When you have lived in a city for more than a decade, as I have in San Francisco, you realize the potential for nostalgia is everywhere.
Tonight, after not seeing each other for several months, my friend Steve and I met in the Mission for snacks and drinks. Even though I do still pay the Mission fairly regular visits, this evening was like a blast from my late-90's partying past. Our first stops were Truly Mediterranean and Mariachi's so we could procure a chicken shawerma for Steve and a veggie burrito for me. Snacks in hand, we then made our way to Blondie's Bar and No Grill.
Ah, Blondie's. That place was a mainstay of my social life from 1997 until about mid- 2000. I still enjoy it during the week (the weekends there now suck), but I must admit, I don't think I've been to Blondie's in almost a year. I know the proprietor and am actually going to her birthday party in about a week and a half, but I used to know everyone who worked there. Also, I met the first guy I kissed in San Francisco in that joint way back in the day. Ah, to be young... Anyway, that was then and this is now, and I certainly did not recognize the bartender when Steve and I walked in, nor did I have any desire to make out with any of the other customers. Well, at least we got to know our bartender, Jeff, who was very nice and who introduced me to what may become one of my new favorite bands: they're called the Green Horns or something like that. I can't find them on All Music, but Jeff told me to that if I swing by again tomorrow, he'll give me one of their cd's. Sweet.
After a drunk customer scared us out of Blondie's (literally), Steve and I decided to wander across the street and pay Casanova a visit. Okay, I do still frequent Casanova kind of a lot, but it was a much more regular stop of mine back in the halcyon days of my youth. I closed down that place many an evening during the first couple of years I lived here, and then in 2000 and 2001, my friend Gry and I established a Wednesday evening happy hour tradition there until Gry had the nerve to move away. Ah, good times. Tonight, Steve and I chose about 20 songs from Casanova's free juke box... none of which we got to hear because the DJ arrived soon after we'd made our selections, but we didn't care. We still soaked up the atmosphere and giggled over our cocktails.
The twice-divorced Steve offered me an interesting bit of advice while we were out tonight. He recommended I never get married, saying I will be much happier if I avoid that tradition. He also suggested I keep a mental list of all the men who like/hit on me and keep them as my collective back up plan. Interesting advice. I can't say I'll definitely heed it, but I'm not going to write it off either. I'm just saying.