At yesterday's "Lyft & Uber Support Group" meeting (??) at Beauty Bar, the staff instituted 100x surge pricing for all employees of San Francisco's premier bird-branded start-up--a pretty bold action considering "Barbie's Malibu Beach House" was deemed "neighborhood enemy number one" by the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project during the last quasi-class war. I guess it's all hunky-dory between the torch-and-pitchfork crowd and Beauty Bar now?
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Do you really want to push an influential tech leader's (my) buttons*? "Make" a lazy, hastily thrown together thinkpiece on how the real problem with techies lies with the "silent majority" in hopes of jumping in on a burgeoning story with a "fresh perspective." That's the bigger problem here.
For the sake of context, I am compelled to summarize the lazy thinkpiece, which I luckily can do in one sentence: "Why don't all the 'good' tech people speak up in defense of San Francisco?" Or better yet, in the words of MLK Jr., “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
That's all there is to it! Wow what a lazy article. And in 600 words no less! Now you are enlightened. A new angle on a pressing controversy or whatever.
But needless, lazy, excessive, overwrought verbosity is not the real problem here. The real problem is that other writers from The Bold Italic remain mum on their employer's practice of commissioning sloppy, topical press cycle surfing. I'm sure many of these writers prefer to devote their time and energy to articles that will do more than simply generate pageviews while gently stroking the brain waves of an audience who would rather be watching TED talks. But it's because they remain silent, or continue shoveling more clickbait, that the sentiment against this entire publication is able to build such strength.
I do believe that The Bold Italic has altruistic missions, loves San Francisco, and wants people to know that, in a better world, they would never make flip lists that are really just a showcase for cutesy illustrations. But the silence is deafening compared to the middling showcase of uninspiring clickbait.
* I am the founder of slobonmylob.com, a leading lobster recipe website that generates $50,000 in lobster sales and ad revenue per month.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
The ever-satisfying SF Mixtape Society is once again hosting their quarterly mixtape swap party at the Make-Out Room this Sunday afternoon (to get a taste of what the swaps are like, read Jon Skulski's write-up of a damp meet-up from 2011). The theme this time around is "camp," and The Society's Annie Lin offers up a little creative guidance:
CAMP can be interpreted in multiple ways: in the Judy Garland/Barbara Streisand way or in the outdoorsy "let's overnight it in Big Sur" kind of way.
As always, the swap is free and bringing mixtapes is optional (but that'd be missing the point).
Previously on Uptown Almanac
According to a tipster, "these are up all over SOMA right now." We're sure NYC is breathlessly awaiting his return.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
San Francisco! It's the worst. The weather, the people, the cyclists, the dreary architecture and glum landscape... just ugh--why would any sane person want to live in this urine-scented homeless wasteland? Without the skrillions of available venture funding dollars and generous tech tax breaks, it's obvious San Franawful would drift off into an ocean of irrelevance.
At least, that's the opinion of Peter Shih, co-founder of an assuredly ground-breaking credit card-processing start-up who was forced to move to San Francisco by his cruel funders at Y-Combinator. Peter took to Medium--the thought platform that's currently the darling hood ornament of the tech community--to air his thoughts on his adopted hometown. Cleverly titled "10 Things I Hate About You: San Francisco Edition"--which I won't link to on principle--he breaks down SF's problems in a conveniently digestible listicle.
Let's take a look at his better points:
1. Public Transportation
If you don’t agree with me that the SF MUNI is a pathetic excuse for a public transportation system, then I suggest you visit either of the following cities at your convenience and then proceed to get your head out of your ass: New York City, London, Paris, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, and… actually you know what? Just goto any real city…
San Francisco should be lucky to have Peter. Peter is bringing the credit card industry to its knees. Peter is going to change the fucking world. How dare San Francisco consider itself a real city when its public transportation service isn't exactly what Peter expects. If Peter lived in a real city, Peter wouldn't need to call an Uber to get where he needs to go. San Francisco is making Peter use Uber. How dare San Francisco?
I hate how the weather here is like a woman who is constantly PMSing. I hate how I can’t tell the difference between August and February. I hate how I have to turn on the heater in the middle of summer. I hate having to always carry a jacket because of the 20 degree swings between day and night.
Nature, who the fuck do you think you are? Peter understands that you're Mother Nature, but you're at least 6,000-years-old according to Rick Perry. Can't you go through menopause already? Peter needs it to be at least 10 degrees warmer outside so Peter can leave his tech-branded hoodie at home. Peter is about to unfollow @karlthefog on Twitter.
