WASHINGTON AND POLK - mark crimmins

Three thousand six hundred paces down Geary and up Polk get you an omelette and home fries breakfast with strong coffee in a heavy mug and four slices of sourdough toast from The Crepe House at Washington, where, sitting at a sidewalk table, you engrave these words on a napkin with the cool phat Employee Development Services pen you found in an aisle of the Kips Bay Cineplex on Second Avenue in Manhattan after A Quantum of Solace, and, since your girlfriend--behind sunglasses and inside the hood of the Funk and Spunk windbreaker she bought on Valencia--remains deeply engrossed in her Journey to the End of Night, you look down Polk at the clouds over Alcatraz before watching an old woman in a red overcoat and a blue beret wait for the stoplight in front of the It's a Grind Coffee House and then walk resolutely--as if anticipating a duel--across the intersection, using a huge multicolored umbrella as a walking stick, while behind her, on the lamppost in front of the coffee shop, an orange banner advertising an exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum ripples in the breeze, concealing and revealing its theme: IDEAS TAKE SHAPE.

Mark Crimmins
A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess