Monday, April 30, 2012

Neither Here Nor There

I’m moving. To another part of the city.

I like moving. You get to clean the dust off everything, get rid of crap you never use, or haven’t seen for a long time. It’s liberating, yet daunting. However, I’ve realized something, I can’t very well write about living in the Tenderloin, when I don’t, in fact, live in the Tenderloin.

After picking up the keys to my new apartment, the roomies and I wandered the streets of our new neighborhood, getting sucked into a record store at one point. I sat and looked at a free zine on the shelf. It had a quiz about the neighborhood, and as I read the questions, I was perturbed because, I knew none of the answers. I thought about all the other things I didn’t know (about the neighborhood!) for instance, who’s the district supervisor here? What district will I be in? Where’s the post office? Where will I be shopping for groceries?

I’ve let the Tenderloin become a part of my identity; after living here more than 7 years. It may not have been a conscious decision, but it happened none-the-less. I’ve let it sink into me. I’ve defended the neighborhood when people talk shit about it. I’ve chided people from other neighborhoods; certain people from the Marina, or the Mission. I was proud, in a way, to have made a home in the Tenderloin.

I’ve always pictured myself a little rough around the edges, and it made me think I fit in the Tenderloin quite nicely, even though, it truly has been a love-hate relationship. For example, since early January there’s been this overly loud homeless man who comes every morning to solicit the customers at Saigon Sandwich, located directly below my apartment, my apartment with the thin-single-pane-windows. It would have been fine if he was a quite dude. Instead, for hours on end, he’ll scream ‘happy holidays’ literally every two seconds. For HOURS! After a month of this, I began considering ways to get rid of him that  included throwing things: such as water, eggs… a chair. I never did any of these things. It’s just too mean. So, I let him scream at the top of his lungs, thinking to myself…I guess the holidays are here to stay.

The new place has a washer and dryer in the building. Which, I’m crazy stoked about, and you’d know why if you’d read the one about my laundry mat. Let’s just say, I’ve seen some things that I’ll never forget. I won’t miss these things. But, what I will miss, what I’m super sad about, is not seeing the people that work around here. The places I go so regularly, they know me. The even like me! It’s a pleasure to see these people, to have a lil chit chat, to be involved in their life. People I see more often than my own family. The past few years, I’ve even exchanged Christmas gifts with them. The people I’ll miss most are the hard working family at Hiep-Thanh Market. Love that store. The Mom always gives me my favorite holiday candy, the one in the red wrapper that’s only available at one time during the year, she knows I like them, and saves some for me! And of course Eli, who owned Fox liquors. My corner market. I say owned because he just recently sold the place after working in the neighborhood for 25 years. He’s great. Always hard at work, always knew everything that’s happening. He’s on to new and better things, a little vacation/family time before he’s too old to enjoy it.

I look around my apartment and remember moving in, and into the city. It was my first apartment in San Francisco, my first neighborhood. I thought, this place is crazy! My boyfriend and I came with only a truck load of stuff. An ironing board used to fill our living room in those early days. We used to spread out kitchen towels on the living room floor when we ate dinner. These are good memories, and the crazy shit that went down gave me life long memories, bad and good.

Moving to a new neighborhood is changing the way I see myself, already. I’m the new kid on the block. The new neighborhood has such a defined culture, I don’t know yet how I’ll fit in. And it looks like I gotta get a new blog, something different, cause people are already writing about this one. This blog was my baby for a little over a year, and no lie, I’m going to miss working on it. There are so many people living and working in the Tenderloin, and places to visit, that I haven’t gotten the chance to write about. But they’ll still be here. It’s me who’s moving out, and on.

