{ metropolis devoured }
a tribute to my san francisco

3/4 oz scotch whiskey
3/4 oz local politics
1/4 oz public policy
1/4 oz disaster preparedness
1/2 oz alamo square

Shake over neighborhood dives & venues, strain into a chilled cocktail dress, garnish with a sprig of gov 2.0, and serve.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Everything I need to know I learned from Google Reader.

For whatever meta- or otherwise physical reason, when big changes happen, they comes in throngs. The media is ablaze with things to talk about. My google reader addiction is growing.

2/12: The assassination of Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh via headrest bomb.

2/17: The Republic of Kosova breaks from Serb rule and declares independence.

2/19: "Old as dirt", ailing, and mostly incapacitated Fidel fucking Castro fucking resigns. Whoa!

Now, for a moment, let's go back to my growing addiction to Google's answer to every disorganized blogroll, the brilliant and user friendly Google Reader, which now consumes much of my free time and prevents me from writing anything original. That's OK, there's so much out there that's written already... so check out these blogs, which are now among my favorite reads:

Abu Muqawama
Afghan LORD
Foreign Policy Watch
The Ghost of Patrick Henry

Saturday, February 16, 2008



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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A story about identity tangles

So a Jew, an economist, and guy learning Arabic walk into a bar... stop me if you've heard this one before. Wait, nevermind, that was actually me and two of my friends last night. It's Tuesday night and after some roast chicken and a bottle of wine, my friend and I decide we're not ready to call it quits yet. We meet a third friend and stand at a street corner trying to decide on a bar. My friend says, "Let's go to the dirtiest bar we can find." No problem. The dirtiest bar (not in a cleanliness sense, by the way) is actually right in front of us! It'll remain unnamed, you'll see why later.

I used to go to this bar a lot... when I was nineteen. Now, there's a silly law that says that at eighteen you can sign up to die for your country, but you can't be in a bar (or most adult stores, for that matter), so like all resourceful city girls, I worked around it. Kids will be kids, right? Or something like that. This was long ago, so I completely forgot if I ever mentioned my age to him.

So my comrades and I are in this bar, and the co-owner/bartender remembers me really well since we used to chat often when I was a frequent patron. He asks me if I'm married yet, naturally much to my friends' bewilderment, and then says "You must be 27 by now, or 28?"


"So you were what, 19, when you started coming here?" He does't seem amused, and I suddenly remember that he thought I was 23 five years ago. That's when I pull a brilliant line:

"I started aging in reverse once I hit 25. I don't think being over 25 is very becoming."

I'm such an agist.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tomales Bay

Oysters with Kay

Anyone else's weekend go by way too quickly? Can we hear it for the four day work week? Yea, unlikely. I think three days would be a perfect amount of time to collect and regroup mentally: one day to play, one day to be productive, and one day to do absolutely nothing. I think I'd be a lot more industrious during the work week if I knew I had a day of total rest to look forward to during the weekend. But while we of the M-F nine-to-fiver ranks have a mere two days to get done everything from laundry to house keeping to catching up with friends at a bar to finally getting to cook a decent breakfast, there's always this difficult choice to make: do I do nothing and decompress, or do I do something to make good use of my free time? Unfortunately, something usually wins out over nothing.

As my "something" this weekend, I decided to get the hell out of SF. Sometimes you've just had enough, you know? This was probably heavily influenced by the crowd at Big Foot Tavern on Polk the night before and their general insistance to act with pretty heavy douchebaggery - you know the kind, if there's a narrow spot or a doorway, they have to stand there and refuse to move - and women pushing 30 who still throw up in the bar bathroom. C'mon ladies, get it together.

I rant and rave about the California coast quite a bit. To me there's nothing that can even come close. What can I say, I love it. It's so close to home but has a completely different look and feel. Tomales Bay is home to some of the best oyster farms that cater to the Bay Area, specifically Hog Island Oyster Co, which I could also go on about for days (the Ferry Building location, the outdoor seating, the $1/oyster happy hour, the grilled cheese sandwiches??). Anyway, my cohort and I ended up in Tomales Bay, and we wanted to eat some oysters since it was a gorgeous day, and we found ourselves at the farm:

The best part? While restaurant oysters can run $2.50 per a tiny itty bitty single, even more if you want the fresh specialty ones, buying a tray of clusters and shucking them yourself is dirt cheap (by oyster standards) at $10 for a dozen.

... and also fun, if you have a hidden talent for shucking, like me. Also I'm excited that this time I didn't slice my hand open, but then again, I was also not using a kitchen towel for a glove like last time.

