April 17, 2008
click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney
On weekends in San Francisco, one of the better spots to visit is the area around Washington Square. You can fall-by Peter and Paul's Church to confess your sins, go a half-block up the street to Mama's Restaurant and sit outside and sip your cappachino and munch on pastry, or wander through Washington Square and watch the Asian Americans going through their methodical Tai-Chi routines. And after all is said and done, you can gaze up into the antique windows of Cafe Divine and think of the past...
But under NO circumstances should you take your camera one block over to Green Street. If you do, you are likely to have an unpleasant encounter with the bartender of Columbus Cafe -- a dive -- who will come running out and demand to see your photography permit. If you are unable to produce one, and even though you kindly try to explain that you are only photographing for-fun, he will tell you that that doesn't matter -- and will proceed to try to confiscate your camera. He is not a very nice man, and that description is being kind... Yes, that happened to me about two years ago -- but I pulled a swift one on him and returned early one morning and snapped a photo of his funky establishment from the window of my car -- ready to make a quick escape if he came running out to harass me again...
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