Life

KRON's Stanley Roberts Sticks His Dick in a Beehive Again

Following Tuesday's controversial report on cyclists running stop signs on the Wiggle, KRON's “sleeping bear” Stanley Roberts returned to the scene of the shoddy journalism to instigate cyclists once again.  And, adorably, Stanley was somewhat surprised by reaction he got from the crowd.

Apparently, he wasn't all to pleased with the LASHING he got on Twitter and Uptown, so he went back to the Wiggle to get bent out of shape all over again.

Exhibit A.

After complaining about being labeled anti-bike (he is) and taking issue with people telling him to start picking on cars, he brushed off his detractors by saying, “What is this, the fifth grade? Why is everyone pick-in' on meee?

Now Stanley is showing the middle finger meanies who's boss with a renewed war on bikers: no more headphones or ear buds because they're unsafe (or maybe not)—“end of discussion.”  And this sleeping bear, woken up by the pokes of Wiggle riders behaving badly, is putting these hardened criminals on notice:

Mission Possible: The Mother Lode of Mission Maps

Cartography students from UC Berkeley's Geography Department have just dumped the mother lode of Mission maps upon us—22 data-filled maps of everything from racial population shifts to missed connections during the lunar cycles.  From The Atlantic Cities:

Darin Jensen is the UC Berkeley professor behind this project, and he argues that the maps provide distinct lenses through which the neighborhood can be experienced or understood.

“One's perception of a place is guided or framed by the thing they're looking at. So if you're looking at the coffee map, that's what you think is going on in the Mission, because that's the map you have in front of you,” Jensen says.

“What we wanted to do in this series is show people that, yes, there are coffee shops and you can pick a coffee shop based on its price per cup. But turn the page and you'll also see that there's gang territory in the mission or you can turn the page again and you can see how many children under six years old live in the Mission,” Jensen says. “It's a way to show all these parallel universes, if you will.”

You probably noticed that north is west and south is east—in other words, the map is all twisted and Dolores Park is suddenly out North Pole. TAC explains:

Jensen says north-oriented maps reinforce a kind of northern hemisphere centrism, and that orienting this set of maps to the west was a deliberate choice to break with that convention.

Gotcha!

Here' a few more:

See the rest of the maps at Mission Possible,

"Affordable" Parking Space-Sized Apartments to Cost $1,500/month

Following last week's story about Supervisor Scott Wiener's unfortunate plan to help erect “affordable by design” shoebox apartments in SoMa, the Chronicle spoke to the Berkeley-based developer spearheading the project.  In the interview, he reiterated the claim that he expects young techies to flock to the 150 square foot apartments that'll cost a bargain price of $1,300 - $1,500 monthly:

Patrick Kennedy of Berkeley developer Panoramic Interests hopes to build the micro-units in SoMa on the site of a former guitar store at Ninth and Mission streets - “right in the thick of the new Twittersphere there.” He anticipates housing young tech workers, fresh out of college, newly relocated to the city, unencumbered by possessions.

… His planned 160-unit building, now in the entitlement process, will have lots of common areas: a huge lobby, a lounge on every floor and a rooftop deck. It will also have some larger apartments. It's designed for car-free living; the only parking will be for bikes, with a City CarShare spot outside.

The ultra-efficient efficiencies will go for $1,300 to $1,500 a month, he said. Per city regulations, 15 percent of the units will be allocated as below market rate for low-income residents; he thinks those would rent for around $900 a month.

The current average rent for a San Francisco studio apartment is $2,075 a month, according to real estate service RealFacts. Those studios average 493 square feet, making the per-square foot price $4.21. Kennedy's proposed units, at 220 square feet, would rent for $5.91 to $6.82 per foot - a big premium.

This, of course, supports the theory that developers are pushing smaller apartments as a way to maximize profits, rather than provide a legitimate housing option for scrappy young folks.  And the folks at BeyondChron suspect this isn't even a “housing” play, at least in the traditional sense:

In fact, what concerns me the most about these “shoebox” apartments is that they won’t become the hip urban-style housing for young professionals that Patrick Kennedy is billing them as. Instead, they will be short-term corporate housing for professionals who just moved here – or pied a terre apartments for people who occasionally come in on business trips. Worst-case scenario, they will just be illegal hotel rooms rented on the black market. How does that bring down escalating rents?

… This past Saturday, I was in my building’s elevator at Symphony Towers – when a man asked me for directions to Haight-Ashbury. Knowing that he was a tourist, I asked if he was staying with one of my neighbors. “No,” he replied. “I rented an apartment here for five days.” In other words, my building is becoming a hotel. I have no problem with condos being rented out, but only to actual residents – not tourists. He was a nice guy, but I said I was very nonplussed at the situation.

