Imagine How Dangerous He’d Be…

…if he actually surrounded himself with competent boot-lickers?

From Palmer Report:

Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen was set to voluntarily testify today before the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors about his role in the Trump-Russia scandal. But after he made a last minute move that went against the Senate’s wishes, it decided to cancel his private testimony and subpoena him to testify in public instead.

The controversy began when Cohen violated his agreement with the Senate by releasing a statement to the media declaring his innocence just before his testimony was set to take place. This prompted the Senate committee to decide that, because Cohen was speaking publicly about his testimony, he shouldn’t be allowed to testify in private. It promptly sent him home – but his respite will be a very brief one.

Manu Raju of CNN has revealed that “Senate Intel now playing hardball with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen: Now plan OPEN session for Cohen to testify publicly” (link), while NBC News is confirming that he’s being subpoenaed to force him to deliver that public testimony (link). If Cohen defies the subpoena, the Senate can find him to be in contempt of Congress. At that point a judge would have to decide whether Cohen can be legally compelled to show up and testify. This comes even as the Trump-Russia scandal is exploding in every direction over the past twenty-four hours.

Last night it was revealed that Donald Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort has been under a secret surveillance warrant the entire time, and that he’s about to be indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Based on the timing of the warrant, it’s believed that Trump was picked up on Manafort’s wiretap when the two regularly spoke by phone after Trump took office. Meanwhile, Michael Cohen is about to be compelled to blab in public about his own role in the scandal.

Another One From The Vaults

Musing the Parade, Youth, and Growing Older in the Castro
26 June 1999

Once again the highest of holy days in the gay community is upon us tomorrow: Parade Day. And tonight is the infamous “Pink Party” in the ‘stro. I will not be attending either event.

Having recently passed into my 40s and—for all intents in the Castro “community”—now invisible, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, pondering how to adapt to several important changes that this number brings, most notably the fact that I’m no longer turning even the few heads I used to. Almost overnight I went from being, even with a few extra pounds—if not good looking, at least downright respectable—to completely invisible, and I have no idea how to redefine myself in the wake of this change. I know I’m not alone when I say that those of us hitting this age have no one to look to, absolutely no gay role models to emulate, and that’s making the whole transition doubly difficult. AIDS decimated my generation, and those of us who remain are charting unexplored territory. What exactly does it mean to be 40- or 50-something and gay in San Francisco at the end of the 20th century?

At the risk of sounding overly sorry for myself (and I’m really not), I am slowly coming to the conclusion that—at least in this particular community in this particular city, no one I might be interested in is going to look at—much less date—a 225 pound 41 year old guy whose life is as excruciatingly non-cosmopolitan (i.e. boring) as mine. I don’t travel, I don’t do drugs, I don’t drink, I’m allergic to cats, I can’t stand Barbra Streisand, I find the “bear” movement just as off-putting and attitude-ridden as gym-bunny culture, I don’t live for White Days at Macy’s Cellar, I don’t work out 5 days a week, I look even more ridiculous than most guys with a goatee, my sex life is almost strictly vanilla, and I’m a borderline, if not a full-fledged geek. And you know—after careful consideration—that’s okay.

The hardest part of this whole aging process is that I don’t feel any different than I did in my 20s or 30s. Okay, so I have a few more battle scars and several more pounds, I’m hopefully a bit more world-wise and mature than fifteen years ago, I have no desire to stay out all night and watch the sun rise, I have less patience for pretense, attitude and stupidity, but other than that, I still see myself as that wide-eyed young man who arrived on the strange shores of San Francisco thirteen years ago, and can’t quite figure out why the guys 27, 28, even 34 or 35—who I still see myself as—aren’t interested in even making eye contact with me any more.

Somewhat painfully, what I’ve come to realize since my return to Oz last year after a five month haitus is that The Castro is very much a place for the 20- to 30-something buff, steroid-assisted, “I want to be a model” chemically-stimulated crowd. And I am not at all surprised that carrying around a few extra pounds (which in the 80s indicated that you were healthy and almost had guys flocking to my doorstep) is viewed with such disdain by a generation that has not lost half it’s population to AIDS and defines beauty only in terms of porn-star pecs and six-pack abs. I will readily admit that I am totally amazed at what incredible shape most of these “kids” are in; I mean, even when I was 25, neither I nor my peers had bodies that looked like they were sculpted by Michaelangelo.

