Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy anniversary.

My college gallery opening had a program of sorts, where all the graduates gave a short bio and quote. The end of mine was "It's been a good run - here's to the rest of it."

This time one year ago, I was zipping up my suitcases. I had to wake up early to catch my 6 a.m. flight out of Dayton, so I'm pretty sure I tried to go to bed early. I didn't take much. I assumed I'd just buy everything again when I got to San Francisco.

I didn't have a job. I didn't have an apartment. Thanks to an overlooked exit counseling session, I didn't even have my real diploma in my hand yet. The $1500 I had received three months earlier as a combination of graduation presents had long run out and I was living my life on a slowly dwindling credit card limit. I owned a house, I had a life, and now I was going across the country on a one way plane ticket in two suitcases. I don't do terrified very well, but I managed to figure it out for that day. It wasn't exciting. It wasn't exhilarating. It was awful.

So I arrived in San Francisco and I settled down to do whatever it is you do when you're 23 and you just gave your life up. I found a one month sublet for $600. It was 10x10 and couldn't hardly fit my bike and didn't have a kitchen. It had a bay window that looked onto 18th street and the sun woke me up every morning. I needed that bay window. I didn't have much to get me up in the mornings and having a natural, warm alarm clock will always be my favorite memory of San Francisco.

I broke my collar bone 18 days after moving here. It pissed me off. I had no money and no future and now I couldn't even put my own shirt on. Ten days later I scored a $700 freelance job that paid my rent for October in the new apartment that Harry and I found. It was the first money I made since graduation. I paid my rent, bought a burrito, and stored the remaining $150 away in the hopes that it would feed me for a month.

Things got better. I got another freelance contract, one that I still hold today with an incredible company that was really the first to take an interest in me out here. I took a job for a few months in Silicon Valley that just wasn't right for me and learned a few huge lessons about how I wanted my professional life to start. I returned to freelancing and have managed to make a pretty strong go at it. I've been overbooked for a month and a half and while it would be inappropriate to say that this might be things turning around, let's just say I'm hopeful.

It has been a heartbreaking year in a lot of ways. Say what you will about personal growth and learning, but none of it comes all that easy. I have not fallen in love with San Francisco the way everyone else seems to, but I'm slowly making my place here. I have a favorite bar. I have a couple of favorite restaurants. I've been car-free for over a year and have managed to do all the traveling I need to on a bicycle, something I wouldn't have ever believed was possible a year and a half ago.

I miss everybody and I miss everything. Being on the west coast when everyone you love is at least two time zones away is awful. I've become a much more internal person since moving here, and perhaps that's okay. I'm a little smarter, a little more calculated, a little more careful. But at the same time, it's the most unrestrained I've ever been. There's nothing glamorous about this life - it's a whole lot of Tecate on our roof deck, and a whole lot of $5 burritos because they can last me for two meals - but it is a life that's completely fluid and unpredictable and it's exactly what I needed to do.

San Francisco, I've been real hard on you this year. You are expensive and a little hard to get around and I'm pretty negative about you sometimes. So here's to all the Tecate on the roof deck. Here's to freezing at night because it's California and I'm too stubborn to wear a jacket somewhere that sounds like it should be warm. Here's to appreciating every single sunny day at Dolores Park, to burritos the size of my face, to street food regardless of whether it's made by 30 year residents selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs or new residents with push carts. Here's to your ridiculously beautiful neighborhoods, your ocean, your bay, your wine country.

Harry's quote was "This is it, kids, we're going to live forever. We're part of the story now." Breaking a collarbone 18 days after you throw caution to the wind and move across the country discounts your invincibility a little bit, but I think I'll hold on to it for a little while longer. It's been a good run, San Francisco. Here's to the rest of it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Suisun Valley

I've been absent lately, thanks to a couple of things - first it was work, then it might have just been laziness, and last week it was a quite tragic event in my favorite roommate's life that called us both back to the midwest for a week. I also visited LA this weekend, cementing the idea that I can't ever live somewhere where I would need to own a car again, but that's scarcely the point.

