Archive for the ‘Western Addition’ Category

Funky Homosapien Makes Triumphant Return …

Of all the Bay Area hip hop crews, one of the longest lasting, most talented, and least annoying in my humble opinion would have to be The Hieroglyphics crew. Undoubtedly the most famous and funniest of these cats is Del The Funky Homosapien.. and he’s wrappin’ up a big tour and at The Fillmore on Thursday Night.

A guy gutsy enough to flaunt that sort of moniker at the raw & reptilian rap heavyweight gun totin’ guys convention just has to be a good sport. Del , has been a verbally flowin’ fly guy on a genre’ crossing linguistic mission for over a decade, and this time around he’s on a solo type tour, but bringing up & comer openers like A-Plus, Motion Man, Bukue One, and SF’s amazing turntablist hero Mike Relm.

To check out some vids & beat packed tunes in mp3 format, giving ya a taste of Del & the multi-faceted & frenzied mixology that has had scratch-meister Mike Relm collaborating with everyone from the Beastie Boys to a children’s book author… click ever onward my friends. See ya after the JUMP!
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Rock-tober Returns… Some Upcoming Show Hype & MP3z For Next Month

When I attended junior high school, our fave burn out music station called this month Rock-tober!

… and indeed, I will carry on in this noble tradition. That is despite the fact many of these events I’m listing might just qualify as Hip Hop, Folk, Reggae, Bluegrass or whatnot…

Yet no matter yer fave genre, I bet there’s some excuse for ya to turn off that darn screen and get yer badself down to a decent venue of yer choice and catch at least one of these fine autumnal shows…

Amongst the details are dates and venues for acts like Bert Jansch, Mickey Avalon, Lily Allen, Pogues, Sufjan Stevens, The Twilight Singers and many more.

If ya don’t like the hella harvest season hubub I’ve got listed here, I’ve provided a link to a new opt in web service that will automatically scan yer mp3 collection on yer hard drive and start sending ya free & quite handy personalized updates on the particular performers & music that even you actually might like

Don’t say we never did nothing for ya… So here’s how you can easy fa sheezy just keep rawkin in the free world ( plus obligatory service charge & handling fees)
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Weds is 40th Anniversary of Hunters Point Riots

Wednesday Sept 27th 2006 commemorates the 40th Anniversary of The
Hunters Point Riots and the lasting effects of the social
stratification that has long hung over the community.

Brought on by neighborhood outrage over the death of Matthew “Peanut” Johnson, a 16 year old unarmed youth who was shot in the back by the SFPD, the Bayview became a volatile cauldron of tempers that erupted into a disturbance that lasted several days.

That drama may have died down, but the tragic context of the riots, their
impact, and the surrounding events remain as a bleak reminder of a
situation that remains largely unchanged for four decades…

Award winning local documentary filmmaker Kevin Epps ( Straight Outta Hunters Point ) and the
Hunters Point Community Youth Park Foundation present an open discussion of the historical signifigance, and how the situation exists today in the city’s largest African American enclave. The event takes place at 6pm Weds at 200 Middlepoint Road, home of the Hunters Point Youth Park Foundation, where the late Julia “Aunt Bea” Middleton tirelessly served to bring a bright spot into the lives of children raised amidst dilapadated & deprived social infrastructure. To set the tenor of the times, and educate today’s youth who are expected to attend, Epps will show some rarely seen archival news footage of the riots as well, and tape portions of the event for inclusion of a future program on Current TV.

For more background on this issue, and some socio-economic context of race relations in San Francisco in the 60′s til now… read on.
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Dynamic Foot Patrol Crime Map

Thanks to Tharpo for sending this to me today. She got it in her district email newsletter. Yeah, we’re crime-patrol geeks.

Dynamic map of homicides in SF from 2004, 2005.

As of the time I wrote this the Geocities link wasn’t working- for the active Google-maps version.

Slack-key and Sushi

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Being half asian and from Hawai’i, people often ask me if I moved to the Japantown neighborhood because it reminds me of home. The short answer is No. However, this weekend was the Nihonmachi Street Fair, and the billowing aroma of teriyaki BBQ and the strains of slack-key guitar coming from the plaza did flash me back to strolling down the streets of Honolulu. Only with less aloha attire.

The two-day festival hosted musicians and dance troupes representing cultures all around the Pacific Rim. The food vendors set up on Post Street offered tempting tempura and fresh poke, but it was the art stands that I went to see. Vibrant posters done in the traditional woodblock style and raku glazed pottery at one end of the Japan Center plaza, hand beaded evening purses and authentic Samurai swords at the other. I picked up a ginko leaf styled ceramic dish made by seniors at the Kimochi Center for only five dollars, and came this close to getting one of those purses.

