Top 5 Songs I Didn’t Know Were By Carole King/ Gerry Goffin (by Claire)

Here’s a conversation I keep having:

Me: So I’m reading Carole King’s memoir (A Natural Woman: A Memoir) and LOVING IT.

Friend: Oh weird. She’s okay.

Me: I’m not even a big Carole King fan, but REALLY, you should really read it! Also I’m only half way done, but I’m pretty sure Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote every song ever.

Friend: Hmm.

Me: You’re not going to read it are you.

Friend:….nah. How’s Australia?

My music book club dreams have been thwarted (it’s okay, I got everyone to read Just Kids a few months ago. Wait, you haven’t read Just Kids? Oh come on guys.*) But my Goffin/King obsession continues. Here are my top 5 (of so many! So many songs! Go read the Wikipedia page of just the hits. It’s ridiculous) surprising Goffin/King songs, complete with wacky musical trivia and early 60’s songwriting stories.

“Locomotion,” by Little Eva

Eva Boyd was a babysitter for Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s daughters, Louise and Sherry. Urban legend has it that they heard her singing around the house decided to turn her into a star, but urban legend is wrong: Boyd was already singing backup on Goffin/King songs when she started working for them, and they were well aware of her musical gifts. Goffin gave her the stage name “Little Eva.” Apparently she came up with the signature Locomotion dance on the spot when she was on tour promoting the song.

“He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss),” by The Crystals

Disturbing fact that’s not in the book: Creepy ode to domestic violence “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)” is a Goffin/King song that they wrote after learning that Eva was being beaten by her boyfriend. When they asked her why she stayed with him, she said it was because his abuse was motivated by love, a response that inspired the song made popular by The Crystals.

“(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman,” Aretha Franklin

Here was the assignment: Write a hit for Aretha Franklin (who at this point was already on her way to becoming a musical legend). Call it “Natural Woman.” Goffin and King got this assignment as they left work one day. They started to work their brainstorming magic in the car on the ride home, and by the end of the night they wrote and composed what would go on to be a classic.

Goffin wrote the lyrics to this, and to their first smash songwriting hit “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Both songs seem to have such a clear, female voice; even King notes that everyone always assumes she wrote the lyrics to “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?,” because how could a man layout the emotional concerns of a teen girl who’s about to lose her virginity? It’s a mark of masterful writing.

“One Fine Day,” by The Chiffons

If I were very strict honesty-wise and allowed repetition in my So Hot Right Now lists, this song would probably be on the last six. Goffin/King songs actually were a part of all sorts of 60s girl group magic. They wrote  “Chains” and “Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad (About My Baby) for  The Cookies, who would go on to become the Raelettes, Ray Charles’ back-up band. “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)” was a hit for The Crystals, and The Shirelles’ version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” was the first hit by a girl group to reach #1 on the charts in the United States.

“I’m Into Something Good,” by Herman’s Hermits

Goffin/King originally wrote this song for Earl-Jean “Jeanie” McCrea from The Cookies, but it ended up being a huge hit for Herman’s Hermits instead.

So in King’s memoir, she doesn’t mention this story, but it comes up in Girls Like Us: Gerry Goffin had a love child with Jeanie McCrea, and Goffin/King continued to write songs for her and work with her quite a bit professionally. Is this a real story? I can’t find it anywhere else—King doesn’t talk about it, Goffin doesn’t talk about it, it’s not attached to any online information about them or McCrea. Do you know anything about this? Leave a comment if you do.

*Patti Smith is writing a sequel to Just Kids!

** If you want to join my one-woman musical book club, I’m taking some inspiration from Noura Hemady’s Top 5 Songs About Rock and Roll and reading Love Goes to the Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever next. Leave your music-book-club suggestions in the comments!

