Sunday, May 08, 2005

Ode To Jay

Whether he's running a tight ship at the Tower or laying down a loose groove behind the Four Eyes (or is it the other way around?), there's one thing for sure.......

Psyche! This isn't about my old friend Jay Baker, it's about my old friend Jay Street!! I've lived on good ol' J St for around 6 years now but I'm moving at the end of this month & I've started to have some serious separation anxiety. (Wait, this is Miller by the way - Becky's busy in NYC trying to spot someone more impressive than Kim Gordon. Sorry Becks, it Vincent Gallo or nothing!). But back to Sac, I'm sitting here in my room on a rainy Sunday doing the J St. Waltz, which entails having everything you could ever want & never leaving a 2 block radius. I got coffee at the shitty 'Bucks, pizza from Pizza Guys (sorry Sidewalk, I really want to like you - maybe I just had too much fun playing video games there as a kid but it's always anti-climactic when I go there so I stopped) & some overpriced brew from Jay St Liquor. I was gonna get a haircut from one of the 3 hair places on the block but they were all closed. I've never been to any of them but I've promised myself that this month, I'm gonna go to every business around my apartment that I can stand to go to. One last J St. hurrah. I'm already blowing it a little since I impatiently hacked at my hair myself an hour ago. Regardless, I definitely would not have gone to the weird salon by Pizza Guys (Hair On J? I think that's what it's called). That place isn't down with J St - when I look in the window, I see stylists & customers that can't wait to get off the block. I bet it moved from P Street - fuck them. It would've been a toss up between Eddy's Deluxe Haircuts which is the rockabilly place & Associates Hair Design whose sign, when you stand in a particular spot in our front room, looks like it says Ass Hair. I would've probably picked Ass Hair (that should be good for a blog hit!) just to make Vann laugh but Eddy's probably would've given me a better haircut. Actually, since my hair was getting a little long, I could've gone to Eddy's, gotten a professional pompadour, gone to Bill Smith Photography across the street & posed for a nice portrait with a stand-up bass next to an old car, then gone to Ass Hair & gotten it chopped off. That would've been, like, a cool $100 though. Yesterday I went to the Subway across the street to remind myself that Subway sandwiches taste like mustardy air. I won't miss the Subway all that much though there's always a stream of ladies going in & out which rules. Same with the Starbucks - ladies love Subway & the 'Bucks. Right about now, you're thinking "big deal, half of your neighborhood businesses are chains" but I've looked at them for so long that I don't see them that way anymore! Plus, mostly the same people have worked at all these places the whole time I've lived here. Now KFC I've never warmed to. It's still just shitty KFC. It hasn't counted since Patrone moved out of the neighborhood. Looking out the window & seeing Patrone coming out of KFC was the best. And I did have a brief love affair with the Twister but it sisn't end up working out. Oh, and I liked it when a guy named Jerry Garcia was the KFC manager, and how when the Duke Boys moved from Tennessee & stayed at our house they ate there all the time - that was really charming. I was secretly happy for Jaimie when they didn't hire him though. Another place I didn't frequent was J St Donuts (you may be noticing a business-naming pattern here!) because, even though they get their donuts from Marie's, I'm just not that mad for donuts. BUT, one day I looked out & saw they had a new sign out on the sidewalk that said "BAGELS" and one thing I am mad for is bagels (except for crappy Noah's - that's just round bread). Of course the first thing I thought was that the J Street Waltz just got a new step!! Cuz those 'Bucks "water bagels" just don't cut it. What the fuck kind of made up to appeal to yuppies name is "water bagel". "Oh honey, this tastes straight out of the Brita!!". The closest OK bagels were at Safeway (which is part of the Alhambra Tango & thus can't be a part of the J St. Waltz). So the next morning I went over to the donut shop & ordered a bagel but the family that owned just kinda looked at each other & finally the kid went in to the back & came out with a plain bagel that was clearly days old & hard as a rock. I like to think it was the sample bagel that whoever tried to talk them in to selling bagels brought in. They never ended up carrying bagels but they always put the sign out front anyway. Recently this crazy old guy named Larry bought the donut shop (would you belive it's called Larry's Donuts now? Come on Larry!! How about "Larry's Donuts ON J STREET"!!). Larry's hilarious. First, he made business cards that say "Larry's Donuts and Bagels" & then promptly crossed out the words "And Bagels" with a ball-point pen. Maz put on on our fridge & for weeks I thought he had crossed it out as a joke since it always drives me nuts that the 'Bagels' sign is still always on the sidewalk bu no, he got it from Larry. Until a few days ago my relationship with Larry was long-distance. Most any time you looked out the front window, he was either hanging out in the middle of the street smoking or bugging the guys at Jay St Liquor. He's one of those guys you look at & instantly you make up a bunch of stories about their life. The other day, this guy I work with who knows where I live said "Hey, you ever go to Larry's Donuts?". Sort of concealing that I thought this was the best question ever, I told him no. The guy went on to tell me that Larry makes his own ham & cheese croissants & that they're really good. "But the best part", he tells me, "is how proud of them he is". Apparently Larry writes down every time he sells one & has a running tally up on the menu board on the wall. I had to go get one if for no other reason than to be part of that total but also, ham & cheese croissants definitely aren't the worst things in the world. When I went in, Larry was bending the ear of some poor guy who looked pretty happy to see someone come in & relieve him from Larry duty. Larry was talking about how he gave up drinking years ago but he just can't give up smoking no matter how hard he tries. The guy said "well, I guess if you have to give up one, it might as well be alcohol". Larry chimes in with "Well I had to give up liquor - I couldn't carry a gun anymore! See, I like shooting a gun but when I was drinking, I'd shoot everything in sight!". Then it was my turn & I said "A ham & cheese croissant please!". Really serious, Larry says: "Sorry, that guy just bought the last two". Then, when he sees that I foolishly believe him he starts laughing & says "No, I got a bunch!" in a way that suggested that it would be inconceivable for him to ever run out. He put it in the oven & went over to a piece of paper & immortalized the sale in his tally book. I looked up at the board & sure enough, there, under :"Ham & Cheese Croissants - $3", was the total amount sold - which was 1698!! He's only had the donut store for 6 months! Is it humanly possible to have sold that many that soon?! Maybe he roams from town to town buying down on their luck donut shops & slyly adding his croissants to the menu & maybe 1698 is the total he's sold since he was a lad. Either way, that's an impressive stat. He hands it to me & asks "have you had one of these before?" "No - a friend recommended them" "Well, enjoy". And just as I'm about out the door he says "You'll be back". That was just about all I could've asked for from that visit. Oh, and he gave me his new card which looks almost the same as the old one except now it says "Larry's Donuts & Ham and Cheese Croissants" and nothing's crossed out. I think this has turned in to an ode to Larry. OK, I have to go get an advance Payday Loans across the street now & then catch the night service at that church, so I'll leave you with that. Happy Monday morning slackers!!

