Archive for April, 2007

Conan is here and he’s tossin’ a party!

Conan Celebration So as we all know by now, Conan O’Brien is town all week at the Orpheum. So in celebration of Conan’s visit to SF, NBC 11 (WARNING! Link contains audio for those with sleeping children in the room) is hosting a Conan-themed rally in Justin Herman Plaza on Wednesay, May 2nd. It’s a free lunchtime gig (12-1PM) and will be styled after a variety show similar to “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” with guests, music, and other live performances. Currently, performances are scheduled by “Beach Blanket Babylon” and San Francisco Taiko Dojo. The Gavster has proclaimed May 2nd as “Conan O’Brien Day in San Francisco.” Mayor Newsom and Conan may make a special appearance at the event but the emphasis there is “may” so Caveat Emptor. Tickets to the show, as well as other prizes, will be given away. The tickets they are giving away are VIP tickets so you are guaranteed a seat if you win! All the other shows have been overbooked and it’s first coe first seated so if you do have tickets get there early and if you don’t then get your ass over to Justin Herman on Wednesday and win some! Sara and No Name on Alice radio are giving away tickets during the morning show and NBC 11 News at 11 p.m. every night next week is doing “Conan Catch Phrase” to win tickets. Viewers watch the newscast, listen for the catch phrase and log on to to send them an email with the catch phrase when they hear it. Emailer #11 will win a pair of VIP tickets to the Friday, May 4th show.

Be sure to tune in to check out Conan tooling around our fair city with Bob Sagat in our signature GoCars. Photo credit: Andrew Weinberg/”Late Night”

Summer in the City: the Mission & Medjool

Fri Night On Friday night, found myself and two friends post-happy-hour around 19th and Valencia. What to do? That was the night before the day in the 80s, and it was pretty warm, despite being 9pm. We were hungry, but also wanted to drink more (haha). Papa Toby’s and Medjool turned out to be the most happening, as crowd size indicated. Photo here is from the Italian restaurant next to Papa Toby’s. First, we walked over to Medjool and took the elevator to the roof. Wow. I had no idea it was so gorgeous. Cash-only, but amazing pear-vodka mojitos, and a downtown view. Heaters for the colder nights, but that Friday there was no need. It’s up there now in my mind with great places to go on our infrequent warm nights- like Zeitgeist 3pm on Sundays, or Ocean Beach on a non-foggy day.

Dear Chron: Only Hookers Get To Call Each Other Hookers

Burying the lede (though not the “hooker”) in the Chron today: “Prostitution Isn’t As Big As It Used to Be In The Mission.” We San Franciscans are meant to understand that prostitution isn’t such a problem in the neighborhood, but only through the laziest of voyeurism on the part of “embedded” reporter John Koopman — who, in lieu of, oh, reporting, goes instead for good old hooker fetishism.

You know how it goes, in rhetoric so tired (paging, Anthony Comstock and all you other Victorians) that this “real stories of the streets!”-style deserves an “oldest profession” derived cliche of its own. First up, you’ve got your “soiled doves”!

“These guys don’t always realize what the girl has,” [Officer] Franco says. “A lot of them have hepatitis, herpes or even HIV. They get a (sex act) with no condom, get some disease and take it home to their wives. It’s bad all around.”

So we should arrest people to prevent HIV/AIDS & STI’s? Brilliant! Why follow the model of twenty+ years of solid sexual health work, in which San Francisco is a leader? But why stop with sex workers and customers? I say, let law enforcement randomly detain and test Financial District workers on lunch break.

Public health issues soundly tackled, next you’ve got your fierce, untamed hookers gone wild!

Disease isn’t the only danger. After one bust, [Officer] Villaruel comes up with a wicked-looking switchblade he took off a hooker.

“These girls will bring a weapon for self-defense,” he said. “Just about all of them have something.”

And, oh, just imagine what would happen at City Hall were we to have a United Hooker Front armed with “wicked-looking” weapons turn up asking for some answers from Fiona Ma and Kamala Harris?

The veritable happy ending though…

The women are at risk, too. Franco has seen dead hookers before, killed by homicidal johns.

… because nothing more quickly elicits that teary-eyed “human interest” like referring to the victim of a murder as a “dead hooker.”

You’d think, until the Chron gets over its breathless hooker obsession and calling its police beat reporters “embedded” (indeed), we can ask for a basic Style Guide check, right? No, reporters, you don’t get to call lesbians ‘dykes’, you don’t get to call gay men ‘queers’, and you don’t get to call sex workers ‘hookers’, period.

Civic Center welcomes Porta-Conan’s

Porta Conans

This week’s tapings of the Conan O’ Brien show at the Orpheum Theater near Civic Center plaza have seen the temporary installation of 15 “porta johns”, or perhaps they are better referred to as “Porta-Conans”.

So far the usual leisurely loiterers and dastardly dealers gathered near the fountain and BART station stairs seem to be enjoying them very much. Crowds are expected to gather each day prior to the taping window of 1:30pm – 5 pm each day.

Porta ConansWord is that the producer of the Late Night Show has arranged for patrol service by three separate, two person patrols from the Tenderloin District of the SFPD. Since a homicide occurred in broad daylight at 4 :16 pm only a block and a half away on Hyde & Golden Gate on Friday April 13th, that’s probably a good idea.

Wonder if this is all part of a new “Conan not Cash” program ?

Either way, San Francisco’s Civic Center’s temporary TV tourists & regularly destitute denizens all say Thanx NBC !