If you missed the bargains from the fair vendors, there’s still plenty of reason to do some in-depth browsing through the mall and it’s surrounding shops: My friend Andy frequents the tiny restaurant On The Bridge for flashbacks to his days as a graduate student in Tokyo, Soko Hardware’s basement level is a neighborhood secret for finding unique kitchen tools at an absolute steal, and the Kinokuniya bookstore offers more Manga than you can shake a rolled-up comic book at – and yes, some of it IS in English.

Cruising, and Nopa

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So I had the awkward situation the other night of being at a friend’s house, and she wanted us to all leave so she could go to sleep. Sleep! But it was only midnight! Those early risers, bad partiers the lot of them. So we climbed in the car and started “cruising” SF-style. That means, keep driving around checking out bars because you can’t get parking anywhere. Did a drive/ Fly-by, and it was very crowded. We drove by the “tree place”- Madrone, and it was also crowded. I just found out this neighborhood has a name, and there are some cool combo names out there: Nopa (north panhandle). Have to give props to my friend Kathy who has coined: Lauridio, Laurel Heights & Presidio. I live in North Fishy, Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach. OK, I’m working on that.

Finally got parking on Divisadero and decided to try this new restaurant (or new to us): Nopa. It is of the kind that don’t like large signs saying their name. “Why isn’t there a sign?” my friend asks. We’re like, it’s here, in a slightly different shade of color from the wall paint, above the door, behind foliage. What really got me is that we sat there for a while being un-fed, but getting tempted with things like sea salt, sweet butter, raw turnips. The food eventually came, and the hefty check. It was good, odd, unique experience all its own. Nopa on Divis, isn’t necessarily a “no va” place- had to make that unfortunate pun- but quirky in its own way.

Photos are of the un-food: salt, and butter (butter dipped in candle). We got bored waiting for the food.

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J-Town Favorites

JapanTown While in attendance at the Asian Heritage Street Fair yesterday, I was fondly reminded of all my favorite little hangouts in Japantown. It was a welcome revisitation to some old favorites.

  • Super 7: I hit this awesome store first as I strolled the street fair yesterday. From the toy magazine of the same name, comes a store true to its mission: to bring japanese toy culture and art inspired by it to the masses. Note that they sell the appropriately-timed “I .
  • Kinokuniya: One of my favorite bookstores, with a wide variety of Japanese magazines, books, comics and more. There is also a english-language section. I have also discovered that there is a location down here in the South Bay, which I have been frequenting.
  • Izumiya: One of the few places I know of in the Bay Area that serves one of my favorite Japanese dishes, Okonomiyaki (AKA Japanese Pizza or Pancake).
  • On the Bridge: A nice stop for lunch during your visit to the Japan Center, especially since it is centrally located on the Webster bridge. Tasty typical Japanese lunch fare. Try the curry dishes and the uniquely Japanese pasta dishes. Check out the bookshelf of manga while you wait!
  • Mifune: A superior noodle house, with some of the best noodle dishes around, fast service and pretty good prices. Kids will love the Bullet Train dish. Remember, it’s okay to slurp the noodles!
  • May’s Coffee Shop: I always have to pick up a freshly-made Taiyaki whenever I come to Japantown, and May’s is the place to do it. They make both the traditional red-bean filled Taiyaki, as well as a semi-sweet chocolate filled one that is perfect for kids or the less adventurous. ;) They also have a wide variety of foods that are perfect for people on the go, or just passing through.
  • Japan Video: They rent the most comprehensive collection of Japanese movies, including full-length anime movies and full collections of original series (subtitled for you anime purists). They also have a small collection of Anime-inspired toys and goods for purchase. Look for the big Totoro at the front door.
  • Tokyo Motor Trenz and Auto Freak: these two stores cater to the most discriminating auto mod crowd, with completely useless accessories that just look cool. They also carry cell phone accessories that you probably can’t find anywhere else (blinky lighted phone straps, anyone?). It’s always fun to browse this store.
  • Maruwa Supermarket: Go here for your Japanese snack food fix. Arare, Okashi, Senbei and of course, the popular favorite, Pocky. They also carry a decent supply of typical Japanese grocery products.
  • Japantown Denny’s: I know, I know, it’s Denny’s. What’s really interesting about this location is that it used to be a Japanese movie theatre! It has some interesting Asian-inspired decor, and an interesting menu that includes both Denny’s old standbys alongside some Hawaiian plate lunch-inspired dishes.

Although J-Town is small, it certainly is home to a wonderful selection of restaurants and boutiques. Japan Center is one of my favorite places to visit on a rainy day, since most of it is indoors… keep this in mind for the next storm (and here in SF, we all know that can be at any time)!

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