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In The Crowd

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The back story, part two

Sunday night we decided to go out drinking, since the amateurs clogging the streets on Friday and Saturday would be home and Martha didn’t have to work the next day. We started out at the Uptown, a low key bar with a crowd that I suspect were all in (or at least into) punk bands ten or twenty years ago. So a little older, with that classic San Francisco intentionally scruffy-looking thing going on. There’s a jukebox and a pool table, but on this night they had something special planned. We settled into a booth just in time to watch a local filmmaker’s tribute (QT) to the Tamale Lady, who travels the area’s bars in the middle of the night selling homemade tamales to all the drunks she meets. The soundtrack is made up entirely of songs written about her by local bands, and after seeing the tamale-making process I’m really looking forward to running into her. After that they started to play The Jerk, but we were n’t really in the mood to sit and watch so we headed over to the 500 Club, the neighborhood rocker/rockabilly hangout. Despite the great DJ playing Buzzcocks, Dead Kennedys, etc. we moved on again since Martha was in a pool-playing mood and the pool table was being controlled by a guy who looked like a member of ZZ Top in a Technicolor Dreamcoat. So it was on to the Zeitgeist. I guess it can best be described as a hipster roadhouse, a bar that used to cater to bikers of the Harley-riding kind but now caters more to bikers of the bike messenger kind. It has a huge back beer garden, a sandwich grill, even rooms upstairs for $30 per night (perfect for when you've had a few too many downstairs I guess). They also have a pool table and even a couple of pinball machines, which I lost about $5 in 10 minutes to. I may need to go through a few rolls of quarters before I'm able to play without shaming myself, but I had fun. We drank there until close and then happily stumbled home.

The next day we all needed a little recovery time, but luckily we were in good shape by the time Martha and Steve's Monday night DJ gig at Dalva. It's a refreshingly normal bar in middle of an area that is known for its self-conscious rocker/hipster attitude. Nobody will blink an eye if you belly up to the bar in Marc Jacobs and Manolos and order Campari with a twist, but you'd feel just as comfortable showing up unbathed in filthy jeans, an old sweatshirt and flip-flops and downing a PBR. You know, a bar. I had to duck out a little a little early to go see another apartment, but by then I'd had three beers on an empty stomach. I was planning to just pop in for one to check the place out and support my friends, but when Eric (one of the owners) extended happy hour for my benefit I caved in. I don't actually advise going to meet potential roommates half-tanked, but in this case it worked out for the best. I've always thought all-female households were a little scary, but since this place is right by the park in a beautiful part of the neighborhood I was willing to check it out. "The Women" as I now call them, were: 1 bossy lawyer chick, 1 submissive artsy chick, and 1 passive-aggressive anorexic graphic artist. The spacey yoga enthusiast I would've replaced had a scared look in her eyes, I hope she isn't permanently scarred. I ducked out as soon as was polite and headed back to Martha's for a good night's rest.


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