YET ANOTHER LOSS FOR GayTown & Meditation Envy

B’s not feeling well. Tooth infection. He’s taking antibiotics and Vicodin. Not that I doubted it, but I really know he is not well as he declined a trip to Nordstrom’s last night, fell into deep sleep at about 8pm and asked me to cancel my plans with Ing to stay in with him tonight. Poor guy.

Anyway, this morning he thought he was feeling a little better. We had an afternoon party and then I had plans with Ing — but we walked to my fave place in The Castro for brunch, Welcome Home. An awesome diner-like establishment that has been serving queers for over 30 years! My fave seat is the one in the back corner above which hangs a painting done by some local artist — an interesting piece of SF Queer Culture — the water color (which appears to have been done sometime in the late 70’s) features a sort of snapshot of Welcome Home when it was still new and there was no such horror as AIDS yet on the horizon. Happy, thin, muscular and bearded men in tight jeans are eating in the painting. And, the decor seems to have only changed a bit since then. Welcome Home is almost always busy. With a wide range of diners. Old, young, gay, str8t, lesbian, tourists, daddies, club kids still twitching from the night before and me observing them all. When I was unemployed or when I’ve felt sad — it is to Welcome Home I would go to have a large Diet Coke and just soak it all in.

When you walk into Welcome Home you’re normally greeted by a way cool hostess who is both funny and kind. “kind” + “funny” is not so easy a mix to find in a world full of ironic hip-ness. If you know and enjoy Welcome Home — you know I’m writing of “L” who totally rocks!!! Well, today L, the hostess with the most, told us that tomorrow is the last day of life for Welcome Home. The doors to the restaurant close forever tomorrow.

It made me feel so very sad. This was one of the first places I ever ate in SF. This is my fave place for brunch. This is where Ing and I shared a great holiday meal and poured over our (many but always attractive!) insecurities. This is where B and I have had a few romantic moments and few arguments. This place always felt, well, like a “home” to me. And, after tomorrow it is no more. B left L a big tip. We promised the sweet guy at the register we would be there tomorrow. But, I won’t be there. It would be too sad to me.

Word on the street is that the landlord’s kids have gotten greedy and doubled the lease so to get them out. It sounds like they had already leased it out before Welcome Home new the lease was even going up. Interestingly, the landlord’s kids refuse to say who has bought or who is moving in. I hope it isn’t Starbucks or some other lame chain. It probably is. This, to me, is even more sad than when The Cove took down their years of cool SF Queer History photos! At least The Cove still grooves on and you can see the pictures which were all scanned and are now projected to plasma screens. …but it is just no longer the same. The Cove’s magic left with the actual photographs.

…this is why everywhere in the US (and the world) is starting to look the same. We are owned by the corporate world. The Castro has changed so much in less than 10 years. I was last here in 1998. We had bagels at this cute little place which, upon my perm return in 2005, had become a Diesel. Now, I like Diesel as much as anyone but I do miss the bagels. We have another bagel source down the street. And we still have Orphan Andy’s which has, I believe, a longer history than Welcome Home. But, Orphan Andy’s — as cool as it is — is no Welcome Home.

If B were not sick. I might have tried to convince he and Ing into going to the Sing A Long Grease before The Castro turns into a Sony Megaplex. We could possibly even grab a drink after the show at the Twin Peaks Bar (aka The Glass Coffin) …which is likely to become a Fridays any minute now.

Now, as B sleeps I’ve slipped out to my balcony. I call it mine because B never comes out here. I love to feel the breeze and listen to all the odd things one can hear at our place. …like the couple (one of whom we suspect is a hustler) who are always “experimenting” — we’ve heard more than a few crash/booms/ahhhh’s/ohhhhh’s/harder! harder! harder!’s/Whip me, baby!’s/Who’s your daddy, pig?!?’s/Get the fuck out!’s over the last year, the folks to the right who are forever gardening and discussing local politics, and the random Castro Street noises one hears from time to time. …and the sweet scent of pot that wafts up to greet me from one set of the neighbors below who seem to always be moving furniture.

I like these sounds.

