The Great Plotnik

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The City Guide

It had been a while since Plot had ridden the Plotkicycle down to the Tenderloin for a couple of delicious bahn mi sandwiches to take home for lunch. When he got there he noticed they've put some new, kind-of-Christmasy lettering up in the window, along with their AOL City Guide CITY'S BEST certificate from 2007.

Plotnik, of course, is the guy who gave them First Prize when he was working for AOL and digging up new out-of-the-way treasures for the City Guide, and he felt great handing the sticker to Mrs. Nguyen. So he was happy to see his certificate in the window yesterday. There probably isn't another one like it anywhere else in the Bay Area.

AOL -- that was such a plum job for the five years or so when the entertainment page was being established. Plot's office was a high rise on Bush Street and it was filled with noise and jealousy and crazy people, all intent on riding a wave towards -- what? No one ever really knew if the wave was growing or sinking. Nobody ever figured out how the company ever made any money.

But times and salaries were great. Then AOL bought Time Warner. That was the end of that.

Now not only AOL's offices but the entire skyscraper at 333 Bush has been closed and sold. The company exists -- kind of -- they have their headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, but just for email and a few other barely-working applications. Maybe you all heard what happened to the Dot Com Wave?

Mrs. Nguyen doesn't care. There are lines out her door day and night, seven days a week, 6am to 6pm. She and the two other women still make the best sandwiches in town for the price. Ask for extra jalapeƱos if you dare.

The smartest thing Mrs. Nguyen did was not to acquire Time Warner. It's hard to say where she could have put it in that tiny shop.


At 1:07 PM, Anonymous HankyGirl said...

You had an office? How come I never visited you at the office? Working for AOL was fun, wasn't it? I'd never have visited all the theaters in San Jose out of my own curiosity . . .


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