Guest Post: Top 5 Songs About Rock and Roll (by Noura Hemady)

Dear Reader: Below you find a list of songs about Rock and Roll, or going to a rock club, and a short summary of why I like this song.  I decided Rock and Roll and rock clubs were one in the same because I needed 5 non-lame songs to write about relating to Rock and Roll (be happy I didn’t decide to wax poetic on Billy Joel) and because going to a “club” and going to listen to rock music are basically one in the same for me (which is probably true for most readers of this blog, probably not true for most people in general).  So, without further delay my selection of 5 songs that are sort of about Rock music:

 

“Rock and Roll” by the Velvet Underground

I tend to slip in and out of obsession with the Velvet Underground on a quarterly basis. I go clean every few months, and then, like a proper addict, relapse in a fit of nostalgia for the unremembered 60s. This summer, I can unequivocally blame Will Hermes’ book Love Goes to the Building on Fire for my rapid descent into my O.M.G you guys let’s listen to the Velvet Underground all the time neurosis. And if you haven’t read the book, I suggest you pick it up immediately, but be warned you’ll have to valiantly stave off a sense of New York bohemia just-chilling-with-Patti-Smith-lust that can be very distracting while you’re reviewing expense reports from Palestine.

Commence “Rock and Roll”: the guitar intro has just enough distortion to sound like a car with a booming radio rushing past on a bustling street.

Welcome Jenny, the girl whose life was saved by rock and roll. We all know what it’s like to suffer through the doldrums of Top 40 radio, waiting for that epiphanic moment when that song comes on and you’re consumed by joy, and also relief that there is good music in the world. As Lou Reed tells us, “it took no computations to dance to a rock and roll station.” Dancing to music that you love is an effortless affair: the body overtakes the mind and just moves.

Don’t we all kind of know what it’s like to be Jenny, plucked from our workaday existence and made exceptional by our love of song? Don’t we all kind of wish we were Jenny, grooving to the Velvet Underground on a crackling radio in our unheated loft somewhere in the village? Hey, isn’t that Robert Maplethorpe smoking on the street corner out there?

 “Niteclub” by Old 97s

My longstanding love affair with Old 97s has been well documented on this website. They aren’t “rock and roll” in the same sense as the Velvet Underground: they earned their hangovers in bars wreathed with buffalo skulls and gazelle taxidermy somewhere in the steppe northwest of El Paso (as opposed to a filthy dive bar somewhere on the Lowest East Side). Fine, maybe I made that up based on every cliché I’ve ever met. But, the premise of “Niteclub” is as rock and roll as it gets – a vagabond musician with a tortured, romantic relationship with his favorite club.

The initial tumult of the parlor piano gives way to the lilting gait of guitar and drums. And then, Rhett Miller (O, Rhett! How we love the way you swing your hips on stage): from thousands of miles away, he yearns for the dank comfort of this club (Rock or country? We’ll never know) that stole so many hours of his youth, not to mention his one true love. It’s an easy song to sing, to mold your voice to every one of Rhett’s vocal inflections. He sings a cautionary tale of letting affection for a place, one that has housed your triumphs and tragedies, hold you hostage from the outside world.

“Rock and Roll Nightclub” by Mac Demarco

I don’t have a deep relationship with this song. I first heard it last week in the middle of a post-lunch comma at work and fell madly in love then played it for the next 3 hours of work.

Mac Demarco has that deep voice usually reserved for 70s soul men. On those men, it’s a smooth declaration of their virility. On Mac Demarco, it’s a mildly unsettling, seemingly deliberate strohbass. In other words, he sounds like that serious creeper in the corner of the dance floor trying to decide which drunk girl to cherry pick from her friends and subject to his unwashed armpit stench. Vocal tone aside, “Rock and Roll Nightclub” is a gentle song. It’s not paired with the usually pulsing grooves radiating sexual machismo (see, Iggy Pop, “Nightclubbing”), but rather the reverb fuzz of a plucked guitar, a musical analogy for the gradual haze of intoxication.

“Nightclubbing” by Iggy Pop

There’s a masterful, deliberate escalation of tension introducing Iggy Pop’s “Nightclubbing.” Each beat on the drum sounds like a footstep heavy with booze, treading towards the nightclub in blurred anticipation of the pleasures within. Matched with the sinister tone of the pianos, you can be sure something wonderfully debaucherous will come from this trip to the nightclub.

Or maybe I’m just projecting the club scene from Trainspotting on my listening of this song.

“Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

Who remembers Robbie Williams? Not me, up until 30 minutes ago while I was scouring my iTunes looking for songs appropriate for my given theme. I clicked this song and suddenly, there I was, circa 2000 pasting pictures of No Doubt and Stone Temple Pilots I’d plucked from the Internet onto my bedroom wall, anxious for my first year at Art High School and desperately trying to fit the part.

