Western Addition / NOPA

Rag for Crusty Conservatives Anoints Divisadero 'Mission 2.0'

Man, writing for a 'real' newspaper must be a total bummer.  When Mission bloggers have nothing to write about, we just scour Tumblr for a sweet graffiti pic, come up with a killer pun and start drinking.  But when the poor fucks who write for the Wall Street Journal have no news to report, they're forced to scribble some 'trend piece' about where people with disposable incomes and a fancying for $9 appetizers hang out.

Awful, just awful stuff.

But, it seems some people—namely realtors and landlords, although I suppose they are people too—do take this stuff seriously.  So join me in acknowledging the Wall Street Journal's acknowledgment that NOPA/Divis/Western Addition is “San Francisco's new Mission District”:

The Divisadero Corridor, which runs roughly north and south between Haight and Turk streets and stretches a few blocks west and east of Divisadero Street in the Western Addition, has become San Francisco's new Mission District. Once a mainly black, working-class neighborhood, with some crack houses and prostitution, the Divisadero Corridor is becoming home to hip eateries and young, largely white techies. In doing so, the neighborhood is dealing with some of the same gentrification issues, such as rising rents and demographic shifts, that the Mission has faced in recent years. […]

The younger residents moving into the Divisadero Corridor are often coming after being priced out of the Mission District. Meghan Murray, a 28-year-old marketing employee for a technology start-up, says she and her boyfriend moved into a large studio near Alamo Square Park for $1,900 a month after failing to find one under their $2,000-a-month target in Mission. “It's sort of the same vibe here,” she says.

The same is true for business owners such as Brian Belier. The hairstylist wanted to open his salon, Population, in the Mission. But he found everything was too expensive and instead opted for a former check-cashing place on Divisadero and Fell streets, where the rent is less than half the $7,000-a-month going rate for a storefront he considered in the Mission. He says the clientele at his shop, which opened in August 2010, includes tech employees, students and artists.

And the money shot:

“People are thinking it's the Mission 2.0,” says Jarie Bolander, a board member and former president of the North Panhandle Neighborhood Association, which includes the Divisadero Corridor. “It's a great place to hang out and window shop.”

Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing but love for Divisadero. Just a few weeks back, I went to Fly Bar for the first time and chowed down on what might be the best happy hour menu I've ever seen in San Francisco.  And Green Chili Kitchen, while technically not on Divisadero, cooks up one of the meanest breakfast burritos around.  But this neighborhood v. neighborhood deal is getting kinda played out; never mind reeking of attention-seeking desperation.

Can we all just agree that the only two neighborhoods that should be compared are the Mission and the Marina, with the conclusion being the Mission is always better?

Anyway, time to start drinking.

[Photo by Clinton Perry]

Kelly Malone v. The C Word

Hey, remember a few weeks ago when we mentioned that the lovely Kelly of Indiemart and Workshop had been diagnosed with cancer? Now is your chance to help her kick cancer for good and see five great SF bands for only $15. More details from the Independent:

This past April, Kelly was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer that had spread to non-localized areas as a result of previous battles. Originally dropped from her previous insurance because of the cancer diagnosis, Kelly has had no chance of obtaining new health insurance due to this pre-existing condition. Through this all, Kelly keeps a smile on her face and continues to give back to San Francisco, often devoting much of her own income and sweat to continue businesses that enrich the city. As a successful small business owner, designer, artist, event planner, part of the Treasure Island Music Festival & Noise Pop, Kelly has been able to keep up with medical bills through the ongoing treatments, surgeries, and chemotherapy schedules. But this latest diagnosis requires a treatment path that will exceed her financial abilities, and most likely require her to take a hiatus from her businesses. So she is now asking San Francisco for a helping hand.

All the info you need is on the flier up there, and you can buy tickets in advance right here. And if you can't make it to the show next Tuesday, you can still donate through Kelly's paypal too!

Help Kelly of Indie Mart Kick Cancer For Good

Our pal Kelly of The Indie Mart, workshop., and Heavy Metal Aerobics recently was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer and is looking for some help:

Kelly Malone, a founder and creative genius behind Workshop, as well as the founder of The Indie Mart, has been a staple of the DIY scene in San Francisco for the last five years. Two years ago, recognizing the city’s desire to cultivate creativity and make things again, Kelly started Workshop, an affordable DIY school. She worked aggressively to grow Workshop to a schedule of over forty classes a month. She has worked these past two years with little to no salary from Workshop, purposefully sacrificing income to keep Workshop class prices low and guarantee access to anyone whom is interested.

