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February 2011
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April 2011

An Ode to my Neighborhood: the Richmond District

Dragon Fruit for sale on Clement Street

About 15 years ago, I moved out to the Richmond District, a part of San Francisco my friends referred to as "the fogbelt" or "the 'burbs." At the time, I thought it would be a short stay, until I found a place I liked in a hipper neighborhood with more to do.

Instead, this neighborhood really grew on me. It's one of the most neighborhoody feeling San Francisco neighborhoods, to me. There's a nice mix of younger couples and older Russians who've lived in the Avenues for decades. That's why we have an Asian produce market next door to a Russian deli, with a good sushi place across the street.

It's truly a foodie (and cook's) paradise.

I am able to walk up the street to do my grocery shopping on the weekend. I start at the natural foods store 10 blocks away, stop in at the great little wine shop, and almost always stop for fresh hummus at my favorite European market. The City's best bagel place is out here, as well as the best margaritas. And all this is a big part of why I've never left.

Yes, other neighborhoods have cooler restaurants and tons of hip little stores. But I like my neighborhood's inexpensive but good eats, and its relative safety. I can't really imagine moving to a neighborhood that doesn't have a couple dozen great restaurants, a half dozen markets, a wine shop, an amazing new and used bookstore, a movie theater, and several ice cream shops all within a nice walking distance. Having a wealth of resources right outside your doorstep is the whole point of City living, isn't it?

Yesterday, I took a walk down Clement Street, in search of lunch, and took a good number of photos. My intent is to do some posts here soon to give a local's view on what makes this neighborhood such a great place to live. Stay tuned.

Letting Go: Peter Murphy at Mezzanine, San Francisco

Petermurphy_tour2011This week, I had the pleasure of seeing Peter Murphy play at the tiniest of San Francisco venues, Mezzanine.

As I stood on the floor listening to the pre-show DJ set, I had the realization that I first saw Peter play for his Holy Smoke tour, way back in 1992.


18 years ago.

That hardly seems possible!


I've seen him play a number of times now, including on both Bauhaus tours. And this week's show was likely the best of the shows I've seen thus far (I am removing the first Bauhaus tour from the mix mind you because that was more like musical theater than a concert and would stomp all over just about everything else.)

Peter was relaxed, and happy, and clearly having a good time. It was a show full of old timers (even older timers than myself) and new fans alike, the latter wearing a fabulous array of leather and latex and more eyeliner than the man himself.

Throughout the show, Peter was talking to the crowd. Telling us stories about what he's been up to. Teasing us with the idea that he might move to the States. And introducing a number of new songs. One of my favorites was a song he introduced with these words "This is a song about letting go. Of drama. Of unhappiness. Not bearing it -- letting it go."

I think we all have things we can--and should--let go. And it was lovely to dance and let the music and that feeling sweep over me.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the new material, in advance of the show. Much of the recent albums have had a significant world music influence, so I was probably expecting more along those lines. But instead, he hit us with some incredibly danceable and rocking tunes, similar in flavor to "Go Away White" from the Bauhaus reunion CD release.

That of course led me to the "what ifs." What if the band had managed to stay together after putting together such a lovely reunion album, and had toured? That state of mind was encouraged by Peter playing so many of his favorite Bauhaus songs, including one of my favorites, "Silent Hedges." that he also played my personal solo favorites "Subway" and "Disappearing" completely made my evening.

You know those shows where you can tell the performers don't want to leave the stage? That's the sort of experience Peter and his band gave us. He took a request from the crowd to play his cover of "Hurt. They came back for 3 encores. And they finally left the stage at 12:30 a.m. (on a weeknight! oy!) after an energetic rendition of the Stooges' "Raw Power." We love you too, Peter. Exactly what I needed.

I highly recommend you check him out if his tour is winding its way near you.

And P.S. Yes, those YouTube links are from the show I was at; I'd seen peeps recording in the audience so was not surprised to see them on there.