While in San Francisco, and in the midst of travel delays, I went to get a drink with a buddy of mine. Monday was a beautiful day, so we decided to meet up in the slightly-sketchy Mission District for a drink at a bar with an awesome outdoor seating area called Zeitgeist.
The bar was as divey as divey can be. Its look reminded me of Mars Bar, but its clientele was entirely unintimidating – most likely because they’re all high as kites. For crying out loud, this bar had bicycle racks in its backyard. I saw more beards and hipster hats in the backyard than I would on any block in Williamsburg. I have never seen so many people at a bar at 4pm on a Monday afternoon. Pathetic? Perhaps. But the beer was cheap, plentiful, and the bar had a selection of microbrews that rivals the best beer bars in New York. And on way my out of the bar, as I basked in the late afternoon October sun once more, I paused on the deck. “I have to take a picture of this,” I told my friend. So I pulled out my camera, aimed, and snapped away:
I seriously thought he was joking. I didn’t even know for sure if he worked there. “Oh, I just want to send a picture to my friends. This place is awesome.”
“You can’t just take a picture of whatever you want here,” he says. The folks at this bar seem pretty bohemian, and a ban on photography seems draconian to me, so I figure he’s still just kidding, chiding the kid from New York.
“I just want to take a picture for posterity.”
“No, no pictures,” he snapped back immediately.
“You’re joking, right? Why the hell not?” Now I’m beginning to think he’s serious.
“We’ve had issues before. People here don’t want their picture taken.”
“Whatever,” I grunted, as I rolled my eyes and walked out with my friend. This exchange was as close to a bar fight as I usually get. My friend has a history of getting kicked out of bars for fighting, so I wasn’t about to let it get to that. The bar has a web site, and coincidentally, its picture of the backyard is completely empty, and too small to distinguish. So, either the clientele here are all ultra-sensitive, are all criminals, or are all completely high off their asses. Judging from the fact that the place was packed with hipsters at 4pm, I’m willing to bet it’s a mix of all three.