First, an introduction… I started writing this in 2020 – before things got “interesting.” I read about the closing of Castro landmark Cafe Flore and got inspired to ask my friend Mark to share his reminiscences. Mark was in his his 70s and had lived in San Francisco SINCE the the 1970s. I knew Cafe […]

The last time I wrote about a single year’s events was in 2016, a time of tremendous turmoil, even before election results. I juggled two jobs post layoff in and around the Tenderloin and I also ended up having two friends living in the same TL apartment building. We began to call ourselves the “Ladies […]

As I sit here at Peet’s on Fillmore and Sacramento I can see the former location of Rainbow Record and Tapes (now occupied by a high-end women’s clothing chain store). Of the three part-time jobs I juggled the summer before I left for college, my job at Rainbow was definitely the coolest. I worked in […]

Record Vault memorabilia

Watching “All Things Must Pass” a great documentary about the rise and fall of Tower Records got me thinking of how much Tower Records was part of my life. I certainly I spent more time browsing the aisles of Amoeba and Rasputin in my 20s and 30s, stores that had a wider selection of The […]

Morning fog over San Francisco.

After a couple of weeks of abnormally warm weather in June, San Francisco has returned to its regularly scheduled summer weather programming. I have many childhood memories of bundling up in warm clothes to “watch the fireworks” from various local vantage points and mostly seeing colored flashes in the fog. I can’t remember feeling oppressed […]

My first high school job brought me to City Hall on a weekly basis, but that had been to secure signatures from judges, not impersonate them.

graduates with signs outside Marina Middle School

A few weeks ago my friends C. and M. asked me and our friend F. to participate in what was billed as “a once in a lifetime opportunity.” All we knew was that we’d be involved in some way for C.’s great aunt’s 95th birthday party.

Gangway, Larkin and Geary, San Francisco

It was the first night in a week where it hadn’t rained or drizzled and city’s mood was buoyant. The temperate, windless evening was lit by the glowing orb of the full moon. Z. and I were pumped because we were on our way to watch smoker fights at my old dojo, K-One Fitness. But […]

High Tide bar, Geary and Jones

Little did I suspect when I toasted in 2016 with a friend at our favorite Tenderloin dive bar that “the Loin” would become my second home in the year ahead.

When I was in the late ‘tween years and allowed some mobility outside of the scope of parental supervision, my friend L. and I frequented the book and record stores Polk Street. California Street’s wide, cable car tracked expanse was the line of demarcation of  Upper Polk and what has now been now dubbed the […]