I’m sitting on the throne at the Hilton Union Square, watching the madness of rush-hour traffic in front of the hotel as cars trying to drop off and pick up contend with a single interloper who didn’t utilize the loading zone properly, forcing every other vehicle behind him to wait in the street akimbo while the 38 bus, followed closely by a 38R, comes barreling down O’Farrell with horn blasting, and all the stymied doormen can do is push around empty luggage carts hoping that somebody — anybody — will need help checking in, but the tourists move through the bedlam fearlessly, phones held aloft, like seasoned globetrotters.
Then, Artur calls out a radio order for Market and Sixth. Since there’s a break in the congestion, I check in.
“233. O’Farrell and Mason.”
“233. Check. Go pick up Felicia.”
Artur sends the order to my tablet, and I head down Ellis to Jones. As soon as I cross Market, a woman waves me down.
“I need to go to the Travelodge on Valencia and Market,” Felicia tells me.
“Sure thing,” I say, merging into traffic and taking a right on Mission.
“Hey, aren’t you the guy who writes for the paper?”
“Oh, you read the Examiner?” I respond.
“Oh wow! I can’t believe it’s you!”
I’m never sure what to say when passengers recognize me from the column. It’s not something I advertise in the cab and rarely — if ever — bring up.
“You better not put me on blast!” she says with a protracted cackle.
“Now, why would I do something like that?” I laugh.
Read the rest here.
[photo by Trevor Johnson]