Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Neighborhood Spotlight
As a new feature, WULAD will be turning its attention to notable attractions in the area; our global readers can get a taste of San Fran without leaving the comfort of their dilapidated, tiny-Styrofoam-ball-oozing beanbag chair, while local readers can visit these Scintillating Spots themselves. Today’s column focuses on All-Stars Donuts—truly the crossroads of San Francisco. How can I begin to list its charms? As the ironically praise-laden Guardian cartoon hung non-ironically on the wall notes, they’ve got coffee, cops, speed freaks, and free parking. And at 5th and Harrison, it’s conveniently located only a block from the city Mental Health Services office! The folks I see there are mostly tired-looking middle-aged men eating omelets with blank stares, technology-industry hipsters picking up their coffee on the way to their pink slips, and construction workers buying a hundred bucks’ worth of crullers and Snapple—but then I’ve never been there at 3 a.m., when it must get really interesting. This morning a not-too-disheveled guy in a colorful scarf walked in while I was paying for my item superficially resembling a bagel, approached the counter, and said to all or none of us, with a fierce look in his eye, “Pure and simple... beauty,” followed by something unintelligible. Nobody paid any attention to him. “The words,” he continued as he walked back out the door, “the words. Words!” (This is right around the corner from where I passed a man one day shouting into a hedge, “God, I’m the devil! I’m the devil, God!”) But the staff is indefatigable and gets the job done in spite of it all, although once they gave my bagel to somebody else and I had to wait for them to make another one. Four stars!

In other news, occasionally lovable demagogue Michael Moore sums up a few of the arguments which could potentially influence those who still think Bush is a pretty O.K. guy. I don’t know anybody like that, but if any of you do, share this with them. I might add something about how no administration has ever had the power to hold American citizens indefinitely without charge or judicial review, until now. Just kidding! I’m sure they’d only use that power against somebody who deserved it.

Coming soon—the thrilling conclusion to my tale of Law & Order & Public Urination.