A time before that, we traveled to the Suisun Valley to do a 20 mile bike loop and get my first exposure to wine country. A good friend with a wine blog asked me to guest write for her while she's on a cruise in Alaska, and this was my first idea. So, head on over to Michelle's blog to see my guest post for her, Visiting the Suisun Valley Wine Country. And I promise we'll all catch up soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


So, I'm involved in the 48 Hour Film Festival here this weekend... which means you, my dear readers, may have seen a super questionable title on this here blog sometime in the past 24 hours because we needed a blog window to shoot and the title needed to not be "New to the Bay". And then we ran to film another scene, which meant I totally forgot to change it back, and I just realized 14 hours later that I had done something really stupid. My apologies to any readers whose sensibilities might have been offended. :)

Also, this is a shameless plug to come see our film on June 15th at the Roxie. And while you're at it, come see all of them. They might be awful, but it might also be a lot of fun.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love for Zipcar.

My mother asked me a few months ago what I wanted for my birthday. I'm not very good with "stuff" - I live and work in a studio apartment with another person, and we have very little furniture in it, so finding a place to keep new things is tricky. I also don't really need anything - I've lived here for nine months with the things I have now, and I can't really come up with a tangible thing that would make my life better or easier.

What I did know is that I wanted to go somewhere. I wanted to do something. While I like to preach about how great riding bikes is, and I go on and on about how fabulous the public transportation options are around here, it's not always easy to do the things I want to do. We don't keep food in the house because we can only transport what our shoulder bags can carry. (I know racks and panniers are an option, but I'm already on a 40 pound, 30 year old bike. There's only so much extra weight I'm into right now.) The Roommate has family up north that we don't see very often because the bus + bike combo to their place would literally take us three hours one way, which is not ideal for a Saturday day trip.

Perhaps the solution is obvious to the rest of you, but it took a little while to become obvious to me: I wanted a Zipcar membership.

Zipcar, for anyone not living in a major city, is a car sharing program. You get a membership, and it gives you access to cars at hundreds of locations for an hourly or day rate. Want to go to the grocery store but can't buy more than you can carry? Get a Zipcar for an hour. Day trips up to see the family? Cars start at $69 for the day. And while that's a little hefty for a rental car, it requires zero advance planning. I can get a car in fifteen minutes. And my closest Enterprise lot closes at 1:00 on Saturdays and isn't open on Sunday, so a Saturday day trip would actually be a two day rental.

Plus, Zipcar pays for your gas and insurance. I don't have my own car insurance - since I don't have my own car - so this is an extra charge that traditional rental car companies have to charge me. I'm also still under 25 for a few months, and Zipcar only requires you be 21+.

I've rented from them three times now, and every experience has been great. I've had to call them for various reasons - a check engine light was on, someone forgot their jacket in my car, etc. - and they're always quick to answer and very helpful. A phone call with the press of one button extends your reservation another 30 minutes, which is helpful for the hourly rentals when your trip hits an unexpected snag.

I pay for their yearly membership rather than a monthly thing, because I just don't drive very much. It's worth $50 a year to me to have the convenience of a car whenever I want it. Carless members of large cities, I can't speak highly enough about them. Check them out at

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Left Coast Smoke.

I was born in Kansas City. For the first eighteen years of my life, my blood was part barbecue sauce. I just can't get enough of it. Sure, I'm partial to my hometown's style, but since I've left, I'll eat just about any of it. Memphis, Carolina, Dallas - bring it all on. Barbecue transplants can't be so picky.

I was sitting inside Shotwell's, my regularly mentioned favorite bar, when one of the bartenders, Dean, mentioned that he was thinking about starting a food cart. Barbecue, he says. Pulled pork sandwiches to start, with slaw and a couple of different sauces.

I became entirely too excited. Way, way too excited. The barbecue options - good, solid sandwiches with pulled, well-smoked meat, drenched in sauce - are few and far between in my neck of the woods. There are a couple of restaurants on Mission that call themselves barbecue, and I certainly mean no offense to their establishments, but they haven't been what I was looking for. I wanted barbecue, and Dean was offering me my chance.

I was worried that we wouldn't end up seeing the fruits of this labor any time soon, but sure enough, I got to be a taste tester the very next Sunday. I fell in love and couldn't get the sandwich out of my head.

They've got a sort of floating campground setup. A crockpot to keep previously-smoked meat warm, and then they heat it up for you, along with lightly toasting the buns, on their electric griddle. There's a tomato-based spicy sauce and a mustard-based milder sauce that's more Carolina style.

