Monday, August 17, 2009

Carl 324, N Judah, 11 Long

On our way to San Francisco Sunday afternoon we kept seeing the lit-up roadside signs warning us that the Bay Bridge will be closed from September 3 to 8. This, coupled with the threats of an imminent strike from the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers left me thinking it might become absurdly difficult, if not impossible, to get into or out of San Francisco over Labor Day weekend and the week following Labor Day. Sue’s set to start her stem cell transplant on September 1.

We’ve been debating whether or not I should spend the money to rent a room in ‘Frisco for the month of September. I’ve come up the 101 from San Jose during “ordinary” traffic. If they close the Bay Bridge, and God forbid, if BART workers strike during the same time frame, imagine the mess on the 101. I’m thinking now that I’m going to rent a room and hole up here for at least the first two weeks of the STC ordeal. I’ve got plans. Big Plans with a capital BP.

We stayed at the Stanyan Park Hotel last time in town. That was nice but not luxurious for about $130 a night. This time around the Stanyan Park was booked, so we’re staying at the Carl Hotel, room 324. It’s a step down in class at $80 a night ($510 by the week, plus 14% room tax), but $50 a night cheaper and a shorter walk to get to the UCSF medical center. The Carl is at the corner of Carl and Stanyan, about a three minute walk from where Sue’s being treated.

The N-Judah electric train runs right past the Carl Hotel on Carl. All day and all night. Our room overlooks Carl street, so we get to hear the trains. Fortunately, the frequency tapers off the later it gets. The N Judah is handy though. We rode the whole N-Judah loop last evening just for fun. You can ride the N-Judah to the Ocean west of UCSF, at the west end of the Sunset District on, what else, Judah street. There’s a big beach out there with dunes where you can get sand in your socks. Or, going the other direction, you can ride the N-Judah east down multiple stops along Market Street: Union Square, the Financial District, the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero. And, guess what? N-Judah stops at Pac Bell, er, uh, AT&T Park. Hmm. Maybe a baseball game's in my Big Plans future?

Sue’s stem cell harvest starting tomorrow, and her stem cell transplant starting September 1, will be in the UCSF Long Hospital on the 11th Floor. Around here they just call it “11 Long.” Hey, it’s that magical time of year where baseball season crosses over with the start of football season. Maybe there’s a football game in my Big Plans future, too? I think it’s kind of an omen. If you say this just right, it sounds like a quarterback calling a play from the line of scrimmage: “Carl 3-24, N Judah, 11 Long! Hut! Hut!”

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