This was me and my roommate’s first St. Patrick’s Day in our neighborhood, and while I never really go out drinking on 3.17, we figured there’s so many Irish bars within walking distance, we should hit some up.
Hahahahahaha, wrong. Even before I started this paragraph I could see you shaking your head and clucking your tongue, dear reader, and you would be right. We were very much schooled. These are excellent bars on any other freaking day of the year. On that night, every bar was overrun by frat/sorority kids who were too drunk and too crazy and too… preppie. Forgive me for my sounding bewildered, but isn’t San Francisco supposed to have some sort of magic spell protecting us from such things? I kid, of course, but now I know where all the preppies are; they’re bridge-and-tunnel cases or they’re nursing their beers until those special chronological events arise, causing public celebrations of drunkenness and fisticuffs. No, really, I’m kidding.*
So instead of going to one of the Inner Richmond’s Irish establishments and listening to authentic Irish music, we ended up somewhere quieter with other folks who probably had more of a clue than we did at the beginning of our evening. Trad’r Sam is a crazy tiki dive bar (sounds redundant, maybe… but where else is each booth named after an island or chain of islands, proclaimed in wicker on an archway above each one?) serving all sorts of colorful spirits. I had a Tahitian Purple Haze (rating: excellent), other blue and pinks and amber-colored drinks were consumed, and I saw a lot of drinks being served in bowls with multiple straws. The music kept fluctuating between mellow and loud-and-conversation-threatening, which I like to think of as “charming” rather than “obnoxious.” Brilliant. Authentic? Hell if I know.
Green beer for the Irish, bah! I’m Irish every day of the year, screw it. I’ll take purple with a little paper umbrella.
Trad’r Sam is located at 6150 Geary @ 26th Avenue in SF. Look for the big orange arrow.
(*I should maybe note that my attitude is not San Francisco snobbery… I imported it with me from Chicago. <3 preppies!
Also, I’m not kidding about the fisticuffs. Part of our posse somehow got involved in a scuffle, too, though it was really minor and there was no blood, and I just stood there like I would know what the fuck I was doing when really, no clue here, and a cop pulled up and broke it up and said, no lie, “Get off of my street,” which led to us asking ourselves on the cab ride over to Trad’r Sam’s if he’d been waiting all night to use that line.)
The cement truck (after doing the most amazing parallel parking job EVER) didn’t leave enough room for the train to get by so he had to jimmy it in a little more. When the train went by it had a few inches clearance at best. It held the train up for a few minutes at most but after sitting and waiting for MY train I can see how these little annoyances can hold up the entire line. All it takes is one…
Perfect for this morning the place is called LOWRY’S and it is an Irish coffee house. I found out it has been open for almost a year already, and has built up a group of regulars.
Rachel was good at helping me make my breakfast selection.
Lowry’s will be one of my coffee, and food, stops in the future. I found the coffee good, the people friendly, and important to me it was neat and clean. Look here.
I haven’t been getting out much.
But when I do get out, it’s always the same way: out my back door and through the maze of staircases that makes up my mini-neighborhood. It’s a small thing, but every time I step outside, I’m struck by how much this part of my world is so different from any place I’ve ever lived.
You can’t visit this place unless you live in one of the four or five buildings that form its borders, which makes it a bit like the back of a massive set piece. Everyone knows about San Francisco’s Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Everyone can call to mind bay windows, stained glass, hills…even some interior details like split baths or clawfoot tubs.
But here, in the city’s back porches, you’re completely at home (despite the urbanity), you’re completely alone (despite shared proximity) and you’re occupying a space that is completely unique to this city.
My city of staircases doesn’t appear on any postcard. It won’t be featured in a film set in San Francisco. People hanging off the sides of a cable car aren’t going to see it at all, much less take snapshots of it. And all of that is just fine with me, because I consider it mine, somehow. The part I keep.
And, today, it’s the part I share.
Continuing on my running-fools theme: an article in the SF Chron on how and why to walk San Francisco’s perimeter. All 30 miles of it:
I’ve passed Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, which I had never seen. Islais Creek, which I didn’t know existed. Bethlehem Shipyards, where my father worked during World War II. Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, which somehow I had never been to the top of until recently. Fisherman’s Wharf, where Dad used to drag the family every Friday night for dinner. Baker Beach and China Beach, where my sisters sunbathed on weekends. Lincoln Park, where acres of white dandelions made it difficult to find Dad’s golf balls. Ocean Beach, where my mother would roll up her pant legs and wade in the surf. Fort Funston, which I had never explored.
The piece describes who has authority over which portions of the city’s edge – from the National Park Service to the port authority and city. It would be an interesting – and lengthy – trek. Of particular note – the areas too toxic to walk, in one of the country’s most eco-conscious cities.
