El Cachanilla is no more

Today I found out the El Cachanilla, the grimy taco window taqueria on 21st and Treat is no more. It's now Haltun Mayan Cuisine. No more menu on the awning and I'm sure the ojo tacos will be missed by overly brave drunks trying to prove something. Oh how I will yearn for the days of lukewarm salsa that sat outside all day just waiting for you to brush away the flies and scoop plastic spoons full on your greasy taco. I hated how they tried to always give me beans on a taco but man when they came correct with the buche the shit was proper. Although fuck their chicharron, that shit was fucking foul. Surprisingly strips of boiled pig skin with massive layers of inedible chewy orange gelatinous fat are not as tasty as you'd think.

It looks like they cleaned the spot up though, I don't know if the pool table is still there but 10am meeting of the drunken minds seems to be no more. They got poc chuc and cochinita pibil though so HOLLA!

Fuck I just found out that they are trying to be healthy and according to some yelptard they don't use lard. I haven't written them off completely but no lard is hella suspect in my book, fuck that hydrogenated bullshit but man lard is fucking good. If you're refried beans don't have it, I don't want it.

These have officially replaced the icing phenomenon as my new obsession

We've all oohed and aahed over the Victorian era footage of the carriage ride down Market Street (My, that man's derby hat looks positively smashing! … are those horses?) but honestly, I find the footage in this video from 1984 far more compelling.

It's just some guy driving down Broadway onto the Embarcadero Freeway (for those of us born post-Loma Prieta who don't actually remember it, that part is actually pretty cool) and across the Bay Bridge. Towards the end he's listening to “White Lines” by Melle Mel on the radio. Basically this video is everything  - well, almost everything, since the 49ers aren't in this - that I've imagined being awesome about San Francisco in the 80s, all rolled into one. If I actually were to time-travel to the city in 1984, I'm pretty sure that I'd inevitably end up intervening in my parents' budding romance and screwing up my future existence, but after seeing this, I think it's a risk I'm willing to take.

This second video is much prettier than the other one and shows many different parts of the city, like Fisherman's Wharf when it was actually charming and not horrifying, and Mission Street when those empty theaters that will soon be condos were actually theaters. The parts shot around Nob Hill look basically the same as today, but the rest is mind-blowing.

Maybe it's just the aged quality of the film, but in this old footage the city looks so clean and well maintained, and everyone's dressed really well. I guess the world of the early 1960s really did look exactly like Mad Men! Let it be known that I fully support a resurgence of skinny ties in the Financial District suit-wearing population. For now when I want to see cute sixties style my only option is to go to Edinburgh on Wednesday nights.

So anyway, you know how sometimes on Mission Mission they post about something from San Francisco way back when and all the old timers take to the comments and reminisce? I'd be really psyched if that were to happen on this post. I love all those stories about how much cooler this city was before the dot-com boom.

Pop's First Annual Slam Dunk Contest: A Photo Journal

This past Saturday, amidst sunny skies and blistering winds, Pop's Bar on 24th and York St. held its first annual Slam Dunk Contest, and it was awesome. The contestants gathered at the local dive around 4 p.m. or so to properly lubricate themselves before taking part in bar game history. There were costumes, there was a shirtless man, there was a girl, there was an ecstatic crowd, there were embarrassing falls and flops, and there were plenty of authoritative slam-fucking-dunks. Below is a set of choice photos from the proceedings.

Michaelangelo had some issues.

Why is that guy dressed like a pizza?!

There's that girl I was talking about.

Sometimes less clothing means more air.

Friends were helping friends.

One-Eyed Ron fucking owned the game.

Free Pete looking like a basketball card.

Does this kid got style or what?!

Nicknamed “GQ” by the crowd, this dunker rose above his name to deliver some serious dunks.

Seriously! Why is that guy wearing a pizza costume?!

Damn! Pizza got hops.

Get it in there, Ron!

GQ from the free-throw line!

Pizza wins 1st, GQ wins 2nd, and One-Eyed Ron gets 3rd!

FOUND: The Bay Citizen's Upcoming Website

For those of you who don't masturbate to Bay Area blogs/journalism, let me quickly fill you in: The Bay Citizen is a non-profit project that some rich guy dumped $5,000,000 into with the goal of creating a solid Bay Area news source.  Of course, they hired a CEO for $400,000/year, which raised a lot of concerns and criticism.  Further, they pissed off some local journalists by not investing in pre-existing projects in favor of starting from scratch.  That said, print in this town sucks, SFist/SF Appeal/Mission Loc@l isn't for everyone, and we need good journalism.  AMIRIGHT?

