Wednesday, July 25, 2007

When the lights go down in the city

I didn't intend for this, but Microsuede has become your number one internet source for pictures of random neon crap. How do you feel about this? Getting a bit boring? I don't think it is, and it is my blog after all, but my sense of self worth is directly related to how many readers this blog has, so I am here to serve you.

I really need to start carrying my camera with me all the time. If I did, I would telling all about the fracas I witnessed during the Pioneer Day party last night. Apparently Steve Young conked Purple Kobe Bryant over the head with a bottle while Blue Carlos Boozer tried to break it up (they were all wearing sports jerseys).

Oh well. This is going to be a good entry too. My last night in cool, foggy San Francisco.

Once again I have set out into the streets. I spy a nice neon sign and go in for a closer look.

I have about a hundred other pictures of this from various angles so if you need them let me know.

I passed this on the way there. My brother is a Green Apron at Starbucks and when I told him about a 24-hour Starbucks that offers free wi-fi he didn't believe me.

(photo is blurry because of all the wi-fi floating through the air)

Just up the street from Food Fair Market Liquors I see a simple, battered sign that says "Chelsea Place" over a painting of an olive with a toothpick in it. The door swings open as someone stumbles out and I get a peek inside. This is the place for me. I think this is what I was hoping to find the night before.

It's narrow and cluttered. The sparse crowd is comprised of men hunched over their drinks. This place really feels authentic.

The decor is strange and thrown together. I like that. Not one of those "look at the crazy crap on the wall" kind of bars, but the random mementos scattered about seem sincere. There's a loving shrine to what I gather is a deceased regular plastered on top of a glass enclosed dvd collection (?) There's a bit of memorabilia from the the English soccer team, Chelsea, and I wonder which came first. Is the bar named for the team, or did these Chelsea souvenirs find there way here because they bear the name of the bar?

There's also a lot of art, like the tasteful painting you see here.

And a painting of the bar, in the bar. Whoa.

There's a dartboard and a fireplace in the cozy (cozy=tiny) backroom.

This, combined with all the soccer stuff it feels like it'd almost trying to be an English-style pub. There's a lot of Asian stuff there too, including the cute Chinese bartendress.

You can see "Ginger's" silvery hair in that picture. Ginger is just her Americanized name. She tells me her real name and I pronounce it really well. I've always been good at pronouncing. Ginger is a blast. Dry, deadpan sense of humor, just the right combination of innocence and sass.

I make a lot of temporary friends. The Old Drunken Dane, Howard the Lonely (a dead ringer for actor Harold Ramis), and the two L.A. dudes.

I really like Chelsea Place and I think it will be a regular stop on future visits. If I happen to be walking by it, that is.

After last call I need me some food. I can't find the diner from the night before but instead I see this place, slightly more upscale.

This is what it looks like inside.

I have another steak sandwich and watch The Wire on my ipod.

Walking back up the hill is a nightmare. My legs were burning. I wouldn't have lasted five minutes on D-Day.

Look, someone got toilet papered. Not something you expect to see in an urban environment.

That's about it. The next day I had lunch with Wayne and then hopped the BART out to the airport. It's cool that mass transit goes all the way to the airport, but once you get off the train you really have to jump through a lot of hoops to get to the terminal. Tunnels and parking garages and more trains until finally you get to this retro-futuristic neon walkway.

The end.


  1. Sounds like a good time. I thoroughly enjoy your bright neon site in this otherwise dreary world of the internet. Shine on, you crazy diamond!!!

  2. I think you made Ginger up. I don't think she really exists. In fact, I think you made that whole bar up, from photos composited from various bars' bits of awesomeness because seriously, a bar that cool just does not exist.

  3. I believe it is possible (and likely) that B willed the bar into existence. Which means that he has grown more powerful than we can possibly imagine...

  4. did you know I hail from San Francisco? Just another fun fact!

    glad you enjoyed my fine hometown.

  5. I did not know you were from San Francisco. A fine town it is. I have enough pictures from my visits there to keep this blog going well into the next decade.

    Sean, it's true. I cannot be stopped.

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