Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday Blogger Grill: Boring, Hungry, Impatient, and Yearning For The Good Old Days; The Column

 WEDNESDAY GRILL


So, here's the deal...wandered into Tommy's Joynt the other day and immediately saw Fat Tony and his girlfriend, Tina, she of the old Northbeach gang who's actually Italian and whose family are regulars at Sodini. "This city is changin'', she uttered out. "You don't say?," I respond.


"It's like 4 grand a month to get a box room in the 'Tenderloin --Jesus Christ!" Poor souls, now that's why they're moving over to Oakland.


Everyone seems sort of cranky lately. Bored too. Energized? No. You can sense the lack of urgency too, just take a stroll around town. July is all but disappearing and August is beckoning which is a bummer because August is the lost month here and everywhere. The calendar says there's almost two months of Summer left but you feel otherwise. The days are getting shorter, marginally sure, but that peak of bright light is fading fast, that's the way it is when you get older.


It's now essentially impossible to park in this city. As I mentioned too, people are ticked off. The lunatics on the bikes feel they own the road and act as if you dare pass them, they give you that collective "screw you!" look--we're on bikes, we are God! Yeah, Critical Mass, God's gift to the world.


The audio blast on terrestrial morning radio is too bad to morph. They were doing fart noises, again, on KKKSFO. Duck calls too. And they repeat the same shit over and over and over. We're supposed to think this is funny and entertaining, "thanks Brian". Someone call the culture police. Over on KGO the morning giggler was in full tactical force--can't wait until her insatiably horrific, "It's FRIDAY!" barks out loud, how and why she thinks this is cute and fuzzy is beyond me. Maybe she's auditioning for Glee. At KNBR, the frat boys were into their 27th pop culture reference that nobody cares about nor nurtures--it was something Giants/UCLA/sound effect/Marin/Jersey/Grateful Dead/Atlanta Braves/Fake East Coast accent kinda deal-- the usual morning dreck draped around innocuous "updates" and highlights from 24 hours ago. Wonderful stuff. 7-11 coffee and the last doughnut with multiple touches from fat trucker guys from the Mission.


Van Ness is a mess. Has a rhyme to it. Noisy too. Just like Market and the Embarcadero. Everyone on their smartphones, or as Christine Craft aptly calls them, smartass phones. How 'bout this? I go into Boulevard at the bar and some schmuck, probably from Ohio, has the audacity to place not one, not two, not three, but FOUR!, (4) phones on the bar--I look at the bartender as if to say, "hey this is not cool --we're not at Starbucks!" and he looks at me as if I'm coming in from another planet. I finally cannot take it--I bark out: "You're not going to allow this, are you?" He gives me a look of resignation, "aw shucks", I immediately vacate the premises. There's a reason why I had a certain lack of trust for Boulevard --an otherwise swell, over-priced restaurant that long ago jumped the shark. My opinion. I should have stayed at Tommy's or bolted for old standby Tadich but the line was out the door. No patience.


BACK to Oakland...Oakland, hipster west. Brooklyn of the Bay but too many, "I'm cooler than you"-looking twenty-somethings dressed in jeans coming out of the Pandora building. Oakland is getting more crowded and expensive and that's just the start of the problem, thank you hipster, over-priced rent-out-of-control San Francisco. Oakland still has too many murders, too much yellow, crime-scene tape but even those neighborhoods are becoming gentrification-central. Temescal is flooded with tattoo-laden yups making $60 grand a year as "artists"--just what the hell artiste they perform is a mystery--nobody knows for sure. Uptown is thriving with more and more restaurants and bars--great, just what we need. Prime space for the upcoming rent-a-mob that attacks downtown whenever the next urban trial has a not-guilty verdict. Why these morons vandalize Oakland is beyond me, (again), the city that is home to the Hells Angels, the birthplace of the Black Panthers and landing spot for Students for a Democratic Society, Berkeley's port outpost, but I digress.


Oakland is quickly losing its special heritage. Kwik Way, the greasy-greatest bad burger; where the cops used to go and gouge four to five cheeseburgers, Doggie Diner-divine, has been rearranged into a crappy fraud of itself. The new burgers are horrible--taste shitty and nothing like the original...Lake Merritt is goner too. Oh, it's nice and clean for a change but it too has been overtaken by the new hipster yuppies --try to find a parking space on Grand Avenue, good luck. Thankfully, there's Chinatown --my favorite place to relax, read the print-edition NY Times and get the best wonton soup, cheap too. Nirvana baby.


Time for work.


*Follow me on Twitter

25 comments:

  1. I don't want to give you a big head, Rich, but that is some damn good writing. Very well said. Herb Caen-ish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I was just thinking how could it could have been from somebody who *knew* how to write, without all the redundancies, typos, wrong punctuation, etc.

