Another One Bites The Dust

Condos Slated to Replace 24th and Folsom's La Parrilla Grill

SocketSite has the scoop:

A plan to raze the two-story Mission District building on the southeast corner of Folsom and 24th Streets, currently home to La Parrilla Grill, and construct a five-story building designed by Natoma Architects with 20 modern condos over 2,800 square feet of new ground floor commercial space has been submitted to Planning for review.

As proposed, a central courtyard would divide the top four floors of the building into two separate masses, but the façade along 24th Street would rise a continuous 55 feet.

We’re certainly starting to see a lot of high-end development along 24th.  What this trend means for 24th won’t be known for years, however, as an anonymous tipster writes, it’ll be hard to point fingers at the usual crop of developers for sullying another cultural corridor:

This is interesting, especially because businesses along 24th Street on occasion actually own the buildings they inhabit.  So if 24th Street turns into Valencia, it’s hard to place blame on the usual suspects.


Beauty in Bayview

Bayview Rises: The Illuminated & Animated Mural of Islais Creek

For those of you who don’t spend evenings in the Bayview or driving along 280 at night, it’s quite possible you missed the recent addition of a illuminated mural along Islais Creek.  And you really should check it out.  The piece by Haddad|Drugan towers over the bay and is one of the most impressive pieces of public art we’ve seen in some time:

Bayview Rise is an illuminated animated mural located at the Port of San Francisco’s Pier 92 grain silos on Islais Creek. The project weaves together iconic imagery reflecting the Bayview neighborhood’s changing economy, ecology, and community. Its large-scale graphics will make its primary images visible from a distance, while views up close will reveal the abstract patterns from which those images are composed. In the night sky, the imagery is animated with lighting effects to allow viewers to enjoy the work throughout the day. The artwork is conceived as a gateway into Bayview Hunters Point and will be visible and changing from day to night.

As Bernalwood notes, the mural’s “changing imagery is not projection, but all paint and the different pictures revealed by the color of the light directed at the paint.”

[Photos: Robert Burns, SF Arts Commission | Video: Bernalwood]

The Kids Are Alright

The She's Optimistic Take on SF's Changing Music Scene

The Bay Bridged recently ran a great profile on The She’s, the 19-year-old pop rockers who’ve been playing in SF since 7th grade.  The whole piece is a compelling read, but their take on the whole “Is the SF music scene dying?” conversation is a particularly refreshing change of pace:

The She’s approach the shifting scenes in San Francisco with such a level-headed cool that it makes me wonder how anyone could question the fact that the music scene is alive. For all the talk of locals and transplants, New San Francisco versus Old San Francisco, here are four artists, born and raised right here in the city, who understand its dynamic nature and see nothing less than opportunity.

Hannah continues, “Maybe certain figures are leaving right now, but that just gives room for more. Part of being a figure of the San Francisco music scene is inspiring people like us. That’s how we were inspired.”

“It’s like passing the torch in a way,” Eva agrees. “I don’t really think of it as abandoning San Francisco as much as giving space for the new headliner, the new ‘San Francisco Band.’ Like this is the San Francisco music scene. It used to be like five names that were listed off every time, and they’re all great bands and they’re still great bands, but it needs a fresh breath of air.”

Read on.

SF Envy

No One Likes the A's (Not Even Oakland)

Things aren’t looking so bad for the Athletics.  They ended last year’s regular season with one of the best records in baseball (even if the playoffs were a bit of a disappointment), and they just wrapped up spring training by beating up the Giants.  They might even get to stay in Oakland!

Alas, the Facebook Data Science team recently analyzed which teams are liked most in every county in America and found our frenemies across the Bay are preferred by exactly no one:

Three teams’s fans make up a plurality of zero counties, anywhere in the U.S.: The New York Mets, the Toronto Bluejays, and the Oakland Athletics. 

This makes sense. Two of those clubs are just across the water from another team with another, more successful franchise. (Those waters would be the East River and San Francisco Bay, respectively.) The other is in Canada and therefore not a part of this American map.

That’s right, even Alameda and Contra Costa counties couldn’t get behind the A’s.  Rough.

[Full Map] [via The Atlantic Cities]

That Didn't Take Long

Leland Yee: The "Official" Shirt

Billing itself as the “official t shirt of Leland Yee scandal 2014,” (“2014” being necessary in case there’s another Leland Yee scandal in the future, when he’s caught smuggling cigarettes to other prisoners or whatever) Valencia’s many street peddlers are already pushing Yee #swag on the throngs of lightly amused cool kids.  And it’s really a work of art: “FREE YEE” spelled out in hundreds, piles of guns, hella danke hc 420, a profile of New Jersey, and Leland’s shit-eating grin.  All it’s missing is a bowl of shrimp and a panda making it rain.

Car: 1, Bakery: 0

Motorist Rudely Converts Joey & Pat's Bakery Into a Drive-Thru

Or drive-in.  Either way, the front facade of the underused Italian bakery was smashed up by a Lexus late last night.  Via the Chronicle:

In San Francisco, a Lexus with two women inside crashed into Joey and Pat’s Italian Bakery and Cafe at the corner of 21st and Folsom streets in the Mission District about 2:30 a.m. The women fled on foot.

