At 3:15am I saw a SFPD officer run by my building, baton drawn, sprinting down/up (direction is rarely a sure thing in San Francisco) Geary .
Curious, I walked outside to find a police cruiser blocking the cross street, the trunk open. I walked up to the cop sitting inside to find out what/where/why, the explanation being there was 'a situation' a block away.
As I walked back to the building, the person who had been rummaging thru the open trunk of the cruiser rushed past me.
The heavy backpack the cop was now wearing was almost taller than he was, his flak jacket clanking as he sprinted down/up Geary.
In his hand was an automatic rifle, a tactical version of the AR-14, no chrome showing as everything on it, including the magazine, was painted flat black to eliminate reflections.
About 20 minutes later, the cruisers in the area screeched off, signifying an all clear of sorts.
I doubt I will find out what happened, as unless someone dies, what happens in San Francisco never makes the papers.
At 8am, I got off work and walked down Hyde street, picking up an early edition of the Sunday paper to check out the after-Christmas sales.
The air was coldly crisp and laden with moisture with a fog-like haze covering the city. It tasted sweet and clean as I took full breaths.
The Tenderloin, with its tall old buildings and fire-escapes on the sides reminds me of the Upper West side of manhattan. A good number of the shops, deli's and laundromats were open for business, which surprised me.
Quite unlike New York, which on Christmas morning is always a ghost town, eerily quiet without the usual rumble, horns and people, with even 24 hour places closed and no traffic.
I made a detour from my usual route home to get something from the Safeway. Open 24 hours, but closed on holidays apparently.
When I got out of the Chruch Street underground streetcar station, the newspaper vendor had a mechanical santa blowing a trumpet. Cute.
That rated a Merry Christmas.
Normally, a spoken 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holdiays' from me, feels like forced holiday cheer, so I avoid it.
Today I didnt.
It felt unforced.
At 10 am, I walked down to the Mission District, close to home, where to my surprise, the local stores were all open, from the donut shop to the fruit stands to the grocery stores.
People have to make a living.
I picked up a roast chicken and other sundries and walked home to catch some sleep...
My first Christmas day in San Francsisco.