Our City by the Bay pulsates with sound; car brakes squealing to a stop at the bottom of a ridiculously steep hill, horns honking, sirens wailing, motorcycles roaring. On top of this cacophony, we San Franciscans often go about our day to the drone of fog horns and the chatter of wild parrots.
Music also weaves its way through the sounds of the city. On a recent morning outing with my Sheltie walking companion, Emma, we covered a regular route through Russian Hill and down into North Beach. On our first stop at Michelangelo Park, we were serenaded from a nearby open window by a tenor rehearsing his part for the current production of San Francisco's Opera, Aida. Moving on, we passed a boy with a boom box listening to Jay-Z rapping. And then at Washington Square Park, a small group had assembled after their morning tai chi practice to rehearse a Chinese pop song accompanied by a man with an accordion, while in another corner of the park, an elderly man played a simple lullaby on a violin to his grandbaby fussing in a stroller.
As a final punctuation to our outing, we waited at the corner of Union and Mason while a cable car brakeman rang the bell to a beat that went something like "clang ka-clang kaka clang ka-clang kaka clang kaka clang kaka clang ka-clang."
Returning home, this eclectic and diverse mish-mash of music lingered as the soundtrack to our day. What musical rhythms accompany you through your day?
Sharry Phelan Wright