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SF North Beach Cafe Owner Tells Poet Mark Doty: Get Lost, Faggot

Poet Mark Doty describes an incident over the weekend in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood in which he and his partner, the writer Paul Lisicky, were taking an after-dinner stroll when Doty involved himself in an altercation between two drivers on the street. The woman he had scolded parked her car, came after him, and then crossed the street into a business  to emerge with a group of four big men who began pursuing them. Doty and Lisicky took refuge in a restaurant that to their misfortune happened to be owned by one of the thugs coming after them.

Macaroni  Doty writes: "And suddenly, as if a trapdoor has opened in the evening and we've landed in a scene from The Sopranos, two guys enter the restaurant, two more are posted just outside the door, and I've got an angry middle-aged guy in a black shirt with flowers on it standing in front of me and he's not happy. I cannot narrate our conversation here, as it's all a jumble in my head. He's threatening (not necessarily in his words but his stance and tone), he's telling me to get out, but I'm not about to walk out onto that sidewalk with these weird entourage bodyguard types standing there, I'm saying I'm going to call the police. Then the strangest thing: he takes my arms and he says, 'Even though you are who you are, you gotta think twice before you talk to somebody.' I have no idea what this means. Does 'who you are' mean gay man, middle-class man, entitled person? No idea. The guy's telling me to get out of his restaurant, and somehow I make it clear that I will not leave with those men at the door, and they move over, and out we go, with a barrage of insults behind us -- 'The Castro's on the east side of town, get out of the neighborhood, twinkletoes, get lost faggot' and so on."

Even Though You Are Who you Are [mark doty]

Previously...
Seattle Ricin Gay Bar Terrorist Also a Plagiarist [tr]
Mark Doty wins National Book Award for Poetry [tr]

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Comments

  1. The real story here is less the original post (and better to read Doty's full account through the link) than the anger in this whole thread, from gay and (apparently) non-gay readers alike. We haven't seen this much visiting troll-ness since last year's election campaigns.

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Mar 17, 2009 12:08:24 PM


  2. Mamma Rice, telling a rude driver to "behave" does NOT justify being chased, harassed and threatened. This goes beyond talking shit.

    Talking shit is "Behave" and the woman yelling back "go to hell." This is an appropriate response.

    This woman saw two gay guys and decided to get her friends in on scaring the shit out of them for her sport. Sorry. That's what I see here.

    Never ever ever is her behavior appropriate.

    Posted by: Alex | Mar 17, 2009 12:12:28 PM


  3. Dakota,
    Your daddy sure does love those ass f@*king I gave him. And your whore mama loved watching it.

    Posted by: At Dakota | Mar 17, 2009 12:21:45 PM


  4. Has anyone notified the Mayors office or the Chronicle or the San Francisco Bay Guardian newspaper? Hate has to be shown. We need to not support our haters and let others know this too. We can always picket the restaurant. That would pissed them off.

    Posted by: Dawson | Mar 17, 2009 12:26:39 PM


  5. So were these goombas italian? Fat uneducated, piggish da... playing "wiseguys," or something? (No offense intended--or not, who cares--but I'm not a big fan of american italians...often uneducated, sloppy looking antisemitic douchewastes. The steoreotype is true!) If those assholes said that to me, I and a few others would make them cry in public really hard, and I wouldn't give a fuck who was actually in the wrong. Don't give those animals the satisfaction of a single slur, or they'll walk all over you for the rest of your life. That's the mentality.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 17, 2009 12:36:53 PM


  6. LOL

    It's amazing that this thread is full of people justifying that crazy bitchs behaviour!!!

    What Doty said and what this looney bitch did are two VERY DIFFERENT things. This lady was being rude and deserved to be called on it. PERIOD!! What Doty did was not "talking shit". Anyone who thinks it is should have their friggin' head checked ASAP.

    Just another reason I stay away from North Beach and it really is a shame...there are a few places I love to eat out there.

    Posted by: MissNee | Mar 17, 2009 12:40:12 PM


  7. Man. I am so sick of the helpless "we're victims" stories on this site. Are all of us just big sissies? Do we all just cringe and run away to avoid confrontation...(of course in most of these stories it seems the "victims" usually make the first dubious move..but I digress.) Seriously, grow some back bones, girls.

    Posted by: FrozenNorth | Mar 17, 2009 12:51:38 PM


  8. Frozennorth, mysoginy much?

    Yikes!

    Posted by: Alex | Mar 17, 2009 1:01:49 PM


  9. oops that should be spelled misogyny.

    Posted by: Alex | Mar 17, 2009 1:05:44 PM


  10. Just two comments. If you want the whole story, it's narrated on my own blog post, and Andy's posted a link to that above at the end of his excerpt.

    And the restaurant in question, in case you'd like to avoid it, isn't the one in the picture, but a place on Columbus called Caffe Macaroni.

    Posted by: Mark Doty | Mar 17, 2009 1:07:36 PM


  11. More info needed before I jump on ... I've eaten at that cafe many times with large gay groups. (It's very close to Beach Blanket Babylon and serves authentic family style Italian.) Never have we experienced anything close to discrimination while there. (There are however many places in SF however where I have experienced blatant discrimination.)

    So far, we have one side of the story with much of the details missing (what was said, how was it escalated, etc.) I need more info aside from the alleged victim's blog post.

    Posted by: Garrett in SF | Mar 17, 2009 1:20:02 PM


  12. Mark Doty: can you please clarify -- Did the event happen in Caffe Macaroni or Michelangelos? Your prose is not very clear on that and the imagery used appears to implicate Michelangelos.

