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The Second Annual Guide to the City's
50 Most Annoying People, Places and Things


  1. The Crazy Horse Spokesmodel
    You've seen her on billboards all over town. And you've wondered to yourself--is that a mustache? You can argue all you want about whether or not the city's "exotic dancers" are being abused, but it's quite clear that a certain lip liner has most certainly subjected these Crazy Horse models to cruel and unusual torment.

  2. George Schultz and Charlotte Swig
    If only the headline had read: WASHINGTON HAS-BEEN WEDS ELDERLY PLUTOCRAT ...

  3. Street Fairs
    These annual junk sales clog up the city from June through October and turn every neighborhood they touch into an outdoor food court. Isn't that why we have Serramonte? The same vendors hawk the same useless crap with a spin tailored to each neighborhood. If you missed those Guatemalan rain sticks with tie-dye shoulder straps at the Haight Street Fair, don't worry. You can pick 'em up at the Folsom Street Fair, with a handy leather harness thrown in for fun.

  4. Thai Restaurants
    Amazingly, only McDonald's outpaces the growth of Thai venues in this city. If the recent entries whipped up something original, it might be OK, but the only thing new about their menus is the name on the cover.

  5. 35-cent Pay-Phone Calls
    As if anyone carries dimes. It was bad enough paying 25 cents for a 20-cent call, but 50 cents is just outrageous. Let's file a class action suit to recover the overpayments and donate the proceeds to Project Open Hand.

  6. Dovre vs. Women's Building
    Cheap beers vs. affordable child care. The Dovre didn't really have a chance, but it's probably better off. The last thing it'd want is to become the haunt of choice for women's center regulars. "I'll have a Calistoga with my diatribe about gender inequality and the plight of my Third World, vegan, single-mother, lesbian sisters."

  7. The New York-Obsessed
    You know who they are. Constantly struggling with the decision to stay or "move back." On the one hand they like "the lifestyle" and being able to live in a separate room from their toilet. But on the other, "you can't really be a star here." Hey, nobody's holding a gun to your head. There are flights that leave from SFO every 20 minutes.

  8. Militant Vegan Eco-feminists With Two Kids and a Minivan
    Sure, you're raising your precious P.C. offspring to respect Mother Earth in all her furry, organic glory, so they won't be part of the problem but part of the solution. Listen, chycks (note correct usage of the 'y'), if you really want to do something positive for the environment, here's a couple hints: (1) Sell your car. (2) Tie your tubes. Meantime, let the rest of us unenlightened (but carless and child-free) folks eat our bacon double-cheeseburgers in peace. And while you're at it, please scrape those bumper stickers off your van.

  9. Dennis Peron
    San Francisco's premiere pothead is running for governor. If he wins he'll try to open Cannabis Buyer's Clubs in every city across the state. "Would you like fries with that joint?" And by the way, regarding medicinal marijuana, does anybody believe this is truly about getting medicine to the terminally ill as opposed to simply legalizing recreational pot use? Then again, when was the last time public policy was shaped sans spin?

  10. Jamba Juice
    The bastard child of Orange Julius and TCBY, Jamba Juice is multiplying like spirulina all over the state. Enjoy the blaring sounds of "world beat" as perky pierced and tattooed adolescent juiceheads whip up wheat grass, berry, eco-friendly concoctions, all for the price of a small household appliance. All the soy lecithin, zinc and guava extract in the world can't disguise that distinctive Slimfast taste.


    More annoying tidbits:
    Will someone please buy the Chronicle a thesaurus?
    Things genuinely worth getting annoyed about.
    Residents vent steam about what annoys them.


  11. Taxis
    Sure, they're all over Union Square. Sure, political consultants and would-be supervisors promise more taxis every election. So why is it so hard to grab a taxi in the middle of the day on Mission Street or Haight Street or even Castro Street? Try it. Something is seriously wrong when you'd rather take MUNI than wait another hour for a taxi.

  12. Chains Dressed in Locals' Clothing
    Fuzio and World Wraps are owned by Chevy's. Buca Di Beppo (albeit fun and tasty) is part of a Minneapolis-based chain. And Willow Street is more like Main Street. They try to look small and "one of a kind" in this chain-wary city, but are actually cookie-cutter clones with a particularly keen eye for detail. Just like the chain-owned rag you're reading.

  13. Upscale Burrito Joints
    While we're on the subject of Chevy's, anyone in San Francisco who pays more than $6 for an entire Mexican meal (including an agua fresca) is a moron and needs to head immediately to the Mission. Pick a taqueria, any taqueria, and taste some real food.

  14. The Central Freeway
    Rose Tsai and Leland Yee band together to save San Francisco's most despised eyesore. Question: What happens when they spend all that money to build an expanded overpass, and people still don't want to shop in the Richmond?

