Mission District

Dear Sucker

San Franciscans Wait Two Hours in the Rain For Day-Old New York Bagels

Photo by @marmotilla

San Francisco reached peak pop-up pretentiousness this morning as throngs of bored foodies waited for “nearly two hours” for day-old New York bagels.

Taking place at Dear Mom, the Mission’s magnet of mediocrity, budding restauranteurs importers Sonya Haines and Wes Rowe unveiled their “Eastside Bagels” hustle, which sees Russ & Daughters bagels flown in from New York and flipped for $6 (bagel with cream cheese) to $12 (full bagel sandwich).  According to tweets from Andy Cooper, who suffered through the humiliation so we didn’t have to, the entire ordeal was a pointless exercise in doom and decadence:

 

The news of slow service and sell-outs led to an artisan riot, as moist customers raised their decorative pitchforks and hurled mildly-restrained criticism at the non-chefs.  Some poor schmuck even came up from San Jose, much to her frowny face:

While we’ve become dizzy with all the eye-rolling, we cannot help be impressed by the brilliance of this pop-up and its ability to lure people into the most degrading “yuppie bread line” possible.  Here are some other pop-up ideas to subsidize your next East Coast vacation:

  • “Box O’ Joe” Irish coffee pop-up at Buena Vista.
  • $12 reheated slice of Crazy Dough’s.
  • Bottles of water, filled from the bathroom sink of a West Philly Wawa.
  • $2 week-old Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins.
  • Scratched Dropkick Murphy’s CDs purchased at various Quincy garage sales.
  • Coolers full of authentic snow collected from Brooklyn (gross old dirty snow, not the fresh stuff).
  • Rosemunde pop-up, featuring sausages imported from Rosemunde Williamsburg.
  • Bagels purchased from C-Town Supermarket that you claim Danny Bowien breathed on.

Go forth and make your money, young jetset entrepreneurs. And congratulations to you, foodies of San Francisco, for effectively releasing any claim of superiority over New York City.

Whoop Whoop

Movies, How Do They Work? The Roxie Gives a Sneak Peek of a Savage Juggalo Documentary

Last night San Francisco’s Juggathological community and the merely Juggalo-curious were treated to an advanced screening of Whoop Dreams at the Roxie. The film, still in production, documents five friends’ foray into the annual Gathering of the Juggalos, which today was announced to be moving to Missouri in 2014.

As Uptown Almanac’s Senior Juggalo Reporter, I could not be more fascinated by this subculture—built around a rap group made up of men in clown makeup flummoxed by magnetism. Judging by the speed at which the Kickstarter to make Whoop Dreams was funded, and the packed house at the sneak peek, I’m not alone. The Roxie made the event all the more festive by stocking the concession stand with Faygo:

What we got to see last night was more-or-less the final cut of the film, with a stand-in soundtrack to set the mood in place of an original score, which will be added before the film’s official release.

Whoop Dreams promises “sex, drugs, clowns, boobies, dildos, and people hurting themselves for the sake of their Juggalo family,” and for the most part, the film delivered. With what the trailer teased, I was fully expecting a feature-length shitshow, but what we got was surprisingly tame (even with the extreme nipple torture).

Whoop Dreams may just be the most polite movie about Juggalos you’ll ever see.

How did this happen? Well, as five relatively clean-cut bros in a sea of tatted ninjas and ninjettes, their strength in numbers may have kept them from assimilating into The Family. Coupled with the great care they all took not to mock Juggalo culture, there’s a noticable distance to the film. It’s this neutral stance that is Whoop Dreams’ only weakness. Metaphorically speaking, the guys merely dipped their toes in Hepatitis Lake. During the Q & A, it was also revealed that the guys captured less footage then they’d hoped—only 8 hours in 3 days (they got their fill of family and bounced a day early). And they were only able to allude to a lot of the sex and drugs they witnessed due to their own diligence in getting signed release forms from their subjects.

