Saturday, February 13, 2021

This Week in San Francisco Conversations

I was down near the San Francisco Hilton at Union Square (the largest hotel in SF) in the heart of the tourist district the other day. 

There aren't any tourists in the city thanks to dread risk fear and the lockdown, so the Hilton remains closed. It borders the Tenderloin which is a total homeless encampment these days that goes for blocks and blocks.

I headed to a bodega across the street to buy a pack of gum. As I was heading in, the owner, about 35, was chasing out a crazed homeless person who was yelling nonsense. 

The owner shook his head at me to acknowledge the madness. He appeared to be Middle Eastern. I said to him, "I bet when you decided to come to America, you didn't think it was going to be like this."

He replied, "My father was a seaman and he used to send the family pictures of Hawaii and beautiful parks. So when we had the opportunity, we were all excited to come here. But this is not what we expected."

"You get used to it," he said.


San Francisco District Attorney Chesa "Let Everyone Out of Jail and Don't Prosecute Anyone" Boudin may even be losing the black vote in San Francisco.

On a recent Uber ride, my driver was a black man. We got to talking about how the city was collapsing.

He went into a near-immediate attack of Boudin. 

He said Boudin was letting everyone out of jail and that a couple of weeks ago a bullet came flying through his living room. "Enough is enough," he said.


I was recently on a phone call with good friend Dr. Michael Edelstein. He lives across the bay in Tiburon.

I was surprised when he told me that about 30% of the people in Tiburon don't wear masks.

I walk every day in SF for at least an hour so I pass hundreds of people but I would say I only pass another person beside me not wearing a mask once every third day or so.

Michael tells me that the masked people are even friendly and say "Hi" to him.

The only thing I get for not wearing a mask in SF is verbal abuse---regularly.

In stores, it is Asain clerks that are most likely to confront me even if I have a mask on but below the nose. But when I respond to them they back off.

The most difficult to deal with are lefty white guys on the street. They are a different species. One of them called me a Trump-loving, Holocaust denier.



  1. But did you ask whether the store owner or black votes left? If they do, I'm happy for their suffering.

    I'm still waiting for you find me all those libertarian non-whites that you claim exist before importing non-whites.

  2. Iv'e been travelling all over the US over this past year and it amazes me how different people are acting from city to city. even within the same state. I'm in El Paso now and you can see that the majority of people here are truly fearfull of catching Covid. They aren't masking for compliance ,but rather out of fear. I wonder if the local news channels are the main driver of the fear or if it's just cultural. Luckily I spent a lot of time in rural Florida this year. It was a treat. Outside of big chain stores masks were the exception. people seemed at ease. Georgia is similar(outside of Atlanta). I don't know how or why Robert has chosen to remain in San Francisco. It sounds dystopian. It was a mess before the Covid hysteria.

  3. "You get used to it." Amazing what we can tolerate. Fear of challenging, pushing back, of resisting, too daunting. So we cope.

    Humans cope and go along because they think the problem is external to them. They don't know the problem is inside. When they find out, they stop going along.

    David B.

  4. "One of them called me a Trump-loving, Holocaust denier."

    Wow, can you be both? Oh, right. When Trump is involved, you're the worst of the worst.

    I enjoy hearing about your interactions out your way, Robert.

  5. Keep it up doing the lord’s work. I live in the suburbs of Houston and never wear a mask. No one hardly notices. Every once in a while - and it’s always women - they ask me to put on a mask and I just leave and go somewhere else. If I want to go to a nice restaurant in Houston, they make you put on a mask and I comply because I want a freaking amazing meal, but it’s so ridiculous. For the five seconds it takes to make it from the entrance to the bar, I pull my neck gaitor over my face and remove it before I sit down. Most realize this is theater. Some morons like being the mini-maos and I just feel sorry for them.

  6. I thought you were planning on moving?

    More posts about your walkabouts please. I used to live in Atlanta and would purposely go on walkabouts all over the town just to have a wide variety of experiences and conversations.