It's an "only in San Francisco" moment. Perhaps not the image the Visitors' Bureau means to evoke by the phrase, but one that emerges entirely on its own.
We're walking on a stretch of beach, the Golden Gate Bridge blurring in the distance. The Marin Headlands loom grey across the Bay. It is not a family unfriendly day on the northern end of Baker Beach, the city's sole nude beach. It is winter, and it is cold.
My husband and I have been diverted from a trip to Marin by a traffic jam. As we walk, we encounter crab fishermen, dog-walkers, hikers. And fleece, multicolored, deflecting the chill.
Ten minutes into our walk, the color not of cloth but flesh emerges in the distance. Could it be....yes, there is someone who finds weather no deterrent, who is putting the northern tip of the beach to its reputed use.
The man continues in our direction, shielded by a mere baseball cap. But as he and we near, something appears askew. Instead of both arms swinging rhythmically by his side, one arm is raised aside his head. No, it's not momentary, a scratch of an itch, but remains suspended, a floating triangle while he walks.