When in San Francisco, we almost always stay at the same place: a charming, fleabag motel called the Royal Pacific Motor Inn. It is the definition of divey (Sorry, RP!) but it’s clean and affordable but best of all is its cherry location, smack dab on Broadway where Chinatown rubs up against North Beach. We get a King Balcony room overlooking the human zoo that is Broadway. On of my absolute favorite experiences there was the two nights we stayed after ten days of camping at Yosemite. The juxtaposition from the peaceful wilderness to the manic urban jungle was bracing.
Staying in the same place every visit allows us to live like locals. We have “our places” We start our day with coffee and pastries at Stella Pastry & Cafe (world’s best cheese danish), always get a cheesesteak from Buster’s (world’s best cheesesteak), and we used to go to O’Reilly’s Irish Pub for after-dinner pints of Guinness. I say used to because O’Reilly’s recently, suddenly, unexpectedly closed.
It is not uncommon to see businesses shut down when wandering the streets of San Francisco. It is an expensive city, and there is lots of competition for restaurants. But when I see a well established business, like Caesar’s, Steps of Rome and Sam Wo it is shocking and sad. O’Reilly’s had occupied it’s spot on Greene Street for over 20 years, it was always bustling when we were there and it had a prime location half a block away from America’s longest running show “Beach Blanket Babylon”.
How could O”Reilly’s close? Maybe they will open again, as the owner hopes to do. Maybe not. I suppose we shall see…
I’ve been itching to paint. It’s a nagging urge that I haven’t been able to satisfy because of my hectic schedule, kind of like when you are so hungry your stomach growls but you just can’t eat whatever reason, maybe you’re in class or driving home from work or waiting for your turn at the DMV. I finally put the painting in my schedule and told my accountability partner about it, told her to hold me to it. The next question was “What should I paint?” Upon hearing of O’Reilly’s closing I knew. This will be my painting. Hold me to it.