Having happy hour in the backyard with your friends is like a Babysitter’s Club meeting where all the Kid Kits are filled with champagne and dreams.

The “backyards” of San Francisco were made for this. Backyard being a term San Franciscans throw around loosely when they want to refer to the 10×10 square of concrete between their apartment building and the alley.

Many people spend a lot of time talking about all the things they might like to do in their backyards: string Christmas lights, lie naked under the stars, cook large slabs of meat with all of their closest friends while laughing riotously about Gavin Newsom’s latest Tweet, but how often do we actually do these things? Not enough, which is why yesterday evening my friends and I journeyed out into our own backyard to eat, drink, and be merry, even though the last time we did this we were told to “Shut the fuck up!” by our neighbor, who also happens to not believe in hanging blinds on his bedroom windows. If there had been an equivalent phrase for “Stop wrestling with your girlfriend in full view of our living room window!” we would have shouted it right back.

Naked neighbor did not make an appearance, but something equally annoying was there, and that thing was the ubiquitous spring wind of San Francisco. Somehow no one whined about the cold and instead we shivered happily and talked about normal things like someone’s weekend in Tahoe, moving to New York, ex-boyfriends, current boyfriends, and one-night-stands. It seemed that for once we didn’t imagine it could be any better than this.

We found that if you entice people over at six with the promise of champagne and guava cocktails, pita chips, strawberries, and Trader Joes chocolate pudding, you can almost keep yourselves busy until the season premiere of Jon & Kate Plus 8.

I say “almost” because around 8:30 Luu suddenly realized that we had stopped chatting and were engaging in downtime activities isuch as cutting our fingernails and making origami. I think Luu was making the observation that the magic is in the space between, and we might have stayed here forever just like this, in a world as sweet and sparkly as MGMT singing ‘Time to Pretend’ on a fog bank rolling in over the hills. It seemed fitting that it was Memorial Day, because we really were remembering something.

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  • dantsea

    It’s not a genuine San Francisco backyard happy hour until at least one of your neighbors has yelled at you for reminding him (and it’s almost always a him) that he isn’t the center of the universe. Good job!