The Bold Italic Managed to Get Their Employees' Social Security Numbers Stolen

On the evening of December 13th (or in the early morning of December 14th) the offices of The Bold Italic suffered a break in and were burglarized. In addition to the theft of computers, “paper documents” containing employees’ personal information were also stolen.

As detailed in a letter sent out by The Bold Italic to its employees notifying them of the incident, the documents contained names, social security numbers, email addresses and home addresses of The Bold Italic employees and independent contractors. It is worth noting that most of the writers for The Bold Italic are independent contractors.  

And while it is perhaps unusual that “paper documents” were taken alongside more commonly thieved items such as computers, it should come as no surprise to the taste makers at The Bold Italic—after all, handcrafted paper documents are so much more authentic than their digital counterparts. 


"Slow Fashion" Comes to San Francisco

Proving once more that appending the word “slow” to an existing thing is a way to get noticed, the San Francisco Chronicle clues us in on the next big thing to hit the SF scene: slow fashion. What is slow fashion, you ask? The Chronicle explains:

It’s not about large volume on the cheap. It’s about quality over quantity, said Janet Lees, a senior director at SFMade, a local manufacturing advocacy group.

“It’s small batch, high quality, limited edition, customizable,” Lees said. “You can’t compete on low price points. That’s not what’s being manufactured in San Francisco. It’s really artisanal manufacturing.” […]

“Just like we’ve had this huge movement of slow food,” [founder of Jeanne-Marc clothing company Jeanne Allen] said, “now people want slow fashion.”

Reading like a Kinfolk SEO campaign, the “local manufacturing advocacy group” proclaimed trend should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise us if a Bold Italic piece on “artisanal clothing” is already in the works.

[Photo: SFMade]

The Rocking-Horse Winner

Modern Nativity Scene Promises Gifts, Disappointment

Refusing to let a little thing like lack of walls or roof get in the way of Christmas cheer, this charming picture of mid-century blandness was spotted Saturday on Valencia at 18th. Built by Justin Bettman, a Brooklyn-based artist known for creating domestic scenes out of free items off Craigslist, this is the first time his #setinthestreet project has come to SF.

Delivering a bold artistic statement on how even in the 1960’s holidays with the family could be a major drag, this Christmas themed pop-up installation reminds us of simpler times when kids were disappointed about receiving rocking horses in lieu of BB guns.

[Photo: laurenpoulos | h/t Capp Street Crap/Mission Local]

Please Can We Quit It With This Already?

Philz Continues Long Tradition of Caffeinated Pretension With "Coffee Artists"

Philz’ owner Phil Jaber has already successfully convinced the Bay Area’s leading venture capitalists that the swill served by his establishment is worthy of multi-million dollar startup status. But now Jaber has boldly upped the game once more with the groundbreaking introduction of coffee “artists.”

Interviewed as part of a Chronicle series on 24th Street entitled “A Changing Mission,” Jaber eschews the more recently popularized (and ultimately meaningless) term of “maker” in the act of grasping for something more authentic: “This is not coffee. […] This is art. I don’t have barista makers. I have artists.”

It seems that the recent influx of venture capital into his homegrown, sixteen-store micro-chain has thoroughly convinced Jaber of the necessity of adopting the tech industry’s habit of self-aggrandizement. Jaber doesn’t just employ any old schmoe able to pour hot water over burned and ground up plant matter. No, he’s positively contributing to the artist community by employing its members. And if his employees are artists, then of course Philz is itself in fact making art at the low low price of $16 a pound.

All of this leads to a weird alternate reality in which Phil Jaber is some patron saint of the food service arts, and we are the consuming masses hungry for his next creation. I think I’ll pass. Besides, Subway already employs enough artists for my taste.

[Photo Still Taken from “A Changing Mission”]

Food & Lines

Burma Superstar Tail-Ends Valencia's Trendiness With New Mission Outpost

Burma Superstar, the much-loved local Burmese chain, is set to open their long awaited Mission location on Valencia Street (at Duboce) in a few weeks. An employee that answered the door Monday night informed Uptown Almanac that the official opening is planned for shortly after Christmas.