If this can happen in a building with 400 square-foot studios, imagine how much more abuse we will see in unregulated private buildings with “shoebox” apartments.

Well those AirBnB customers need somewhere to stay too.  Where else are they supposed to go? Hotels? I don't know man, those places are small and expensive.

Three Words to Disarm Catcallers

I was walking down Mission Street yesterday and observed a showstopping conversation between a maybe young woman and a catcaller:

Catcaller: Heyyyyy baby.  Baby.  Oh nice ya ya

Woman, turning towards the catcaller: Give me money.

Catcaller, voice softening: Whaaaa… baby?

Woman, holding her ground: Give me money.

Then the catcaller kicked the ground, turned away and walked off.

[Pic by darklorddisco]

San Francisco's Solution to the Housing Crunch: Parking Space-Sized Apartments

Searching for an apartment has been an increasing bummer in recent years, with average neighborhood rents increasing anywhere from 14 to 135% in the past year and landlords requiring prospective tenants to bid on apartments.  However, Supervisor Scott Wiener's proposal to amend the city’s building code to bring the smallest legal living space to just 150 square feet is just depressing.

The proposal, which the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on tomorrow, is seen by Sup. Wiener as a “smart way” to deal with the city's housing shortage as our vacancy rates near 0%.

These “affordable by design” units are also being pushed by Patrick Kennedy, a Berkeley developer and owner of Panoramic Interests, who wants to build “broom closets in the South of Market area” for young techies to work in.  In an interview with the San Francisco Public Press, Kennedy spoke about how these Zynga slave quarters could help prevent the so-called “cannibalization of family housing”:

There’s always going to be two to three young techies who can pay more than your average family,” Kennedy said. “When tech workers can’t find housing, they bid up the housing for everyone else.”

Kennedy took Fair Companies, a sustainable technology blog, for a tour through one of the trial units, which, as SF Public Press points out, is “a little larger than a standard San Francisco parking space.”

Of course, the reasoning doesn't quite add on up this one.  Why would “two or three young techies” all pulling in $80k each want to live in a wiener-sized dorm room?  Gail Gilman, executive director of the nonprofit developer Community Housing Partnership, isn't buying it either:

But Gilman said for-profit developers want to build smaller units mostly because it’s good for their business. Multifamily housing is less lucrative because there are fewer families that can afford to pay for large apartments at the rates landowners would like to charge per square foot.

Shame on Scott Wiener for initiating this BS.

[SF Public Press]

Lost Tour Group?

I think I found your tour group on Valencia.  They were looking at some map that didn't even have the Mission on it and couldn't stop posing for photos with a Rhea's sandwich.  Contact Animal Control to claim them.

7x7 Finally Admits Their Readers Have "Lily-White Skin"

It's been a while since we've made fun of 7x7 for being, well, 7x7.  But this latest tidbit from the magazine's new executive editor Chloe Harris Frankeny is too rich to pass up.

For once, it seems as though the magazine is not only recognizing their whiteness, but embracing it.  However, they took it one step further by calling their reader's skin “lily-white,” a term forever marred by the racist anti-civil-rights movement to expel African-Americans from Southern politics and the Republican Party.  Oops.

But, more importantly, does anyone want to go glamping?  That sure does sound nice.

[Thanks for the tip, Laura!]

The Return of the Eviction Party

I've heard a lot about these mythical eviction parties, where tenants tossed to the curb by their money-grabby landlords celebrate their former homes with beer and destructive mayhem. Fortunately, I had never once come across one for myself until yesterday evening.

Sadly all-to-common throughout the turbulent late-90s, when social justice activists were booted to make room for open source activists, they seem to have died off in recent years (one notable exception from two years ago notwithstanding).  However, the eviction of the Capp Street Commune at Capp and 20th seems like a particularly eery omen of what's to come, given the Commune was right next door to the SF Tenants Union.  If their neighbors, arguably one of the most adept organization at protecting tenants in the city, couldn't help them, what does that say for the rest of us?

I invited myself into the party, hoping to catch someone light the first match, or at least take a swing of the sledgehammer of “fuck yous.”  But there was no retributive property destruction, just melancholy and boxed belongings.  Not much of an eviction party, at least in the eyes of a kid who spent his youth burning matchbooks for fun.

On my way out, I asked a guy clearly suffering from a case of the bummers if he lived in the house, hoping to get the story behind the eviction.

“Naw man, no one lives here.”

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