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THE OFFICIAL CLOWN ALLEY or MY FRIDAY NIGHT ADVENTURE…

I did not have my camera or my iBook — just my cell phone and my handy (and quite cute) Sanrio “Dairy Character” writing pad (don’t know it’s name as I’ve yet to see this character in the US — this was sent to me by an email pal in Japan) —- Anyway, I digress. I was facing my fears on my way to see Rick perform with his friend in a cabaret act (which was OUTSTANDING, by the way) —

I was lost as I tried to find my way from my office to The Purple Onion. I saw a small band of young men who I suspect were gang members — they were tossing pennies at women as they walked by to their own great amusement. ? But, I figured that they must know the area so I walked up and asked them if they give me directions to Columbus Avenue. They were actually not too scary and informed me that I was just 3 blocks off track. One of them, in need of a bath and a better tattoo artiste put his hand on my shoulder and asked, “Where are you going my white friend?” …Do urban punk/gang hipsters now speak like Knights of the Realm?!?!? …well, it is San Francisco — so one never knows. I said I was going to see a show at The Purple Onion. I said this as happy as I could playing up to the way he asked the question. My response made all 5 of them hoot noises of approval. “Uptown, my main man!” exclaimed the shortest of the bunch. I said, “But, isn’t this Chinatown?” I got laughs. I was then asked if I had any money. I said it didn’t matter because I would not give them any as all they appear to do is throw it at people as they walk by. I got more laughs and was “excused” with a “Have a good time, Dude!”

As I walked toward the club I realized I had a great view of that pyriamid-looking building and then noticed that Francis Ford Copolla’s offices and restaurant was to my immedaiate right. I could see movie posters and a framed picture of Sophia! Neat. But, I needed a cheap place to grab a bite to eat as I waited for Milford to join me. And, then I faced my biggest fear — Clowns! Yes, there appears to be a fairly popular late night diner called “Clown Alley” — which is dedicated to clowns. Scary pictures of clowns are everywhere, but I got a grip and ordered a beef patty and a Diet Coke. The guy seemed only a little annoyed that I wanted no bun with my burger. He explained that Clown Alley is a very popular “after the clubs close” spot and that they are open till 4am. The food was pretty good and the restroom was clean! However, being surrounded by clown stuff is not that good for digestion.

Then I walked over to The Purple Onion. I couldn’t wait to get in as I am fairly positive that this is the SF club of the early 60’s where Phyllis Diller took Barbra Streisand to open for her. With Ms. Diller’s name on the bill, Babs got her west coast break in San Francisco. They ended up playing an extra 3 weeks. This was pre Broadway Funny Girl. This was back when Babs was considered “cutting edge” with purple hair singing classics while the other 18/19 year old singers were performing folk or rock. The Purple Onion is also where the Smothers Bros broke out and countless other 60’s artistes. So, we’re talking entertainment history here!

Anway, Milford arrived and we saw Lua Hadar perform an exceptional jazz-influenced cabaret act. And — we saw Rick perform! He was quite good — Essentially, his part of the program was as back up for a Yiddish cover of Madelene Kahn’s “I’m Tired” from BLAZING SADDLES. It was very funny. Ms. Hadar also did a great performance of “Ring Them Bells” and “Nature Boy” — We had a blast.

…However, the highlight of the evening for me was at the very end when I was chatting with Rick and a lady walked up to congratulate him and he introduced me and made a point of telling her that we were dating. It kind of sounded like he was bragging about it. I don’t know — this made me feel good. Now, shut up and stop making fun of me!

The pictures are not so good because I took them with my cell phone, but they will have to do!

Today I calmed a client down and was walking down Market Street to pick up my mail and it stuck me that I have really started to rebuild a new life for myself. …It’s kind of exciting — all of these possibilities. What’s next?!?!?

kisses, matt

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October 7, 2005. Uncategorized.

8 Comments

  1. g8s replied:

    Matt, why don’t you run for mayor? Seriously! You could rename the city, “Matt’s Bit of Space”…

  2. thomas replied:

    i’m so happy for you. really. and i’m not even jealous a little bit, like i usuallly am. okay, maybe a little bit. and what were you thinking going up to gang members? are you crazy? i may live in the midwest, but we know better than to apporach gang members out here. now i will be worried about you.

  3. digitic replied:

    Ummm, yeah, I agree with Thomas … What were you thinking going up to gang members?!?!?

    The Clown Alley burgers ARE pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself.

    The demonic painted clown faces everywhere are bit sinister, though, and distract from the toasty burger bun goodness.

    Rick is a cutie, the show was very fun, and welcome to your new life in *The City*!

  4. Karyn replied:

    Matt, forgive me while I channel Karl for a moment:

    DO NOT APPROACH GANG MEMBERS! OR REASONABLE FACSIMILES THEREOF! Very Naughty! Scaring the East Coasters! Sheesh!

    That said – you got balls of steel, lovey. But I’m with you- scared crapless of clowns. Who the hell came up with the idea?

    Love you!

  5. matt replied:

    g8s — I would so suck as a mayor! LOL! But, it might be fun for a day or two. However, our mayor is quite good and despite suffering from “politician” hair syndrome is quite cute!

    Thomas — No need to be jealous! Of what?

    Milford — Isn’t he a cutie?!?!?

    I feel so the more bonded with both Milford and Karyn over our shared concern regarding the evils of clowns!

    Regarding my approaching the gang members — please note that I wrote that they looked like they might be gang members. I had to walk thru their penny toss and I was unable to get anyone else to stop due to their fear of these kids, their cell phone conversations, their iPods or combo of the three. Unusual as it is normally quite easy to get help with directions. Anyway, I figured, “what the hell? I have to pass by ’em anyway — might as well ask. It worked. I promise I don’t make a habit of such things — tho, I don’t really worry too much about it.

  6. Madley replied:

    Hi Matt,

    Ah yes, the Infamous! 🙂

    I’m a friend of Rick’s — got here from his blog and figured out YOU’RE the Matt he was talking about this weekend in Sacramento!

    Great entry about S.F. — I still don’t get that city after having grown up there (but leaving for LA for college). The Purple Onion is a cool place for it’s history and ambience — but don’t bother with the overpriced food in the restaurant. There are a million other places better — ASK RICK!

    Anyhoo, just wanted to say hi 🙂

    Best to you–

  7. matt replied:

    Hi Madley!

    Hope to meet you sometime!! Hope he had good things to say about me! LOL!

    Yeah, I think I am in love with this nutty city!

  8. joe replied:

    oh my! gang members? scarey clowns? you’re living dangerously! (I really do think clowns are scary as hell.)

    oh, that rick story is soooo cute.

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