Archive for July, 2005

United Colors of PETA

United Colors 005-1An organized and publicized PETA protest took place today during lunch hours in front of the Benetton store on Stockton Street today.

Protestors were stripped to their skin and painted their bodies with colors likened to the “United Colors of Benetton” advertising campaign.

This protest is actually touring worldwide to get the message out about Benetton’s use of Australian Wool. PETA claims that Australian farmers use the practice of mulesing (shearing off skin to prevent maggot/fly infestation), as well as live export trade which apparently transports the sheep in poor, cramped conditions.

You can see PETA’s web site targeting Benetton at United Cruelty of Benetton.

A counterpoint to the mulesing claims can be found at Wool is Best.

Thanks to SFlickr member and friend Danny Dawson for the above photo.

But Does It Heart You Back?

Via SFGate’s Culture Blog, an new show at The Canvas Gallery in the Inner Sunset called “I Heart SF:”

heartsf.bmp San Francisco is one of the world’s most visually recognized cities, from the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to its signature cable cars. However, some would argue that the truly artistic city images and people are perceived only by the locals. This exhibition seeks to capture San Francisco moments, recognizable only to city residents, as we all come together to celebrate the great city in its many different lights and dimensions.

Definitely to be checked out. Sample artwork is on the Chronblog site. And if you’re headed to the Sunset, may I suggest making a night of it and grabbing dinner at Eldos? It’s the most underappreciated brewery in the City. Tasty beer, extensive menu, great atmosphere, all in a neighborhood with at least a shot at parking or just easy Muni access. See you there!

Another place we say “Welcome Home”

San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood embodies much of the best that urban existence has to offer. It’s sunny (in a foggy city), it’s welcoming, has good food and drink, and is open really, really late (for an American city).

Castro Street, San Francisco

Known for the gay bars, there’s much more in the Castro, for straights and kids too. From the huge palm trees planted on the median of Market Street between Castro and Church Steets to the children’s playground and adjacent dog-run and human park at Duboce, there’s lots to see and do.

Highly recomended is taking the ‘F’ MUNI trolley line, comprised of historic vehicles bought from other cities. My favorites are the “trolleys of Milano”, noisy wooden cars which have more class and character than anything shipped out by Boeing or Breda. Horridy ugly modern cars, those. The ‘F’ line goes all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf, which despite derision by the locals, is a great place to mellow out, watch sea lions, eat some wonderful calimari (or bangers, at the near-by Fiddler’s Green (1333 Columbus Ave. @ Beach St., +1.415.441.9758), watch the “polar bear” swimmers in the bay, wonder about what it would be like to visit (and eat at) Forbes’ Island, etc.

From the corner of Castro & Market it’s a very short walk to the Randall Junior Museum (for kids) and over the hill into the Haight-Ashbury. Actually, it’s only a short walk up and down into Noe Valley, although I find much less call to do that these days.

I’m typing this in a caf

Santa Cruz Guerilla Open Air Theater

Drivein-Field It’s summer. Time to get out of the City and enjoy one of those days above seventy degrees. If a scenic drive and a treat at the end is your thing, I’d recommend the Santa Cruz Guerilla Drive-In in Santa Cruz.

Guerilla Drive-In is an outdoor movie theatre under the stars that springs up unexpectedly in the fields and industrial wastelands. Beyond showing great movies and bringing a broad community together, part of our mission is helping reclaim public space and transforming our urban environment into the joyful playground it should be.

…write the organizers. There’s a Tribe, if you’re into that kind of thing, and a mailing list to keep abreast of changes and places on the website. Check it out, it’s worth it.

SF Podcasting

Since I moved to San Francisco in November of last year I’ve dove into the no car lifestyle head first. This means, like a lot of us, I spend a lot of time walking across the city or sitting on Muni day after day. That’s a whole heaping lot of empty time that needs to be filled. About 20% of the time I just veg out and listen to music but for the rest I prefer to listen to audiobooks, usually from Audible to pass the time and get caught up on my “reading”.

I never got into the podcasting revolution mainly because I hate the term podcasting but also because it’s been really hard to find quality stuff. But lately with the built-in iTunes integration it’s become painfully easy to load up your iPod with really bad content and distill it down to a decent set of subscriptions. So I’ve been bouncing around looking for good podcasts about San Francisco and I finally found a really good one. It’s called Sparkletack and it’s the best one I’ve found so far about SF. It’s primarily made up of short pieces about really neat-o tidbits about the city, read by a very mellow host. It’s so mellow it took me a few episodes to really get into it but now I’m hooked. My only complaint is that the show is too short and I have to keep stopping my walk and butsing out the iPod to hurry up and get to the next one since Apple doesn’t have a “play all” in the podcast user interface yet. *fix that guys, please*

Check out the Sparkletack Website with show notes and photos or just go subscribe with this direct iTunes link or check it out on Odeo.

Please leave a comment if you know of other good podcasts about the bay area. Emphasis on good.

