Archive for February, 2005

Metroblogging turns 26!

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the 26th member of the Metroblogging family. Welcome to the family Karachi! Can’t wait to read about life in Pakistan first hand.

More Muni News – Tomorrow is the “Shoot-in”

There has been a lot of stuff going around about the gung-ho MUNI Employees and SFPD officers who are enforcing a “ban” on photography in MUNI stations. Jackson West over at SFist has organized a “Shoot-In” tomorrow at the Embarcadero MUNI station at 12 noon. I’ll be there with camera in hand since photog rights are something I actually care about protecting. If you are getting tired of your civil liberties being slowly chipped away at then I urge you to grab your camera and join us. Below are some of the articles on what’s been happening to date. You can read the full blog post for the press release in it’s entirety.

Protestors are asked to bring a camera, Muni fare, and be quiet and respectful of other passengers and enforcement officers. We will be gathering quietly, and then departing at 12:30 on a train, stopping at each station to explore the photographic possibilities and make our presence known to riders and authorities. That ‘shoot-in’ is scheduled to conclude at Castro Station at approximately 2:00.

SFist articles:
Homeland Insecurity: Photo Ban on Muni?
Muni Photography Ban: Update

BoingBoing article:
MUNI cops and SFPD enforce non-existent, unconstitutional photography ban

The Muni Fast Pass art project

The Muni Fast Pass Art Project official website

Local artist John Kuzich is collecting used Muni Fast Passes for a giant art project. Drop by the official site to find out how to contribute.

“Fast Pass” consists of four 7′ wide

San Francisco’s Trees: Not Just for Poop Anymore!

FUF.jpgOn my way to work today, a wee sign nailed* to a tree on my block caught my eye. 45 miles later, I miraculously remembered to look up the organization displayed on the sign: Friends of the Urban Forest. According to its mission statement, FUF seeks “To promote a larger, healthier urban forest as part of the urban ecosystem, through community planting, maintenance, education and advocacy.” Which is cool.

Even cooler, California celebrates Arbor Day the second week in March (Check out this interactive map, since different states celebrate at different times.), and that means tree-planting o’plenty.

FUF’s next big event is an Arbor Day tree planting in the Bayview, but they need volunteers all the time. If I can get up off my lazy, selfish ass for the few hours it would take to plant or prune some trees, I’m gonna try and do it one of these days. Dammit.

*Okay, obviously Friends of the Urban Forest knows a lot more about trees than I do, but the nailed-on sign initially struck me as rather unFriendly.

When bad things happen to good Italian . . . .

Oh, the horror:

Famed North Beach restaurant badly damaged by fire. Fior d’Italia likely to be closed for as long as 3 months.

In the meantime, may I again suggest L’Osteria del Forno. Or Bocce Cafe for a bit of a more broadly presented dining experience.

And while few things are more personal than good Italian, I encourage a burrito wars battle over the best Italian in the city (without the flame comments, of course).

Condom-shopping Misadventure

That title caught your attention, didn’t it? Let this entry be evidence that I’m rarely too shy to reveal the inane details of my life. Not quite an experience unique to San Francisco per say, but I did experience this IN San Francisco, so I figure it counts as a Metblog post.

Now, I’m no stranger to buying the latex. I’ve always just walked in, got the pack from a shelf, bought it, and walked out. No fuss, no worry. However, that was not the case some time last week when I decided to head to a local drugstore to restock (Hint as to name of drugstore: Starts with W, ends with S). I looked from aisle to aisle, and couldn’t find them. I figured I was just not looking properly, and asked the cashier upfront where they kept the condoms. She said it was in a glass display case next to the pharmacy.

A glass display case? I thought. Odd. But whatever, I headed to the pharmacy anyway, and lo and behold a shelf of condoms await within a pristeen glass display case. I spotted the brand I usually get, and tried to open the case. Huh. It was locked. So I went back to the cashier, told her the case was locked, and asked if someone could open it. She then proceeded to grab a nearby microphone, and shouted into it:


Ohhh-kay. I then saw quite a few of the other customers turning to see what exactly was in this mysterious glass display case next to the pharmacy. They then quickly turned away, as if they saw nothing. I refused to be embarrassed, so I just walked straight to the case, and waited for someone to show up. An assistant then walked up to me, brandishing a set of keys. He asked me which side of the shelf he wanted me to unlock. I pointed to the side I wanted, he unlocked the case, I took the pack out, and he locked the case again. Then I proceeded to buy the pack as usual at the cashier.

