Wednesday, November 30, 2005

labcabincalifornia: a list


part 2 of 2: why i love the bay-yay(-yay-yay!!!!)

ok, so at first, i hit you up with a mad corny love letter. and now, i present the sequel: a list of reasons why i love and will be moving to the bay.
  • the greatest. radio station. ever. while in san fran, my homegyrl and i stayed in a most magnificent two bedroom apartment (for the price of a decent hotel room) on haight and divisidero. though we didn't spend a whole lot of time there, whenever we did, we got high and listened to the radio. though they had a tv and a dvd player back in some corner somewhere, we didn't watch tv the whole time. this is especially crazy b/c i have a serious television addiction. perhaps this proves that if you don't see it, you're less inclined to watch it. anyway, when we arrived, the owner had the smooth jazz channel on. my friend wanted to listen to kcrw, because she digs their music (she streams it when she's in the chi). looking for that station, she came across what is prolly the greatest radio station i've ever heard, 89.9. i've been doing some searching, and i believe the station i listened to was kcrh. not once did i hear that garbageshit they play on all those other "urban" stations. not once did a dj scream over the song. not once did some young girl from the west side call to put her baby daddy on blast. this shit was straight up good, and for four days i had to have the station on as background music whenever i was in the apartment. soon (hopefully), i'll be able to catch the webcast. i am e. lay. ted.
  • weather. though mark twain (allegedly) said, "the coldest winter i ever saw was a summer i spent in san francisco" (shout out rrrr), with the latest turn in chicago's climate (62 monday, 30 tuesday), i'm willing to spend a wintry summer in the bay. chillyfoggy mornings, relatively warm days, and sorta cold nights? sign. me. up.!!!! all of my life, i have lived in a place with arctic-ass winters, and the most humidest summers. you can never really put up your summer (or winter) clothes, because the seasons are mad menopausal (comma) yo. and you can't trust a forecast for more than 4 hours because it's bound to change. all a homegyrl asks for is a little consistency. the sun ain't gotta shine everyday. i'm just sick of running a tally of "consecutive days when the temperature is below zero."
  • women. if people think the only great thing in oakland is mc hammer, how wrong they are!!!! i just wanna thank the women of oakland for being so beautiful. (let this be a lesson to all these designer mullet-rocking, too big for a chicago bears lineman white sox jersey wearing, let me do my best performance of a beer guzzling, pool playing lesbian chicago dykes around these parts: the women of oakland have given me hope that i will not have to sleep with any of you. [not that there's anything wrong witcha. you just ain't my cup of chai. i can't hate too much b/c these women get mad dates. hence, i've come to the conclusion that i'm too sexy for chicago like i'm right said fred. (prolly not. but thinking such thoughts is comforting.)] but i just sophia patrillo'd.) anyway, the bay got dem gyrls.
  • (and the) weed (sticky green). cali got that goodgood (comma) yo. so much so that it mighta contributed to my blackout during a party. yes, a nigga blacked the fuck out in the middle of a party. lemme put this in context. as a general rule: I CAN DRINK YOU UNDER THE TABLE. i don't get drunk (ax nahmix and saf for confirmation). perhaps it's the genes (i love my grandmother for many other reasons), but i can hold my liquor. well, all i know is i got more than tipsy during this party my homie and i attended. maybe it was lightweight jetlag. maybe it was the fact that we'd walked oakland and berkeley having only ingested marijuana and iced chai, but i was so fucked up that i passed out on the couch in the middle of the illest soiree. i don't remember getting high (again) at the party (which i apparently did), but i have, like, 4 flashbacks of the night, two of which involve two quite loverly ladies. i suppose i had a great time. i heard i did. i mean, a nigga woke up, face in the bed, with her puma jacket on upside down...and my kix were a bit dirty. plus, i lost my CELL PHONE!!!! but since the bay is such a wonderful place, not only did i get my celly back, but i got my jean jacket back, too. minus the joint that was apparently in my pocket. fyi: always pass on bacardi and orange juice. (esp. if you like neither rum nor oj)
  • kind to the visually impaired. everytime we crossed the street we heard different chirps and beeping. i can only assume it's for folks who don't see. that's like the nicest. shit. ever. especially since i often wonder if i'll lose my eyesight...more on that later in the week. i'm just saying: that's a mad nice gesture.
  • (hawaii) 5-0. if you ask, the police will call you a taxi. though cab culture is a bit difficult to decipher in the city (in the chicago, cabbies light up "not for hire" signs if they have a customer already, or aren't on duty; and all you have to do is step to the curb and hold out your hand to hail one.), you can get one if you ask the right person. the night after "the great blackout," we were sort of stuck in the middle of nowhere (well, prolly somewhere, but we ain't really know), and we needed a cab. none were lined up in front of the club like they are in the chi. having no idea which way to go, we asked these two police officers who were in the middle of laughing at someone they'd caught doing something in his car. (wtf?) we asked where we might walk to catch a cab, but the police officer just called us one instead, all the while laughing at her suspect. (wtf?)
