Archive for the ‘Sunset’ Category

Surfrider Fundraiser Tonight

Looking for something to do tonight after work? Why not head on out to the Park Chalet, it’s kind of foggy so wear something warm. There will be live music and fish tacos, cold beer. All the best of the park chalet has to offer.

When: Happy hour 6pm – 9pm (but open late)
What: Donate $5 to our organization and enjoy drinks and appetizers at happy hour prices; $3 pints and $5 apps for extended happy hour (till 9pm). Also enjoy the musical stylings of Polemo.

Music: John Adams on Finding his Voice

If you happen to have a copy of the August 25 New Yorker, don’t miss this article by the composer John Adams, in which he discusses finding his compositional voice back in the 1970s and early 1980s. (Check out the keywords they tagged the article with: Adams, John; Composers; Memoirs; “Harmonium”; de Waart, Edo; Studebaker; San Francisco, California.) The abstract begins:

PERSONAL HISTORY about the writer’s years as an aspiring composer in San Francisco. … The writer’s plan was to live as a proletarian worker by day and an avant-garde composer at night. He worked unloading clothes from shipping containers. He wrote no music for a year and began falling into a depression. … [So he soon got a job at] the San Francisco Conservatory. The writer taught there for ten years, by fits and starts finding his voice as a composer.

On a personal note, I have a friend who tried that proletarian approach too, though without the Marxist pretensions; he lasted on the Oakland waterfront just long enough for a hernia to force him to do something else. He’s gone into a profession that is similarly friendly to composition: freelance software coding.

If you don’t have a copy of the issue, this 15-minute episode of the The New Yorker Out Loud features John Adams discussing his career, and in the process he hits all the main points in the article. Plus there’s background music. (Phrygian Gates!) Now I’m never going to be able to go past the south windmill at the western end of Golden Gate Park without thinking of John Adams, as he apparently lived about two blocks from there.

The Place has Gone to the Dogs…

My wee one and I attended the monthly gathering of the “San Francisco Chihuahua Meetup” on Sunday, June 1st. The meeting takes place regularly on the first Sunday of the month, at Stern Grove. (A change in day is tentative for the next two months while the Stern Grove Festival runs on Sundays)

This was my first visit to the function and I made an entertaining error in parking and location. I have only been to Stern Grove once and did not realize the size of the place!

I parked my Zipcar at the front entrance, grabbed paws and started the descent into the park. At once, I realized, cars can indeed drive down into Stern Grove. Oops! Oh well, I thought, it’s a nice day for a walk. As the long hill wound down, I started thinking, “I may have to extend the car reservation!”

We walked through a little girl’s party, passed a large, old-fashioned house where a graduation party was happening… and then we entered the concert arena. By this time, I’m feeling a little “Alice in Wonderland.”

Two women were in the concert area with their small dogs. We stopped and talked to them, and they pointed us further down the path to where the rest of the small dogs were having their party.

Out of the concert area, I chuckled to myself EVEN MORE as I was greeted by an even LARGER parking lot I didn’t know about, closer to the event I just walked a mile to get to… oh well, nice day for a walk.

We were finally there! And there were just dozens of chihuahuas everywhere, as well as dogs big, medium and small. Winks and I met Bobby, a fluffy mop dog, and a woman who was nice enough to drive us back to the car I had parked miles away. Winks sniffed some butts, got a new shirt and we got the car back to it’s spot in the Castro with 2 minutes to spare!

It was a good day!

View of the San Francisco Chihuahua Meetup!

A Potential New Fuzzy Friend

Abandoned Baths: Fleishhaker

Neat local history tidbit, found via Eye on the Blogs (subscribe: very good!), photo set of the Fleishhaker Baths, an abandoned (since 1971) baths along Ocean Beach. Now, it’s a squatter haven. My reaction to the photos was- god, that place needs a good ole wipedown. Guerrilla cleaning, vs. guerrilla gardening?

I’m not too clear on the location. Either are other people, this Amazon review of a book of beaches (strangely, by a former professor of mine) Lencek – and co-author Bosker- mistakenly place the bathhouse in Oakland somewhere. Anybody visited it and know a more precise location?

San Francisco Chihuahua Meet-up!

Calling all tiny dogs!

Tomorrow, Sunday, June 1st, at Stern Grove in San Francisco, from 12pm to 2pm, you will be able to sniff butts your own size a plenty!

A group of chihuahua-lovers on are holding a gathering of chihuahua’s, mixes and their cousins for all to enjoy.

A new post tomorrow will contain pictures of my own tiny companion enjoying the festivities.

Here are some helpful links:

San Francisco Chihuahua Meetup on Craigslist

Directions to Stern Grove

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 8

Who says you can’t get anything for free?

Okay, so it’s not free for Warren Hellman. But thanks to his pile of money and musical obsession, “Hardly Strictly Bluegrass” is FREE to everyone else in San Francisco and beyond.

On October 27th, 2001, the free “Hardly Strictly Bluegrass” started it’s first year in Golden Gate Park.
The dates for it’s 8th year will be October 3rd-5th, 2008. It’s anticipated to have nearly 70 acts and approximately 100,000 spectators… all for free.

