I retain a soft spot in my heart for San Francisco, where I lived and worked between 1977 and 1981. It was always a wild and crazy place, in addition to being the most pleasant city in the country, bar none. But now it’s occupied by humorless drudges, instantly ready to take offense at anything:
Stacked cans of “parrot meat” advertised for sale in the window of a soon-to-open store in San Francisco’s North Beach have sparked a neighborhood controversy. Local filmmaker and graphic designer Brady Baltezore says the cans are an art installment to create buzz for the store Terrific Street that he’s opening with five friends, but a story on Hoodline reveals some neighbors feel the display makes a distasteful joke about the neighborhood’s parrot population.
North Beach resident Julie Herrod told Hoodline the “canned parrot” was “the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in North Beach in the 25 years I’ve lived here.”
Yeah, well, you shoulda seen it back in the day, lady.
Wild parrots are often perched on the trees dotting Telegraph Hill that rises above North Beach. These noisy, cherry-headed birds are beloved by locals and sought out by tourists. While several flocks now fly all over the city foraging for food, the original birds lived around the hill and parrots have become synonymous with the neighborhood.
Baltezore wanted to celebrate these North Beach icons in a display marking the arrival of his new business. A modern take on a general store, Terrific Street will carry a variety of locally made products and is located on Grant Street, the route people often take on walks up to Telegraph Hill to look for the parrots.
“The thinking behind the display was to make something unusual and fun for folks to walk by between now and the time we are open for business,” Baltezore wrote in an email.
Not in No-Joking-Allowed America, buddy!