It’s Hattam Moktor’s second day in San Francisco. He arrived from Egypt yesterday and spent today seeing the sights in the city. Now he’s standing in front of an empty station agent’s booth at the Embarcadero BART station trying to get back to his brother’s East Bay apartment.
“I want to ask someone how to get there, so I came here, but there is no one to ask. So I found you! So I will ask you how to get there. Walnut Creek?” Moktor laughs.
Moktor pulls a crumpled BART map out of his back pocket, and we look at it together. What he needs is a Pittsburg-Bay Point train.
Ever since the industrial revolution, when it became possible for products to be designed just once and then mass produced, it has been the slight imperfections and wear introduced by human use that has transformed a quality mass produced product into a thing we love. Your worn blue jeans, your grandmothers iron skillet, the initial design determined their quality, but it’s their imperfections that make them comfortable, that make them lovable, that make them yours.
All great cities have them: famous watering holes popular with tourists and locals alike. They serve as sources of liquid inspiration for artists, writers and musicians – and as meeting places for politicians and businesspeople looking to put the finishing touches on a big deal over an afternoon libation.
The vocalist you’re hearing is Dana Harnik, participating in the monthly all-Beatles karaoke night at Café Royale on Post Street in San Francisco. Note that this is no “follow the bouncing ball” laser-disc performance. Joshua Raoul Brody, of the band Tango Number 9, plays live piano to match each singer’s style. The next event takes place Monday, March 5, and the first Monday of every month. Music begins about 8pm, and a book of lyrics is provided.