With h brown
Court Jester courts 'Queen Bee' coffee tales
June 1, 2007
"You're way too shrill and personal."
(Eileen Left advises moi)
I guess all my friends can't be wrong. Even Newsom's people
are phoning to tell me to tone it down on the attacks on Gonzalez
because my animosity is getting in the way of my message. They
say to just give the basic facts and leave it at that. Shit, they
want a fight too. Even Ken Garcia seems worried that our side
might give up without a fight, leaving him with no material. He's
afraid I'm scaring my own candidates deep into the woods. They
all want me to avoid personalities and stay with basic facts.
Progressives busted their tails over the past decade passing
first, IRV legislation to allow voters to choose 3 candidates,
then on public financing for mayoral campaigns to level the playing
field for campaigns without corporate resources.
Now the major players on the left want to toss these tools into
the trash bin, unused, in the coming mayoral contest. In doing
so, I contend that they are letting their egos get in the way
of the future of the Progressive movement.
Lefty foot soldiers in poverty
Every month the left goes without a candidate costs them a million
bucks they could have drawn in public financing. Most of that
money would have gone into salaries for people who are presently
unemployed. Tapping into public financing could keep literally
hundreds of them in the City.
No single lefty candidate can beat Newsom this year (the right
combination of 3, could). Failing that, the intelligent move is
to plan for the future and give City-wide exposure to promising
candidates, some of whom may never run for such a post again.
But, they can run for supervisor the next time those posts come
up in their own districts. That's the case (in my opinion) with
Christina Olague in D-2, and Krissy Keefer in D-9. A 'suicide'
campaign for mayor for people like Christina and Krissy can raise
their stature for the next supe races in their respective stomping
For others, such as Daly and Mirkarimi, fighting the good fight
now, as mayoral candidates, will provide well-funded tours of
neighborhoods they've never visited. It might not count for much
now, but it can be huge 4 years from now.
That's it in a nutshell. Hey, like Garcia and every other writer
in town, I need mud wrestlers out in the ring doing their thing
if I'm gonna entertain my
"Hey, you wanna get some coffee!?!
(Alioto and the purposeful life)
A day out with Queen Bee on the occasion of the the QE2's maiden
to the City of Saint Francis.
Believe it or not, people come to me to get their spirits up.
No, really, lots of em. Me? I go to Angela Alioto for perspective.
Just let me take you through 2-hours I spent with her yesterday.
Angela: (my SRO neighbors at 44 McAllister watching through
big plate glass window that got broken last year when the raving
drunk threw the Christmas tree through it)
"You have time to go to Café Trieste?"
Dawg: (she introduces the good looking young lawyer riding
next to her as 'Josh' Boxer - he's an attorney but looks 18 and
has been with her for 6 years - they all look like Tom Cruise
- I stare at him in puzzlement and give him an idea of the level
I operate on).
"'Josh'? You any relation to 'Josh' Wolf?"
Angela: (answers the car phone - on speaker - it rings
pretty much constantly for next 2 hours)
"I'm here in the car with Josh and h. brown." (this
says: 'Don't say anything to me that you wouldn't say to the entire
world and you know how I feel about that'
that kind of
just my guess, but it felt that way).
Angela and Josh are coming from court and they are stoked. They
are perfectly groomed and high on the adrenalin that only an open
court sparring session can induce. It's mid-morning and I've been
up since 5am or so reading all the wires before the trees die
for the dailies and weeklies and separating the electrons on the
pertinent Internet sites. On the downside, I haven't showered
in 2 days and didn't get the chance to even shave. When Angela
rings, I jump. Lord, I love type-A women. We blast towards her
Angela never stops and, unlike Newsom, it ain't an act. I call
her 'Queen Bee' and I wasn't the first to attach that tag on the
neverendinglysexy North Beach trial attorney. She and Josh are
on the phone and online at the same time arranging documents and
research to be ready from the law office when they hit the curb
in 7 minutes
documents based upon the rulings they just
had 7 minutes before.
She chats amicably and the phone rings again. It's someone named
'Archie' who is a vet from Southern California fronting for some
kind of national effort to better the lot of all veterans. He's
in town and hanging out with Tom Callahan.
Angela directs them over to the Trieste as she pulls to the curb
in front of her law offices and the data she's ordered is waiting.
Without leaving the driver's seat, she goes over the prepared
trial material with young Josh. She sets 'tabs' on the huge binder
to separate points of emphasis or something as Boxer watches her
closely and flips pages. I scratch the stubble of my beard and
watch the foot traffic moving from North Beach, on past her law
offices, to sweep on by the Trans Am building next door. I'm starting
to wake up and start wondering if I can get her to run for mayor.
The coffee will be good.
"The cistern is collapsed and empty."
(Amazonian blonde goddess firefighter)
The local engine companies all stop by the Trieste for coffee
as they come from morning drills. They practice every day you
know. Oh yeah, cops do too, but much less than firefighters.
With firefighters, the primo move is called a 'steeple-raise'
and it's when you raise a 45' ladder in an open space fully extended.
Some departments call it an 'alley raise' cause they practice
in alleys to also practice how to control bouncing it to either
side and to any direction. Under control.
All safety personnel are natural jocks. Oh, they get fat just
like you do, but basically they are all very athletic or they
couldn't have gotten onto the forces in the first place.
And, their peers drive them further. There isn't a cop or fire
station in the country that doesn't have some kind of exercise
facility. From a simple weight bench, to a full archery range
I've seen it all. When the public calls for help, and it
becomes time to do your job in the most extreme of circumstances,
you have to be on the top of your game.
It's all about saving life. But, for right now, it's impromptu
PR and that's as valid as doing a steeple-raise. The tourists
grab the firefighters as they pause by the Trieste and it's photo
time. I fire barbed questions at various members of the crew as
they take their times in line and all pause to greet Angela as
they pass. I want to send them to Tokyo.