Anyhow, I’m slowly coming to terms all this, accepting it and at the same time realizing that in general I’m simply just pretty much over the whole gay “thing”. Yeah, yeah, I still love men, and I’d jump Ben Browder in a heartbeat, but I just feel this whole rainbow-bedecked-naked-men-dancing-on-floats followed by copious amounts of drugs and sex is getting so…tired…especially in San Francisco where being gay or bi or transsexual or sleeping with your neighbor’s iguana is so accepted and so well integrated into the fabric of life here it isn’t even an issue. C’mon folks…there are more interesting things about us, about me—even with my admittedly mundane lifestyle—than what I choose to do with my genitals. At least I would hope so.

Lest I rise the ire of the politically correct among us, I do have to admit that the parade and ensuing pre- and post-Bacchalian events do serve some purpose, and that is they’re tremendously thrilling and reassuring and exciting and yes, even fun for the newly-minted or newly-arrived gay boys and girls in our community. That’s a fact I’ve been trying to stress with a couple friends who recently moved here from the east coast since they apparently feel “bad” that I’m choosing not to participate in this weekend’s festivities. I’m certainly not trying to be a pariah, but c’mon—for us older or maybe perhaps more jaded souls, the parade lost its appeal after the fifth or sixth year (if even that long), and that’s not just my opinion. Ask anyone who’s been here any length of time and you’ll hear the same sentiments. At least I was able to convince myself to attend for a couple years after that usual cutoff point by telling myself there would be plenty of opportunities for photographing future painting subjects. Or rather, plenty of opportunities for taking pretty pictures of half-naked men…but how many pictures of sunlight accentuating chemically-sculpted pectorals does one really need anyway? Personally, just from the photos I took over the seven or eight years I attended the parade, I’ll have enough subjects to paint for the rest of my life.

Then there’s the whole other issue of the AIDS epidemic wiping out almost my entire generation of gay men. A month ago, while standing in line to buy tickets for The Phantom Menace, I realized that every one of my friends who might’ve been standing in line with me and interested in seeing this film were now dead. Everyone with whom I shared that special Star Wars magic from the very beginning was gone: Kent, Steve, Dennis—and no amount of big-budget special effects was going to bring them back. The same goes for my dance music collection. While I now certainly have friends who are familiar with a lot, if not most of the music I’ve managed to bring back into my life, they’re new friends who have totally different memories connected with the tunes; they aren’t shared memories, so the full depth of the music is somehow lost.

This has left me at times feeling very alone and very much out of place in the world, and this sudden “invisibility” in my own community hasn’t really helped things either. I thank God, or the Universe, or whatever you want to call the Is, for friends like Lei, who, after hearing essentially the same sentiments I’ve just voiced, have the uncanny ability to tell me exactly what I need to hear and put things in perspective.

From one of her recent e-mails:

“I like your lack of need to attend the damn parade to demonstrate—what? You know who you are and anyone who interests you will know who you are. Those in their 20 – 30’s are still growing into what they will be and need to make a lot of noise. That’s fine, too. It was something you went through in “old” San Francisco. We need to remember that we’ve been young before but young folk have never been old before. (Not that, from my vantage point, I consider 41 to be “old” by any means.)

“I am so glad that you realize you don’t like travel, drugs, booze, Barbra Streisand or Macy’s cellar. You can enjoy knowing folks who do, even if you consider them to be a bit nuts. Some of my best friends…

“Case in point: a friend of mine last Monday began rhapsodizing over his upcoming drive in a motor home to ALASKA where he will do his yearly fishing at some salmon spawning site. He recalls the year that he spent sixteen hours there, without eating or going to the bathroom, standing in one place wearing his waders in water up to his blue…. It was just SOOO wonderful. He caught his limit of three, weighing blank, blank and blank and then he got to clean and can them himself! Now how can you beat that for wonderful? (In my considered opinion, by going to Safeway and selecting a lovely pre-cut and boned fillet from the fish market.)

“I don’t feel the least bit sorry for you. I’m delighted you know yourself—as much as anyone ever can hope to—and in no way are you close to being a geek, so forget that! (I am in charge of the geek list.)

“What is sad to me is women/men who are so afraid of not being ‘with it’ that they torture themselves to look, act and think like those they consider to be the ideal. They try to replace their own pleasures with what they hope is the most current. Y’see, life is set to music. You find the music that fuels your soul. Why learn all the lyrics to the latest rap song that you don’t understand just to prove—what?”

