How Gavin Newsom and Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated Willie Brown’s birthday

Notes, quotes and quips from the San Francisco scene

Willie Brown is always good for a note or a quote. The man’s aging like a cask of Veuve Clicquot.

In fact, Da Mayor celebrated his 88th birthday over the weekend with a handful of close friends, including dueling governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gavin Newsom. It all went down at Ahnold’s Brentwood mansion on Saturday, where the group dined on Wiener schnitzel. Sehr gut! “He’s gotta house like a museum,” said Brown. “It’s fabulous. The paintings. The statues. It’s all there.” …

Schwarzenegger honored his old friend, who you may recall supported Arnold for Governor even though they hailed from different political camps. Via Twitter, the Governator said: (Insert accent here) “You are a California legend, the most stylish guy I know, and most importantly, you work across the aisle and have always been a public servant, not a party servant.” . …

So what did Gavin get Willie for his birthday? Newsom gave Brown the jacket he wore during his 2018 visit to the Paradise Fire with Donald Trump. Hope he had it dry cleaned. …

Turns out Brown’s birthday lunch at Schwarzenegger’s house was a day before the actual date, which is March 20. Willie kept the party going Sunday, presiding over a wedding. …

I wondered how the governors got along. “He and Newsom have so much in common. I wouldn’t be surprised if they become best friends,” Brown told me. Over the years, San Francisco’s most famous mayor has made a big deal out of his birthday. For his 75th, he took 120 people to Paris. While he was mayor. That raised some eyebrows back then, just as Mayor London Breed’s current trip to Europe has stirred up the espresso this time around. Willie’s not having it. “I think that’s a great trip for her. … The mayor of San Francisco has got to be an internationalist. You cannot be otherwise.” Here’s hoping she brings us all back a box of Mozartkugeln…

You can’t talk Europe without touching on Ukraine. And Schwarzenegger has plenty to say on the topic in recent days. This Tweet, aimed at the Russian people and military, received over 40,000 views and over 1.3 million likes over the past week. In a nine-minute video, Schwarzenegger speaks of his deep relationship with Russia and why the people are being misled by propaganda. Brown was impressed. “He may have had the best take on the Ukraine of anyone. It was fabulous. We were all so proud of what he did.” Take the time and watch Arnold’s video…

Speaking of Ukraine, you may have read my story on local art collector Alex Miretsky, the St. Petersburg-born, Odessa-raised San Francisco man who has a trove of Ukrainian art he’d like to display. Good news on that front. Laura Rafaty, executive director of the Napa Valley Museum Yountville, reached out this past week to offer a helping hand. Miretsky is still weighing his options, but at least now he has a scale. I’ll keep you posted, readers. The Examiner gets results…

You’ll rarely catch me out and about on St. Patrick’s Day, but this year’s festivities seemed obligatory. The City sponsored an event down on Front Street, featuring a steady stream of live music and drunken locals. Right in front of Harrington’s, which sadly remains out of business. So everyone packed into Schroeder’s, the German mainstay across the street. San Francisco, where our beer goggles overcome cultural obstacles. …

It was four-deep down the street at the Irish Times, a proper pub through and through. Jack O’Toole has bartended there for 10 years, and recently bought into an ownership stake. He’d never seen it so crowded. “It was the busiest day we’ve had since COVID, by far,” he said. “It was also one of the busiest St. Paddy’s Days we’ve had, ever. Absolutely thirsty. No fights at all. Everyone was happy. It really was a good day.” Bang on, Jack. …

While you all were drinking green beer to go with your corned beef, Examiner owner and publisher Clint Reilly was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the White House. He told staffers this week that he was particularly taken with the portraits of past presidents. So much so that he paid a visit to the National Portrait Gallery the very next day. The former political campaign maestro turned business mogul also got some quality time with our hometown veep, Kamala Harris. …

Speaking of great San Franciscans, don’t forget to turn out for Charlotte Mailliard Shultz’s memorial service Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Grace Cathedral. It had been originally scheduled for Jan. 13, but was delayed due to the omicron surge. It should be a who’s who of San Francisco, which Shultz would’ve loved. With redistricting around the corner, I expect there to be plenty of political discussion at the gathering, which her late husband would’ve loved. As longtime press agent Lee Houskeeper put it, “There’ll be more deals being cut than steaks at John’s Grill.”…

Greatness among us: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Barbara Lee are planning to honor the great Maya Angelou, and the new quarters that bear her likeness, at an event at the San Francisco Public Library branch on Scott Street later this week. The famed author reportedly visited the Western Addition space once. Details are sparse, but it all has to do with Women’s History Month, and you couldn’t ask for a better lineup than that. …

Hope you saw The Examiner’s sit-down with SFPD Chief Bill Scott last week. We spoke for 90 minutes and, unfortunately, we had to leave a lot on the cutting room floor. Perhaps my favorite line: “Whenever I open the paper, I open the sports first, so it’s good to meet a sports writer.” …

Speaking of newspapers, Mayor Brown wants to know why he can’t buy one at SFO. I second that. Don’t worry, Your Honor, I’m on the case. Look for a stack of Examiners on your next visit. …

Let’s give the final word to my Ukrainian Uber driver who told me his countrymen will prevail because of their “steel eggs.” I asked if he meant “brass b—s”? He said, “Yes. Steel eggs.”

Send your tips, quips and quotes to asaracevic@sfexaminer.com.

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