    Posted by: Garrett in SF | Mar 17, 2009 1:26:24 PM


  13. For the record, my comments above were regarding positive experiences with Michelangelo's. If it's Caffe Macaroni, well ... don't worry I won't be going back anyway as there food sucks compared to others in the 'hood.

    (If it is Caffe Macaroni ... then you really should update your own blog to limit the defamation to Michelangelo's.)

    Posted by: Garrett in SF | Mar 17, 2009 1:33:40 PM


  14. 1)Tank, I really did not think you were so ingnorant.

    2)IMHO there is nothing self-hating about Derek W.

    3)General FYI: There are very few Italians, or Italian-Americans, left in North Beach.

    4)To others: I have lived in the Castro and North Beach and never had a problem in either neighborhood. I would think an incident like the one described here would not happen in the Castro, but I also think the Castro would almost be more lethal because it is widely known to be our home. I also know of a couple of assaults (hate crimes) that ended the life of someone (in the Castro). I can't recall that ever happening in North Beach(at least GLBT related). I do not recall many
    GLBT couples being openly affectionate in North Beach.

    5)The comment about after school MUNI rides is way true I think.

    6)Unfortunately I am not surprised by the ugliness we have for each other here. The level of vitriol is sometimes shocking though. See #1 above...

    Posted by: Rocco | Mar 17, 2009 1:35:25 PM


  15. CALL THE COPS....and always file a police report...JUST IN CASE....These people are pigs and need to be reported.

    Posted by: Bosie | Mar 17, 2009 2:02:41 PM


  16. "And that's when I did something I probably need to stop doing: criticizing the uncitizenly actions of strangers." From the original story on Doty's Blog

    Yes, you need to stop doing this. It is not a safe way to travel thru any neighborhood.

    Further, I would like you to consider this idea. Would you have accosted the driver if she had been a large and physically imposing man. I think not. What does that make you sir? A person that criticizes the uncitizenly actions of people you are not physically threatened by -

    Further, do you think the people that moved in to "help the women" knew what happened. She sounds like she suspect narrator. Possibly they were just protecting a women from aggressive men. - and now you want to harm there business? -

    Posted by: fred | Mar 17, 2009 2:22:31 PM


  17. Doty sounds like a pretty decent human being to me.

    The woman who started this incident sounds like an alcoholic, drug addicted, psychotic, homophobic bully slut with a overly used and abused vagina.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 17, 2009 2:38:26 PM


  18. Omg, it turns out I'm a self hating homo!

    Zut Alors!

    That's French for, someone better tell all the ex Mr Washingtons that they now have a new thing to blame our breakups on.

    I'm just relieved to have a diagnosis.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Mar 17, 2009 2:39:37 PM


  19. Oh, don't let 'em get to you, Derek, we got so many homo psychoanalysts on this blog--it's amazing. I'm a "self-hating homo" myself--except when I play with my toy. I adore me then.

    I know one damn thing: show me a homo who looks like A-Rod...I sure won't hate him.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 17, 2009 2:52:06 PM


  20. Alex is right. Does the word proportionality mean anything regarding this story? I'm not willing to speculate on what Doty might or might not have done if the woman driving the car had been a 240 lb man or not, but yelling "behave" at someone being a complete asshole in public does not excuse this kind of escalation - homophobic or not.

    Posted by: Patrick | Mar 17, 2009 2:52:18 PM


  21. Derrick, I think you got a thang for Mr Rodriguez! I aint mad at ya! Viva D.R.!

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Mar 17, 2009 3:00:09 PM


  22. To TANK
    "So were these goombas italian? Fat uneducated, piggish da... playing "wiseguys," or something? (No offense intended--or not, who cares--but I'm not a big fan of american italians...often uneducated, sloppy looking antisemitic douchewastes. The steoreotype is true!) "
    You are unbelievably disgusting! As a proud Italian American, I have an MBA and own my own successful chain of 7 stores. I work my ASS off and make more in one year than you'll see in a life time!!! If you want others to stop attacking you, you need to stop the attack on others.

    Posted by: A.S. | Mar 17, 2009 3:07:25 PM


  23. Wow! sounds like a very, very, very annoying man. I wouldn't want him in my restaurant (if I had one) either.

    I've lived in SF for over 20 years. This shit just doesn't happen. This isn't the 1970's.

    Posted by: kevin r. | Mar 17, 2009 3:58:47 PM


  24. Haterosexuals are not worth the trouble. Stay away from haterosexual drama.

    Posted by: Bill | Mar 17, 2009 4:48:47 PM


  25. Doty removed the picture of Michelangelo from his blog because Michelangelo has nothing to do with this. It's 6 blocks away from Cafe Macaroni. Macaroni Sciue Sciue is what's "across the street." You should take down the Michelangelo picture, too.

    Link: http://markdoty.blogspot.com/2009/03/even-though-you-are-who-you-are.html?showComment=1237321920000#c4568999586724599337

    "Mark Doty said:
    Just to be clear: Cafe Michelangelo has no involvement in this story at all. That picture was posted simply because we were walking in the neighborhood earlier, as I wrote in the post, and enjoying photographing the wonderful signs. I have removed the photo from the post so there will be no confusion. The guys who threatened us emerged from Caffe Macaroni, near the corner of Columbus and Jackson, and crossed Jackson diagonally to a small corner cafe also owned by the same owner."

    Posted by: Read please! | Mar 17, 2009 5:23:53 PM


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