Archive for April, 2013

tax by eric.louie
tax, a photo by eric.louie on Flickr.

By Eric Louie

Last night I was that guy dropping off my taxes at the post office open until midnight. A tradition every tax day, this time it was the Hunters Point post office where, with a half hour to spare, a small but steady stream passed through.

It was a chilly, windy night with workers taking envelopes from the curb under generator-powered lights. The line inside for people like me who had to calculate the postage was about a handful deep. I’ve done many news stories on the deadline filers, and figured I document taxes 2013 (for the 2012 year). I was going to do it myself, but when I told the folks what I was doing they graciously offered to help me out. Thanks to Mary for being in the photo!

No matter how many times I say I won’t, it’s a good bet that I’ll be at some post office on tax day. My first job was selling newspapers as an independent contractor, which means not having taxes taken out and owing the government money. So I was never in a rush to do them. This time I happened to be in San Francisco finishing them at my parents’. I’ve even filled out forms in the parking lot when I worked in Stockton. It’s not just the extended hour ones that I end up at. When I worked in Pleasanton I remember going there in the evening after work, probably because I finished it the night before and had to use the office printer.

Last year, actually a Tuesday the 17th because of the Emancipation Day holiday, I ended up going to the big facility in West Oakland. Occupy Oakland members and the post office union were demonstrating against cuts. There was about 100 people when I got there, and a bunch of food out. This was also around the height of clashes with police, and I was interested since this was a federal facility instead of city streets. It was peaceful. I was actually headed to the East Bay and thinking about going there this year, but they closed at 10 p.m. In related news, the Postal Service recently dropped its plan to end Saturday service after not getting Congress’ approval.

giants 2012 by eric.louie
giants 2012, a photo by eric.louie on Flickr.

By Eric Louie

Good luck to the 2013 San Francisco Giants, who start the season today against the Los Angeles Dodgers! Here’s a picture of when the 2010 and 2012 World Series Championship trophies came to Hayward.

It’s actually considered Oakland A’s territory, but considering there’s a lot of San Francisco folks like me who can’t afford to live in the city, there’s probably a lot of Giants fans who live in the East Bay that even remember when we had no baseball championships. That includes the 1989 World Series, when we got swept by Oakland, which no one remembers because of the whole major-eathquake-hitting-during-the-game thing.

I got this photo after finishing three days of delivering the Central City Extra throughout the San Francisco Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods, and then an editorial meeting. I thought I would go home first, but ended up running late and just staying on the BART train to go straight there. I don’t think I showered that day, and for sure was full of newspaper ink.

They ended up charging $20 for the photo, more if you wanted a nice frame or something. It was in city hall and supposedly they weren’t allowing outside photography. Some people did, but I was by myself and had no one to ask anyway. This was different from the first championship, when they did it on a free pre-registered basis at the Comcast studios as part of some fan appreciation day. They put it on facebook and you could download it. I didn’t know it cost money this time (other than a couple dollars donation to the local Junior Giants team) so I went to the bar to think about it first. There I saw a guy who had been 86’d before get arrested after he would not leave. He had just walked in and was pretty peaceful about it. I don’t know what happened before, but the bartender wouldn’t serve him and did give fair warning before he called the cops.

I even told the guy he should leave, since it was just a bunch of dudes there on this weekday evening and there was no reason to stay. But he insisted on somehow pleading his case for a beer. So much for my efforts at crime prevention. I then looked on my phone to see if there was a free way to get the photos, but the only previews I saw had a big “X” going across as a watermark unless you paid the download fee. It was about the same as buying the photo, so I decided to suck it up and pay for it. A guy next to me was on crutches and asked for some kind of discount. Staff gave it to him for free right there. That was cool.