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I saw him from my seat on the bus.  He sat under the awning of Caffe Mio, shaded from the morning sunlight.  A broadbrimmed, high-crowned black hat covered his head and gave him a sinister…

Posted on Jul. 15, 2003[15]print

We were at a huge Grateful Dead concert at the Oakland Coliseum, an indoor arena from the 70’s with a harsh utilitarian aesthetic.  (Needless to say, this was a few years ago.) Some sort…

Posted on Aug. 08, 2003[2]print

I walked past him, not quickly, but as quick as I could on the crowded bus.  There were a lot of people behind me and dawdling was not even an option.  But what I saw of him made quite an…

Posted on Oct. 15, 2003[2]print

They sat together on the bus on an in-facing bench; when a seat opened next to them I jumped in, galvanized with curiosity.  They held hands - or more accurately, one had her hand on the other’s…

Posted on Oct. 22, 2003[3]print

We were giving Daisy a bath when Bad Moon Rising came on the cd player.  She lit up.  “Who is this, Daisy?” Dave asked.  “The Beatles!” she gleefully exclaimed,…

Posted on Nov. 07, 2003[10]print

To hell with greatness, it’s fleeting and evanascent and all in the eye of the beholder.  Coolness is the thing really worth brushing up against, and now I’ve done it, just before…

Posted on Nov. 07, 2003[1]print

I think the guys are mexican but it feels like sicily in there.  A hole-in-the-wall - or maybe even that’s too grandiose a phrase.  Five unmatched chairs, one wall of mirrors, the rest…

Posted on Nov. 11, 2003[10]print

There are those who say that the 38 is the toughest line on the grid, but regular riders know that it gets tougher - on the 38BX.  The BX stops at all the gritty little stops from 25th down to…

Posted on Nov. 21, 2003[1]print

Some weeks I see her frequently; some weeks, less so.  She wears the standard uniform - blue twill trousers, black leather oxfords, a blue cotton shirt with a label stitched over the warm swell…

Posted on Nov. 24, 2003[5]print

It was dark December, 6:30 on a cloudy wet night.  I was trudging from the main library to the Van Ness bus stops to get back home.  I came to the corner of Polk Street, surrounded by beaux…

Posted on Dec. 22, 2003[4]print

The great hall was cavernous and imposing, but strangely comforting in its rich brown tones and proletarian intention.  It still hearkened to a day when public transportation and public space bespoke,…

Posted on Jan. 15, 2004[5]print

I live in a neighborhoodly neighborhood.  Pretty much all the time, day or night (except the wee hours of course), there are families and kids and old folks strolling around, shopping at produce…

Posted on Feb. 10, 2004[10]print

The main thing about the Shrine Auditorium is that it’s big.  Sure, it’s also a hallucinogeic apparation of moorish…

Posted on Feb. 22, 2004[4]print

Five blocks from my house there’s a seedy little joint that makes a terrific burger, and the best fresh potato chips I’ve ever encountered.  It’s a great take-out place, close…

Posted on Mar. 24, 2004[5]print

It’s unusual for me to leave my desk in the middle of the day, but the idea of eating a cookie got into my head and I just had to step out to to bakery around the corner.  It had been outrageously…

Posted on Apr. 06, 2004[4]print

Sometimes a small object can tell a whole story, if you happen to see it where it lies and you ask yourself how it came to be there....

A good example would be that little metal tab on the…

Posted on Apr. 08, 2004[4]print

I could smell the acrid stench of desparation wafting from their four armpits before I even opened the conference room door.  “Here’s your ice water,” I told her.  She smiled…

Posted on Jul. 06, 2004[4]print

Gnop: He’s there about half the time but I haven’t figured out a pattern to the appearances.  He’s always at the southeast corner of Fremont and Mission, right across from the…

Posted on Sep. 20, 2004[5]print

Today I got an email from my freaky cool shul about their upcoming festive celebration for Simchat Torah - the commemoration of the handing down of the law.  It’s one of two times in the…

Posted on Sep. 29, 2004[3]print

I see him through his office window on the fourth floor of an old building across the street from the bus terminal.  He’s standing in his shirt and tie, looking down at his desk, his hands…

Posted on Dec. 28, 2004[7]print

Today I was thinking of posting a piece about a streetpreacher I encountered a week or so ago, someone whose sermon seemed consonant with the theme of Not…

It’s chilly - sweater weather.  I’m even wearing an actual sweater - vintage, handknit by mom - and of course a cap, a closefitting black fleece watchcap as a matter of fact. …

Posted on Jan. 25, 2005[6]print

"We just took down all the pictures,” she said, putting down her wineglass.  “The room had always looked fine - a little cluttered, busy, maybe - but not bad.  But with the walls…

Posted on Feb. 01, 2005[3]print

What the hell.  I had a tough night last night and I’m having a tough morning this morning.  I don’t feel well, in a way that’s difficult to describe or even put my finger…

Posted on Feb. 03, 2005[11]print

Yesterday I got two great messages.  One was a voicemail from my dear friend Lisa, at whose house I traditionally do a big passover ceremony.  Passover is approaching and I’ve been in…

Posted on Mar. 03, 2005[3]print

I’m marking time at a shoe store off Union Square, the most consistently exclusive shopping district in town.  Kel is getting sturdy waterproof street hikers for work; I’m waiting for…

Posted on Mar. 25, 2005[1]print

The sidewalk was as active and chaotic as the street.  Everyone in the churning crowd was busy, distracted, immersed; families swarmed and youths skulked and sino-american princesses paraded coyly…

Posted on Apr. 06, 2005[4]print

He came back, and I had to revise my assessment.  The guy who was breaking down the fallen boughs returned to finish the job.  He wore the same clothes, but didn’t seem to have washed…

Posted on Apr. 19, 2005[3]print

Some of the regulars in my ‘hood are casting-room perfect.  We have a few cautionary examples of the “there but for the grace of god” variety, some consumptive walking coughs…

Posted on May. 13, 2005[4]print

He always seemed a little lost, and she always acted like she’d just found him again.  His face bore witness both to years of hard experience, and to unvarnished naievete - a look of curiosity…

Posted on Jun. 21, 2005[6]print

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