They're frequenting bars in the Mission on a fairly regular schedule. I know they're at Shotwell's on Mondays (6-8), and I've heard rumors of them showing up at The Knockout and 500 Club. Stop by and introduce yourself. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. A sandwich with a generous portion of meat, your choice of sauce and a side of slaw will run you $6. You can track them on twitter at @leftcoastsmoke. Good guys, good food. And my answer to beer+barbecue in the Mission.

Edited to add: I ran into Dean and John last night. They're at The Knockout on Thursdays.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Despite living here for nine months as of today, there's still a lot of room to learn things about this city.

Such as, and I am not kidding you, I did not know Muni trains ran underground. There is a good reason for this, I suppose - I ride a bike, and I rarely take public transportation since the collar bone healed up many months ago. I take the BART if I have to meet someone at the airport. That's about it. Also, you can't take bikes on the Muni trains, which is the only other reason I ever consider public transportation - aiding me and the bike in getting somewhere difficult.

But this weekend, I was going to meet a friend who lives in the Sunset, in the part of the Sunset that isn't easy for me to get to. Possible, sure, but we were going to have a few drinks at her house and I really didn't feel like planning to do all that 1 a.m. riding in a neighborhood I'm unfamiliar with was a good idea. Lucky for me, the L runs right down Taraval, a block or two off of her street. So, sure enough, I walk up to Market & Church (a much more pleasant walk than I had imagined; riding a bike has completely distorted my sense of distance and time between places), and I look for the L... which I think should run above ground, because that's where I see the J run, and therefore that's where trains run.

That's not where trains run.

Enter me, looking like an idiot, finally figuring out where I needed to go. Nine months of living here, with a stop one mile from my house, I had no idea that Muni ran underground. I guess there's still time to learn new things.

Other things I've learned recently - my constant whining about wanting more diners (read as: places to give me toast and eggs) close by has been answered by deciding to walk to the Castro. We were seeing Up on Sunday afternoon, and I'll be damned if there weren't three diners on the same block. Toast, eggs, ham, potatoes. These are the things I want on my Sunday, every Sunday. A walk past Dolores Park, up 18th, to have breakfast and catch a matinee at a really beautiful theater.

And, an unrelated note - Left Coast Barbecue, a new traveling food truck very near and dear to my barbecue-covered heart, is now at Shotwell's every Monday night from 6-8, serving up sandwiches that will make you think about them for days to come. Stop by and support the guys - they make a very good product and they're very excited to share it with people.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just kidding.

You remember that routine? The settling in? Life becoming normal and scheduled?

I was just playing. Apparently.

Thirteen days ago, on a Monday, I was talking about how much I loved my office to someone who came over for our weekly poker game. Tuesday, I sent him a photo of our sound stage so he could see how great my office was. Wednesday, I bought my $159 Caltrain pass for the next month. Friday morning, I walked in, finished the project I was working on, and quit my job. 

The reasons are not terribly important, but the situation came down to the fact that I wasn't doing what I was hired to do. I was being asked to do all sorts of new things, and I kind of liked them, but then I started missing deadlines and not turning out great work because, well, I didn't know what I was doing. My 90-day review, the big one where the probation period ends and the health insurance and paperwork begins, was in three days. It was time to get out.

And, I loved freelancing. I had such a perfect relationship with a couple of companies, and I ditched that lifestyle because I needed the security of a salaried job since my student loans were about to kick in. I didn't have the confidence I needed as a freelancer, so I gave into an opportunity I wasn't really sure I wanted in the first place. 

I texted - yes, texted - a former freelance employer from the train home. He asked if I could come back to work on Tuesday of the next week. Freelancing career, re-established. I'm very lucky to be able to do something like that. 

Lesson learned. Do not take jobs you're hesitant about. The universe has a way of fixing itself. So, uh, if you need a 3D/motion graphics freelancer, hit a girl up. I'm committed to the freelance lifestyle by now. I just missed it too much, and learned my lesson the hard way about getting rid of it. I've got a few things in the works, but it's slow going for now. One thing is sure, though: I haven't been this excited about the future since getting to San Francisco. Six months have made me smarter and better at what I do, and that's really exciting at this point in my career. 

Also, I don't have to get up at 7 to take a train to Mountain View anymore, and that greatly improves my quality of life. If I mention in the future that I want to work outside of the city again, someone should remind me of this post.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Settling in.

This blog has gotten a little neglected, and I've been trying to figure out the reasons. I have lots of things to talk about. I have ample time to write. But everything I consider writing feels like it belongs somewhere else, so my personal tumblr has been getting more use than this guy. 