It’s hard to transcend your reputation as late 90s British pop monster. I first heard Robbie Williams on the “Now That’s What I Call Music 2!” record, which I will go on the record to proclaim is a brilliant compilation—dare I say best in the series—commemorating music at the end of the millennium. His song “Millennium” is the second song on the album, sandwiched between New Radicals’ “You Get What you Give” and Semisonic’s “Closing Time.”

Where “Nightclubbing” is sinister, “Rock DJ” is bouncing off the walls just-get-me-to-a-dance-floor fun. There’s almost a sense of innocence to it—no one’s getting sloppy drunk and crying on the floor, no one’s going to nod off in a corner into a drug and drink haze. “Rock DJ” is an explosion of bass, synth, and Robbie’s smooth falsetto. You’re just going to put on something shiny and dance with your friends. The song samples both Barry White and A Tribe Called Quest, and quotes Snoop Dogg: how can this not lead to something fun? Obviously, there’s going to be a disco ball.

Happy Birthday, Claire!

Because you’re so awesome, and have a super soft spot for terrible songs, I’ve spent the past few days looking for the worst song ever written. To my surprise, it’s not Rebecca Black or Nickelback that tops the charts. It’s the 1985 stalwart, “Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy. Enjoy, and happy birthday! (My secondary gift is that this will be stuck in your head all the way to Australia!)

Top 5 Dream Covers (by Claire)

I’ve been thinking about dream covers ever since this post, in which I requested that Joshua get a band together and start doing filthy funk interpretations of saccharine James Taylor jams. I stand by the fact that “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” could be downright dirty, if given the appropriate timing and musical accoutrements.

Until that cover gets made (oh please? someone? I can’t really sing, but I’ll play the hell out of a triangle if it means making this cover happen), here are five more dream covers. Leave yours in the comments!

“Birdhouse in Your Soul,” by They Might be Giants, covered by Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris

Only the honeyed voices of Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss will do when it comes to a reimagining of “Flood.” Picture the quiet loveliness of Emmylou’s voice on “Road Movie to Berlin” or Krauss crooning “Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love.” And what sweet magic would they lend to quirky classics like “Whistling in the Dark” and “Particle Man”? Ralph Stanley could sit in on “They Might Be Giants,” and I want Lucinda Williams in the studio getting rowdy on “Twisting.” “Birdhouse in Your Soul” would be stripped down to just short of a capella, their voices paired with a lone fiddle, and a banjo making brief, rapidly plucked cameos.

“Radio,” by Lana Del Rey, covered by Andrew Luttrell and Rosie Thomas

Lana Del Rey got caught in a mean spirited game of SEO one upmanship several months ago. Music bloggers battled it out to see who could make her sound the most like a harbinger of the apocalypse. This SNL skit really sums up my feelings on this.

Del Rey is no Carol King, but she makes decent, sometimes interesting pop music and I don’t think she’s a sign of the end times for humanity or modern music (and if you think that, you haven’t been paying attention to pop music. You have so many other things to be horrified about)  “Radio” is one of those sometimes interesting songs. The lyrics and tune are kind of fun, and the whole song could be more interesting if it was divided into a duet and outfitted with different singers.

The duet concept? A couple is tested by the newfound musical fame of one partner. They banter and flirt, but the whole dialogue is edged in genuine worry that all this radio fame will have an impact on the relationship.

A: Now my life is sweet like cinnamon/ Like a fucking dream I’m living in/Baby love me cause I’m playing on the radio/How do you like me now?

B: Pick me up and take me like a vitamin/ Cause my body’s sweet like sugar venom oh yeah

A: Baby love me cause I’m playing on the radio

B: How do you like me now?

The singers: Andrew Luttrell, who has the guitar chops and straightforward, slightly gruff delivery one half of this duet requires.  His musical sparring partner is Rosie Thomas, who sounds like honey and rosewater and is adept at revealing layered, complicated forms of sadness through her voice.

