The MacCrimmon Italianate Victorian at 818 Mason (if such an address existed)

On the way to the library, Bruce (Solomon) paused in the living room to admire the raised oak paneling, the bookcases of first editions and leatherbound sets, the Oriental carpets, and especially the paintings, several by early California artists—William Keith, Thomas Ayres, and Thomas Hill, whose Sierra Scene was MacCrimmon’s favorite. “It’s like the home of a wealthy nineteenth century intellectual.”
“That’s exactly what it is, Bruce. I’m ananachronism.”

- Andrew MacCrimmon Things in the Seed



The Turtle Fountain in Huntington Park with Grace Cathedral in the background.

That afternoon MacCrimmon and Karen took Alex up to Huntington Park, the jewel-like little oasis on the summit of Nob Hill. Alex, a beloved fixture in the park, ran off to greet the regulars, both human and canine. Andrew and Karen settled onto a west-facing bench looking over the two-tiered Baroque Turtle Fountain to Grace Cathedral.

 - Things in the Seed

The bottle of wine (MacCrimmon) took up to Huntington Park the next afternoon wasn’t just any wine—it was a treasured bottle of Chassagne Montrachet. He sat on the low broad wall enclosing the pool around the turtle fountain, set up the folding table he had brought, and booted up his laptop. He poured a glass of wine, and set the bottle in the pool to keep it cool.

- The Sacred and the Profane

The MacCrimmons’ Peace Valley home (if there were such a place)

On the way from the carport to the house, (Cynthia Mansell) stopped to look up at the MacCrimmon home, a three-story hybrid structure (MacCrimmon) had designed himself, two-thirds Alpine hunting lodge, and one-third Victorian, mainly in the decorative details—corbels, balconies, leaded glass windows and the like.

“You must have used the same architect who did the Bates mansion,” she said, referring of course to the house in the movie Psycho. A few years earlier an impudent washing machine repairman who fancied himself a Hitchcock aficionado had made the same comparison. “The architect must have been on acid.”

“I think the point’s been made, Miss Mansell.”

The living room, set three steps below the dining area, was ballroom-sized with a high cathedral ceiling. The half-octagonal west end with picture windows looked out through tall fir and pine trees over Peace Valley, the South Fork Trinity River, and the mountains beyond. The warm raised cedar paneling gave the room the feeling of both a hunting lodge and an English clubroom. The last glow of the setting sun reflected off the rosewood furniture, the frames of the paintings, and the floor-to-ceiling cases of books.

- Cynthia Mansell and Andrew MacCrimmon, Dogs’ Bodies-A Love Story

Harley David's Office

Shortly before noon the next day, Andrew MacCrimmon strolled down to see Harley David at his office on the top floor of the weather-worn building on the southeast corner of Pine and Kearney, the western edge of the financial district.

The two men crossed Pine Street to the St. Mary’s Square Garage, the domicile of Harley’s battered brown 1988 Ford Taurus, a vehicle he called “The Bull,” a reference both to the Latin word Taurus, meaning “bull,” of course, and to the curious braying noise the car’s defective horn made, a sound of surprise and irritation a bull might make if it were served up, say, shredded newspapers instead of alfalfa.

- Andrew MacCrimmon and Harley David, Things In The Seed

Uncle Vito's Pizzeria

MacCrimmon finally succumbed to Kay’s begging, and took her and Alex to Uncle Vito’s Pizzeria, a simple little place on the corner of Bush and Powell. The décor was über-utilitarian, reminiscent of an inner-city police interrogation room, but the pizza was good and the wine was cheap.

- The Rose and Woodbine Twined

MacCrimmon had dinner at Uncle Vito’s, his favorite pizzeria, a noisy, homey place on the corner of Powell and Bush. He ordered a personal pepperoni pizza and a half-carafe of house red.

- Things in the Seed

Rue Lepic French Bistro

Dr. and Mrs. MacCrimmon made their way arm in arm down the block to Rue Lepic, the charming little bistro at the corner of Pine and Mason. Dixon Hsu, the waiter who’d been there for decades, seated them at their usual corner table where MacCrimmon could watch as the cars, coming too fast down the steep Mason Street hill, scraped their bumpers and mufflers where it abruptly leveled out at the Pine Street intersection.

- Things in the Seed

(MacCrimmon and Alan) waved at Sophie, the chef, who cooked behind a counter in plain view of the tables. Dixon, the same Asian waiter who had been there for twenty-five years, seated them. Dixon, well seasoned in the ways of San Francisco, well aware of the fragility of relationships in Baghdad-by-the-Bay, and perhaps sensing something in MacCrimmon’s face, didn’t ask about Karen.

- Dogs’ Bodies: A Love Story

About the Author:
Peace Valley

Peace Valley, Andrew's retreat in Northern California is inspired by a real place where the author lives part time.