And let’s hope they reopen soon. While not a sexy business by Mission foodie standards, we’re told their scones and coffee are pretty damn good.

UPDATE: This story just got a whole lot worse: “All of the tenants will have to move out,” an insurance agent told Mission Local.  The damage was so severe that the abandoned car had to be left in the building as emergency support beams were erected, as “removing the car prematurely could cause severe damage.”

UPDATE II: Police are saying that there’s a possibility the driver hit-and-ran her way right to SF General.  According to Bay City News, “police are looking into the possibility that a woman hospitalized this morning is connected [to the crash].”

[Photo: Rhiannon Charisse]

Bedroom Community

Airbnb Offers NYC $21 Million, So How Much Can SF Expect?

After years of asserting that it had no responsibility to pay a 15 percent lodging tax that applies to hoteliers in New York City, San Francisco-based vacation rental website Airbnb has made an about-face and offered to pay up. The company is offering Mayor Bill de Blasio at least $21 million in estimated revenue. In a letter to de Blasio, the company suggested the money could go toward that mayor’s affordable housing initiatives, like a proposed rental assistance program.

Certainly plenty of San Franciscans could use some rental assistance right now! Airbnb’s lobbying efforts have, in the past, presented their company as helping people keep their homes. But tenants risking eviction for unpaid rent also risk eviction for using Airbnb: Besides the issue of collecting required taxes, renting units out for short stays is likely illegal in San Francisco, whether or not the host owns the unit. And landlords are taking thousands of rental units off the market and out from under the Rent Ordinance according to the San Francisco Tenant’s Union, effectively becoming hoteliers. New York has similar laws, and an over two-thirds of Airbnb listings in that city are illegal according to research by Skift, many run by people managing multiple units. And guess who will actually be paying the taxes?

The company, which takes a 6 to 12 percent fee, isn’t quite as saintly as their plea makes out. Airbnb is asking to change the law to let the company collect and remit from hosts, not volunteering to take it out of their own bottom line (lol capitalism). But either way, that 15 percent is going to get passed down to the renter.

Airbnb is seeking to raise $10 billion in an initial public offering, which would likely be a huge windfall for early investor Ron Conway, the venture capitalist behind local tech lobby and Mayor Ed Lee’s BFF. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu has reportedly been working with the company on legislation that would allow the company and its customers to operate locally within the law since last year, but no announcements have been forthcoming. The mayor and supervisors have been busy giving Conway-backed companies tax breaks, but Chiu is running for State Assembly and Lee faces reelection next year, so Airbnb may or may not find San Francisco’s solution to be a relative bargain.

[Photo TechCrunch]

Graffiti Tunes

Speedy Gonzales Flees ICE

A tipster writes, “[I’m] not endorsing, but provocative in the real meaning.”  And that it is.

The piece, depicting Speedy Gonzales (itself a famously racist character) fleeing an ICE agent, was stenciled and pasted to the side of Ali Baba’s Cave on 19th and Valencia last night.

Workin' the Pol

Animated Leland Yee Biopic Premiers as Senators are Suspended with Pay

After a 9am meeting this morning in Sacramento where California State Senators asked their colleague Leland Yee to resign, Yee presumably refused, so the senate voted to suspend him and two other possibly corrupt senators, Rod Calderon and Rod Wright, with pay. Just in time for Taiwan’s Tomo News to release an epic summary of the events surrounding Yee’s indictment and alleged criminal activities!

The video takes some liberties with the facts—Paolo Lucchesi’s tour of restaurants named in the indictment doesn’t include a Panda Express, and an exclusive KPIX interview makes it clear that Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow isn’t actually a six-foot crustacean—but we can all agree that a panda and FBI agent making it rain on pole dancing politicians tastefully serves to illustrate the $69,800 in contributions made to Yee campaigns by undercover agents between 2011 and 2014.

Politicians Gone Wild

The Wild Tale of a Political Consultant's Blood and Piss-Soaked 50th Birthday Party

There’s been much ado about Jack Davis lately.  The political consultant with ties to big developers and mayors Gavin Newsom, Willie Brown, and Frank Jordan is being linked to the incredibly shady “Clean Up the Plaza” astroturf campaign, all while “working as a paid political consultant for the condo project at 16th and Mission.”

So the timing couldn’t have been better for Last Gasp, the Mission District publisher that recently released a colorful account of Jack Davis’s notorious 1997 50th birthday party.  The details of which include everything that makes San Francisco the best fucked city in the United States: heavy metal satanist musicians, drinking blood and piss, politicians eating blood-soaked cake, someone getting fucked by a bottle of Jack Daniels, and pigs running amok.  A prized party so brilliant and offensive, the Chronicle described it as “like the Folsom Street Fair with free booze.”

And for some bonus fun, the NY Times interviewed our disgraced gun-running state senator Leland Yee about the party, then just a lowly city supervisor who spent evenings cruising Capp Street for prostitutes and stuffing stolen suntan lotion in his underoos:

“When I walked in, everyone had their clothes on,” said a city Supervisor, Leland Y. Yee, one of many public officials who have been protesting their innocence.

Mr. Yee, a new member of the board, said he had concluded that there were indeed limits, even to the tolerance of this famously tolerant city. “Bloodletting and public urination are lines you just don’t cross,” he said.

Words to live by.