I’m a girl on the move. And this time; there’s a Uhaul involved.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Dotties True Blue Cafe:

Has moved from it's Jones Street location over to 6th, between Market and Mission. Went there five days after it had reopened, and I'm sad to say the food wasn't what it used to be. The scramble was undercooked, and my potatoes were not crispy. But my pancake, that I shouldn't have ordered, because it was WAY too much food, was delicious! The space was super cute, brick walls, hardwood floors, kinda reminded me of restaurants in Portland. They even had bathrooms! I'll be back though, gotta give it the benefit of the doubt. I'm sad to see them move out of the Tenderloin, they were a bright breakfast beacon in the heart of a troubled neighborhood. But, business is boomin', so they moved out of their tiny spot, and employed a bunch of new people that seemed nice. I can only hope that the food will be awesome once again.

My Planned Parenthood on Eddy, between Van Ness and Franklin, has closed its doors:

No warning to me, or any of its vast numbers of patients. Seven years I've been going there, and all my information GONE, as far as I know. So, I'm dealing with the ONLY other Planned Parenthood that seems to exist in San Francisco. I called and got the run around, and because I'm a procrastinator, I've almost run out of my birth control pills, and I'm facing a dilemma...gotta get more, ASAP.

I was told to go to a drop-in clinic. I got there at 8:30am, as it said online that they would be open then. When I arrived, I was informed that the clinic doesn't open until 10. I was given no more information than that, so I left and came back at 10.

When I arrived for the second time there were a bunch of girls sitting in the lobby.. I was then told that they only see eight people, and there were already eight people signed up, but if I'd like to wait, there may be an opening later in the afternoon, but most likely I wouldn't be seen. I was blind with rage. I've only been given the least amount of information at every turn. I told the receptionist, that, I would have waited when I first arrived if I had known this was going to happen. She only repeated herself. She didn't apologize for her mistake, or make any effort to rectify the situation. I found out today, this is what it's like in free-clinic-land in San Francisco. No bueno.

As I left, I was crazy angry and frustrated, not only upset with the unhelpful receptionist, upset with myself as well. For not having insurance, for not having a job that offers me insurance, for not having a regular doctor, and for waiting until after the new year to take care of my business.

I had a sweet setup at Planned Parenthood Golden Gate. And I for one am sad to see that they're gone.

After a lame day like today, only awesome can help:

Cops on horsey's! Yay!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Bees Knees

It's the new year, and I've been watching a lot of Mad Men, at home, hence the title, trying not to leave the house, because leaving my house, means spending money. And my New Years resolution (which usually means January, sometimes February resolution) is to NOT spend a ton of money.

My solution to my resolution is to shop at Goodwill on Geary, between Larkin and Hyde. It takes time to find quality items here. A few good things about shopping at Goodwill is A. The hunt. Having to really search, makes it feel like I've done a lot of shopping, and B. It's super cheap. C. Since it's in the Tenderloin, this Goodwill comes with free entertainment! I was in the store for maybe an hour and I got to watch as the employees hunted down, and kicked out, three different people! Plus, if your New Years resolution is out with the old, you can donate it here. Look what I found:

The blouse was on sale for $2.50. The gray sweater was $3.50. The blue sweater and boots were $8.50 each. Not bad!

After the treasure hunt, I suggest heading over to Mid City market, toward Larkin, on Geary, only a few steps away from Goodwill. After entering, head left to the freezer sitting in front of the taco shop. Palettas! Frozen fruit bars await you. Only a dollar each, and crazy good. In strawberry, mango, watermelon, cookies and cream, coconut, cafe, and even bubble gum.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Early Christmas Present

Walking to the grocery store I thought to myself, it's been awhile since I've seen anything horrifically gross, or morbidly disgusting; granted, I was on vacation for a week and a half, and that may have been a contributing factor for the lull. However, I've regretted having that moment of reflection since it's inception, because while I was arriving at that pleasant thought, I was simultaneously happening upon a man who was self-inducing his gag reflex, and vomiting everywhere. On himself, his pants, and the ground.... right in front of me. As the smell wafted to my nostrils, I made a vow to never again think such pleasant thoughts about the Tenderloin while in the Tenderloin.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Supporting Local Artists

Last night on Geary and Jones. First, at Public Barber Salon, a few artists producing work in the Tenderloin made a calendar. Twenty bucks buys you months worth of artists juxtaposed with their art. The art will be up until January 16, 2012.