“You can be sure that there are many men of your gentle age, who are going through the same wonderings you are. You’ll find him—or he will find you. ‘Just being you’ ain’t bad, y’know.”

Throwback Thursday

It’s amazing what you find when you go rummaging around in old hard drives…

August 2000, over a year before my cancer diagnosis and still thinking I understood how the world worked. Hell, I hadn’t even started going hoarse yet (that wouldn’t happen for another three or four months). Bill Clinton was closing out the last bit of his Presidency, the Twin Towers were still standing, things were relatively stable in the Middle East, and the world—or at least the United States—was still sane. And then everythting jumped the shark…

My Top 30 Dance Tunes

I found this lurking in some very old archives tonight; something that I created in Microsoft Front Page, of all things. The HTML doesn’t translate well into WordPress, which is why the text isn’t lining up with the top of the images. I’ve struggled with trying fix that for hours now, and frankly it’s not worth messing with any more considering how few people actually ever look at this.

But these are still my favorite dance tunes of the era…

 

Barbara Pennington: 24 Hours a Day

(Ian Levin/D.R. Leake) 1977 / 9:22

United Artists UA-DW928-C, 33 rpm

This was the first “disco single” I ever bought, after finally getting up enough nerve to go up to the DJ at Jekyll’s and ask what he was playing.  It still conjures up memories of that particular Tucson watering hole and my first, fateful steps into coming out.

 

Claudja Barry: Boogie Woogie Dancin’ Shoes(M. Bjoerklund/J. Evers/Keith. Forsey 1979 / 7:52

Chrysalis CDS 2316, 33 rpm

After twenty nearly 40 years, this song still rocks and has enough energy to propel itself well into the next century.  An absolute disco classic.

 

Fun Fun: Color My Love(D. Raimondi/L. Pignagnoli/I. Spagna) 1984 / 7:40

TSR Records TSR836, 33 rpm

A great, high-energy tune that has stood up to the test of time.

 

Carrie Lucas: Dance With You

(K. Gardner) 1979 / 6:26 Solar Records YD-11483, 33 rpm 

Another absolute classic from the summer of 1979.

 

Linda Clifford: Don’t Come Cryin’ To Me

(M. Gore/D. Pitchford) 1981 / 6:38

Capitol Records 8531, 33 rpm

A classic by an absolute Diva of Disco.  The memory which sticks in my mind the strongest about this song is looking down from the DJ booth at Hotbods during one of several photo shoots, seeing a sea of leathermen down below dancing to the beat.  A definite song with attitude.

 

ABBA: Lay All Your Love On Me (“A Raul Dance Mix”)

(Andersson/Ulvaeus) 1980 / 7:50

Disconet Program Service Vol 4. Program 1, MWDN401A, 33 rpm

The much sought-after infamous Disconet Remix of the ABBA original.  The only way I can describe this disk is to call it an aural orgasm.  I first heard it while dancing with a very hot blond-haired stud-muffin one night at Hotbods in the spring of 1981.  I was expecting the usual ABBA tune, when all of a sudden we get blown away with the Bang!Bang!Bang! of the remix.  The music, the lights, the crowd, the moment, all combined to make this an incredible record for me.

 

D.C. LaRue: Let Them Dance

(D.C. LaRue) 1978 / 9:15

Casablanca NBD20136DJ, 33 rpm

An absolutely incredible remix.

 

 

Front Page: Love Insurance

(S. Plotnicki/E. Rubin) 1979 / 8:00

Panorama Records YD-11677, 33 rpm

Another classic from the summer of 1979, probably the creative peak of the disco era.  It has it all: great orchestration, great female vocals, wonderful production values…in short, everything to earmark it as an all-time favorite!

 

Magnifique: Magnifique

(Monn/Ludemann/Dahmen) 1981

Siamese Records SIA-001, 33 rpm

During the spring of 81 I was living in Tucson and making weekend pilgrimages back to Phoenix to go to Hotbods.  On several of those trips, Steve made tapes of his night’s set which he gave to me.  On one of them was my first exposure to Magnifique.  I hadto have it in my collection.  It wasn’t in any of the stores in Phoenix or Tucson, but I was able to locate it via a store in California.  This was to mark the beginning of a long—and expensive—relationship with Ron’s Records in Los Angeles.

