Rumorcity: Three midtown bright lights could darken by spring

One 15th Street Night Spot is listed and two night spots needs an infusion of immediate cash.

Where were you at 5.04pm PST October 17,1989?

Where were you when earth moved in Northern California twenty years ago?

I was working in the five hundred block of O’Farrell Street in the Tenderloin, a couple from New Jersey was returning a Chevy Corsica from the Airport after discovering the Hilton charges 50 dollars a night for parking.

The weren’t happy about the airport charging them a fee for leaving the Corsica downtown. Just as the wife was going to give it to me, the ground shook, the color washed from there faces. I asked them to hold on the counter.

In what seemed like minutes, I looked across the street and briefly saw light between two apartment buildings,glass broke as the building slammed together, the lights flicked then dark. Suddenly there was huge cloud of dust. The couple held on to each other. What do we do the woman asks? If you like you can stay here, she said no, all are things are on the thirty forth floor of the hotel.

My staff gathered on the floor and we all stepped out onto O’Farrell. The notorious Tenderloin was quiet. Suddenly people came out of the buildings, with the power out, citizens began directing traffic, all was calm. I’m not sure why, perhaps San Franciscans mentally prepaid for this one.

We predicted a slow day due to the World Series and of the satellite offices were closed except for pier one, next to the Ferry Building. With the phones out, I asked one of my service agents to drive and check on her.

No one knew how to close the two large electric doors and since this was the Tenderloin, it seemed everyone was prepared to stay the night. We blocked the ramps and armed ourselves for the evening.

More people were on the street talking about the damages in their apartments. toppled bookcases, broken glass. People were talking about buildings that collapsed,one group said the Bay Bridge collapsed, naaa we all said.. this is an exaggeration.

You mind thinks or all sorts of things in silence. Buildings falling, nooo, our building is fine, and with the acceptation of broken glass and dust, everything seems to be normal. all the tall buildings are standing.

I go to one of the cars on the main floor and I turned on KGO, it was one of those emergency stations. The bridge Did collapse, the Bart had shut down, there were fires in Oakland and a major fire in the Marina District here in San Francisco. I lived in Cow Hollow a street or two away from the Marina District.

My wife was home on maturity leave with our new daughter and my five year old son. I guess I had a look on my face when a staff member told me to home and check on my family. I grabbed a Cavalier on the floor and drove northward. Taking Jones Street, the traffic seemed light until I hit California Street. With the Bay Bridge closed, it seemed a million people were headed to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Drivers inching along had a zombie’d  look, I noticed people crying in their cars. I thought to myself, wow this could be me ,.trying to get to my children in Richmond. (my wife and I had thoughts of buying a home there)

I zig zagged until I reached Russian Hill and Filbert Street, there the sky’s was dark with smoke. I looked down at my street and every thing seemed normal. Unlike the Tenderloin, there were no citizens directing traffic and Van Ness Avenue was a wall. The wall separated me and my family who could all be dead, sure things look normal.but that old building that we used to joke about could have collapsed on them.

With my heart pumping, I eased the Chevy into the three lane wall. If you live in California,your familiar with the dead ahead stare pretending I don’t see you routine. When I initially pulled forward the man stared ahead, with my lights on he looked, the car behind him stopped. Two more lanes to go, a woman in white Audi sped up to block my path. Inching in my car brushed her bumper,in her car I could hear her scream. but she didn’t get out. A man in his truck let me through. Southbound traffic was non existant.

I’m not sure how they knew or if it were a coincidence, but my family walked outside as I drove onto the sidewalk. Overwhelmed, I openly wept. They were fine, my daughter was asleep  on my wife’s shoulder. My wife was concerned about our friends who lived alone.

Inside the apartment,all was fine,no broken glass, however, the wooden outer shell on the side of the building had broken in one large piece and was leaning against the building next door.  You could see daylight by simply removing a nail from our bedroom wall.

Were fine, you need to get back to work ,my wife said, were ok.

There was virtually no southbound traffic on Van Ness Avenue .  On a typical day, both sides are packed with cars.  I was concerned about getting across Van Ness towards the Tenderloin. I figured I would have to drive to Mission Street and turn left there so I was a relieved to see the police department directing traffic on Pine Street . there were additional officers on Post Street and I was able to turn left there.