  • politeness. just the most cheerful, nicest, giving random smiles to a stranger mofos i have ever seen. need directions? not only will they tell you, they will make sure you get to the exact spot they just outlined for you. and if they sense you're lost, they will kindly interrupt your convo and give you instructions on how to get on the right train...they're even nice to vandals. that right there is a picture of a sign on a storefront window. could you be any more polite to muhfuckas fucking up your shit? please and thanks? (wtf?)...the homeless folk? wow. i mean. living in the chi, i've been accosted by sneaky unhoused people. "no, i do not wanna buy your streetwise which is really a chicago reader"...please stop singing negro spirituals at the top of your lungs... but in the bay-yay? gotta love 'em. i'm not saying that homelessness isn't an issue in the bay area, but it's just the way they roll that surprised me. everytime we needed to get somewhere, we pretty much took a train from civic center. the same homeless man was there every time we arrived, and was full of information. from where to get change for a twenty, to how to get to our destination, dude was mad informative. when we decided to do the tourist thing, and head to pier 39, he told us exactly which bus to take. but it gets funny. we got on the bus, and the driver was waiting for the light to turn green. for some reason, our tour guide had crossed the street, and had just made his way back. somehow, he convinced the bus driver to open the door. first, he asked for spare change, and he and the bus driver shared a hearty laugh. then, he asked the bus driver if he knew how to get to fisherman's wharf. which was ever funnier because 1) the bus said "fisherman's wharf" on the front, and 2) right before we'd gotten on the bus, he'd given us very detailed instructions about this particular bus' route. the driver, obviously familiar with this man, just chuckled. this would never happen in chicago. believe me. i used to live in uptown where the homeless folk dwell. ain't no jokin' going on at the 151 bus stop. this just further proves that though midwesterners think they're polite, we're really just a bunch of uptight assholes.
  • first name charlie...last name wilson. the following is the greatest story i could ever tell you about my first trip to the bay, and typing it here prolly won't even do it justice. so if you ever talk to me, you should ask me to retell the story so you can see me get excited. (warning: long) during the aforementioned bus trip to pier 39, a few stops after we get on, a white, middle-aged, presumably gay male gets on the bus and sits in front of us. for whatever reason, he decides to get up and get something from the bus driver. he chooses to do this once the bus has made another stop. at this stop, two young black women and a black male get on. this black male has on a bomber jacket, a white do-rag, a baseball cap, and a front grill of all gold teeth. he's wearing headphones. said white male accidentally backs into said black male. witnessing this, i immediately tense up, and johnny five on the potential ramifications of wm bumping into bm. this could be very scary, and fuck up my high. wm immediately apologizes. bm says, "no need to apologize, sir." both turn, face, and encourage the other to enter the bus. wm finally relents and goes back to his seat. bm sits behind us while his two friends sit across. bm is singing the new urban hit, "charlie, last name wilson." a few stops later, a mid 30s white woman gets on the bus. at this point, the vehicle is full. seeing this, our friend the bm says, "m'am, would you like to sit down?" and she says, "why, yes," and takes his seat. (wtf?) in the meantime, a young latino dude has said, "thank you, sir," to the middle-aged asian bus driver upon getting off the bus. (double wtf?) a few stops later, an older white woman gets on the bus. since it's still full, our bm--now standing by his two female friends--offers his friend's seat to the older white woman. his friend gets up without saying a word, and sits on the lap of their other friend. all the while, bm is singing, "first name charlie...last name wilson," and my homegyrl and i are shocked at such friendliness. and did i mention that they still have pictures of rosa parks in the front of their buses? (triple wtf?)
all of this to say, that i love bay. and i think a lot of it has to do with the fact that its inhabitants are la schmoove/we ain't got nothing to prove. i can't imagine what mighta happened if a middle aged white gay male had accidentally bumped into a black dude rocking the flava flav joints here in the chi. a mean look, a long moment of tension, maybe even an epithet. and the politeness isn't forced, fabricated; it's real. thus, for the past two weeks i've started what i like to call the "keep it california" campaign. it's my pledge to bring the nice to the chi, and into my life. (don't get it twisted, the hateration continues on the blog.) por ejemplo, i was very shitty at the bitterly cold weather yesterday, but i said good morning to three (count 'em: one...two...three) strangers on my way to the gym, and i felt better. sure, i was freezing my black ass off, and the old black lady with the walker just mumbled some shit to me after i smiled and said g'day, but did that affect me?