Go city girl, go! Observe the deserted "picnic area" behind me. Just moments earlier it was infested with Marina types, couples wearing matching Giants t-shirts and Hog Island sweatshirts, throwing a football around for all of 15 seconds and calling each other "babe" constantly (ie. "Babe, can you take a picture of me walking to the trash can?" I kid you not.)


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fresh air + drinking = I'm 23, back off.

The past two days have shown me massive signs of hope. I feel good, I feel blessed... do you think I'm talking about Super Tuesday? No! Okay, that's exciting too, but what I'm really down for right now is this beautiful weather that's showing a glimmer of change to the grey, depressing, windy downpour we've all been dreading every day we leave our cold apartments, trying to find a cab or hoping not to miss the MUNI, sharp needles of cold rain forcing us to squint into a bad day.

No more. We've had enough.

In honor of what I hope is the return of a decent existence without the constant threat of wayward umbrella corners, I'm compiling a list of bars with outdoor patios where you can sit under a heat lamp and pretend the sun is actually warm while drinking a crisp microbrew or a spicey bloody mary.

  • Zeitgeist - a no-brainer. Some friends, a deck of cards, a giant purse full of miscaleneous items to weigh your cards down with, and some BBQ. Definitely can't wait to resume all that.
  • Mojo - they have a nice back yard covered with plants, perfect for a big glass of hef. But my backyard is next door and has lounge chairs and I could drink beer out of bottles for much cheaper. I'll probably still come here, though...
  • El Rio - I'm not that likely to stray so far from my home grounds for a beer, and if I was going to Bernal during the day time I think I'd go elsewhere, but this is an outdoor option, although mostly occupied during evenings.
  • Thee Parkside - the outdoor patio has its own bar. Oh reaaaallly...
  • Zazie - tucked away in Cole Valley, whose tangled streets are great for walking off a serious buzz in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, easy to get to, but, unfortunately, sometimes infested with children.
  • Frjtz (the Hayes Valley location) - good for both food and beers, and a convenient walking distance away.


Monday, February 04, 2008

John Avalos for Supervisor is live on blogger @:


Friday, February 01, 2008

SF Auto Return: fuck you twice, the police impound edition.

I guess the full story is appropriate here now, because otherwise I would lose all rights to bitch at - easily - the worst people in this universe: impound lot office monkeys. So a police officer who a) had a difficult life or b) was born with a stick up his ass kindly towed my car. For the record, I'll admit that the reason for the tow was legitimate: a friend who was driving my car neglected to mention his suspended license and blah, blah, blah. My license however is fine, and I would've just gone to get my Jeep if that was made an option, but of course the more they tow, the more they earn. Also I hear from the friend that the officer found this situation funny.

Since this was a moving violation, my car went to Pier 70, the Police Impound AutoReturn, which I of course didn't know.

Now, a tow from a driveway and having to deal with AutoReturn are pretty aggravating, but a police impound lot is a whole different animal. It takes above average pride in really sticking it to you, and in comparison, regular AutoReturn seems like a kitten with a ball of string.

The Police Impound lot is in the middle of nowhere, tucked away on the rough side of the industrial pier row in Potrero Hill, past an old, worn-down and rotting wood gate. On Pier 70, it's the IUD-shaped road in front of Irish Hill and "Building 117". It doesn't look too confusing from the aerial map, but to quote my friend who once worked for Google, "Google StreetView wouldn't go there." Then there's a metal gate which "customers" aren't allowed past, and beyond that, who knows what happens? There's some smoke stacks. I keep looking for good maps of the pier to see where the impounded cars actually are and it doesn't look obvious at all from these photos. The police impound isn't even listed on the port authority site as using the area.

Then it takes them an hour or more to "get your car ready" (without further explanation). Meanwhile, it's pouring rain, there's no indoor waiting area, and the office monkey sitting in a tiny kiosk tells you that he doesn't know anything any time you ask him a question. Observe:

"Why do you need to get my car ready?"
"Need to take things out of the car."
"... What things?"
"We are helping another customer right now." That word again, customer. I do not think he knows what it means.
"But... I am the only person here."
"Helping another customer."
"Can you tell me how long?"

An hour and a half. That's how long. When I finally see my round headlights come up the hill, my car is screeching and squeaking. Turns out the ever-competent city employee was driving with my emergency break on. Really? Seriously? On top of everything? Anyway. Fuck this place. Bring an extra helping of whatever calms your nerves, otherwise you will want to shoot someone. I can't believe how much like a Yelp review this sounds.