North Beach – signs of faded frolic
North Beach was alive with music & festivities over the weekend as the 53rd annual North Beach festival took over the hood. Aside from the officially sanctioned entertainment on outdoor stages, there were other little combos working indoors along the streets. The usual blues bands were rocking SF’s self proclaimed oldest bar, The Saloon where barflys buzzed around the doorway, and the unofficial beat community center Live Worms gallery even had a band playing for the art show. Amongst the other spots where bands played was the legendary corner bar the Condor, who recently were granted a permit from the entertainment commission. Of course, rumor has it, the benign live oldies band featured over the weekend, will soon give way to yet another adult themed strip/topless entertainment theme.
Meanwhile down a long lonely & empty stretch of Broadway, across from a boarded up pizza joint and shuttered Afghan eatery, a for lease sign hung on the spot formerly known as The Crow Bar. In the 60’s this location was called Basin St West where the likes of Ike & Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Ramsey Lewis and other jazz & soul greats once played, but now, much like the rest of fabled North Beach, is just a faded shadow of it’s former self.