Last Sunday, Carolyn and I bid two farewells. In only one case had someone died.

That someone was Tina Turner, who died last May. We attended Tina: The Tina Turner Musical at the Golden Gate Theater. It provided an opportunity to say goodbye to a woman whose music, and pluck, topped the charts.

Tina first opened in London’s West End (2018), honoring the entertainment icon four years before her death. The Broadway production (opened 2019) earned 12 Tony Award nominations. Adrienne Warren won for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. We saw Naomi Rodgers. Terrific! 

Our second farewell took place prior to the show. Before Sunday matinees at the Golden Gate, we have lunch at the Basile Room in Nordstrom’s in the Westfield Shopping Centre. Nordstrom’s is about to close there. Last Sunday, the Basile Room ended its run. We each enjoyed the salmon niçoise along with the view looking north across Market Street and up Powell where cable cars run. 

The setting on the rest of the fourth floor was subdued. All the merchandise had been removed. More Nordstrom floors soon will be stripped. Tragedy? As I wrote in “Don’t Count Out San Francisco,” the City will bounce back. On August 23rd, Ikea will open a block away on Market Street. Here’s hoping all goes well. 

But change remains constant, even during the best of times.

Our last meal at the Bazile Room reminded me of the first restaurant that drew our attention when we moved to San Francisco in January 1974. Fifty years ago, we drove a U-Haul truck from San Antonio to settle in an apartment at Fulton Street and 31st Avenue across from Golden Gate Park. Having come from Texas, we provincially wondered if we’d find decent Mexican food. We did.

Within days, we discovered El Sombrero at Geary and 22nd. It was walkable, and we loved to walk. Still do. The restaurant offered big, comfortable booths and great food. The highlight: small flour tortillas handmade on the premises, often patted out in front of us. The best I’ve ever eaten! El Sombrero lasted for some years then closed. A Mediterranean restaurant moved in. Also good. I note that San Francisco doesn’t lack for Mexican food.

Covid shuttered a bunch of restaurants and retailers. Many from our early years remain fond memories. Solomon’s in the Geary Theater District was a good Jewish deli. Our Richmond District neighborhood lost Shenson’s deli (picking up Passover orders was a hoot) and the baby/infants store on Geary. We shopped there for all three kids. The threat of a lawsuit by a hard-hearted lawyer, based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, closed Big Heart Video Café where we often took the kids for brunch. Big Heart also rented movies on videocassette. (Remember Blockbuster?)

Some restaurants get “replaced.” Tiger’s in Glen Park served my favorite pancakes. Covid shuttered it. New owners opened the Glen Park Café. The pancakes may even be better. (When we first arrived, we’d go to the Pancake House at SFO.)

I could get lost in nostalgia, but I adhere to my word count. So, I’ll end with Alexander Graham Bell: “When one door closes, another opens.” The trick, Bell stated, is to move on and look for that open door right away.

The Short (Pun Intended) Redemptive Life of Little Ned is now available in softcover or e-book from, and Or order from your favorite bookstore.

This is post #600 over the last dozen years. If you find it interesting, please pass it on. 

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