Friday, August 16, 2013

Like The Phoenix, The Squat And Gobble Rises (Another Memory, Starring Woody Allen As Himself)

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me
And I'm feeling good

~Leslie Bricusse, The Bricusse Songbook

Okay, so I warned you the other day, I am going to be reminiscing about my, I mean our, fun surrounding our stalking, I mean following, of Woody Allen as he made movie magic filming Blue Jasmine last year in San Francisco. LOL. Okay, so what exactly does the current construction on a building have to do with all the misadventures last year? Well, it's a funny story, and at the same time, a tragic story, but in the end the story comes full circle... not unlike a Woody Allen movie! LOL.

It Went Like This...

If you have been reading me for any length of time, you already know about my Woody Allen adventure last year. I won't rehash the whole thing, but I will share that right in the middle of the story came a moment of abstract surrealism. You see, on August 25th of last year, Alan and I tracked Woody Allen's filming schedule, mostly by way of social media, around San Francisco. On the 28th we learned he was filming in the Haight/Ashbury neighborhood, so off we went. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, there was no Woody to be seen. He was done and done.

But fear not, social media came through again, and we found out he was merely a few neighborhoods away in the West Portal. There wasn't an exact address, so it was a bit like looking for a Woody... um... needle... in a haystack. Finally we found out where the technical trucks would be parked. When we got there, we saw plenty of trucks, some marked wardrobe, but there didn't seem to be any film service trucks, or any tell tale signs of filming going on, like sandwich boards marked "No Parking" and there was no police presence. Hmmm.

So, with nothing else to do, we decided to drive around the neighborhood, and see if anything could be found. We checked out about 7 or 8 streets, when finally we hit pay dirt! A young, well dressed man, walking down the hill with a camera in his hand. EUREKA! By Woody, I think we had it! And yes, we did! A short drive up West Portal, and onto Ulloa, and there it was, the camera crew, the catering truck, and of course, Woody Allen's town car, parked on the corner of Claremont and Ulloa.

As you might imagine, there was no place to park on our first pass around the neighborhood, so once around again. And that's when it all happened!

With my cameras responsibly stored in their proper cases, and my cell phone, with the awesome camera, equally responsibly placed at the bottom of my purse, where everything in my purse goes, lol, I had no distractions from not just looking for a place to park, but to also check out the neighborhood stores and restaurants. Excellent. I was calm, and well prepared. Good for me! So, on our second time around the block, as we turned onto Ulloa from West Portal, I noticed a cute restaurant called The Squat And Gobble. What an interesting name! My amusement of which only lasted about 3 seconds, no kidding, because coming out of that restaurant, all by himself, with no entourage was... Woody Allen!

LOL. As you can see from the pictures above, the distance between the restaurant entrance, and the curb is not very far! Woody Allen was literally 5 feet away from me, if that much, and where were my cameras? Why they were responsibly put away of course! OMG. It would have been a really terrific, candid shot of him, and I had make a really rookie mistake of not taking at least one camera out after we located the filming sight. All photographers, professional or amateur, have a memory of at least one "shot that got away," for me, Woody Allen will always be "the one that got away!" LOL.

Anyway, like a good little diabetic, I had packed my lunch for the day before I left the house, so we decided to check out the Squat and Gobble during our upcoming vacation which was scheduled for October. In fact, we reasoned, why not come and have dinner on our wedding anniversary, which would be on October 13th. It would be a fun way to spend the day, laughing about our Woody Allen misadventures, and we could take some time to just check out the neighborhood properly! It was a plan!

Unfortunately, not unlike a plot twist in a Woody Allen movie, the Squat and Gobble burned to the ground on October 12th, that's right, one day before our anniversary! It burned down so completely, that it managed to take a couple other businesses with it! It was a total loss! I felt really bad for the restaurant, and the businesses, but I have to admit, I felt really bad that the memory I hoped to make was gone as well.

But hey, good news came along earlier this year, when it was announced that the Squat and Gobble will rise like the phoenix later this year! And no matter when, Alan and I will be there to support them in their grand reopening. We will be making a new memory. Sure, it won't be the exact restaurant Woody ate in, but it will be close enough, and besides, it's the total ambiance of the area. The street. The people. The time you spend with someone you love, in this case, Alan, and the surreal turn of events that I can't help but feel a tiny bit responsible for on some odd level. LOL. Which of course is completely neurotic of me, but hey, it was a Woody Allen movie that brought me here... right?

Congratulations Squat And Gobble On Your Rise From The Ashes!We Will See You Later This Year!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

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