I have not been to downtown San Francisco before today. It was a shock. Out here by the Panhandle, life has certainly changed because of COVID-19 but you know not super extravagantly. Out there, where the Snow Goose roams, life goes on more or less the same. I wonder what the geese think.

Downtown is different. It is unrecognizable; principally because it is deserted.

Union Square, once an epicentre of world consumerism is deserted apart from a nice lady giving away free food.

Why are you giving away free food? “Man, this has been such a shitty year, you gotta do something to make it better, right? She gives me a delicious burrito and a lollipop.

All the stores are closed, even the Apple Store! Powell St, famed for its street cars, runs alongside the square. You could have a picnic in the centre of the road now. Well, you would have move occasionally to let a street car rattle by. The two I see are both empty! Empty street cars – hard to believe!

Looking down Powell towards Market. Only one car! No people!

I am downtown to get a COVID-19 test. I soon return to Japan and a prerequisite for entry is a negative covid test less than 72 hours old.

Anticipation of pain is worse than pain itself.
Unbearable agony

The test is not really painful but odd. I cannot remember the last time someone stuck a Q tip right up my nose. I get my results tomorrow – wish me luck!

Here are some birds to make you happy.

Some Snow Geese come in to land
A trillion zillion Snow Geese come in to land

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s hope for an improvement.

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9 Responses to Downtown

  1. Mike says:

    “Downtown”, isn’t that the Petula Clarke song which preceded the Nashville Christmas bombing ? Stay safe and Happy New Year Neil.

  2. Rosemary says:

    Happy New Year or at least I hope it will be when you test comes back negative.

  3. Alan says:

    Happy New Year, Neil! Thanks for the nasal tunneling photos – looks to be an ‘interesting’ experience. So you’re off to Tokyo in the next couple of days to spend time in a hotel room or is that waived by your having the test?
    Good luck!

    • Happy 2021 Alan. there is a big dossier of paperwork needed at arrival. You then have another test at the airport. If this is negative then I am hopefully whisked away in special covid transport to a tiny studio somewhere in Tokyo where I have to spend 14 days of self isolation – no public transport, no restaurants, no Isakayas. They take Covid very seriously in Japan.
      This is galling as I would love to spend 2 weeks exploring Tokyo but I just have to sit in my studio and practice drinking I suppose.

      • Alan says:

        No outings to research the Isakayas? That’s a shame. Mind you, I’d no idea of their existence the first time I came across them on Hoppy Street near the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa – the concept of a Japanese tapas bar was unknown to me. Great fun once I realised why they kept bringing me miniature meals! Hopefully the food they provide you with will make up for it unless it’s just endless MacDonalds.

  4. calderi says:

    HNY to you too –
    London is similarly deserted

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