The end of my year-long residence in the Excelsior is in its second day.
And maybe in a way I did like it because it was thanks to living there that I grew as a writer, an observer and, mostly as a stilted, flawed piece of humanity like all the rest of us who just tries to get through the day with a minimum of discomfort. Except the discomfort ran high. As did the beefy fumes. The passive-aggressive, socially-antagonistic housemates. The absentee landlord. The broken bathroom. All of which makes for better stories in the long haul.
Places I will go back to in the Excelsior:
Mama's Art Cafe
Broken Record Bar
Boos Voni Tortas
Even McLaren Park!
Things I forgot to take pictures of:
tons of murals and graffiti
The Neon Funeral Parlor
many colorful back alleys
many colorful abandoned trucks and vans
Places I forgot to go inside of:
the Philippine restaurants
the Nicaraguan restaurant
Pissed Off Pete's
Pass Time Bar
Something I ate a lot of:
Pho at the Vietnamese place at the corner next to the Popeye's
In special remembrance of Gustave the Snail: I left him outside and now he is gone.
Anyway now I'm a citizen of Bernal Heights, a very small neighborhood full of babies and mothers and gay couples and dogs and children and old men and old women and fog and views and trees bending in the breeze. Lots of wind. Lots of barking. Lots of hopeful noise in the air.
I will remember you Excelsior.
I will honor you.
I will exploit your lessons faithfully.
I will remember the Revelations of Cayuga Garden and its Promise Of Future Revelries.
I am admittedly glad to be done with you Excelsior but that doesn't mean I'll stop remembering.
R.I.P. Excelsior Blog.
August 2, 2009
Sincerely, Michael L. Berger
Feel free to follow my continued exploits of a more pompous nature over at