Friday, May 21, 2010

Bet You Never Had Pho Like This

First of all, I just want to apologize for completely sucking lately with posts. In my own defense, I have about a dozen half-finished entries in my que waiting to be finished - an argument that cannot be proven with evidence as that would break my process as an arteest. Yes, stop laughing, an inability to complete anything and procrastination contribute almost entirely to my status as an unemployed writer. That and dumb ass George Bush. But let's not get political. ANYWAY, hello. I've missed you. I would say I promise to write posts everyday and be a good little blogger, but a promise is only comfort to a fool (a wise man once told me that) and I'm kinda flaky (my own mother told me that).

Since writer's block is thwarting any attempt for me to finish any of the posts I so eagerly started and then so haphazardly abandoned, I give you this: A lunchtime observation....

And people say Oakland is scary. Yesterday, a couple friends and I were in San Francisco and decided to go get pho at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. As we were in Union Square, the closest authentic restaurant was in the Tenderloin. Now if you're not familiar with San Francisco, the Tenderloin is not where you would take your grandma site-seeing. Hell, it's not even where you would take your half-cousin Thor site-seeing. Not unless Grandma or Thor has a penchant for men who wear blankets on their heads and argue with an invisible leprechaun about who gets to pee on the wall outside of Slippery Hand Massage. I think it's called the Tenderloin because a long time ago, it used to be the where all the meat factories were located. Now it's just sort of an African safari with junkies and angry prostitutes instead of zebras and gazelles. But good pho is good pho and we're all martial artists so into the Tenderloin we went. Fah-la-la-la-la!

Everything was actually pretty uneventful until the end of our meal when some live performers came out to entertain. And by that I mean, the crackheads in the building across the street started leaning out their windows and screaming down to the people in the street below. First, a lovely young toothless woman in a button-down did a jazzy little spread-eagle number sans pants OR underwear while balancing precariously on her sill about four stories up. She would lean back and cackle, kicking her legs up in the air and then swing them separately in circles, intermittently pausing to screech obscenities down to anyone who was watching, looking like one of the drunken pirates on the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Then her boyfriend (or pimp or inbred brother) came and yanked her back into the room, slamming the window shut.

There was a slight intermission in which we had time to pick our jaws back up from the floor and exchange wide-eyed looks over our nearly empty bowls of soup before the next entertainer appeared. This performer was wearing underwear, but only underwear and they were the kind of pink that you only get from accidentally washing your whites with a red sock and looked like they might have been from Goodwill or picked out of a gutter. She did a little routine of thrashing with the blinds as if they were attacking her and then leaning, almost to the point of falling, out the window to yell and spit at the Asian man pushing the shopping cart on the corner.

And that was lunch. You would think that any sane human beings would rush to pay their bill and get back to an area of the city with a little less needles and vomit on the sidewalk. No. Instead we sat for awhile longer, waiting to see if there would be an Act III. When it seemed all the lunatics from the building across the street had settled in for a long, nap of God-knows-what induced unconsciousness, we wandered outside to continue our adventure. Think Crocodile Hunter goes urban. Anyway we got in another hour or so of thrills and near-brushes with scabies until we were approached and asked if we were holding. When we said no, our hopeful, unrelenting consumer offered his own services in exchange for, well, it wasn't cupcakes.

And that was curtains for me.


  1. Hooray for urban dinner theater! Who doesn't love some pho and a show?

  2. Dinner and a show! Pho is probably the best food ever!

  3. I have no idea what Pho is (it probably hasn't reached Australia yet, we're a bit slow) but now I just want to go hunt some up so I can see if it conjures up crack heads with no undies, hulk hogan type chicks wrestling with blinds, and shady guys not offering cupcakes.

  4. I feel dumb cuz I don't know what 'PHO' is. I enjoy a good crackhead theater every now and then.

  5. I only recently discovered pho (and I'm pretty sure I'm missing an accent in there) a few years ago. It's a Vietnamese noodle soup. If you ever get the chance to try it - it's excellent!

  6. I wanna go next time!

    Jealous in SC,


    All our Meth heads stay in their trailers and just blow up in the middle of the night! Next day news is a little scorched earth shot- and a quick blurb that all 13 children got out safely! Sad but true!

  7. ahahah. My husband and I were in SF last year and decided to walk back to our hotel from wherever we were, and walked RIGHT THROUGH the Tenderloin after dark. I'm a New Yorker, so I think I'm all bad ass and can deal with sketch...but christ alive that area is SKETCHY.

    I love pho though. I'd walk back through Crackville to get some of the good stuff.

  8. Pho, pronounced fuh, is always worth it fo sho.

  9. Pho is so darn good!
    great post (made up for lost time).

    there's gonna be some new original bling for you at my place in the morning.
    be there!

  10. Wow - crack-head street performers and scabies? Sounds like a perfect day in SF.