Terrible…go back to Marin!

“Terrible…go back to Marin!” — this may as well be the headline for every Uptown Almanac post, but this time, it's apropos.

Some heroic Martin Luther type saw fit to deliver this “One Thesis” to an Earl-emblazoned garage door, decreeing that the dark ages of street art have no place in SOMA.

Zero stars!

Zero stars!

Not in our backyard.

The Upside of Sequestration: No Blue Angels!

Recently, economic turmoil coupled with a lack of congressional bipartisanship has caused an downward financial slope for government subsidized programs, most recently manifested in an act known as 'sequestration'. It's not great. Lots of programs are losing money, lots of people are losing their jobs, and Congress has an approval rating somewhere in the vicinity of the Val Kilmer Batman movie (topical reference). 

That being said, it's not like the effects of sequestration are all bad. From NBC Bay Area:

The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels announced on Tuesday that because of federal budget cuts and sequestration, the entire 2013 season has been canceled.

The Blue Angels were scheduled to appear in San Francisco during Fleet Week in October. The event is still scheduled to go on, but the Blue Angels were arguably the biggest draw.

Despite what your views on patriotism are, there are no doubt that the Blue Angels are just the absolute fucking worst. They spend the entire week performing over the city, shaking buildings by being very fast and aerodynamic jerkoffs. An unnecessary pollutant the tranquil skies of our oh-so-cherished microclimate, the Blue Angels only function is clogging the bridges and roads with a massive influx of North Bay, Coolpix camera-wielding tourists.

So if a few bus drivers and other city employees lose their jobs, so be it. I full-heartedly embrace sequestration. It enables us to spend one extra week of the year not having to jump under our desks in a Cold War-style bomb drills. Except for every Tuesday at noon. 

Go Congress! 6 more years!

SF Bike Coalition Trying to Do Something About That Damn Bridge

As anyone who has biked over the Golden Gate Bridge over the past month can tell you, The Bridge is an unbearable mess right now.  At the beginning of June, the western side of the bridge, which is dedicated to peak hour bike usage, was closed for four months for construction.  The result of this closure is now San Francisco cyclists must try to ride around the disoriented mob of tourists and photographers—a task this blogger can assure you is enough to make you leap off your bicycle and find the quickest exit from the madness.

Thankfully, the SF Bike Coalition has been taking the Golden Gate Bridge District to task over the situation, as announced in yesterday's newsletter:

The SF Bicycle Coalition asked for added measures to help bridge users understand what's going on and safely manage the capacity reduction (such as posting uniformed staff at key points to help sort things out), as well as asking the District to provide roadway space for bicycle traffic during the sidewalk closure, or at least bike shuttles across the bridge (already done for other bridge sidewalk closures). But the District claims that it can't be done.

Really? Impossible to mitigate the loss of half the bridge's non-motorized capacity? If the District had closed half of the bridge's roadway lanes for four months would they just shrug and look the other way? We're letting the District know that cramming all their summertime foot and bike traffic onto just one sidewalk is impossible — it's time to bring real solutions to this serious (and long-planned) capacity reduction. Give bike traffic a temporary lane, or give it a shuttle. You can let them know as well — tell the District what you think at Take extra care if you do get out on the bridge, and please show some extra kindness to other folks dealing with this disruption — now more than ever it's about giving and getting respect.

I'd also recommend taking a Xanax.

[Photo by SF Examiner]

24 Hours of LeMons: Burning Man Meets NASCAR

Todd over at Telstar Logistics was fortunate enough to spend last weekend up in Petaluma watching maniacs race cars during the 24 Hours of LeMons:

Last weekend Telstar Logistics spent a damp Saturday trackside at Sears Point Raceway, just north of San Francisco, for the 2011 running of the local 24 Hours of LeMons (that's pronounced “lemons,”) a low-budget auto race where the most important rule is that participants must spend $500 or less to purchase and race-prep their cars. This rule not only keeps the race wonderfully devoid of pretension, but it also opens the door to blatant silliness and wild innovation, so that the race itself feels like a pleasant mix of Burning Man and NASCAR — or as the organizers of the 24 Hours of LeMons call it, “where Halloween meets gasoline.”

This looks like the only circuit race I could stand to watch, if only because the idea of a watching a rainbow get slammed into a wall by a car dressed like the Devil sounds like the ideal place to enjoy a bottle of Sonoma's finest $12 wine.

Be sure to check out Todd's full report for additional shots of a Road Runner car, a giant mowhawk on wheels, and a beat-to-hell Honda that's supposed to look like the Starship Enterprise.  And, for the curious, what could quite possibly be the best car of the lot:

[Second photo by blarfiejandro]

Marin Gets Bike Lanes Right

I don't have a lot of love for Marin County.  For one, it's the place that mountain biking was invented, yet all the seminal trails are now illegal to ride on. Second, everyone there drives BMWs and nothing irks me more than other people's success.  Plus, it's San Francisco's Canada.  But when it comes to bike lanes, they seem to have the right idea.  Drivers always seem to park their cars in SF's bike lanes (I blame tourists, cuz they're dumb).  It took SF years to do a damn thing about Fell.  And it's Monday morning and I need something to bitch about.

Would a simple “no parking” stencil along all the bike lanes help?  I certainly don't know for sure, but I've only had to bike around a car while shaking my fist once up there.

The Most Impotant Letter of Them All

Emilie Ridley is South African by way of Cape Cod. He attended Evergreen college in the late 70s, where he experimented with acid in a polygamist tribe before moving to San Francisco to open a biodegradable dog kennel business. He has been here ever since. This is his story…

Deciding I needed a reprieve from the neighbourhood gang crew spraying their stiffy doodles upon my doorpost, I wangled into my pleated shorts and hopped the ferry to bask in the sun of refined and tidy Sausilito.

After attending several houseboat open houses, I strolled back onto the ferry, energized from the clean air and a brilliant sunset.

Imagine my dismay, then, when I am greeted with this vista upon my return to this ever-viler city:


Is no one aghast at the city's inability to keep the most important letter of them all alight? For what do I pay my tax dollars? So that Johnny B. Feelgood might shoot up on the city's dime? 

Meanwhile, how do I explain to my 5 year old niece (were I to have a niece, I imagine her as 5) what “Pot” is and why so many gritty knucksters are giggling and snapshotting this grotesque oversight of public funds?

A new low in a city set on sinking ever deeper.


Much to the disappointment of area cyclists and appalling looking people in rental cars, the Marin Headlands shut down this spring for construction for repairs.  Lucky for us, construction has finally wrapped up and we can once again ride bikes without being forced to ride through the Sausalito moneyfest and take rad HDR photos.

(photo by Jouko van der Kruijssen, who did a much better job at documenting the reopening than my iPhone did)