(frontal lobe slap)

The Bold Italic Criticizes SF's Homogenization, Doesn't Criticize Itself

It's already Wednesday and we're only now reading our first anti-gentrification rant of the week.  Real evidence the local media is slipping, honestly.  And while we're still not seeing much of a fresh take on things, today's soapbox is a startling one: The Bold Italic.  The Bold Italic.

I cry:

Take a walk down Valencia Street today and you’ll find yourself waiting in line at a Disneyland of pop-culture opulence. Oblivious of the stark irony, graphic designers and marketing managers frequent $50/seat old-time barbershops and shop at retail boutiques obsessed with the rugged appeal of working-class fashion. Simultaneously, the actual businesses and experiences the proprietors are emulating are unable to compete in the increased rental market. What we’re left with are stage props and costumes in an increasingly detached culture of disingenuous, blue-collar nostalgia. […]

Sadly, the very diversity that attracts people to this city is now being threatened by the people it attracts. What we are now witnessing is the rubber band of white flight snapping, bringing with it the strip-mall formula of familiarity that most people who now call this home fled from. It doesn’t matter if it's Whole Foods, Blue Bottle, or a flock of mobile food trucks, gentrification in 2013 seems to be characterized by a stark cultural homogeneity that is leaving one neighborhood indistinguishable from the next.

Oblivious of the stark irony, The Bold Italic published this without taking even the slightest bit of look inward.  No mention of their puff pieces on $50/seat old-time barbershops (published two days ago) or overpriced shaving kits.  No hint at self-awareness of their blind promotion of non-union union-chic boutiques obsessed with the rugged appeal of working-class fashion. Not even a self-deprecating quip about their faux-folksy reclaimed wood headquarters paid for by their deep-pocketed parent's (Gannett, owner of USA Today) generously provided trust-fund (yearly tax write-off).

Yes, The Bold Italic, homogeneity is absolutely ruining San Francisco.

(Also, can someone point me in the direction of our neighborhood Hot Topic? I need some new shirts.)

Stable Cafe's Kanye Moment: "The City of S.F. is Completely Neglecting Our Neighborhood!"

Is the Mission like black people in New Orleans during a category 5 hurricane? Apparently! In fact, shit has gotten so bad 17th and Folsom that the owner of Stable Café has been forced to serve hot chocolates and quinoa salads at irregular hours.  Mission Local heroically reports:

The Stable Café is still recuperating from floods that inundated the Folsom Street property twice this year — once on April 12 and again on Dec. 2. The hardest thing to deal with hasn’t been the flooding itself, however, but the inconsistent hours of the city workers making repairs.

People are here every day demolishing, building, rebuilding, painting, and we have to accommodate to them and it’s hard not to be able to tell our clients what’s going on,” said Stable Café owner Thomas Lackey. “They’re different every day,” he said of the work hours for city employees repairing the damage…

I’m really irritated,” he said.

Wait, the city is out there everyday repairing the damage? I thought the city was completely neglecting the neighborhood? I'm so confused.

SFPD, Google Hosting Class on How to Improperly Lock Up Your Bike

Let us be totally clear here: this post isn't intended to rag on either organization for bicycle locking ignorance.  One organization is a government service tasked with crime prevention and security, the other parses vast amounts of information to provide us with the best resources available on any given subject, so it makes total sense that they'd be blanketing San Francisco with posters incorrectly telling people how to properly lock their bicycles.  I mean, neither is a bike company, so how would they know?

Therefore, in the interest in preventing anyone who may have seen this from being duped into this subpar locking strategy, we'd like to remind everyone how to actually lock their bike (via Sheldon Brown):

People tend to buy the big clunky U-locks because they don't know how to use them properly. A U-lock should go around the rear rim and tire, somewhere inside the rear triangle of the frame. There is no need to loop it around the seat tube as well, because the wheel cannot be pulled through the rear triangle.

Some will object that felons might cut the rear rim and tire to remove the lock. Believe me, this just doesn't happen in the real world. It is indeed possible to cut the rim with a hacksaw, working from the outside to the inside, but first, the tire must be removed or cut through. It would be a lot of work to steal a frame without a usable rear wheel, the most expensive part of a bike, after the frame.

The main reason SFPD/Google's suggested strategy doesn't work is the same reason cable locks just plain don't secure bikes: every thief has a pair of cutters that make quick work of the cable. If you use their locking suggestion, not only are you carrying around a relatively useless, bulky cable, you're likely to find both your wheels stolen, as opposed to just your front wheel.

