North Beach. It can make your head spin. Stand on the corner of Columbus
and Broadway on a Friday night with sex shows in one direction and pasta
and pretty people in the other, and you can feel your equilibrium go.
From Washington Square: A Little Piece of Heaven
Of Your Life In San Francisco
don't know what it means. It's just a fun thing to do.
While presidents drop bombs and lovers thrash out the details
of their relationships and businesses scramble for mindshare
and marketshare and any other kind of share they can get
their hands on, I just go walking. No one gets put down
with deadly force, no one is forced to "commit", and I'm
never richer for it. But walking is my form of fun and
it makes me feel free. For an hour or so I'm a Pacific
fresh ashore, visting my favorite city....
Reality & Spare Change
It was Friday. I got off BART at Powell & Market and walked
a block up to Ellis, then over to Les Joulins Jazz Bistro.
At the far end of the long bar stood Reuben, the manager.
He looked exhausted. The cause? Alfie Javier Almonza, his
new son, born October 9, 2007. The kid is doing well but
exhausting both the parents. I told him there was hope:
In just a year or two he and his wife would be sleeping
again. I knew; I had been through it. Between sets I had
a quick conversation with musicians Charles and Valencia,
then split for Le Central. I had too many places I wanted
to go tonight and was rushing. Why the rush? Maybe I was
making up for lost time, lost sleep; too many babes, too
many babies. Slow down, I told myself, then rushed off.
Dave and Will are there at Le Central tending bar. We fall
into a conversation about Fernet, the San Francisco bartenders'
Out In San Francisco
So much for Treasure
Island RV Park, I decided. I would "camp out" in San Francisco
for a week or two and see how it went. It was Friday night
and first I hit Les Joulins Jazz Bistro, Cafe Claude, Cafe
Bastille, and Enrico's. I must have had the feeling that I
was going out of circulation for awhile to hit all those places.
Then I headed down to Ocean Beach, which I thought might be
a safe starter. Past the Cliff House I wandered down the hill
to the big parking lots below. I pulled into the second of
the two lots, the bigger one. I turned off the engine and
just sat for awhile in the dark. There were other vehicles
in the lot and a couple of blazing fires out on the beach.
I could see figures illumintated by the flames. I am sitting
Limbo: South City
... So it was I said good-bye to Paris for awhile. A few
days later, on Halloween, I found myself headed back to
San Francisco, or more precisely, South San Francisco. I
had given up my apartment in The City when I went to Paris,
so was planning to stay in South San Francisco until I found
another place or went back to Paris. Since I have an RV
that I have practically never used, I thought this would
be a good opportunity to put it to use. I rented space in
Treasure Island RV Park, not on Treasure
Island, which might have been interesting, but in South
San Francisco. But that is not to say that Treasure Island
RV Park in South San Francisco is not without interest.
It is in fact a curious place, partly due to its location.
Located not in the "industrial" part of the city that everyone
driving up 101 to San Francisco is familiar with, but up
in the hills ...
was Paris?" I could hear Jen's question even before
I'm off the plane in San Francisco. She's was picking me up
at the airport. I probably should have refused her offer but
hadn't. "Paris is Paris," I would say, delaying the
answer for awhile. But I can hear the response to that: "Paris
is Paris? That's all you've got to say?" "It
is a mixture of all the species," I would then say, hoping
to delay things, "it is a chaos, a throng where everybody
hunts for pleasure and hardly anybody finds it, at least so
far as I could see." "That
doesn't sound like you. Who wrote that? It's eloquent; you're
not." I was stung by the insensitivity of her remark. But
she was right. "Voltaire," I confess. "Voltaire?"
Voltaire. I had a drink at his old hangout, Le Procope....
Many women cut their hair or begin painting their toenails
when they break up with their boyfriends. My old friend
Misty changes a letter in her name at the conclusion of
a romance. She would hate to hear her old name on the lips
of a new beau. There are exceptions to this practice of
hers. She has on occasion made a double-switch in letters,
or even taken what she calls a mulligan, leaving her name
the same for the next paramour. But such exceptions are
rare. “I’ve had lovers who were bald before,” she says,
“and lovers who were married. But I never had one who was
both at the same time. Or so … so … what’s the word? Proficient.”
Apparently her latest flame was a bone fide chopstick lover.
