I love December. I love winter in general, and the buttoning up and wrapping around the season entails. On my morning walk to work I like to remember how, mere months ago, I was struggling to keep from passing out from the humidity, and now I'm pulling on a puffy coat and cinching the hood; how, where there used to be a gutter drip from the Starbucks on Houston, there are now long icicles that glint in the 8am sunlight.
Time passes, and so do we, but they're still serving mochas and I'm still passing them up for cheap cups of decaf at my office. The more things change, etc.
Last week I went to San Francisco, and it was so lovely to be there when it's all holiday-ified. Last Saturday was their Santa-con, and on a cable car ride (my mom insisted, and I obliged, and found it to be a highlight of the trip) we passed a woman dressed as a black-and-white version of Santa. Gray skin, matted just so; an entire gray and white Santa suit. It was brilliant, the contrast between her and all the fire engine red Santas around her. We unwittingly followed her around the city (or perhaps she followed us?), from the Ferry building to Market Street to North Beach. We never got her on camera, like she was a ghost.
Speaking of ghosts, we stayed in an adorable hotel called the Queen Anne (that's the lobby, where we sipped wine and brandy in front of roaring fireplaces and tried to imagine what kinds of lessons the girls of the early 20th century attended in that space. It was an old girls' lodging house.). It's supposedly haunted, but we, alas, can neither confirm nor deny.
And then yesterday, back in New York, I got caught in a Santacon of our own. I rounded the corner of 37th Street on my way to the Girls Write Now journalism workshop when I ran smack into a parade of Santas. I think the holdup was that they were trying to get into Stitch, a bar where I actually held my 28th (?) birthday drinks.
It was 10:30 am, and a mob of Santas were in line to get into a bar in Hell's Kitchen.