Archive for March, 2007

Conan Cometh

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You ever feel like you’re always the last to know about certain happenings? Well, this is probably old news to most of our readers, but since it hasn’t been posted, this might be of interest to all y’all. Conan O’Brian is coming to San Francisco for a week in yet another one of his road trips. This lovely photo on the right is from his photo archive at nbc.com. He’ll be filming at the Orpheum Theatre April 30 to May 4. I am a fan of his self-deprecating sense of humor and have already requested tickets to the show. A friend mentioned he was coming, but it appears that preferential treatment is given to those actually living in the city so be sure to request the tickets sooner rather than later.

Memoriam for a Plastic Bag

bags After reading this article (and hearing the hype leading up to it) I have to say- goodbye pink plastic bag from Chinatown. It’s how I found my bus stop, by watching Chinatown shoppers with their pink bags. It’s so trademark SF with its happy “have a nice day” printed on it. The crinkly sound from the black bag that my local liquor store finally branded- Magic 7- reminded me guiltily that I had forgotten to carry my canvas Trader Joe’s bag everywhere. While we’re talking about TJ- now my odds at winning a free 25$ shopping spree in the bag raffle are really, really bad. OK I guess I should be a little more happy at our progressive eco government, beyond my own penny pinching. Go SF! Go Mirakami! Goodbye pink bags.

photo is from baltimore- evidence of where bags end up, on beautiful deciduous forest areas, rivers, etc.

Where Is This?

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As the Bay Area’s urban landscape is constantly changing, new things pop up on the radar and many are unfamiliar…but in familiar locations. Such was my reaction as I stumbled upon this relatively new development…
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… Prolific local architects David Baker + Partners have sent out an invite to check out their latest condo project this Wednesday which is also doubling as an Art Opening of sorts…

da answer to the location question after the ubiquitous page jump…
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Did You Miss The SF Garden Show?

One of the year’s horticultural highlights & a bastion of the bustling Bay Area botanical biz is SF’s Flower & Garden Show. A must see event, it annually attracts thousands of fans of flora, some from as far as Canada, the South Pacific and Europe. I first attended a dozen years ago when it was a smaller scale affair at Fort Mason, and it is now a huge event held at the Cow Palace.

Here’s a selective bit of look back on the scene that went down last week, as the show was built & opened to entertain eager enthusiasts of eragrostis, admirer’s of amaryllis, lovers of lilys, and ooglers of orchids. Acres of displays and hundreds of sales booths dot the grounds of the rodeo ready Cow Palace, providing ample space to gather and gander and tour truly awesome takes on the gardening arts, and some occasionaly ostentatious exhibits.

Take this year’s Golden Gate Cup (aka Best of Show) winner, a display created by Organic Mechanics, that was an amazing undersea-esque garden replete with submersed looking succulents, ocotillos in bloom and sculpted tritons, octopus & seahorses provided by Oakland metal sculptor Patrick E that woulda made Ringo Starr feel right at home.

To the right is a pic of the durable duo known as the Organic Mechanic’s James Pettigrew and Sean Stout, proud winners of the Golden Gate Cup with Show Producer Kay Estey at last Tuesday’s opening night fete’.

Below is a shot of ornamental grass expert and “meadow maker” John Greenlee ( in hat ) talking to interested fans of his work on the last day of the show, amazingly he and his garden are holding up well after a week in the cold and cavernous concrete Cow Palace. Greenlee’s garden display won three awards including recognition from the other garden designers and an award from the American Horticultural Society for environmental stewardship. Entitled “The Metropolitan Meadow, Driving Towards A Solution”, the garden highlighted ways people can make a small but real difference in our environment with their lawns & gardens alone. Greenlee has long been appalled that conventional lawns, their chemicals & maintenance account for 100′s of tons of air pollution weekly throughout California.
He and his partner’s display asked the provoking question “Is Your Garden Part of The Problem or Part of the Solution”, by incorporating literally thousands of low water using, natural habitat friendly, and maintenance unintensive plants. To knock home his “step lightly” point, parked smack dab in the middle, was his wife’s cherry red Nash Metropolitan, a car that still gets 40 mpg, but was made 50 years ago.

check out some more random SF garden show pix after the jump…
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Urban Culture from Stash Magazine

I’m down in the L.A. area this weekend for the Paid Dues Festival and although I’m desperately missing San Francisco for all of the stereotypical reasons that SF kids miss the area when they head down to SoCal, I did have something good come out of this weekend trip. I discovered a new Bay Area magazine. Yup, there were folks down in San Bernardino handing out free copies of a small magazine, and I grabbed one, mostly with disinterest.

When the festival began to get monotonous, I pulled the magazine back out of my bag. The first article I read was a news piece about ghost riding. The next was an interview in which the first question was about hyphy. And that was when I did the double-take and thought, “this is no L.A. magazine”. I looked more closely and found that Stash Magazine is indeed a San Francisco publication.

If you have a love for all things hip hop or if you’ve been trying to find a good way to get more in-the-know about the Bay Area’s hyphy/ hip hop/ urban know-how, Stash Magazine is a good start. You can visit the online version to get the latest issue and to check out the extras like music and videos. I’m loving it … so if anyone has info on where to get similar info / reading material, leave a comment!

