Today’s stereotype, or character generality, that I ran into repeatedly on my North-Beach-Financial-District commute: retired persons. One guy puffing on a newly lit cigarette while his wife runs for the last few seconds of a passenger sidewalk ticker. He follows her, cigarette dangling, doing a kind of short person pinwheel leg shuffle that reminds me of a comic book character. They don’t wear brightly hued sports outfits or talk loudly about how good their ciopinno was (Fisherman’s Wharf) but instead are a bit low key here in the Columbus drag. Sitting outside cafes for, who knows, their second latte? Old guys seem to be out and about a lot in North Beach, walking around Washington Park, reading the paper at an outdoor cafe or greeting shop owners. Two guys were talking with the owner of the awful Philly Cheese place- they are continually washing down their kitchen mats.
One thing also I’m realizing about North Beach – the restaurant people are always working on their businesses in the vital few hours before business begins. I think it was Friday morning and as I walked by, each place was doing improvements. Painting, repairing, painting walls, painting, using that power water hose on the exterior, the chairs, etc.
The real estate is so fought over right on Columbus. If a good restaurant is off the track, they’re kind of screwed.
The House of Nanking phenomenon. I’ve chatted with the Indian place on that block (Kearny at Columbus) and I was going to do some catering from New Saigon. Are they all sponging off the lines at House of Nanking? I should probably go there again so I can at least rule it out, instead of my paltry excuse of “I went there when I first came to the city” what, ages and eons ago.