Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Baseball season

Bill Veek, the owner of the Chicago White Sox, famously said that there are two seasons- "baseball and winter."   I have to agree, and in particularly I love the beginning of baseball season in late March.  In the Bay Area, spring training is capped off by a 3 game series between the Giants and the Oakland A's called the bay bridge series.  Around the same time, the college basketball finals are underway.  Then you have opening day of baseball in early April.  Two weeks later is the always exciting Masters golf tournament, and then the NBA playoffs  begin.  Sports fans, does it get any better?!

In San Francisco, we live about two blocks from the Giants stadium and go to many games each year. We have been very fortunate the past couple of years, as the Giants have won a couple of World Series.  Last year, when we left for our walk on the Camino in mid May, the Giants were comfortably in first place.  By the time we returned in late June, they had fallen to 4th place!  Well, right now, they are in 1st place again.  I am hoping that we don't bring them bad luck again by leaving town for 7 weeks....I will be wearing my new Giants hiking baseball hat this year in an effort to bring good karma to the team.

Another right of spring for me is Music.  Every April, a Grateful Dead like band called Dark Star Orchestra comes to San Francisco for a week.  Last year, my brother Bruce from Chicago went to one of the shows with me.  Outstanding!  I just saw them last week again at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.  It was like a return to my youth- lots of long haired kids smoking weed!  I'm always surprised at the number of people in their 20's who love the Grateful Dead music- the band hasn't played for over 20 years.  How does that happen?

The biggest music event of the spring is the New Orleans Jazz Fest, which I have attended for the past four years.  My brother Kurt from Denver comes every year, and this year, my long time friends Bill Klein and Santi Morera joined us.  The lineup for this year's festival was particularly strong and we saw Alabama Shakes, Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire, John Fogarty, Alejandro Escovedo, Allen Tousaint and countless others.  I truly enjoy hanging with good friends, soaking up the New Orleans culture, watching live music, and eating outstanding food (and drinking too much beer...)

Bruce Springsteen turns 65 this year. I have been going to Springsteen shows for 25 years and I swear this guy looks younger and more fit today than he did 20 years ago.  A true freak of nature!  To paraphrase that line from "When Harry Met Sally"-  "I'll have what he's having"! 

Springsteen has an incredible work ethic and continues to play 3+ hour shows, even in hot, humid conditions.  Over this past 15 years, Springsteen has continued to write lots of new music, as well as reworking some of his old stuff.  As a result, his music and shows continue to be very fresh and relevant.  And Springsteen seems to have a blast playing concerts.  No Wim Butler (lead singer of Arcade Fire) tortured artist for Springsteen.    Truly an inspirational experience. 

The start of baseball season and all that comes with it puts me in a great frame of mind to take on the challenge of a long walk!  

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