the same, one thing I have learned is extreme caution in crossing the four different driveways where cars hurtle themselves in and out of the parking lots at the desperate pace required by the aggressive traffic on the surrounding streets.

An hour or two later and nearer to home the same sky hangs over Mission Dolores and the air remains hot and motionless even though the sun is retreating.

Science journalists presently seem to agree that the earth's atmosphere as revised by human beings will look more and more like this, not just a tendency toward hotter weather but also wetter air and heavier cloud cover.