I live in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. You may be surprised by this next statement, but I swear it’s true: In the more-than-thirty-seven years I’ve lived in this general section of San Francisco, I’ve had only a couple of experiences getting hit with substances that are poured or dropped from building windows. Today was one of those times when the unexpected happened. I was walking home from the grocery store. It wasn’t that bad. The liquid that hit me didn’t appear to be anything worse than water, and two lovely roses hit the sidewalk. I yelled something regrettable, … Continue reading When You Hope it’s Just Water
“WELL, BUTTERCUP SAYS— “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT. BUTTERCUP WILL SAY ANYTHING.” — HEARD ON THE SIDEWALK IN SAN FRANCISCO Continue reading And Who is This Buttercup?
My neighborhood in San Francisco leaves something to be desired, for me and for everyone else. However, we should never ignore the fact that some of us live here for reasons which are less compelling than other people’s reasons. I live in a nice building. We have problems — most of which are related to the neighborhood — but my apartment neighbors and I are grateful we live here. When I step outside, I often see broken glass and dismantled hypodermic syringes littered on the sidewalk. It’s a problem for me, but it reflects a bigger problem for the … Continue reading Home Run
My recent stay in New York City was the first in four and a half years. I’m a city person, though, and most of it came naturally. Still, there’s conscious risk-taking which we know is unnecessary and we do it anyway. Example: using the elevator in a subway station. We do it when we’re tired, or feeling inclined to harm ourselves. I think I was just tired. I did it only once, and it worked out fine. However, I won’t recommend the experience to anyone. For clarification, here’s a YouTube video by username Nordell: Continue reading Ride the NYC Subway Like a Pro
I live in San Francisco, where we can be assured help will be summoned in an emergency if we carry our own cell phones — and can use them. Oh, sometimes bystanders will help. The Castro District is one of the better places to have an emergency because the atmosphere of the neighborhood encourages a protective instinct. One of the most memorable examples — from years ago, although I’m confident it would be handled the same way now — was something you don’t ordinarily associate with the Castro. A car was pulled into the southbound bus stop at Castro and … Continue reading Should We Expect Indifference?
Note: When reading observations on San Francisco’s worst-behaved people, please keep in mind that my total of thirty-four years living here have been spent on one edge of the Tenderloin or another. I don’t know how it reflects on the city as a whole, although I have sometimes encountered those personalities outside of my own neighborhood. I have lived in San Francisco since 1982. I’ve been in the Bay Area all my life, though, and since moving to the city I haven’t seriously considered living in other parts of the region. I was twenty-two when I moved into a low … Continue reading San Francisco Realism