 

Limahl: Never Ending Story

(Giorgio Moroder/Keith Forsey) 1984 / 6:09

EMI America V-7854-1

A very hard-to-find record from the soundtrack of the film of the same name.  This piece of vinyl was difficult to find in 1984; fifteen years later next to impossible.  I have my friend Ken to thank for selling me his copy.

 

Taka Boom: Red Hot

If I ever find the actual released version of this record I can post the specifics, but for now we’ll have to do with the fact this is a test pressing and I don’t have credits, catalog numbers or times.   Apparently this isn’t one of Taka’s more popular records, although I do remember it filling the dance floor.  It was part of Steve’s set the first night he was invited to be on a show called “Sunday with the Spinners” on KXTC “Disco 92” in Phoenix during the summer of 1979.

 

Waterfront Home: Take A Chance On Me

(Bobby Orlando) 1983 / 5:21

Bobcat Records AS1722, 33 rpm

“You can put a chain on my heart…” Bouncy, upbeat, and very, very sexy, this song captured my heart the first time I heard it.  My only complaint with the original was that it was never long enough; I wanted a ten minute remix!  Someone must’ve felt the same way, because Hot Tracks did eventually put out a 9 minute version.

 

Tamiko Jones: Can’t Live Without Your Love

(Randy Muller) 1979 / 7:13

Polydor 79NP4348, 33 rpm

This is another one of those obscure records that I think only Steve and I shared a love for.  I initially heard it as part of his same set that included “Red Hot” (above).  It has a very strong Giorgio Moroder flavor, although his name appears nowhere on the label.  The disk itself stands out as being an excellent recording with incredible dynamic range and presence.

 

Kat Mandu: The Break

(Denis Lepage) 1979 / 8:44

T.K. Disco 155, 33 rpm

Another classic from that wonderful summer of 1979.  Who would’ve guessed that disco would die the next year, just as it was reaching its peak of popularity and creativity? 

 

Paradise Express: We Are One

(C. Armstrong/H. Jimmerson/T.Croghan) 1979 / 6:21

“I’ve wasted so much time, stumbling in the dark, trying to see you with my eyes instead of with my heart, I’ve been such a fool.  I’ve drifted far away, trying to be near, along the way I’ve found that you were always here, not just a part of me, but the heart of me…”

A wonderful reacord that has very personal meaning to me.

The Three Degrees: New Dimensions

(Giorgio Moroder/Pete Bellotte) 1978

Ariola SW-50044

Giving Up, Giving In 6:07

Looking For Love 5:26

Falling In Love again 5:34

The Runner 6:18

Woman In Love 5:16

Magic In The Air 5:45

 

This is the review which appeared in Stereo Review magainze  when the LP originally came out, and frankly, I couldn’t have said it better:  “This is my kind of disco.  Composers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte have again teamed up with the Munich-based engineer Jurgen Koppers to produce a dance, dance, dance record that is fun all the way.  The shift from the spacey ending in the album’s first song, Giving Up, Giving In, to the flattened, up-front sound of the opening of the second song, Looking For Love, is what disco records are all about.  There’s a complete change in mood, so you can move to a different kind of dancing, but there’s absolutely no break in the dance beat itself.  Looking for Love is a dynamite song that’s arranged like something from Donna Summer’s Once Upon a Time album and is every bit as effective.  Listen to the second half, when the “Ooh, looking for love” refrain runs in counterpoint with a driving brass section.  Wow!  There’s a lot more, too.  For Sunday tea-dances, there’s the infectously happy, hard-driving Falling in Love Again;for some heavy action there’s The Runner; for romance you can slow-bump through Women in Love.  Every song benefits from the well-planned, dense arrangements that mix big-band horn sections, close vocal harmonies, electronics and a never-flagging bat.  It’s all done with the kind of musical imagination that’s needed to keep disco lively.  Heats off to everybody concerned!”

