District 5 and Passover
To have a family in San Francisco is to dream of someday owning a home in Noe Valley. It's just one neighborhood over from us, but it may as well be on the other side of the world. Where we have small, two-bedroom "cottages," they have expansive, 2300-square foot Victorians. Buy-in price is well over $1,000,000, but for that you get the San Francisco approximation of a working family neighborhood. How these people all managed to get $1,000,000+ together for a house remains a mystery, for they all claim to be middle class.
Every time I think I want to move to Noe Valley, I pick up the latest edition of the "Noe Valley Voice," which cures me of wanting to move there. Halfway through, I have to ask myself -- "Why would someone who thinks sophisticated humor involves a dog wearing a bandana and giant sunglasses feel qualified to make political commentary? And worse yet, why would anyone listen to them?"
It is then that I remember the cloying, "I may get older but I'll never grow up" sensibility that covers most of Noe Valley like the dashing Indiana Jones hats worn by so many of its male citizens. Those hats look great with a white ponytail peeking out the back of them.
I have already admitted that I am vulnerable to what Sandra Bullock calls "Noe Valley Lust," the condition of coveting they neighbor's comfortably affluent neighborhood, but it is just the convenience of their large commercial strip that I long for. I would love to walk out my front door and have a solid 8 blocks of stores, restaurants and bars. Here in Glen Park we have a small intersection.
Unfortunately, here in Glen Park we still have guys in Indiana Jones hats, hybrid cars suffocating under a malignant layer of bumper stickers and the aforementioned dogs wearing bandanas and oversized sunglasses. In fact, you'll find that in most San Francisco neighborhoods, save for the ones that actually admit they're full of millionaires. For those neighborhoods we save our most bilious distaste. We sit smugly in our own million dollar homes and call them "yuppies," thus demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of the term "yuppie."
It is a regionwide problem. Or condition. Depends on your point of view.
But I digress.
Tonight is erev Pesach, the eve of Passover. To celebrate, we attempted to cobble together some kind of Seder, the big dinner where you read a bunch of stuff, say things in Hebrew and eat Matzohs. We were hoping that the Jawa, with his extensive Jewish Day School education, would lead us, but he demurred. Our effort was patchy, at best.
The Jawa put together a Seder plate, but I'm pretty sure that we were supposed to do a blessing before chowing down on the hardboiled eggs. And we couldn't find a lamb shank, so we went with a Popsicle stick. I assumed the role of Seder leader, after a lifetime as the kid asking the four questions and finding the afikomen, and I think I did well, though S. Bullock interrupted me early to ask why I was "using that strange, booming voice." I wanted to add some burning bush gravity to the proceedings. After that, though, I resumed in my normal voice.
Let me say, though, that Sandra Bullock stands alone among daughters of men born in rural Arkansas when it comes to making Matzo ball soup. There is none other with twin uncles named Lester and Vester who can slap together dense, heavy matzo balls like her. Even with a goyishe punim like that.
How's my Yiddish, Mom?