Friday, September 20, 2013

The Softground CA FAE Floats around the Bay (Questing, Part 1)

San Francisco, California Full Harvest Moon 2013

from the hilltop looking north

Floating around Northern California is easy and difficult at once. As with the sea breeze, It's easy if you find a flow and keep moving but one feels resistance when stopping for more than a moment.  The hills block the breeze and also horizontal development, which really is a good thing when you've been in the more open desert.

There has been a call to spend more time in California, this time to look for a place to settle next. San Francisco is known for its strong queer, BDSM, and traveler communities. Why haven't I been able to find them thus far? Well, maybe because everyone, like me, is constantly moving...that's what travelers do, at least.   So, here I am, the Queen of Shadows, in temporary exile from the Sonoran Desert, on a quest in a dangerous magickal land less like Pixie Hollow (that's in So Cal) and more like Middle Earth.

Electronic dance music plays over the speakers of the kinky coffeehouse where I sit and write, the sun setting behind me leaving me wondering what wraiths might lurk outside tonight.  The energy here is good and black-clad folk of all genders fill the seats as the City's famous Folsom Street Fair comes in about a week. Plus, it's a full moon and several other events are happening around town, so it's a busy time of year for San Francisco.
I found this out last night when seeking  an "Inn" for sleep on short notice, and almost all of the local hostels are fully booked on a weeknight. (There are no hostels listed online for the East Bay or Santa Clara county).  The only one who had room for me was the Pacific Tradewinds Hostel on Sacramento St.  As it turns out, the Tradewinds is a pretty awesome place, perched on the 4th floor of a thin building a couple of blocks from Chinatown.

It's compact but the communal space
doorway to the hostel on the street
- kitchen and sitting area in one room
as you enter - makes folks interact with each other immediately. And, communing with other travelers is a major reason folks stay in hostels. Quickly, I met a couple of women and we shared our travel stories and so it happens that one of them is from the state where I grew up. The dorm rooms are small and I slept soundly, waking up for coffee and more travel networking. It's not a party hostel or a flophouse, but everyone there was open, friendly, and helpful. They offer you a glass of water as soon as you arrive, knowing you just climbed a hill and a few flights of stairs.

the Chinese Benevolent Association building in Chinatown
Today was warm and sunny, a treat for the city usually draped in fog, and so there were few ring-wraiths or spooks to be found wandering the streets.  A walk down Folsom St. to Rainbow Grocery ignited major kim chee cravings which would repel any vampires if they came  around.  The energy from the Mission Dolores was beaming, and a visit to my favorite power spot in the City gave my companions and I a needed charge.
the stained glass image for the Soledad Mission inside
the Mission Dolores Basilica
The stained-glass saints and stone statues in the trees gave solace and comfort in our directionlessness. Saint Inez looks me directly in the eye and gives me strength of spirit. Senora de la Soledad demonstrates the ability to concentrate in her solitude.

Back in the Coffeehouse I am distracted by a mix of conversations:
--"I did not raise you in this house to ask questions."
--"Are you going to see Daniel Ash?"

 Outside, it is cool, and the breeze blows strong. Feet stomp on the wood floors of Wicked Grounds where there is very little wickedness and lots of fae folk networking with humanfolk for the street fair and other events. I'llreturn here soon.  My quest leads me to the magickal forest, especially with the moon full and the equinox coming. Like the sea breeze, I must keep moving with the flow and find that pass through the hills.

Pacific Tradewinds Backpacker Hostel
680 Sacramento St  San Francisco, CA 94111

(415) 433-7970

Rainbow Grocery

1745 Folsom St  San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 863-0620

Wicked Grounds Coffee
289 8th St  San Francisco, CA 

(415) 503-0405

Mission Dolores is at 16th St. and Dolores St.

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