The reason is simple: San Francisco, I think I finally get you.

In eight days, I will celebrate my six month anniversary of moving here. It's a little presumptuous to say that I think I belong here, or that I have seen everything the city has to offer - all of that is far from it. I still sort of feel like an outsider. I still have a hard time figuring out things to do when people come to visit me. But the things that once baffled me no longer do. I'm settling into a routine and I'll be damned if I'm not almost convinced that I might be here this time next year. 

I became a huge advocate for cycling. I continued to get healthy. I broke a collar bone. I found a favorite taqueria. I found a favorite bar. (Multiple candidates were considered on both fronts.) I know my neighborhood. I found my park. (It wasn't hard to find.) I got a job in Silicon Valley and learned how to bitch about the train. (This is a throwback from the NYC days, just slight adapted.) I learned how to circumvent the hills I couldn't climb and learned how to climb the ones that I originally couldn't.

San Francisco, you're all right. I get a little nervous when The Roommate starts talking about being here forever and ever, because I don't think I necessarily will be. You are a good fit for me right now, though, and I'm starting to get you figured out. 

My life is pretty routine. I wake up and jump on one of two bikes, depending on if I want a slow and easy cruise or if I'm willing to suck up the road jitters of aluminum in exchange for the ridiculous amount of speed that my real road bike allows me. I take either the 7:59 or 8:59 bullet train from 4th and King to Mountain View. I work at my motion graphics job, I have lunch on Castro Street, I burn down Villa in the afternoon to try and make my 5:37 train. (I get there at 5:32 and pray to God that I'm overestimating the number of cyclists waiting in front of me, more accurately.) I get off at 4th and meet The Roommate. We'll probably stop at Safeway before departing so we can get groceries for dinner. We'll ride back to the mission; I'll get pissed off on 9th street because someone honked at me. We might just go straight home. We might stop at Inner Mission to have a beer (or three) and a game of pool (or ten). Eventually we'll be home, and we'll make dinner, and then maybe we'll just stay in or maybe we'll go to Make Out Room (if it's a Tuesday) or maybe we'll go to any one of the handful of dive bars that we love because we can play pool or cards without anyone hassling us. The next day we'll wake up and do it all over again. 

None of this makes for a particularly amazing blog, however. I can't believe I've been here six months. In some ways it feels like I've been here forever, but it mostly feels like I just got here. I don't know when that new city smell wears off, but I still regularly find myself using "I'm not from here" as an excuse. I still don't feel like I've committed to being here - it feels like I could get up and leave at any time - but I certainly don't have any actual plans to go, and I can't figure out somewhere else I'd rather be, so I guess that's something. It's been an interesting ride so far. Here's to the next six months.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes we can.

I was working for a newspaper when I was 15. The city elections were coming up and I wasn't old enough to vote, but I was working on the section of the paper that detailed the candidates' stances on various issues. I followed everyone's campaigns by the second, and when election day came, I wrote all my choices down on a piece of paper and gave them to my mom, hoping she would use her vote to represent me.

My grandmother's funeral was the day of the 2004 elections. I left the family party early; it would be the last time I'd ever step foot in the house I grew up in. My dad rushed me to the airport so I could get back to Ohio in time to vote for John Kerry. It was my first presidential election. My flight got me in with thirty minutes to spare before the polls closed; I cast my first vote. I would find out the next day, sitting on the steps in my college surrounded by all my liberal hippie friends that he had conceded.

I woke my husband up the day Barack Obama announced his intent to run for President of the United States. It was a Saturday; it was cold. I happened to turn on CNN and he was talking and I made John get out of bed to come watch it with me. I sat cross-legged on my couch and cried.

I got a yard sign the second they were available. I voted early for the primary. I rushed home from work every single day there was yet another state primary so I could watch the results roll in. I ordered pizza on Super Tuesday and sat there for hours balancing the numbers in my head.

I moved to California without a television, so I went to a bar for every single presidential debate. I slammed beers and screamed and high-fived strangers and agreed that Joe Biden's smile could convince me to do anything. I found it only appropriate to rush out of downtown to that same bar on the night of the election so I could see the results as they happened. I maxed out my text messages sending notes to everyone I knew.

I called my mother in Kansas and woke her up and it's a wonder that she could hear me over the noise of the bar when Barack Obama was named President-Elect. I sobbed as soon as they announced it. 

