Sunday, December 09, 2012


During the twenty years that I've been on this side of the hill, I have explored several local watering holes. But for a long time now I do not drink in this neighborhood.
It's a question of how best to waste time.

I just don't like many bars. Mostly because of the people.

One of first businesses I went to had a delightful bartender, who was bright, kind, witty, and altogether a wonderful host. It was a pleasure to spend some time there when he worked, and the people he attracted were precisely the sort you would like to chat with. Like him, they too were sensible and intelligent, and had wit.
The place got sold, and the new owner wanted to change everything, make it more family friendly. I have no idea what he was thinking. He got rid of the all the staff, and replaced them with brassy big-titted iggerunt white chicks. Naturally this appealed to every vulgar putz for miles around.

That place now caters to shallow twenty-somethings.
An aura of stupidity emanates from the door.

Or maybe that's just a miasma.

Another bar employed a very sweet man with wickedly witty conversational abilities. Please imagine the crowd that flocked there during his shifts. Delicious. When he and his lover moved to the Russian River, I promptly stopped patronizing the place.

Two nearby establishments are familiar to me, as are the clienteles. And because any and all discussion at either place tends towards stultifying (though apparently only for me), I avoid both locales. I dislike neither place, but there is nothing there.

A third auberge has changed so much over the years that the last several times I went in, I ended up sitting alone in a corner.
Liking the people who work there is not enough to keep a conversation afloat.

People are only fun to talk with because of what goes on in their heads, not because they chatter. If they have no thoughts, yet maintain a stream of noise.......
Well, that rather limits everything, don't you think?

The other matter is that I've always considered people who are kind, intelligent, and decent, to be beautiful. Good character is extremely attractive, and personalities that are engaged and alive have a magnetism that I cannot resist. If you were to ask me to choose between a Playboy bunny and person wittily quoting Somerset Maugham while discussing bee keeping, politics, his dreadful job, and how his boss is a peculiar fish, there is no question whom I would choose as a dinner companion.
By all means, bring on the peculiar fish!
Bees can be quite fascinationg too.
And Somerset Maugham.

In a city filled with people, there is plenty of ambient noise to establish a sense of random humanity all around. Think of it as comforting generic evidence of society, something that envelopes one without necessarily having to relinguish privacy and anonymity.
Chosing how much one is 'known' is a conscious act.

Actual contact means excercising a choice.
It requires a certain level of thoughtfulness.

In one sense, then, there are no accidents.

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All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


Anonymous said...

I don't even bother to go to a bar in this area. Full of bar flies and it seems they have absolutly nothing to contribute past what being televised on the big screen (sports). I'm better off spending time with my children; they are better educated I make sure they are bathed. I'll have a night cap after I put them to bed from time to time. That will just have to suffuce for now.


bibulously amphibious said...

Friends of mine, having just dined at Leopold's, called me for a recommendation on a bar on that side of the hill, and I had to confess myself to be stumped. We wound up meeting at Spec's. There are a dozen North Beach bars with more character than any on Polk.

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