On the Bright Side, Neighbor Michael Nolan Celebrated His 75th Birthday This Week


Okay, let’s be straight with each other: This was a rough week. There was that nasty five-alarm fire on Saturday, of course, but that wasn’t the only thing. On Sunday, the Warriors botched the NBA Finals. There was also that shitshow SFMTA meeting David Campos convened on Monday, where a bunch of microphone-hogging nativists screamed that that taking a faster Muni bus is something only a gentrifier would do. Then, to top it all off, Great Britain decided it wants to be more like Texas. Sigh.

One thing made all this bearable, and that was the fact that this week, Neighbor Michael Nolan of Elsie Street also celebrated his 75th birthday.

Neighbor Michael has been in Bernal for a very long time, having arrived on our hill during the wave of post-hippie colonization that took place here during the early 1970s. Indeed, the ultimate proof of Neighbor Michael’s old skool credentials is the fact you can find even him in that seminal group photo taken in 1978 during the original construction of the Esmeralda slides:


In Bernalese terms, being present in that photo is sort of like being one of the people pictured in that skimpy wooden boat with George Washington as he crossed the Delaware River to swipe Trenton from the British in 1776. Serious. Seminal. Moment.

Anyway, this week Neighbor Michael turned 75, and since he’s still in pretty good shape, he threw himself a big 75th birthday party at Bissap Baobab in The Mission, and filled the place up with a lively cross-section of his local friends.

Neighbor Sarah Rogers wrote a perfect tribute on Facebook that explained why so many people were so thrilled to celebrate the occasion:

Happy 75th birthday/Diamond Jubilee to Michael David Nolan, mayor of Elsie Street, workout-on-the-hill-er, master of new technologies and social media, genealogist/historian, neighborhood activist, slide-builder, former supervisor candidate, constant maker of new friends, Carnaval devotee, and about a billion other things that I can’t remember because my memory is not as good as yours and that all add up to your being the youngest 75-year-old in the history of the world. I think you should go for 75 more.

That sums it up nicely. Plus, even at 75, Neighbor Michael still has the moves. Watch it:

Happy birthday, neighbor, and thanks for giving us something to cheer for this week.

PHOTO: Top, Michael Nolan at his 75th birthday party, by Jack Pitts

7 thoughts on “On the Bright Side, Neighbor Michael Nolan Celebrated His 75th Birthday This Week

  1. Michael Nolan is the best. He gave us the history of our building, was one of the first people to help clean off the graffiti off our windows when we got tagged, constantly checks in with us and flashes is his friendly smile. A true neighbor and community builder ❤

  2. Happy birthday to you.

    Had a hard time following this post when there was a reference to the Campos meeting about transit on Mission and nativist obstruction?
    The natives had bus cards at an early age and we are so in favor of the red carbet!

  3. Michael lives behind me (I’m on Winfield) and although I walk by his house frequently I have never seen him. I hope to meet him one day, he sounds like a real good guy.

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