Saturday Afternoon, Menlo Park

It was a gorgeous Saturday afternoon (but not yet the most gorgeous day so far . . . ). Lavalady said to go see The Lives of Others, so we went. On the way there, noticed old theater (Park) on El Camino between Valparaiso and Oak Grove still boarded up, wondered what was up with that : this was the theater where, when son was in fifth or sixth grade, he and self first met animé (courtesy of Princess Mononoke, the uncut version). Passed afterwards, store where self bought son his first suit (secondhand), for an eighth grade dance. Le Pot Au Feu had closed (other restaurants we loved that have closed recently: Hong Kee Noodle House, Broadway, Redwood City; Sai’s, Laurel Street, San Carlos) and, we noted, had been replaced by a Turkish restaurant. Trellis was still there. So were old favorites Su Hong and Applewood’s Pizza (where self once met Sam Chang for dinner, oh so many many moons ago, when she still lived in Menlo Park).

Parked around corner from Guild, decided to forego $4 popcorn. All members of audience elderly (a decade or two older than us), thought that was funny as all movie previews seemed aimed at younger market, even the supposedly “indie” ones. Noticed for first time that on either side of movie screen are two huge representations of pearly mollusks, and wondered what was the significance of such.

Movie began: civilian with hunched shoulders being led by armed guard down hallway to interrogation room in some nondescript basement. Movie unfolded gradually, never in the way one would expect. At certain moments, every time seemed about to teeter into sentimentality, pulled back. Loved the last part the most, when main drama has ended, when we have many short scenes separated by subtitles: Four and a half years later, A year later, Two years later. Because, isn’t that what makes a narrative narrative, the sense of the passage of time? Have never seen such shown in a movie quite this way before, self thinks it is part of what makes this movie great.

The faces of all three main actors were marvelous.

Afterwards, to Draeger’s to buy some prosciutto. Driving down Live Oak, remembered # 811, where we lived for two years before son was born. There were still the same plum trees in front of property, which we used to pick every summer, which is why plums are still son’s favorite fruit. Around the corner, the building where Diane and Bob used to live. A little further on, where crazy Casey used to live. Where are his parents now? The dad was a race car driver, his mom opened a clothing store on Santa Cruz Ave., which closed. When we lived there, Menlo Park had its first Connoisseur’s Marketplace, what fun it was to walk a block over and see all the booths.

Then, Draeger’s, hangout of all Saint Raymond and Sacred Heart moms. Asked hubby if we could look around second floor, since self was feeling nostalgic and wanted to see the place where self used to meet son after school, when self still worked full-time at Stanford. Hubby impatient to get home and mow, so had time only for brief look-around: Table displays of colorful pottery, on table by escalator a display of beaded suede satchels.

So, self went home without spending anything (except for $4 for pitted kalamata olives), and on that note of contentment will end this post.

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