In Your Heart, You Know He's Right
Just as Barcelona's L'Eixample has a Dreta and Esquerra (left and right) or that there's a Left and Right Bank and an Upper East Side and Upper West Side, so there are two sides of the Mission. It's hard to say if it's Mission or Valencia that is the dividing line. There's more than a couple of blocks that separates these two main arteries, but it's surely Valencia that would be the Passeig de Gracia of the Mission. You'll see outdoor dining on both streets, but on Mission it's usually people eating out of trash cans.
I wanted to venture over to 17th and Guerrero where I'd noticed earlier the great window shade (at the top of this post) of Barry Goldwater in the same flat that is campaigning to protect rent control. As LBJ said, "In your gut, you know he's a nut." Just a few doors down is the equally glorious sign for the 500 Club that is (not) open at 6:00. AM. (Pardon my journalistic training, but shouldn't that be 6 p.m.?)
All of you surely know about the famed troll altar run by Alfie at 18th and Valencia, but is the juvenile division of the Mission Police Station now trying to copy him? Or were these dolls taken from the clutches of naughty little children and are left in the window to taunt them until they shape up their acts? They certain lack Alfie's great style and creativity.
I didn't have time to linger and ponder this question since I was cutting it close for lunch at Picaro with an individual whom I can't refer to even with an alias here and am being risky just by giving out this much information. It was pleasantly foggy and cool enough to allow for perfect outdoor dining, though I faced the street and the aforementioned individual sat facing me to avoid being seen by the passing pedestrians/psychopaths.
Paying the bill and parting, I soon heard a ruckus coming up the street as this little group came marching up the street and handed me their handbill for PROUD/UNION/QUEER.
And barely a block later, I turned and saw this sign for a seance being sponsored by Gay Shame, a group I keep thinking I should get involved in but have been waiting around for Gay Avarice instead.
My visions of L'Eixample must have driven me to enter Forest Books with its nearly Zen by Oppression air of incense where I discovered a book by Catalan author Eduardo Mendoza called The City of Marvels. This book set in late 19th century L'Eixample was too hard to resist with this promotional blurb:
Young Onofre first stays at a boarding house whose permanent residents are a distingué closet transvestite, a lady fortuneteller who treats her clients to large doses of doom, a garrulous barber who also pulls teeth, and a scullery maid who protects her virginity with the aid of a ferocious cat.
My kind of book. And what else did I see. Here's a peek.