Archive for September, 2005

Insert Homer Simpson Drool Here

From the Chron:

Google Inc. has proposed to blanket San Francisco with free wireless Internet access, placing a marquee name behind Mayor Gavin Newsom’s effort to get all residents online whether they are at home, in a park or in a cafe.

The offer by the Mountain View search engine was one of many competing bids received by the city before its deadline Friday. Officials will now review the submissions and make a decision about which, if any, of the candidates get the green light for so-called Wi-Fi service. . . .

The proposal furthers existing speculation that Google intends to create a free national Wi-Fi network. If so, it could pose a serious challenge to existing Internet service providers, such as SBC-Yahoo, Earthlink, Comcast and America Online, which charge subscriptions for wire connections.

I’m sure somewhere an economist is furrowing his brow over this – but my initial reaction is “ooooooooooh.” Frankly, I’d even pay for access if I could combine it with other services I already receive. Like if my house connection, cell phone, and wifi hotspot access all cost under $50 month, I’d be totally down with it. Of course, if I could get the milk for free . . . . One wonders, though, where it all stops? You can see the jockying, right? Old school telecom types fighting tooth and nail in government to prevent some upstart kids from giving away for free what they’ve happily provided for a fee. How can Google do it?

The article ends with a note on caution about how the government intervenes in this market. The potentially endless legal questions could keep many attorneys employed for a looong time. In the meantime, however, I’ll just keep dreaming of a time when me and my laptop can roam the city limited only by the length of my power cord and the stamina of my battery.

A beautiful day for snow & skills

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With the snow covered mountains of Lake Tahoe a distant memory, it was with much enthusiasm that I donned my Glenn Plake T-shirt and caught a sequence of trains and buses to arrive at the Fillmore & Lombard stop.

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It didn’t take much to work out which way to walk from there, just head for the hills. An impressive and somewhat surreal sight of a snowy street greeted me as I looked up along Fillmore.

Possibly even more surreal than the last out-of -place ski-slope I witnessed at London’s Covent Garden a few years back.

Despite being early afternoon on a workday, there was a strong and up-for-it crowd lining the ski-slope.

What with the sun being fairly vicious I would have preferred to have made my way up the shadowy side of the road, however in order to make any progress at all I was forced to brave the hot side sans-sunscreen.
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A mixture of snowboarders and skiers were wooing the audience with the thrills and spills of a sizable jump, and with each drop-in the crowd built the atmosphere up to a crescendo of stomping feet.
Despite the impossibly slow moving sidewalk areas I was able to catch a good view of the proceedings from several angles.
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There was a strong presence from the SF Fire Dept. who were presumably there to put out smoldering backsides of those skiers who slid butt-first along the bristly run-offs of astro-turf in true comedy style.

As for the results – I didn’t hang around to find out. But as for a successful event I think it was worth the wait and hopefully the locals enjoyed it enough to allow a 31st birthday party next year without too much fuss.
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Cody’s in SF!

I’ve long been a fan of Cody’s Books in Berkeley, and I’m happy to discover that Cody’s is opening a branch in San Francisco! The new location is on 2 Stockton Street at Market. I’ll most likely drop by later today, and see if I can update this entry with a couple of pics of the new digs. Woo!

Snowjob

Moseley’s thing with the snow and the gravity and Fillmore Avenue, you know what I’m talking about, right? Mr. Jennings has some pictures.

Let That Be A Lesson To You

From the “What Are We Coming To” Files: the Chron reports a year-long parking dispute in Richmond between neighbors that led to bloodshed. One neighbor on a street with weekly Tuesday cleaning routinely reparked his 6 or 7 vehicles near neighbor 2’s home – where the street is cleaned only every third Tuesday. Neighbor 2 had a problem with this and shot the parker in the head.

The parker is on life-support. The shooter is terminally ill with prostate cancer.

This article is cross-filed under “senseless.”

I’ve seen tempers flare on my block on sweeper days: once a woman swooped in and parked in a spot for which a side-walk parked woman was clearly waiting, offering only a “tough shit” response when the reasonably angered side-walk parker objected. Scarcity makes people do crazy things. But one wonders how a person get so attached to city property that he resorts to attempted – likely successful – murder.

Grab Grannie And Head To The Fair

castroflag.jpgThe Castro Street Fair!! In its 32 Year!!

Sunday, October 2, 2006, 11am to 6pm

Castro & Market Streets

$3.00 suggested donation at the door

Vendors of all varieties from the Bay Area and beyond promote their goods and services, including food and beverages, arts and crafts, and a wide variety of retail items. Dozens of community organizations promote community and social support.