  15. JC Decaux's Newspaper Racks
    These new "Information Centers" are springing up all over the city. Problem is they don't carry The Metropolitan. Yet they carry both the Chronicle and the Examiner. Who needs to buy fish wrap from a stylish French vending machine, anyway?

  16. Leather
    This "subversive" sexuality has gone so mainstream they're even doing it in the Richmond. You know the party's over when Carole Migden shows up at a fundraiser in a little DKNY leather jumpsuit.

  17. Rent
    And we don't mean the musical. Paying more than $600 to share a two-bedroom with three people in Lower Pacific Heights (a.k.a. the Fillmore) makes Oakland, and for that matter, Brooklyn, increasingly attractive. If SF isn't careful, it's going to become the Mecca for high-tech nimrods and trust-fund kids.

  18. Lord Martine
    The Examiner's pretentious nightlife scribe believes the hype. His accounts of hobnobbing with the glitterati have no bite. Even Pat Steiger occasionally throws in a dig or two. Not Lord Martine. He's too impressed, too often. But what do you expect from a guy who looks like Susan Powter?

  19. Forum with Michael Krasne
    KQED's morning talkfest is too often interrupted by its overbearing host. As Krasne pontificates, guests struggle to get a word in edgewise. Ever been trapped at a cocktail party as some blowhard sounds off? Hey, Michael, take a hint from professional hosts: go check on the hors d'oeuvres.

  20. Sean Penn
    Yes, he lives in Ross, not San Francisco, but he's one of the most annoying people for 300 miles around.

  21. And Closer to Home, Don Johnson
    The only one who hits more photo ops is Willie. But at least his show is always mildly entertaining. As for Nash Bridges, we have yet to find anyone who has actually seen it.

  22. The Ghost of Margaret Lesher
    Let semi-scandalous, reportedly eccentric, sleeping socialites lie. And besides, why put the "Jackie O. of Orinda" on the cover of the strategically renamed San Francisco magazine?

  23. The Inescapable Susie Bright
    The Joseph Stalin of sexual progressives, Ms. Bright has made it her mission to weed out repression wherever it may lurk, just as a certain Russian dictator once went after reactionaries. She claims to be all about sexual tolerance, but those who differ from her polymorphous perversity or who fail to grasp the artistic vision of her preferred porn auteurs are regularly bashed as pleasure-hating prudes in her various media organs.

  24. The Red Room
    Somehow the owners have convinced the local media that this sweltering, oppressive closet is some kind of bastion of hipness. Having cocktails there on a weekend night is about as decadent as being knocked around for three hours on a Muni car during rush hour. Less crowded but similarly overhyped is Hotel Phoenix's hyper-designed Backflip. Makes you yearn for the good old days when such nonsense was confined to Union Street.

  25. The Souljacker
    The SF criminal who goes by the name Souljacker (among many other names) and was on the cover of the SF Weekly, because ever since we saw him we've been waking up with nightmares, popping up from the bed with big staring eyes a la Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo, screaming "No, not my soul! Please don't jack my soul, Mr. Souljacker! Aieeeee!"

  26. Henna Tattoos
    Forget about trying to make a statement. Make a committment.

  27. Noe Valley's 24th Street
    Baby carriages. Rollerbladers. Sidewalk sales. It's like a yuppie obstacle course. But the burgeoning 24th Street homeless population may just shake things up.

  28. Stephanie Salter
    The Examiner's common scold. Maybe every paper has to have their lame Baby Boomer distaff columnist, and we guess Salter isn't any worse than, say, Anna Quindlen when it comes to ridiculous self-involvement and breathless overstatement of the obvious. But the nadir was reached last summer when, after returning from vacation in the Heartland, she shared her shock and amazement at finding a "LIBERAL!" in Indiana of all places! C'mon, Stephanie, catch the clue bus. Or can we expect future missives on your amazing discovery that some Eskimos don't live in igloos after all?!

  29. Jon Carroll
    The Chronicle's Carroll, a once relevant scribe, has taken to writing columns about clearing off his desk.

  30. Jack Davis
    You throw a party, and the main attraction is a guy getting slashed up and peed on. Talk about a cliché--even Karen Finley dropped that from her routine in the mid-'80s. Next time, you might want to let Mrs. Swig-Schultz do the planning--just make sure you're clear with her about any budget limitations.

  31. Consumption Curfew
    Bars close at 2 (if you're lucky). And it's practically impossible to get a decent meal after 11pm. For a town that brags about its perpetual munchies, you'd think some foodie would capitalize on the late-nite crowd.

  32. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center
    Here's an idea: Knock down a historically significant building, whip up support from wildly separate communities and build an $8-million tourist information center. Who cares if New York, Chicago and L.A. have one? We've already got Zuni!

  33. Coffeehouse Pastries
    Every coffeehouse in San Francisco seems to order their muffins from the same bakery. Muddy Waters, Yakity Yak, The Coffee Club House and Sacred Ground are among the guilty. Same muffins, same scones, same baklava, same biscotti, same vegan cookies, the same oatmeal horse-pill things. Not only do they taste generic, after a while these so-called pastries start tasting like sawdust mixed with dishwater.