“She’s Got You,” by Patsy Cline, covered by Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill and Patsy Cline share an aptness for keeping slow, slightly mournful numbers entertaining. They also don’t require much in the way of backup: A stripped down Lauryn Hill track is riveting, and Patsy Cline’s voice fills and carries each song. When I think about Hill covering this song, I can hear her cover of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” or her song “Selah.” I know this would be equally haunting and beautiful. Much like my “Allison Krauss and Emmylou Harris Take on They Might Be Giants” scheme, I would be a happy girl if I found a whole album of Patsy Cline covers by Lauryn Hill (Although I would be a happy girl if I found a whole album of just about anything by Lauryn Hill.)

“Marionette,” by the 5 Chinese Brothers, covered by Warren Haynes

I became so obsessed with this cover idea about six or seven years ago that I briefly considered pitching it in a letter to Warren Haynes. I had Let’s Kill Saturday Night on heavy repeat around the time I saw Warren Haynes do a solo show in Philadelphia. It was one of the best shows I’d ever seen. Warren was charming, the acoustics were insane, and his versions of well known songs made you feel like you hadn’t known those songs very well after all. I rarely walk out of a show starry eyed and thoroughly pleased, ready to pledge allegiance and endless fan-ship to the artist. This was one of those shows.

I heard “Marionette” for probably the 100th time a few days later and could hear how Warren Haynes voice would sound on it. He would amplify the sadness and anger. He would lend some gravel voiced magic to it. “Marionette” is already great, and his version could be sublime.

“You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket,” by The White Stripes, covered by Mavis Staples

More Mavis Staples, guys. The world needs more Mavis Staples. Her album with Jeff Tweedy was great. Her 2011 version of “The Weight” with Wilco and Nick Lowe  haunts my dreams. “You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket” would sound amazing with her voice, and could be such a different song without Jack White’s high pitched musical stylings. Ideal situation: Jack White produces the cover, maybe even plays guitar on the track. They strike up a friendship and make an album together. And we get a great cover, another great album, and most importantly, more Mavis Staples.

 

Top 5 Songs We Wish Would Get Covered (by Joshua)

We here at Charm City Jukebox are totally and completely obsessed with covers. It’s actually kind of unnatural how much we think about them. The subject on our mind as of late are hypothetical covers – songs we wish could be done by another band, and what it would sound like and how fucking awesome they would sound. Sometimes it’s of a need to correct the mistakes done on the original version (think the Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help From My Friends), but mostly it’s because we think the new artists would do just an insane version of the song. And they would, believe you me.



“All the Girls Love Alice” by Elton John, as performed by Sly & the Family Stone

This song is already so funky, but man, how funk-tastic could it get with Sly Stone at the helm? Of course, we’re talking late 60’s/early 70’s Family Stone, not today’s living-in-a-van-down-by-the-river homeless Sly Stone. (That’s right. Sly Stone is broke and homeless, living in a van, down by the river.) This is the kind of funk we all wish we could aspire to, but never quite make it. It would be a deep, deep funk sound, slowed down a bit, but with a ridiculous bass line and a horn section, with all the breaks cut with the horns. As amazing as Sly & the Family Stone were, they were never the most amazing songwriters. Can you imagine the marriage of Elton John’s writing and Sly Stone’s funk? I can. We would listen to nothing else; they would be revered as Mozart or Miles Davis, but, you know, actually listened to by most people.

“You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette, as performed by Cake

We all know Cake has ridiculous talent and penchant for covers. They’ve covered it all, from Willie Nelson to Barry White to the most famous cover they’ve done, “I Will Survive.” They like to cover songs where someone is pissed off, and this fits the bill. It would have an insane backbeat, which is crazy, because the original backbeat is hotter than hell. But this would take it to the next level. The vocals would be, of course, even-toned. It would have that same build-up, though, and crescendo into a huge guitar/trumpet solo. It would be an instant fan favorite. Get on it, Cake.

“Chain of Fools”  by Aretha Franklin, as performed by Johnny Cash

This would have to be non-vintage Cash, but the subdued, near-death version recording America IV. It would have those same qualities of the amazing covers of “Personal Jesus” and “Hurt:” it would be slow and haunting, but it would also be different in one respect – this song would have a sense of humor. It wouldn’t be outright funny, but it would sung with slick, sly smile that only Cash could pull off. You can see him smiling to himself as he sings this into a studio mic, totally alone but filling the room with his voice.