Despite its lack of teeth, I still really enjoyed Whoop Dreams. Honestly, I love Juggalo culture so much that I was bound to be satisfied by any glimpse into the Gathering. No doubt the rest of the audience last night felt the same. There were plenty of big laughs during the screening and we basically had to be kicked out of the Roxie because the Q&A ran over its allotted time but nobody wanted to budge. And with the guys collecting feedback forms in earnest, there will likely be a few tweaks made before the final version of Whoop Dreams is unleashed on the masses.

My feedback? I think the movie could be improved by including postmortem interviews with each of the guys describing their experiences documenting the crazy shit they saw. These could then be incorporated as voice over to boost some scenes that need additional explanation. (For example: a slow-motion montage of ladies oil wrestling makes a lot more sense when you know that the wrestlers were not the ladies originally hired for the event, but willing Juggalettes who stepped in when the professionals went on strike.) I know they’re planning on creating bonus commentary for the DVD—so why not put the best soundbites in the feature as well?

If they had it to do over again (which the guys emphatically stated they have no interest in), they’d also be better off sending only Matt Lieb and Laremy Legel, who seemed the most down with the clown…or at least into the adventure of it all.

How Whoop Dreams stacks up in the cannon of Juggathological film remains to be seen, but for right now I give it two enthusiastic Whoops. Until I see the final cut, I’m leaving my titties in my shirt.

Clarion Alley Artists Claim "Vengeful" Copyright Infringement in Tech Shuttle Art Contest

Mission Local's $500 shuttle bus bedazzling contest with Genentech, which we once called an “egregious conflict of interest,” is now receiving a new round of criticism—this time from neighborhood artists who feel their work is being used against their wills in an effort to give “'cool camo' for corporations.”

Via an anonymous tipster:

The winning entry for decorating the tech shuttles is a Google Street View of Clarion Alley and Community Thrift.

But the artists responsible for the murals/decorative painting in the photo condemn their art being used for this purpose, and did not support the competition from the beginning. They were even in contact with Lydia Chávez—yet, their art has been co-opted nonetheless.

The status update of the Clarion Alley Mural Project reads as follows: “Mission Loc@l SUCKS!!! & [Editor-in-Chief] Lydia Chávez sucks!!! This comes after a long email exchange with Lydia that included Megan Wilson, Jet Martinez (who painted Community Thrift), Rigo 23, and John Jota Leaños - and we all said that WE DID NOT SUPPORT THIS COMPETITION - Megan, Rigo, and Jet as Clarion Alley Mural Project. … Time to by [sic] an arsenal of paint guns!”

Megan Wilson is a lead organizer for CAMP, Jet Martinez painted Community Thrift (also “Sons of Satya”—“the elephant one”), Rigo 23 was an original founder of CAMP.

Emails between Chávez and Clarion artists, published on Megan Wilson's blog, show an intense rift between the arts community and the shuttles—and a community that wanted nothing to do with the project and rejected the co-opting of their work.

Chávez initially reached out to CAMP in early December, asking the muralists to participate in the contest.  However, the invitation was rejected outright.

“Fuck this!,” John Jota Leaños responded. “I had many subversive thoughts and brainstorms over breakfast, but none would fly … subversive, political, social art does not pass corporate scrutiny.”  He added:

I question Mission Local’s move to promote this and work with FB and others …to exploit artists to beautify their cush-rides while indirectly displacing these same artists… Fijate!

“I don’t know.  Why not give it a try?,” Chávez suggested.

She later admitted, “I would love to see some subversive ideas [in the contest].”

Before the artists requested the contest be retracted, Rigo 23 fired back:

WE DO NOT HAVE SUBVERSIVE IDEAS WHICH WE ARE TRYING TO SELL TO CORPORATE INTERESTS FOR 500 Dollars;
WE ARE NOT HOPING TO HELP THEM BETTER BLEND INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOODS; WE ARE NOT LOOKING TO SELL “COOL CAMO” FOR CORPORATIONS.

Mission Local and Genentech chose to push forward with the contest, ultimately selecting a design which incorporated the protesting artists' work.

Megan Wilson writes, “the selection is not only disrespectful, but also seems vengeful and tacky.”

Feverish 2br Valencia Apartment Listing for a Gut-Churning $10,500/Month

“With the hottest micoclimate in San Francisco,” reads the latest vomit-inspiring apartment listing, “[the] Mission is caliente and this brand new boutique building at 19th + Valencia has only 3 rare rentals in the mix of 17 condominiums that were sold out for over $2.0 million per unit.”

