It was a quiet end to an action-packed year at 7th and Montana this morning. The Priest conducted a group counseling session at a table on the sidewalk; Rigolatte -- who has been sounding more and more like Ethel Merman lately -- stood by the condiments bar singing Auld Lang Syne; and a group of local loons held hands and chanted at Goose Egg Park. The only person who showed any signs of wanting to 'whoop it up' was an Anonymous Newcomer -- a blond woman in her mid-forties -- whose taste in tattoos leaves something to be desired. A funky design ran up her back, culminating in an arrow pointing directly at her scalp. Either she's afraid of losing her mind, or she's a visitor from Lake Arrowhead ...!
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Mr. Sugarman," the scourge of nutritionists everywhere. Just days after "the Guru" tried to convince the crowd at 7th and Montana that Splenda was worth its weight in gold, Mr. Sugarman made the scene with another objective in mind: to pour as much sugar as humanly possible into his coffee. "Yikes," said Joyce, "That man just poured an entire inch of sugar into his cup." By the time I got my Spycam into position, he had already finished with the sugar and was tasting his concoction. He winced and then, to my surprise, added another inch of sugar. If it's true what they say -- that "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" -- this guy must be on horse pills ...!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I eavesdropped again at 7th and Montana this morning ... and I'm sure you would, too, if you saw what I saw. Sitting right there at the table next to me was a Priest busy counseling a member of his flock, a woman in her early forties. "Jackpot!," I muttered, whipping out my Spycam, "I've stumbled into a confessional. This should be interesting." But it wasn't. The woman -- damn her -- was speaking in hushed tones, so all I could make out was that she was frustrated about something. And the Priest -- heaven help us -- was mumbling. Every now and then I think he used the word "rosary," but then again, he might have been calling her "Rosemary." I felt like grabbing him by the collar and saying, "For the love of God, man, enunciate ... a blog entry hangs in the balance!" But no, I kept my mouth shut and missed their entire conversation. I tell you, nothing is sacred anymore ...!
Monday, December 26, 2011
The Guru, our favorite local expert on all things, shocked the crowd at 7th and Montana this morning with some advice on nutrition. "Splenda, I tell you, is the secret to eternal youth," he said to the woman on his left. "It's chock full of nutrients. I eat as much of it as I can." The woman began quietly inching away, but that didn't stop him. "Oops, I spilled a little," he said, sweeping a few particles directly into his mouth. "You are what you eat!," he cried. "In that case," I muttered, "I'm surprised he's not more into Nutmeg." For the record, the main ingredients in Splenda are Dextrose, Maltodextrin and Sucralose ... a combination that wouldn't even pass muster with the nutritionists who set the federal guidelines for school lunches. I don't know what the Guru has been smoking lately, but something tells me he's mixed a little Splenda in the Grass ...!
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Yuletide Fruitcake was on the menu today at 7th and Montana, thanks to the arrival of an Anonymous Dingbat who made the scene wearing a hat made out of what looked like a twisted red slinky between two layers of white faux fur. "Sheesh," I muttered, "Either she's getting her fashion advice from Blitzen or she's just plain Blitzed." No one knows exactly what she was up to, but she was last seen heading due North on a white bicycle with a yapping red Pomeranian at the helm ...!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
The holidays are enough to test anyone's metal, but Malissa and her new main squeeze Adam (pictured above) took the challenge literally this year. "We've constructed a Christmas tree entirely out of metal," said Adam. The fun began when Malissa said she wanted to go for something sustainable this year. Adam put his thinking cap on, and the result was a tree made out of spiraling metal, festooned with lights and sustainable enough to withstand Armageddon. Something tells me Malissa and Adam's relationship will be just as enduring. "It seems like you've found yourself a great guy," said Joyce. "I sure did," agreed Malissa, "And it was about God dang time!" I guess until now she was barking up the wrong tree.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Too much egg nog goes to the noggin ... and if you don't believe me, ask the Unfortunate Fashion Victim who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning wearing a safari jacket, go-go boots and a floppy hat along with a skin-tight, glittery purple miniskirt. "Yikes," said Joyce, "She looks like a cross between Indiana Jones and Charo." "True," I agreed, "But at least we know where shops: The Temple of Doom ...!"