I walked in to work this morning and the television in our lobby was playing it. A few assorted co-workers were huddled around, so I pulled up a square of couch and joined them, skipping the first hour of work. CNN announced that Barack Hussein Obama was officially the president; I hugged my messenger bag in order to not cry in front of co-workers that barely know me.

Yes we can; yes we did. I have never cared so much about politics in my life as I did about this election. President Obama, you have an obligation to not make me look stupid. I've done as much as I can for you. Now it's your turn. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday love list.

I've been in a kind of negative mood this week since The Roommate has been wicked sick. Also, since it's gotten warm again, all the cyclists that were scared to get on their bikes when it was 40 degrees outside in the morning are stoked about riding, which means I have had to miss three stupid CalTrains this week because they were already full of bikes. I'm a little grumpy. 

The thing is, though? I live in San Francisco and I bought a new bike and the weather is gorgeous, so I should probably shut the fuck up. I'm really good at negativity, people, but I'm sort of sick of it. So here are the things that I have loved over the past few days:

  • Dolores Park on a Sunday afternoon. I don't have a dog, but I really like watching puppies play. The Roommate's family came to visit and brought their giant mastiff along. I got to sit on a blanket and watch puppies play all afternoon, and I got to watch people react to a dog that is their size. Amazing.
  • Living in the Mission. I know I've remarked on this before, but I literally don't have to leave my neighborhood. For anything. Ever. Grocery stores, bars, restaurants, bike shops. There are three bike shops visible from the bottom of my hill. Three! I don't get to ride all that much unless I'm going to work, because everything's too close to my house to justify even getting on a bike. That is incredible. (Also, no drunk driving, ever. And I don't get drunk enough to be arrested for drunk walking.)
  • Cyclist unity. When you come from a town with two million people in it, and your Critical Mass has 40 cyclists in it, the unity is strong, but doesn't do much. Here? The Market/Octavia bike lane has caused a huge stir. When Caltrain is full and we can't get on, we all stand and bitch together because we get each other. Cyclists here have a shared cause, and there are enough of us to do something about it. I was bitching today about getting bumped from my train on Twitter, and a friend in Cincinnati reminded me that he'd kill to have my problem - trains and too many cyclists. It was nice to gain that perspective again.
  • My Safeway has a killer wine selection. Don't get me wrong, the midwest has the occasional really great grocery store with an awesome wine selection. But I can walk across the street after I get off the train and get an incredible bottle of wine that was made less than 50 miles from my house.
  • Transportation options. This week, I have ridden to 4th and King. I also needed to pick up a new bike, so on Tuesday I took the BART to Millbrae to Caltrain, and then did the same on the way back so I could stop in Daly City. 40 miles of transportation with lots of different travel options, all just using my feet.
  • Local blogs. I know blogging is wicked trendy and now everybody has one, but I live in a city big enough to have its own spin-offs of the really popular ones. Eater, Curbed, -ist, Streetsblog - all with SF branches. Also, if I need to figure out where I can get brisket at two in the morning, SOMEONE out there has already asked the question and answered it in some form I can find by googling.
So, there you go. Hope you all have found things to love this week. Enjoy the sunshine! (But if you see a redhead on a tiny blue bike on the train that looks super angry, it still might be me. I'm still sick of getting booted from trains.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Removing Market/Octavia bike lane.

I kept thinking about doing some 2008 re-cap blog post, but now it's the 8th day of the new year, and we're pretty much over talking about that transition. A friend of mine asked the other night when the last day you could wish someone a happy new year was, and I think we can all agree that we're starting to push the limits. So, I'm done. 2008 was full of a lot of great moments, but overall was a pretty terrible year. Notable: re-connected with The Roommate after four years of not seeing one another, made some amazing new friends, graduated, moved to San Francisco. Those are the good things, and they are what I hope to remember years down the line. Done. 2009, you need to be better. You should be my first full year in San Francisco, and now that I've gotten better at riding a bike again, we're going to explore the hell out of this place together.

The road to recovery after the collar bone incident has been a terrible one. The physical limitations were pretty awful for awhile, but they're mostly over. The ones that have still lingered are the mental ones. As in I had a pavlovian response every time I heard a bicycle changing gears, because when I geared up, I broke my collar bone. So I was completely unable to change gears for a solid two months after getting back on a bicycle. Yes, I am serious; yes, I know that's really pathetic. 

