Original Joe’s a link to San Francisco’s cultural history

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Ken Garcia’s Sunday column, “Hearty comfort food keeps the taste of The City alive,” made me thankful for Original Joe’s restaurant — a healthy dose of tradition, history and rare democratic hobnobbing. In North Beach, truly missed are the social incubators like the old-fashioned Vanessi’s, Little Joe’s, Baby Joe’s, Luigi’s, La Pantera and Gold Spike.

They had good food at fair prices and a heavy dose of societal connections and continuity. The old Original Joe’s buzzed with veteran waiters, beat cops, police chiefs, politicians, rock musicians, reporters, old-timers and regular Joes.

Historicism extends beyond food. The variety of cultural, social and architectural landmarks from every period of time cultivates great cities — theaters, wineries, bookstores, gas stations, factories, stone walls, signs, barns, trees, landscapes, streetcars, civil rights sites, neo-classical, Victorian, midcentury modernism, libraries, saloons or restaurants.

Howard Wong
San Francisco


Blessed by national parks

Now that the federal government has decided not to shut itself down, my son and his schoolmates will be able to go on their big trip to Joshua Tree National Park this week after all. They will have the opportunity to enjoy the immense beauty of nature at Joshua Tree. They will do lots of hiking, engage in clearing and cleaning of park trails and enjoy rock climbing.

I am glad we are reminded that the national parks and all the beautiful landscapes with which we are blessed do indeed belong to our children, our families and future generations. As do the Native Americans who came before us and let us remember and cherish this truth.

Anh Le
San Francisco

Driving Muni to ruin

More and more it’s clear to me what the problem is with Muni — it’s the attitude of the workers. Walter Scott of the Transport Workers Union sees no problem putting a driver back on the street who texted while driving, then lied about it and finally threatened the person taking the video of her.

I would think the TWU would want to have a certain level of professionalism and weed out drivers like this, not support them. I’m the son of a 20-year-plus New York City bus driver, and I can’t imagine my dad being in the same field as this driver.

Perhaps if Muni does fire her, Scott could get her a job driving his kids around town.

Dennis Nix
San Francisco

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