According to Tablehopper:

This is the fourth location for the local chain, joining the original on Clement Street, in addition to outposts in Oakland and Alameda. […]

The menu doesn’t differ from their other locations, but there is the exciting addition of a full liquor license and therefore a cocktail menu. Cocktails are all priced at $10 and are not overly complicated.[…]

When they do open, hours will be 5pm-11pm daily, and lunch will be added in a few months.

Using such descriptors as “warm-hued,” “cool gray,” and “smooth wood,” the Tablehopper piece devotes considerable space to the new location’s interior design (photos of which are here) and reads almost as if Burma Superstar’s new location is a replacement for the displaced Therapy furniture store down the street. And while we love a good “scallop motif” represented in a “metal open-work wall” as much as anyone else, it’s the food we’re excited for—which, it should be noted, appears to be more expensive than at the Richmond location.

In many ways Eddie Codel sums up news of the opening best:

[Photo: @x]

People Still Make Zines

Boozy Zine Release Party this Saturday at Vacation

Everyone’s favorite Tenderloin based zine is set to drop a third edition this Saturday, and the creators are throwing a party to celebrate. Tales From the Tenderloin, which is billed as a “collaborative zine that seeks to document the tales, trials and tribulations of life in the Tenderloin,” is a usually funny and sometimes touching look at life in the Tenderloin. 

The website lets you know what to expect:

This Saturday (12/20) we’re gonna be releasing the third issue of Tales From the Tenderloin, which we’re calling the HOLLADAZE edition. […]

[It’s] all going down at 9pm at VACATION (651 Larkin) and there’s gonna be some killer bands, a (hopefully) pretty cool zine, good friends, and all the booze you can carry in!

In addition to being both free and BYOB (which we love), the brown bag friendly event will feature live sets from San Francisco’s Seatraffic and Hot Flash Heat Wave.


Is The Mission Creek Microhood Here to Stay?

When we wrote last April about the then newly coined “Mission Creek” microhood, it seemed the designation of the Eastern Mission as a bespoke cocktail mecca deserving of its own branded name was an act destined to fade into the dustbin of the next tech bubble.

As such, we were surprised to see the above pictured sign last night at Bender’s. While “The Mission Creek,” a mixture of Southern Comfort, 7 Up, and lime, definitely eschews the artisanal ice cubes Mission Creek is better known for, the use of the name implies an embrace of the microhood that we found surprising.

And although it’s certainly possible that the bar was simply making a joke about the rainstorm we’re all currently experiencing, it seems just as likely that acceptance of the Mission Creek name has spread to places as no-bullshit as Bender’s. And if Bender’s is on board, well, then the The Mission Creek microhood may be here to stay.

But all is not lost. After all, the drink is only $3.00.

Drinks and Laughs

PianoFight Opens New Comedy Venue on SF's Shittiest Block

PianoFight, a San Francisco based artist collective that includes sketch comedy, a film production unit, and a band, has just announced the December 19th opening date of their new venue. In a town awash with upscale cocktail bars, but with an ever diminishing number of venues, the PianoFight space is aiming to be more than the sum of its parts. With two theaters, a bar, a restaurant, and a cabaret stage, PianoFight looks to be making a bid for all the constituents elements of your night on the town—dinner, show, and a cocktail all under one roof.

Based out of the old Original Joe’s at 144 Taylor, the PianoFight space inhabits a block better known as an open air drug market than a comedy hot spot. But in an interview with Uptown Almanac, PianoFight Artistic Director Rob Ready expressed nothing but love for the neighborhood, and explained what we can expect from their new location.

