Maps Maps Maps

Judgmental Map Of San Francisco Shows You How to Avoid Harvard Grads, Find Hobo Blowjobs

San Francisco has no shortage of maps to tell us who belongs where, but the Judgmental Maps project has finally tackled our fine city and it’s surprisingly funny. From the worst supermarkets, to where to find the best dogs and drag races, this serves as a pretty spot on analysis of SF’s cultural landscape.  And if you’re feeling curious, do check out the rest of Judgmental Maps for other cities you might’ve heard of but will never visit, like Chattanooga and Dayton!

[Map by Dan Steiner, via Judgmental Maps]


If You Can't Afford SF, You Probably Can't Afford This T-Shirt

Looking to displace all those shitty Hanes v-necks out of your wardrobe with some epic #swagification?  DSF has you covered:

Yea, we’re the most expensive city in the country right now. Not sure if that is something to brag about. If you got pushed out, or you’re working seven jobs to keep up with your $2000 rent in a 4 bedroom apartment where 8 people are living, this is the tee of the town.

Of course, if you’re scrambling to hustle together rent checks, the $26 price tag is almost certainly more mint than you can spare. But you can always dream?

Vaporware on a Plate

La Rondalla Claims It'll Reopen Next Week

La Rondalla’s sign illuminated, as seen in February of last year.

La Rondalla has been threatening to reopen ever since they closed—which was so damn long ago, no one really remembers when that was (was Bush still in office?  Had Google Buses been invented yet?  Was PBR still a “thing”?).  At this point, they’ve claimed they’d be opening “soon” so many times, their perpetual opening impotency has become something of a neighborhood joke.

But here we go again: La Rondalla says they’re opening next week.  According to Inside Scoop, the restaurant is back in business starting next Thursday, May 1st.  They’re even taking reservations!  Is it actually true this time?

We swung by this afternoon and, yes, the place looks like they’re getting things together ahead of a opening—tables being setup, a kitchen being prepped, a half dozen employees milling about… their neon signs were even blinking and buzzing.  Of course, we’ve been hoodwinked before.

Here’s what Inside Scoop says we can (might?) expect:

For the most part, the new La Rondalla will feature a similar menu as the last incarnation of La Rondalla, albeit with a few new dishes like chicharrones appetizers, shrimp cocktails, corn on the cob with cheese, and something that was never on the menu before: carnitas. Many of the favorites — botanas, enchiladas and margaritas — will be returning to 901 Valencia.

There are some tweaks. The kitsch has been dialed down, with only “some” Christmas lights lining the walls. There won’t be a full mariachi band either; citing space constrictions, the Barrios family opted instead to have a trio of musicians play on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Dialing down the kitsch is a bummer sitch, but with the rest of Valencia embracing the maddenimg sameness of Edison-lit wood, any place that even imitates campy weirdness is welcome.

Old New Mission Checks Out

New Mission Theater Marquee Slips Behind the Veil of Construction

I, for one, am going to miss the familiar and weathered paint job on the marquee that has long iconified the neighborhood.  But with the Alamo Drafthouse set to open their doors sometime this summer, it makes sense they want to slap a fresh new coat of paint on it for everyone else.

But whatever, it’s going to be awesome to see that old thing lit up again.


People's Railway, Reclaiming Wood, Potrero Party and Drilling SF

The Leaning Victorian of Oakland was recently demolished, and just look at all that authentic value we can now extract from the neighborhood in the form of reclaimed wood with which to panel our speakeasies and coworking cafes! It’s the circle of gentrification life. [Oakland Tribune]

Another frightening fire broke out today near Duboce Park at 1:34 in the afternoon, reaching three alarms, damaging multiple buildings, injuring one firefighter and presumably displacing a number of residents. [SF Appeal]

In other Victoriana, Bernalwood takes a look at the sordid, crime-ravaged past of Bernal Heights back in the 80s. The 1880s, when Goat Chasers Great Internal Tonic and Stomach Chaser was the drug of choice and people had a habit of getting stabby. [Bernalwood]

“In our view the current bubble is an echo of the previous tech bubble, but with fewer large capitalization stocks and much less public enthusiasm” says a hedge fund bro, citing “Huge first day IPO pops for companies that have done little more than use the right buzzwords and attract the right venture capital.” Sounds familliar! [ValleywagWSJ]

“Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction” author Annalee Newitz shares her story of dot-boom San Francisco inmigration, class dynamics on the 48-Quintara and multi-modal transportation conflicts. Spoiler alert: It all ends on an optimistic note! [Muni Diaries]

Meet the people who get to drill San Francisco every night. By which we mean they operate the massive boring machines digging the tunnel for the Central Subway, of course. [SF Magazine]

