I don't think before I type's Posts
Ocean Beach's sea wall has been long host to criminal artwork, from the beautifully whimsical to the titillatingly juvenile (above). But under a proposal by a neighborhood marketing company looks to make it all legitimate--a Clarion Alley by the sea, of sorts. SF Weekly reports:
Their project proposes to turn the graffiti-covered walls on Ocean Beach into a public art space where residents and visitors alike can legally leave their mark on the city...
The agency hopes to turn Ocean Beach into a worldwide and family-friendly graffiti hotspot à la Venice Beach in Southern California.
Their associated petition campaign is crawling along, with only 136 people thus far endorsing the project. But perhaps it should project should move forward anyway, given the wall's current hot spot status.
Since Noisebridge opened its doors in 2008, it quickly became not just a place to build robots or meddle with security systems, but a DIY community center in its own right. Today it plays host to everything from LitQuake events to vegan cooking lessons, thanks in large part to its anarchist structure and open access policy.
But Noisebridge's one rule--"Be excellent to one another"--is the kind of toothless techno-libertarian feel-good sloganeering that does little to protect the community. As Noisebridge member Hannah Grimm details, harassment is common and never criticized:
I've been spending time at Noisebridge for the last year, and in that time, I've been harassed by multiple people on many different occasions, almost always with members present. Never once has a member intervened or spoken up on my behalf: not when Weev called me a cunt or made anti-semitic, anti-mormon, anti-woman, anti-gay jokes loudly in the space, not when someone loudly (and descriptively) told me about the "sluts" they double-penetrated the night before, not when an individual (upon seeing me about to leave the space on my Powerisers) declared "I love your stilts. I'm going to make you my bride and then those will be mine" before slapping my ass as I was leaving just a few weeks ago. The closest thing I have felt to supported in the space was when one individual decided to doocratically paint over the bathroom wall, which at the time was covered in images of maimed and broken crying women with enormous tits and waists so thin they would make Barbie jealous. It has become abundantly clear to most women in the space that "Be Excellent" has failed us.
And it's not just Hannah. Another member reports being "pinned down on a table" while another member "began unzipping [their] pants without any permission at all, refusing to stop even after [they] froze in fear asking what the fuck [he was] doing."
It would seem that these black hat brogrammers are not Being Excellent, but largely in part of Noisebridge's consensus-based decision making process (which allows any one member to block a decision), women have not been empowered to remove misogynists from the community:
...attempts to remove sexual predators from the space have been stymied by the presence of lone, oblivious members of the community who simply refuse to believe that someone they consider a friend might not be a friend to women in the space. The situation at Noisebridge has gotten so bad (alongside other issues such as dirtiness and homeless people living in the space) that long-time members went so far as to put in a proposal that Noisebridge seek to terminate its lease, presumably to then rebirth itself at a new location with tighter access control.
Instead of shutting down, Noisebridge instituted a sexual harassment policy--albeit provisionally, to protect against member's fears of censorship and (the long discredited notion) that women level false accusations of rape.
Noisebridge refused to comment, with a member saying it's not "possible" to get a response from a leaderless organization.
The BART Idiot Hall of Fame is a Facebook group dedicated to shaming passengers for taking up too many seats or attending to their personal hygiene while the train is in motion, but this man is no idiot. Willing to root through the festering germ nest to his right, he has found a way to convert his ear-shattering commuter train into a charging station.
The daughter of train operator describes the scene:
There is an AC outlet in each train car, about mid car. Lots of people know about this and plug in their cellphone chargers. It's meant for car cleaners to plug in their vacuums. Funny thing is: some people forget and exit the train, leaving their phones still charging!
Although, one spoilsport advises against it:
I would advise against using those outlets. Like someone said they do have surges. Every time the car goes through a gap (no third rail) the outlets loose power. When Third Rail is established again, power comes back. So there is a constant on/off cycle happening with those outlets.
This is why you should obviously (obviously) be carrying a surge protector in your bag at all times.
During a Dolores Park community breakfast, Supervisor Scott Wiener announced that the oft-delayed Dolores Park Renovation project is slated to begin in January--only a few months past the previously announced date. However, Wiener's comments about what will happen after the renovations are complete in 2015 were the most curious.
"Everything about this Park is going to be better," Dolores Park Works quoted him saying. "But we need to make sure that when we reopen the Park we have a culture shift, and we need to get people to stop trashing it. We want to make sure when it reopens, that this Park is going to continue to be really the gem of our park system."
No doubt that the park gets trashed week after week--it's a shame and it would fantastic if it stopped. However, the tragedy of the commons is a very real thing and its rare to see any widely-used public space not get wrecked by its more apathetic users. Park advocates like to claim that "leave no trace" campaigns will solve the Dolores Park litter 'crisis', but even if the all-responsible population Burning Man cannot help but leave leaps of garbage--that takes weeks to clean up--on the Playa, it seems impossible to imagine such a campaign would work in a city park.
Curious about how Wiener saw the cultural shift taking shape in the newly rehabilitated park, we reached out to him for more clarification on Twitter.
"[We] need a strong education campaign about treating the park with respect, accompanied with better enforcement."
Better enforcement seems reasonable, at least on face. In fact, in New York's Riverside Park, neighbors are making similar calls about their trash crisis, with one echoing Wiener's sentiment, telling the New York Times, "If this was their house, they would never do this. We need better enforcement."