8 comments:

Maya said...

I can't believe you're moving. My neighborhood is losing a fixture.

Anonymous said...

Where are you moving to? Portland?

alice said...

you'll have to update me on the church service. i've been meaning to check that out for a while but i can't get up early enough on a sunday to haul my ass over one block and fall asleep in a pew.
plus, i retired my church outfits when I was 10 years old so I'm not sure what I'd wear. Also, the KFC is good for one thing and one thing only--the old school KFC bucket sign. They don't have those types of signs any more on the new KFC/A&W. The sign is rarely lit. So much so that I never really noticed it until about a year ago when I was looking out my bedroom window and I saw it glowing above the tree tops. I called Maya into my bedroom to check it out cause i thought it was a new feature to the J st. KFC. Turns out it had always been there but only occasionally works. And for some reason, on nights when I can see the KFC bucket from my bedroom window, I feel a bit better about life.

Anonymous said...

Larry! Larry! Larry!

-m

Anonymous said...

Shit, I'm just moving to 19th & G. Don't expect any "Ode's to the Sun Up Market" any time soon though.

The one thing that rivals the KFC bucket (and you 2 might not be able to see this from your apt) is the lit up cross that's on top of the hospital. If you look east from my back porch, the tree line stops exactly where the cross starts - so you can't see the top of the hospital at all, just this amazing cross lit up & hovering in the air above the trees. At least I think it's on top of the hospital. Either that or God's been trying to tell me something for 6 years.

miller

Anonymous said...

I actually heard you were moving and forgot. Dang, I'm smart. I cant wait for Ode to Nationwide. I'm glad I moved out of that hood before they moved in or else I'd be 50 pounds of 'ground steak burger with fantasic buns' heavier.

Anonymous said...

Knock, Knock
Whos there
Hey
Hey, Who?
Hey, Whore-Hey

beckler said...

How was the croissant???