And then I realised - I couldn't remember if there were concrete benches there. I've driven around the Civic Plaza many times (usually looking fro somewhere to park when going to Citizen Cake), but I just wasn't sure if the benches I'd vaguely remembered were there.
What to do? I could IM a couple of folks I know who live in SF, and who were online. But they're in a different part of town.
The solution was simple. I fired up Google Earth, typed in "san francisco public library" and clicked "fly to". A quick zoom, and a spin around the building, and it was clear there weren't any benches. However, there were steps. A solution. And a new tool for my writing arsenal.
And now, back to the story...