Archive for November, 2006

James Kim and his family are missing

kim_family1.jpg One of my co-workers is missing, as well as his wife and two kids. He is James Kim, former TechTV personality and current CNET editor for digital audio. His family also owns two stores in San Francisco — Doe and Church Street Apothecary. He and his family drove up from San Francisco to Seattle for Thanksgiving. They were last seen on Saturday in Portland, Oregon. He was supposed to show up at work on Tuesday, but no one has seen him or his family since Saturday.

I work in the same team as James (we’re both in the Mobile team), and needless to say, I’m worried as all hell. If anybody has ANY NEWS at all about his or his family’s whereabouts, please contact the SFPD. The following is from the official investigation of the SFPD:

Missing Family Includes: James, Kati, Penelope (age 4.5) and Sabine (6 months). Last name is Kim

Overview: The Kim Family left San Francisco on November 17th on a road trip to the Pacific Northwest. They had thanksgiving in Seattle with family and then drove to Portland. They were last seen by their friends in Portland who they had brunch with on Saturday, November 25. According to their friends, their plans were to drive out to the town of Gold Beach on the Oregon Coast and then make their way back to San Francisco. James was expected back at work on Tuesday, November 28th. When no one had heard from him by Wednesday morning employees at the Kims’ two stores and his colleagues at CNET began to make phone calls to his family and friends to inquire of his whereabouts. Presently, the SFPD is investigating the case.

If you know anything about James’ whereabouts, you can contact the SFPD by calling 415-558-5508 during normal business hours and 415-553-1071 after hours. Here’s the official SFPD missing persons report. Any help is appreciated.

Be Careful of this Bartender

Rolling out of the Tunnel Top last weekend, we careened up Bush Street to Chelsea Place, a dive bar more in tune with my sensibilities that night. It was only too bad the bartender wasn’t in tune to anything resembling competence.

First off, like Lebanese bartenders, she had never heard of my drink, the simple vodka gimlet, and then tried to sell my date on her “special exotic drink” – a poorly made Blue Hawaii.

Still I gave her initial credit for trying, I was a server for years and can identify with a training day, but this was not her first time and her performance only got worse as the night wore on.

When a crew of guys came in and asked for a dozen Irish Car Bombs, everything went very pear-shaped very fast, starting with “What’s that?”

Soon, guys were holding various amounts of Baileys and Jamison concoctions over semi to full glasses of Guinness. As the cheer to drink went up, serious yelps came out as drinks when in – beer sloshed over container sides onto people, clothes, shoes.

Later, as the “who pays what” crescendo peaked, bartenders accusing customers of shorting, patrons arguing over what was a drink or not, we took our leave.

While the Tunnel Top wasn’t as homey or cheap, at least there the bartenders know what they’re doing.

Fungus Fair & Chestnuts

Fun winter activities coming up.. .and fun winter foods… the Oakland Museum and the SF Mycological Society put on another weekend of fun… the Fungus Fair. If you enjoyed the Ferry Building mushroom explosion last weekend you may get into the very in depth displays, cooking insights and activities in Oakland.

photo courtesy of Oakland Museum: taken by Michael Wood. Aleuria.

Shop Local in the Mission: Dec 4th – 9th

The last day of November and I have done zero “holiday” shopping. In a twisted way, I am quite proud of this fact, but I know I will be buying gifts for some of my closest family and friends before the end of the year. As usual, SF has the answer to my problems, thanks to its Small Business Commission‘s Shop Local First Week from December 4th to 9th.

The Small Business Commission will host its annual Shop Local First campaign and celebration. This year our 4th annual campaign will feature Shop Local First Week, December 4-9, with several neighborhood events planned throughout the city, including special sales at participating businesses. The week will culminate with Shop Local First Day at Union Square on Saturday, December 9th from 10AM-5PM, featuring over 40 participating businesses selling their wares on the square. Also, Mayor Gavin Newsom will present the “Most Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year Award”.

Read on for special deals in the Mission and why buying local is best.

San Francisco’s Third Gift to the World: ANCHOR BREWING

From the San Francisco Brewing Company and Speakeasy to Magnolia and 21st Amendment, San Francisco has a variety of excellent brewers. But few of them have as interesting a history as Anchor Brewing and none are quite as widely known. Anchor Steam, the staple of the brewery, is only one of several beers pumped out of the Potrero Hill location every day. They produce 7 beers ranging from the annual Holiday beer, whose recipe has changed slightly every year for the last 32 years, to a hard-to-find Bock. Anchor also has its name on a gin (Junipero) and a rye whiskey and an 18th century style whiskey (Old Potrero), all of which are absolutely delicious. But it is, of course, Anchor Steam that everyone knows.

