…I thought of the time I’d flown to San Francisco to see it on a one-week vacation during my first year in New York. On that balcony of a college friend’s apartment we sat looking out at the spectacular bay, the day sunny, a little breezy, lots of sailboats. And me nodding, agreeing with what he was telling me:  that this was the best place in the United States to live. That the Bay Area was charming, lively yet laid back, and that North Beach was great. That there was plenty to do here, and some very good experimental theater. And that New York was sick, squirming with crime, side by side with truly depraved ostentation;  and that it was actually, truly, finished at last. And I nodded and yeah, and how I envied him his life here.

And flew back a day early to the land of the all-night bookstore.

From Time to Time, by Jack Finney, Simon & Schuster hardbound version, 1995

Used bookstore, Lyon, France. © Paolo Emilio Bellisario

[h/t to Kurt at Cultural Offering for the lead-in to the photo…h/t to s i l o u a n for further info and link to the photographer…]