Google it if you don't believe me.

Update: Matt Friedman of SFPD tells us the SF Bike Coalition is behind the poster and locking recommendation. Yikes.

Mission Local Explores the World of Dating Techies

Mission Local has a really super interesting piece on what it's like to date a techie:

They were so busy working and learning that anything interesting about me was very interesting for them,” Mary says, reflecting on her experiences while I immerse my fries in ketchup. “They were easy to impress. One was even very impressed by my nose piercing, which is not very impressive at all.” Sweet. That’s hilarious. I cough, spit out some food and ask her to continue. […]

I dated one,” Carla says. “It didn’t work. I felt that at a personal level, we were very different. I’m an artist and I had the feeling I couldn’t really connect with him or his friends. Their lifestyle was not very alternative, and they were scared about having deep conversations.” […]

They’re stable, they have money … Maybe we could take a trip to Sonoma County on the weekend. That sounds nice,” baker Ashley Chapman says with a big, sweet smile. […]

They have a lot of money and are very stingy all the same. They think that what they’re doing is the most important thing in the world. They schedule girlfriends the way they would schedule meetings.” She defines them as “socially awkward,” a term she is not the only one to use.

At the same coffee shop, Rachel Aoanan says that one friend describes himself the same way. “He projects an authoritarian personality at work, but he’s cool, interesting and smart when you get to know him,” she says.

I did learn a lot from this article, like techies must be heterosexual men.  And they have money.  Lots of money.  But sometimes they don't spend that money, except for when they do.  And they are social awkward and reclusive, except for when they aren't.  Did I mention they have money?

Read on for additional interviews and thoughts, including the opinions of three girls who are techies on why girls are interested in their male coworkers.

[Photo by Mission Local | Thanks Eugenia!]

BART No Closer to Removing Bike Blackout Hours

We've all been stuck in the East Bay with our bikes at rush hour before, forced to illegally ride the train under the Bay after ignoring that familiar crackling voice wailing over the intercom for us to “get off the damn train.”  Instead of coming up with a solution to the problem, BART is continuing to “stonewall” the issue, reports Streetsblog:

BART staff has shot down a proposal from [District 4 BART Board of Director] Robert Raburn to allow commuters to bring bicycles aboard the back cars of rush hour trains. In a memo to the BART Board, Executive Planning and Budget Manager Carter Mau recommended maintaining the current policy, which prohibits bicycles aboard its most crowded trains during peak hours.

Raburn couldn’t be reached for comment but BART Director Tom Radulovich said the response from staff was frustrating. He said they’ve been “stonewalling” the issue for years.

“I think the BART staff need to be doing more to expand bike access to all trains at all times,” he said. The issue is not dead yet, however. Radulovich said the board could revive the proposal and call for a public hearing.

Read on to learn their reasons for maintaining the status quo, including fears that the proposal would be too popular, would cause “vertical circulation” problems, and confuse the easily-confused BART police.

[Photo by BART Don't Lie]

Local News Catches On To "La Lengua"

Ever since Google Maps added “La Lengua” to their map, the old folk's media has been giving the 'new microhood' a lot of press.  The coverage reached a fever pitch yesterday when CBS 5 sent a fashionable reporter to the corner of Mission and Valencia to tell Latino's that they were in “La Lengua,” make a bunch of tongue puns, and to eat a tongue burrito at the popular “Taqueria Can-Can.”  Give it a watch.

Blackberry Enlists Local Bike Messenger in Alt. Ad Campaign

Blackberry, a company known for making phones that no one under the age of 35 uses, has deployed an ad campaign designed to target urban professionals longing to be cool.  The ad starts off with a local legal messenger, who must be really, really broke, riding up and down San Francisco's scenic hilltops (PLOT HOLE: San Francisco's legal firms are not parked on the top of hills).  He then claims he refers to his Blackberry as his “future phone,” which I'm sure made his soul wilt up into a decaying ball of shame and self-loathing (only to be rejuvenated when he received his 'fat stacks').  However, the ad doesn't truly plummet into marketing hell until it introduces DJ Cassidy, who is dressed in a sweater with a gondola hat, doesn't use real turntables, and has his DJ name embroidered on a pillow.  The dude looks like a male Marta Stewart who is about to go to a picnic in 1917.