hell to the naw. and you wanna know why?

because i'm keeping it california, nigga.

that is all.

part 1.


language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

12 Comments:

Blogger PonderingNegro said...

Great post. Reminds me of all the reasons that I moved to the Bay Area three years ago.

30/11/05 15:05  
Blogger Phoenix said...

i'm looking forward to being your neighbor in the beautiful bay. (especially after we win The Amazing Race, I'll be able to buy one of those beautiful, old Victorian houses in Berkeley/Oakland/San Fran that bring my dreams into technicolor vision.) Thanks for inspiring smiles and thoughts of living in the bay in soontime.

30/11/05 15:58  
Blogger deshi said...

awww man... i'm all kinds of nostalgic now! it was great reading this post homie, it took me back a bit because i hadn't really thought about our trip for a while... been too busy... but now it's all coming back.

when are you gonna send me the pics?

btw... i found kcrh too but they're not streaming yet, i guess.

and don't you mean chai tea? :D

great post. i'm gonna read it everytime i get depressed over this shitty ass motherfucking trifling ass ridiculous bitch ass weather.

sorry for all the cussing.

30/11/05 19:54  
Blogger a. said...

"first name charlie...last name wilson" that's some funny sh#t. priceless.

30/11/05 20:09  
Blogger Miss Jessi said...

Aww... makes me wanna move to the bay too.. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time.

30/11/05 21:27  
Blogger Alii said...

after living in the bay sometimes i forget why its so special. I'm usually so caught up in what im doing that i forget about the sheer beauty of having water and bridges and redwood forests all around. And now that i no longer live there, when i go back, or when my friends go there, its always a reminder of how fortunate i have been born there.

30/11/05 23:28  
Blogger Ms. Maybelline said...

I'm with Alii...natives take it for granted and move away. :-(
Lovely to see it from the eyes of an outsider though.

30/11/05 23:47  
Blogger Ms. Maybelline said...

P.S., you sure the station you were listening to wasn't KBLX? I LOVE that station. Adult Contemporary Quiet Store before it even became popular.

30/11/05 23:48  
Blogger summer m. said...

@pondering: hey. long time no see. thanx for the love. can you email me the url to your new blog?

@phoenix: anytime. though i doubt i'll ever have a cup of sugar for you to borrow, i think we'll make great neighbors.

@deshi: word up. i'ma get those pictures to you soon.

@a: it has to be one of most interesting bus rides i have ever had.

@miss jessi: i did have a wonderful time. like, iono why people live other places.

@alii: you were born in a most wonderful place.

@ms. maybelline: the bay is glorious. i suppose one may take it for granted if s/he is used to seeing it. but come to the flat ass midwest for a week, and i think you'll appreciate where you're from pretty quickly.

also, it wasn't quiet storm that we heard on the station. a lot of hip hop and soul music. maybe even some 70s stuff. but i'll def do a search for the station you mention. thanx.

1/12/05 08:01  
Blogger Phoenix said...

that's okay. i like honey better anyway.

1/12/05 12:17  
Blogger summer m. said...

@phoenix: i will be sure to have honey available at all times.

1/12/05 16:35  
Blogger Phoenix said...

word to the mother. that's what i'm talkin' 'bout right thurr...and i'll have...umm...well, there isn't much that i like to eat that you enjoy eating as well, (although i'm sure there must be SOMETHING...). and you know i don't cook, so just let me know when you want good take out or something and i'll treat...

2/12/05 20:58  

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