 

 

Ritchie Family: African Queens

(Morali/Belolo/Hurtt) 1977

Marlin 2206

African Queens 4:35

Theme Of Nefertiti 1:30

Theme Of Cleopatra 1:30

Theme Of The Queen of Sheba 1:30

African Queens (reprise) 3:40

Summer Dance 5:28

Quiet village 5:45

Voodoo 5:35

 

 

 

Carol Douglas: Midnight Love Affair

(Davis/Levitt/Groscolas/Jourdan/

Flax/Rabin/Dahrouge) 1974

Midland International BKL1-1798

Carol’s Theme I 0:35

Midnight Love Affair 6:12

Carol’s Theme II 1:40

In The Morning 6:05

Lie To Me 3:35

Life Time Guarantee 4:04

Headline News 5:15

Crime Don’t Pay 4:42

 

 

 

Duncan Sisters: Duncan Sisters

(Morrison/Ley/Azizollah/Cochran/Cook/

Morrison/Shand) 1979

Earmark EMLP 4001

Sadness In My Eyes 6:48

Outside Love 7:11

Rock Along Slowly 4:54

Boys Will Be Boys 7:16

Love Is On The Way 6:04

You Give Me Such A Feeling 4:12

 

 

Giorgio Moroder: From Here to Eternity

(Giorgio Moroder/Pete Bellotte) 1977

Casablanca NBLP 7065, 33 rpm

From Here to Eternity 5:59

Faster Than The Speed of Love 1:54

Lost Angeles 2:44

Utopia – Me Giorgio 3:25

From Here to Eternity (reprise) 1:45

First Hand Experience in Second Hand Love 5:00

I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone 5:05

Too Hot To Handle 4:49

 

 

Cerrone: Love in C Minor

(Cerrone/Alec R. Costandinos) 1976

Cotillion SD 9913, 33 rpm

Love in C Minor 14:57

Black is Black 5:52

Midnight Lady 7:28

 

 

Patrick Cowley: Megatron Man

(Patrick Cowley) 1982

Megatone R1001

Megatron Man 9:12

Thank God For Music 5:17

Menergy 8:32

Get A Little 6:06

Lift Off 8:15

I Wanna Take You Home 7:39

 

 

 

Donna Summer: Once Upon A Time

(Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder/

Pete Bellotte) 1977

Casablanca NBLP 7078, 2 disk-set, 33 rpm

Once Upon A Time 4:02

Faster and Faster to Nowhere 3:34

Fairy Tale High 4:25

Say Something Nice 4:44

Now I Need You 6:09

Working the Midnight Shift 5:07

Queen For A Day 5:59

If You Got It Flaunt It 4:43

A Man Like You 3:34

Sweet Romance 4:31

(Theme) Once Upon A Time 0:48

Dance Into My Life 4:10

Rumour Has It 4:57

I Love You 4;43

Happily Ever After 3:51

(Theme) Once Upon A Time 3:58

In my opinion, the absolute best effort from the undisputed “Queen of Disco”.  Nothing like it had ever been done before—or after.

 

Poussez: Poussez!

(Alphonse Mouzon) 1979

Vanguard VSD 79412, 33 rpm

Come On And Do It 7:38

Boogie With Me 7:54

You’re All I Have 8:40

Never Gonna Say Goodbye 7:53

 

 

Alec R. Costandinos: Romeo & Juliet

(Alec R. Costandinos) 1978

Casablanca NBLP 7065, 33 rpm

Romeo & Juliet Acts I & II 16:08

Romeo & Juliet Acts III, IV & V 17:25

 

Alec Costandinos was the first disco producer to utilize 48 track recording to its fullest, and Romeo & Juliet, what I would unabashedly call his “signature” record, makes total use of that recording technology.  Romeo & Juliet is a full orchestral suite set to a dance beat, something that was certainly groundbreaking and had never before been done in the genre.  It was the one record I would always take to stereo stores to try out equipment with, almost always blowing away the salespeople with its crystal-clear sound.  Acts I & II, comprising all of side 1, are the best part of this record, with a rich, lush sound that’s curiously absent from the remainder of the LP.

 

 

St. Tropez: Belle de Jour

(Tate/McDermott/Jordan/Blue/Newton/

McKay/Findon/Myers/Lewis/Rinder/

Williams/Cervantes/Diamond/Taylor/Vail) 1979

Butterfly FLY-016, 33 rpm

Fill My Life With Love 6:14

One More Minute 7:04

Hold On To Love 4:45

Think I’m Gonna Fall In Love with You 5:20

Belle de Jour 7:20

Most Of All 5:51

When You Are Gone 5:05

Butterfly  Records was a small, independent label, best known for its very upscale, “classy” disco sound and a penchant for releasing initial pressing runs on colored vinyl.  Belle de Jour, for me, perfectly sums up all that was good and wonderful in disco:  great orchestration, wonderful vocals, and a very danceable beat.  The third cut on side 1, “Hold On To Love”, while not the chart buster that either “One More Minute” or “Belle de Jour” became, has become my favorite piece on this album; it playsme.   Doug Richardson’s tenor saxophone work in the song is simply outstanding, and I count myself fortunate in having this now very hard-to-find LP in my collection.  (Amazingly, it was one of only about a half-dozen pieces of vinyl which I did not sell from my original collection.)

