How do you know when you are walking down Valencia Street in San Francisco? Here are three possible clues:
- The street signs say “Valencia.”
- You spot at least three new restaurants that didn’t exist last month.
- The woman in front of you has “Antonin” tattooed on the back of her left thigh and “Artaud” tattooed on the back of her right.
But you needn’t take my word for on this last one.
Tattoos (a drastic form of self-change) remain as wildly popular in San Francisco as ever. They first became uber-popular around 1990 and the trend never went away. I never indulged, for the simple, succinct and sufficient reason that t’aint nuthin’ gonna improve my appearance, so I should just save my money. I still don’t get the appeal. That cute little heart over your breast embellished with your ladyfriend’s name at age 20 will look like The Blob when you’re seventy–plus you shall have broken up with her decades earlier anyway.
Yet people continue to decorate themselves. Some tats aren’t too bad:
But I did not and do not and perhaps will never understand and maybe do not want to understand the Caucasian woman in her 60s with the dyed blonde hair. I didn’t have time to photograph her–she walked past me too quickly. Oh well, maybe I don’t really need a record of a Caucasian woman in her 60s with the dyed blonde hair, and believe it or not, a pair of satanic devil horns tattooed on her forehead.
Vonn Scott Bair