Word Smith: A is for Azkaban
A is for Apple, B is for Book, C is for Cake…
Our three daughters, growing up in the age of A.K. Rowling and the phenomena of everything-Harry-Potter, were full of magical words from muggles. One of the first words our girls knew that started with the letter A was Azkaban. It covered the alphabet from A to Z in the first two letters! Not that Apple was absent from their vocabulary, but with the thought of an island prison (like Riker’s Island or Alcatraz), there appeared to be fewer alternative A words than I recall learning in my youth.
One recent trip to San Francisco, my daughter, Eleanor, was quizzing me on the names of the flowers we saw all over the place: on the street, in Golden Gate Park, in pots, on lapels, at the restaurant tables. “Oh, another flower that starts with the letter A!” she replied. Yup, there is another one….
Golden Gate Bridge
There are flower shops all over San Francisco and the Bay Area, which is a great floral tradition. A colleague of mine in the 1970’s would stop by his favorite flower vendor on Powell Street every day and buy a gardenia for his lapel. That heavenly fragrance filled our office and helped us, for a moment, to overlook his late arrival and early departures for parts unknown.
Along the paths of San Francisco are lots of blooming perennials, which brightened to paths up to Telegraph Hill, help cover the stench of urine in the Tenderloin, and mask the wafting scent of weed on the Panhandle. The perennials were in full flower. The conservatory in Golden Gate Park was full of greenery, as the annuals were being planted outside in the gardens of one of the nicest city parks in the country. Whether on a bike or on foot, the sight and smell of a fresh flower is hard to beat. It continually brightens my day.
Below is a partial list of the flowers we spotted and enjoyed in the city of fog by the bay — San Francisco: