Archive for June, 2008

Dogs Are People Too…

I washed my dog this morning, clipped his nails and got out the door to go see the vet for his regular check-up. Because I did not have any cash on me, I walked a little further to get coffee, to a place that takes cards.

I go in this place frequently enough. Though the “law” says dogs cannot go into food establishments, both of my closest coffee shops allow them. When I bring the pup in there, I carry him in my hoodie, just to be respectful of others.

Today, I go in and order a mocha and bagel to go. I have my dog on my shoulder.

I’m waiting for my food, when I get the feeling that someone is staring at me. I look around and my eyes land on one of the most foul specimens of human waste I’ve ever seen. Literally, this man is the human version of “Jabba the Hut”. He is a desending pile of tires of fat, rings of flesh telescoping towards the ground. He is shaped like a fleshy soft-serve, ice cream cone. His skin is yellow from jaundice and his eyes are bright red in the lids and whites, showing “Pink Eye” at the very least.

This foul man-pile yells at me from his stench-seat, “The dog goes outside”. I reply, “Are you the owner? I’m not leaving him outside.” I go back to waiting… “It’s the law” says flesh-sore-man, “Are you above the law? I’ll call the Board of Health.”

I grab my stuff to go and say to him loudly, so the whole cafe gets the message, “When you call the Board of Health, tell them you have a full-blown case of the infection known as “Pink Eye”, and that everything you have touched, including that stainless steel spoon someone else will later use, is infected.” I continue, “Tell them the money you gave the cashier, has now been handled by the same people handling the customer’s food. Tell them you have now exposed your infection to everyone in the cafe. Maybe you should think about THAT next time you worry about health codes…”

Do I need to take my 4th Anger Management class? YES.

Is it ridiculous that in San Francisco, an 8 pound, freshly-bathed dog is a health hazard, when in EVERY corner of this city, the average San Franciscan comes upon human fecal matter on every train, door handle, cafe, bathroom they use because this city is swarming with filthy, homeless crackheads?

YES, more than I need Anger Management, YES.

I pick my dog’s crap up, no matter where it lands. EVERY DAY when I walk to work, I dodge SEVERAL piles of human waste. The people who made those piles can go into any establishment they like. But I can’t bring my 8 pound, clean dog on my shoulder to get a coffee to go without having some ridiculous law spouted at me from Jabba the Jaundiced?

The LAW must GO!

Overheard at SF MOMA

Man Ray and Lee Miller
The Lee Miller exhibition at the SF Museum of Modern Art, which was due to open July 1, has opened early, and I toured it today. Beautiful stuff, with material from her career as a mid-1920s fashion model through her work in Europe and Egypt in the 1930s, her wartime work in the 1940s, and her postwar slowdown.

Overheard at the exhibit:

One woman to another:
      “I never hear of something… and then it’s everywhere.”

A couple standing before a Miller portrait of her mentor and lover Man Ray (pictured above, though not the picture they were looking at):
      Her: “He was no cutie.”
      Him: “Well, that’s why you become an artist.”

The exhibit remains through Sept. 14.

Tiger Beat: Zoo’s killer tiger may have been ‘frantic for food’

Local news radio station KCBS reported Thursday that the tiger who attacked three zoo patrons on Christmas Day was underweight, a condition that may have agitated the big cat and made it “frantic for food.”

The three-year-old female tiger weighed about 295 lbs. when she arrived at the San Francisco Zoo from Denver, but weighed only 242 lbs. on the day she killed Carlos Sousa, Jr. and wounded two other zoo patrons after escaping from the tiger enclosure, the station reported. During the last year of the tiger’s life, its keepers made several notations in the daily feeding log that it was “frantic for food,” “very hungry,” and once stole part of another tiger’s food ration. Link

San Francisco’s Smoking Section

These photos were taken from my friend, Cyan’s, backyard on Tuesday. The hills of Brisbane were on fire for while. The smell is lingering…

Fire in the Hills, photo by Cyan

Nighttime fire in Brisbane, photo by Cyan

Changes Around Union Square: Some Good, Some Bad

Union Square
[Click the image for a larger version. Photo by Jeremy Hatch.]

The picture above is of a moment in the sun in Union Square Tuesday afternoon, as seen from out in front of Macy’s.