That's right, chicos and chicas! Slap on your your favorite sombrero and shake your maracas over to 19th and Valencia, because the Mission is caliente.

Mild offensiveness aside, this listing transcends the bounds of absurdity and enters the realm of piggish extravagance.  Posted by Mark Venegas, a “Corporate Relocation Specialist for Employees Moving to San Francisco” for SF Dream Rental and Sales, the 1575 square foot apartments are listed for a modest $10,500 for a single month.  Those dollars buy you a lot: “billowing views,” “Italian-designed interiors,” close access to Tacolicious, and an optional “full concierge” package.  Plus, we're told by a neighbor that the building boasts private security guards to protect tenants from the local rabble.

But who could even afford such a thing?  We imagine that the average Joe Shuttlebus the realtor targets could never find a way to afford $126,000 in yearly rent.

We emailed Venegas over the weekend to get the story on this prized pad, and who owns these units and expects such a lavish monthly return.  We're yet to hear back.

Below, the original listing, which has been flagged off Craigslist:

Wound Irrigation: Gentrification Protesters Reignite Resentments at 16th and Mission

A resentment festival sponsored by the Plaza 16 Coalition was conducted last Saturday at the corner of Mission and 16th Street. Free food was provided and speeches were delivered for approximately one hour in the glorious February sunshine. There was a decent turn out.

What was the occasion?

Good question.

The “Wall of Glass” proposed for 16th and Mission.

There is a development in the planning stages proposed for the corner diagonal to where the rally was held. If this plan goes forward, the plot of land housing Walgreens, Burger King and a number of other businesses will be completely transformed. The proposal offered by Maximus Real Estate Partners includes the building of two 10-story towers at 1979 Mission Street that will house 351 market rate apartments.

Depending on your source, market rate apartments in San Francisco can range from $3k - $5k per month. At this time there is no mention on-site affordable housing included.

Most of the people in attendance on Saturday were neighborhood activists and concerned community members that couldn’t possibly afford to live in the proposed twin towers. Every speech given was spoken in English and Spanish. The event couldn’t have been more of a grassroots effort.  The crowd senses the development will completely change the character of the neighborhood.

So why weren’t there more action items on the agenda?

The speeches given were fierce and heartfelt and inspiring, but don’t we already know what is happening all around us? Sure, it’s been a few months since there were boisterous gatherings in the Mission surrounding the Jack Spade push back and the subsequent march down 24th Street. Maybe we needed a moment in the new year to remind us all of where we left off and introduce the latest egregious encroachment upon the not-quite-middle-class citizens of Mission District.

If that’s the case, mission accomplished! But I have the feeling that many of us continue to pay close attention even if we haven’t had a moment to gather and chant a response to the question “Whose city?” in the past two months.
People need to know what they can do now, next week, or next month about the changes happening around them. Those opportunities (if any) comprised a fraction of the time spent reigniting the resentments.

There was a passing mention of the San Francisco Citywide Tenant Convention scheduled for noon on Saturday, February 8 at the Tenderloin Elementary School at Turk and Van Ness. Although that doesn’t directly address the gentrification of the Mission District, it does serve to build coalitions and affordable housing is very much part of the agenda at the convention.

What are the next steps in the approval process of the Maximus Partners proposal? What is the time frame? Where can we get more information? How can we be connected to the Plaza 16 Coalition to be kept abreast? Are there any scheduled hearings at City Hall?

There was great awareness and sympathy expressed for the struggles of working class neighbors. Maybe there should also be awareness of the difficulty some working class families might have in remaining informed and connected to movements that are the ONLY opportunity to have a say in how our neighborhoods are being stolen. Give us something to walk away with next time, please. We all need to know there is something we can do besides squint into the sun and shout out “OUR CITY” while it’s being taken away from us.

Fire Rips Through Artists' Warehouse 14th and Stevenson

This morning at 6:28am, Kyle Smeallie alerted us that there was a fire burning on Stevenson Street, off of 14th, in a warehouse that houses Benny Gold, artists, and a few other businesses.

