Mahjong @ Zeitgeist

IETF Graffiti Random last minute plan to get some beers and sit out on the very, very crowded beer garden of Zeitgeist. Because we’d played there before, I brought along a plastic, cheapo Mahjong set. It was crazy crowded- not sure if it was because of the ever more frequent sunny days, or just Bay to Breakers. New (to me) things: the door guy checks for booze and cameras. The security guy was really friendly, but the barback was short of energy and rather rude. The kitchen was closed more than it was open. Random stories and best Bay to Breakers costumes after the jump.

Security guy was slowly learning how to play Mah Jong, and explained to us that the no-camera policy was more to protect the copyright on the murals. The camera shot of the graffiti on our table was OK, I guess. Very nice girl – from Hong Kong way way back in the day- sat down and played 3 hands but was disappointed that it wasn’t for money. Good times. And remembering rules in the middle of the game- priceless.

Best Bay to Breaker’s costume; the guy with a brown fro and a painting brush in his pocket, with a stuffed squirrel pinned to his shoulder. Oh, and the hot guy dressed as Superwoman, who pushed our car.

4 Comments so far

  1. this charming man (unregistered) on May 22nd, 2007 @ 8:46 am

    yeah, i was taking pics of stuff (our drinks, the wall), not people, the last time there and some guy got all pissy. i guess because of the mural. it’s funny, because my guess is most people there would be more anti-tough copyright laws (against DRM, for instance, pro creative commons).

    the whole staff indifference and rudeness thing…it seems for forced and affected than genuine lately. i don’t mind that they aren’t the obsequious servile types, but shit, they don’t have to revel in being hipster aloof and all. they charge enough for their bloody marys that they could make an effort now and then to at least seem like they care you’re there keeping them in business.


  2. SEAN (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

    ah. sounds like my never-ending love/hate affair with zeitgeist. i wanna love the place. and yet just when i do, that fabled insular, unfriendly attitude surfaces. i’ve heard this scenario so many countless times. they are SO fixated with maintaining their vision of hipster cred that it’s actually funny to watch. and at the same time, galling to experience.

    i’m always stunned at establishments that treat decent paying customers with open contempt. thank god there are only a relative handful of places in the city like this. (that i can think of off the top of my head at least.) i’m actually curious to hear what other places in town people here would classify as such. unfortunately, for me, zeitgeist would be one of them.


  3. Nancy (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:33 pm

    I agree with Sean – I WANT to love Zeitgeist, as is rings with Portlandesque – but when I go, I’m inevitably disenchanted with the air of aloof-entitlement that used to be what ‘hipsterness’ was the antithesis of. It USED to mean “I won’t jump for you just because you’re oh-so-fabulous YOU” and now it seems to be “I won’t jump for anyone because I’m oh-so-fabulous ME”. Gah.

    To point out a joint where the taintedness of hip has NOT run amok is the Hemlock. The folks behind the bar there are downright FRIENDLY, even as they slouch and sigh their emo sighs. I [heart] them. (insert emo sigh here)


  4. n judah chronicles (unregistered) on May 29th, 2007 @ 10:42 pm

    Going to Zeitgeist is like going into the pages of a Peter Bagge comic book. You half expect Buddy and his pals to walk in at some point, and inevitably, when the guy making burgers blows his stack and says “That’s it!” well that’s a classic slacker comic moment.

    When it’s fun, it’s great, but when it sucks, it really sucks. Problem is, they don’t put out the sign saying “Hey, today we’re being lame, it’s too crowded and sucks here, but we’ll take your money anyway, so there” or “Hey, life’s great, come on in, buy a beer and relax and enjoy the afternoon.”

    If they’d do that more often, everyone would be better off!



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