When It’s Time for a Change in the Game


Originally published in the S.F. Examiner on July 24, 2019.

Well, my transition into an airport player is almost complete. As much as I’d rather just work The City, it isn’t worth the hassle most of the time.

I used to loathe the idea of waiting almost two hours or more for a fare, but over the past few weeks, the SFO holding lots have become a sanctuary from the madness of the streets.

It’s not just the infinite stream of unmarked sedans, infringing every traffic law on the books, as if they were merely suggestions. Which they seem to be, since you rarely see any enforcement. Unless there’s a fatal accident. Then they assign an officer to that block 24/7, while every other street remains a free-for-all.

It’s also the perpetual construction projects. The ripped up asphalt, strafed with potholes. Along with mercurial signals that are never on your side. Rude, aggressive drivers, looking for any reason to unleash pent-up road rage. Jaywalkers. Cantankerous seagulls. The detritus of excess and endless despair.

Even if there were a hundred flags on every street downtown, you’d spend more time fighting traffic to reach them than you would with the meter running.

So when I start my shift on Thursday, I ask for a P medallion, to avoid a longer wait at the airport. But they only have a couple Ks.

I take the key to 1274 and head over Potrero to Caltrain.

That evening, listening to Jon Miller’s play-by-play on KNBR 680, I make a beeline to the ballpark after the seventh inning stretch. As the game goes into extra innings, I return to Second and King seven more times, until the Giants finally take the lead in the 16th.

After dropping my last fare out of the ballpark in the Marina, I check out the Deerhunter show at the Fillmore. Get a ride to Bernal Heights. Since I’m close to the freeway and there are plenty of delayed flights, I head to SFO.

Read the rest here.

[photo by Douglas O’Connor]

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