But lo and behold, The Roommate went out of town for most of December, and I didn't have anyone to try and show off for, so I very slowly learned how to switch gears again. That meant I could finally ride up the massive hill I live on. It was a pretty major breakthrough. And now? Well, now, the world is my fucking oyster. Riding up Guerrero to Market? Hard when you're geared high. Magnificent on a geared bike. So now new places are in my range (please note, anyone unfamiliar with the area: this is seriously an intersection that's just over a mile from me). I've been getting a lot more exposure to the upper Market area. 

It is for this reason that I'm all fired up about the impending removal of the bike lane at Market & Octavia. Let's start out by watching this video.

In that video, you can observe a few things. You can also feel free to look up the intersection of Market & Octavia at Google Maps or something so you grasp the layout, but the gist is this: the entrance ramp to the highway is on the right. Making a right turn from Market onto said highway is illegal. It is very clearly marked that you cannot make a right turn there. Market Street, at this point, is a downhill slope where it's fairly easy to build up a little bit of speed. The bike lane is separated by a small divider in-between the lanes. There is also a sign warning bicyclists to watch for cars turning illegally. You know when you have to warn someone to watch for idiots doing something illegal that you've got a somewhat large problem.

The problem is that people in cars want to get on the highway, and they can't do it there, but other than a sign telling them not to, there are absolutely no barriers. So people do it anyway. And the cyclists are in their lane, going straight, and people turn illegally without looking and hit cyclists. So the problem is people doing something illegal. Done. The city's solution to it? Remove the bike lane, which was put there with the intention of protecting cyclists.

When there are issues of cyclist safety in San Francisco, it's really easy to shake your fist and blame the damn kids. Damn kids, with their disregard for laws, not watching where they're going, riding on the sidewalk, not wearing helmets, riding fixies without brakes, etc. And, fair enough. There are a lot of incidents that CAN be attributed to cyclists breaking the law. But this is not one of those things. Sure, if someone was riding a bike wearing a helmet, and their bike had brakes, it would be easier for them to stop and not get so injured if someone turned illegally in front of them. But the fact remains that none of this would be a problem if people weren't turning illegally.

There's a lot of debate about this subject, and I really wish the solution could just be education. Educate drivers and cyclists about how to get along. Unfortunately, that just doesn't work. There are signs on major streets around here reminding people to share the road, reminding people that bicycles are allowed to take up an entire lane. That certainly doesn't keep cars from passing too close in the same lane. Cars want to go 40 miles an hour, and most cyclists can't. So the solution is to pass them. I get that. I pass cyclists that are going too slow in front of me when I'm on a bike, so I get it. 

But every single day I have to deal with the honking, and people passing too close, and drivers generally acting like assholes because I have the nerve to be on the road. Removing this bike lane on Market means I'm now going to have to try and take up the whole lane. I don't have a problem doing that, but it certainly isn't going to keep anyone from speeding up behind me, swerving around me on the left, and cutting me off to turn there illegally. The only thing it will do is make cyclists have to watch traffic more. It is making us the problem, when we really just want to ride bikes. 

It's easy to say "well, do you have a better idea?" in these situations, and the truth is that I don't. I don't have a degree in transportation and city planning, and I certainly don't get paid to sit in an office every day and come up with solutions that cater to a host of different people. So I certainly don't understand all the challenges this task faces. All I know is that I ride a bike, and I'd really appreciate not getting hit by a car. I think it's pathetic to say "the bike lane isn't working, so let's remove the bike lane", rather than coming up with a different solution. I can't blame someone for not wanting to ride a bicycle considering how people react to cyclists in this town. It was easier in the midwest when you just knew everyone hated you and no one was looking, ever. Now you have to consider whether or not someone's looking and whether or not they hate cyclists that day. The "are you going to kill me" dance is the least pleasant thing about my daily commute.

I'm interested to see what the SFBC's official statement is going to be on this. I hope they come up with a better solution and push for it. They're much better at all of this than I am.

Oh, and even though we might be past the time where it's okay - Happy New Year, everyone. I rang in midnight at my favorite bar in the city, Inner Mission. Dave and Tom poured champagne for everyone, I got a kiss from The Roommate, and slammed a Young's Double Chocolate after they flipped the lights on. It was a good way to ring in 2009. Hope yours were equally fantastic.