Friday, June 8, 2012

Tourists, Part II

Apparently Alamo Square residents are not as fond of tourists as I am. I see the big red tour buses go by everyday, bound for the Painted Ladies. It seems the buses stop in the middle of quiet residential streets, making a lot of noise and blocking traffic. Probably pretty annoying.

Alamo Square is only two blocks away, but has a very different feel than where I live. Tranquil, mainly. My street is a major thoroughfare with far more obnoxious sounds than any of the streets around the Square. Like parked cars with alarms that go off in the middle of the night when a heavy truck roars by. BAWNK BAWNK BAWNK BAWNK BAWNK BAWNK BAWNK. Has anyone's car alarm ever been set off by an actual car thief?

Or motorcycles. I plan to buy a bag of potatoes and stand on the street corner in front of my apartment. When the light turns red, I'll be the like ball boy at Wimbeldon, running up to motorcycles and stuffing spuds into their exhaust pipes before they realize what's happening. What kind of asshat invents a mode of transportation that's powered by loud noise?

Or people standing in front of my window talking on the phone at three in the morning.

I have only limited sympathy for the folks living around the Square. Tour buses and tourists only come by during the day. Unless you work from home, you wouldn't even notice except on weekends.

Diesel engines, car alarms, tractor trailers, motorbikes, yacking pedestrians, throbbing car stereos, garbage trucks and skateboarders rumbling down the sidewalk -- these sounds happen round the clock  outside my window. I sleep with earplugs. I'd trade all this for the daytime-only tourists and picturesque Victorian architecture of Alamo Square in a heartbeat.

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