When not in Jerusalem…

Many years ago I had the pleasure of visiting Israel. I was a young boy, and it was my first experience with easy purchase of beer (whenever I bought falafel from a street vendor). Perhaps the perfect combination on a sweltering day.

Finding good middle-eastern food is much harder than it ought to be, IMHO. But try as I might, I know of only two places which seem at all authentic and are satisfying to me. The one closest to home is Truly Mediterranean, in the Mission.

truly mediterranean, mission, san francisco

The falafel here is stunning, always freshly-made (and not sitting around for days at a time, like some of those other places we all know about). But that’s not even my main infatuating with the place. The lamb shawerma, wrapped in a thin lavosh bread with broiled tomatoes, seasoned onions, and finger-lickingly good tahini sauce, is what brings me back again and again. (They do a chicken shawerma on Tuesdays & Fridays, which is good, but nothing like the lamb.) Their kefta kabab (seasoned ground lamb and sirloin) is charbroiled and served like the shawerma; also great.

Vegetarians are welcome too. Their Mediterranean combo plate has falafel, hummus, baba, tabouleh, cucumber salad, dolmas, feta cheese, seasoned onions, tahini sauce, and pita bread. All are great. The hummos (garbonzo bean dip, although it’s way better than it sounds in English) is stunning.

I haven’t covered the entire menu, but that ought to be enough to get you running on over. Oh, wait! I almost forgot. Their garlic mint yoghurt drink just blows me away, and I hated the description for years and avoided it. My mistake. A life without garlic yoghurt drink is a life not lived.

Truly Mediterranean / 3109 16th Street @ Valencia St. / +.1.415.252.7482 (PITA)


Early morning calm in San Jose.
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The stage is set, roads are closed, banners are hung, and downtown San Jose is ready for the race!
If you plan on attending the Grand Prix, or if you are just passing by on your way to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, leave yourself extra time. It all starts tomorrow but traffic is already reaching gridlock in some areas.
And remember the temperature in the South Bay can be much warmer than San Francisco!

One Bush

Shutterbugs of San Francisco!:

It seems that city security guards continue to be a thorn in the side of regular people who just want to shoot photographs in our fair city just yesterday.

SFlickr member Thomas Hawk tells of his recent run-in at One Bush street:

I was shooting some photos of One Bush St… when their security guard came out… to ask me to stop taking photos of the building. He said it was illegal. I moved to the sidewalk and continued taking photos and he again asked me to stop. When I told him I was on a public street sidewalk he said that actually they owned the sidewalk and that I was going to have to stop taking photographs.

Thomas continues to tell of the security guard’s efforts to block his lens while he continued to shoot photos of the building (a lovely result of his efforts is pictured above).

Word of this incident downtown has snowballed, with coverage from BoingBoing, and spawning a photo walk/protest this Saturday beginning at One Bush as well as a One Bush photo contest to win an iTunes gift certificate.

If you have a camera and happen to be near One Bush, feel free to snap a photo. It’s a beautiful building and we should not be barred from taking pictures of it.

And All Before You Peel Your Lazy Asses Out Of Bed


This morning I ran my training run before this Sunday’s San Francisco Marathon. It was short, easy, and meant to keep me loose before the big day. No more long mileage. No more speed work. If I’m not ready now, too late. All that’s left is frequent foot massaging to stave off the start of plantar fasciitis; carb-loading (possibly the reason I got into this to begin with); race strategy-planning; and, of course, healthy amounts of panicking and self-doubt.

Regular readers might recall that I started training back in January with a group called SF Fit, the local branch of a national marathon training program not affiliated with any charity (I’m all for charity, but for me, the added stress of raising $3k AND running 26.2 mi was just not my bag – not now). Along the way, I ran my first 12k and Bay to Breakers, have run the Golden Gate Bridge more times than I care to remember – which has been added back to the Marathon course for the first time since national security concerns took it out – and even gained enough confidence to start looking ahead to new challenges. Especially new challenges with jewelry at the finish line.

Now on my 3d pair of shoes since January, I’ve logged over 244 miles training with the team over 26 weeks as well as, conservatively, another 225 weekday training miles. There are just 26.2 miles left to go.


And you can be a part of it. Check out the race’s Spectator Guide for “official” cheer areas – unofficial runs, I presume, can be found along the entire route – see the map above – chances are, we’ll be passing your house, wherever you live.

For those of you really dedicated to Metroblogging authors, the magic of txt msg technology enables you to track your favorite blogger – er – runner. (You could say this is just another example of “hey cool, but why?” technological advances, but where’s the fun in that?)

So come out and cheer on the runners in one of the most challenging (read: hilly) and early (read: ungodly early) marathons in the country. I’ll be running by 5:00am. See you there!

And If Garlic Ain’t Yo’ Thang, But You Still Like Produce


Head up to Courtland for the 33rd Annual Pear Fair!

It’s quite a trek, but always fun. The event features all things pear – from pies to juice – a parade, classic car show, one year there was a llama, and arts & crafts booths.

There’s also a 5mi or 10mi Fun Run through shady pear orchards and along country roads (which this year I’ve traded in for something a little longer, but I’ll miss it!).

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