I’ve been to San Fran for a family trip a million years ago, when I was 14 or 15, so Golden Gate, Alcatraz, Lombard St. check, check, check. Happily work has brought me back to this bastion of maritime/transient history. I had heard bad things from my comrades on the ground. “San Fran is dirty”, “Get ready for homeless people shitting on your stoop”, “Bring a hoodie and a switchblade”. As most of these folks were Los Angelenos, I brashly assumed “I’m a New Yorker, these pussies are getting a dose of reality”. Welp, turns out SF is gnarly. They weren’t kidding. As an original Philadelphian, and relatively new New Yorker, I have to report that San Francisco has the balls and bite that we wish we had. I’ve only been here a week, and staying in the Tenderloin. These seedy blocks feel like an era long gone. Obviously danger is bad, but at the same time it gives a city character. My first walk from my hotel (Hotel Carlton, aka Hot Carl I’m told when the sign doesn’t work) to set as I dosey doe’d past a gaggle of junkies things got real when I saw a meth or horse junkie about to smash someone in the head with a sharpened hammer. At this moment I embraced the realness. I can’t think of a block in NYC that I feel fear. From LES to Jamaica, I figure if you stay cool nobodies gonna fuck with you. I love the Tenderloin for the fact that I’m on my toes walking home. Gentrification hasn’t whitewashed this world! Thank God. Cut to notes.
San Fran retains a rough authenticity. More Puck than Pedro. Even to this day which is surprising and and refreshing. NYC before Guilianni for better or worse. Still true to its maritime roots. In my brief experience, more diversity per block than any place I’ve ever been. Blessed with the pungent Pacific air. Tough town. Murderous Homeless Zombies aside, Viva la Tenderloin.
Also there are more tranny hookers on my block then I’ve ever seen in my life.
Can’t photograph the scene properly, but hysterical to walk past a group of scantily dressed amazons, only to hear their deep voices speaking spanish with a mexican accent. They look like Serena Williams but sound like Antonio Banderas. Needless to say, those dudes are hot.