Archive for October, 2004

Some SF News Updates

I know most of y’all can head on over to SFGate and get the local news for yourself, but I figure some of you might be too lazy to dig around through all the headlines to find news stories that actually interest you. Here are my Top Three news picks for today:

1. The latest on the S.F. hotel dispute. I didn’t even realize the strike was going on until I went through downtown today (Goes to show you I really should leave the house more often). Just today I witnessed hotel strikes at the Hyatt, the Marriott, and the Four Seasons. According to one of my friends, some of the hotel workers didn’t plan on striking, but were locked out of the hotel anyway. This turns out to be true — according to the Chronicle, “The hotels had made an agreement among themselves that a strike against one is a strike against all and that a strike would automatically result in a lockout.” Interesting.

2. Flu shot shortage in Bay Area. This isn’t unique to the Bay Area, but the article is interesting anyway. Long story short: If you’re reasonably healthy, you don’t need the shot as much as someone who isn’t as healthy. And since there seems to be a vaccine shortage, the high risk folks should get priority. Therefore, the city seems to be stepping in to weed out the non-high-risk folks — “… [Mayor] Newsom said Walgreens, Rite Aid, Costco, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter/Visiting Nurses Association and the San Francisco Medical Society — which represents 1,800 physicians — had all joined Maxim [Health Care] in agreeing to use their doses only on patients they consider high risk.”

3. On a lighter note: American Idol is in town! At the Cow Palace, to be specific. Thousands of people from all over the country were seen lining up at the Palace to try their chance at their 15 Minutes of Fame. It seems S.F. was the final opportunity for hopefuls to audition for Season Four of American Idol. Poor out-of-towners… they must’ve expected their San Francisco experience to be all about Lombard Street, cable cars, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead, they spent all their time at the Cow Palace. Not exactly S.F’s finest. Also, this quote by a Connecticut girl cracked me up: “”I was thinking California – it’s warm. I brought my bikini. I brought my tube top,” said 28-year-old Tina Marie Angelillo of Connecticut, whose three- day wait included one night exposed to the elements outside the Cow Palace. “It’s freezing here.”” Welcome to San Francisco, Angelillo. Welcome to San Francisco.

A Brief Outing, plus Apple Store Stonestown

I swear I haven’t been slacking off the metblog because of procrastination, but more because I haven’t left the apartment since the weekend. There’s only so much you can talk about the City without actually living in it.

But that all changed yesterday, as I managed to summon enough energy to get out and get some errands done. I headed to Copperfield Stationers on West Portal to get some coin wrappers, Squat & Gobble for some surprisingly yummy fish tacos, and then went down to the Stonestown Galleria mall for some window shopping.

To my surprise, I found a brand-new Apple store in the mall. Until then, I thought the only Apple Store in the City was the one on Stockton. Enticed by the shiny new iMacs, I entered the store. I talked to one of the personnel, and he said the store only opened this past weekend. The store is not as big as the one downtown of course, but it’s still a pretty good size for a mall store. They even had a GeniusBar section, where there was already a waiting list of people wanting to ask questions. The thing that sets this store apart from the one downtown, I think, is that the Stonestown mall is located near several high schools, as well as San Francisco State University. So I got the feeling that the store was a lot more student-friendly. The store even offers a “School Night” every Tuesday, where local students and schools can showcase the work they’re doing on the Mac.

No, I’m not close to a Mac zealot (I’m typing this blog entry on my PC), but I do have a 12″ Powerbook, and consider myself a cross-platform person. So I think having the store so closeby to where I live is kinda cool — no need to go all the way downtown to get my Apple fix.

It’s too bad I wasn’t early enough to get one of those t-shirts.

What’s all the Buzz about?

I’m a busy person. I’m so busy that I’m one of the only people I know who believes that a 40 hour work week is actually a vacation. And, being so busy, I’ve come to resent those things that cut into my time, like say, traffic, telemarketers
and eating.

Yes, it’s true. I hate eating. To qualify this I would like to add that I do, in fact, love dining. There’s no better way to relax than to have a great dinner with friends. But then again, I love any activity that combines two things together, beautifully melding a necessary function with a social activity.

To get back to the point, I often resent lunch for this very reason. Lunch is too short, and there’s too little eating for it to really be a very social event. Lunch really only exists to put food in your body, and this could be done effectively with a power bar. Some people argue that lunch also gives you a much-needed break from your hectic day. I maintain that it creates a lost momentum, causing you to lose time and decreasing your effectiveness by necessitating both the temporary completion as well as the re-initiation of projects put on hiatus as you prepare to take said lunch. If it weren’t for those pesky labor laws, most days I would prefer to take a fifteen-minute break to grab some food and get on with my work.

All this would be different, however, if I worked anywhere near Mama Buzz Cafe in Oakland. In addition to having a great selection of coffee and tea type drinks (all available with soy milk, of course) as well as a small but satisfying menu of sandwiches and entrees (many of which are vegetarian and vegan friendly) this place has spirit. Yes, I said spirit.

Maybe you think this seems strange, that I, Resenter of Lunch and Bolter of Food, would require there to be some intangible ‘spirit’ in my place of eating, but frankly, one of the reasons I hurry through so much of my day is because of the lack of uniqueness in so many places. Not so at Mama Buzz. Here, it’s all about the art. They’re located on 2812 Telegraph, and this section of Oakland, with its huge live-work warehouses, is a haven for artists. This is no mass produced chain, intended to fuel the caffeine addictions of corporate world.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that Mama Buzz satisfies my need to do two things at once by having an awesome gallery attached to the cafe. Fine artists, zinesters, outsiders and students all seem to have a place in this gallery, and I’ve seen amazing work of all varieties showcased here. Also, nestled in a corner of their back patio, is a trade table. Bring in something you don’t want anymore, leave it on the table, and take something you do want. Yet another way that Mama Buzz supports the local and art community.

And if all of this were not enough, I’ve just been informed that earlier this week they acquired their beer and wine license, and are planning on extending their hours (currently they usually close at 7). So, c’mon. Let’s take a deep breath, agree that the work will wait (it will be there when we get back, I promise!), and go take a break at Mama Buzz.

Bargain Bites: Bay Area guide

On the heels of my recent recommendation of cheap eats, is my discovery of the Bargain Bites guide on SF Gate. The guide claims that it’s the “new and improved guide to the Bay Area’s best $10 and under meals.” You can search for restaurants by cuisine or by regions (San Francisco, East Bay, South Bay, North Bay, and Contra Costa). There are also a couple of new pages; a Classics page listing winners of years past, and an Early Bird Specials page that lists several Early Bird specials around the Bay.
I can’t wait to go over the list and try some of the recommendations out.

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