I had left the pleasant din of San Francisco for the hills surrounding, eager to see that all-meaning glint in the bed of some stream, and there find my way. On my third day of panning, the sun seemed to come down into the very river and swallow me up. I awoke underground, and when I clambered up into the light, found I was in San Francisco once again, but one that had changed in most particulars. This is the San Francisco of my tomorrow.
And what a city it is! That first boom had imparted to it such energies as now manifested in the people and the buildings... color and momentum. It is different to me, wildly different, but not unrecognizable. There is a wildness in the eyes of the people which I saw also in those first souls who walked, or capered, or stumbled, down the streets of a young San Francisco. Here the people are much varied in appearance and afflicted by novel strangenesses, but still I see a kinship: They, like me, are here seeking something they cannot find elsewhere.
The wealth they covet is not gold, but is likewise buried in some beyond they speak of as though it were heaven. They spend much of their time peering into these small windows they carry with them which glow like phosphorus, evidently to get a glimpse of this otherland. They had had a previous boom some years before and now were in the grip of another. Now, in this third boom, I hear many people asking each other what is true to the city, what is unchanging. It seems to me that the spirit which embraces change is, in San Francisco, the only thing that never changes. With that in mind, I go out to find the Best of San Francisco, the new and the classic, to wade in, as it were, and feel the waters running around me.
I am Bestivus R. Roland and this is my adventure.