When I arrived in San Francisco 8 years ago, I sought out a variety of events to get to know my new home. Normally, I wouldn’t imagine myself going to something “Bluegrass”-related. (Let’s just say “Slayer” is one of my favorite bands.) But, I was in the park, it was a nice day, and there was some free music. A few hours later, I was surprised to say it was a great day and I found I actually liked Bluegrass!

The same time in 2002 , I received a call from a former co-worker from Boston, then living in LA. He was coming up to this brand-new festival to see Gillian Welch. So, I headed out to the festival intentionally this time.

As the new line-up for number 8 was announced recently, I realized I had gone every year since it’s birth. In that time, a lot has changed, my first ‘Bluegrass’ companion went back to Boston. In the past 8 years, my family has grown and now my husband and chihuahua come to the festival with me. And I actually have a few Gillian Welch albums in my iPod now!

A sunny day in the park broadened my musical horizons forever. And this year, the sunny day in the park is meeting me half-way, featuring one of my long-time favorites.

After a collaborative album with Alison Krauss came out late last year, I’d been crossing my fingers… and my wish has come true!

Robert Plant is playing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 8!

Below is a partial list of performers.

It’s going to be a great year!

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss feat. T-Bone Burnett
Loudon Wainwright III
Gogol Bordello
Hazel Dickens
Bonnie Prince Billie
Asleep at the Wheel
Mike Farris & The Roseland Rythm Revue
The Del McCoury Band
Bad Livers
Robert Earl Keen
Iris Dement
Jerry Jeff Walker
The Desert Rose Band
Earl Scruggs
Greg Brown

Cal Academy Wins Award of Excellence!

The Green Roof Industry Association has awarded the new Cal Academy of Sciences with an award of excellence for their green roof installation. The new Academy opens on September 27, 2008. The living roof is a key part of the platinum LEED certification the museum has accomplished. From the southeast view the building truly blends in to the landscape. From the west, see picture below, still a sight to behold.

The roof also retains 2 million gallons of rainwater, preventing 70% of the rainwater that falls on the roof from becoming runoff. The water that does run off the roof is collected in basement-level cisterns and reused for roof irrigation. No potable water will be used to irrigate the living roof.

The roof covers an ambitious 197,000 sq. ft. to a depth of 6-7 inches and cost $17 per sq. ft. In conjunction with the building’s other innovative sustainable features, the living roof contributes to many of the anticipated LEED® points, which, when achieved, will make the Academy the world’s largest LEED® Platinum -certified public space


Photo Credit: Peter Kaminski. H/t to Inhabitat.


Answer to Prison Over-crowding?

Could it be good, old-fashioned … humiliation?

It’s a rite of passage, a fraction of the cost of items, it’s prevention is a billion-dollar industry… it’s SHOP-LIFTING.

One grocery store in West Portal has decided to offer two choices to folks who purloin their goods…

1) Talk to the police


2) Be openly mocked

I had quite a time joking with the shop-keep
about the woman in picture number 2!

She is clearly saying, “Well, I would… neeeevvvver…”

Apparently, she WOULD, and was caught shoveling handfuls of apples into her purse.
She was caught… red-handed… (sorry…)

Been Caught Stealing

A More Affordable, Rockin’ Good Time

The first “San Francisco Outside lands Festival” is named for the barren wasteland of the late 1800’s previously covering the Western side of the city. Three days of music are to fill Golden Gate Park’s Polo Fields, Speedway Meadow, and Lindley Meadow from August 22 to 24, 2008.

The festival promises some choice acts, such as: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Radiohead, Primus, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals and many, many more. However, when tickets were first released almost a month ago, the only choice was to buy 1 ticket for the whole event, for a whopping $225.50!

Well, fear not less-than-wealthy concert-goers!

The festival announced yesterday that starting May 1st, at 10am, single day tickets will be available at their website for a less painful $85 each.

SF Outsidelands poster

My Cup of Joe

Peets @Embarcadero Station

As I exited the Embarcadero BART/Muni station, contemplating my public transportation frustrations, I noticed the spectacle pictured above.

At first glance, I thought nothing of it. I remembered the construction walls were up for the better part of the year. Once I realized the change in scenery, I hopped down the escalator (I was going up) to snap a a picture.

I don’t know what compelled me. Maybe it was the thought of looking forward to a nice Cup of Joe after expelling myself from one of my most frustrating morning rituals: dealing with the N-Judah on a daily basis. (I mean, come on! How many people can you fit in one train during rush hour?)

It seemed like the light at the end of a very long tunnel. And then I thought of how much better life would be if Muni would invest just as much into running their trains on time, or having an adequate amount of trains during rush hour. Of course, being from the South (as in Southern California), I really can’t complain about public transportation. Muni is by far the best in comparison.

Still, I really do despise the N-Judah with every fiber of my being. But, the bright side is that after waiting up to 20 minutes* for a 30 minute* ride in a sardine-packed streetcar, I’ll get to wait in what I expect to be a very long line of aggrevated train riding coffee drinkers. Oh joy! [/Sarcasm]

The real bright side is that this might mean the lines will probably lessen a bit aboveground!

Check out the San Francisco Business Times article if you’re not hip to the BART/Peets news.

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