One of my favorite cafes was located in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel at the corner of Sutter and Powell. I never learned its name, but it was a European-style cafe, good for a salad, sandwich, or pasta, with espresso, tea, or a glass of wine. When I was new in town I went there all the time. For no particular reason I stopped going earlier this year, and sometime between my last visit and yesterday afternoon, they replaced it with a Starbucks. Damn. You look away for a second, and there goes another one.

So I satisfied myself with Cafe Fresco at Hotel 480, which will probably be my future Union Square hangout. It definitely deserves better than this Yelp review. (But what do I know, I only had a Pellegrino Limonata.) Once I was inside, I realized that I’d actually been there before, years earlier. It was a cold rainy day, and I was playing hooky from high school in a town about a hundred miles to the south. (Gas was cheap back then.) I got a double espresso, and sat down next to two guys a little older than me; maybe they’d just graduated from college and had gotten jobs downtown. In their black raincoats and ties and fashionable glasses, they looked so damn sharp, and I have to admit I felt a little intimidated. It seemed that I could never live up to that level of effortless cool, and that possibly I’d never really “make it” in San Francisco. That was some fifteen years ago. By now those once-intimidatingly cool guys are probably thickening into sedate middle age, and I learned a long time ago that San Francisco is not all like Union Square. Thankfully. I can “make it” here; in fact, it seems likely that I couldn’t anywhere else.

On the positive side of change: the Disney Store at Powell and is going away for good. I really, really hated that store — and my hatred intensified whenever I had to wait on that corner for the light. This Yelp review pretty much sums it up, if you’ve never had the displeasure.

The Giant Pink Triangle of Twin Peaks

Pink Triangle, Dolores
[Uncredited snapshot of a previous year’s installation, via The Pink Triangle website.]

This story on SFist is where I first heard about the impending installation, this coming Saturday morning, of a giant pink triangle on the eastern slope of Twin Peaks. The installation, an annual event since 1995, is nominally intended to commemorate gay victims of the holocaust, since the pink triangle was the symbol homosexuals were made to wear within the Nazi concentration camps. However, this commemoration has an obvious ongoing significance. As the organizers point out:

Even though the hatred that existed in Germany 70 years ago that led to the creation of the pink triangle no longer exists there, such hatred certainly exists in other places – such as Iran. According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979. “Consensual gay sex in any form is punishable by death in the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

The featured speaker is Arsham Parsi, who has been called the first Iranian gay activist. Mayor Gavin Newsom is also slated to speak at the 10:00 AM commemoration ceremony. Bevan Dufty and — I have to say it — a bevy of other politicians will probably speak as well.

The organizers still need volunteers; go here to sign up for setup (which will begin at 7:00 AM) and/or breakdown of the installation (which will be on Sunday evening). Even if you can’t help set up, definitely come out to the commemoration, if you can, to show your solidarity with the LGTB community.

A Warm, Relaxing Night with 23,000 Friends

The SF Opera’s free simulcast at AT&T park couldn’t have been on a more perfect night. As the opera ended near 11pm, it was still tank top weather! According to the Examiner, there were about 23,000 people there.

Here are some pix:

Free Simulcast at AT&T Park

23,000 fans watch SF Opera at the Park

City Hall hosting software startups?

Something strange in this map of software startups, published today in Valleywag:


The map, by a site called StartupWarrior, purports to show “76 startups on either side of the 101 [sic!] between McAllister and Grove streets in San Francisco.” The only problem? Those blocks are occupied by City Hall, the Opera House, and the War Memorial Building.

I don’t think so!

Blam blam blam blam

bullet hole in a car after a drive-by shootingI was sitting at my desk at noon today when I heard the all-too familiar sounds: rapid gunshots, then the squeal of tires as a car makes its getaway. Waited a few minutes, then went down to Cesar Chavez. Several cars were pulled over to the side, two of them with bullet holes like the one shown here. But I didn’t see anyone who was injured.

A crowd gathered, many of them gesticulating as they described the incident over and over, and then police arrived, at least seven or eight minutes after the shots were fired.

The only thing unusual about this incident was the time of day. Usually this kind of thing tends to happen more around 10 or 11 at night.

The fog’s back


The cool air returned to San Francisco last night. When I took this picture this morning about 8:00 a.m., fog masked the skyline and Twin Peaks, but a ray of sun illuminated the inner Mission District. Taken from Bernal Heights.

Meanwhile, more than 100 fires were caused by lightning last night in counties north of the city, and inland areas still expect 100-degree temperatures, though cooling is expected to help firefighters in Napa and Solano counties.

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