Originally I planned to video the service of papers in my hallway for my readers’ viewing pleasure. Then I was advised I shouldn’t answer the front door. So the tripod came down.
I also tried to be sneaky about leaving or returning to the building, avoiding strangers. After a couple days I thought, why bother? Let’s just get served and get it over with.
A nasty cold hit over the weekend which curtailed my mobility. I barely made it off the couch. If there was a process server camped outside my building I can only hope he was charging by the hour.
Tomorrow morning I take the March rent check over to my attorney to deposit in a trust account pending the outcome of all this. Then I’m having lunch at the House of Shields with a trusted former boss cum tea leaf reader. I’ll be out and about.
Nothing has happened on the eviction front. My attorney told me the one year notice period actually ended on Wednesday so yesterday was the first day they could have served me. They didn’t.
They might serve me today because the five days I have to respond includes weekends. The deadline would then be next Wednesday which gives us only three business days to prepare the response. Except it’s already done. So we wait.
The games lawyers play.
Next weekend is the Chinese New Year’s Parade. I’ve only been to one in the 40 years I’ve lived here.
In 1977 my friends Juan and James had a hair salon on Commercial Street. They wanted to be good neighborhood merchants so they signed up for an entry in the New Year’s Parade. They asked several of their clients to be on their float whose theme was “the most beautiful women in San Francisco.” They asked me to be on it too.
Jeffrey found a satin 1950’s oriental cocktail dress with a bubble skirt. To make it puff out required proper undergarments but we had no money or resources for crinolines. So we stuffed it with newspaper.
In the 1970’s the general population was still coming to terms with the concept of people being “gay.” They hadn’t begun to grapple with the idea of “drag.” So my appearance was something of a novelty. What first or second generation Chinese-Americans thought of me I’m not sure.
I do remember our float being stalled at the intersection of Kearney and California for a while. Directly in front of me stood two cops who both caught sight of me at the same time. They looked at each other in disgust and silently shook their heads.
After the parade we were walking up Grant Street headed for the party at the salon. There were a bunch of teenagers setting off fireworks and yelling at us. They saw me as an easy target and started throwing their firecrackers. I just ignored them as their munitions bounced off the fortified skirt.
As we approached the salon Brian was sitting on the front stoop. We had mutual friends at the time and knew of each other but had not yet met. As my stilletos clicked down the ancient brick street he yelled out, “Oh! It’s my favorite party person!” No more prophetic words have ever been spoken.
Going for that light matte finish
Putting on my white kid opera length gloves that I charged on my Mother’s I. Magnin account. What I put that poor woman through.
You can never get the hairline right without a lace front but this one isn’t too bad.
Braced for the elements. And any object throwing youth.
Always time for the fans
Beauties of all ages on our float
Hair ornament is Van Cleef & Arpel. Dress is St. Vincent de Paul
8:00 p.m. and nothing happened today. Here I sit waiting for the Nazis to invade Poland and all I got was a phony war.
I’ve been told that, even with the worst case scenario, I won’t have to turn on a dime to get out of here. Still I worry about some of the harder things that would have to be done. Like the ceiling fixtures that are hard-wired. They’re mine and I’m not going to leave them behind. Today my neighbor Shakris’ electrician friend came over to take them down.
The Tangerine Telstar pendant was in the living room. It’s made of that great 60’s plastic that you used to see in Big Boy restaurants. I bought it for $50 at the Santa Monica flea market back in the 80’s. The amazing thing was I carried it on and put it in the overhead for the flight back home. Today I would be tackled, tazed and sent to Gitmo if I tried that.
The little chandelier in the dinning roomI bought in Paris around 1990. I used to go to the Baccarat showroom when it was over on the rue de Paradis. It was a very 19th century experience, no glossy merchandising. Just simple, long, parallel tables covered in white cloth with a sample of every line and every piece in that pattern.
It was in a run down industrial part of town close to the red light district. One Saturday morning I was walking there and the girls were still out working. As I walked down the boulevard I would look down each side street and there would be about 30 girls in a uniform motif. One would be all (fake) Chanel suits in various textures and colors. Another was Dr. Zhivago, full length furs with matching round Shapka hats.
The best was Olivia Newton John alley. The girls were decked out in lyrca bike shorts, tank tops, leggings and headbands. Just waiting to get physical.
This countdown didn’t exactly end with the precision of the Kennedy Space Center as Day 2 has melted into Day 1. But I was tired. I walked over to the Art Institute in Chicago yesterday to see the Cornell boxes before heading out to O’Hare to fly back. There’s something about trying to get around in 8 degree weather that saps your strength.
My pro-rated rent check didn’t make it to the attorney in time because somewhere along the line the U.S. Post Office decided that the overnight service I paid for was really a two day priority express. I’m entitled to a refund but do I really want to put myself through all that on top of everything else?
My attorney told me to just get it to him this morning so I’m going to walk it over to the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. And put my fate in their hands. The future probably begins tomorrow.
Before leaving Fort Wayne this morning I visited one of my storage units. It gives me such comfort to behold my things. I drove up to Chicago, turned the car in and walked 10 freezing blocks to my hotel.
I’m at the Chicago Hilton on South Michigan, the final leg in my winter weekend hotel bargain tour. It was here that Queen Elizabeth II attended a dinner in her honor in 1959 on her visit commemorating the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
In 1968, the hotel was the backdrop for television images of police beating up anti-war demonstrators during the Democratic Convention. They were across the street in Grant Park.
Tonight it houses one of the nation’s most notorious Ellis Act victims.
Things are heating up. Vince Young was supposed to inform me of the pro-rated rent amount for the month of February but he never did. Today his attorney served me with a three day notice to quit for non-payment of rent (for the pro-rated amount. The original check for the full amount was received on the first and is still in their possession.) It’s tactics like this that make eviction profiteers like Vince Young, Leslie Young, and the Young Family Trust so effective. Put the burden on the tenants by spending money on legal tricks.
My attorney will give them the pro-rated check. But I have the feeling this will be the first in a series of harassing moves by Vince Young and his mercenaries.
Travel has always been the best tonic for me. Stepping away from problems and out of the daily routine puts things in perspective. It recharges the batteries and helps with the creative juices. There’s no better time to think than on a 4 hour flight when you have nothing to read and refuse to watch yet another Kate Hudson romantic comedy.
I’m taking a four day weekend to sip the tonic and prepare for the drama that is coming next week. The mid-west is having another frightful winter but there is an upside to zero degree weather: cheap airfare and cheap hotels. Tonight I’m at one of my favorites, The Palmer House in Chicago.
To me hotel lobbies are usually a let down. I’ve stayed at some grand hotels through the years: the George V in Paris, the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Beck’s Motor Lodge in the Castro. Their lobbies were elegant but understated. But the first time I rode up the escalator at the Palmer House the great reveal was amazing. Their lobby is like a Beaux Arts Sistine Chapel