Top Ten Sounds of Columbus Avenue, North Beach, San Francisco

IMG_033710. Hourly fire truck sirens.

9. Double-decker tour bus guides announcing arrival in North Beach, pointing out Italian restaurants on Columbus

8. Chinese radio station broadcasting at corner newsstand while newsstand owner’s wife does her morning stretches. Guy still owes me a quarter change for the Wednesday newspaper.

7. Loud, late night dance music beats from nightclub across the street.

6. Loud, late night shouts from nightclub guests running up and down the street announcing, “It’s midnight! It’s midnight!”

5. Insistent honking from irritated SF drivers forced to idle through green lights, while drivers ahead of them can’t move because someone is trying to park, take a left turn, or do the kinds of things all drivers occasionally need to do.

4. Bird song limited to wisecracking starlings.

3. Babble of languages from around the globe, foreign tourists and native SF Chinese-Americans, who sound as if they have survived for decades without ever speaking English.

2. Hum of street cleaners every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

1. Crazy old guy with the walker (a very dapper dresser, I should add) yelling “You’re a robot! You’re a robot!” to the world at large.