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The doors opened this morning -- at least for a brief moment -- at Primo Passo, the new coffee shop under construction across from Our Favorite Starbucks. I poked my head in long enough to see a crew of workers scurrying about. Rumor has it the new cafe will open in a matter of weeks, though there's still a lot of work to do. The space has been completely transformed, with a new "loft" replacing what was formerly a hidden second floor. "It looks like they're spending a lot of money," said one witness. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana yesterday ... but they weren't human. A silver Hyundai made the scene with giant eyelashes glued to its headlights. "Ay-ay-ay, now I've seen everything," I muttered, whipping out my spycam. What would possess someone to put eyelashes on a car? I would have run into the street to ask -- and get a close-up -- but the car's engine was running ... and so was its mascara!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Opportunity was not only knocking, it was laughing like a hyena and pounding its head against a wall last week as Rigolatte -- the man known for locking himself in the men's room at Our Favorite Starbucks and belting out opera tunes for hours on end -- tried out a new role, that of Svengali. He walked right up to Barista Chelsea and offered to make her a star. "You have potential, kid," he crooned, "With your looks and talent I could make you a Singing Sensation!" Witnesses say Chelsea smiled sweetly and took it all in stride. As for Rigolatte, rumor has it he's already landed Chelsea her first gig: A solo performance at the ladies room at Pavilions ...!
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen, I've seen the future face of 7th and Montana and, as one might expect, it looks a lot like a loon. A new coffee shop called Primo Passo is opening directly across from Our Favorite Starbucks next month and its mascot -- a man whose face appears on the promotional poster they put up this morning -- looks like he could be Lizzie Borden's soul mate, complete with deep-set, beady eyes and a beard that hangs below his waistline. I, for one, am thrilled. "Just what we need around here," I said, "Another Rasputin look-a-like to liven things up!" As for the coffee, early reports suggest that it will be "high-end," served individually brewed based on micro-roasted, direct trade beans. With any luck, they'll be blog-friendly ...!
Feathers were flying at 7th and Montana this morning and if you don't believe me, ask Howard. He made the scene this morning carrying a plush stuffed duck which he proceeded to keep on his lap throughout the morning. "Look," laughed Richard, "It's Howard the Duck!" For his part, Howard -- who was holding the stuffed animal for his granddaughter Harper -- took it all in stride. I guess to him it was all like water off a duck's back ...!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
They say that three heads are better than one ... and if you don't believe me, just ask the Undertaker, the local loon whose perennial gray pallor and taste in black suits and fedoras gives him all the joie de vivre of an embalmer. He made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning toting three heads of lettuce. I looked at him, then I looked at the lettuce. "I'll bet you want some," he said, knowingly, "I'm sure you want some, but you can't have any. It's mine. All mine!!!" He placed a protective hand over one of the bags and glared at me. Oh well, times are tough. Maybe he's just trying to keep his head above water ...
Saturday, December 10, 2011
The closer you get to Seattle, the more religious people get about their coffee. I guess that's why I wasn't surprised this morning when -- on taking a final walk around Nob Hill in San Francisco -- I stumbled upon this sign: "We Proudly Brew Peet's Coffee & Tea," hanging in front of Grace Cathedral. "I guess that's one way to fill seats," I said. I was half-tempted to walk in and order a Holy Water Cappuccino, but I heard the Synagogue down the street was serving Dunkin Donuts.
Friday, December 9, 2011
In case you're wondering, all the Loons aren't at 7th and Montana. A few of them migrate north for the Winter. Take the Bionic Moron, for example, a would-be Cyborg whose idea of seamlessly integrating technology into his life is to strap a Walkman to his left ear with a bungee cord. A colleague of mine caught up with him yesterday, marching across the Golden Gate Bridge to the beat of a different drummer. "Good God," I said, "If that's where he keeps his Walkman, I don't want to know where he stores his cassette tapes ...!"
Thursday, December 8, 2011
It was something old and something new today in San Francisco as I explored my hotel, the Fairmont and its surroundings in Nob Hill. The Fairmont is among the oldest buildings in the city and I can say that with certainty since it's one of the few buildings to have survived the earthquake of 1906. In fact, work on the Fairmont was completed and the hotel was preparing for a grand opening just days before the earthquake struck. The building emerged relatively unscathed from the earthquake, but much of the interior was destroyed 24-hours later when fires ravaged the city.