No, not the football team, they’re great. I’m referring to all the girls who are obviously 4's and behave like they are 9's. Just because San Francisco has the worst Female to Male ratio in the known universe doesn’t give you the right to be a bitch all the time.
Peter is special. Peter was accepted into Y-Combinator. Can you imagine some dumb shit woman possibly thinking they are slightly-less-than-perfect around Peter? Peter is a God. They should make statues of Peter. You are a woman in a club. You are just a 4 compared to Peter.
6. Homeless People
San Francisco has some of the craziest homeless people I have ever seen in my life. Stop giving them money, you know they just buy alcohol and drugs with it right? Next time just hand them a handle of vodka and a pack of cigarettes, it’ll save everyone some trouble. I’m seriously tempted to start fucking with people and pay for homeless guys to ride the Powell street cable cars in the middle of the day, that ought to get the city’s attention.
Peter has been crushing it lately. Peter's start-up is seeing exponential growth. Peter is raising money. Peter is raising hell. Peter is about to hire a growth hacker. Peter is king.
But San Francisco is bringing Peter down. San Francisco is allowing mentally ill, drug-addicted homeless people abandoned by society to be in the same 49 square miles as Peter. Peter does not approve. Peter just wants to make apps for other Peters, call out some women for being bitches, and put the world's issues out of Peter's mind. But Peter is a visionary. Peter is an innovator. Peter is going to disrupt the city's blindness to Peter's problem with homeless people by paying the homeless to hang out with tourists. Peter will solve homelessness for Peter.
8. Nightlife (or lack thereof)
Nowadays I don’t even want to go out because getting kicked out of a bar/club at 2AM, which usually is the peak of the night, is just depressing. Pair that shit sandwich with public transit being non-existent past midnight and the Transvestite to Taxi ratio being quite literally off the charts – it is impossible to get home safely, especially if you live far from downtown.
Peter is a warrior. Peter is not some 9-to-5, color-inside-the-lines corporate drone: Peter is a code-slaying rebel. Peter believes that if you work hard, you should get to play hard too. Peter wants to shred code all day that disrupts the credit card market, drinking Red Bull and eating Swedish Fish at his desk until 10pm, then go to the club and scold all the 4s who think they're 9s for being bitches. Can you imagine the gall of California State Law telling him to go home at 2am?
What a bunch of 4s.
Stop being fucking hypocrites. If you want to share the road, then you need to respect the rules of the road and stop running stop signs and lights. Next time I see one of you fuckers bomb through a crosswalk and almost mow down a row of pedestrians I’m going to clothesline you.
Peter drives like he codes: move fast and break things. Like government regulations and general ethics, bicycles are just getting in the way of Peter's greatness. Peter will fucking clothesline you.
Peter should go home.
UPDATE: Peter is backtracking. Peter has deleted the most offensive parts of Peter's article and put up a desperate disclaimer stating it was intended to be satire. Here is the original post.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
If you’re experiencing gentrifier guilt or feeling a little sluggish today, it might be a good idea to kick things into gear with a ticket to Z Space’s Innovation Thursdays with YD Industries, an ingeniously deadpan mock seminar designed to ignite innovation in even the dullest of us. Have a laugh at the kind ridiculous vernacular that you probably utilize constantly at work and support an art space in the neighborhood you’re probably homogenizing.
Here's how Z Space describes Innovation Thursdays:
As an extension of the YDIIIG (YD Industries Innovation Igniter Grant), YD Industries is hosting a series of innovation evenings that will be free and open to the public, but simultaneously monetized. Forward leaning individuals are invited to join for an evening filled with innovation, disruption, game-changing, revolutionizing, focus grouping, creativity insourcing, product development acceleration, net casting, bootstrapping, design sprinting, networking, problem solving, succeeding though failing, and beer. With dynamic PowerPoint slides and the occasional guest speaker, YD Industries moderator Steve Musselman will guide participants through the YD Industries developed products, techniques and methodologies designed to ignite the inner innovator. It’s fun, exciting, and will fundamentally change the world.
Tickets for tonight's visionary 8pm tech talk are $15 at the door, or you can save yourself five bucks and get yourself a free beer if you pre-order online.
Here's what Mona had to say about what the utopian future holds in store for Safeway:
The demolished mega-supermarket replaced with a farmer’s market, with the Duboce Bikeway mural wall still propped up, are details taken from Chris Carlsson’s utopian novel ‘After the Deluge‘
[via Castro Biscuit]
Ahead of this evening's Board of Appeals meeting to re-hear Jack Spade's building permit application that is currently suspended (more on that meeting below), a team of Jack Spade representatives have been going door-to-door, allegedly pressuring businesses to sign the above petition supporting the business.