As of 10:30 this morning, five engines remained on the scene, and the smell of burnt wood was still pungent through Civic Center.

An officer at the scene wasn't able to provide any details, but at least 15 people were left standing on the street.  We'll update if we hear more.

The Women's Building Explores the High Art of Toilets

The Women's Building recently unveiled a new exhibit of highfaluting shit buckets.  Perched on their front steps, the unusable works of art are supporting LavaMae, a local non-profit that aims to provide showers for the homeless.

Let's take a closer look:

By far the best of the three, this toilet features a litany of dinosaur figurines, a bicycle horn, and other objects that'd probably be uncomfortable to sit on.

This is just a toilet filled with crap.

Anyway, drop by the exhibit yourself at 18th and Lapidge.

Fowl, For Jack Bessy

Editor's note: This poem was submitted to Uptown Almanac by Sergio Villanueva, a former rock journalist, who wrote this in response to his friend getting displaced to Oakland.  You can listen to a reading of this on SoundCloud.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by greed, overstuffed; controlled; clothed,

dragging themselves through the soma streets looking for their private bus,

angel funded techsters yearning for the proper yahoo connections to the buyout dynamo,

who over look poverty and tatters of those who they displace as they sit up high doing molly

who bared their brains to Heaven under the Andreessen and Horwitz and anyone else who would listen

who passed through universities with ease praise and hallucination of their masters

who left academies for crazy & obscene business plans to take to incubators

who cowered in unshaven computer rooms, burning others money in wastebaskets and calculating soft landings

who got busted being - sexists - bigots - classists - homophobes - through posts on the internet

who sank all night from the attacks back of and through their fugazzis in return a simple apology to make things better

a lost battalion of platonic conservatives jumping down on what this city was made from

who vanished into nowhere Midwest leaving a trail of plaid shirts and brightly colored wayfarers

who thought they were only mad when there wasn't more work to be done

who lounged hungry and lonesome because okcupid had failed to seek sex or jazz or soup

who burned cigarette holes in tax law protesting democracy in a haze of championing capitalism

who distributed flyers in union square weeping and begging for you to try their app

who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight for committing no crime as they see other than a little disruption

who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly funders as they screamed with joy,

who offended the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset from harassment; to the body ideals of a video game generation

who ate lamb stew, and digested the finest crab mission chinese had to offer.

who wept at the romance that is bad hot dogs, and even worst dub

who sat in open workspaces under bright lights as all co-workers watched each other

who coded all night rocking and rolling over the millions that are sure to come

who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to actually go through and do a lay off

who barreled down the highway in their newly leased bmws knowing that it can’t last forever

who demanded sanity trials accusing anyone who doesn’t think progress is good

ah, Jack, while you are safe I am not safe.

the madman who beats the angel unknown,

yet putting down here what might be the death to my life with the absolute heart of which I have butchered this poem.

One Way Swing Carousel

There's been a flurry of 'mystery mobiles' left dangling across the city, from bedazzled disco balls in the Haight to a decapitated doll head whirligig in Clarion Alley.  Now we find a swing carousel perched atop Oakwood's one way sign, around the corner from Bi-Rite.  A lovely piece, for sure (although further adorning it with the limbs of massacred dolls would certainly level up its carny cred).

[Thanks for the photo, Gray!]

Weekly Property Damage Rundown: Clueless Willie Brown

It's been ages since I've thought of Clueless, but fortunately for my wistful memories of lurid teen comedies, some artist recreated choice scenes using pages of 1970s National Geographics on the gates of Dolores Park.

Speaking of the '90s, one self-appointed sheriff pasted these wanted posters up and down the Mission, demanding the head of Willie “Da Bridge” Brown for rubbing out San Francisco.

I also recently learned that The Sycamore's bathroom wall is one of the strangest reads around.

Outside Beauty Bar Sunday evening, an artist finished up a great new piece (my photo: not so great) of a skinny sasquatch puking up people and rocket ships from the back of his head. (Presumably, an homage to the bar's late-night customers.)

Finally, via Bernalwood, yarn bombing still appears to be a thing.

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