Livin' in the Tenderloin

Monday, 18 October 2010

Living in San Francisco's Tenderloin district and having a bay window that looks out onto one of the city's most infamous 'cross streets' provides hours of free entertainment.
Here's a list of some of the things I've seen during my 3 weeks in San Francisco:

- Angry bloke screaming at a tree
- Porsche driver picking up a hooker with one leg
- Two Chinese people having a karate fight before being run over by a pickup truck
- A man walking with two different kinds of limp
- A flourescent pink woman dancing to the BeeGees 'stayin alive' whilst furiously rubbing her crotch
- A guy starting a fight with a bin and losing
- A transvestite with lips that were bigger than her face
- A hateful, ranting schizophrenic hippy who wears a 'World Peace' t-shirt
- Prostitute in lacey ballet shoes, pirouetting around the corner to attract customers
- A woman attacking a man who had just stolen a dollar out of her pocket as she was sleeping on the pavement
- An Indian guy stood staring back at me for approximately 19 minutes
- A guy playing an old violin and being the world's best 'squeaky window cleaning' impersonator
- An old black man who stands on the corner blowing a huge conch towards our window
- A swaggering, outrageously dressed pimp with ermine trim
- A portly Mexican who was so infuriated by some unnoticeable slight that he started to cry
- Two gay guys having a 40 minute ticklefight in the middle of the road
- Homeless Alan Sugar lookalike; naked from the waist down
- Drunk woman trying to juggle with two dusty bagels
- Beggar who politely asks people for money before screaming 'Cracker!' into their earlugs
- Unfeasibly long-armed man in baggy black suit, walking uphill at a perfect 45 degree angle
- A man chasing a mexican guy who was speeding away in his easy-rider racing wheelchair
- Old woman, red 6-inch heels, dog leash, no dog

Walee and I were walking to the market last night when a rich, piercing voice began booming out in front of us.
"I got sunshiiiiiine... on a cloudy dayyyy"
It was an oldish looking black guy in a raggy grey jacket.
"When it's cold outsi-iii-ide, I got the month o' May"
As we passed him on the sidewalk pavement he began to walk with us and clap his large, weathered hands.
"I - guess - you'll - say, what-can-make-me-feel-this-wa-aaaa-ay?"
He smiled and closed his eyes as he sang, and added an extra soulful flourish to the original notes of the song.
"My girrrrrrrl, my girl, talkin' bout maaaah girl - my girl"
I guessed he was going to ask us for money (like a lot of people in the Loin) but he had put a big grin on my face, and I wanted to chat with him.
"Where did you learn to sing like that?"
"From the big man upstairs", he answered, pointing to the night sky. "I asked him for help 6 or 7 year back and he taught me everything I know, gave me this here voice. Not bad for a man o' 67 years old, huh? Now I use this voice to get me my bed for the night. Can you good folks spare some change?"
"We certainly can. Walee, get your purse out."
"Thankya very much...
... I got sooooooo much hunny, the bees envy meeeeeeee
I've got a sweeter so-oooo-ong, than the birds in the treeeeeees...."


The Tender said...

Hey Sam,

We're glad you're "enjoying" the Tenderloin! Let us know if you'd like us to cross-publish on the Tenderblog any of your observations or photos about the neighborhood.

Also, tonight we're having a little happy hour to meet other Tenderloiners and it would be great if you stopped by to say hi. It's from 6 to 8 or 9 at Koko Cocktails (