I don’t actually walk down Valencia all that often, but when I do I notice way more often than I would like to how yet another place I liked is gone. Today, I wanted to go to Ali Baba – one of the few Shawarma cafes that serves food that actually tastes somewhat close to the real thing and doesn’t charge an arm and leg, but apparently it has been gone for some time now.
As I approached Borderlands bookstores, I noticed that their cafe is also gone for a few months now. Reading the letter they put on their window was well worth it, and many people approach and read it. Can I call obituary? It’s well worth reading, but if you don’t have time here is a quick, executive summary: this cafe shut down because we are too douchy and too soulless to appreciate it and patronize it.
Watching a city die before your eyes hurts so much. Not a day goes by that I don’t notice a new “for lease” or “our new hours” sign. 8 pm downtown feels like midnight back in the day.
And no amount of douchy, overpriced, overrated, purge worthy, low/no energy restaurants and bars will make up for it. At most, these are like life support to create an illusion that this is still “the city”.
And there isn’t a thing I can do about it except bitching, complaining, and reminiscing on better times.
It’s really easy – go out in Soma, or Tenderloin, or Mission or anywhere else after 10 pm.
And traumatizing too.
Just make sure you go out on empty stomach, so the scene at least doesn’t make you puke.