As I sat down to type this blog entry, I turned on the tv to find some background music and I landed on Palladia’s Soulstage performance of Erykah Badu live in concert. She was performing On and On from her first album, Baduizm. I immediately flashed back to a time in my life when Baduizm was in my cd player on repeat, all – the – time. And ironically…the blog entry I had planned to write is about that same exact time in my life.
In June of 1994, I graduated from UCSB and moved back home to San Diego. I re-kindled relationships with old high school friends who still lived here (i.e. BFF Mariana, Lisa, Sean, and Lems) and struck up new relationships with the crazy wild film production peeps I met at my extras casting job at Stu Segall Productions (Steve – my hubby, Rob, Benjie, Hayley, Hunter and Danny, to name a few). Holy black-outs, did we like to have fun. We went out on the town, several nights a week, enjoying our booze, our cigarettes, our music (i.e. Dee-Lite, Spearhead, G-Love, and Erkyah Badu). Throughout the course of a few gluttonous, indulgent, dehydrated years, we frequented a few key places…Shakespeare’s Pub, Cafe Sevilla, The Lamplighter, The Alibi, Nunu’s and by far, the best bar to ever grace the streets of San Diego, The Green Circle Bar.
The Green Circle was on the corner of 9th and F, which in those days, the pre-Petco Park “East Village” days, this neighborhood was sketchy, to say the least. But we loved it and we risked life and limb for it on a few occasions. On top of the funky cool decor and the funky fresh music, including the top local DJs and live entertainers, namely DJ GreyBoy and the GreyBoy Allstars, there was a palpable, soulful energy to the place for which I cannot find the right words. It was just cool. And, it didn’t hurt that one of the owners was a family friend. So on nights when we would arrive too late to beat the line, I would walk to the front of the line, ask for him by name, and they would usher us right in. The family friend I speak of was Paulo Emanuele. I am writing about him tonight because he died yesterday in a plane crash.
I haven’t seen him in years as he closed The Green Circle, and a few other establishments he owned, and moved to LA. He had split with his girlfriend, who was the real connection to my family, so I lost contact with him and haven’t spoken to him in over 10 years. But nevertheless, my heart sank this morning when my mom called me to tell me the news. He was a motivated, energetic, charismatic go-getter. He loved life. He had a golden touch, as most of his business ventures were successful. He was most recently the General Manager at Airliners.Net, (click in the hyperlink, their site has a nice tribute to him).
My thoughts went immediately back to that time in my life, with a sense of bittersweet nostalgia. I have Paulo to thank for many a rockin night back in the 90’s. A lot of wonderful memories were created in those days (even if some of the memories are a bit hazy). My friends and I still tout The Green Circle as the Best Bar in San Diego History.
But, after reflecting on those days and smiling, my mind then goes to his young daughter, Eden Moon, who is only in her early teens and has no idea that she has just joined “The Club.” My heart aches for hers. Her broken heart that will now endlessly ache because daddy is gone. Someday, hopefully, my book project dream will be a reality, which she can read to find some solace. Til then, I pray for her and their entire family.
Thank you Paulo, for the memories. I hope you are sipping a cocktail, listening to some acid jazz and flashing those pearly whites, charming the pants off all those that have gone before you.