The petition claims Jack Spade will do a lot of incredible things--reduce homelessness, vandalism, and violence; they even imply the store's opening could help drop the notoriously high murder rate along 16th. However, the petition casts Jack Spade's hopeful location as a long-blighted empty storefront, neglecting to mention that Jack Spade had a 25-year-old vibrant community bookstore evicted to obtain the space.
One 16th Street businessman, who was visited by a salaried Mission District Jack Spade store manager and Mission Merchant's Association President Phil Lesser, who is also a paid consultant of Jack Spade, said when he refused to sign the petition, Lesser became "agitated" and demanded the business at least remain neutral.
Another business that is actively campaigning to stop Jack Spade had a much more jarring interaction:
I got a visit from Dan Lakhman [Director of Marketing and Creative for Jack Spade]. He along with the [Jack Spade's store manager] and [Phil Lesser], and said "you can do this the easy way or the hard way."
Phil explained that he will turn out support for Jack Spade in droves at the hearing and that he's never lost a case. He then went on to list them, counting on his fingers.Dan went on to explain that they were going to pursue this, that they would win, and how the community felt about them was not a consideration.
Dan actually called Jack Spade a "small business." Ugh. It was maddening.
(Jack Spade still refuses to talk to Uptown Almanac, so we couldn't get their side of this.)
These sort of tactics cast the results of Mission Local's survey of 16th Street business's opinions on the matters in a telling light. With so many businesses refusing to state their opinion, perhaps Jack Spade's goon squad is having an impact?
If you are interested in going to tonight's Board of Appeals meeting, it begins at 5pm in Room 416 in City Hall. Kyle Smeallie, one of the organizers of the campaign to stop Jack Spade, had this to say of the importance of tonight's hearing:
The hearing is important because Jack Spade has done everything in its power to avoid it. Simply put, Jack Spade doesn't want to hear from the community. By misrepresenting its corporate structure, Jack Spade convinced the City last year to not consider it formula retail, denying the public the right, granted by City regulations, to have a say in the approval process. The VCMA believes this was an error, and they're concerned about the precedent it will set: If Jack Spade is allowed to sidestep the rules, other chain stores will follow suit, gaming the system to effectively eliminate the public approval process. That's why the VCMA, in its appeal, is supported by organizations like Causa Justa :: Just Cause, PODER, and La Raza Community Resource Center, as well as Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos. They're less concerned about the business implications, but they all recognize the importance of making sure the surrounding community is heard when big business wants in. For those who agree, speaking out at the hearing on Wednesday is essential to making sure the appeal moves forward.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
"Ollie," the local hero who takes to Craigslist to shame breastfeeding Google Glass owners about doing "bad, dumb things," opened up to SFist in a wide-ranging interview about his thoughts on SF, tech gentrification, the San Bruno Mountains, and, of course, Google Glass:
SFist: Why have you taken to Craigslist to voice your displeasure about all this? What does that platform afford you? It's a pretty old-school approach.
Ollie: I don’t know if I’ve ever thought about any of that. It's a place you can write things. It is a medium designed for anonymity, public access, and hyper-temporality. It is low-commitment, non-self-aggrandizing, and lends itself well to writing shit while throwed. All of these things are good.
SFist: What do you think of the current tech/gentrification conversation that's going on in S.F. right now? Where are we headed with that?
Ollie: At Valencia and 15th there's a complex opening up that costs $2000/head. Two fucking thousand dollars a head. Kitty-corner away at Mission and 16th you've got the city capitol for stabcrimes. The rate of violent crime in the Mission has only increased over the past six years—I think that's how long SFPD has put crime reports online—and that's when rents have really started to take off.
I don't have an answer. I'm a smart person, kind of, but I understand I lack the context and foresight to offer an answer of any actionable value. In a certain meaning of the word, though, I am content to say "here is a tower where wealthy-ass boring motherfuckers eat $50 pizzas and here is a corner where folks get stabbed, and this optical contrast is fucked up." We should feel bad about this. There's a certain virulent strain of Aspiring Rich Person who treats this process as acceptable, or as some kind of necessary tradeoff for "development"—which has taken on a role in the vernacular as a widely misused bullshit-word for when you need to run coverage on some real heinous shit—and that's some borderline sociopathy.
SFist: What do you love and hate about this city?
Ollie: I love the important things. Dore Alley was a couple weeks ago. I was biking through the Mission and I saw a guy walking his kid on a leash. The guy's shirt said "WHORE FUCKER." Three blocks away I threw a thumbs-up at a guy casually stroking off in a crosswalk.