Archive for March, 2008

Friday Lunch

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Nothing seems so decadent as a 1 1/2 hour Friday afternoon lunch in North Beach. Just sayin’. Is it the weekend yet?

Pictured: from La Gondola at Columbus & Jackson

Bourbon and Branch Updates

We have a follow-up to the news about Bourbon and Branch‘s Todd Smith stepping down from his management position…

Smith’s successors are Joel Baker and Yanni Kehagiaras (pictured above), a couple of local comptetion-winning bartenders (or as B&B calls them, “Bar Chefs”), both who have been working at B&B for a while now.

As mentioned previously, Smith remains connected with Bourbon and Branch’s Beverage Academy, participating in upcoming classes Cocktails 101 and A Taste of Absinthe.

Rumor has it that Bourbon and Branch is polishing up a new “secret” room dubbed “Russell’s Room”, occupying a space that was formerly J.J. Russell’s cigar shop during prohibition in the 1920’s. Hm, how many secret rooms can a speakeasy have?

Photo courtesy of Bourbon and Branch

Five Long Years – Iraq War Protest

Starting early this morning hundreds of people gathered around the top of Market street and began a protest march on this fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. I caught up with the march as they were held back at 3rd and Market. Riot police lined up across all four intersections and held a line, not allowing any traffic to pass. Things seems pretty peaceful, with people laying in the street. There were chants of “Occupation is a crime, from Iraq to Palestine”.

On a personal note, I celebrated my daughters fifth birthday this weekend. You see, she was born two days before the bombs started dropping on Baghdad. She now knows what war is, at least in a five year olds sensibility.

And on the subject of children, Bush is holding fast to his position that we are on course in this war.

UPDATE: There will be a gathering at Civic Center at 5pm this evening. Then a March into the Mission.

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More pics after the jump

Assembly race debate tonight

The Assembly seat for California’s Assembly District 3 which includes the northern half of San Francisco, throughout Marin County and into Southern Sonoma is up for grabs on June 3rd. Incumbent Carole Migden and her challengers Mark Leno and Joe Nation are scheduled to begin the verbal sparring at 6:30 pm at 200 McCallister tonight, Tuesday March 18th. The UC Hastings Alumni Reception Center will host the second San Francisco debate of these 3 Democratic contenders since a prior appearance at The Potrero Democratic Club earlier this month. Since that debate, after announcing raising $250,000, SF Police Commissioner, Joe Veronese Alioto pulled out of his longshot bid.

And then there were three…

Leno, the leading challenger is a popular former SF Supervisor, and newly termed out assembly member, who has made waves for challenging the supposed “safe” seat that Migden has held for years. The race has made for some uncomfortable choices in bedfellows as the two political rivals both emerged from the same party with similar strong support in the local LGBT community. Last year when Leno announced his candidacy, it sent ripples through political circles, and an endorsement of Migden over Leno nearly erupted into a fracas at a Harvey Milk Democratic Club meeting. Joining the acrimonious fray for District 3’s seat is Joe Nation, a former state lawmaker who is now a Stanford educator andf who announced his candidacy last month.

Leno is hungry for more power in Sacramento, and has painted Migden as unethical, which he highlights by pointing to campaign fundraising issues, including Migden’s litigation against the State’s Fair Political Practices Committee for refusing to let her tap into an additional million bucks she wants to use in her campaign. Migden in a separate case, has also reportedly agreed today to a $350000 fine for 89 violations of the Political Reform Act. The fine is a record for a sitting lawmaker.

One can see some micro parallels to the mega Obama-Clinton feud currently splitting Dems nationally as upstart Leno, who got his political start working under Migden, now sets sparks flying as a “young turk” challenging conventions & Migden’s tenure. It should be a somewhat interesting, if tempestuous exchange of ideas & ideology no doubt bubbling under heaps of hubris.

BYOBW 2008 IS ON!

Bring Your Own Big Wheel!

8TH ANNUAL ‘BYOBW’
EASTER SUNDAY
MARCH 23, 2008 – 5 PM
VERMONT STREET @ 20th, SF
BIG WHEEL RACE
FREE OUTDOOR EVENT
the race is no longer down lombard street!!
BIG PEOPLE ON KIDS’ TOYS
NO RUBBER WHEELS
NO REGISTRATION
HAND-MADE PRIZES
FUN

Out of all the crazy San Francisco events I attended last year none is closer to my heart than the Bring Your Own Big Wheel race. Unfortunately the crowds were so huge last year that Lombard Street is now sadly off limits. This year has been moved to an even windier street! Vermont St is the new location and this Sunday at 5pm is the start. The official website has details of past events. You can also check out my photos from the last event. Hope to see you there!

Best of Craigslist: Remember Diversity

Here’s a thought-provoking story to wrap up the day… a Craigslist rant about a bit of reverse discrimination in The Castro:

You, the waiter in the castro……

So there we were, coming in to eat at your establishment. You, my oh-so perfect little queen waitron were almost but not quite able to hide your dismay at this odd group of people. I mean, really, at least three of us were clearly from somewhere in the midwest.

Given that three of us were also obviously dykes, or at least local weirdoes, you might have caught on that we were entertaining visitors.

But no, you struggled masterfully, albeit unsuccessfully, to hide your disdain for our friends from Ohio. Your undertone snide comments were not unnoticed, my friend. Next time, make those comments while you’re in the kitchen. Saying things like “you people are horrible” in a perky bright voice is bad form, to say the least. Fucking unforgivably rude is more like it.

For your information, miss i’m-too-young-to-remember-the-plague-years, that ancient (over 50) woman from Ohio who ordered too much food and was loud and annoying to you comes out here to meet up with us because we took care of her son while he was dying a dozen years ago. The same son she drove to New York so he could attend the first year of Harvey Milk High. The same son she came out to once he was 16.

The son who died a month before his 22nd birthday.

She’s been at the forefront of what passes for a gay rights movement in Ohio, and has stood up so that pathetic little twinks like you can walk down the street in your aberzombie and felch uniforms and hold hands.

And even with what you acted like, she still tipped you 20%, because she remembers her son working in a similar restaurant, and his struggles with money.

Next time someone who doesn’t fit your personal tastes comes into your restaurant, perhaps you might try some compassion, or even just some human respect. Remember the word diversity? It applies to you and your tiny narrow mind as well.

We like to think that we live in one of the most diverse and open-minded cities in the world, but things like this still do happen, unfortunately.

Anonymous Protests the Church of Scientology

Anonymous Protests the Church of Scientology

While most people were enjoying a pint at the parade or getting dressed for the Brides of March, hundreds of members of the group Anonymous descended upon the Church of Scientology headquarters in San Francisco to protest what they feel is a cult that has been given religious and tax exempt status. They also believe the CoS has committed many crimes including extortion and murder just to name a few. The protest loosely coincides with the birthday of church founder and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard which was on March 13th. The protest was very orderly and while multiple attempts were made to give brochures and pamphlets to the Scientologists entering and exiting by the side door, none took the material as long as I was there. It was by far the best protest I’ve been to in a very long time for the entertainment factor alone. I mean how often do you get to see Cthulu in a party hat?

Since some people couldn’t make it out I’m including a list of further reading materials I received from some of the protestors.

www.enturbulation.org
www.xenu.net
www.xenu-directory.net
www.whyaretheydead.net
www.youfoundthecard.com
Operation Freakout
Operation Snow White
Fair Game Policy
Lisa McPherson
Scientology and Me

I swear to whatever deity I need to though if I never hear Rick Astley again it will be too soon…

Click here for more photos of the protest

Hell’s House Band in Sorrow Town Tonight


While I can hear the bagpipes & marching bands from the St. Patty’s Parade in the background, I know that fans of down n’ dirty white trash rock n roll should be heading over to the Alcoholocaust showcase at Thee Parkside tonight to catch a bad batch of musical acts yer momma woulda warned ya about if she’d ever heard of ‘em.

Appearing at this sordid soiree at Thee Parkside is Mark Curry’s group based outta the Sacto area called Hell’s House Band. Curry, a tall grizzled tatooed biker/model lookin’ dude, spent a few years on Virgin being pimped alongside labelmates like Janet Jackson & Lenny Kravitz, yet was found less on radio playlists, and more likely hanging out in bars at dawn with his pals in punk bands like NOFX.

I’ve thrown in an mp3 below for you to familiarize yourself with his latest musical direction…

Appearing after Curry’s band is a headlining set from Bay Area locals Sorrow Town Choir who are out supporting their second CD “Espinas de la Vida”. Their heathen blend of raw rootsy mid tempo tunes takes it’s cues from the garage rock greats & stadium seasoned sinners alike. If you don’t mind hearing a lil’ whiskey burned Skynyrd riff & a Nick Cave influence or two blended into your indie dirges, this could be a fine show to sit in the shadows & enjoy tonight.

Also on the bill Kemosabe & an acoustic set from Scott Quay of October Allied

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Events galore this weekend!

St. Patricks Day Parade This weekend is shaping up to be a great kick off to all this extra daylight we have back! We’ve got the St. Patricks Day Parade if you like watching brightly dressed people stuck in traffic. The parade kicks off at 2nd and Market at 11:30 and travels down to Civic Center Plaza where hilarity, shows and drinking will ensue.

If green really isn’t your color you can head north to the Napa Valley Mustard Festival and try the mustards of the world. I personally haven’t been to this even but a few of my neighbors go every year and give the event two big thumbs up. This one’s a bit pricey though with tickets costing $35 at the door but if you want to avoid the green beer and partygoers this one might be for you. [upcoming]

Always a Bridesmaid and never a Bride? Saturday is also the 10th annual Brides of March which is run by the San Francisco Cacophony Society. All you really need is a wedding dress to participate.

As the sun sets hordes of avid photographers will be heading to 111 Minna for the Flickr Turns 4 party which starts at 6pm and goes till 9pm. [upcoming]

Anonymous And my personal favorite is the Church of Scientology protest starting at 11am. Grab your Guy Fawkes and Optimus Prime masks and head to the corner of Montgomery and Washington for hours of Rickrolling fun and mayhem and if the cops come you can just run into the St. Patricks Day crowd. More info on the protest.

If you need a primer on why the CoS is being protested Laughing Squid has a very nice comprehensive listing of videos that you should check out when you have an hour or so to kill.

SF’s Garden Show Blossoms

Anticipation grows for the opening of the San Francisco Garden Show, whose opening night party is tonight. All this past weekend, and for months prior, the bright stars of the Northern California garden design scene have been prepping for the annual show at the Cow Palace. The crews have moved tons of earth & built some beautiful works that last for mere days. Here’s last year’s winning garden designers Organic Mechanics (pictured with Show Producer Kay Estey at last year’s opening night fete’. )

For those interested in a behind the scenes look, one of the designers in this year’s show, Michelle Derviss, has started a Garden Porn blog that details some of the many hundreds of hours of preparation that went into her exhibit, including battling “Bio-Walls”, etc…

The show opens to the public Wednesday morning March 12 and is open everday until 8pm except the closing day Sunday, when it finally shutters in the late afterrnoon…

more info at http://www.gardenshow.com/sf/

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