Fork lovers, according to her, shovel sex in ...
|On the Edge: Shanghai 2007
By Louis Martin
I had come to Shanghai for the dim sum. I was told by my Chinese friends in San Francisco that Shanghai has the best dim sum in the world. My plan was to spend a week tracking down dim sum, savoring its exquisite flavor, photographing it in its many forms, and taking careful notes so that I could write about it like an expert, thereby justifying my trip. That was the plan, anyway.
My first afternoon in Shanghai found me going for a walk. I may have been thinking dim sum when I started out but by the end of the walk, starting on Maoming Road, and venturing north up to Nanjing Road, then west on Nanjing, dim sum was not in my mind. The thought of dim sum had been replaced by the thought of something non-edible: architecture....
“I’m glad I’m in here,” Arnie smiles, “rather than out there.”
The shattered lens of his eyeglasses breaks up the flash
of lightning into several distinct bolts. I wonder how many
his retina records, if he sees something resembling a lightning
kaleidoscope. It’s easy to comprehend his happiness at being
in my kitchen during the thunderstorm. The baseball cap
he always wears is lined with aluminum foil to protect his
brain from electromagnetic radiation. Arnie started taking
this precaution some years ago, not long after he learned
that he had a radio in his mouth. Or, more exactly, a radio
tooth, a silver filling in a molar that somehow worked like
a crystal set. Without earphones, of
Cafe: La Vie Nocturne
Tengo una hija que viva en Puigcerda. Now I have
found a place I like in Paris: Au Rendez Vous des Amis.
They don't throw the customers out after a glass of wine.
Some customers look like they have been sitting there since
the execution of Louis XVI wondering if he got what
he deserved or not. Mais il est froid et venteux a Paris.
I decide to pay the daughter a visit. The subway gets me to
Gare Austerlizt. Le tren will get me to
Latour de Carol on the border. I get a sleeper but
I am not a sleeper this evening. I drift in and out, dans
et hors. "Vin rouge," I say in my dreams
but le serveur hears "vin blanc." Rouge
does not sound like blanc to me, but it seems that
unless pronunciation is perfect, he does not understand me.
She aussi. Je ne parle pas français parfait.
Je n'essaye pas même....
Cafe: Hanging Out In Paris
Before I leave for Paris I get the news: Enrico's has closed.
I walk over to North Beach just to check it out. The sign
says THANKS FOR 50 GREAT YEARS!
WHAT? THAT IS HOW IT ALL ENDS? It is hard
to believe. It is the best of the best in San Francisco.
It IS San Francisco. I can think of dozens of places that
should close before Enrico's. HUNDREDS.
THOUSANDS. There is nothing like Enrico's,
never will be again. It is, or was, a one-of-a-kind place.
It was not a copy of some other place that made money so
an investor said okay, give it a try. It was born in the
mind of a man of many talents, Enrico Banducchi, who came
to San Francisco at the age of 13 to study violin ...
Food & CitiCrimes
CitiApartments, CitiBombardments, Skyline Realty, Flytrap
Reality, CitiSuites, CitiCrimes, CitiCiti, CitiTitti, CitiWealth,
CitiFilth ... and out of this dank maze of aliases, like primitive
man poking his head from the cave, one name emerges ... Lembi.
Name makes you cringe? Okay, let's reverse it before we go
on and discuss his Brother In Greed: Ibmel. Ibmel relies on
your fear. Ibmel counts on it. Ibmel has dog's teeth smeared
with blood. Ibmel is an arse swarming with flies. Ibmel would
like to rob and murder you but he knows that's risky. He'd
also like to rob the bank but that would take guts. So instead
Ibmel buys your apartment, cuts what services ...
sun has finally emerged after days of rain. Charlie
and I pace the bluffs, our eyes peeled to catch the
telltale spumes of whales headed south to tepid Mexican
bays to reproduce.
“You figure they’re like us?” he asks. “You figure their baby-making equipment
shrivels up and retreats inside those great, lumbering bodies when the water’s
icy cold? The humpback baritones sing soprano?”
Our rubber boots squelch in the mud. The earth is saturated, the bluff's a marsh.
And despite the brilliant sunshine, the sea is gray, as though it had sucked
up all the gray from the rain it could hold....
Winning feels good, especially after losing. I have recently been
on a losing streak. But all things come in cycles, even as the lout knows.
Faith tells you and the lout that you've hit bottom and will soon rise
From San Francisco Cocktail