Place House – Frederick William Hulme, 1859
There was a time, somewhere in the mid-nineties, when a bar in San Francisco called The Gangway was pretty much my spot. For one thing, it was only a few blocks from work. Also, it was shaped inside like an old whaling ship and had Christmas lights hung year round. The clientele were routinely fabulous, deranged, gorgeous, desperate, or hopelessly lit to the nines, but everyone had a sense of humor. There were chafing dishes full of watery tamales and hot dogs suspended in jello. The drinks were cheap, and you could shoot pool all night long without some tool acting tough or arguing about who called what. Also, the jukebox had more Nina Simone on it than the Marseilles docks or most radio stations. The fact that I just learned The Gangway will soon be shuttered and re-opened as a bar called Daddy Bones, which should either be your cellmate’s second worst tattoo or the dude who sings the National Anthem at an Ed Hardy convention, speaks volumes about a barren culture, existential doom, and the toxic level of craft cocktailing that will end this world.