Then, around the corner at Kare-Ken.

A Japanese style curry restaurant. Open less than a month, about ten seats fit in this pop-up style restaurant. Upon sitting down, my party and I were greeted by a nice guy. With a limited menu, it was still difficult to make a selection, everything looked good. We ordered the shrimp tempura curry, dry-beef curry, and chicken-katsu curry. Every order we placed was greeted with a modifier, such as the shrimp is breaded tempura style. When the shrimp did arrive, it was more heavily breaded than "tempura" would suggest. And, they weren't serving the meatball curry that was on the menu, due to the consistency not being up to par. The green tea is cold, not hot, as I assumed, so I ordered sprite instead.

Everything is served to go style, with plastic forks and knives. With such a limited staff, there's probably a method to this madness, on account, they don't want to be doing dishes throughout the shift. Hopefully, when they start making money, they'll invest in some dishes, and someone will wash them. We are in San Francisco after-all. People will, and should, recycle their containers until then.

The art was good, and some of it, I really liked. My chicken-katsu curry was also good. I ordered the sauce mild. It was savory-sweet, not unlike pumpkin, which is perfect for this time of year. It's time the Tenderloin take its medicine: An infusion of young talent, producing good work.

I had fun tonight, and the best part was: I didn't even have to leave my neighborhood.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What WhhhhATttt Lers Ros?

I don't understand what this sign says, they tell me the restaurant's called Lers Ros, but it doesn't really matter when I sit down to eat here. What I do know, is that I love Lers Ros. They know me, I’m a regular here. When I pass the servers on the street that know me, we smile and wave. You can find it on Larkin between Ellis and O‘farrell. Before Lers Ros, I had been going two extra blocks to Thai House Express to get me some yum yums. My staple there was Pad See-Ew, pan-fried flat noodles with chicken and broccoli. I was a regular there too.

But it all changed when Lers Ros opened. My go to, have-to-have, the pork belly (#62), crispy on the outside, spicy and delicious. Lers Ros, made me okay with spicy, made me need spicy.

The Pork Belly

The Raw Prawns Salad

One of my favorites, is in the salad section of the menu, (# 15) raw prawns in lime dressing with chilies, mint and lime dressing. They also have whole sea bass (# 112) in lime juice with chopped chilies. The menu is so extensive, I haven’t even scratched the surface. Other items include, fried garlic frog appetizer, great beef, pork and chicken dishes, as well as, curries, soups and plenty of rice and veggie plates.

Open 11am-midnight.

But, it’s not over. One day, not too long ago, I’m walking along, headed to Hayes Valley, criss-crossing along the way, and what do I see…deception!

WHhhhhhhAAaaaatttt is THIS?! Lers Ros in Hayes Valley! No way! It can’t be true. I’m sad and confused. I feel betrayed!

I've come to an uneasy understanding: It was bound to happen, with such awesome food. It must expand to accommodate its hungry guests. Let’s just hope that Hayes Valley appreciates you as much as we do. Just don’t leave the TL, we will always need your delicious spicy food in our bellies.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Latest in Pooh News

Deet, deet, deet, deet, deet, deet...this just in...Pooplets! Check it out. This is big, this is huge.

The city wants to install single occupancy toilets around the neighborhood in order to prevent people from poohing on the street. I'm all for that. However, they're probably going to be translucent, which means people passing by can see your silhouette. This is to prevent drug use in the pooplet. I'm conflicted. Seeing a silhouette poohing, would be better than seeing the real thing in action. But, what person, who isn't homeless, is going to use this kind of bathroom. As stated in the article, they suggest that because of the upcoming San Francisco's hosting of the America's Cup, that these bathrooms would benefit the large number of people the city will be seeing, as well as, the homeless. Maybe if they're desperate. So, if it's not good enough for anyone, are they in turn, acceptable for the homeless to use? Also, who's going to maintain these tiny toilets? It remains to be seen. Huffintongpost reports that we may be seeing some trial runs next spring. Read the full article here.