Inside the Anchor Steam BreweryThe name “Steam” comes from the 19th century nickname for west coast brews. The name implies that the beer was made with crude technology available to early west coast brewers and not the advanced brewing processes popular elsewhere. Steam is now a trademark of Anchor Brewing, and Anchor Steam is a trademark of San Francisco. Its rich body, beautiful amber color, and flavorful taste make Anchor Steam one of the greatest gifts San Francisco has given to the world. Anchor Steam is made in a copper brewhouse which probably has something to do with why it tastes so damn good (afternoon tours are available on weekdays). According to the web site, their “classical copper brewhouse–mash tun, lauter tun, grant, and brewkettle–was handmade in Germany over fifty years ago.”

The history of Anchor Brewing is riddled with obstacles and tragedy, including the closure of Anchor brewing in the 50s when delicious, flavorful beer was nearly forced out of the market by tastless light beers. Your Anchor Brewing history lesson begins after the jump.

Would You be Raising Kids in SF?

Running near Fort Mason, I took this photo as I was overwhelmed by the number of kids at the playground. An urban playground.

Coming from DC, where the city is mainly empty-nesters, singles, or gays in the neighborhoods I frequent, kids are a rare sight. Not so in San Francisco.

Here, they’re everywhere. I counted four strollers at Sunday brunch alone. And that was a Bloody Mary kinda brunch too.

In DC all the parents live in the suburbs, running from low quality schools in DC. Why might there be a reverse concentration in San Francisco?

Are the schools better in the city? Are all these rich private school kids? Are private schools cheap? Or is the commute so long from the ‘burbs that parents have no choice?

And would you be/are you a parent in SF? I wouldn’t in DC, as I get a full-body rash when I enter suburbia and there seems to be little choice there, but here.. could I be a happy urban parent in SF?

SF is ‘too hilly to be dull,’ and other curious verdicts

I ran across this article syndicated on a foreign news site and eventually tracked it back to the author’s blog: Sam Smith, editor of the Progressive Review, on his visit to San Francisco.

Among the curious verdicts delivered by the Washington-based political writer:

  • San Francisco is “too hilly to be dull.”
  • The cable car system is “the world’s largest toy train layout,” a joke so good he repeats it a paragraph later.
  • “San Francisco gives the impression that it is against the law to tear anything down.”
  • “The Bay Area treats its stereotypes the way some places care for their old buildings.”

These and other observations, with numerous comparisons to Washington, DC, in Smith’s article.

A New Smell for Bus Shelters

Just spotted on the Chronicle website: next week, an ad firm will start making some Muni shelters smell of cookies. The idea is that commuters will smell the cookies and decide it’s time for a glass of milk, which the advertiser (the California Milk Processor Board of “Got Milk?” fame) will happily provide. Apparently this kind of aromatic marketing is a first in the U. S. No word on how such campaigns have fared elsewhere, but a couple of people quoted in the story seem skeptical. I don’t know which is better, student Veronica Navarro’s belief that “[i]t’s going to smell like cookies and bums,” or Supervisor Tom Ammiano’s philosophical remark that “[o]ne man’s cookies and milk might be another man’s kimchi.”

Anyone know what’s wrong with MUNI right now?

I just saw a 24 stop at Page & Divisadero and dump all the passengers off and park, blocking half the intersection. And then I saw a 22 do the exact same thing at Fillmore & Haight. Is there a massive system failure? A partial strike? Happy hour at Mad Dog? Anyone Know?

A message from aliens?

what is it?

Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

I keep staring at the arcane symbol of the theater and mall in the new development of downtown Redwood City and I still can’t figure out what, if anything, it’s supposed to be. It makes me think a little of the golden record sent out on Voyager. A sort of angelic streetlight? A broadcasting tower? A 70s funk album? The flag of the planet of Dorkadelica? A thing with two heads? A smiley with a very long sticky-outy tongue? What? And then why is it upside down and repeated?

I’d like to know what the designer was smoking…

It also made me think (with a bit of a shudder) of the fake Babylonian architecture of the big mall thing at the confluence of I-5 and 405, in Irvine, which was sort of pretty but outweighed by its creepiness factor, the way it was like a fortress built for crowd control.

It’s really nice to be able to walk to the movie theater. It’s fancy, new, has an escalator which is possibly more exciting to little kids than the whole “movie” part, and it has the nice kind of seats. We saw “Happy Feet” which was on par with the tripped-out “art” of the theater development company logo. It was a good movie, while a little intense and cryptic for 3 or even 6 year olds. Just, the whole abrupt drumbeats and pulling back into space, alien abduction theme, and sad penguin hallucinations were a bit much.

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