Today, as I walked my pups past (as I do so often, although not in snow like we had in 2007, thank God-dess) I watched as the business sign was being carried away and the place what obviously in process of closing up. Another victim to the economy, very sad as this was a gallery that showed mainly local talent and exceptional work at that, unusual and very interesting exhibits were to be experienced there. It made me actually forget that the ground breaking Mothering Magazine (distributed nation wide as it spear headed midwifery, home births and breast feeding, an invaluable resource to any new mother) had made it's home in that building for a number of years. The Box Gallery though was one of the earliest galleries to move to the then still developing, new and improved Railyard district, that now holds some of our top notch galleries.
This shoe box of a rental was rumored to go for $4000/month but stood empty until a cutesy artsy and craftsy one of a kind boutique took it over, but not for very long, maybe a year or two. I did not mourn their demise and rather welcome the new bric a brac outlet for all, or some things French. Those french folks were in, then out, then I watched them move back in again the other day.
Shocking that the seemingly very popular and long standing Cafe Paris suddenly disappeared. It was so charming in Burro Alley with outdoor seating, not far from the plaza. They had moved to a much less fortunate location, probably considerably cheaper, the lovely, but hidden local of the former Mission Cafe. Now they are back on the corner of Burro Alley with another lovely courtyard. They bake the best croissants in town and are frequently sold out already late in the mornings.
The Palace Tea House, located right adjacent to the cathedral allowed dogs in and had low tables and seating. The service was very negligent. Dreadlocked folks preferred to hang out rather then attend to potential customers, still the place had atmosphere, while the replacement has none.
The Aztec Cafe used to allow dogs inside and for a while became a favorite spot to hang out with my then new dog, my Isabella-girl. For decades they were known for good coffee and a hang out for street folks. They tried to upgrade, discourage hanging out too long for too little, offered farm to table fresh produce meals and folded within a few months. Such a shame. I liked the idea and certainly their new shingle. They reverted to the older version, but had to give up. It has been closed of late.
Ah, Cloud Cliff bakery, restaurant and art space, gone now for years, had been a main stay for decades. The place had atmosphere, served great bread baskets, but could not boast of attentive service. Still hard to grasp that it is no more, although Wilem, the Dutch guy still brings his breads to the market.
Saint Francis Hotel seems busy as ever, but the lovely lace curtains that gave such a sense of spaciousness are gone, the interior redone along monastic lines of solid, but barren aesthetics.s
The above are only a few of so many changes, especially of late, that leave me feeling strangely unsettled. The economy and last summer's fires have been rough on the businesses for tourists. Never thought I would hanker for some predictability, for a sense of permanence. But too much change feels like the rug is pulled from beneath. Well, who cares about rugs, not me, it is o.k. to stand on terra firma, to feel the earth without any part of culture getting in between. Some good may come from change, yes, they do say when one door closes another might open. One new open door I discovered only today is the one to the Swiss, yes, Swiss Bakery in what used to be Corazon, our former Blues club that had opened only in 2004. But I am all for sweets and already put in a bid for Gateaux Bullois, a specialty of Bulle, Switzerland, made from walnuts and honey covered in rich dark chocolate - divine. Consoled with a bite of sweets I may very well face the inevitable changes yet to come.