  34. Pasta Places
    Sure, you don't know how to cook. And who's got the time? But anyone can throw together a little pasta, a few vegetables, some Ragu with chunks and a fancy label. The likes of Pasta Pomodoro and Stelline do it, and people line up. Go figure.

  35. Quentin Kopp
    First he tried to put small newspapers out of business by sponsoring legislation to allow lawyers to circumvent publishing trustee sale notices, creating a windfall for his political bankrollers. Now he has his panties in a twist over City Hall reconstruction cost overruns. If San Franciscans wanted a K-mart city hall, would they have elected a Brioni-wearing mayor?

  36. Spunk
    We thought it was a porn mag at first, but to our chagrin it's a zine that takes all the subversive girlie energy of publications like Bust and Bitch and waters it down to a tepid, Debbie Gibsonesque broth. Their writing is like Hard Candy-painted nails on a chalkboard. And when they call their readers "Spunksters" it sends chills down our spine.

  37. Smoke-free Bars
    Hello, that's why most of us go to bars. To suck down a few drinks so that we're loaded enough to feel OK about smoking "socially."

  38. Meteorologist Roberta Gonzales
    An odd casting. KPIX's weather woman is cutesy and cloying and looks like she's been caught in a windstorm. This would all be forgivable if she'd only learn how to read the damn teleprompter.

  39. Eddie DeBartolo and the 49ers
    San Francisco carries the tax burden while fat, balding, middle-aged men in San Bruno and Millbrae reap the benefits. Instead of importing the team closer to downtown, we should export them to Louisiana.

  40. Muni
    You know the story: crowded, noisy with boomboxes, stinky with diesel fumes and easily outpaced by grannies with walkers. A never-ending source of fury for passengers stranded throughout the city who stare hopelessly at the horizon for any sign of a ride.

  41. New-and-Improved S. Van Ness
    and Division Intersection
    Wherein the city of San Francisco re-creates the Minotaur's Labyrinth. No longer is it possible to get from SoMa to the Mission. At least not via Howard. And God forbid you forget this, because taking that last-minute right onto 12th will only make things worse. What were they thinking?

  42. Palm Trees
    Following in the footsteps of San Jose and Los Angeles, some tourist promotion genius must have figured SF could dupe a few conventioneers into thinking they were booking a flight to Southern California. If this scam works, we should set up stands to sell Tropic Tan and sun umbrellas.

  43. Gavin Newsom
    The savior of San Francisco's small- business community lives as far off "main street" as you can get. Sure, he's nice to look at, but so was Jose Medina at 29. Here's a secret: If you had all that family money, you could be a successful businessman too.

  44. Rainbow Flags
    Is it a revered symbol of diversity and gay liberation, or is it a bathmat? It's both! (Finally, a bathmat for us!) Do you really need to put a rainbow sticker on your Miata? Of course you're gay--who else drives a Miata? And we can't overlook the worst offender of all: the bus-dwarfing rainbow sheet flapping at the corner of Market and Castro that all but obscures the lovely view of Sutro Tower.

  45. Erotic Exotic Ball Et Al.
    Parties for those who moved to town to explore their zanier, prurient selves ... but ended up working retail in Daly City.

  46. All Things Hippie and Beatnik
    Let the Summer of Love thing rest in peace, will ya? The Grateful Dead has moved on. Now it's time for the rest of you cell-phone-carrying peace-freaks to send those tie-dyes and peasant skirts off to the consignment shop.

  47. Noah's Inc.
    They capitalize on Judaica but open for bagel business during Passover. For shame.

  48. Panhandling Teens on Haight
    Haight Street remains the preferred address for those dead-end kids hanging around begging for change. How about a paper route? Or a fast-food restaurant? Anything. Rumor has it the economy is gangbusters and there are tons of low-paying, low-skill jobs.

  49. Double-Parking on Sundays in Front of Churches
    It's against the law, but the law has decided to look the other way as a "courtesy." Does separation of church and state mean anything to anyone? Perhaps a reason to give religion another look-see.

  50. San Franciscans
    For telling everyone how much better life is here. Wallets stuffed with equity, really "nice people" from all over the goddamn world continue to pile in. And now they're buying your apartment, bidding up the rental prices and making a lot of racket at your favorite watering hole. Satisfied? The only thing that might save this place is the Big One.

And 11 to Watch Out For:

They're OK now, but best to wait and see.

  • Hayes Valley

  • Skateboarders

  • Amoeba Records

  • Vietnamese Restaurants

  • Burning Man

  • Free BART with Muni Fast Pass (inside the city)

  • Juice Bars

  • Antidepressants

  • Protease Inhibitors

  • Xena Fans

  • This Publication

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From the January 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc.