Friday, August 15, 2014

I'm Un-Friending Burrito Justice

Normally, I'm a big fan of Burrito Justice, a San Francisco blogger who spends equal time talking about burritos, fog, Sutro Tower, Mission District happenings, and San Francisco history. His posts on the SP's route through the Mission are definitely worth a read. But then his big-city parochialism appears. In the latest article on the stringing of the first telegraph line from San Francisco to San Jose, he makes the sarcastic comment:
Another way of looking at it — the people of San Francisco were so isolated they actually got excited about talking to people IN SAN JOSE. I mean, that’s pretty isolated.
I could make a smart-ass comment about that's just the sort of comment you'd get from folks who live in fog and don't eat enough prunes, but that would just be sinking to his level.


  1. I think you're misinterpreting his comment: the amazement, I think, comes from the notion that some place as close as San Jose -- and by land -- is being thought of as a great distance to communicate over.

  2. Cal, I think you're being mighty generous for those big city types. They're probably the same people who can't imagine you can get a decent Mission burrito in Mountain View.

    I've got to say I love the story about the telegraph stringers getting lost in the fog in Daly City in the same article. Reminds me why I'm down here drinking a beer on a hot Saturday instead of watching the fog blow past Serramonte at 40 mph.

    1. Hey Robert. While I certainly have my issues with San Jose (I worked there for 9 years), the spirit of the (half smart-assed) comment was more as Calton suggested. SF in the 1850s was telegraph and railroad crazy -- I swear half the restaurants had one or the other in their names -- and they were just itching to build out infrastructure to connect things around the Bay and beyond.

      I particularly liked this quote regarding a particularly fast stagecoach run from San Jose.

      Also, I am quite happy with Peninsula and South Bay burrito & taco infrastructure. If anything, I fear that quality indie taquerias will disappear from SF, in which case we will need to order burritos from San Jose and have them delivered via HSR.

    2. Also, tacos:

  3. Man, you can't even fake a blogger fight these days without someone being nice. What's the Internet coming to?

    The telegraph and railway craze never quite made it down to San Jose, as far as I can tell, though there's no good source for pre-1890 San Jose newspapers online. Interurbans were a big deal in later years - the Campbell Interurban Press showed their excitement at having heavy rail transportation running through town. But most folks just wanted the railroads out of the way - San Jose prides itself on spending twenty years trying to get the SP off Fourth Street, and Willow Glen positively crows about its revolution in order to keep the Friendly SP back there on Fourth Street, though they usually phrase it in terms of "ethics in video game journalism". We'll see if the "Lincoln Ave to two lanes" movement captures that same magical populist spirit.

    But, wow, you go through those turn of the century newspapers, and everyone's getting all excited by bikes and automobiles like they're the new Taylor Swift album. That's how San Jose rolls.