Mister Barbershop for Basketball

Met some friends at Mr. to watch the NCAA tournament. Imagine massage chairs in the back, shoe-shine along the side, and barbers up on the balcony. This is Mr., a barbershop-lounge on Sacramento between Battery & Montgomery. They had a special NCAA gathering- seemed to be some opening night jitters along with the usual Financial District Friday night crowd. Envision Pacific Exchange meets G Bar, or as my (male) friend called it: an upscale Hooter’s. I’m really torn about this place. It was definitely too expensive for NCAA stuff- my friends nixed that right off the bat. A yelp person- Jessica- just wrote that: “And for the women out there that are curious about checking out MR.— every Thursday’s it’s Grey’s Anatomy night.” But, on the negative side, 2 of 2 beers on tap tasted really metallic. So I was just bemoaning the fact that there’s nothign North of Midnight Sun that has good social TV nights, and here it is. On the other hand, we ended up walking to Schroeder’s for some schnitzel & pilsner.

He Is A Camera: Justin.tv Hits San Francisco

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Webcams, they’re not just for YouTube anymore. Justin of Justin.tv has been streaming video live from a camera mounted on his head for the last four days straight, and is roving around San Francisco at the moment. Like the camgirls of yore, the urge to keep watching until something happens is the draw. That, and that this level of hyperdocumentation feels so right at home in this town.

So far today, he’s hit the offices of Reddit, and now appears to be nerding out over Ruby on Rails and fiddling with safety pins. Will he check his email next? Zoom in on another laptop covered in topical stickers? Perhaps then venture outdoors?

If you can’t get through to the nearly constantly overloaded server to catch a peek of Geeks Gone Wild, Justin’s offered up his phone number (415-948-3219) and of course, he’s posting updates to a dedicated Twitter stream.

Bay Bridge Inspiration

This view never gets old, I’ve loved it since I was a kid. I have many memories of running along the Embarcadero, along the waterfront and under the bridge.

As my friend and I walked along the same stretch last night, we felt like we were buddies in a romantic comedy, discussing relationships and dishing advice. It also made me think about my creative struggles as of late, and inspired me to re-discover my creativity.

The Bay Bridge invokes a lot of thought and inspiration, and I think a lot of us natives take it for granted. Perhaps you should re-discover it sometime soon.

Have a great weekend, all!

Springing up

precitapark_20070323.jpgAnother lovely cool morning in San Francisco. I took this picture of Precita Park as the sun peeked out from behind the north shoulder of Bernal Heights.

A little later I picked up a friend who remarked, “I thought springtime in San Francisco was supposed to be a lot rainier than this.” She’s right. That spritz we had on Tuesday — that should have been happening at least once a week since Thanksgiving.

Still, yesterday at sunset I walked over Bernal Heights, and the hillside is at its greenest, with sprays of poppies springing up everywhere. The grass is beginning to go to seed and in a month the hill will be golden, so enjoy the green hills while they last.

Godzilla Downsized, Cult Spotted on 11th Street

For fans of “Heavy Metal”, the band for whom reputedly the term was first used by writer Richard Meltzer to describe, is in town tonight and squeezing their big “Godzilla” sized sound into the confines of Slim’s tonight at 333 11th St.

I speak of Blue Oyster Cult, a band that started back in late 60′s Long Island influenced by the San Francisco psychedelic sound and is still going strong with three OG members out of 5 who still play almost a 100 shows a year.

The trivia question of the day is how many times has the band played SF in the last 30 some years?

Perhaps famous to the kids today only for the hilarious Will Ferrell “More Cowbell” skit on SNL starring Christopher Walken as Bruce Dickenson, the band’s “producer”, a character based on former SF denizen and Crawdaddy contributor Sandy Pearlman. Pearlman, was as a much a character as the Walken impersonation let on, and went on to help manage 415 Records, the Dio fronted Black Sabbath and become producer of The Clash’s Give Em Enough Rope LP, as well as LP’s by The Dictators, Dream Syndicate and local astrologer Rob Brezny‘s former band World Entertainment War

You can bet the band will be running through the dozen plus album back catalog ,which BOC has managed to milk for an additional 5 greatest hits sets & 4 live album releases. The “Cult” will no doubt be burnin through ” Burning For You”, and the cowbell packed crowd pleaser “Don’t Fear The Reaper”. Hardcore fans may want to revisit the tunes of 1976, their breakthrough year with the album “Agents of Fortune” and the snarling SF referencing lead off tune “This Ain’t The Summer Of Love”.

Said guitarist Buck Dharma back in 1995 in the band’s official bio,

“When I look at some of these other bands and see what they have for hits, I consider myself very fortunate I get to play these songs every night,” says Buck about the group’s legacy. “How would you like to have to play ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ every night? That would be torture.”


For more Blue Oyster Cult history, images & links, including a live MP3 of their classic “Cities on Flame ( with Rock & Roll)” and the answer to our trivia question… read on after the dreaded jump…
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