The Bay Area Bubble – And I’m not talking about real estate

The Bay Area is a unique place, and SF in particular is. I think it’s partly due to the fact that the average age seems to be 25 (it’s a popular place to move right after college), and in some ways is much more advanced than the rest of the country in terms of progessiveness and technology.

But there are some other disconnects from reality that I sometimes find amusing.

There’s this old black guy that’s been playing his clarinet in the Montgomery BART station for about a year. He *looks* the part – I mean, it’s not hard to imagine him playing in a blues band for decades. Well, looks can be deceiving, except when it’s the sight of blood dripping out of your own ears.

This guy is horrible. We had to endure a few months of breathy, squeaky scales before he nailed that down. Then “Mary had a little lamb”, and then countless, relentlessly painful weeks of Greensleeves. The only musical great he seems to have drawn on for musical inspiration is Zamfir.

Didn’t hear him for a while. Thought maybe he came to his senses, and sold his damn clarinet for a ticket to Florida and a timeshare.

Well, he was back today. By the time I got off the train around 10am, he was packing up, his case full of money and his CDs (CDs!) sold out. A gushing hipster bemoaned missing him and asked when he’d be performing again.

The irony? A string trio was performing beautifully the day before and had a smattering of bills in their violin case. No CD. No beaming hipsters.

This city never ceases to amuse me. If you can’t find success despite a crippling lack of talent here, you won’t find it anywhere.

Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel - .
How does this post make you feel?
  • Excited
  • Fascinated
  • Amused
  • Bored
  • Sad
  • Angry


  1. What is WRONG with you? You live in one of the greatest cities in the US, with a wide variety of..fucking EVERYTHING available to you. Food, bands, festivals, gatherings, orgs..and you’re bitching about this asshole.

    I would KILL to be in your shoes. I live in the middle of no-where, and all we have is shitty schools, shitty roads, no public transportation to bitch about. I have to drive six hours for a concert. There is NOTHING here. And here you are, bitching about your wonderful city and shitty street musicians.

    Fuck you.

    Comment by Fredd — May 27, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  2. I think your choice of locale suits your personality well. How many miles did you have to walk to school back in 1896 again, grampa?

    Comment by JM — May 28, 2008 @ 3:01 am

  3. […] besides, there are a few things that make SF special (this is for you, ya cranky asshole; hope you enjoy having your face rubbed in […]

    Pingback by Daily Candor » When does the magic of a city wear off? — June 25, 2008 @ 6:28 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment