Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday...A Proletarian Walk in St. Helena

A beautiful day here in the Napa Valley. My work weekend. Chatted on the phone with Joni this morning and she reports she is going to be doing some Cob work over the next couple of days. We have a midwinter reprieve going on. Sun. No rain. Temperature near 70 degrees!

Since I have two blogs now (with different readers for each one) I'm gonna post yesterdays description of walking in St. Helena. Why? Cause I like the writing. I hope you agree...

I admit it. I have a Marxist hangover. I can't help but love the Whiskered Radical!

I come from a long, long line of poor peasant stock. My family has never been on the Blue Blood side of the ledger. My Grandparents (on both sides) were never able to buy their own home until they received a regular paycheck at the grand old age of 65. For them Social Security wasn't a fixed income; It was income!! In my family, we are quite happy to have climbed up to the lower middle class rung of the ladder.

So to walk the town of St. Helena is both fascinating and repugnant.

Fascinating for the fine food and wares sold. After all, this is where Paris Hilton and the bulimic Mrs. Arnold Governator shop.

It is repugnant for the same reasons.

I like to park downtown with my silly, tiny, simple, "no frills", proletarian Toyota Echo. I think she looks nice parked next to the Lexxus, BMW's and Jaguars. This is a town that if you spit you will hit a Trustfunder. The local school district doesn't accept State funding; they have plenty of money. You can't buy a house in town for under a million dollars--even now when the market is crashing in the rest of California. The little league stadium looks like a minor league stadium. Two fields with lights and covered, comfortable seating. The infield sod is worthy of Yankee stadium. These folks know how to live.

Napa Valley has one city (Napa), and four good sized towns: Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga and Angwin. Napa is trying hard to capitalize on the "Napa Valley" brand, but remains mostly an armpit of a city. The three valley floor towns are much more interesting. Better ambiance and better food. Angwin sits on top of a mountain. Nobody goes there but 7th Day Adventists. No bars. No booze. No meat. No dancing. No laughing. No fun.

I will be exploring all of them on my walks.

So I parked downtown and walked. First one side of the street, past the fancy boutiques and up to the Tra Vigna (most excellent!) restaurant. Past the Merryville Winery (one of my favorites for white wines). Off to the other side of the street and back down through the shops that sell old wooden statues of humble St. Francis for $12,000 (I wonder how he would feel about that?). Walked by Patagonia. Used the restroom in a coffee shop, as the idle rich sipped their espresso, sobering up for their wine laden four hundred dollar dinners at one of the great restaurants this town has to offer.

I walk. Whistling "Power to the People" and the Socialist "Internationale" (one of the most beautiful anthems ever written--look it up on "You Tube"). Nobody noticed. I did see the town Schizophrenic sitting on the corner, talking to himself (nearly as strange as my whistling). He waved. Smiling.

A beautiful sunny day here in Trustfunder Central. Walk number nine (one hour in length) through the town that started the Napa Valley Wine Craze is complete.

PS: photos will be added to these wordy texts when I'm able to upload them.

How was your walk today?

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