“Fuck You” by Cee-Lo Green, as performed by The Band

Oh man, this would be so fun! There’d be the big horn section of “Ophelia” and it’d be just as fast, but with that stripped down backbeat, four-on-the-floor groove the late, great Levon Helm just loved. He would sing lead, too, but everyone would be involved for the big swelling four-part harmonies in the chorus. And somehow, even if they sang “Forget you” instead of “Fuck you,” it’d still be ok. It would be an instant American Classic, played everywhere.

“The Mariner’s Revenge Song” by The Decemberists, as performed by Meat Loaf

This is tough, but doable. I think Meat Loaf deserves a thrust back into the mainstream; hough, covering a song that sounds like a 19th century sea shanty admittedly may not be the way to achieve that. Still, I’d love to hear what he could do with this….I’m seeing big, big guitars (when is there ever not big guitars in a Meat Loaf classic jam?) and a bruising, pounding vocal performance. Think “Bat Out of Hell,” but about pirates instead of motorcycles. It would be huge and epic in proportion, even more so than the original. They’d be a full orchestra. It would be nearly 20 minutes in length. Colin Meloy would shit his pants.

Songs about Places (by Joshua)

I’m not a person who likes certain music because of the memories it evokes – I tend to listen to the music of a song first, decide whether I like it or not, then listen to the lyrics. If I happen to then associate the song with a memory or it becomes associated with something I’ve done, fine, but unless I’m listening to the song while creating the memory my music taste just doesn’t work like that. This, of course, makes this subject rather tough for me – I have to take it more metaphorically than simply picking a song about a place. It’s more like a song about a place I may have never been to, or have always been in, or a place that isn’t an actual place but an idea of a place that wishes it was a place but hasn’t quite made it out of the starting gate…Ok, I don’t know what I’m talking about anymore, but I think an English and Philosophy double major somewhere just got a boner.



“The Old Apartment” by Barenaked Ladies

Have you ever moved from a place you desperately loved, or in which you felt superbly loved? Have you ever been evicted? Or maybe it was just a place you needed to call home so badly it hurt, because nowhere else felt like home and it was your only place of refuge ever. Or maybe it was a place you hated and were so glad to leave you wished you never had to go back. And then you did, and wrote a song about any one of these things. That’s what this song is about. If you do follow in their footsteps, it’s probably best just to knock.



“The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire

I grew up in a city suburb, which I always just thought was the suburbs. Anything further than 2 miles or so from the city line just seemed like the boonies to me. Then I dated this girl who grew up in what I thought was the boonies, and she called it the suburbs. First, she was wrong. It was the boonies. Second, this song is about any place you can call the suburbs – it’s about boredom. Boredom and that desperate need to leave, which you think will solve the boredom. Rob Gordon/Zimmerman in High Fidelity explains it just as well: “You can leave the suburbs for the city but end up living a limp suburban life anyway.” The people in this song are desperate to escape but have no idea what that may lead to.

“All at Sea” by Jamie Cullum

The literal image here is to be in a small rowboat, floating further and further away from shore, leaving behind your friends and your worries, your hopes and  your disappointments, your melodies and dissonances. Cullum has captured perfectly that idea that sometimes you want the boredom, the exaltations – you want to escape the things that bring you down as much as the things that give you the most joy. Sometimes you need it to stay sane. Or maybe you don’t, but I do. Well, lucky you, if you don’t, but don’t fucking lord it over me, ok?

“Big Time in the Jungle” by Old Crow Medicine Show

I’ve never been to Vietnam, or been in the military, and I was born 30 years too late to sign up for the war there, but I think OCMS has the general gist of it. Or maybe they don’t. I don’t know. But it’s a great song, and bonus, it’s totally fun to play hanging around a campfire. Just don’t play it if there’s a disheveled looking dude wearing a bandana and an old Army jacket hanging out by himself far to the side of the fire. He might get angry.

“Tallahassee” by The Mountain Goats

This, like The Suburbs by Arcade Fire, is a whole album about a place. This album, though, tells a story of a terrible marriage. Our intro to the album is this song, as the couple arrives to their new house in Tallahassee. It’s a bad omen, this song – it’s slow and plodding, with a terrible sense of foreboding. When you arrive to your first house as a newlywed couple, it should be a joyous occasion, but it absolutely isn’t. When they see the house, they have to ask themselves, “What did I come down here for?” They remind themselves, “You,” but we know it’s putting off the inevitable – this place is wrong for them. Maybe it’s dramatic irony, or maybe it’s their own self-deception. Maybe it’s both.

Top 5 Songs for a Foggy Day (by Claire)

I’ve really enjoyed this past week of foggy weather.

Now it’s sunny, coat-less and warm during the day, but the truth is I like the city when it’s cloaked in fog. I liked walking around and watching the fog hang in the street lights, I like the way it makes all the tall views in the city look like Impressionist drawings of what, just the other day, was clear and crisp.

I take these epic, head-clearing walks almost daily, up and down several hills, in wide squiggley ovals through the city. When it’s foggy, the soundtrack to my walk changes drastically. I like the idea of seasonal songs, and it’s one of many things I miss about having seasons. Fog songs are about as close as I get.

“Spooky,” by Dusty Springfield

We don’t get sticky summer nights, when the air is dense and your blood quickens. When the fog rolls in, it’s the closest San Francisco gets to a sensual, seasonal moment—the thick low fog, the feelings it stirs, it’s all strange and a little wild, spooky. Dusty gets it. The first line “In the cool of the evening/When everyone is feeling kind of groovy” is right on.

“Swingset Chain,” by Loquat

I’ve been trying to reclaim this song. Do you ever do that? There are some songs so stanched in memories, often unpleasant ones, and I would like them back without the baggage. In the first dregs of a long, dark winter a few years ago, I listened to this song constantly. It reminds me of crisp, hard November coldness and teary Metro rides. It reminds me of a box of Trader Joes crackers I used to come home and eat while drinking white wine and watching bad movies, like a triage for winter blues that seemed to facilitate them more than abate them. But I want to listen to it again without cracker crumbs in my lap or a sigh lodged in my throat. It’s dreamy and catchy; it’s even by a San Francisco band. When I walk around in the fog, “Swingset Chain” feels fresh and that winter feels far away.

“Fluffy Lucy,” by Cracker

A few weeks ago, Joshua and I were trying to list our top 5 lustworthy musicians. I wasn’t great at this list–I’ve never been much for crushes on musicians (boy bands were sold to my generation so hard in our puberty years that it turned me off, rather than on) and most of the men I listen to rabidly fall into a playlist labeled “Sad Old Guys.” I have a lot to say about Richard Thompson, but I don’t really want to take him home.

That said, David Lowery is also kind of sad, and comparatively kind of old, certainly a guy, but I think he’s silly cute and always have. A little crush is nice on an almost dreary day. But even if you lack a Lowery crush, this song is one of many slower Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven songs that work well when walking through the fog (See: “That Gum You Like is Back in Style“). “Fluffy Lucy” is a great example of one of these: soulful, slow, a little suggestive. The soft strum of the guitar, the light drumming and sparse piano moments, it’s all the kind of pace that works perfectly when slowly ascending steep hills. I hope it hits the chorus when you get to the top, where the outlines of the city have gone smudgey, like a child just finger painted San Francisco onto the skyline.

“The Crane Wife, Pt. 3,” by The Decemberists

Joshua listed this as one of his Top 5 Snowed in Songs, which I think is definitely in the same genre family as Foggy Day songs. It’s lovely and sparse, full of rich imagery and music that makes me feel wildly hopeful and excited. I think it has something to do with the way the sounds build, and how the music seems to burst on the chorus. The Decemberists make a lot of good foggy day music; I like walking up a hill listening to this, and walking down the hill listening to “Red Right Ankle.”

“Sweet Thing,” by Van Morrison

Van Morrison created a song that sounds and feels like falling in love. Bright, happy, rich and strange, dizzying overall. Sometimes in the deep fog, the trees  seem bathed in an otherworldly light. Flowers pop, bark glows, the outlines of leaves and branches seem to hover and sway. It reminds me of when I first visited the city, when I wandered through coffee shops and book stores, when I sat in the park half-crazed on espresso and couldn’t stop smiling. It was like falling in love—it had to be. You can’t move across the country for anything less. Bounding up hills, wandering the city, watching the same views become even more beautiful, it makes me fall in love with San Francisco all over again. It still seems strange and wonderful. It’s still exactly where I want to be.