Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
It's Summer. Go Ahead, Be A Tourist
This is international city down here at the waterfront. The line for the counter at the Bay Cafe (1050 North Harbor Drive) is long and you're hearing Russian, Spanish, Chinese, French, Portuguese.
But hey, if you can attitude-adjust out of the "This is my city" attitude, it's a fun atmosphere.
From Broadway, it looks as though the Bay Cafe is a sailing ship. That's because the Chilean training ship "Esmeralda" is parked behind.
I grab a coffee ($2.25), and head outside, because the hidden secret here is the pontoon. You go down the ramp like you're about to catch one of the pleasure boats, angle right, and suddenly you're kinda swooping around a bit, because yes, you're floating.
Half a dozen tables where only the Enlightened gather, to watch the fresh blue sparkling waters over to Point Loma and the entrance to the bay.
The ferry Cabrillo gives great atmosphere as it toots three times and hauls out stern first with a kinda nice residue of diesel fumes. The wavelets slop up against your pontoon. You are miles from town and all its frets and worries.
Erika, who gave me my cawfee, says their Cafe Breakfast is the best deal in the morning. Two eggs, hash browns, bacon or ham, and wheat toast for $6.50.
And Rachelle, at the table next to me on the pontoon, says she has the best item on the entire menu, swordfish tacos. They're $9 for two, but look totally luscious.
Makes me think how little we use these waters. We live like we were in the middle of the continent. I think they should build little bayside villages where you and I could, like, live. Low rent, lottery decides who gets to move in.
So a feller can dream, can't he?
Come to think of it, this Bay Cafe is a heckuva good place to do it.
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