After spending 3 days in Big Sur looking out at a beautiful Pacific Ocean (and dodging hail, rain, thunder and lightening) I reentered civilization Friday night with a splash.
The Grotto, the San Francisco writer's cooperative, threw itself a big party to celebrate its move to new headquarters on Second Street, right near the Bay Bridge and South Park. The new office can only be described as swank. There's a central space painted with bold primary colors surrounded by individual offices. It's a far cry from the early 1990s, when Po Bronson and Ethan Canin came up with the idea of a common office for writers.
Lots of writers, filmmakers, agents and editors came to drink tea from the Samovar Tea House, swill red wine donated by Ravenswood and talk shop. Undoubtedly there were many people I didn't recognize, but I did spot Bronson, Laura Fraser, Tom Barbash, Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine, who did the acclaimed documentary Ballets Russes, Connie Hale, Rachel Howard, Christopher D. Cook, Todd Oppenheimer, Katy Butler, and many more.
There was a small but loyal turnout from my writing group, North24th. Allison Hoover Bartlett from the group just joined the Grotto. Katherine Neilan, Jill Storey, and I came to cheer her on.
Apparently, J.T. LeRoy stopped in for a moment, but then disappeared into the men's (women's? ) bathroom.