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.