My first of what will be weekly happy hour columns is up at SF Appeal:
Hey Ramona. I know a friend of your dad’s (Greg Baker from S.B.), and he recommended I look at your blog and get in touch. It probably sounds funny to just be sending you a comment but I couldn’t find your email address anywhere on this site. Anyway, I live in San Francisco and I like your blog and we should meet for a drink! Send me an email (I entered it when I made this comment, so hopefully you should be able to see it without me writing it here.)
Ramona, this reader enjoyed it. Nice work. When I read your opener:
In those heady days of the early 21st century, before human beings even knew that cavorting with live swine was more dangerous than eating dead ones, there was a a time when harried businesspeople would join their brethren and sistren in a room filled with alcohol, and for only a bit of their daily pay could eat, drink, and be merry before heading home to their screaming brood of lolcats and lolkids. This time was called happy hour.
it made a connection. Granted as one gets older, the faults in the wiring cannot be denied, and many “connections” turn out to be merely short circuits, but I was reminded of a fellow named Herb Caen who once wrote a column for the SF Chronicle .
Herb was fond of referring to San Francisco as “Baghdad by the Bay”, or at least he was in 1964 when I read his column nearly every day in my impressionable youth. His beat then included a variety of places where a writer could work with a drink in his hand. In 1964, work included such novelties as topless bars and observing the progress of silicone breast extensions.
So why do I mention this? I mention it because it seems to me that the real business of city newspapers and their electronic heirs is to report upon the fine scale of the city, the city that exists for circulating rumors, watching people, and offering food and drink while doing both.
I think you ‘ve got a wonderful beat. Keep your eyes open in case Herb Caen’s profile appears in some shadow pattern cast on a wall or a stain on a bar napkin.
By the way, I forgot to mention what a nice touch it was to riff on “Palomino” as you did:
The place was just like Churchill Downs during the Derby: packed, loud, and filled with minty drinks.
Lovely and atmospheric.
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