There were more people out than I remembered.  At the garage my staff was outside as well, apparently there had been a series of aftershocks.    I told most of the people they could leave, but no one did.     Mark, the service agent I sent to check on the Pier One location said the parking lot of the had sunk at some locations. and he and Sandy moved some of the cars..  As we where talking one of our drivers walked by, and he said he knew how to manually close the gates.    With ladder and flashlight, he closed both doors in a matter of minutes OUR HERO.     Closing the office was a matter of seconds…with power and phones out,. it was just of matter of closing the door.

I grabbed a Mini Van from work, and took on the frightening task of checking on the condition of our friends

Now I would like to say, that the  primary intent was to make sure everyone was okay.  I would like to say that…but it was more self serving , I didn’t want to have to identify a body or bodies.We were all going to die together in my apartment.

Most had moved in with other friends or left town.  The two I picked up was happy to see me.   It was weird driving through San Francisco in total darkness.  There was no music available, only news station with reports of doom. 

I picked up my family and we headed south on the hunt for more candles and flashlights in the minivan.    My son Chris, excited about the minivan ,sat in the rearmost left seat.     

Power had been restored the parts of the Sunset, and other areas of the city.   At the Westlake Walgreen in Daly City, were a ton of people all looking for the same things.   There were no D cell batteries and the only flashlights left were the rechargeable kind.   One black lady and Chinese man came across of what might have been the last battery powered flashlight in the store.   The struggle was intense but short lived as they broke the flashlight.

On to Lucky’s, where we were able to get to candles. and one C cell flashlight.   No one seem hungry, and are beds were full.  We could hear the building make noise with every aftershock which seemed larger than the original  quake.

My wife, family and friends drove to Galt to stay with her mother….

Next morning, at work, Gates closed,  there where people attempting to return their rental cars.  With the gates unable to open  I filled my 7 passenger mini Van with 10 full sized adults and drove them to SFO.  On route,   I noticed one man, rising up every few seconds.  It was the  left rearmost seat were my son was sitting/sleeping the night before.

It is 2009 isn’t it? Louisana Justice of the Peace, refuses to marry interracial couple.

(AP) NEW ORLEANS A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.
“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”
Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.
Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.
“There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,” Bardwell said. “I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.”
If he did an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.
“I try to treat everyone equally,” he said.
Bardwell estimates that he has refused to marry about four couples during his career, all in the past 2 1/2 years.

People Can’t Wear hoodies but the Mannequins Can….

Beginning November,1 hoodies or hooded sweatshirts will not be allowed at Arden Fair Mall offenders of this policy will be asked to leave.

Imagine being handcuffed esorted out he mall and along the way passing some smart faced mannequin wearing a hoodie.

Where is the justice….

Someone call Gloria Allred!

Briefly: Rush Limbaugh and the NFL

The National Football League is a business.  A huge business representing billions of dollars.   Rush Limbaugh is part of a group who wants to buy the St Louis Rams.    The St Louis Rams incorporated

Being a public figure,a host of a national talk show, we have a sense of who he is and what he believes, or do we?  I know a couple of people in the industry, people who were once on air liberals who are conservative today , at least on air, because the job calls for it.  People forget talk radio is a part of the entertainment industry.

But I digress…

This is America, the land of free speech…  We all too often forget that,and become intolerant to differing opinions, the controversy is beyond ridiculous from the Al Sharpton’s to the some of the players and other owners, who can’t clearly say how a Limbaugh ownership would harm the team or the NFL. 

I don’t know the private Rush, and I’m not a fan of the public Rush, but come on (Joan Rivers would say)grow up!       Its a business, and I hope Mr Limbaugh succeeds.  Now lets move on, there are starving children in America without health care..  

Mayor Kevin Johnson’s happy ending

In an email sent to us,nordybynite said “my tone drips of sarcasm when I speak of Mayor Johnson”

We are all happy to hear that is garment bag with his presidential suit was found……

In a non sarcastic tone…..

Nordybynite, didn’t  your eyes just  squint a little when you heard the details of  the robbery?

He was helping an elderly man into a cab, when someone took the bag?

And finally Nordy, didn’t it strike you odd, that he didn’t seek the help of  San Francisco’s Finest, and called Mayor Newsome about this cherished suit?

I think you may agree with me,le Mayor (there I go again) Johnson, is anything but boring.

