In New York City, its a bodega on every corner. In LA, its corner liquor stores. Here in San Francisco, its the corner grocery store which, unfortunately, is being threatened by rampant gentrification.
We live in an already upscale part of the City, between Noe and Eureka Valleys. Two blocks down from our house, an old funky grocery store (no fresh fruits or vegetables, just canned or packaged food items, often with expired dates, plus the usual alcohol) gave up the ghost several years ago. This allowed four local entrepreneurs to take over the empty space and do a soft-story earthquake retrofit in addition to overall improvements.
The resulting business is part coffee shop/ice cream bar/prepared food store/event and class location/commercial popup/neighborhood hangout. And its been successful from the start. They’ve scheduled a class on the “Art & Science of Saving Bees, Birds & Trees,” and host boutique flower arranging by the FloraCultural Society on weekends.
Ryan and Laurel can often be found preparing gourmet coffees and teas or serving Laurel’s sweet and savory pastries. And people do what they usually do in San Francisco coffee shops, set up their laptops for long sessions of work and play online. Neighbor’s Corner is bright and airy, with a modern bathroom to boot.
The previous store owner left quite mysteriously and was unable to pass on the location’s liquor licenses to the new owners. Now the new owners are working through the lengthy city permit process to allow for regular coffee shop occupancy and patronage during business hours. Given the enthusiastic response from the residents, Neighbor’s Corner looks like it’s here to stay.
It’s 2042, and America’s second civil war rages.
Detective Jimmy Hidalgo tracks a serial killer whose first victim was Jimmy’s best friend, in a San Francisco on the brink of social insurrection. The killer has a terrifying new way of murdering her victims. Salvor Becky Wiley recovers a mysterious object from burned out suburbs in a balkanized Los Angeles. She does not sense the importance of the enigmatic artifact until the LAPD and FBI try to seize it. As Becky realizes that her salvage is too hot to handle, and as Jimmy concludes that the man paying him to find the killer is an extraterrestrial, this slow-motion apocalypse shifts into high gear. Pursued by cops and aliens, Becky and Jimmy converge on the Palm Springs Free City in secessionist Aztlán. When exotic artifact and serial killer meet, the near cataclysmic confrontation and the galaxy wrenching conclusion will determine the fate, not merely of Jimmy and Becky, but of all humanity.
1% Free is available for purchase as a POD book or as an ebook.
62 MILE PRESS is reprinting the prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE by G.A. MATIASZ. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994.
Reprint Date: May 1, 2016
END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE
Greg Kovinski, the novel’s protagonist, lives in interesting times. War and civil war rage across the former Soviet Union and much of the globe. The United States is fighting a sophisticated high tech counterinsurgency war in southern Mexico, against a popular revolution claiming the tradition of Zapata, in order to preserve the North American free trade zone. In Alabaster, a small town north of San Francisco, a draft-aged Greg, and a group of anti-war college students, gain possession of enough bomb grade riemanium to build a nuclear weapon several times more powerful than the one detonated over Nagasaki. As Greg struggles to “do the right thing” with his deadly power, friends turn out to be thieves, civil unrest rages, and the City of Oakland rises in revolution to become the 21st century’s Paris Commune.
The book can be downloaded from SMASHWORDS.
These days, I do most of my in depth writing on my blogs, with briefer commentary on Facebook.
My personal blog, “Playing for Keeps,” is fairly free ranging. It features what I find and comment in my travels through life, which sometimes includes my photos as well as my words. My series comparing Paris to San Francisco is the highlight to date.
My political blog, “What’s Left?“, is written under the pseudonym “Lefty” Hooligan and features my monthly columns from Maximum Rocknroll. The content is strictly politics, and ultraleft politics at that.
My Facebook profile, where you can find my daily personal posts.
My FB Writer’s page, where my posts on writing and publishing can be found. This is my main FB page, as opposed to my profile.
And my FB Publisher’s page, my secondary FB page.