If you want tickets to the Phono del Sol party on June 12th in Potrero del Sol Park, reserve your spot by buying tickets now and get a sneak peak at the as-yet-unannounced lineup. [The Bay Bridged

[Photo Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group]

Paint on Walls

Rad New Mural Overlooking San Francisco Depicts Savage Shark Getting Its Eye Poked

The new work is by Casey O’Connell, at it’s sitting pretty atop Folsom Street on Bernal Heights.  As the homeowner told Bernalwood while the mural was being painted:

Life’s too short to live in a plain white house. Plus, the hottest neighborhood in America should have a hot pink element. The artist is Casey O’Connell and we just let her do her thing, which currently involves sharks with gold grills of the San Francisco skyline.

You should go check it out at once, if only to see a shark with a mouth full of San Francisco:

[First photo via Casey]

Tourist Gouging Pro Tips

Cupcakes May Not be Hot in SF, But Sugar is Still Sweet and Money is Still Green

The cupcake cultural wave started when ripples from gumdrops falling on buttercream emanated from the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, crested next over the carb skepticism of Californians in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and from there reflected back inland to the very places where the Midwestern Nice tradition of creatively home-baked desserts they worked so hard to idealize originated.

A simple, inexpensive foodstuffs that offered a broad palette for expression, accessible materials and skills, high margins and fast, portable consumption; it’s a delicious narrative of the glroious triumph or inevitable decline of American consumer capitalism, depending on how you feel about such things.  Which is not to discount that magical time when risk-taking adventurer-entrepreneurs conjured streetfood and storefront glamour from flour and sugar in transitioning neighborhoods, or an industry that offers opportunity to do business in a culture that can’t afford to dismiss the feminine.  We do all deserve a fabulous break from time to time, and these Easter cupcakes from Mission Minis are fucking adorable.

The swells of confectionary have probably already met in Bloomington and Lawrence by now, so San Francisco can count on pilgrimmages of acolytes to the sweet sources of inspiration for some time even as our own interest ebbs and the returning flood tide is attenuated by distance.  Visitors might never be able to afford a place in the Marina or Cow Hollow, but like Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris, they can partake in the Cupcake Tour of San Francisco. A relatively affordable luxury at $50, it’s a great chance to meet like-minded hyperglycemics while studying the trends and rituals of our petit bourgeoisie up close for cultural souvenirs to carry home as stories and style tips.

So bonjour et bon voyage, cupcakenauts! And please remember to tip your tour guides.

[Photo: Cups and Cakes Bakery]

Another Dive Bar Down

The Attic Unceremoniously Closes

Well, it finally happened.  After years of rumors, the beloved smelly dive closed up their doors without notice and took down their sign Monday.  The Bold Italic reports:

Attic regular Andy Pastalaniec heard the news of the bar’s shuttering yesterday during his lunch break. He made it over in time to find Howell and bartender Keith packing up and taking down the bar. “I documented the unceremonious removal of the sign out front. After work I stopped by and hung out with a handful of regulars and Keith, and we had a minor send-off. I had to leave as Keith was about to kick everyone out and close up for good.”

By Monday evening, Pastalaniec told me, “the sign was gone, the gate was locked, and the Attic, a truly unique place that played a huge part in my life in San Francisco, was gone.”

As we reported in November, the bar was facing serious structural issues, and the landlord refused to invest in renovations or give the bar a new lease.  As a commenter told us then:

I know a couple of the bartenders. They confirmed [the closure]. I like The Attic but the building srsly needs to be demolished. Even the staff hate it, it’s falling apart. Bummed to lose a bar that plays Sharknado but the place ALWAYS smells like the toilet is backed up. Because it is.

So like many older businesses in the neighborhood, without any long-term certainty and a landlord holding out for a big payday, The Attic’s owner decided to pack it up.

And now with The Attic closed, the owner is now moving onto Gashead Tavern, a significantly more upscale cocktail bar and “British pub-style” restaurant on Mission Street.

You can watch the bar’s final moments below:

Birdie in a Bucket

Some Things Never Change

Cultural observer and Van Ness expert David Enos shares this mushy tale of change:

They have dismantled the 70’s-futurist exterior of 100 Van Ness and turned it into a gleaming glass tower of 400 luxury condos.  Passing by this nightmare, I almost stepped on a coffee cup with the feet of a dead pigeon sticking out.  Someone handled a dead pigeon in order to cram it entirely inside a coffee cup and leave it in the middle of the sidewalk.  Certain aspects of Van Ness will probably never change.

Be sure to follow his Tumblr (remember those?) for other insights, including this grim take on modern day Muni travel.

[Photo: Sergio Ruiz]