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July 7, 2012
San Francisco was disorienting even after several days. The familiar hills and waters bade my mind seek familiar landmarks: Tall buildings, bridges, the sounds of the City. But this San Francisco was a mud-streeted village. No buildings but a few frames and adobes, nothing over the waters but the yardarms of two or three sailing vessels.

Thus the intersection of California and Montgomery seemed quaint at best, with its dusty foot traffic, the air redolent of open mudflats, sea gulls diving and screeching about a fish vending cart. Yet here the town's largest house brought a measure of elegance.