breakfast in North Beach

Fell in love with my neighborhood all over again. I love acting like a tourist. What do tourists do?

1) bought eggs at the organic natural health food store on Grant street. OK, not so touristy.

2) plagued the workers at Cafe Divine because they don’t open early enough goddamit. Then got some amazing poached eggs, toast and fruit. nummers! People kept walking by the place and smiling and pointing. Not to sound too Victorian, but it is really a well-appointed location.

3) walk up and down street aimlessly, with requisite plastic bag full of mysterious objects (eggs, paper). The clincher was when a woman who I had already spotted as crazy and talking to herself talked to me, “where is the safeway?” my answer, three pretty remote locations, launched a discussion (all on her part) of her problems with work.

4) watching three different exercise groups at Washington Square park. The mobs of tai chi practitioners, the Cantonese women who do a kind of boring jazz square to the intonation of “di – yi – sam – sip ” (1,2,3,4?) which my bad Mandarin translates as “first, three four” ? Corrections welcome. The third are the graceful sword dancers which my mother said was a form of tai chi. They congregate near the playground. Thing about sitting around in the morning is that you do get the crazy homeless, but there’s a higher proportionate amount of sane mellow people sitting and standing around too. Early morning people are just a little more well-tempered (see well-appointed above)

5) in foriegn language adventures went to the Brioche Bakery on Columbus, the wholesaler for brioches at restaurants, and arguably the best bakery/cafe in North Beach for pastries, and had an almond croissant and double espresso with soy, my favorite drink (the cortado?). I’m told it’s Spanish, but do countries really have a license on drinks? If not I guess Buena Vista Cafe has to give up on the Irish Coffee. My French abilities failed me beyond two women ordering cafe au laits, complaining the milk was empty, and me remarking to myself (in English), god how much milk is that woman going to drink?

o’er and out.