Sunday, August 2, 2009

The End Of An Era

It's the End. . .
Geneva Avenue the day of Michael Jackson's death.

Something at the spot where things ended up.

Well folks, it's the end. Two months without blogging here might have told me something. Interest started to wane. The doldrums ran high. But now it's done.

The end of my year-long residence in the Excelsior is in its second day.

Back behind the funeral parlor, the sidewalks get crowded.

I'm sorry to let you down: I really really wanted to like the Excelsior. I might have actually liked it, like oozed with glee about it, if certain things in the house and hearth had gone better.

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
Cayuga Gardens
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
Doc's 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
Underground Medicine.