Uptown Almanac: What does the new PianoFight space bring to the SF arts scene?
Rob Ready: San Francisco doesn’t have a Second City or Upright Citizens Brigade. We aim to be that for SF, with our own Bay Area twist. Over the last eight years, PianoFight has produced everything under the sun—sketch and full-length comedy, music, film, dance, and a ton of interactive events. And we’ve produced that with local artists of all stripes. So we’re taking that eclectic “eye for awesome” and building it a dream home.

UA: Speaking of dream homes, what do you think of your new home in the Tenderloin?
RR: It’s great. Honestly, the residents and other business owners are cool people. The neighborhood is raw and gritty, just like the art we produce. But it’s also got a real sense of humor so our comedy-centric company fits in nicely. The TL is going through a lot of changes—some of those are for the better, and others not so much. But we believe every neighborhood and every community deserves access to incredible art, and that’s what we’re going to provide.

UA: So you’re not just opening a theater with a bar—you have a full restaurant as well. In a city that takes its foodie pretensions pretty seriously, what up-and-coming celebrity chef is behind your sure-to-be organic and locally-sourced food stylings?
RR: At PianoFight, we’ve always boot-strapped and DIY’d everything, that’s why our our Executive Director Dan Williams has designed the menu with his food-scientist mom, Mary Jo. It’s gonna be pretty delicious—classic California Americana with a twist on nostalgic concessions. And there’s eight beers and eight wines on tap and classic cocktails behind the bar. 

UA: OK, let’s get down to it. How much will a beer and a shot cost?
RR: Less than $10. Still nailing down final prices, but we’re all broke artists who like booze, so rest assured we’re gonna keep everything affordable.

UA: How late will the kitchen and bar stay open?
RR: The restaurant and bar area is open 4:00 PM until 2:00 AM (we might close a bit earlier on slow nights). It’s always open to the public and there are no drink minimums, no ticket fees, and no Shakespeare. You’ll need a ticket to get into shows in the theaters, but we’ll always have bleacher seats available on the cheap, $5-$15.

UA: The fist show in your space is A Merry FORKING! Christmas. What should we expect from a PianoFight Christmas tale?
RR: Fun fact - there are over 360,000 possible permutations of A Merry FORKING! Christmas. It’s a fully scripted play that takes place in a mall on Christmas Eve; a pot-dealing Santa, bored mortician, and a harried security guard are all in the mix. Every so often, a host character comes out and asks the audience what they want to see happen and the audience votes by loud, drunken applause. It is awesome. And everybody should have the opportunity to democratically vote down Christmas—or not.

UA: So obviously there will be performances happening in the two theaters housed within the building, but what about in the bar? Will there be live music? A jukebox?
RR: There will be live music in the bar after 10:00 PM on weekends. And we’ll be hitting up the musician meetup group happening here at PF, Balanced Breakfast, for some awesome, local playlists.

UA: The Chronicle mentions that the date for an official opening night party has yet to be set, “pending Mayor Ed Lee’s participation.” Is that total bullshit, or should we expect an opportunity to harass the mayor over a shot of Fernet?
RR: The Mayor was a big fan of Original Joe’s. Since we announced we had a signed a lease in their old space, we’ve met him a handful of times and he’s been asking about PianoFight ever since. His office says that he’s on vacation the second half of December, so we’re looking at maybe January for the official black tie Grand Opening big stupid party thing. We’re gonna ask him to throw out the first rotten tomato (cause ribbon cuttings are bullshit).

PianoFight is slated to open on December 19th, and you can buy tickets to the first production in the space here.

The above interview was edited for clarity.


San Francisco's Housing Protests Aren't About Hating Tech, No Matter How Much Industry Yes-Men Wish They Were

The proposed luxury apartment complex at 16th and Mission is one of the most controversial developments to hit the neighborhood in recent years. Activists have labeled it a “monster in the Mission,” fearing its imposing size will usher in a brutal wave of gentrification along Mission Street. The politics behind the protests are complicated, but you’d never know that reading the Examiner.

