This fine meditation on San Francisco dives goes to the @SFGate public site tomorrow morning. Best line: "Red’s Java House is already quaint, but worse things are in store. When the new neighbors move in, Red’s will become fashionable."
It makes a good local-color counterpoint to the recent Atlantic Cities article that rather bravely defended neighborhood bars as aspects of "sustainability." (Found via @archidose.)
Being an Orwell fan I also have to reference his 1946 essay, "The Moon Under Water." It's characteristic of Orwell in its tendency to universalize personal tastes, but also characteristic in its casual pre-invention of theories about urban living and popular culture that people now dissect in boring conferences.