I strolled about in the snow on the Hill, camera in hand, from about 11:30 until 1:30.
I noticed that they had a couple el cheapo mandolins at Capitol Hill Loans, and taught the guy who worked there how to tune ’em. One sounded good, one sounded bad.
Then, my fingers burning with cold, I thought a nice Guinness at Kincora’s in front of their fire would hit the spot. On my way I peeped in the window of Aurafice to see if Joe or Odin was working – alas, no. It was Paige the first time and then Ally, a few minutes later. I stuck my nose in Bill’s to see if Tod was there, but apparently he was still at work.
When I made it down to Kincora’s I looked in the window, saw the fire, and looked in the window for a second to see if I knew anyone. I didn’t, so I paused to think about it for a minute.
A middle-aged woman with full, graying long hair and no makeup wearing a jean-jacket and a girls’ long-underwear top came hurrying out and addressed me with familiarity. “Why there’s a good lookin’ guy standin’ out here in the snow!”
In puzzlement I looked around, and then at her; I hadn’t ever seen her before in my life. She was addressing me. I made polite noises. “Sure is snowing,” I said, though it had pretty well tapered off.
“Well, it ain’t snowing as hard as it had been,” she observed.
I turned to go.
She rapidly took a step up to me and said with a nudge, “So, buy me a drink?”
I blinked in surprise and didn’t know what to say. I’d pretty much made up my mind not to go in before she came out. Into my pause she said, coquettishly, “I got something for you…”
I laughed nervously and said, “Uh, well, that’s very kind of you, but not today,” using my standard panhandler dodge. I beat a hasty retreat back up the hill, leaving her muttering by the door to the bar.
I still wanted a Guinness, so I doubled back over to see if Clever Dunne’s was open. As I descended Denny Way toward the overpass, I heard and saw a small crowd of people cheering and shouting at the intersection of Denny and Olive.
The steep slope of Denny was closed to traffic and had been transformed into a sled and snowboard hill. A young man with a shovel was helpfully moving snow into t he center of the run. Another man at the base of the hill directed traffic as cars nosed up the overpass. Snowball snipers appeared on the roof of an adjacent apartment building and pelted the sliders. A yellow dog chased a couple in a garbage bag, barking. Black-denim-clad Crass punks rode a shiny tin snowshovel.
A slender, well-dressed man with close-cropped grey hair rode someone’s skateboard deck without wheels, laughing. A black-haired hipster, his pea coat caked with snow, ducked my camera; his pal, in absurd and hairy poncho, took a pratfall. As I left, a young man appeared with the upper half of a hardshell Fender Tolex guitar case; running, he bellyflopped down the street.
My toes grew cold, and I retired from the field.