Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spiritâ€¦probably not.
Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week? Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.
photo by Ryan Joseph
San Francisco works in a funny way. I’ve always found that after the first time I meet someone, I run into them on three separate occasions shortly afterwards. It also works when you haven’t seen someone for awhile. I haven’t see Kristen Holden in at least a couple years, but we’ve been emailing lately and POOF! there she was yesterday while I was crossing the street. I guess that’s part of San Francisco’s magic.
I’ve known Kristen now for about a decade. Shit that’s a long time; it’s nearly a third of my life. I think I first met her sophomore year of college when she was living in an apartment with my buddy Sayre. Since then we’ve kinda orbited each other’s lives; never fully involved, but always on the peripheries. She even helped me edit one of my books, I just don’t remember which one.
Tonight she is having an art opening at Million Fishes in the Mission. I didn’t even know that Million Fishes still did stuff, so that’s exciting in itself. Missing Piece is putting on the show and it’s featuring Holden’s work as well as work by Jason Grohman. First you should read Holden’s answers below, then you should go see her art show tonight. All the details for it are here.
What neighborhood do you live in?: Russian Hill
What are you listening to these days?: I listen to a lot of rock’n’roll. A lot. I photograph musicians and my partner is a guitarist in a rock’n’roll band. Actually they* are “rock noir” because everyone needs categories. I’m into The Kinks. If it’s not rock’n’roll then it’s probably Artie Shaw or Charles Trenet. Do you know Rykarda Parasol? Do you know The Frail? This city is CRAWLING with badass musicians that I get to listen to all the time. Live! In concert! Hot damn!
Best money saving tip: You don’t need that much stuff. And the stuff you do have you can use for other things. Or you can sell it! Really, you don’t need to eat that much. This is horrible. I have so many money saving tips it’s hard to say what is best. Call AT&T and don’t get off the phone with them until you’re paying half of what you were for better service. This might take up to an hour and a half. I would say cut your own hair but I have too many friends who are stylists. Steal your neighbors’ laundry soap.
What do you refuse to spend money on?: A car, taxicabs. Muni and I are in love. Man, there are a lot of things I refuse to spend money on. Clothing that hasn’t been marked down yet, though I’ve done that in the past. Unnecessary prescription drugs. Anything priced more than it’s worth.
Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: My fucking master’s degree. That’s a thing, isn’t it? I once bought a Celine handbag at full price.
How’d that feel?: I don’t regret the degree. The bag was a nice temporary high.
Favorite cheap eat: Mmmm now we are talking. Cheap eats! What do I feel like right now? I love the Vienna Beef hot dog stand in SoMa with the lady who is from the South Side of Chicago. She knows. It’s right by where I get my film processed, on Howard and 8th or something. For the price, that’s the spot. But eating out is never really cheap. I live on tortillas, cheese, eggs, beans and whatever’s in season at the farmer’s market. Naw, actually I live on a lot of junk food.
Favorite dive bar: I like Koko’s. I stopped going to dive bars when I stopped drinking six years ago and then I started photographing musicians so I drink Coca-Colas all over town. I do like Tony Nik’s in North Beach, which isn’t a dive, but it has that neighborhood-y feel. No tourists. No B&Ts.
Best deal you’ve ever gotten: I find so much shit for free on the street. It’s hard to beat that. No soft things though. You have to watch out for bedbugs.
Favorite free thing to do: Fuck. The other answer is walk around the City. Yeah, I like walking around. Particularly with Ryan Joseph.
If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: I think you should change this to billionaire. A few million doesn’t get you too far. I’d buy two plane tickets. Plane tickets to Spain! I’d buy time. I’d get the fuck out for awhile.
Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: I love my life. This is the life I’ve always wanted. Remind me that when I’m feeling suicidal. Once upon a time I made six-figures and I hated my life then. Commercial real estate will do that to a girl.
Do you own my book?: One of the very first copies before you were all hip. I think it’s actually just a printed document I was helping you edit.
Best hangover cure: During my days of alcoholism I’d probably say another drink. But that attitude put me in the loony bin. So let’s say sleep. Sleep, and time. Six years should do it.
Are you a hipster?: Probably, I dunno, I’m a little dirty right now but they say hipsters are dirty? I think I just float among different sectors of society. So I guess, sure. I can chameleon into a yuppie no problem. Not so much a hippie. What else we got? Hobos? I am a wormster.