Friday, October 15, 2010

It was 20 years ago today

Well, yesterday, actually, but that doesn't sound as good. Anyway, 20 years ago, October 14, 1990, I moved to San Francisco. Tempus fugit! Here's my Personal Creation Myth:

I drove across the country with the chick I was with at the time. The night before we stayed in Reno and we got SCHWASTED at some casino and then I drove back to our hotel. Stupid, I know. So I was hungover like a motherfucker for that Reno-SF drive. But you know how you get that glimpse of the city by Berkeley on I-80 on your way to the Bay Bridge? I was fucking psyched.

Cross the bridge and we're approaching SF and the directions break down because I got them from the woman who runs the building where we're going to be living and she never left North Beach and didn't know that the exit she'd given us had been destroyed in the Loma Prieta earthquake the year before. So we just take the first available exit and pull into a parking lot on Fremont and try to figure out where to go. Thank God it was a Sunday and there was no traffic downtown. I was looking at a map because there are no cell phones or anything. IMAGINE a world without cell phones, kids. Then I speared a mastodon and cooked it over an open flame so we could eat. Not really. I figured out how to get to the building. Here it is:

350 Union Street. Furnished studio, $685 a month. That seemed like a lot.

I don't remember much else except going across the street to the truly awesome (and now, sadly, gone) Speedy's New Union Grocery and buying beer and a Chronicle. I was kind of in a daze and still a little hungover and also fucking on top of the world.

That night we went to Gino and Carlo and also Columbus Cafe, I think. Both of those establishments would go on to receive a large portion of my income over the next few years. Along with the North End Caffe (which is now Church Key), the Lost and Found (which is now Maggie something or other's), Grant & Green (which is still, amazingly, Grant & Green), the hotel-bar-named-but-not-a-hotel-bar Silhouettes (which was, for a while, an Irish bar called The Field and which you can now rent if you're so inclined.)

(Shit, we should totally rent that space! $7850 a month! Let's start a bar! This is the kind of thing I think about on Fridays!)

(I could do a whole post on Bars I Used To Go To That No Longer Exist. Maybe someday, kids!)

(Apropos of nothing, I came across this whilst searching to see if The Field was remembered on the Internet anywhere: "Cultural Factors Related to Smoking in San Francisco's Irish Bars." Fascinating.)

OK, I've gotten pretty far afield of where I started here. Have a good weekend! VAMANOS LOS GIGANTES!


Rocco said...

oh that reminds me, i think my 9 or 10 year is coming up 10/20ish maybe? i will celebrate by.... being sober. which is dramatically different than how i made my entrance.

Unknown said...

RIP North End Caffe. Spent a good part of my earnings in the early 90s hanging there for coffee before work and beer after (sometimes the other way around, too). Congrats on hitting 20.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on 20 years, TK. It's just over 12 for me. Goes fast, doesn't it?

Rachel said...

Congrats, TK, on your San Franciscoversary! I'm rounding the corner on year 11 myself.

TK said...

Thanks everybody! Yeah, it goes by crazy fast. Seems like just yesterday I was getting kicked out of Grant & Green for falling over the drum kit. *sniff*