Over the weekend, San Francisco’s second fiddle daily published a story that ignorantly insisted Mission residents are rising up against the project out of misplaced hatred of techies:

The “monster” is a 10-story housing complex of 350 units proposed above the 16th and Mission BART station — a dream for transit-first advocates. It would be new housing that won’t displace anyone other than customers of a Burger King.

The opposition calls the market-rate development a “monster” because it will attract more tech workers to the Mission. It doesn’t matter that a percentage of the units will be below market rate. The protesters are willing to kill new affordable housing simply because they dislike tech workers.

This is willfully misleading. We don’t disagree that many in the Mission dislike tech workers. But pretending that tech loathing is driving housing activism transcends simple cluelessness.

Ever since the $175 million project was unveiled last October, residents have been quick to outline the real reasons behind their opposition.

The primary concern is that the complex will set an unwelcome precedent. The building will be a glistening harbinger, signaling to developers and landlords that Mission Street is the new Valencia. Many fear the area surrounding the 16th and Mission BART plaza—home to one of the largest clusters of low-income housing and SROs in the city—will be suddenly hit with rising rents and evictions. Those rent increases could impact residents and businesses alike, with worries that local businesses that serve both the Latino and lower-income communities could be pushed off the corridor.

Then there’s the concern that the residents of the new complex, which has projected rents between $3,500 to $5,000 per month, will demand increased enforcement of “quality of life” crimes. And the enforcement of those laws predominately affect the poor, as we’ve already begun to witness in the wake of the real estate-backed “Clean Up the Plaza” astroturf campaign.

While the tech industry may help fuel San Francisco’s gentrification crisis, they are hardly the only force behind it. We know it. Activists know it. The Plaza 16 Coalition, which leads the “No Monster in the Mission” protests, knows it (their “Visions/Demands” page doesn’t even mention the word “tech”). Even the Examiner knows it.

That’s right. An article published just three months ago by the paper accurately summed up the concerns of neighborhood activists:

While the project would demolish only some buildings on the site and not displace any residents, numerous community groups have opposed it because they say it will fundamentally change the neighborhood.

Andy Blue, an organizer with the 16 Plaza Coalition, which was formed to oppose what it has dubbed “The Monster in the Mission,” said there is no question that such a development will be a game-changer for the working-class Latino neighborhood.

So why’d the paper switch up the narrative and make it about techie victimization? The column itself hints at the motivation behind the change:

Doesn’t anyone see how these new units will provide a safety valve to prevent displacement? With 350 people living above the 16th Street BART station, there are 350 people not competing for existing housing in the Mission. […]

If we squander this opportunity to build much-needed housing on a rapid transit corridor connecting San Francisco to the Bay Area, grandma’s words will surely haunt us when we look in the mirror. Because the only monster we’ll see is our own disfigured face.

Naturally, the conservative-leaning paper’s stance is pro-development. And the crowd that champions the “Build, Build, Build” mantra is notoriously loose with reality. It is, after all, a lot easier to dismiss progressive activists as spiteful haters than it is to actually address their concerns.

Will further luxury development on Mission Street spur further displacement? Who knows. But asking that question is far more sane than the belief that setting aside 42 units out of 350 as affordable housing will solve the city’s displacement crisis.

[Photo: Plaza 16]

Valencia's Still Got It

Naked Bro Terrorizes Valencia

Last night at around 9:00 PM, the police received reports of a naked man chasing a woman around Valencia.

The man, clothed only in sunglasses, finally ended his reign of naked terror outside of Boogaloos on 22nd and Valencia. Bare ass on the sidewalk, and head resting against the glass, the sartorially challenged dude was essentially ignored by everyone trying to get their pop-up dinner on inside the restaurant. 

Surrounded by the police, who were clearly waiting for the EMT’s to arrive, it seemed obvious to that this bro was high out of his mind. This suspicion was confirmed when the otherwise entirely silent fellow yelled, at the top of his lungs, “my name is GLADIATOR!”