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For Free in Frisco

I was in San Francisco 2 weeks ago. I learned that the following are free in the Bay Area:

  • Sour milk at the Muni Starbucks.
  • Bullets in Japantown.
  • Items in plain sight in parked vehicles. Locked doors and rolled-up windows aside.
  • Brand new BMWs if parked in the same place for more the 17 hours.
  • Purses on BART if not secured with a proximity alarm and/or armed body guard.

    I witnessed so much crime, I was beginning to think I was somehow responsible.

    I got into town at 11pm and headed to the nearest bar. While waiting for a drink, I started a conversation with a guy. From Burnsville. Figures I would travel 1,600 miles and run into someone from my backyard. We drank, danced, and I relished in the perfect weather.

    I slept under the dining room table. Trust me, this story is better explained in person.

    Woke up Saturday and headed to the Fisherman's Wharf. Unfortunately, we pit-stopped at Starbucks and both indulged in Lattes. Fortunately for Dustin, he opted for the small. About 20 minutes later, we're waiting for the connector at Pier 3 and both of us are writhing in pain. Luckily, it was manageable by the time we hit Pier 39 and we had fun walking around, people-watching, and buying a Moss jersey for me to wear to the Raiders' game. We got home and I napped basking in the sun. This is vacation!

    Dustin gets us on a few guest lists and we head out for sushi at 8. By 9 we're just finishing up and waiting for the check.

    I hear commotion and it's coming closer. A panicked and hysterical Asian woman begs for my attention. "Call 911, someone's been shot!" I summon the waitress, she calls 911 and Dustin and I turn our attention to the street. I'd just used the restroom and thought the stairs went outside so I assumed the shooting was outside the building.

    It's probably important to understand the layout of the restaurant. Below is a map.

    There were 2 women who came up the stairs. The one who asked for the police is in fuchsia. I circled myself in red.

    Everyone is on their feet and most have moved closer to the windows. All of us are watching the two men across Post St. with caution. The street is eerily empty. I back away from the windows.

    One man falls, the other man runs. My stomach turns and I feel the blood retract from my face.

    People are rushing to the fallen man's side. Police arrived moments later along with a fire truck and three ambulances. This is when we learned there had been multiple shootings.

    Apparently, this mid-20's man had walked into the bar downstairs and asked for someone by name. There were four people in the bar – 2 employees and 2 patrons. The waitress told the man that she no longer worked there and he shot her in the head. He then turned and shot the bartender. The 2 patrons ran upstairs to our restaurant. I still shudder whenever I consider this. Why did he not follow the 2 who escaped? They could I.D. him. If he would have followed them, I would have been the first person he would have seen. Worse? This man has a fairly extensive criminal record and all of his previous crime has been against Koreans. All 3 of this night's victims were also Korean. Not only was I in the wrong place, but I fit the right profile. It's very morbid.

    When he left the bar, he crossed Post St. just outside our restaurant's windows and entered the Japantown Peace Plaza. The plaza, ironically, is known for a larger than life Peace Pagoda located right in its center. Within the reach of its shadow, the shooter encountered a young couple, said something to them and when the 22 year old man tried to walk around to avoid him, he was shot in the head point-blank.

    The waitress died on the scene. The plaza victim, 22 years old, died in hospice on Sunday. The bartender was last known to be in stable condition.

    I feel like I escaped something there. It took me a week to get over it. It's selfish, but I'm glad I didn't see anything too graphically close in proximity. It was hard enough dealing with the fact that we knew what had just happened. Seeing the blood spill would have likely found me in therapy.

    Link || Link || Link

    Other than that, we saw a crackhead break into a car with complete disregard to being witnessed. A girl's purse was stolen on the Muni train while passing through the bay tunnel on the way to the Raiders game. A brand new BMW had its window smashed in and disappeared. I will not be moving to Frisco anytime soon. Maybe ever.

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