And, rotate them with Japanese firefighters
A shift of Japanese firefighters buying coffee at Café
Trieste? I think it might be a good idea. Do an international
exchange of all manner of emergency personnel with our sister
cities around the world.
Clunkety, clunkety, clunk
(sound of pistols hitting maple top bar)
It had to a truly embarrassing time for the mob hitman who came
for Hasbro that day. He walked right into a cop bar. Across the
street from a ballpark where a police league was winding down
the double-header. I was the only unarmed person in the bar and
this poor bastard comes in looking for a fight.
Mobster: "Who's Eddie Hasbro?"
Bartender: (entire bar has frozen - maybe 3 dozen guys - bartender
is chewing toothpick and has just a delicious inkling of what's
about to happen)
"Who wants to know?"
Mobster: (takes medium-sized 38 revolver out of pocket and slams
"I want to know!"
That's when two things happened. The first thing was that sound
of all the pistols hitting the bar (they stripped the poor guy
naked and sent him running down the street)
that was first.
Second was that Eddie became a cop because that was the only
way his buddies could keep him from getting killed and the went
on to become a chief out in the county and he was such a jock
that he was a moving force in the creation of the Police Olympics.
That's why I told Joe Veronese that he should try to get the
International Police Olympics to come to San Francisco and I related
the story of my buddy Hasbro and the mob and all that stuff.
"For awhile, it was a brothel."
(Queen Bee relates history of old rectory)
Woman on a mission, dude. Type 'A' woman on a mission, dude.
Watch your ass. At the drop of a hat, we were making impromptu
tours through the intense sand-blasting underway in the womb of
the chapel that will contain an exact replica of the small chapel
that St. Francis of Assisi built for himself a thousand years
back, or whatever. Called something like 'Portziculula' ('little
retreat' or something - she's even gotten Dede Wilsey involved
- I can't believe I'm walking around construction debris of a
project she and Angela are together on). You getting any of this?
Not surprised. Essentially, I leaped willingly into the rip-tide
that is Angela Alioto as she moved from project to project. Hell,
I'm one of her projects.
I don't know what the trial is that she and Josh Boxer are working
on but she processed smoothly through the transition from courtroom
to office (picking me up in between) pushing the rock up the hill
and adding the meeting with Archie and Callahan along the way.
The Shrine of St. Francis
Angela's pet projects are all
about God. And, she means it. Hey, I believe in God too (you
can jam religion and churches though)
I believe, but I
Oh, it's not just a shrine. There's an entirely practical and
long-range planning side to Joe's girl, and always has been. Twice
prez of the Board of supes. Staging major trials for a couple
of decades. There's a think tank involved in her plans. It will
be the left flank of the church and she'll have the U.S. President,
the Pope, the Dali Lama and Angelo Sangiacomo there for the opening.
We look at the plans as the Italian import crew chief (Alfonso
- genial guy in his 50's who clears space for the charging barrister
and her ducks - by this time, me and Archie and Callahan)
Alfonso has a special hardhat for Angela with her name on it.
Through the heavy dust, she talks about the plans for the Think
Tank in the rectory and some NIMBY (Hi Aaron and Nancy!) and local
to the Pope and Cardinal Levada and
how she measured the original Portziculu with dental floss cause
you couldn't bring in tape measures or cameras. What a woman.
She'll get her shrine. She won Dede Wilsey over a couple of
weeks ago. She won this Tenderloin scribe and Archie, the national
veterans advocate and Tom Callahan, the major builder today. It
will be magnificent and, a tourist haven!
The 3 church buildings occupy the entire short block across
from the Trieste and they need love and money and Angela has a
limitless supply of the former and is trying to reach Angelo Sangiacomo
among others for the latter. She'll succeed. Angelo couldn't have
a better legacy than this sacred shrine in North Beach.
An octogenarian at the next table chuckles as he listens to us
talk: "I know Angelo. What's it cost? 2 million?" He
snaps his fingers: "He can pay for the shrine by himself
and will love to. Rent control and the Portziculu of St. Francis.
Enough of a legacy for any man." I shake my head and talk
to Callahan about his Bridge Housing projects as firefighters
and tourists gaze at the construction and study the canvas painting
of the competed project.
More kudos for Jiminez
Three days in a row, Jens' block of O'Farrell from Larkin to
Hyde has been physically clean as a pin (thanks Tenderloin BID)
and clear (for the most part) of hookers, pimps and crackheads.
Thank you to Captain Jiminez.
Tenderloin Captain Gary Jiminez
Kudos to Chris Daly too for carrying the entire load of the
Progressive movement on his back at the moment. While scuzz-bags
like Randy Shaw continue to try and trade our surrender for more
money and power for himself (note his list of surrender demands
made on our behalf, begin with more money for him), Daly alone
has kept the opposition fires burning.
Look up 'loose cannon' in the dictionary and you'll find my
picture. That makes Daly's tolerance of my outbursts (isn't he
supposed to be a wild man?)
makes Daly letting me into
his tent the more remarkable.
Those of you who know our location, make Salon tomorrow. Last
week Tony Hall roared in on an enormous shiny black 1000cc hog
(get rid of the gangster strategist guy - what's his name? - O'Hara
or O'Meara or something - he reflects very, very, very badly upon
Tony made it to talk to the poly geek blog gathering
last week and we have Barack Obama this week.
If you don't know the secret password for Salon ("Give
h. a beer on me and I'll have
") make the Progressive
convention Saturday at 674 Turk from 10am til 3pm. It's the usual
format. Just toss your house keys in the fishbowl at the door
and practice safe
Gotta end this friggin' column 'fore it ends me.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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