Signs of the Times: Bay Area vs Vatican
On occasion, I’ll be sharing snapshots of some of the most interesting signage and promotional material I come across in the San Francisco Bay Area. Perhaps due to our relatively mild weather, we’ve got a veritable street front museum of vintage retail signage. We’ve also got a large percentage of clever, sassy, and flat-out weird folks in our midst—and they sometimes find highly amusing ways of expressing themselves. And we’ve got plenty of hardworking entrepreneurial immigrants who, frankly, have every right to focus on running the nuts-and-bolts of their businesses rather than proper English spelling and translation—But let’s face it, there are some mighty funny errors to be found on Chinese menus and the like.
Today, as we head into this weekend’s notorious annual Up Your Alley street fair, may I proudly present the difference between our part of the world and the Vatican: One of the most irksome recent acts by the Catholic church was its smackdown of the Yale Divinity School’s Sister Margaret Farland, who sensibly suggested that masturbation—in addition to providing pleasure—could be a sensible part of the world’s birth control repertory.
Clearly, that’s not the presiding perspective in the Bay Area, as inadvertently noted by this delightful storefront awning I discovered in Oakland last week*:
*Beyond the laughs-in-translation value of its slogan, this store is truly remarkable. Check out the MAN MUST WAK video after the jump…
MAN MUST WAK is a vernacular aphorism mixing English with Yoruba, it actually means “Man must eat to survive.” The African-Carribean Market on 8th Street in Oakland has a selection of prepared foods and ingredients that offer testament to the Bay Area’s diverse population. If you’re as open-minded about food as you are about Wak-ing, this is where to go for a culinary education on the likes of suya, puff-puff, fried goat-meat, moi-moi, and ice-cold Ting soda. Wak dat ting!