October ended with lots of uniquely San Francisco adventures. Since my last post in which I wrote of my sister and good friend from Los Angeles being in town, it’s been a nonstop flurry of working and cool social outings. A few highlights follow.
October 21 – Bridge School Benefit Show
Some of the girls at my knitting club mentioned that this was cool, so we went for a day of picnicking, crocheting, and seeing amazing music. Since 1986 this all-day show has been happening at the Shoreline Ampitheatre in Mountain View as a charity event for the school that Neil and Pegi Young founded for children with severe physical disabilities. The school was inspired by their own son Ben as a means to give him and others like him access to a good education and high quality of life, and since Neil Young is a fucking music legend every year he gets other music buddies together for an awesome benefit show. Some people dissed the lineup this year, because it wasn’t quite as rockin’ as in years past, but I was completely happy. For $45 I got to see an incredible amount of music. I have got to pick up my bass and ukulele again; seeing that much music in one day was pretty inspiring!
Since I’m a music nerd I could give you a complete play by play of the show, but as it was 8 hours long that would probably be boring. But in one day I did see Sarah Maclachlan, K.D. Lang, Ray LaMontangue, The Flaming Lips, Foster the People, Guns and Roses (which was practically like seeing a cover band, since Axl Rose is the only original member still in), and Neil Young. The latter opened with “Heart of Gold”, and played mostly to the kids of the Bridge School that were sitting on risers on the stage behind him. I teared up. Seeing a legend play one of his greatest songs. . . it was a very memorable moment.
But for me the best part was seeing my man Jack White! Once I found out he was in the lineup I bought tickets the minute they went on sale. I really liked the venue, because above the ampitheater seating there is a lawn that rings the top that is general admission seating. You can spread a blanket, have a picnic and chill. We picked a nice spot, but right before Jack went on, all these guys moved in front of us! Ah well. I still had an amazing time. Luckily, my neighbors thought it was funny and not strange that I flailed about and would randomly yell out strange things. I’ve seen him 4 times now, and I’ve always been far away from the stage, but one of the things that I love about seeing him play is that he really does play to the back row. I always rock just as hard and have just as good of a time had I been in the front. Except I would probably pass out if I was in the front row. He did some of my favorite tunes, and had Alison Mosshart (of the Kills and Dead Weather, look her up!) out to sing with him on a few songs. I love her as well so that was a great surprise. The nicest touch though, is that at the end he gave a nice little speech about how great it was to play for the kids and the benefit and how we are all one happy family. They closed the set with “We’re Going to Be Friends”, and then Jack and the band bowed once to the audience, then turned and bowed to the kids on the stage. He not just a great musician, but a class act as well.
October 27 – “Halloween”, San Francisco Style
Saturday was interesting because the night took me to many parts of the city while dressed as a 1920’s flapper. The night began in the Richmond with our friend Casey. Richmond is above Golden Gate park, kind of residential like our area but Russian. After selecting a nice rye whiskey at Blackwell’s, a fancy liquor store, we made a stop at a Russian bakery for black bread. Zac and I had never had black bread. I think it was good. That should be an indication for you of how my night went. Hazy.
After kicking back a couple of Manhattans at Casey’s bachelor pad, I tottered over to the bus stop and bussed to my friend Lauren’s, in the Haight. The Haight is best known for being the hippie-ville of the ’60’s, but also has some of the best Victorian apartments of the city. I love Lauren’s apartment, all high ceilings and bay windows with old glass. Lauren is also of the aforementioned knitting club. Saturday night she was dressed as a Rockford Peach, of the film A League of Their Own. Lauren’s place also has an immaculately stocked bar, and who was I to refuse another Manhattan? Our friend Margaret showed up with the best costume: a binder full of women. She had made a huge cardboard binder that fit around her, and opened up to actual pages with pictures of women inside. Genius.
From Lauren’s place we took a taxi to the Castro, the gay part of town. Nobody does a costume party quite like the gay neighborhoods. It was nearing midnight by the time we got there, and the streets were packed. The original plan was that we would all go dancing together, but all of the booty shaking places had long lines out the door. So we went to Moby Dick, a bar playing bubblegum pop with pool tables in the back. The place was packed. Men in drag and flashy costumes everywhere you looked. There was a really good Andy Warhol and Lauren found two more Rockford Peaches, although a bit more hairy than she. We had a couple beers and kept saying we were going to leave, but had such fun talking and dancing with random guys that we were kicked out at closing time.
What is one to do when the bars in the Castro close the Saturday of Halloween weekend? Stumble to the Mission for burritos! The Mission is known for cheap Mexican food, and at 3 am it was a pretty good call. I think we went to a taqueria called Cancun? Maybe? I’m not sure but the veggie burrito was cheap and tasty! Margaret lives in the Mission so we took the burritos to her place and devoured. Lauren ended up calling a cab from some swanky cab service that she has an app for. After she was dropped off it felt appropriate that I, dressed up in my fancy flapper dress, was being chauffered home at 4 am in a fancy town car.
October 28 – Giants win the World Series
After all that crazy Halloween, I’m surprised I made it in one piece to Lost Weekend Video to open the store the next day. If there is any work environment in which to be hungover, a video store is a good way to go. Pop in a movie, help the occasional customer, and shelve movies once your headache subsides. It’s pretty easy.
Because sports are so off my radar, I hadn’t realized that around 4 pm the entire store and the Cinecave downstairs would be overrun with Giants fans watching the game. As Dan, Christy, and Adam, the owners and huge baseball fans were prepping the beer and tv screens, I had a few questions for my coworker Ben. “So this is a big game right?” “Yes, it is the fourth game of the World Series. If the Giants win tonight, they will win the World Series. So it’s a big game” “Oh. Ok”.
As the game dragged on the place filled up, and we sold way more beer than movie rentals. I tried to pay attention. I really did. But the commentators put me to sleep. Baseball itself is fine, but backed by droning voices and I had trouble keeping up. I did catch some exciting moments of the game. The explosion of noise both in the store and out on the street when the Giants won was defeaning. I have to admit it was a cool moment to be living in San Francisco when the beloved home team wins the big game. People in San Francisco love their Giants. A little too much perhaps, as later that night a Muni bus was set aflame amid the post-game mayhem.
October ended merrily with Halloween last night! It was much more easy going and relaxed than Saturday. A few friends over, with rum-spiked cider and pumpkin brownies but no trick-or-treaters. I hope yours was cheery too! November is always a nice month for me since my birthday falls later this month. I will be a quarter of a century. I’m going back to Los Angeles for a visit, and I will undoubtably have more revelry to report afterwards. For now,
Good Luck and Happy Travels
Ps- I apologize for the extreme length of this post and it’s lack of pictures! When I first moved I was very good about taking pictures of every little thing but now I’ve fallen back into my old habits and non-picture taking ways. Sorry!