This past April, Kelly was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer that had spread to non-localized areas as a result of previous battles. Originally dropped from her previous insurance because of the cancer diagnosis, Kelly has had no chance of obtaining new health insurance due to this pre-existing condition. Through this all, Kelly keeps a smile on her face and continues to give back to San Francisco, often devoting much of her own income and sweat to continue businesses that enrich the city. As a successful small business owner, designer, artist, event planner, part of the Treasure Island Music Festival & Noise Pop, Kelly has been able to keep up with medical bills through the ongoing treatments, surgeries, and chemotherapy schedules. But this latest diagnosis requires a treatment path that will exceed her financial abilities, and most likely require her to take a hiatus from her businesses. So she is now asking San Francisco for a helping hand.

Some fundraisers and donation drives are planned for the next few months, but if you'd like to help out now, Kelly is accepting donations through Paypal.

[More Info | photo by tweetsweet]

The Future of Street Food: No Truck, No Table, No Stand, No Effort

Back when I lived in Boston, we ate it restaurants.  Then I moved to San Francisco and we ate on the streets.  But since I've been here, the standard for gourmet dining has been a race to the bottom.  Taco trucks paved the way to curry carts.  Curry carts brought mobile baked goods.  The mobile baked goods lead to Kid Rock's doppelganger selling Jello shots in the park.  Now at garage sales they're throwing in super nachos with every broken sewing machine and stack of 1960's Life Magazines you buy.

Soon the most successful street food businesses will merely hurl gobs of currywurst at passersby.

(photo and additional commentary from Emily Heller)

Gallery Heist and Taggers Just Need to Fuck and Get Over It

Last night, I found myself riding down the bikelaneless Divisadero when the senseless tragedy pictured above stopped me right in my fixed-gear bicycle tracks.  In a mere 24 hours, the Harding Theater went from a pleasant Henry Gunderson mural to the colorful, somewhat rad monstrosity that it is now.  Is this just a way for taggers to tell SF “no, THIS is how you vandalize a mural”?  Or perhaps Henry himself did this for publicity and/or to make a statement against Gallery Heist for painting over the previous mural?  Either way, it's becoming increasingly obvious that the space won't be able to have murals for the foreseeable future.

With that, perhaps it is time for Gallery Heist to admit they have done gone fucked up, pissed off a lot of muralists and taggers alike, and just turn it into a public art wall.  After all, if the marketing geniuses trying to rebrand Western Addition to NOPA really want their neighborhood to be the next “bohemian” 'hood safe for people who spend 25 bucks for brunch, they'll have to realize that all world-class hipster favelas have art walls.  Central Square in Cambridge, MA has “The Wall.”  Pretty much any surface in Green Point or NYC's Meatpacking District is fair game.  And let's not forget Valencia's Art Wall.  Plus, I could look at those RACECAR tags all day.

(photo by Fecal Face, who's snap is far better than the crummy cameraphone pic I snapped)

Between a Rock and an Abandoned Theater

It looks like following the big brouhaha over Gallery Heist's early decision to have Gaia paint over the Lazer Cat mural, the gallery has decided to push forward with their Divisadero mural project.  The latest was put up over the last week by 20-year-old Henry Gunderson featuring lots of tinfoil, some wood, and a seesaw we sadly cannot play on.

(first photo by Herney Gunderson)

UPDATE: that didn't take long…

Aggressive Panhandler has the update.

Lazer Cat Mural Succumbs to Hype

Over the Christmas break, MAJOR DRAMA went down surrounding Harding Theater's “Lazer Cat” mural.  In short, SFist found the mural “vandalized” with two rad-looking bull heads painted over the mememural.  The internet promptly shit itself, only to discover that the Lazer Cat mural was intended to be a temporary mural, the first in series of pieces with a month of shelf life.  Out of embarrassment, Gallery Heist, who put together the mural project, took down the mural's canvas and left the abandoned Divisadero theater painted white.

Two days later, the wall is well on its way to being completely tagged over.  Adam Infanticide has a sticker declaring “I [sic] BEAUTIFYING MY COMMUNITY.”   Another from the local favorite gibberish tagger “Beer Picnics” reads, “Vampires Using Extacy”  But most prominently is the giant HYPE! tag, which pretty much summarizes the entire ordeal.  Even if the mural wasn't painted over intentionally, its demise was almost certain due to its subject matter and hype.  After all, you cannot paint a mural like that, in San Francisco, without consciously thinking about how the mural will be played up on Laughing Squid, I Can Haz Cheezeburger and other glorified Tumblrs.  At which point, it becomes difficult to tell if the mural is art, or merely someone looking for their 15 minutes of fame.  Certainly some found it to be art (I skeptically fell on this side), but without a doubt others assumed it was the latter.

I'm only surprised the mural made it as long as it did.

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