Brian and Anita
The inimitable Alvin Orloff, author of Gutterboys, I Married an Earthling and Why Aren't You Smiling?, joined me for the ride over on the Golden Gate transit bus. Afterward we went out for sushi with a delightfully bright and accomplished group of young folks who were friends of one of the other readers, Daniel Levin Becker.
I'm staying with Tindo in La Lengua, the latest neighborhood appellation in a city that insists on its Parisianess. I had some great conversations with his new boyfriend Drew who I like a lot
The three of us went out to a local restaurant named Melody Lounge where we befriended the chef who wanted our advice on how to attract more people to his place. Change the name! We settled on La Z, Capsa or my favorite, The Red Hat (see pic below). The food was incredible. He's Kuwaiti and the food was a mix of Persian and Indian food. He told us Kuwait has no cuisine as it's not really a country, just a former English colony that suddenly found itself rich from oil (well, it's a little more complicated than that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuwait). Before oil, he told us, there were pearl divers who sold the pearls to maharajahs in India. Now, everyone has servants from Iran and esp. India, he explained, and since the servants do all the cooking....you get the gist. I'm not a foody, but I kid you not, this was one of the best meals I have ever had in my life.
Hassam also loves to sing and keeps a microphone near the stove. His buddy plays tabla drums and Hassam just sort of breaks into song now and again between entrees......thus the Melody Lounge idea. We still think no one will ever get such a name. It sounds like a preschool or a stripper joint. Definitely go here if you visit San Francisco..it's on the corner of Mission and Cortland or thereabouts.
This one's for Christian: the old minis were even cuter! :)
My favorite California Mission, Mission San Miguel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_San_Miguel... It's in the middle of nowhere, it's not totally prettied up and has few visitors. I always stop here when I drive up and I always take the 101 because it's one of the most beautiful roads on earth and hasn't really changed much over the course of my life. I love California, it's like a beautiful lover you keep noticing things about...what nice elbows, what pretty clavicles, what lovely skin you have...dotted with oak trees, golden, and sometimes completely covered in bright yellow mustard grass.
I forgot to take a new photo of us as they bid me farewell, but here I am with Mark Thompson and Malcolm Boyd a few years back when we did a panel together at a book fair. They treat me like a favorite nephew...they always take me out when I'm leaving and welcome me home. We met at the newly-reopened Black Cat Bar in Silverlake last Saturday: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Cat_Tavern
..the Black Cat is worth reading about...the first mass gay demo happened here after the LAPD invaded and beat people...this was 2 years before Stonewall. It was closed for years, but has recently been re-opened and designated a historical site. How much things have changed....we had smokey martinis....smokey martinis have a dash of scotch in them. I don't generally drink hard alcohol, so it was new to me, but I think this may be the preferred martini of fauns.