I spent almost a whole week at a pair of back to back conferences in San Francisco. The Collegiate Retail Alliance and Ratex Users Group typically meet in one after the other sessions in a different North American city during the month of July. This time it was hosted by SFSU bookstore.
In the usual lyrical farting around that I do with my status on Facebook (this time injecting multiple musical references to San Francisco and California in my updates) , fellow blogger and scribe Marcel Nunis noted that I was in his vicinity. San Francisco being relatively close to his regular stomping grounds. After a couple of emails and phone calls, we arranged to meet up.
We started our evening with a quick walk up Powell street from the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station where we met. Marcel pointed out various interesting establishments along the way, taking special care to note anything of literary significance (though we'd never met in person before, he certainly knew how much of a book nerd I am) -- One of the interesting joys of befriending someone via the blogging community is that you DO really get a decent sense of what a person is like through their blog posts and writing.
Interestingly, one of the many things we talked about was whether or not a blogger is being themselves in their blog posts or projecting a particular persona. Marcel, of course, has met up with several different folks that I still only know through the blogiverse. While I did befriend RainyPete, a fellow Hamiltonian and real cool dude I met through blogging, Marcel was the first blogger from afar that I had the privilege to meet in person.
Having met Marcel and spent several hours and many many drinks talking about a variety of fun topics, I can say that the fascinating, creative person you see on his blog is pretty true to form. Marcel has an endless array of interesting stories, viewpoints and experiences to share -- if it hadn't been a Sunday night when we'd met, we would have likely sat there shooting the shit for several more hours (despite me being extremely tired and still trying to adjust to being 3 hours behind. Midnight San Francisco time is like 3 AM for me)
One of our first stops was at John's Grill on Ellis Street, an establishment that novelist Dashiell Hammett used to hang out at. We had a fantastic dinner there before moving around to a few different bars. We ended up closing the evening down sitting on the sidewalk tables of a jazz bar -- with the band jamming and enjoying their creative fun, Marcel and I talked and played a couple of different "crowd" watching games with the various different people moving down the street.
What a fascinating and delightful experience to finally get to meet someone that I originally met through the weekly HNT blog posting ritual (so thanks for that, Os). I have to note here that it was one of Marcel's inspiration and creative "noir" story HNT posts that first inspired me to do something a bit more than just post a picture on Thursdays -- he was the inspiration behind actually attempting to do something different and creative (which led to me trying out the various different continuing HNT storylines I have tried over the years -- and YES, Susie, I know, I know, we're still trapped in toyland and that story hasn't been resolved . . . I'll get back to working on it)
And, having spent an evening chatting with Marcel over drinks and sharing tales and talking about writing and movies and theatre (and dozens of other topics), I returned more fully charged and inspired.
So, thanks Marcel. I'm looking forward to seeing you again in person in either of our travel adventures.
(Incidentally, it looks like Marcel also posted an HNT this week and he talks about our fun evening. I love these cross-over posts.)