Archive for October, 2007

Open Studios in the Mission Last Weekend

Nothing was nicer than standing chatting with some artists outside Fabric8 with a beer, and then biking a few blocks in this great evening sunshine to another friend’s apartment, where he had put paintings on every surface, including the bathroom. Good times. Buy art!
I guess it’s annoying to write about something *after* it happened, so apologies. Next year, or next time they do open studios, I recommend it. Super fun.

Paintings: Dave Hunkins, did the red one, and Reuben Rude, “Just For Being Born” did the brown one. His work is at Fabric8- you can find it on 22nd St. and Valencia near Jet Peru, and online at

Superheroes vs. Bruce Lees

Superheroes vs. Bruce Lees

A friend told me about this, it’s apparently a movie shoot starring a team of superheroes and a team of Bruce Lees playing capture the flag in Washington Square park. Click through above to see many more pics from this event.

A Note on Downtown Parking, and Prop. H

12 Folsom
I live in a neighborhood adjacent to downtown. Passing through downtown to get to the Castro last night- a half an hour sitting on Montgomery Street. See, the highrises empty out at 5PM, and the 10% or so parked vehicles in the basements spew out onto Montgomery Street for the 10 or so block ride south to the Bay Bridge or 101 South. I usually avoid this area from 5-7, like I avoid Broadway Corridor on Sat and Friday nights. So I’m sitting there, trying to mellow out to KBLX, when I hear on the radio that there’s a protest south of Market. Like clockwork, my block of parked cars sit through 4 light changes. Still on Sacramento & Montgomery. I call my friends- I”ll be late. I take a new route- take a right up California, right on Kearny, left on Washington, left on Stockton, right on Sutter. Things clear up a bit, and finally I’m past downtown, left on Gough. PriusAnother friend who works in Jackson Square was caught in the same traffic. She was in a cab. Why would we EVER increase the number of commuting vehicles in our downtown with Proposition H? And why do it 3-fold? I can think of a ton of better improvements: fixing the masonic/fell intersection, fixing the octavia/market intersection, underground tunnel through chinatown, etc. Geesh.

Fried Chicken, Free Tacos, Soap & Water on the Skids This Sunday

Too Much Pork For Just One Fork…

it’s one of my favorite songs by “Southern Culture On The Skids” who are in town on Sunday night…but apparently if you want the free pork, you’ll need to look up their locally based labelmate Chuck Prophet.

Sunday afternoon, local rooty rawk maestro Chuck Prophet returns from his recent European tour foray with his band the Mission Express, and plays a free set at Amoeba Records on Haight St at 2 pm. Later that same night follow the El Tonayense taco truck to the Makeout Room for the free tacos out front in celebration of Prophet’s new album “Soap & Water” on North Carolina based Yep Roc records.
Chuck claims The El Tonayense folks:

“do a killer “al pastor” which is sort of like a Mexican doner kebab; a slow cooked pork thinly sliced off the spit with a machete-like knife.”


Don’t forget to get in the club to hear the mighty Mission Express run through their retinue of rocking new material lab tested over the past few weeks on the European continent. It’ll be yer only chance for awhile, as the band splits to head out across the great divide on a North American campaign until December. It’s all going down at an early show scheduled to start at 8pm, which means you have time to head over to The Great American Music Hall later that night to catch Chuck’s Yep Roc labelmates “Southern Culture On The Skids” who are known to fling bulging buckets of Fried Chicken and down home danceable sounds around in copious quantities…

Preview tracks via mp3’z from both bands after the jump

A Taste of Amber, Anyone?

amber_1.jpgIt sounds like I’m about to write about a bad porn flick, but Amber is actually one of the most dee-lish things I’ve had to drink in a long time: Amber is Macallan scotch with a hint of pecan, so yummy. I tried a sample at the Litquake opening night party, but declined to have their mixed version and opted for over ice, same way I prefer my Scotch. It was musky and smooth, and the pecan came across like peaty hazelnut — and thankfully, not too sweet (but it totally smelled like waffles). Here’s a review on The Scotch Blog.

Amber is a locally-focused phenom; Citizen Cake is making pastries with it, Absinthe is re-inventing cocktails around it (“Absolute Sacrilege” is muddled blood orange, Amber, bitters, tequilia and ice), Miette has made butterscotch with it, Last Supper Club is making Hot Toddys with it, and the list goes on and on. It’s either good marketing, or the stuff is just drop-dead delicious (it is). You can get it at BevMo, but Amber doesn’t seem to have a website, doh.

At any rate, I just had to rave for a minute — and give a heads-up on an Amber tasting this Monday October 22nd at Citizen Cake, from 4-6pm (390 Grove @ Gough). Pastries and cocktails on a Monday sounds do-able to me…

Just A Beautiful Photo

Local sign fetishist and street art fan Evil Signtist writes, “not 2 min. after I snapped this shot, a guy came by, twisted the pole the rest of the way off, threw it over his shoulder and ran down the alley. my phone camera was to slow to catch it.” This was at 24th and Mission.

Think You Know SF?


buddha These people really know SF: Flickr’s “Guess Where SF Pool”. Above photo was guessed in mere minutes (it was too easy!) and others (to the right) have yet to be found. I’m new to the game so my photos aren’t as good, but go in yourself and try to outdo the dozen or so superstar visual sleuths. The rules are: add a comment below the photo noting the address or cross-street. They are difficult. And then you start seeing the city in a new way. There are rules on context, so it can’t be completely impossible. Though I did post a photo of a cement square with keys in it, which I thought was unique. Originally posted by Mark P. (thanks Mark! Or should I say no thanks since I’m seriously addicted?)

