Friday, June 15, 2007
Powell Street at Night
It is nearly 11 p.m. here, 1 a.m. in the Twin Cities. Music from the street musicians you see in this photo fills the street and they have been playing for the past couple of hours. One is a guitarist and the other, an Alpine horn player. Their music has an erie sound and reminds me of music that simultaneously sounds mddle eastern and mid-70s rock. It echos off the buildings. If I could not see them, I might think it comes from someplace other than the corner across the street. I am sitting at a small desk in our room looking out onto Powell Street about a half block from Union Square. I am across the street from the Villa Florence Hotel, the Segafredo Cafe Bar Restaurant, the Asia Express Pizza, the Gold Dust Lounge (est. 1933), and an art gallery. All kinds of people move along the sidewalk in both directions. They have done so since we returned from our day trip to the Napa Valley. I have the last of a fine bottle of merlot next to me. I hear the voices. But I don't understand the words. They are lively, laughing. In front of the Gold Dust Lounge one man and woman stand talking, and a few feet from them, two men engage a woman in conversation. Long black hair flows down her back to her belt. She puts out her cigarette and they leave. A bald man in shorts walks toward the street musicians juggling some balls. A pregnant woman with an arm in a cast and a backpack follows a man with two small children. I find this fascinating. It reminds of so many years ago in Europe. If the guitar player comes back tomorrow night, I'm going to go down of the street and listen to him.