Logo by James Dylan
Remembering My Dry Cleaner:
Aquatic Living Laundromat (714 Post Street) has moved out of San Francisco and is now at 1500 Laurel in San Carlos.
Which reminds me - I used to live in San Carlos on the Belmont border when I started the Herald back in the late 1990s. I would bring my clothes to Simon's French Cleaners across the street from the Carlmont Shopping Center. Simon, the owner, was this Iranian guy, probably pushing 50 - feisty but nice - funny, too. We'd talk about politics and culture, and sometimes this old guy named Gene would stop by (he must have been in his 70s and was still skydiving regularly). When I moved to San Francisco in 2000 I would still bring my clothes about 20 miles away to Simon's French Cleaners in Belmont so we could talk.
Simon was full of life, and was even more so after an accident - he fell off a ladder and hit the back of his head on the edge of a counter. If memory serves, he claimed he was told that if he hit his head lower, around his neck, he could have been paralyzed.
Then Simon wasn't around anymore. I think it was his cousin, who was helping out behind the counter, who said that Simon was in the hospital with cancer. Time marched on and Simon still wasn't there. One day I brought a Get Well card. There were some other cards from customers on the counter. His cousin told me that Simon was now blind and only had a few days left at the most. For what it's worth, I wish I had brought that card sooner.
As I recall, Simon's sister took over the business. I don't know if she still owns it, but stop by anyway.
Do it for Simon.
I don't know if this qualifies as “Suggested Reading”, as it isn't a plug for an article. It's more like a memoir... about my experience with someone who made it big by writing a memoir.
I think I met the guy four times. Once, before he made it big (we both had tables at some small-press comics convention in San Jose). Second, as he was about to leave San Francisco for New York to work for Esquire magazine (he announced in his SF Weekly comic strip that he was giving things away before he moved and I, along with a bunch of his fans, showed up at his garage sale – we actually talked for a while). Third, as he was getting big (he was drinking a beer at Cafe Royale on Post Street, I told him I liked his book, he thanked me and said he was sorry but had to talk to other people). The third time was at a reading by the late Christopher Hitchens, shortly after 9/11, at Book Passage in Corte Madera. (He was nice, or nice enough, each time I met him.)
Who was this person? Aw, come on – you know. Memoir. San Francisco. Yes – Dave Eggers.
By the time you read this it will be old news, but I heard he has a new novel out about a fictitious Internet company, with enormous influence in the world, that gives the government all its information.
Like Google? I guess I can name drop here, too. In 1998, their headquarters was above a used book and record shop in downtown Palo Alto (ironic, huh?). I went there and asked if I could write about their new company for my new newspaper. They weren't interested. So much for my back door plan of getting some stock options.
Back to Eggers. I believe he did some graphic design work for the SF Weekly at the same time I was working there as a display advertising rep, though we never met (see above). He drew a funny comic strip for the paper called Smarter Feller. Then he took over Cups, this magazine found in cafes around town, and turned it into Might magazine, which lasted for a couple of years until 1997.
He moved to New York and in 2000 his memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, became a critically-praised best-seller.
I was going to write about how I liked his early comic strip more than his memoir, and that he's become too serious and nauseatingly politically correct for me, but hey, who cares what I think? I'm not a best-selling author, I was just a guy who put out a free publication, and now I'm not even that. And do you know why?
Because of Google, us publishers put our stuff online for free because we thought we could sell advertising for it. But with a worldwide search engine you can now carry around with you, who needs advertising? And who needs newspapers?
Hey, Dave Eggers and Google. You deserve each other.
(I don’t know what that last paragraph meant. It just sounded good.)
The “Bathroom Out Of Order” sign is still up at Stars gas station on Cesar Chavez Street. Man, how long has that sign been up for? When are they going to fix that thing?
This is to the older gentleman who “works out” at the San Mateo 24 Hour Fitness by sitting on the bench, reading the newspaper, and maybe lifting a bench press once an hour. If you want to read a newspaper, do it at home or in a cafe, not in the bench press area. Others would like to use the equipment. Thank you.
Humberto Fontova has a new book out about... that's right... Cuba's brutal dictator (and Hollywood Favorite), Fidel Castro. It's called The Longest Romance, and it's about the media's love affair with the bearded sadist for the past half-century.
Now on SanFranciscoHerald.Net:
The Society Page (The Most Influential Television Show in History - Hill Street Blues, Stacey Q, Liquid Sky, Used car king Cal Worthington, Goodbye to the Lower Haight's Pink Bunny Statue) by Gene Mahoney.
Almost Famous (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Doris Goldberg RIP, Bad Company, The Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pablo Cruise) by Kimberlye Gold.
Good Clean Fun- “Your Sports Leader” by Gene Mahoney
Two Weeks in the Philippines, Part 2 by James Dylan.
Remembering Karen Black by Lana Alattera.
Bike Messenger Days by Ace Backwords.
The Ear (and Those Eyes) by Lee Vilensky.
As We Go Up We Go Down by Mr. Fabulous.
Good Clean Fun - “The Lying Game” by Gene Mahoney
(That's all on SanFranciscoHerald.Net, the online version of the Herald - so much better than this print newsletter version of the Herald.)
Wait. This one made it too late to be included in Cal-List...
New work and installations by Lisa Solomon
Opening reception for the artist 6 to 8pm Friday, November 15th
Show runs through Dec. 21st, 2013
We are very pleased to present our first solo show with Bay Area multi-media artist, Lisa Solomon. Lisa’s art practice is an ongoing investigation of gender archetypes and hybridizations, as well as an examination into her own personal history. Through obsessive repetition and re-contextualization, she takes traditional feminine handicrafts and elevates them into the realm of fine art. For this exhibition, Lisa, who was born to a Japanese mother, hones in on Japan’s historical and cultural fixation on the number 1000. She has created a unique interpretation of the 1000 cranes, 1000 buddhas, 1000 cherry trees, and stitched a playful version of Senninbari, the “good luck” belts traditionally composed of 1000 French knots, made by women and worn by their husbands to protect them while away at war. In a similar vein, she will be installing a wall of 1000 doilies, made from100 different hues of thread, hand crocheted by herself and over 45 different women from around the world, and then arranged in a manner which will explore color and color theory. From one of each set of 10 doilies will dangle strands of thread, left purposefully to hang as a tangible testimony to process, functioning both as a remnant of the passage of time, and as a way to coax the work into a three dimensional space.
Lisa Solomon received her BA in art from UC Berkeley and her MFA from Mills College. She has had solo shows around the USA and abroad. She has twice been a SECA award nominee and was recently an artist in residence at the Oakland Art Museum. Lisa currently lives and works in the Bay Area.
1803 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94103