Archive for January, 2008

Wipeouts on 280

Summer 280 South
I headed south on 280 at 11am and witnessed the results of 2 wipeouts, one near Hillsdale and one near the Serramonte exit, on an offramp. Yikes. Nothing is wrong with going 40 during conditions, but some folks find the need to blaze by, without headlights on, perhaps trying to hydroplane? No idea.

Man the lifeboats – Flooding!

This just in from AlertSF:

“Flooding has been reported on Park Presidio just south of Fulton st. All south bound lanes have been closed south of Golden Gate Park. Sent by Lucas Eckroad to 473 individual users (E-mail accounts, Pagers, Cell phones) through AlertSF ……powered by Cooper Notification’s Roam Secure Alert Network”

Be safe out there.

Harvey Milk film to start shooting, you should pardon the expression

The Sean Penn film about the career and assassination of Harvey Milk — which earlier advertised for extras who could pass for 1970s residents of the Castro — will start shooting this week — or “lensing,” to use the Daily Variety term.

Penn will play the martyred city supervisor, and Josh Brolin — not Matt Damon as previously reported — will play the assassin Dan White. Curiously, Brolin is also up for the title role in an Oliver Stone film about George Bush.

T.G.I. a three day weekend

Mercury News Most ReadReaders of the San Jose Mercury News website had their priorities straight today, spurning news of the worldwide financial crisis in favor of a murder at a San Mateo deep-fry chain restaurant.

Literary Noir Night at Mechanics Library

The Mechanics Institute Library is a unique institution in downtown San Francisco — they own their own late-Victorian office building just off Montgomery and Market Streets, and operate on two floors of it; you pay to join the library, but then you have access to their attractive facilities six days a week — which in the last several years has established a presence on the literary scene, offering readings, films and other events. It’s a great example of a 19th century institution which is successfully updating itself to the 21st.

On Thursday the 24th they’re having their 3rd annual Literary Noir Night, featuring author Peter Plate, special guests Craig Clevenger, Joe Gores, Don Herron, and Eddie Muller.

Here’s an interview with Plate by Michelle Tea in the Bay Guardian from 2004, and a review in the Chronicle, from the same year, of his novel Fogtown.

Time machine

I made one of my random pilgrimages to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where I was excited to see that they are displaying the entire series of “The Brown Sisters” photographs by Nicholas Nixon. In this famous work, Nixon — the husband of one of the women — took a portrait of the four sisters once a year from 1975 to 2007. (I suppose he’s still adding to them, but the current exhibit features 33 images.)

The exhibit is part of the museum’s rotating exhibition of its photography collection, Picturing Modernity; the current pictures focus on portraiture, to reflect the travelling Jeff Wall exhibition.

SF Small Biz Briefs: Starbucks Gets Sneaky, Morty’s Gets Beer etc

Planning Issues, A Scarf Drive, Parties, Eats, Openings, Closings, Sales, etc

For an update of local small biz happenings around the bay read on…

Potrero stores bend under Whole Foods’ weight

The Potrero View

In the background, the Good Life Grocery on 20th St., one of the businesses affected by Whole Foods

The Potrero View, one of the city’s best neighborhood newspapers, reported in their January issue that the new Whole Foods store at 17th and Rhode Island is hurting neighborhood businesses. According to the story, restaurants, gorceries and delis saw declines when the giant supermarket opened in September. It goes on to say that some are seeing sales recover “now that ‘new and different’ is over.”

The Potero WF is part of a mixed housing and retail development that takes up an entire city block. It includes 100 spaces of free parking, a valuable commodity in the neighborhood, and offers the usual WF mix of groceries, deli foods and lifestyle crap like clothing, yoga mats and CDs. (I’ve seen this mix criticized, but in fact, Rainbow Co-op does the same, and in fact seems to have even more non-food items.)

Random Tips: North Beach

ginger gelato
– You want to eat in North Beach, but you’re confused by the dizzying array of restaurants. Answer this simple question: glass grapes or pumpkin ravioli?
– Best happy hour- 901 Columbus (at Lombard), $1.50, 4-7. Good food too if beer is not enough.
– Best trivia: Melt, (Filbert & Columbus) 8pm Wednesdays with Matt (you know, fondue? and trivia? Fondivia?)
– Best karaoke: Bow Bow, Grant @ Broadway (OK, this is Chinatown technically…
– Best product of the Chinese/Italian neighborhood: Ginger gelato on Union & grant – pictured
* more info after the jump

Muni Kills Sunset Pedestrian

Details are scarce, but a Muni train ran over a pedestrian in what is being described as a particularly gruesome scene by a Chronicle reporter. I’m not sure but this may be the first muni fatality for 2008, which considering we are just past 2 weeks into the new year, seems early. Especially in light that a pedestrian was struck on the N line just last week.

This quote from the SFGate story is particularly disconcerting: “Janis Yuen, the Municipal Railway spokeswoman, would only confirm that the N Judah train was heading toward downtown and that “a light rail vehicle and a person made contact.”

If being dragged for a couple of blocks under a train is “making contact” then she is right on the money. I hope the total lack of compassion that statement represents is not the majority sentiment at the MTA. But it’s pretty alarming considering Janis is the SPOKESWOMAN.

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