Ebert Thinks the Mission is SF's 'Skid Row'

Oh Ebert, you mostly get it right, but sometimes you get it so, so wrong.

40 going on 28 has the scoop.

Update: BK says, “He’s making a reference to the film ‘Vertigo,’ in which there’s the line, ‘The Mission? That’s Skid Row, isn’t it?’” That doesn’t change the fact that Endup is on 6th and Harrison, though.

21 Responses to “Ebert Thinks the Mission is SF's 'Skid Row'”

  1. BK says:

    He’s making a reference to the film “Vertigo,” in which there’s the line, “The Mission? That’s Skid Row, isn’t it?”

    • bodah says:

      nice catch.

    • johnny0 says:

      Transcript of Vertigo, our section below:


      SCOTTIE: How’s your love life, Midge?

      MIDGE: That’s following a train of thought.

      SCOTTIE: Well?

      MIDGE: Normal.

      SCOTTIE: Aren’t you ever going to get married?

      MIDGE: (Lightly) You know there’s only one man in the world for me, Johnny-O.

      SCOTTIE: Yeah, I’m a brute. We were engaged once though, weren’t we?

      MIDGE: Three whole weeks.

      SCOTTIE: Ah, sweet college days. But you’re the one who blew it. I’m still available. Available Ferguson. Say, Midge, do you remember a guy at college named Gavin Elster?

      MIDGE: Gavin? Gavin Elster? You’d think I’d would. No.

      SCOTTIE: I got a call from him today. Funny. He dropped out of sight during the war, and I’d heard he’d gone East. I guess he’s back.
      (he fishes out a slip of paper)
      It’s a Mission number.

      MIDGE: That’s Skid Row… isn’t it?

      SCOTTIE: Could be.

      MIDGE: He’s probably on the bum and wants to touch you for the price of a drink.

      SCOTTIE: Well, I’m on the bum; I’ll buy him a couple of drinks and tell him my troubles. But not tonight. If you won’t drink with me, I’ll drink alone, tonight.

      So that Johnny-O reference was a little startling. And before the mid 1950s, Gavin was not at all a common name. Kind of strange to think that parents would name their kids after that particular Hitchcock character.

      • olu says:

        Available Ferguson is a good band name.

      • Ariel Dovas says:

        Goldang it, Hitch is good. Between him and Crumb and Kerouac I don’t think I could ever leave this stupid city.

        Amazing line: “He’s probably on the bum and wants to touch you for the price of a drink.”

        I think that was me Saturday night.

        Kerouac: “San Francisco San Francisco You’re a muttering bum In a brown beat suit Cant make a woman On a rainy corner…”

        I have had way too much coffee today.

      • johnny0 says:

        The ever awesome Mock Duck posted the “It’s a Mission number||That’s skid row, isn’t it?||Could be.” video snippet over at the 40 Going on 28 thread.

  2. Piotr says:

    yea… that’s pretty funny… there’s a certain charm to the term “Tavern” in reference to EndUp, though…:)

    Interestingly enough, I thought that he was not with us anymore (I know that Siskle isn’t).

    • fluffy says:

      He had thyroid cancer and has lost the use of his voice, although now he can “talk” with a speech synthesizer which does an uncanny-valley representation of how his voice used to be.

  3. johnny0 says:

    He obviously meant that cowboy bar visited by Nick & Eddie in 48 Hours.

  4. M.A.C. says:

    even if he got the neighborhood right, why is driving past a bar news? I walked by a ton of stuff today.

  5. Eric says:

    Still not as funny as when O’Reilly said “Every city has a Tenderloin, and North Beach, in San Francisco, is that.”

  6. moderniste says:

    I wonder if “driving past…The EndUp” is code for rolling out of the back door at 9:00am for your bacon-wrapped hot dog breakfast with sweat-smeared mascara and a broken high heel.

  7. JP says:

    My boss was born in 1936. He grew up in Potrero Hill and he said the South of Market area used to be called The Mission. I think Hitchcock and Ebert are right on this one.

    Real Estate developers like to balkanize cities to sell more properties in shitty or formerly shitty areas. An example is calling a part of the Tenderloin, the Tender Nob.

    • generic says:

      Except that Nob Hill is historically one the most affluent areas of San Francisco and the Loin is, um, not. There’s a significant gradient, topographically and economically, that belongs to neither category.

      That neighborhood has a has shitload of people. It needs to be called something and “suckers” (read: Academy of Art students) is a little rude.

      I mean, people might have a point with NOPA, but the Tendernob is a real thing.

  8. MrEricSir says:

    I’m sure Ebert knows SF better than I know Chicago.

  9. [...] Roger Ebert thinks the Mission is San Francisco’s skid row.  No need to apologize.  We get it;  you were just referencing Vertigo. [...]

  10. youyouyouwhy says:

    I measure ghettos by how many unregistered violent sex offenders are creeping around.

  11. [...] Roger Ebert piensa que la Misión es el barrio de mala muerte de San Francisco. No necesita disculparse. Entendemos; estaba hablando de Vertigo. [...]

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