Of course, "better enforcement" isn't as practical as it might seem:
Despite such complaints, park officials say their options are limited. They have mostly pursued a strategy of flooding the area with maintenance workers early Monday morning. William Castro, the parks department’s Manhattan borough commissioner, said that despite the recent hiring of scores of new enforcement patrol officers, penalizing parkgoers was impractical. The officers, who carry clubs and mace, focus mainly on loud music and alcohol, which, he pointed out, were the source of even more complaints.
Littering regulations are difficult to enforce for a few reasons, especially when it comes to large groups of relatives and friends who remain in the park for hours. “For the officers, it’s time-consuming to observe, and then who are you going to give the summons to?” Mr. Castro said. “If you go into a large crowd and the person resists, arguments happen and things spin out of control.”
Then again, maybe "enforcement" will work just fine here.
And the dudes in the said van are none other than Sweat Lodge, the pow wow punk band who'll be playing a mess of shows over the coming weeks. The song itself is "Throwing Rocks," and while the video features no such thing, it does have a steady black-and-white montage of banging on things and making quasi-cutty bangs in torn open Modela cans.
You can catch them at these fine local venues, starting tonight:
Sept. 26th Thee Parkside, $7 9pm
Oct. 1st Bottom of the Hill, $8 8:30pm
Oct. 5th Hemlock, $8 9pm
Oct. 10th Knockout, $8 9:30pm
Previously on Uptown Almanac
At least, that's what Chris Roberts heard today at Everett Middle School, when Mayor Lee and United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan toured the school as part of the "Mission Promise" neighborhood tour:
No joke: mission district kid at everett ms asked about problems in hood by Obama cabinet Secretary. Her answer: muni -- and white people.— chris roberts (@cbloggy) September 24, 2013
We're sure Ed Lee took that comment well.
Linea Caffe, which translated from Italian means "coffee line," is already open for business at 18th and San Carlos and teasing their queuing customers. But the name isn't totally without merit--Linea is run by veteran line-makers and foodie founders Andrew Barnett of Ecco Cafe and Anthony Myint of Mission Chinese Food.
Yes, these guys known a thing or two about getting people to stand around for rare commodities like "coffee" and "breakfast."
The coffee is sourced from Brazil and Ethiopia through a litany of prize-winning coffee producers (and Barnett himself is a judge of World Barista Championship), further adding to the appeal of standing in Coffee Line's coffee line. But, as Spurdge notes, there'll also be food (food!):
While this is most definitely Linea Caffe, it also plays host to both Lt. Waffle and GreenSalads.org in true Mission Street Food restaurant-in-a-restaurant style. Salads and waffles are available, to-go or to stand – an outdoor seating area and standing bar are still in the works (that’s what the Kickstarter paid for.) Also like other Mission Street Food related endeavors, this one has a charitable streak: GreenSalads.org, the salad side of the menu, will donate $1 from each salad to 350.org, a non-profit that seeks to build a grassroots movement to solve climate change.
It's unclear if the name is self-aware nod to the owners' skill at squeezing patience from their customers, or an oblivious homage to the La Marzocco Linea espresso machine sitting on their counter. Either way, if the alluring stink billowing out their door is any indicator, they'll have no problem living up to their name.
After a storied career as a caustic and crabby Twitter user and occasional District 5 Supervisor, London Breed shut down her unfettered Twitter account this afternoon amid accusations that she's unprofessional and generally thoughtless. Why? London's straight-shooter and all-around dopey answer to a softball question about safe streets:
That's correct: a couple of human flat tires means all cyclists are undeserving of safe streets, or something like that. Streetsblog breaks down the troubling sentiment:
The underlying assumption in this argument is that cycling is an activity for a distinct class of people, rather than just a way of getting around. According to this way of thinking, the city cannot implement proven redesigns that make streets safer for the general population until this “class” exhibits suitable behavior. Imagine if you applied the same logic to car infrastructure: No highway or garage would ever be built until we sorted out all the speeding, failure to yield, and distracted driving that kills thousands of Americans each year.
It seems London Breed decided she could no longer control her impulses--her judgment kaput--and she signed off for good. And it's a shame, too. We'll forever miss her implications that her constituents are pro-slavery, declarations of being SF's top party host, and general petulance.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
After getting kicked out of Zeitgeist earlier this summer, The Tamale Lady's Indiegogo campaign to open her own tamaleria got off to a slow start. But after a new mural in Clarion Alley, a marketing partnership with Uber, and a fresh round of donor benefits added to the fundraising campaign, things are picking up and Virginia has bagged nearly $16,500 for her tamale store's kitchen build-out.
Keeping the momentum going, the muralists behind The Tamale Lady's Clarion Alley piece are hosting a punk/garage rock fundraiser this Thursday at The Knockout. Grandma's Boyfriend (who had a killer set at last fall's Clarion Alley anniversary party), Scraper, Windham Flat, and Quite Polite are all slated to play, and The Tamale Lady herself with be on the scene to dish out free tamales.
The party starts at 9pm, with a $5-$15 sliding scale cover (but do feel free to donate more!).
Previously on Uptown Almanac
"Betas," Amazon's new direct-to-streaming show about four (male, mostly white) app developers hoping to retire by puberty, is reportedly filming outside of Bi-Rite Creamery and famed shuttlebus stop, Dolores Park, this morning. They're even sexing up the park with trash-cans!
The show stars Ed Begley, Jr. has an aging tech mogul investor and Moby as Moby, so expect to see them around town as you dodge the cast of The Real World.
UPDATE: They also might be filming at Doc's Clock:
UPDATE II: Because the Mission is one giant Holywood lot, Mission Local is reporting that HBO's "Looking," a gay drama about two video game programmers, is being filmed at Doc's Clock. Mission Mission has the info on how you can be a cool, hipster-y background extra in that show.