SF’s other Chinatown


Serious food people at Good Luck deli


It’s good to have guides, even for those of us fortunate enough to live here. Though officially Queeristan is just 49 square miles (and nearly square), this 7×7 peninsula sandwiched ‘tween the Bay, the Pacific and the straight connecting the two that we famously call the Golden Gate is still large enough and densly packed enough with various neighborhoods of dozens of flavors that one has a hard time getting to really know more than a few.

Official Chinatown – tourist guide and Chamber of Commerce marker Chinatown – is east of Nob Hill, running downslope though the streets Grant, Pacific, Stockton, along Sacramento and into North Beach. It’s where famous sons and daughters of Chinese immigrants (Amy Tan, for instance) grew up.  But subsequent immigrants had to land elsewhere as old Chinatown was too small and dense to absorb so many more who have come. Now along Clement Street in the Richmond district another Chinatown thrives, and I am certain its not alone either.

A friend of ours – son of Chinese immigrants, and a native of the City – drove us over to pick up dim sum and show us the shops, and give us pointers for navigating on our own. This Halloween, the last day of October, turned out to be another summer day here and it was perfect for getting out to a different neighborhood. It took us a few laps around to park – best to take Muni, unless you’re going to do a lot of shopping – we started out dim sum treasure hunt.

We started at Good Luck, which our friend considers the best – and their Zagat placard indicated he is not alone in that judgment. A small place, without any atmosphere, but the proprietors are serious about the food. We queued up – things went fast – looked at the pink paper menu and circled and put a quantity by what we wanted. The owners were Cantonese (come to think of it, dim sum is a Cantonese thing) and our friend speaks fluently, so we had no problems. Since everything is marked in English as well, I don’t think we’ll have any problems going back either – it will just mean trying different items and figuring out what we like best of the dozens of types of delicacies on the menu and the specials boards.

I’ll report later on the other places we visited…


October surprise


Bryan Wilson

Go Giants! Fear the Beard! And all that.


While the heatwave has gone far too early, the Giant’s hot streak has continued, leading them into the World Series. Surprise!

And, what happened the last time the Giants were in the World Series? Just SF’s largest earthquake some 1906  – the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. I still remember huddling under a desk at HP (I was in Santa Clara then) as file cabinets swayed and then fell. Yes – we still used file cabinets back then. After a large aftershock, everyone started leaving for home. I lived about two miles away and it took a long time to get back since all traffic signals were out. On the radio I heard about fires in the Marina, and freeways having collapsed. Later that night Shmoopy and I finally had dinner at a burger joint within walking distance that was still open and had power.

No further October surprises, please.


Return of fog triggers cravings for warm-weather food

We’ve had almost two weeks of Indian Summer here in Queeristan, but the cool weather and fog wisps are back, even if only for a few days before the warmth returns. We have taken advantage of the “heat-wave” (only in SF would 80 degrees be a heat-wave, but whatever) to enjoy dining outside, at restaurants including the popular 16th and Market Starbelly which has a large and well-appointed patio, and a great menu.

We’ve also been enjoying a lot of salads at home, but last night I had a hankering for cool weather fare, and made a Bon Appetit recipe: Rigatoni with a chicken-saffron-cream sauce. It took awhile, but the kitchen was cool at least, and nothing satisfies like a good pasta dish on a cool foggy night.



Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. RIP Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas. You are loved.

A memorial page is up on Facebook for the gay teens recently bullied to death by homophobes.

Unfortunately because the h8rs in the world have no decency, shame, or any sense of culpability for the toxic atmosphere that kills gay youth, GLAAD has had to work closely with Facebook to protect this memorial page from flamers and cyber-bullies.

Today, Facebook told GLAAD that new measures have been put in place to respond more quickly to the hateful comments and troll activity.

“Educating people about the lasting and damaging impacts of ignorant and hateful comments is a responsibility shared by parents, educators, organizations like GLAAD, and services like Facebook. We take our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities very seriously and react quickly to reports of inappropriate content and behavior. The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate balance between giving people the freedom to express their opinions and viewpoints–even those that may be controversial to some–and maintaining a safe and trusted environment,” said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes. “We have policies that prohibit hateful content and we have built a robust reporting infrastructure and an expansive team to review reports and remove content quickly. In addition to responding to reports, we have automated systems that use a number of factors to flag content that might violate our policies, so we can review and take it down as quickly as possible and before it’s reported.”

“This violent, hateful speech has no place in our media–whether it in print, on the airwaves or online,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “Facebook has taken an important first step in making social media a place where anti-gay violence is not allowed. Our community needs to continue to be vigilant and report instances of hateful comments and images across the site to Facebook moderators as well as post messages of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.”

If only it were just a Facebook problem. It’s not. It’s in City Council meetings (gay killing in Norman, Oklahoma). It’s in churches, even (especially?) so-called “Mega-churches” led by closeted gay homophobes. And its in Congress and the White House, with Obama blowing kisses from one side of his mouth and telling us we’re not fit to marry from the other side.

But despite the flames from the likes of crazy RabbisChrist-pervertersTea-Baggers and just plain low-lifes:

We must not forget

We will make things better

We won’t go back

David Mixner blasts Prez for double-talk and homophobia

Queer leaders (i.e. not the likes of HRC) have been calling out the Obama administration’s homophobic double-talk, and this time the honor goes to David Mixner, who writes this about Obama’s desperation to keep DADT alive in the face of a Federal Court injunction:

…in this time of tragic suicides and brutal hate crimes, the President couldn’t have sent a worst[sic] message. Instead of standing up for justice, freedom and human dignity, he reinforced the concept that the LGBT community is indeed different from other Americans and needed a special process to be integrated into American life. Every young LGBT American will see a Democratic President making a decision involving their lives in a process that separates us from other Americans and not brings us together.

The Halloween dilemma

Halloween is fast approaching, and it is a Big Deal here in Queeristan. I can’t claim to be one of the many here who take to needle, thread, glue gun, and glitter like a fish takes to water BUT I will tell you that I once won a (1/6th share of) First Place trophy and cash prize for Best Costume at a major Halloween event right here in San Francisco. We were “Bo Peep and her baaaaad sheep.”

This year, what will we be seeing in the Castro? Many may go with the parody approach and this we can expect:

Christine O’Donnell – I mean this one is almost too easy, right?

Brett Favre. I’m sure we can have fun with this one – and Tiger Woods, his wife and his girlfriends would make a great group

The parody/comedy list could go on and on just with political figures this season – but I hope we don’t even give many of the Tea Party folks such publicity, and they already generate their own notoriety and are self-parodies anyway, so where’s the fun?

How about instead, we go with our own Heroes this year, like

Dan Savage (It Gets Better)

Rachel Maddow (She stands alone!)

Our gay soldiers

Kurt and his father – oh heck, any of the Glee cast