Nov 062011
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What’s your image of San Francisco?

Forbidden pleasures? Anything goes? The BART tunnel under the bay? Alcatraz?  Hordes of smelly homeless people?

 SF has a well deserved reputation.

It is stunning visually with graceful towers rising out of the bay and a unique cable car experience to get visitors up and down the steep hills. Then there are the great restaurants catering to every budget and taste. It’s also the place were individual liberty is indulged, protected and encouraged from the homeless people clamoring for change on market street to the gay lovers holding hands in the Castro. San Francisco is the place where anything goes without even a pretense of old fashioned conservative values. Los Angeles is often satirized as the home of the fruits and nuts but LA is more like your grandmother while San Francisco is a high priced slut.

San Francisco is a great place to visit because you can pretend that you are crossing the line while remaining perfectly safe. All that tantalizing and questionable living going on right under your nose but you can enjoy it vicariously without risk. When in LA you quickly penetrate the facade of glamor and sin and discover that underneath you find a lifestyle that wouldn’t be out of place in Des Moines. Not so, San Francisco. Wherever you scratch the surface in San Francisco you find life that is bohemian at its best and downright otherworldly at its worst.

The possibilities are limitless!

Everything in San Francisco is geared for possibilities. The City fathers don’t like to inhibit your expression of whatever might be going on in your head. It has never been clear to me whether the motivation is to make a city which is comfortable as an old shoe to weirdos of all types or just a magnificent marketing ploy to attract schlumps with aspirations. Whatever the motive, San Francisco today is a place unlike any other and world renown as a place you want to be.  But look at this.

San Francisco Bans Naked Dining…Here’s Why

So what’s up?

So when I saw this headline about San Francisco banning naked dining I was very confused. For years San Francisco was constantly looking for  limits to push. No barrier was too trivial to break in the search for limitless options and opportunities. And yet, here in the 21st century, instead of breaking down old barriers, San Francisco begins to build new ones. Now, after all the years of freedom from convention, you can’t dine naked in San Francisco. Think about that! Something is actually banned in San Francisco. It is mind blowing. Now two of the three great desires of man cannot be enjoyed together. (The three are food, sex and money, of course .) Now in San Francisco, if you want food and sex, you need to have them separately or remain fully clothed- and what’s the fun with that?.

 It’s the end of the world as we know it!

I think this means the beginning of the end for San Francisco. It marks the weakening of the resolve and clarity of focus that has marked San Francisco over it’s history. Never before has San Francisco buckled before a challenge. Never before has the city by the bay taken back a freedom. When I see that the only reason given is that it endangers public health, I know that the end of San Francisco as we know it is near.

What’s next?  Air freshener in Chinatown?

When public health is considered more important than personal freedom then San Francisco has sunk to the level of Los Angeles or even Des Moines and with that kind of thinking, how long will San Francisco continue to be a tourist mecca. I think it’s all over.

I have to admit that naked dining is not a frequent pastime around our household and it isn’t a calling card at any of the local restaurants we frequent. Still the idea of naked dining does stoke some inner fires and the reality that when San Francisco bans naked dining it makes me wonder what they will be banning next.

So what do you think?

Does this new ban make you think differently about San Francisco. Will you be seeking a different city for that vacation you have been saving for? And what’s your take on naked dining? This may be an opportunity for Des Moines.

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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