Peets on Beach, Fior D’Italia, Pellegrino, That Loop Radio Station, Coffee Saves Lives

Peets on Beach

The testing of all the bakery items will now commence:
– cinnamon roll. Good, not too sweet. Similar to what my Mom makes, which is quite good. Almost too large.
– chocolate scone. Nice! I love these. The salty scone taste and the chocolate are great together.

The walk to Peets on Beach this morning was pretty uneventful. I’m emitting those ‘scam on me’ hormones. Remember that Northern Exposure episode where the cute radio guy suddenly had more girls than usual crawling over him? That’s the smell, and I had it, or so it seemed from all of the “turkey dinners” I got. Turkey dinner is the phrase that my old travel friend and I used to ues when we wanted to remark on how a person in our vicinity was hitting on us, without giggling and with an ability to maintian a cool exterior. “I feel like turkey for dinner.” etc. It was all in my head perhaps, since I just felt like guys across the intersections were staring at me. That feeling persisted for 3 blocks, three different intersections, so maybe it wasn’t all in my head.

Fisherman’s Wharf was pretty active this morning. A police officer was trying to get a fountain drink from Subway without getting hassled but it didn’t work because some homeless drunk guy was pestering him to listen to his joke.
Homeless Guy (HG): “Come on! Listen to my joke!”
Police Officer (PO): OK, I’m listening.
HG: Come on! Listen!
PO: I am, I’m listening.
HG: I’ve got a funny one for you!
PO: I’m all ears.
HG: OK, what does…. what does…
PO getting in car
HG: Are you gonna listen to my joke?
PO: I’m listening, I’m listening.
HG: What does the San… Fran… Cisco… Poh-leese Officer feed the Horse (sounds like whores the way he says it, giving away the punch line)
PO: silence
HG: (forgets punch line)

And if you’re wondering at my phonetic translation of “poh-leese”, neither the homeless guy nor the PO was black, just that the homeless guy seemed to really enunciate that word almost offensively. I couldn’t stick around, since it would have been obvious, me being the only pedestrian around.

Fior D’Italia
OK so this mediocre touristy restaurant on Washington Square Park had an awful fire, and they closed, and now are reopening on my block! Friend in the restaurant business remarked on the lack of business sense involved in that location change. “They must have run out of their lease.” The reason it’s a bad decision is that their old location got tons of night life traffic from the North Beach neighborhood. In a way that keeps up appearances and mediocre food places can stay in business. Especially since they have an incredible photo collection. Italian food isn’t bad, it’s just kind of basic if it’s not super special, anyways. The new location doesn’t bode well: in one direction, Fisherman’s Wharf is a few blocks away, but there are no nice shops inbetween, so I doubt tourists will make it that far. The other direction is residential until the “cute part” of North Beach. I really want to get everyone to say “the Village” but “the cute part” seems to stick around. I bet in a few years I’ll see a poster for “The Cute Part of North Beach Fair Oct 10-12” haha.

The deal is that Fior is basically rebuilding this hotel San Marco, which is also a historic building. Winning combination? Historic Building + Historic Restuarant = moldy food. The new place is pretty huge. It’s been interesting watching the location get renovated. Right now a complete building painting job is going on. It took a few months to do somethign to the back basement/cooking area. Yesterday I saw down the alley, that a few guys hauled in a single large counter piece made of metal. tempted to go in and ask to be a waitress, except that I would tire of it in a week, oh, and my attitude sucks. the food at the original was fairly bad, but it was mostly a tourist place. Once they served “1900” prices. Folks in North Beach are still talking about that. I guess the price of steak was like a dollar a plate, and the line was around the block all day.

Standing in the print shop the other day (Pips! On Washington Square!) I met the new restaurant owner of the place that will be where that place Skewers was (confused yet? Skewers left, new place in. New place: Pellegrino). The new place is going to be called Pellegrino, and it’s run by a very dapper Italian man. Allen, the guy who works at Pip’s, upon learning it was goint to be “another Italian restaurant” said, “You can never have too much Italian! Who likes Italian?!” Everyone in the shop agreed, can’t have too much Italian.

Bay Bridge Construction
Funny situation is unfolding. I am at a party, or a meeting, or just “out” with friends, most of whom live in San Francisco and go to the East Bay only if they’re bribed with promises of good Indian food or other things “you can’t get in SF.” And they tell me, “Oh, don’t go on the bridge this weekend!” then, a series of stories are told to me about the way the Metropolitan Transit Authority is handling construction on the Bay Bridge. “It’s going to be entirely closed.” “It’s going to be two directional on one ramp!” Usually I’m excited by this, eager to see how CalTrans handles turning me away at the onramp, or if it’s back to the 50s when it was just one deck for traffic, the other for the train. The reality is that I’ve gotten on the bridge 4 times a week with absolutely no hassle. In fact, the traffic has been very light. Probably because of these doomseday reports. I have been checking moreso than I usually would, but that’s about it. The scary bridge stories are interesting and funny, so keep it coming. This is what I get from reading blogs only and not listening to the radio or TV.

That mysterious loop radio station
I have had this alternate reality Matrix-style thing happen to me lately. I get in the car, to drive somewhere, at different times of the day, and a radio station is playing at the same point that it was when I last left the car. I double check to maek sure I didn’t put a friends CD in it. The “loop” is on a station around NPR, not sure because I can’t read my dial. The loop consists of cuts of speeches, construction noises, some music, soundbytes from the HoneyMooners, etc. There’s a bit from a coldplay sounding band. It’s all very odd. There’s a Reagan speech quote about how he won’t make age, and his contenders youth, an issue during the campaign. There’s a quote from a JFK speech, there’s some jokes from comedians, etc. What is this station? Why is it always playing?? Run DMC is on there too.

Coffee Saves Lives

Credit: Cliff
Oh, those great coffee outposts of civilization! This one is near Yellowstone. Makes me have weird flashbacks to the broken espresso maker in Litchfield, MN, where it was the Only Cafe in 90 mile radius. Oh yeah.