Hope you love me tomorrow Nordy.

Thank You big bunches

Brick by brick.

Thank you for the feedback on the blog.

The e-mails are appreciated.

There are now followers from six countries who seem to enjoy the weird humor and stories about the region.

We are currently averaging 100 hits a day, with followers from Facebook,StumbledUpon,and Nase.

What we need are follower to this blog, if you haven’t already,simply click the (follower) button this is important in the event that we move again.

While we get a lot of e-mails there are few comments to the blog. feel free.

tell and share with your friends

Thank you big city bunches…

"WEST SACRAMENTO"—-The Next Breakout City?

For years Emeryville, Cailfornia was a city in the east bay, you drove through on route to the San Francisco Bay Bridge. A tiny spot of city between Berkeley and Oakland. The entire city is 1.9 square miles and most of its citizens live on land fill in the bay. Mudtown its was called, known for its factories,bordellos and gambling halls. Few people lived there and there was virtually no retail. 

Today Emeryville, is the home of Pixar Animation Studios (Toy Story, Monsters Inc) the biotechnology company Cetus and the headquarters of Several Software Companies. Over twenty thousand people work in this dot of a city. Even in today’s economy its retail and residential sectors continues to expand.  Its also a retail giant,home of the largest and first Ikea store in Northern California.   In retail dollars Emeryville ranks fifth in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Like Emeryville, millions of  people drive through West Sacramento on route to Sacramento, Reno and Lake Tahoe.  The city is located across the river from Sacramento in Yolo County.   In 1987, the communities of Broderick, Bryte and West Sacramento incorporated..

  With Business 80 and its proximity to the state capitol it was the home of many motels. These motels deteriorated after the construction of Interstate 80 and  many of these motels became a haven for prostitution. For many years the city didn’t seem to have direction. Locally it had the distinction of being he home of many Folsom prison parolees. 

In the early 1990’s an ambitious retail development was planned, off  Interstate 80 and Reed avenue. Plans ranged from retail stores to an auto mall .  As late as 2004 the 93 acre Riverpoint  center had three tenants, two gasoline stations and a McDonalds.

While retail exploded in the suburban communities of Roseville,Citrus Heights and Elk Grove developers ignored West Sacramento.

Then the unthinkable happened.


The signature pyramid building, the Zuggurat opened in 1997 as the world headquarters of the Money Store.

The new ball club “The River Cats chose West Sacramento over Arco for a ball park.

Across the river from Downtown Sacramento.

If you were a betting man, Roseville was the safe bet for the retail Icon Ikea. Next choice was the freeway accessible Natomas area of Sacramento.

West Sacramento had been in contact with Ikea for over 10 years.

In 2006, Ikea opened its third Northern California store in the Riverpoint center.

It has been joined by Home Depot, and the largest Super Wal Mart in Northern California

. There are now several smaller store in this shopping center which in terms of retail dollars is the fourth largest in the region.

Unlike its much larger neighbor across the river, West Sacramento seems to have a larger vision. Evidence can be seen throughout the city.

In the north area, older once blighted area are parks and roadways filled with flowers. In the south area there is retail with Lowe’s and Target center.

Unlike Sacramento,pieces of the puzzle are coming together in Sacramento, its focus seems to be on infill rather than sprawl. Connecting communities through a series of parks.

The cities policy of “not to taking anything” may make this once undesired community,a community like no other in the valley.

The Port of Sacramento opened in 1963.

For the last few years the port has been losing money. In 2005 the lease was turned over to West Sacramento and Yolo county later that year the Port of Oakland agreed to manage the port. The port is currently generating positive revenue and as of 2008 officially changed its name to the Port of West Sacramento. Early this year the federal government awarded the port 10 million dollars to deepen the port to allow for larger ships.

In another coup, the city is now the headquarters for CALSTRS (Cailfornia State Teachers Retirement System) this signature building is next to the Zuggrat on the shores of the Sacramento River.

The seven term Mayor, Christopher Cabaldon

has a strong vision for his community.

Two million people live in the Sacramento Region with most communities looking like the next. West Sacramento like Roseville to the east, there are few long term coming soon signs. Unlike Roseville, West Sac is distinctive, with signature buildings that says your in West Sacramento.

An Amphitheater next to Raley’s Field is planned for 2010

Stay tuned

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