But, when I look to my left and I become envious of the cute gay couple who live behind us. They have this gorgeous little patio which they keep clean but never use. Can you see it in my lame attempt to photograph it? I’m quite jealous of it. I bet their apartment is incredible, too. But, I also bet they don’t get the cool sounds we get. Nor, do they get the pleasure of my music blaring! (or maybe they do. …maybe that’s why they’re never there. Hmmmm…) …and when it comes to my music blaring you never know if you might be hearing a bit of Babs, Led Zep or NIN. You just never know. Anyway, if this little patio were ours — I would use it. I would most definitely meditate my Castro ass off!

…I might even be inspired to do some of those paper lattes yoga things that Ing and Madonna do.

And, this is the view from our dining room windows. …looking down, that is. …Ing sat outside these windows and sang a Beck song while carefully decorating Christmas cookies. Anyway, our downstairs neighbors get a patio. Both set of neighbors share this patio. I would not enjoy it much as the sunlight is limited and everyone in the building looks in and down at them. I often see this naked guy doing dishes. …and, not too long ago, I’m fairly certain our upstairs neighbors were having a bit too much with another boy and someone tossed their cookies upon their potted plants. Either that, or they scooped out some gross meaty concoction from above. Not too nice. Yet, I do so love our building.

I love our apartment, tho we can’t seem to get the wall in the dining room done. We try. Or, I should say B continues to try/play with the frames while I play/try with the images posted within their boundaries. I recently picked up some way cool stuff to go in them. However, I got the thumbs down on this neat Iggy Pop picture. Oh well. …I should probably find a new/better place to keep my bike. And, we still need some chairs for the table. We want to have a dinner party but we have no chairs. oy.

It is a gorgeous day. B sleeps soundly. And, I’m listening to this: …big surprise, right?

The cover to this LP was taken in 1975 in Babs’ living room. I wish I had a living room just like it. It looks so groovy and comfortable. I wonder if one was required to wear turbans and scarves to chill there in the presence of Barbra? I’d like to think it would be required.

But, it is a lazy afternoon. I’m bored, but that’s ok. I’m going to go lounge on my balcony… I wish there were no such thing as lung cancer. I’d like a ciggie right about now.

June 9, 2007. Uncategorized.


  1. Dessie replied:

    So lovely to see your house!

    Perhaps this will inspire a bloggish Through-The-Keyhole…? You get that over there, right?

  2. matty03 replied:

    Dessie! No, I don’t know what THROUGH THE KEYHOLE is! …now, I must google it!

  3. Lubin Odana replied:

    I love that wall with the frames.

    Shame about the Castro changing – I know what you mean about everywhere going the same. There’s nothing like unique and individual shops and cafes.

  4. matty03 replied:

    Lubin! Thanks! …that is the work of B! I think I will like it and it is finished without all those wires. But, I can tell it is evolving into something. Just not sure what. I need to get the new pix I found up. Maybe that will inspire B when he feels better. …yes, gentrification is most worrying. Of course I am sure all the old ladies who sold out to us queers in the 60’s/early 70’s felt the same about The Castro going all gay. But, soon, few of us will be able to live here. It will all be babies and yuppies! No! Must not let it happen!!!

  5. ing replied:

    The city is changing, and the coolness is getting shoved out. It’s fun for a little while, though. It’s fun to try it out, but it’s not really a home. . .

    You’re so lucky to have that apartment!

    I’m off to do laundry & visit my friend Tina. She’s a Mission gal, through and through. I think the Mission/Valencia is my favorite area of San Fran. Or maybe Bernal Heights. But it’s nice sometimes to have a beer in a gay bar, where the men are all cute and nice and they don’t hit on me.

    I went to that place next to Chow on Friday night. I was complimented several times on my coat, and I let one guy try it on.

    But I’m on a mission to get me a boyfriend! My friend Sarah and I are going to get dressed up and try the Financial District bars. We scanned Myspace for dates. LAME.

    Okay, I’m off.

  6. matty03 replied:

    Ing! You were at Pilsner’s!!! I like the Mission, too. I just worry I’m not “hip” enough nor am I willing to deal with the druggies after 11pm. But, I LOVE Bernal Heights. I just don’t think me and B can swing it.

    Hey, I think that is an awesome idea!!!! Wear your pumps, missy!!!!

    I need to meet Sarah!

