Accepting the fact no one walks by 4th and Brannan, Chrome is opening another bike culture-themed apparel shop at 20th and Valencia, next door to Mission Creek Cafe. Mission Local reports:
The proposed Valencia Street location would be Chrome’s fifth store nationwide, and its second San Francisco location. At 1,500 square feet, the Valencia store would be smaller than it’s SoMa headquarters, said Steve McCallion, the company’s president, yet was lured to the Mission by the substantial foot and bike traffic.
“We have a lot of business friends there, Benny Gold, Betabrand, Four Barrel – all amazing local brands that we cherish and admire,” he said. “We spend so much time there we might as well spend more time there.”
While this makes for the bajillionth bike shop to grace the congested streets of western Mission, Chrome has a long history of offering up their shop as a no-rent events and fundraising space for the cyclists, which we can only see as a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
As we mentioned previously, supporters of The Marsh Theater were fighting the condo development at 1050 Valencia, fearing its construction would see the venue closed over noise concerns. But at the Board of Appeals hearing yesterday, the Board ruled that residents must sign a disclosure statement acknowledging that they're living next to a venue:
[The Marsh Theater] typically creates sounds typical of an entertainment use, including loud dialogue and amplified sound and live and recorded music. Owners and occupants understand that patrons of the theater will drop off and pick up performers and patrons before and after the show and patrons will queue along Valencia Street at the beginning of some shows and leave en masse at the end of shows, producing parking, traffic and noise impacts expected at such activities.
Anyway, the Board also ruled that a soundproofing buffer must be built between the buildings and the top floor of the condo removed (which will likely see two BRM housing units removed with it). It's unknown when construction will begin.
Brian Goggin's “Defenestration” has become a San Francisco institution in the 16 years it's been spilling over into 6th and Howard streets. The chairs, bathtubs, tables, and grandfather clocks dancing towards their demise on the Hugo Hotel's abandoned walls has long brightened a bleak stretch of SoMa's thoroughfares.
So when news broke earlier this year the Hugo Hotel would be demolished, Defenestration along with it, many were rightfully sad. But, fortunately, Goggin is now working on a new structure just four blocks away at 9th and Market.
Goggin tells the Chronicle that “Caruso's Dream” will feature 13 grand pianos being shaken up by an earthquake:
“The whole piece is inspired by this moment when the opera star Enrico Caruso was awakened by the Great Calamity of April 18, 1906, while he was staying at the Palace Hotel,” Goggin says. “He did not know if he was awake or still dreaming as he was walking to the window to see the results of the ongoing earthquake.”
And the piece is more than just glass pianos:
A music and light component will be permanent. At night, the glass pianos will shine from within, like old incandescent bulbs. The sound of Caruso singing will be on KPH (Palace Hotel), recreating a station that once emanated from the hotel. At 90.9 on the FM dial, it will have a reach of 300 feet.
The piece is set to be unveiled on Feb. 23, with Goggin leading a New Orleans-style funeral procession from Defenestration to the new piece, including 13 pianists and three opera singers in tow.
Kink.com recently let their employee's creative juice start flowing, as opposed to their other juices, by having them film a series of short films that promote their Armory tour program. It's a weird lot of non-pornographic films; shorts that mostly appeal to my adolescent sense of humor. But there are some gems in there.
Armory employees themselves decided “Creepy Bedroom” was the choice cut of meat:
I’m pretty conflicted on this one.
Urban Putt, which promises a “steampunk-style” mini-golf course and cocktail bar stuffed into an old funeral home, is now seeking $50,000 in donations on Kickstarter. What for? They’ve always spent $750,000 on construction and they need the cash to finish it all up.
Of course, handing over free money to for-profit businesses over Kickstarter already grates me—especially given how many local non-profits really need the money right now. And considering Urban Putt is being designed by the folks responsible for Mission Bowling Club and the bar is managed by the mixology thought leaders from Trick Dog, it seems particularly undeserving (seriously, any person who donates to Trick Dog needs to be sent back to their manufacturer under warranty).
But if you look past all that and their assuredly ridiculous clientele, it probably won’t be that bad. Take the above photo: it’s skeeball and mini golf. Skeeball and mini golf!
The whole place looks like a competent burner’s putt-putt paradise:
It certainly doesn’t look like another twee speakeasy with dreamy assholes in suspenders serving up cocktails in mason jars.
So if this is your sort of thing, you can donate over on Kickstarter. Or don’t. Whatever.
UPDATE: Urban Putt’s “Chief Greenskeeper” Steve Fox responds to some our (and commenter’s) criticisms in the comments.
“Everything you need at your doorstep… progressive charter schools, great restaurants, hip shopping! Google bus will pick you up right across the street!”
That's the realtor's listing for this (obviously satirical) $2,800/month micro-apartment from Outside The Box Realty. They go on about your new Dolores Street dream pad:
We call this our Peter Shih Suite. Bright and airy—location is everything here. If you want Naughty, the Mission is to your left. Want Nice? Head right to Noe Valley. Progressive charter schools, hip shops and the finest restaurants. Dolores Park is your front yard, Bernal Hill your back.
Of course, their trick photography makes the space look more luxurious than it really is, as The Worst Room's pic reveals:
PianoFight and EndGames Improv, two relatively new groups in San Francisco's reignited comedy and performance arts scene, recently announced a partnership in opening a new venue at Taylor and Eddy Streets. Everything about it sounds absolutely awesome.
“The 5,000 square foot Tenderloin complex will include rehearsal and office spaces, 54-seat and 96-seat theaters in the back of house, and in the front of house a 60-seat restaurant and bar with a full liquor license and a cabaret stage,” PianoFight writes on their website. “The complex will be a collaborative hub for artists and a creative destination for audiences. It will meet all the production and performance needs of up-and-coming independent companies and take risks to entice non-traditional audiences hungry for inventive live performance.”
What's more? Both theaters have a three-camera setup capable of editing video in real time, so any performance can be live-streamed. And PianoFight sees themselves as becoming “the ultimate hangout spot,” with performers joining the audience at the bar after the show, and a grip of original programming keeping the crowds entertained:
There will be multiple shows a night, by local performers and touring acts, including dinner theater performances on our cabaret stage. We're interested in producing shows that make you laugh, make you think, and generally challenge the status quo of how theater is presented. Audience-judged playwriting competitions, fully-scripted choose-your-own-adventure plays, ballet horror comedies, Throw Rotten Veggies at the Actors Nights — this is the kind of content we want to see, so it’s the kind of content we produce.
PianoFight is already 90% done with construction, and just started promoting a $120,000 Kickstarter campaign for equipment and finishing touches. But, as a for-profit company, PianoFight's Artistic Director Rob Ready tells us the group will avoid the pitfalls of having to fundraise constantly, making the space sustainable for years to come.
PianoFight also has the backing of District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim and Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development. Through the city's SF Shines grant program, which awards grants to businesses seeking to make facade improvements, Ready says the complex will become an anchor in the city's new theater hub:
[The SF Shines] grant is available in a bunch of neighborhoods in the city and available to a bunch of different kinds of businesses. That said, Mid-Market gets a good chunk of that funding due to the Cultural Arts District that City Hall is trying to set up. What's amazing is that it's starting to finally take shape. In those two square blocks, between Market and Eddy and Mason and Taylor, by 2015 there will be about 10 performing arts venues, with about 20 different stages.
Ready says we can expect to see the space open in March, and we don't need to worry about two-drink minimums or any of the other big league comedy club bullshit.
Below, their Kickstarter campaign video: