Today I came into the office a little late– after working from home in the morning, then taking a bike ride through Golden Gate Park down to Ocean and along the Great Highway, I made my way down McAllister Street (on my bike) to head into work. It was a smooth ride until I hit the fringe of the Tenderloin, or the “Tender Center” as my cousin calls it (side note: my cousin lived in this frontier for two years). It’s the odd interface where the beautiful Civic Center historical district– with all of its grandiose pillared buildings and museums– meets the intellectual buzz of UC Hastings Law School and quickly fades into streets saturated with urine, trash, daytime drug deals, drunk people milling around despite the time of day, and the smell of someone who’s missed one too many showers.
As I rolled up to the intersection of McAllister & Larkin, there seemed to be some confusion, a traffic jam of sorts despite the light being green. Once I got a little closer I learned why cars were stopped: a bum was in the middle of the road, frozen in a pose, like if Michael Jackson were a mime. From one ‘in vogue’ pose to the next, the bum seemed not to be fussed by the fact he was holding up traffic.
Finally he awoke from his trance by the loud, long honk of a car right in front of him: “Get the hell out of the road!!” yelled/laughed the driver. I honestly could not keep it together…. in fact I still can’t– I’m cracking up as I write this post. The bum perked up and then scurried off. I road the rest of the way to work laughing hysterically out loud. A ridiculous site at 1pm on a Friday.
This city makes me smile every day.