Anyways, their site isn't supposed to launch until Wednesday but using our professional internet skills, we found it today.  To sum it up, it looks like a tame SF Appeal targeting people in Marin who pretend that SF is still part of their lives.  That said, there is almost NO content on their site.  In fact, the homepage is completely empty, so we cannot fully judge it hate.  Even most of their editor's profiles are blank.

I expect they are going to have a very tough time launching Wednesday.  The site is beyond buggy.  I was able to register for an account, but I couldn't edit my profile (white screen of death), there are broken images in the welcome email, many of the links don't work, there are no content RSS feeds, and their admin area isn't secure (it's going to be easy for anyone with a laptop to own this site).

ANYWAYS, Let's talk features:

This site heavily pushes user-generated content and participation.  They have an entire “community question and answer” section, prominent calls for users to suggest stories and submit tips, and they are even letting users start their own blogs on the Bay Citizen (rather than use their own site/platform, like Wordpress, Drupal or Tumblr).  No word yet if Bay Citizen bloggers will be paid the $25 per post that other Bay Area bloggers will be paid to repost their content on TBC.

Finally, they have some sort of twitter/facebook-like status update.  I don't see anywhere else on the site that this feature integrates into… maybe it is a way for contributors to tell the public about their Bushmill's hangover?

Anyways, there you have it people: THE BAY CITIZEN.  See y'all Wednesday!

Zoltron + Neo Monster Battle Corporate Ad Whores on Valencia

Remember how sad we all were when some dumb marketing douches pasted over all of Zoltron's stuff on a “condoned” art wall on Valencia (between 16th and 17th)?  Well:

Doesn't this look so much better than Robin Hood ads?  No?  Well, fuck you.  Since street artists have been given the go ahead to make this wall an orgy of awesome, go forth and draw funny faces on Russell Crowe.

(pic via Neon Monster)

Don't Ice Me Bro!

(Yelp employee is “iced” in San Francisco, via Bros Icing Bros)

Ok, first let's quickly explain the concept.  “Icing” is when a friend/coworker/complete fucking douchebag sneaks a bottle of Smirnoff Ice up on their victim (or into the possession/vicinity of) and announces: “You totes got iced bitch/bro/brah!”  The victim of the “icing” must then do one of two things:

  1. Deflect the “icing” with their “ice shield,” which must be a bottle of Smirnoff Ice that they already had in their immediate possession, or…
  2. If the victim does not posses an “ice shield” they must drop to one knee and pound the entire 12oz bottle of date-rape/shame flavored juice.  

For the past week I've heard an alarming number of reports that this phenomenon is spreading like wildfire amongst the employees of Los Angeles creative industry companies, particularly in the music industry and talent agency circles.  It seems more than likely to me that this a guerilla marketing tactic, designed to boost sales (the rules of the game certainly support that) and get Smirnoff's awful product into the hands of the young and hip.  Just look at these “blogs” and their definitions of the rules:

(via You Got Iced! tumblr)

Consider the amount of detail spent on describing and listing all the variations of the Smirnoff Ice product on the Bros Icing Bros 'Dealing With Bitchin Bros' page.  It reads like advertising to me.  Some try to argue that the game is based on the fact that Smirnoff Ice sucks (duh) and that 'every bros worst nightmare is having to pound an Ice', and that because of this it can't possibly be a marketing campaign supported by Smirnoff.  That's a pretty fucking weak facade for arguing the 'authenticity' of “icing.”  People don't realize just how sinister and engineered the world of advertising and brand development is.  Take PBR for example.

What scares me more than anything is that it hasn't only spread to the LA-douchebag-Ari Gold-wannabe types working as assistants in mstrm media outfits.  No sir, “icing” has gone so far as to cross into the ambiguous borders of hipsterdom.  

  • On Friday I received a report from a friend working for a LA based music label that there had been a phone conversation with a Pitchfork staff writer.  This staff writer had just been “iced” in Pitchfork's New York offices.  
  • On Saturday, I discovered that the You Got Iced tumblr had posted pics of indie band The National being “iced” at a recent LA show.  
  • And as you can see from the hipstamatic print of the Yelp “icing” we are not safe, even here in San Francisco.  

While I do believe that the phenomenon began organically (perhaps in the frat scene of South Carolina universities, as the Bros Icing Bros founders claimed in an interview with The Awl,) but I am highly suspicious that a huge amount of momentum has been engineered by marketing firms or whatever sinister brand-guru-Wunderkind that Smirnoff has on their payroll.   I just have a hard time believing that such a douchetool prank can make it's way from the daily homoerotic mating rituals of Southern frat Neanderthals and all the way into the lives of young East AND West Coast creative industry types, just by being “viral.” 

But then again, there's always the theory that AIDS originated in a lower species of primates before making the jump to humans…