The Main Stage is located at Castro/Market, but the fair extends on Market Street from 16th to Collingwood and on Castro Street between Market/17th to 19th. The Castro Street Fair is always the first Sunday of October.

The gate donations benefit thirty-four local charities:

AIDS Emergency Fund Imperial Council of San Francisco
AIDS Housing Alliance/SF Instituto Familiar De La Raza
AIDS Legal Referral Panel Lesbian & Gay Chorus of SF
Bad Boys Softball Team Lyric
Bay Area Young Positives Maitri
Bears of San Francisco MCC San Francisco
Bowlers Emergency Aid Relief McKinley Elementary School
Castro Lions Most Holy Redeemer AIDS Support
Community United Against Violence Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS)
Dolores Street Community Services Project Open Hand
Eureka Valley Promotion Association SF Fog Rugby R.F.C.
Family Link SF Gay Men’s Chorus
Glide Foundation The San Francisco LGBT Center
GRGSA-BAC Stop AIDS Project
Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy Triangle Taekwon Do
Harvey Milk Memorial Committee Under One Roof
Immune Enhancement Project Visual Aid

In excess of $310,000 in grants has been given to the charities over the past 5 years.

For more information, check-out their website. Produced by Castro Street Fair, a non-profit organization, the Fair generates funds for charitable causes important to the Castro Community.

[I'll be working an entry gate ... stop by and say HI.]

Hella.

I was kinda joking about debate of the use of the term “Hella” in my last post, but things came full circle for me last night.

I found that Culture Wars are in full effect in the bathroom at Casanova Lounge in The Mission:
Hella

Dude. Hella.

I’ve Been Telling You To Eat Here Since May

This time, I left them a note, so they know someone out here is pulling for them:

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And my advice still stands: Cinqueterre is Undiscovered Treasure Number One in the CIty and County of San Francisco.

In a city with no shortage of little jewels of restaurants, it’s hard to compile the definitive list. So why bother trying. Along with its better known, teeny-tiny Columbus Street jewel, Osteria del Forno, Cinqueterre represents the heart of North Beach – the true ethnic spirit of a swiftly-changing neighborhood.

But forget all that meta-symbolic blah blah blah – the food is spectacular.

Last night was my fifth or sixth visit. My partner-in-food-hunting had the lasagna. I tried my first non-pasta dish – the stuffed chicken which came with a divine roasted tomato and a polenta pillow topped with mushrooms. Warmed up and cooled off by their new Lambrusco (a light, fizzy red, served chilled) which is sweeter and less dry than the previous, we tucked into our dinners expecting the best and getting it in each heavenly bite.

If you can, and it’s tough, save room for any of their fantastic desserts.

And the service is always attentive and warm.

Having run out of glowing adverbs and having posted on this place numerous times, I’ll close with yet another stern warning: if you miss the chance to eat here, your life will be emptier for its absence. Make it your first-date destination. Your date will be impressed and so will your taste buds.

Cinqueterre Ristorante – 641 Vallejo Street (at Columbus), 415-402-0895, entres range from $10-$20, wines by the glass and bottle from $6 (glass)- $25 (average, bottle).

Go Jonny Go – ICER AIR 2005!

Happy Belated Birthday

The EFF turns 15 and they’re throwing a party!

From the EFF website:

When: Sunday, October 2nd, 2005 at 5:00 PM
Where: EFF Headquarters in San Francisco, 454 Shotwell Street, 94110

Mark your calendars! EFF is 15 years old this year, and we are going to celebrate! We’re having an anniversary bash at our San Francisco headquarters on Shotwell Street on Sunday, October 2nd, 2005. The party starts at 5 p.m.

Join us for delicious Mexican food and drinks from Pancho Villa, hear a special address from our founders, John Perry Barlow and John Gilmore, taste our special 3D cake, and enjoy both the grooves of Gypsy Jazz from the Zegnotronic Rocket Society, and the hypnotic beats of DJ Ripley and Kid Kameleon.

Our celebration is free of charge and open to anyone, so bring your friends and family. We look forward to celebrating with you!

Please let us know you’re coming so we don’t run out of food and libations! Send an email to rsvp@eff.org, or call 415-436-9333 x129.

EFF’s office is located at 454 Shotwell Street and is BART accessible. Take BART to 16th and Mission, walk to 19th street and take a left, and take another left on Shotwell Street, three blocks down. We are located between 18th and 19th on Shotwell.

I just RSVP’d for the shindig and hopefully some of you can make it out as well. The official info is available on the EFF website.

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