Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dreaming of of California at the Pizza Place on Noriega

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 12:23 PM

click to enlarge bouncer_logo_thumb_350x350_thumb_350x350_thumb_300x300.jpg

Every week I take the N-Judah out to Ocean Beach for work, just another speck among specks, stopping at the very end of the line and walking several blocks to my client's house. If I have time, I always stop in at the Pizza Place on Noriega at the corner of 46th Avenue. It's just like its name -- basic, to the point, and unpretentious. There's a big room with tables on one side and a bar on the other, where beer flows liberally and the TV always seems to be on some sort of skateboarding event.

I don't drop in for the beer, or the pizza; I go for a guy who works there. I don't want to do him or anything. I don't have a crush on him. He just looks exactly like the California Kid, and when I see him, I am reminded that I am originally from Illinois and that I came out here several years ago, like so many other people, because California called to me. He makes me feel excited, as though I have just stepped off the airplane from Peoria.

Last week he was there, all blond shoulder-length curls, sun-dappled freckles, and a surfer's build. He smiled and got me a drink. He is friendly, but not overly so. He looks Southern Californian, which to me is not an insult. Every so often he tilted his head toward the TV to watch the skating competition. He put his hands on his hips. They are strong, golden hands. He has no idea that he represents so much to me, which I suppose is a good thing.

This is the stuff of novels. So many people come out West to start over. California is a lot of things to a lot of people. We all drifted here, pulled by some tide, slowly honed into faux natives with some small vestiges of our old lives barely beating underneath. Sometimes I forget I am not from here, but then I see someone who is so clearly an original, and I am all of a sudden a neophyte again.

To me, this guy at the Pizza Place is part Jeff Spicoli, part John Steinbeck. "Is this the X Games Japan or something?" I asked. The show was taking place in Asia, but had Americans competing. He said it was some other competition, and from there we started talking about Christian Hosoi, since my knowledge of the sport is either stuck in the '80s or from Dogtown and Z-Boys. He refilled my drink while we chatted.

...continue reading this week's Bouncer column.

----

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Bouncer @BouncerSF, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

About The Author

Katy St. Clair

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • The Soiled Dove
    Vau de Vire presents The Soiled Dove, a Barbary Coast themed dinner-theater complete with the Emperor himself stumbling around in a drunken stupor. Photographs by Beth LaBerge.
  • 4th Annual Mr. Marina Competition
    Mike Thomas was announced Mr. Marina 2015 on Wednesday, March 18th. Chubbies, spray tans and unitards hit the stage for the 4th Annual Mr. Marina competition raising $195k. Highlights included a great rendition of Sia's Chandelier and a marina inspired "Fancy" performance. Photographs by Calibree Photography.