Thursday, June 08, 2023


An article in SF Gate reminded me of where I learned a lot of useless Chinese. Several years ago, when I still lived in North Beach, my night time burger place was Sam's on Broadway, and during the day I often went to Clown Alley on Columbus where Eddy manned the cash register. Maybe a burger or dog with coffee, and a stack of flip cards for words from a lovely dictionary of Zhou Dynasty Chinese, often with the seal script version as well. Naturally there is considerable shift in a language over the centuries, in consequence of which much of that was archaic, with broader definitions in the modern language than before, or obscure and rarely used. Most terms were not necessary, and quite uncommon nowadays.
It was fun. And the burgers were very good.

Although the last two burgers I had there once they reopened after a hiatus of a few years were bloody awful. A burger does not benefit from being pregrilled at ten in the morning for the lunch rush, then badly finish-grilled at three in the afternoon.

It had all the taste and chewiness of the air over New York these days.

Rubbery. Scorched rubber. Chemicals.
Three years ago we had something similar in SF. Fortunately there was hardly any smoke smell, and the worst thing about it was that everybody took photos with their cell phones, and then discovered that instead of the lovely orange hues they were expecting, there had been componsation for yellows and glare, and their pictures showed dull reddish rust up there.

If you're going to take photos of disasters, threatening clouds, and cancerous smog, use the right equipement; a decent (expensive) camera and the appropriate filter lenses.

I never went back to clown alley after those horrid burgers.

Sad. They had once been stellar.


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