 

Suzi Lane: Ooh La La

(Faltermeyer/Bennett/Moroder) 1979

Elektra 6E-207-A

Ooh, La La 7:38

Givin’ It Up 3:33

No One Home In The City 5:27

Harmony 6:59

Morning, Noon And Night 4:52

Free Me 4:30 

 

 

USA-European Connection: Come Into My Heart

(Midney/Pelullo) 1979

Marlin M2212, 33 rpm

Come Into My Heart / Good Loving 14:28

Love’s Coming / Baby Love 12:52

 

 

Meco: The Wizard of Oz

(Feist/Monardo/Bongiovi/Wheeler) 1978

Millennium MNLP 8009

Over the Rainbow 1:58

Cyclone 3:43

Munchkinland 1:19

Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead 2:00

Munchkinland (Again) 0:40

We’re Off To See The Wizard (The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz) 3:32

Poppies 1:12

The Spell 1:42

Optimistic Voices 1:31

The Merry Old Land Of Oz 1:14

The Haunted Forest 1:22

March Of The Winkies 1:20

Dorothy’s Rescue 1:11

If I Were King Of The Forest );57

Over The Rainbow 1:05

The Reprise 3:17

Okay, so it’s a bit of unabashedly high camp, but still a very fun record.

 

 

Michael Zager: Life’s a Party

(Zager/Fields) 1978

Columbia JC 35771

Life’s A Party 8:15

You Don’t Know A Good Thing 5:55

I Wish You Would Make Up Your Mind 5:10

Love Love Love 4:15

Still Not Over 3:54

On And On 3:43

Using You 5:49

More well known for “Let’s All Chant”, Michael Zager was nonetheless a prolific composer and producer.  This set highlights his incredible talent.

 

Hard To Believe It’s Been Thirty Years

1645 Folsom Street, #7. My first—non-shared—apartment in San Francisco. September/October 1987.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was one of those places I immediately think of when I hear the word “home.”

At the time, the area was still very much industrial/commercial in nature. The building was a half block from Hamburger Mary’s and just around the corner from the SF Eagle. At $745 a month, this one bedroom plus den stretched my budget but I loved it. #7 overlooked the extremely shallow paved back yard (that was never used by anyone). It had a good southern exposure, even though the equally tall buildings completely surrounding the yard sometimes made it feel like it was at the bottom of a light well. It also had an easily accessible roof deck where you could throw a lounge chair and catch some rays or the wonderful views at night.

About eighteen months after I moved in, #9 opened up on the top floor, and I jumped on it. It wasn’t quite as big as #7 (no separate den), but it was bright and airy, had a charming—if non working—fireplace, and a decent view of Twin Peaks if you stood in either of the bay windows.

The biggest adjustment moving upstairs to the opposite side of the building was the noise. Sleep was impossible with the windows open for the first few nights I was there because I was now facing Folsom, and even then it was a busy thoroughfare. But when the winter rains started sound of drops hitting the pavement and the woosh-woosh of cars passing on those wet nights more than made up for it. Parking (or lack thereof) continued to be a problem; I can’t even begin to tell you how many hundreds of dollars in $10 overnight street-cleaning parking tickets I racked up. But this was still home, and after I struck an arrangement with one of the business owners a few doors down to rent a parking space in their lot for $25 a month, the parking problem all but disappeared.

Then there was the stove in #9. It apparently hadn’t received a proper cleaning since it was originally put in place from the looks of it. I made the mistake one night of lifting up the range top, thinking I’d only have to wipe up a few spills under the burners, but I ended up spending the entire evening—with a putty knife—scarping off god knows how many years of accumulated gunk. But it shined thereafter!

This is where I was living when the Loma Prieta quake hit in 1989. The building came through with nary a scratch, but it pointed out the disadvantage of living in that particular area; probably because of its zoning and demographics, it was one of the last areas of The City to regain power. Even so, if I hadn’t made a very poor decision some months earlier and asked an even poorer decision of a romantic partner to move in with me, I might’ve stayed much longer. As it was, we transferred the lease into his name and I moved out in 1990.

1645 today…or at least as of last April, courtesy Google.