I found this rare photograph in the basement of the hotel, taken just days after the earthquake. In it you can see how devastated the city was and just how miraculous it was that the hotel remained standing. The Fairmont sits, then as now, at the top of the hill, rising above the city like the Parthenon. Aside from natural disasters, I guess the only thing the folks at the Fairmont have to worry about these days is an attack from Hansel and Gretel. Sitting in the lobby, just steps from the reception desk, is the world's largest Gingerbread House. It's two stories high and is made of 7,500 gingerbread sticks, 1,200 pounds of chocolate icing, and 650 pounds of candy ...!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "the Crackler," the scourge of American Airlines Flight #1798 last night to San Francisco. From the minute he arrived at the gate to the minute the plane landed, he cracked his gum again and again so loudly that several people asked him to stop. He ignored them. For my part, I decided "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." I matched each crack with an "oink" which, given that he was sitting across the aisle from me, meant that the hour-long flight went something like this: "CRACK" ... "oink" ... "CRACK" ... "oink" ... "CRACK" ... "oink ..." He didn't seem to understand what I was doing. Who knows, maybe he was on crack ...!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Local Lovebirds David and Kerry threw the crowd for a loop this weekend at 7th and Montana with a surprise announcement. "I have some news for you," David said, taking a long breath, "We're expecting ..." There was a pregnant pause, during which I started to wonder whether Kerry was pregnant, until Kerry herself filled the gap. "I'm NOT having a baby!," she said, playfully punching David in the arm. "We're getting a puppy," David continued, smiling. "Ahh," I said. Truth be told, anyone who knows Kerry already knew that the pitter patter of little paws was in their future, but I guess David's announcement does make it official. The bundle of joy -- a "Malti-Poo" (a hybrid cross between a Maltese and Poodle) -- should arrive just in time for the holidays. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet "Melony," a striking woman who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning with breasts so enhanced Jules Verne could have used them to fly around the world in 80 days. The fact that she wore a skin-tight t-shirt that was cut at the neck made them all the more noticeable. "Yikes," said one witness, "They've obviously been enhanced to the max." Some say "to each their own," others say she looked "udderly ridiculous." As for me, all I can do is keep you abreast of the situation ...!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
It was High Drama this morning at 7th and Montana as a young couple went at it tooth and nail, raising their voices and speaking so harshly to one another that I didn't know what to do first, call 911 or whip out my Spycam. I chose the latter and good thing, too. Their dialogue was far too entertaining to risk breaking it up. At one point, it went something like this:
Woman: You make me PUKE!!
Woman: Uh ... You make me PUKE!
Man: That wasn't a very nice thing to say.
Woman: That wasn't what?
Man: ... a very nice thing to say!
Woman: You're such a SIMP!!
And then the argument stopped as abruptly as it started. The man turned to his companion as if nothing had happened and said, "I'm going back for another cup of coffee, can I get you another drinkypoo?" I glanced at their table and suddenly everything became clear. They were reading from the script of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Well Albee damned ...!
I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of the locals who took or sent photographs of what was happening at 7th and Montana while I was in Massachusetts last week. Based on the photos, I guess the neighborhood's cup -- or trash can -- runneth over and, in unrelated news, there must have been a fire somewhere on 7th Street. Sorry I didn't get a chance to put it all in the blog ... but it's nice to know folks cared enough to whip out their Spycams in my absence!
Ladies and gentlemen, meet “Claudia,” an attractive young newcomer at 7th and Montana who – how can I put this delicately? – is a Clod. There I was, minding my own business yesterday, just trying to walk from the cash register to the condiments bar, when she stood up from her table and, without even looking, hoisted a large bag over her shoulder and onto my coffee cup. Coffee went flying all over my sport coat. “I’m soooo sorry,” she said, sincerely. “Not to worry,” I replied, “That’s why God invented brown sport coats!” Truth be told, it was custom-made, but I guess now, thanks to Claudia, it’s even more ‘customized.’ I quietly whipped out my Spycam and discretely took her photo. Later, when I looked at it, I realized that I wasn’t so discrete, afterall. She was staring right into the camera, as if she knew what I was up to. Oh, well ... I guess that makes me a Clod, too!
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Controversy reared its ugly head at 7th and Montana last night as word spread that the "Golfer" -- the man of mystery who for weeks has been spending his mornings discussing golf strategies with a pro in front of Our Favorite Starbucks -- has been moonlighting at Peets. Yes, it's true. There I was, walking by the Peets at 14th and Montana, when I couldn't help noticing that the Golfer was sitting inside, comparing notes with another aspiring pro. I first blogged about the Golfer back on November 14. At the time, no one could figure out why two people would spend day after day practicing golf shots (without clubs or balls) in front of a Starbucks. At the time I speculated that a pro was imparting his wisdom to a disciple. It turns out I had the roles reversed. The man pictured above is a coach and evidently he meets with his clients at popular cafes on Montana. Who knows, maybe his game stops at 18th Street ...!