Day 23-29: Kickin’ it in San Francisco
I left Oakland just as school was letting out so I got to battle all of the mom’s and dad’s and school buses for road space. It was actually a ton of fun because I just got to weave in and out of traffic because there was so much space on the sides of the roads. It was raining so I had all of my gear on and it was cool to see everybody gawking at me like I was some kind of freak riding such a loaded bike in unfavorable conditions. I made my way to the closest BART station to the Bay and after much difficulty figured out how to use BART. I wonder how successful it is, because they certainly work very hard to ensure they get their money, while MAX is definitely more user-friendly it might not make as much money.
I was off to stay with my friend who lives in the Mission district. I’ve always heard lots of great things about the Mission but had never actually been there. The only time I had really been to San Francisco was with my family. It was nice to be able to explore the parts of the city that I wanted instead of the family-friendly stuff. When I emerged from the BART station I came upon bright colors and sunshine. Palm trees swayed as a backdrop to a Latin band rocking out in the plaza. I approached a man in a nice-looking pin-striped suit and asked him if he knew how to get to my friend’s house. “I don’t even know who she is, man,” he scoffed at me. “Don’t you know who I am?” I gave him a weak smile and said, “No, sorry.”
“I’m in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, man. I played with Santana. Asking me where your friend lives. Here, check this out.” He pulled out his wallet and peeled it open to reveal a laminated ID card from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Oh, Mr. WhoopdeeDoo (I forgot his name). Right on, man. That’s cool. What songs did you-”
“Naw, naw. You see the picture? That’s me, man.” He folded up the wallet and placed it in his back pocket. Without looking at me he said, “This here’s Mission. That ones 24th. Go down that way and you’ll get there.” I didn’t even have a chance to say thank you or nice to meet you. He just walked away.
I found Danielle’s place just as she was getting home from work. It was perfect. We caught up a bit and then went out to meet her friends at Stray Dog in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. Cool bar. Totally mellow, full bar that is both artsy and sports-focused at the same time. Plus, the owner is way cool and as long as your dog plays nice, four-legged friends are welcome. After a few drinks and a quick torta we headed back to her place where I promptly ditched her to go play bike polo. And how sweet it was. I hadn’t played since Ashland and missed it. The guys in San Francisco are fast! Crisp, precise passes and aggressive play. I’d be curious to see how their best plays against our best. Casey “C Murder” apparently was one of the Portland originals so I had a nice time talking to him about Portland’s polo history. I got skunked but made some new friends and played a good defensive game.
I was amazed by San Francisco’s architecture. So many beautiful homes with such a splendid splash of color. Plus on almost every street there was a spot with a fantastic view of the city. I spent the first day simply riding around the Mission trying to find the Bike Kitchen. It was closed but I had a good time hunting and seeing the city’s streets. That night Danielle and I went out to a fun bar for a night of beers and shuffleboard with her hilarious friends.
Saturday, I abandoned the bike and became a pedestrian and completely ignored the “One Less Pedestrian” sticker on Sir Norte. We walked from Mission, through the Castro, a quick jaunt through the Tenderloin where we caught the Civil War Game. The bartender was a saleswoman. “Oh, if you buy two beers I’ll give you the next one free. Come in later tonight and my boss will give you a shot of tequila on the house if you buy another beer.” Fortunately, Danielle wasn’t in a drinking mood so I got all of the free beer…and the purchased ones that came with it.
After the game we finished our walk in Chinatown at the oldest Chinese restaurant. Good and cheap, plus it was on the second floor which provided us a top down view of the street lights. We then met up with another old friend, Dakota and headed to a lesbian dance party in Oakland. I was afraid that I would be subject to scrutiny as women sneered at me, smelling my heterosexuality. I expected to hear mutterings of “pervert,” and “breeder,” or “pink stabber” through bared teeth. But actually it was a ton of fun. There was some bad music and there was some good music, but I felt accepted and I didn’t lay on any heat and all was good.
*Explicit Content Warning! Mom, you might not want to read this…
The best part of the evening was a conversation I had with Dakota’s friend who apparently is a pornography actress with very little bounds. She has a new boyfriend and could not keep herself from gushing about the steamy hotel weekend they just shared. “Oh my god, Jordan, it was the best. I didn’t think that I could be impressed by a guy but he is amazing! We took a shower together and I let him pee on my face. It was so incredible! You don’t know somebody until you swallow their piss.”
“You liked it?!” I said completely aghast.
“Oh yeah. I’ve done it for some movies but didn’t like it until he did it. We did it a couple of times. It was great.”
Now, this girl was being real. She wasn’t talking to a camera for the latest release of Golden Showers, Brown Rainbows #17. And I had to know, “What is it that turns you on about drinking someone’s piss? It can’t taste good.”
Here’s the worst part. She was too drunk to give me a good answer. I could make something up, like, “There’s just something about opening yourself up and accepting all of them,” or “Knowing that you trust someone enough to be completely dominated is so intimate,” but I won’t. Because she probably has a way better answer, and I only wish I could hear it. If you dear readers out there share her fetish, please comment below your reasoning or email me an answer. I don’t get it. Before I leave this fascinating woman I’ll provide another favorite quote from her. “Uh-uh. I don’t need anything else shoved up my ass. I did enough of that today and I have a shoot tomorrow.”
Oh, porn stars. How lovely you are.
*Welcome back. It is all over…
I had an adventure biking out to Golden Gate Park, following the Wiggle, which is an excellently marked route through the city that avoids many of the city’s notoriously steep hills to Golden Gate Park. The park was cool. It was big. I liked the museums. I only saw their outsides. I am poor and can’t go in. Fifth graders got to go inside and see pretty things. Okay, enough of that. There are a lot of hills in San Francisco, huge ones. I got tired with a naked bike going up them. I have never seen more fixies and single-speeds in my life than in San Francisco. It was unbelievable. For every geared bike there was easily ten one-gear mobiles. What a bunch of trendy morons. People say Portland has hipsters but Hole Mole (the clever name of a Mexican restaurant I came across in Long Beach),the jeans are way tighter in San Francisco. But that’s because any size becomes tight with those kinds of quads. It reminded me of the beach scene in Where’s Waldo: The Blue One. There’s a section where a bunch of dudes are showing off their huge arms with skinny legs and there is one sad looking dude with massive legs and dinky arms. Buncha sad-faced freaks riding around there in the City.
I spent the next bits of San Francisco reading and updating the blog. It rained a bit so it was nice not to be riding. I finally found my way to the Bike Kitchen when it was open and fixed Danielle’s bike for her. I actually almost broke it, but with the right scoring tool I was able to re-thread the cranks and save the day. Thanks Bike Kitchen. Another epic night of polo and Stray Dog and I was ready to leave. But not without a bite or five of Indian pizza. Mmmm, baby.