Downtown Craft: ArtFibers

Yarn Display Usually I head to Craft Gym to get a craft fix, but the other day I was doing bank errands and completely forgot until I stumbled upon it, that there was this gem of a yarn store downtown: ArtFibers. I went there a few years ago and was mad because the lady who owned it wouldn’t let us knit in store. I decided to try it again- and things have changed.

Free mass transit on Monday

Thanks to James Mosqueda, all transit agencies in the Bay area are FREE today. You may show your gratitude by sending flowers to St. Francis Hospital in Nob Hill. Walking by the hospital tonight, I saw news vans sprouting satellite dish flowers all the main entrance.

St. Francis is home to one of the best burn units in the nation. I know this because my friend and movie stuntman Kane Hodder (“Jason” from FRIDAY THE 13th) recuperated there after nearly dying in an accident on a movie set which burned him over 80% of his body many years ago.

You can read more about FREE TRANSIT MONDAY at SFGATE

EB80/580 McArthur Maze Collapse


As some of you might know, a tanker truck burst into flames causing the upper bridge to collapse. ABCnews has video of 580 MELTING.

* Looks like CBS 5 was there first
* Here’s ABC’s video of it melting.
* SFGate has updates and photos (image via).
* Thomas Hawk got this amazing photo.

If anyone else has photos, please link in the comments!

6th Street Strip Report : Lawyers, Launches & Last Blasts

It may be hard to imagine that 6th & Mission once had it’s own miniature golf course, but here it is in a 1930’s photo from the SF Public Library collection. Nowadays the recreational pursuits in the neighborhood are quite different, and hardly as wholesome looking.

The current strip of nightclubs along SF’s seedy 6th Street strip and it’s offshoot alleys provide a classic study in contrasts. Fresh faced suburban bred 20-somethings careen intoxicatedly in and out of clubs looking to partake in some sort of overpriced quasi-glam nightlife activities, whilst dozens of ever present ne’er do’ells, derelicts and addicts of various sorts bob about, some actually laying sprawled on the concrete.

Word filters out that after a good few years of pioneering the attempted hipster takeover of the block, The Arrow Bar operators are tired of struggling and are calling it quits. This weekend is the last hurrah, with Monday night being the last chance to grab a PBR at their farewell blast. The place had been for sale since early this year, and the business opportunity to own your own urban squalor centric club was listed for about $160,000. I’m not sure who the new caretakers of the license might be, but we’ll wish ’em luck.

You might notice how empty the Arrow Bar bar is in this real estate website photo, and that’s either because the cover charge to get into the 900 sq ft dump was normally so high on a typical Monday that no one bothered to come in, or that everyone is quite possibly in the bathroom getting high…

Me thinks that white powder ain’t leftover Comet bathroom cleanser on the handy counter by the sink y’all…

Meanwhile, over at the sleek 1000 capacity Mezzanine club on Jessie, the cavernous concrete club was packed with dancing fools last night gulping down $8 & $10 cocktails while grooving to the U.K electronica mash maestros Soulwax. The “no ins & outs” Mezzanine is seemingly raking in dough from it’s captive audience, where even a 60 cent roll of lifesavers can set you back $2…

The joint is staffed to the gills with 4 bars pumping out top shelf drinks, there’s state of the art sound, video and ventilation systems, a comfortable VIP area and backstage replete with shower & eye pleasing art, furniture, fridge and dimmed recessed lighting.

Meanwhile the largest demographic segment of tenants in the square mile around 6th street are people making under $10,000 a year and most literally don’t have apot to piss in, unless you count a communal toilet down the hall…

If you’d like to read more on the 6th Street Strip and trivia and travails of Club Six and it’s neighbors, follow after the jump. We’ve even got a link that’ll get you onto the guestlist for a private JetBlue sponsored showcase at Mezzanine this Tuesday night, May 1st with Sweden’s current hottest musical exports The Teddybears STHLM…

A Giant Sucking Sound: this writer

I began the year with a win-win situation: I would rip the Giants and have plenty of opportunities to do it, because they would probably be a .500 team this year, just as they have been for the last four years since going to the World Series in 2002. And when they started off with a record of 2 wins and 8 losses, it looked like I was going to have plenty of material.

But since April 13, for the last two weeks, they have won 10 of 11 and 8 in a row, only last night completing a sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles, a feat they hadn’t accomplished in five years. Even more improbably, closer Armando Benitez has 7 saves in 7 appearances and a 2.16 ERA. Impossible as it seemed two weeks ago when they journeyed off to a rainy, cold Pittsburgh, the Giants are in first place.

So the only suckage around here is me. But like I said, it’s a win-win situation. Because I love the Giants. I love when they win. And my attempt to get ahead of the curve was only a way to inoculate myself against another year of disappointment.

Just when I thought I was out, they sucked me back in. Go Giants!

New Crush: Baron Davis

OK so I have cable now and can watch the Warriors in HD (and yes, just watching because they’re finally playing well…). Last night’s game was great, and I have a new crush on Baron Davis. That’s news! He’s so good, and sarcastic. The ejecting-move last night, clapping with the Dallas crowd on his own technical foul- could have been, as King Kaufman says in his article, a kind of “yes I screwed up, it’s funny” clapping or it could be a “you ref’s are great, yes you are” kind of clapping. Nonetheless, I hope the home game is a different story for my man Davis. Also another point in his favor- as he’s escorted off the floor, he goes quickly and nicely whereas Jackson puts up a time-consuming tantrum. Oh so silly: Nelson fining the players. Whatev.

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