Planning your big trip to San Francisco? Don’t forget your coat! I know you want to see Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum real bad, and, oh those cable cars climbing halfway to the stars, they’ve got to be great. How about a trip to the Haight-Ashbury to see where the Grateful Dead lived? Maybe a topless bar (wink wink nod nod), and a nightcap in the bar of the Holiday Inn.
But hold on for a minute. There’s another city hidden beneath the glitter and gloss of “My Enchanted City”. A city with hidden treasures and landmarks that only the talking pigs know about. Let me take you down, cause I’m going to…San Francisco’s Richmond District, Home of the Talking Pigs!
Oh, there’s not many of us left now in the City. We’ve dispersed across the world. I’m an exile myself, sleeping in an abandoned mobile home far down the coast with only an owl and a feral cat for company. (Besides the beautiful Patrushka and her indomitable Mom, of course, both of whom insist they like it)
Oh, perhaps it’s quiet, perhaps it’s a little lonely today. But there was a time when the Richmond resounded to the throng of happy snorts and grunts, when little curly tails disappeared into the bakeries and came out with pies and cakes and sugar cookies to take home for tea. Young pigs such as myself studied in the libraries and parks of the Richmond and learned to ponder deeply into the mystery of things.
Wandering through the muffled streets, we learned to love the fog and moist grey gloom. For us it was a warm cozy blanket. The wind barreling off the Pacific, it filled the lungs with glee. Ah, for the life of a talking pig in the Richmond District in those golden times of yore.
Certain among you are beginning to wonder when the show starts and I wish you’d have a little more patience. I’m just getting warmed up. But ever it shall be. Okay, next picture, please…
The Temple of Learning. Ah, the lines of merry young pigs that stood outside the Balboa waiting for the box office to open and the Saturday matinée to begin. Some Saturdays we heard a lecture on Aristotle. Other Saturdays it was six color cartoons, a Superman serial, and Mickey Rooney in “Penrod Fights The Gangsters”. Even today, the remnants of the Golden Age remain. Where else could you have your choice of Nacho Libre or Army of Shadows, a phenomenal, magnificent 1969 French film about the Resistance during WWII, and don’t miss it if you trust a talking pig’s judgment). But it’s not coming soon to a theater near you. Sorry. Maybe on DVD.
The Secret Treasure Statue. I boldly proclaim its location because I know how to get to the treasure and you don’t. No, it’s not symbolic of the treasure of the imagination – it’s money. Gold beyond your wildest dreams! And it’s mine, mine mine! Hahahahahahahahah.
Adolf Sutro. How we honor Adolf. Not only did he build San Francisco’s Sutro Park, most beautiful park in the known universe, he was the first talking pig to successfully pass as a human for most of his life. We don’t like to do it, but it’s so much more convenient. People are always asking embarrassing questions like “How come you’re not wearing trousers?” But they never guessed the truth about Adolf. What a pig! Too bad about the name though. It was a perfectly nice name in 1890.
The Old Manse. Pigs lived here once but now they’re gone.
Our tour of San Francisco’s Richmond District is about halfway through. We’ll be stopping for lunch today at The Blathering Pig. Please try not to encourage the proprietor or we’ll never get served!