An Impolitic Question You May or May Not Want to Answer

Someone posted a rather impolitic question on Quora, one of those crowdsourced online question-and-answer services:

I’m not going to touch this one — because a) I’m a hetero guy, and b) I spend more time at El Rio than Wild Side West, and c) I wasn’t aware of the stereotype. (“Dang, I thought the lesbians lived on Valencia!“) But hey, if you’re feeling game, feel free to answer either at Quora, or in the comments here.

House Portrait: Did Patty Hearst Sleep Here?

Did Patty Hearst Sleep Here?

During her unfortunate “Tania” phase, did Patty Hearst hole up in this house on Precita Aveneue? Perhaps. In court, she later testified that she’d visited this house at 288 Precita once.

In 1975, during the Patty Hearst kidnapping, this was one of two San Francisco safe houses used by the Symbionese Liberation Army. (The other was 625 Morse Street.) Here’s  how Time magazine described the scene in the Sept. 29, 1975 issue:

Charles Bates, head of the FBI’s San Francisco office and the man directing the overall search for Patty, ordered a watch to be kept on both dwellings. On Precita Avenue, four agents sat in a light green Ford LTD parked at the curb, and three more waited in a yellow and white camper just down the block. The agents wore sandals, beards and beads, hoping to blend in with the inhabitants of the area. Still, neighbors spotted the stakeout and watched with considerable interest to find out who was being trailed. No one appears to have suspected the athletic and pleasant young couple who had just moved into an apartment in the neo-Victorian structure at 288 Precita.

At 1:15 p.m. last Thursday—a clear, cool day that was perfect for running—the couple from No. 288 came down the stairs and went loping off to nearby Bernal Park. The agents thought they knew who the two were from sightings the day before, but they still were not sure. “Our pictures of them were almost two years old,” says an agent. But when the pair came jogging back home, there was no longer any doubt. The four agents leaped out of the LTD, and the other three came sprinting from the nearby camper. They were armed with pistols, a sawed-off shotgun and submachine guns. One watching neighbor later recalled, “They [the agents] seemed very nervous and shaky.” The woman tried to get away, only to be caught within 20 ft. But the man calmly put up his hands, says another witness, “like a little kid who had been caught doing something wrong.” His attitude seemed to be, she adds, ” ‘Well, I’m caught.’ ” Swiftly, the FBI agents handcuffed William and Emily Harris.

Then, as city police cars closed off both ends of the block, some agents hurried into the apartment; while others, guns drawn, burst into a few of the neighboring houses to look unsuccessfully for Patty Hearst. In the Harrises’ apartment, the FBI found 40 pounds of black explosive powder, three .30-cal., fully automatic carbines, two shotguns, two pistols and a substantial amount of ammunition.

Patty Hearst was found less than two hours later at the house on Morse Avenue.

Italian Meatball Lunch at Immaculate Conception Church

Italian meatballs4

A confession: When I read about this event, I immediately experienced a powerful Pavlovian Response.

If you’re around the ‘hood tomorrow at noon, you might want to stop by the St. Anthony’s Immaculate Conception Church for a benefit lunch:

Jan. 19, Noon: The popular third Wednesday Italian lunch at the Immaculate Conception Church in the Church Hall at 3255 Folsom St., up the hill from Cesar Chavez and Precita Ave. Come on up to Bernal Heights for the city’s best pasta and meatballs! $8 per person, family style, includes salad. Beverages are available for purchase.

Now, my understanding is that this is a longstanding gig at Immaculate Conception — the Italian lunch has been taking place on the third Wednesday of the month for many, many moons. Yet I must also confess to some befuddlement as to why this salivation-inducing benefit is held at noon on a Wednesday… instead of, say, during the evening, when hungry workingfolk in the neighborhood might realistically hope to attend. And when I say “workingfolk,” I mean… me.

Photo: blogchefdotnet

It Was a Beautiful Sunday to Go Fly the Dog

Air Doggie

Doggie Kite

We don’t have a dog. But we do have a doggie kite.

And since it was such a lovely weekend, my 3 year-old and I decided to take our doggie kite up to Bernal Heights Park, to go flying with all the real dogs that were also enjoying the nice weather on the hill.

Air Doggie

At first my daughter expected the local canines to love her kite  — doggies should love a doggie, right? — but she quickly realized the more complicated truth: “The dogs think our kite is weird,” she said.