This was by far the most hassle I’ve had to go through just to buy a pack of condoms.

PS. I’m guessing the condoms were locked up because of a fear of condom thievery amongst youth. Just a theory though.

A potential blog/photojournal we won

I don

The Dirty Streets of San Francisco.

The Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, wants to deputize 400+ city workers. They would then have the authority to issue citations to litterbugs.

This is an idea that might look like it would fly on paper, or in the mind of a Mayor, but in reality could get sticky.

Can’t you just see an alleged litterbug being told, “Hey there, I’m a city worker and that will be 80 bucks for that gum wrapper.” It’s likely the ticket, and/or city worker, could end up wadded up in the gutter.

MUNI adventures: Conversation with Tim

I hopped on the M train to work this morning, as I always do, and sat on the first seat that caught my eye. At the next stop, a rather dishelved man came bumbling in, exclaiming “Excuse me miss” at the lady who stepped in ahead of him. He continued, saying “What stop are you getting off at miss?” The lady ignored him, as did most of the people on the train. I’m guessing it’s because he looked and sounded a little mentally disabled.

He then sat next to me, still glancing in her direction. He smelled surprisingly clean; like he had just stepped out of the shower. He was wearing all grey clothes, a red hat, and a pair of beaded black gloves. He then proceeded to rifle through his bag, and took out a sandwich to eat. He looked at me. Almost immediately, he struck me as an innocent; that his mental disability was a result of birth. It was evident in his eyes and his mannerisms. He began to speak.

Him: Hi.
Me: Hi.
Him: What stop are you getting off at?
Me: Oh, later on the line. (I didn’t want to be specific)
Him: Oh okay. *pause*. Are you doing anything for Valentine’s Day?
Me: Yeah. I’ll be with my husband.
Him: Oh okay. *pause* *takes off his hat* Does my hair look cut?
Me: *looks at his hair. it looks like he just got it cut.* Yeah, it looks cut.
Him: Okay. *pause* Is it 10:45 yet?
Me: No. *glance at watch*. It’s only 9:15.
Him: Oh. *pause* Oh, my name is Tim! *holds hand out*
Me: Hi Tim! *shakes hand*
Tim: Do you think I’ll get a date for Valentine’s Day?
Me: Maybe. *smile*
Tim: Mm. I really want a date for Valentine’s Day. *glances at the lady’s direction*
Me: Maybe you will.
Tim: Is it bad to not have a date for Valentine’s Day?
Me: No. It’s just an ordinary day. Nothing that special.
Tim: Okay. *pause* Does my hair look cut?

The conversation then sort of repeats itself, by him continuing to ask me if his hair looks cut, if it was 10:45 yet, and if I thought he’ll get a date for Valentine’s Day. I kinda humored him a little, and smiled and laughed most of the way. It felt like he needed it somehow. When I got out, I almost felt bad for leaving him alone. Maybe I was the naive one, but that’s just how it felt.

Hey Tim, here’s hoping you do get a date some day. Even if it’s not for Valentine’s Day.

Funny Valentine

I read, in NewsWeek, that the average man (whatever that is) will spend over $200 on Valentine’s junk gifts this year. The average woman (wherever she may be) will spend about $130. Frankly, that all seems pretty freakin’ ridiculous. My partner and I have been together 5 years and have never once celebrated this Holiday, but I know other people enjoy it.

So! What better way to celebrate it, than by going to hear a bunch of people talk about Vaginas!

You may not be aware, but most Universities are home to women’s groups that have a tendency to put this show on for Valentine’s Day. I nearly choked on my pasta salad Wednesday as I heard one of the students at UC Berkeley performing a selection outside Sproul. It sounded really polished and had a definate spoken word influence to the reading. Also, Eve Ensler, who additionally conceived of the monologues has recently added some diversity to the program, and the Berkeley show will include a trans perspective or two.
If you can’t make it to Berkeley, there are over 600 campuses performing the show, so there’s probably one closer to you. The Berkeley show is Friday and Saturday at 6 pm, and Monday at 7:30, and is sponsored by the Gender Equity Resource Center.

You can find more info here.

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