September 1st, 2008


(no subject)

My usual café was closed today for Labor Day, so I went to another neighborhood café to set a spell. (There's a third place nearby, but it's a çåfě, and that just seemed excessive, so I passed it by.)

One of the joys of living in San Francisco is the moments of spontaneous elegance you might find. Some cafés make their own ice cream in the back, or brew their own beer, or they're run by internet celebrities you loved but then forgot but will remember again. Some have amazing art on the walls. Some have elegant shop-wide puzzles, or current newspapers from around the world, or some brilliant new board game.

This one? They proudly displayed a tiny sign that said, "REAL Caesar Salad $4.35."

"Is that the original recipe that Cesare Cardini improvised out of what was left in the kitchen in his Tijuana restaurant on July 4, 1924?" I asked, but the woman behind the counter just smiled.

So, yes, of course I ordered it. And it was not bad.

After I ate it, I found myself in executive authority over the Roman Empire in the late 2nd century A.D. It turns out "REAL" modified "Caesar," not "salad."

For the rest of the day, I've had to deal with squabbling Senators, wars, bureaucracies, writs, riots, assassination attempts, political turmoil and personal attacks. The luxuries afforded to a Caesar are much less luxurious than those available to a middle-class American. It's worth it, though, because I really do think I'm helping the Empire. SPQR, yo.

I do love my city so. Always something to see.