Rum, Sodomy & San Francisco: The Pogues return to the Fillmore for 4 more nights of revelry

The celtic minstrels of the Pogues whose biggest hit was entitled Fairytale of New York, certainly have left their hearts in San Francisco, a city receptive to their wicked ways. Sunday night begins a four night stand at the Fillmore, where general admission for two will set attendees back approx $160 after all the ticketbastard nastiness and fees are accounted for.

Despite the high tabs at the box office and of course the bar, no doubt the old wooden dance floor will be packed and straining under the weight of audiences excitedly clamoring to catch the band some 20 years after their first sold out west coast shows in the same venerable venue.pogues 1987 poster

Indeed that cold November night in 1987 they had Joe Strummer of The Clash along with them on guitar, and it was a very foot stompingly wild & whiskey soaked occasion. It was so uh, magically momentous actually to see the wily assemblage holding court back in the day that I’m not sure I’ll join in the fray at the Fillmore this year. I wouldn’t want to taint the foggy veils of my already perfect memories ya know?

The band came through last year as well, and they heartily held the fort down for several nights, and I heard few complaints, despite the progressively debilitated condition of lead singer Shane MacGowan. It’s just amazing to me that the fragile freak o’ habit known as Shane’s still alive, while the seemingly invincible Joe Strummer is dead…

Click to head below the fold, and download a couple mp3 tracks of rare live material. One is a celtic folk infused version of Bobby Fuller’s classic tune “I Fought The Law” ripped from some rare vinyl with Joe Strummer & Shane MacGowan trading off on raspy lead vocals…

Goddesses of Victory invade Union Square

That column in the middle of Union Square, it’s topped with the goddess of Victory on top. Well her Greek name is Nike, and this weekend below her a whole tent city has been set up for thousands of athletic women from all over the country that are in town to participate in the 2007 Nike Women’s Marathon.

There’s an “expotique” built up around the concepts of fun & fitness, and Nike’s offering runners free manicures, massages, and a heads up on all sorts of Nike related whatnot. This popular and completely sold out annual event has brought in heap loads of dough for Luekemia & Lymphoma related causes, an estimated some $40 million in the first three years. This year, the event’s 4th, is expected to pull in over 18 million alone, from the efforts of some 20,000 participants, up from 15,000 last year, registered from 11 countries & all 50 states. All the slots were filled in just 3 and a half days, and I even saw registration spots being auctioned on Ebay.

Like the sneakers, this isn’t a one size fits all race, so there’s also a half marathon for those who don’t feel up to the whole 26 mile challenge.

On Sunday, the runners leave Union Square at 7 am and head through the downtown financial district past the TransAmerica tower, along the Embarcadero past the Wharf, and Marina Green into the Presidio and out to the Great Highway, through Golden Gate Park and south along Lake Merced, finishing just north of the Great Highway along the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, event organizers have even set up randomly placed DJ stations, and live entertainment options to keep the runners entertained all the way to the sea. If you’d like to see the 26 mile course breeze by in about 11 high speed minutes via streaming video, click on the windows media file link below the jump:

Journey’s Not Alone Singing About The Lights Going Down On The City

Cue a certain Journey rock anthem:

When The Lights Go Down… On The City…

Journey’s not the only one’s talkin’ about…Lights Out San Francisco.

Actually not everybody is talking about Lights Out SF, but a fair number of media outlets and bloggers are excited enough to report on about a 1 hour period on Saturday when the lights will voluntarily go out in certain participating buildings …

Unlike the military ordered brownouts of the 1940’s, when the coast feared for sneaky attacks from the seas, this one just makes it hard to see. I think that some electricity is saved, perhaps an hours worth.

According to the non-profit mafia that runs SF these days, this is supposed be like totally awareness raising or something, at least the board of supervisors unanimously thought so when they voted to support it in August. I was surprised that even the Bay Area’s Boldest Burlingamer, Ed “Supervisor No” Jew actually voted for it, but I recalled that according to utility records he isn’t really much of a fan of having lights or water turned on at all much in San Francisco.

Lights Out SF’s main organizer Brian Scott says it’s gonna be a “pretty awesome event “, like a big ol’ 1 hour brownout party… or whatever. Maybe someone will disconnect some stoplights, that’s always hilarious.

There’s even a real live brick & mortar office at 2548 Mission St donated by Gus from Medjool restaurant where you can stop by and ask them, uh “what’s the big deal?”

“…oh and and how do I get a free compact fluorescent bulb?”

It appears the “turn off the juice & get hella loose” movement deal is so BIG and hype is so thick, one localized super snarkyblog-ist outlet was excited enough to announce that the Golden Gate Bridge tested the system last night and some 600 lights

on the suspension cables were turned off in preparation for Saturday’s Lights Out San Francisco event”


.. they even sent their erstwhile correspondent in a car in the rain who took a camera and posted a “spooky” photo of the test on the dramatic and dimly lit bridge.

Only problem with that is …

uh,well, you can read the evaluation of that after the jump, and see the very important and influential Journey video of the song that likely started it all:

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