    I should be trying to do laundry, but I wanna do something fun this weekend! I do! I must!

    kisses and a hug, matty

  7. Josh Williams replied:

    My living room has the same paint color by dog.My brother painted it for me because I do not have the patience, he is a great painter and I am lazy that way and others. I called him one day, I had torn out a wall making my living room larger, so one portion is blue the other orange Italian orange…Where was I ? I called asked how it was going and he said great he was watching the Simpsons and that their house is the same orange as my house, yes I was paying him to watch the Simpsons. I watched an episode and he was right, same color. Hope your world is not watered down anymore,is the devil involved? If a business has a soul it is damned. So it goes, we both have Homer Simpson orange living rooms and we both agree corperate America is a Souless beast with a death grip on cultures neck. keep treading JW

  8. matty03 replied:

    Josh! I so love your comment! And, I love that our places have the same color — and that we both share this with The Simpsons! LOL! Yes, that Souless Beast may drag our country down before we do it in with all our acts against the environment!

    We went by Welcome Home. They had a sign up thanking everyone and saying goodbye. People were outside and L and M were taking pictures outside the door. Too sad for me. We went to Bagdad Cafe and had dinner there.

    …I’m not good at “goodbye’s”


  9. hot lunch replied:

    i love your space! and the fact that you’re in San Francisco, the Castro no less! How cool is that? It’s what young gays dream of achieving someday, at least I did! Sorry to hear about Welcome Home closing 😦 It’s nice that you had this place where you were a regular though… My fingers are crossed for you that it’s not a lame chain going in there…

  10. matty replied:

    Hot Lunch! Awww, thanks! B found it! B is awesome! Anyway, I hope you’re right and that you bring us luck!

  11. Meredith replied:

    I started reading this post and was like, “I’m SO going to SF. This is my place! And now I’m utterly heartbroken that they’re closing Welcome Home down. It’s not fair. I always just miss the good stuff. Those shoes with the cork soles and the carvings in them. Real roller derby. Disco. I missed it. Life is so unfair.
    Seriously. That’s so sad. I wish everyone could somehow save it. Everytime one of those little neighbourhood institutions vanishes it leaves another gaping hole for Starbucks or some other corporate slut to fill. Take good care of B, he’s a keeper!

  12. Old Cheeser replied:

    Great pics Matty…the gay street kind of reminds me of Old Compton Street in London (although that is rather more posey and style-obssessed I suppose). Okay how about “Liberty Avenue” in “Queer as Folk”. Yes it is a shame when they close down all the unique and good places – the corporate world is indeed taking over and a place loses its individuality and character.

    I am loving the sound of your rude neighbours – we actually had a woman living next door to us who every Saturday at around 11-12 would have very loud orgasms indeed. She actually sounded like she was in pain. We nick-named her “Mrs Saturday Shag”. And the fact that she was always having it away at the same time every weekend kind of led to the theory that she was, erm, a working girl…She seems to have stopped now. Shame.

    Your own lounge looks very nice. Perhaps you could redecorate it in the style of tne Babs record cover?

  13. Old Cheeser replied:

    Oh and hope B feels better soon!

  14. matty03 replied:

    Lovely Meredith! Oh, there are still loads of places in SF that are magic/cool-filled! More and more of them are to be found in The Mission or Bernal Heights, tho. At least in my opinion. Tho, we still have some way cool places in The Castro and The Haight (AND == the Gap closed in the Haight! Whoo-hoo!) …I was just rather partial to Welcome Home. I feel like I missed everything, too. I remember disco in theory but was too young to take part. On another up side — roller derby and roller disco are making a come back!!! And, don’t worry! I’m watching out for my B! I’m the B’s Keeper! LOL! …Actually, he is usually taking care of me. Keeping me from getting hit by cars and into trouble.

    Old Cheeser! I should think anywhere in the UK is cooler than in the US. Just my fairly certain opinion. Tho, job hunting in the UK sounds “krazy”! …Aw, I love Mrs. Saturday Night Shag! Too bad she’s not having it off these days. I doubt she’s a worker! I don’t know. I could try to decorate our fire escape. Tho, I worry. Would not the fog cause the scarves and pillow to mold?

  15. Meredith replied:

    the “B”s keeper.
    You’re so cheesie. 🙂

  16. matty replied:

    Lovely Meredith! I do so love my B!

    …yes, i am quite ‘chezzzzy” …but only in a cool, good way!

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