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With h brown

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Court Jester reviews Queen Mary II sighting


By h. brown


February 5, 2007, 1:52 p.m.

"Lead with the photo of Angela and Chiara Mia with the liner steaming in. Caption it:
'Two Queens and a Princess'"

(Eileen Left studies Luke's photos)

Two Queens and a Princess: Former Board President Angela "Queen Bee" Alioto
with grandaughter Chiaria "Princess" Mia while the H.M.S Queen Mary II passes by in the distance making her first voyage to the Port of San Francisco.

I love working with Luke Thomas. Any writer would. If it's a crime scene or a celebration, his photos always add mystery and dimension to anything I write.

I hope you agree when you view today's array and be sure to click the link on Hmoob's youtube video clip.

To the point, everybody and their brother covered this event with their best staff. We agreed that redundancy was our most dangerous reef in those seas. Yeah, we had to have the de rigueur shot of the giant liner as it passed under the Golden Gate Bridge, but how could we make our piece more than that?

The small sailboats that sprinted joyfully around the world's largest passenger liner resembled little ugly ducklings, in ecstasy over meeting their fully grown mother, the most elegant and noble, Black Swan. They joined her at the Marin Headlands and playfully ran around her and each other in a dance on into the Bay while a million of us watched in pleasure and the Bears took a 7-0 lead over the Colts on someone's portable radio.

+ + +

We decided to cover it from the vantage point of a dozen or so friends, blessed with a celebrity guest they've all wanted to meet, combined with the Super Bowl (Tevo'd - hey, we love football but for SF, the QM2 story was bigger) … and Hmoob did his best international chef schtick as a cap - and, provided the youtube clip). It was a hell of a great time and we hope you can be there with us.

Our 'celebrity guest' was our friend, Angela Alioto and she brought two more generations of her clan along. What a treat.

Angela Alioto

Son, Joe Alioto-Veronese (he's a police commissioner - seems to root for Verona, of Italian soccer league) and granddaughter, Chiara Mia, who has 14 birds (ask Angela, they're adoptable - cause they do keep sitting on eggs) at grandma's house, looking out through the windows that feature a moving picture of San Francisco Bay.

I shaved, showered, scrubbed with the long-handled brush head-to-toe as and put on clean clothes (obviously, a special event). I tied a bad knot in the smiley faces silk necktie my old buddy Jens gave me last week, gave away half of my last dollar cigar as I pounded down the stairs to Mayor Joe's girl in front of my Care not Cash, SRO at 44 McAllister. It looked to be a clear day for the Bay. My neighbors gathered at the plate glass windows (I'm famous in the Tenderloin for my guests - although, of course, even the Mayor can't visit on the 1st and 15th of the month cause they're sure he'd just be bringing drugs) … neighbors gathered at the window as Angela's spanking new sleak, black Mercedes cruised to the curb. "Her daddy represented me!" called out an old guy leaning on a walker.

They loved it and I'm not adverse to getting picked up by a beautiful and powerful woman in a Mercedes. But, maybe that's just me. Angela has one of those revolving lease things where they deliver a new killer German sedan to her every 2 years or so and her friends down here (who mostly walk and ride bicycles) get to cruise all over the place with her. I want my lawyer in a Mercedes. Gonzalez drives one, though his is held together with bailing wire. I think Hmoob has one that runs on left over gravy or something. … I'm chasing rabbits here. Back to yesterday and the Queen Mary II and our party.

Two Queens and a Princess

The Brits have been sending ships into San Francisco Bay almost as long as the Sicilians have been lawyering down in North Beach. Well over a hundred years on both counts. Old Jester friend, Doug McAbee took both into account when planning (look out Stanlee Gatti) his tasteful Super Sunday/Here come da Queen soiree' yesterday.

Doug arranged for champagne and other fine wines and snacks to fortify guests to his Baker Beach townhouse. We headed that way and Angela's German motorcar slid effortlessly into the curb in front of Robert Manes' crib in the lower Haight on Page at around 2pm. I've known Robert for 20 years or so and his fiancee', Ania Wierzbowska (a beauty and old flame) for 10 or so. I was bursting with pride. Angela had actually been to their apartment a couple of years ago when I was sitting with Ania's cat, Kitcha who has since gone to join my cat Ben in Kitty Heaven. When they got back from Poland, Ania told me a story. She said that someone came up to her on a bus and said: "I was at a party at your house when you were gone and got to meet Angela Alioto!". Until Angela picked them up at the curb some 2 years later, she kind of didn't believe it.

Really, I'm not kidding. You've seen those commercials where the sloppy guy is sitting in the front of the tube with his friends watching football and telling them that Carmen Electra will be there in a few minutes to go bowling and she shows up!?!

It's a moment like that and it makes you so proud. The elite of the City's political set do actually wine and dine with the likes of us. We loaded up and headed to pick up Chiara Mia and continue our line of intersection with the black swan that is the ocean liner, Queen Mary the Second.

Let's photograph it instead

Host McAbee chose the same vantage point any general would have chosen to implace a large caliber gun to sink hostile ships coming into the Bay. His guests gathered and used cameras instead of cannons (there was only one person there visibly armed and that was a friendly Park Service ranger) but while we awaited the liner, Thomas and Fog City intern, Serbian-born, Nevena Predolac, took advantage of the aged artillery/machine gun pill boxes, weathered to rust and decay to juxtapose a series of shots contrasting violence and sexuality objectively correlating with the approaching black and gorgeous British swan.

Nevena Predolac

The bunker shots are classic. The freed Eastern European beauty, before the abandoned Western war fortifications ('Can't we all just get along?).

We gathered with thousands and thousands of other Bay area residents (a million people have to have been strung from Sea Cliff, to Ocean Beach, to Baker Beach, to the Presidio, the Marin Headlands, Fort Point, the Marina, all the way to Pier 27 where the hidebound Chronicle and Examiner waited to snap the same pictures with the same subtitles) …

Court Jester picks pics and pic captions

Three generations of Aliotos. Clan matriarch, Angela. Son,
Joe and granddaughter, Chiara Mia.

San Francisco Court Jester with Alioto's.

Robert Manes and Beth Rogozinski return from the bunker overview
to join Jens Nielsen and honey, Leona Gonsalves.

Bulldog columnist, Alexandra Jones draws close for photos
with Aliotos and Dawg chieftan, h. brown.

Mother and son, Alioto-Veronese looking more like brother and sister (way to go, Angela).

The food

Hmoob's main course was a succulent salmon soaked in a tangy and somehow sweet wormwood oil that snatched just a scintilla of flavor from the smell of the the cool salt-air breeze wafting through the Presidio's ancient Eucalyptus grove.


It took up to 2 hours for the crowd to clear the bluffs along the Presidio. We watched from Doug's balcony as they eased their way out of the preserve. Spoiled and but never quite sated, we moved from scrumptious veggie pizza to course after course of Hmoob's delectables as the sun set and the Colts on an afterthought, overtook and defeated the Bears while we listened to the lonely fog horns wedging their way through the bluffs rife with the ghosts of Indians and sailors and missionaries and now, us.

Truth and creativity are the special province of alternative media in San Francisco at the present time. You want an objective view of the local news, read Fog City Journal. You want advertiser slant and lies, go to the Chronicle or the Examiner or Benefit magazine. We're independent in the alternative media, so we don't always work together lock-step as do the establishment media. This column is the result of several completely independent artists combining in an attempt to capture an event and share it with you. Let us know how you think we did.

Hook to Hmoob video shots of McAbee party ……

Happy Monday, my love,


h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com, an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email h at h@ludd.net.


Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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