      Delete
  2. Smartphones - E-Bankies, or E-Pacifiers. High-Tech cure for thumb sucking.

    ReplyDelete
  3. > KKKSFO . . . Someone call the culture police.

    WHEN is Cumulus Media going to delete this disgrace from the Bay Airrrrea waves? Why is corporate dragging collective feet with respect to "Morning Show" fiasco?

    What is contact information for "culture police"?

    Rich, please pursue further investigative reporting in this regard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like Bachelor, Kudlow and Brinker on the weekends. The rest is trash, never cared for Sussman from the first time I heard him. He's weak, tries too hard, just isn't funny. Mark Davis would eat him for lunch. Jay Severin would chew on him like a dog.

      Delete
  4. The ennui is not just here. All of America--maybe all of the world--is in a grand funk and has been for a while. I think the collapse of communism (the U.S. is no longer the cowboy in the white hat, but just a country of salesmen trying to get Starbucks into every country), the realization that since the collapse of communism we're just a bunch of lackeys for corporate fascists, and the belief that there's nothing that can be done to make it better has a whole generation dissatisfied. Oddly, in previous eras when we had similar disenchantments (the "Lost Generation" after World War I, the rebels of the 60s) even though it was talked and written and sung about it wasn't as bad. Now that it's really severe nobody is actually talking about it. We're just in nihilism.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Agreed, Rich has talent. The only negative is the profanity - always classier to leave it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What the hell? Shit, that's the best fucking part, goddammit!

      Delete
  6. Because of my morning schedule, I listen to KNBR from 5:30 to 6am and 8am to 8:30. They repeat the same topics with slight variations during that time slot. I know there are different sets of commuters on the road at both times - I get that, but it's so formulaic. Some of the other hosts are bad in their own ways but I don't hear them playing the same record over and over like that. This week, I've felt I've gotten a better vacation with Kate Scott gone than she has on hers. Impresses on me how little she adds to the show.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Valiant effort, Rich, but Herb Caen did grumpy better. Maybe add some name dropping?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Re; KSFO Morning Show, to paraphrase King Henry 2nd, 'Will No One Rid Me Of This Turbulent Pest?"
    Re; The Wednesday Blog; Good Lord, Rich, you complain even more than I do!. I hope you leave good tips at all those fancy restaurants.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Do Milpitas and Fremont before the Filipinos and Indians next

    ReplyDelete
  10. Channeling Carole Vernier?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice job Herb Jr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Don't make me laugh.

      Delete
  12. You're no Herb, Rich.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But he might be the next, best....

      Delete
  13. "It's like 4 grand a month to get a box room in the 'Tenderloin --Jesus Christ!"

    It takes progressive politics to turn what would otherwise be a bonanza to a big city into a problem. By making itself a sanctuary city, SF made it possible for rental properties in the lowest rung to realize the benefits of a government-induced scarcity. With a new market of tenants happy to crowd themselves together so that they might pay the inflated rate for the privilege of living in a dump, the natural market forces -- which would've revitalized those properties to meet the natural market demand, were stifled.

    Rents continued to rise but the renters couldn't keep up and, having learned to equate government with solution, they demanded and got mandated pay raises. And for this, businesses suffered and reacted by laying off you-know-who.

    Meanwhile, attracted to the city's buzz and beauty and unusually willing to tolerate undesirable neighborhood elements, young techies outbid existing tenants and begin the long-delayed revitalization. The reaction: established residents, long celebrated as treasured components of local diversity, demonstrate their intolerance by calling for government intervention, complaining to the media, and committing criminal acts against the newcomers.

    The city's new diversity slogan: "Techies go home, Mexican citizens need these buildings."

    I await the next government fix.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's almost FRIDAY on KGO (and elsewhere, of course). I am a regular week-day morning (and that's about all) listener, and while I do think that JJ Lee and John Bristow are essentially a good team - her voice (very annoying, abrasive tone) and little catch-phrases are ** really ** beginning to annoy me. If I quite listening to that time-slot - I'm pretty much done with KGO -

    ReplyDelete
  15. Best way to rid Oakland of its crime rate is to "gentrify" the whole town! Look out Vallejo!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yeah, and the banners along Telegraph, proclaiming Hip. If you advertise, you ain't. Nice try frauds...

    ReplyDelete
  17. "Van Ness is a mess."

    Yep sure is Rich, esp the couple blocks of vacant store fronts along VanNess. Can't wait until some developer buys up the land, tears down the vacant storefronts & puts up more brand new office buildings. :P

    ReplyDelete
  18. My mom lives in Oakland is she delighted by the influx of young educated people. She especially likes seeing children around. The new demographic moving in will certainly alter the political climate there. I don't see anything wrong about it. Yes home values and rents have escalated. Shocking.

    ReplyDelete