1196 Geneva Ave ~ (415) 452-9913

7:08pm-ish Friday 3 April 2009

Prologue: I must confess to having reconnoitered Geneva Pub, which I shall be Officially Visiting at the end of Those 40 Days of Folly.  It was back when we were having that ridiculous rainy spell in February and I was trying to figure out a way to work an actual Bar or two into Bars By The Book’s 2nd Anniversary celebration. Alas, Geneva Pub wasn’t going to work, for geographical reasons if nothing else.  I mean, could this place be any farther afield?

After a long drive, I finally arrived at one pretty damn nondescript street corner in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. On the plus side, there was a break in the rain and a parking space right next to the Bar. I hopped out of the J-car to peek inside the windows (the Bar wasn’t open yet, as I had been told it wouldn’t be by a snooty bartender named Sally who I’ll tell you about some other time).  I also tried to find some redeeming quality in the vicinity to merit cajoling people to make the trek out to the neighborhood…

It was a process. I walked at least a block in every direction. There’s a liquor store across the street and if you feel like doing laundry, there are plenty of laundromats from which to choose.  I was just about to get back in the car and try to find my way back to a recognizable part of town when a bus lumbered around the corner and stopped right in front of me. And, what do you know, it was a # 43 – Masonic MUNI.

Now, the # 43 – Masonic happens to go right through Ambiguous Heights where the Mystery Mansion is more or less located. The Hostess takes the # 43 now and then, and just often enough to think the following two words when confronted by the unmistakable sight of a # 43 way out yonder in front of The Next Bar:  BUS PARTY.

That’s right, you heard it here first.  After work on Friday, April 3rd — and after 40 days of not drinking — I’m catching a # 43 and riding it all the way to 1196 Geneva Avenue, and I’m not waiting ’til I get there to start drinking, folks!  I’m aiming for the 6:21 at Presidio @ California, so consult # 43 Outbound Weekdays schedule to see when you can board the bus and join the party!

I had some grand plans for the Bus Party, but the extravagant after-party has required all my attention, so the Bus Bash is BYOB.  I’m sure anyone reading this ridiculous blog can handle this.  But in order to avoid taxing you any further, if you e-mail me your phone number with the subject line “Bus Party”, I’ll text you when I get on the bus, so you can check NextBus to see which bus to catch at whatever stop near you.  Or, if you are lucky enough to have my phone number, text me between now and then and I’ll notify you, too.   (And anyone who so much as mentions twitter to me gets kicked off the bus, so consider your comments carefully.)  Just be sure to bring exact change, something to whet your whistle, and the intention to party, because it’s going to be a long night!


To be honest, geographical coördinates are not the only thing that kept Geneva Pub out of contention as a location for Bars By The Book’s 2nd Anniversary celebration.  The place looks more than a little derelict.  The windows are too grimy to peer through and the Bar was closed when I swung by to survey the environs so my assessment was perfunctory at best, but grimy windows are not an especially promising feature of any premises.

I can’t remember what time Sally (that snooty bartender who I’ll tell you about later) told me that Geneva Pub opens.  But she did tell me that they never answer their phone, so don’t bother calling them to inquire.  I’m sure they’ll be open by the time the Bus Party rolls up, and I don’t intend to be dying of thirst by then, so I’ll take the time to nail down their operating hours and duly note them below for future reference.  (This is not to suggest that I am expecting future visits to Geneva Pub and its grimy windows…)

A couple of doors — and laundromats — down from Geneva Pub, the sign of an establishment called Broken Record caught my eye as I was re-crossing Geneva Avenue after patronizing the local liquor store.  Silly me, I thought it might be an independent music store, or maybe a tattoo parlor.  But it’s a bar!

Broken Record, that afternoon, was more open than Geneva Pub but less open than the laundromats: the front door was open, but the wrought iron gate was locked.  So I couldn’t get in, but I could look in, and it appeared to possibly have some potential as a decent dive bar.

My initial impression of Broken Record as a worthwhile destination was reinforced when Pizza Larry told me that he himself wanted to check it out “RSN”.  Even if he did send me a yapitty-yelpy link for the place (and throw in an untoward acronym), if Pizza Larry wants to investigate a bar, I’m there.  The fact that it’s on the same block as the 44th Bar in The Book is my kind of karmic convergence.

The plan, then, is to discretely break Muni’s rules against drinking on buses — and the general law against drinking in public — on the # 43 – Masonic, get the Official Visit to Geneva Pub out of the way, and then proceed to Broken Record, where I think they serve food which I will probably need by then.  I just hope I don’t fall so far off the wagon I’ve been on that I forget to pose for the Official Photo (an unfortunate, if not unprecedented, event).

Still and all, I can stage a photo-shoot on a future date if I have to.  You, on the other hand, only have one chance to get in on this enlivening evening at its earliest engenderment.  So the question you need to ask yourself is: are you on the bus?

Changed my mind — go peruse the 40 Days of Folly page for the particulars.