I went book shopping today — the Mission is littered with them, so I could afford to be picky. Some day later I’ll do a review of all the stores, but some shops I poked my head into today were notable.

Dog-Eared Books gave me a choice of three translations of The Master And Margarita, of which I chose Glenny’s, for better or for worse. It’s the one I read, and is not the most modern, and has no footnotes, but it still moved me. I also picked up a copy of Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance, to make a pair of books as a present for Liz. For myself I got a play from South Africa called Woza Albert! which I read on the BART ride back. It seems like it would be amazing to watch — two actors perform all of the roles in a story of how the Second Coming happens in South Africa.

Then the hat store on Valencia, where I tried on a pork pie and a stingy-brim fedora. The latter looks better on me, but I had my heart set on a pork pie. Unfortunately, my pocketbook wouldn’t let $79 go floating on a luxury like that, so I had to bid the very nice gentleman who was hitting on me adieu. He did have excellent hat advice though. Maybe next month…

I also peeked into the McSweeney’s pirate store, which was like being in a life-sized version of the magazine. Somehow that which is ironic and witty on the page ends up being gauche and overbearing in person. It’s chock full of tchotchkies and a few publications. An expensive knick-knack store, but piratical in nature. The hats were pretty and had huge floppy brims. The best part of going in was hearing a woman ask one of the employees if they had any crystals. When shown the few crystalline objects, the customer asked “do they mean anything?” I almost laughed out loud, but managed to control myself.

Finally, also McSweeneys related, was Adobe Books, which artist Chris Cobb has rearranged so that all the books are by color. It has to be seen to be believed. Despite the complete disarrangement, I found a copy of Osborne’s A Patriot for Me.

To start things off I had lunch with Ann at Tartine. A grilled sandwich with prosciutto and provolone, macaroons, a merengue with cocoa nibs in it, and a cappuccino. Delish. Of course, now I’m much poorer, but I got to walk around the city, take in the air, and read. I’m much more centered and ready for the trip home tomorrow at the crack of dawn. Time to pack.

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