Archive for May, 2006

Cable Cars

cable carI am in San Francisco fairly often, but I rarely see see cable cars. When I do, there is normally a crowd of tourists around them. Today I happened across one waiting near Market without a lot of people around, and so I took a closer look. They are a lot smaller and older-looking than I remember from when I was a kid. I thought about taking a ride on it since I haven’t been on one for about 12 years, but then I saw that the fare was $5 one-way! I passed, and just took a few pictures before paying $1.50 and jumping on the 21 bus. (more pics after the jump)

Sinkhole Slows Drivers/SJC

Caltrans was out again this morning to repair southbound I-880 as yet another sinkhole had drivers backed up from The Alameda exit to as far back as I could see. The groundwater under this stretch of I-880 near Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport had been seeping up onto the freeway for quite some time causing a traffic hazard. Caltrans finally diverted the water, but now sinkholes are appearing. The first one on May 22nd happened during the afternoon commute.

Speaking of the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, American Airlines just announced it is pulling its San Jose-Tokyo flights. SJC has already lost flights to Taipei, Paris and Toronto leaving San Jose with an International Airport thanks only to the flights to and from Mexico. I have one taxi customer who will be overjoyed because his company will be forced to let him fly out of his preferred airport, SFO.

Out and about: Bair Island

bair_is_sm.jpgI’m supposed to be writing about my favorite bar, but today I took the opposite tack. During lunch I drove from my Redwood City workplace to the Bair Island trail, an oasis of open space squeezed between Hwy. 101 and the bay.

The trail takes about an hour at a brisk walk, so it’s the perfect lunchtime exercise. Today, added to the usual parade of headphone-wearing office workers was a man in his late 30s wearing Army camo, jogging along under a heavy pack. He was bent under the weight of the pack and he was probably the only person out there not enjoying his exercise. I wanted to ask him if he was preparing for active duty or something, but he didn’t look like he had any breath to spare.

It was breezy and beautifully sunny out there. The trail is a three-mile loop along a levee through a salt marsh. There isn’t a whole lot to see unless you have an eye for plants and so on; I’ve seen red-winged blackbirds, and there are always ducks and geese. Just as I neared the end of the trail, I came across a big gold-and-brown gopher snake crossing the path.

Café du Soleil

Cafe du Soleil
I mentioned Café du Soleil in an earlier post, but I went back to try the food and do some work. It’s a nice little place–I’d like someone who’s actually been there to verify this, but I imagine it feels very much like a French neighborhood cafe. It’s very laid-back, very friendly, and very conducive to reading, conversation, and all the other things one should be able to do in a cafe. (And blogging–I’m sitting in Café du Soleil right now.) More on the food after the jump.


Bike Thief in Action

Update 5/26. An eye witness just contacted me. Score! This odd thought struck me yesterday. What if the thief– and/or him and his associates– are reading this? Well be warned, the noose is tightening. I feel like Miss Marple.

I post a lot more detail on my site, but here is a follow-up to this earlier post about the bike theft on Friday. These surveillance shots are sooo noir, I kind of love it. Too bad my bike is being whisked away by anonymous thief man. Also something about the technical age: we can see things that in the past we couldn’t. Sounds simplistic, but, in a way, now seeing this makes it more concrete in my mind.

Finally, a reason to masturbate used to work at Good Vibrations — I lasted over 7 years in the dildo mines — and every year during the month of May we’d bring out the confetti, fanfare and lube for the Masturbate-A-Thon. It’s like a Walk-A-Thon, but your legs don’t get tired unless you’re doing something really cool. Every year, I dreaded it. I was the senior copywriter for the company (among other things), and I’d have to write the same old things about it again and again. I never wanted to masturbate during Masturbate-A-Thon season; fluffing copy was masturbatory enough for me.

But now thinking about it isn’t a job anymore, and it’s interesting in both concept and context. The lore is that it was started when (then) Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders was fired for recommending masturbation as a safer-sex alternative; I don’t know if that’s true, as it turned into a mighty marketing behemoth to garner attention for sex shops, yet served a double purpose of educating people about masturbation being healthy and stuff. But it also was a fun way for people to raise money for a variety of sexual health causes — and to my surprise, year after year, people would get a pledge sheet, take pledges from friends, and wank and make money for nonprofits. Over the years, they’ve raised around $25K for sex-positive nonprofits around the US.

Emergency Community Meeting – Inner Sunset

Next Thursday there will be an Emergency community meeting for the Inner Sunset. Hosting this meeting will be the District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi. District 5 mostly covers the business corridor of the Inner Sunset, and the rest is in District 7. Regardless of district, if you live, eat or shop in the area it’s in your interest to attend this meeting and be heard. There will be a question and answer format.

The meeting’s stated focus (from an email/flyer to residents) is on problems related to “homelessness in the neighborhood and in Golden Gate Park, graffiti and the quality of life”. Also in attendance will be “key officials” from the following departments:

  • Park Police Station
  • Taraval Station
  • Richmond Station
  • District Attorney’s Office
  • Department of Public Works
  • Department of Public Health
  • Recreation and Park Department
  • Department of Human Services

Date: June 1, 2006
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: County Fair Building
Address: Intersection of 9th Ave. and Lincoln Way

Marin’s Book Passage to Novato?

According to a story in yesterday’s Marin Independent-Journal, the county’s largest independent bookstore, Book Passage, may open a large store in the renovated downtown of Novato. (Tip courtesy the Shelf Awareness bookselling newsletter.)

Book Passage has been located in a Corte Madera shopping center for 14 years. It has served as Marin’s version of SF’s major indy bookstore, A Clean Well Lighted Place, hosting major author appearances, book clubs, and a mystery writers conference. But its existence is under a new threat with the planned opening of a Barnes & Noble a block away. (Book Passage also has a branch in San Francisco’s Ferry Building.)

With the possible opening of a store in Novato, Book Passage would open new territory in northern Marin County, close to new housing development — Novato has been the only place for the last 15 years where large tracts of land have been developed. The proposed location is also adjacent to the past and future rail line stretching from Healdsburg to Corte Madera, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit or SMART project.

Best Bars San Francisco

bestbars_logo.gif The latest edition of Esquire magazine has published their list of Esquire’s Best Bars In America that chronicles (in their opinion) the best bars from coast to coast. As you’d expect San Francisco had a pretty decent turn out with 3 of the 51 bars being locals of our own. The bars that got the nod were The Owl Tree, Vesuvio and Zeitgeist. I personally haven’t been to these bars but I have definitely seen my fair share and so have the rest of the crew here at Metroblogging SF.

A bar is different things to different people. They have personalities of their own and sometimes you get the perfect chemistry and it’s love at first sight. Other times you’re jilted like a rebound date with bad breath. And while the favorite hang-outs of the Esquire crew may be just your cup of tea, we’re going to assume that there is more than one way to slam a tequila shooter. We’re going to be sharing our personal favorite watering holes and meet up spots and hopefully you will share a few of your own with us. Sláinte!

Frontyard Art

I was down at the beach the other day having a stroll and came across this very homemade looking piece of art adorning someones front walkway. It always fascinates me where a community draws the line in nudity and public art. For instance this would never fly in just about any mid-western suburb. Soccer moms with torches and pitchforks would’ve descended within 10 minutes of its, pardon the pun, erection to protect the innocence of their virgin eyed children and uphold the decency of the community. I so don’t miss that place in the least. So I say rock on San Francisco with yo’ bad nude self!

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