I’m less music literate than many people in San Francisco. Or than many people in SF would fancy themselves, at any rate. It’s not that I don’t appreciate good music. It’s just not my primary hobby. So, I may not have the latest indie tracks, the latest hot podcast, or even Sirius or XM radio. I know what I like however, and it’s playing on Alice 97.3 right now.
When I first moved here, their Sunday “Chill” program ran from 9-2 or thereabouts. Then, for a brief and glorious time, it ran on Sunday and each weeknight from 10-12. Then I left for the campaign and came home to an un-chilled station. Now the program runs from 7 – 10 am on Sundays.
Who in their right mind is up this early? On a Sunday no less.
I’m too title/artist stupid to really replicate the playlist on my own – but anyone out there who has suggestions, please deposit them in the comments section below. Though I know I’m supposed to decry the evils of corporate radio, it’s still great Sunday paper reading/blogging music.
“Wee wee” bit as it were. I saw no less than 3 people piss on the street tonight on my block. There is also apparently a hip hop club going on around here because at least 5 cars came by blasting the wumpa wumpa music at 2000db and scaring the shit out of my cats. Not really a fan of urban sonic warfare. I like me a good Public Enemy or NWA tune but don’t scare the domestics, please. I have very delicate sensibilities. Least you could do is play some Slayer once in a while. The metal-heads need to represent!
So why is it okay to piss and shit on the street when a block away there is a public toilet right on the corner of Waller and Stanyon? Not to mention the bathrooms at the bars they just stumbled from half a block away. And for the record none of the people that pee’d on my sidewalk were homeless. They were 20 somethings who thought it was funny and cool. I’ve also noticed that there is a lot more human crap on the street lately than dog crap. It’s a testament to the humans of this city that they take care of their animals more than the other humans take care of themselves. Granted this is a commonality between SF and the afore mentioned Hollywood. There’s generally a lot more man-crap on the streets there than dog crap. Although they don’t have free public facilities like we do so who’s fault is it now? Nothing like stepping in a steamy pile of man poop on the way to work or the grocery store. SF is still my choice city to live in but I’m finally getting to see more of the local “flavor”.
Since I’m new I’d like to find the best place to get in touch with my local representatives. Can anyone point me in the right direction please? My first order of business is getting the hedges cut down at the McDonalds on Stanyon between Waller & Haight. I’ve seen more deals go down there than any other place I’ve ever been. Not to mention homeless fellatio and ass lovin. Makes you really wonder what the special sauce is eh? So not right. Maybe the people in the burbs should leave their little punk ass teenagers at home instead of dropping them off here for the weakends. Yeah I said weak.
Just to let everyone know that blogging might be a wee bit light this week since most of our staff is in Austin at South by Southwest. Those of us who have been left behind will try and pick up the slack :-)
Ok here’s a message to Upper Haight party goers. When you’re done tying one on at Cha Cha Cha or any of the other local hoocheries please feel free to remember that just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean people aren’t trying to SLEEP. Yeah, you’re having a great time. Wonderful for you but I don’t give a flying fuck! I don’t care that you’re going home to get laid and I don’t care how fat she is. I do care when you scream it at 2 in the FUCKING MORNING! I do care when people shoot up between their toes on my corner. I do care when people puke half their body weight on my doorstep. I do care when a junkie screams at his girlfriend about how she fucked up the heroin buy at 7am on a Saturday morning. Eclectic part of town my ass. This part of town is the Tijuana of the north.Or maybe San Francisco’s own version of Hollywood. At least the drugs there are kept to the hotel rooms and crack houses and Beverly Hills Mansions, not smoked and shot up in the middle of the road. I didn’t expect to open my windows in the middle of the day and get high from the second hand smoke. It’s like someone set a field of pot alight most days. There’s no way my parents are going to believe I’m straight when they smell my furniture, that has been infused with birthday goers joint smoke from my back window. Febreze only goes so far. You’d think with a Cop Shop a block away they’d be on the ball but noooooo. They tend to turn a blind eye most of the time. I would LOVE to ride in a squad for a weekend and see just what does go on out here that I’m not seeing because from what I can tell it’s not a whole hell of a lot. We had bad shit like this in Hollywood but it was controlled and people knew their place. People here are unpredictable which is a hell of a lot more frightening. Maybe the Mayor needs to focus a little bit on the more mundane aspects of city life instead of more groundbreaking things. Gay Marriage? Great, all for it. Walking down my street to the store and not stepping in a pile of shit from some junkie dropping trou on my block? All for it just a wee bit more.
Ya know when I think of the term “Brotherly Love” this passage comes to mind…
“And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”
Oh yes, and to the city Taxi drivers. Stop signs are NOT optional. No matter what time of day or night it is. If you’re in that much of a hurry maybe tell your dispatcher to pass along the fares that do actually call and need a ride. And thanks to Joann I now have my own gaggle of taxi drivers that I’ve befriended and got cards from to get personal service at the wee hours. Even though this is the only city that I’ve ever had to deal with this kind of thing.