Mike Daley’s San Francisco
My new office is in the basement of a small two-story 1920s building on Mission Street, down the block from the Transbay bus terminal. I'm renting space from the law offices of Rosita C. Fernandez. It was a fashionable neighborhood seventy years ago. After decades of neglect, the sprawl of downtown San Francisco has given the area new life. Nevertheless, by six in the evening, there seems to be a regular gathering of homeless people in front of the building.
Rosie and I live about three blocks from each other in Marin County in a little suburb called Larkspur, which is about ten miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. . . Rosie's house is on Alexander Avenue, across from the Twin Cities Little League Field. Because of its proximity to the ballpark, it's known as the hey-batter-batter house. Rosie has been renting the tiny white bungalow since Grace started school last year. Many homes in Larkspur were built as temporary housing After the 1906 earthquake. Some have been remodeled, but most are still quite small. Rosie's was built in 1925 for a local schoolteacher, who paid twenty-five hundred dollars for it. Today, the seven-hundred-square-foot house would set you back at least three hundred thousand.
At one-fifteen in the morning, I arrive at my second-story
one-bedroom apartment in an eight-unit-walk-up building just behind the
fire station in downtown Larkspur. I climb up the short flight of steps,
find the afternoon paper and fumble for my keys in the dark. The building
is vintage fifties, and it's showing its age. My apartment consists of
a small living room, an even smaller bedroom, a dining area big enough
for a dinette set and a kitchen big enough for one. It's enough for me,
but cramped when Grace stays here. The furniture is basic cheap Scandinavian
teak, with a few bookcases built of bricks and boards. The only indication
of modern technology is a computer in the corner of my bedroom, a Mitsubishi
nineteen-inch TV and a small compact-disc player. Forty-five years old
and I'm still living like a college student. It's the price you pay when
you have alimony, child support and an ex-wife who wants nice stuff for
our daughter. Although Rosie probably doesn't need the money from me,
she's absolutely right in demanding it. Given my propensity for frittering
it away, it's better that I have a legal obligation to pay it to her.
It doesn't help that I have a sixty-eight year old mother who isn't in
the best of health.
Cathedral --Site of Funeral of Bob Holmes
Nob Hill, San Francisco, California
Rosie and are stand waiting for Joel on the front steps of the city's magnificent Grace Cathedral, which sits atop Nob Hill.
16th and Clement, San Francisco
We're having a beer on Joel's back porch as a light mist falls on the small houses built back-to-back in the Richmond District.
San Francisco, California.
Jack Frazier's office.
Napa Valley, California
The videotape opens with a shot of a swimming pool near the tennis courts at the Silverado Country Club in the Napa Valley. The camera pans to the hot tub next to the pool. There are two people in the hot tub--a man and a woman. The theme from L.A. Law continues to play. The video is shot from a distance. The camera zooms in on the hot tub. From the rear, I recognize Diana's stylish haircut. She's wearing a string bikini. As the camera focuses on her, I see the top of her bikini is unfastened.
Corner No. 2 Chinese Restaurant
From my new office, I look up at the side of a Chinese restaurant called Lucky Corner No. 2 through the heavy metal bars that protect my small window. The name is misleading. The restaurant isn't located on a corner. We'll see whether it will be lucky for me. At least I know where I can get a fast lunch.
2315 Clement Street, San Francisco
You won't find Bill's Place in Gourmet magazine.
Housed in an old building at Twenty-Fifth and Clement, it was a diner
before diners became fashionable and it served "comfort food"
four decades before food critics coined the term. The long counters,
huge chandeliers and Formica tables are a throwback to simpler times.
The waitresses have hair in varying shades of blue and orange and call
their customers "honey." It's the best place in the city to
take screaming children for hamburgers and mile shakes. It may never
be the subject of an American Express commercial, but it's been one of
my favorite places since my dad took me here when I was a kid.
245 Front Street,
San Francisco, California
I walk into Harrington's, an old, dark, wood-paneled pub on Front street that's now surrounded by high-rise office buildings.
240 California Street
The Tadich Grill opened in 1849 and serves traditional fish in a long, wood-paneled dining room on California Street. On a good night, you can get a private booth and a great piece of petrale sole.
252 California Street
Aqua is two doors down and about a hundred and fifty years
removed from Tadich's. It appears regularly in trendy food magazines.
I've eaten there only once. The crab cakes are out of this world.