This year’s SF Documentary Festival kicks off with a ‘Free’ screening at McCoppin Plaza

The screening is of a movie called Free, and it is free, and it’s this Thursday, and there will be food trucks and stuff. Here’s a blurb about the movie:

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker David Collier and co-director Suzanne LaFetra have crafted a stirring, up-close documentary that follows a group of Oakland teens who find personal liberation and mutual support through dance. These dynamic young people face the very real challenges of poverty, alienation, HIV, sexual abuse, and gang violence but are dedicated to telling the truth— even if it hurts. Because the truth will, to some degree, set them free. FREE captures their struggles as they turn the courage, determination, and stamina required in their daily lives into a contagious joy.

McCoppin Plaza, as you know, is that plaza on the north end of Valencia Street next to the U-Haul place.

More info (on this event and on the rest of DocFest).

If these people can go to all the trouble of looking like this, surely you can do better than that grey hoodie

(I’m talking to myself, but probably also to you.)

[via Fashionist]

A little part of Valencia goes to the Tenderloin

826 Valencia, to be precise. SF Weekly reports:

When a real estate broker told Tenderloin landlord Paul Boschetti that a nonprofit was interested in leasing his 172 Golden Gate Avenue property, he told the San Francisco Chronicle Thursday, Boschetti said, “No way. I’ve had it up to here with nonprofits.” But the landlord had a change of heart when he visited the original 826 Valencia. “When I saw what they were doing for the young people of the neighborhood, how much fun the kids were having, I immediately changed my mind,” Boschetti told the Chron. “If I was a kid I would like this kind of stuff myself.”

Aww. Read on for more of the story.

Help keep Lost Weekend Video in the Mission!

It’ll come as no surprise that Lost Weekend Video has long been in danger of having to close up shop. Netflix, HBO Go, Popcorn Time, etc. But they’ve been on Valencia Street since the late ’90s, they’re a living relic of the Mission’s storied past, AND they’re continually taking cool steps toward remaining relevant and exciting.

Firstly, they started up the basement Cinecave performance space where they’ve been doing all kinds of cutting-edge comedy the last couple years. More recently, they’ve welcomed 1-2-3-4 Go! Records in to share the space, and hopefully that’s revving up business a little.

But also, with the help of some crowdfunding, they’d like to do all of this:

We will enhance & expand our video & retail services to better serve the needs of the 21st Century film enthusiast, including:

  1. A fully searchable online catalog, with IMDB links & weekly updates of new acquisitions.
  2. Rental delivery service for when you can’t get down to the store.
  3. Buying & selling of DVD/VHS collections, including new releases, collectibles & special orders.
  4. A continuously stocked collection of our own signature tees, totes & hoodies as well as related local & custom merchandise.
  5. Affordable video transfer services on-site.
  6. Continuing operation of our overwhelmingly popular Cinecave comedy shows.

On their crowdfunding page, for different donation levels you get all sorts of perks, like free video rentals and cool shirts and stuff. 32 hours left to donate! Check it out.

[Photo by 1-2-3-4 Go! Records SF on Instagram]

An intimate look at the domestic lives of roommates Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig

Local art collective Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club presents a very special group art show tonight at local comics and art shop Mission: Comics & Art

The show takes an intimate look at the domestic lives of roommates Henry Rollins (from Black Flag) and Glenn Danzig (from The Misfits) with over 60 paintings, drawings and original pages from the “Henry and Glen Forever and Ever” comic book series curated by by indie-heavyweight Tom Neely (Image Comics) and featuring San Francisco notables Ed Liuce (Wuvable Oaf / Fantagraphic Comics), Beth Dean, Fred Noland, Gabrielle Gamboa, Geoff Vasille and Justin Hall, along with indie comic heroes Alex Chiu, Banjamin Marra, Bruno Guerreiro, Chuck BB, Grant Reynolds, J.T. Dockery, Jeremy Baum, Jeremy Owen, Josh Bayer, Mark Rudolph, Megan Hutchison and Scot Nobles.

The opening reception will be on Thursday April 30th from 7pm to 10pm at Mission Comics & Art at 3520 20th St, suite B (between Mission and Valencia St), San Francisco, CA 94110, and will run through Saturday May 30th.

RSVP and invite your friends.

200th Bike Rack, Bombed

You know that moment when Valencia is quiet? Early before all the shops open? I show up to work and there’s a woman out front knitting quietly on a little folding stool. A real live yarn bomber.

I wasn’t expecting her to be so open or charming. I thought yarn bombing was done anonymously in the shadows. I started asking questions and here’s what I learned.

Emily Stauffer ( has been doing this since 2010. As sweet as she is, she started out of snark. “All my friends kept sending me this yarn bombing story that had gone viral. It got kind of old saying ‘Yeah, I saw it. Thanks.’ So I decided to yarn bomb something so that I could say yeah, ‘I’ve done it. Thanks.’”

“5 years later, this is probably my 200th bike rack.”

Emily has bombed pansies in a garden, statues, fences, mail boxes and pink flamingos in a neighbors yard (the only time she’s yarn bombed on private property). But her favorite thing to bomb is bike racks.

“I’m so opposed to yarn bombing trees. Trees are beautiful. They don’t need improving. Let’s add some color to something that needs some help. An ugly fence. A steel bike rack.”

“It took me by surprise that the bike community appreciated it,” Emily said. “I used to just cover the very top of bike racks – the most visible part. But I kept noticing that people would slide the yarn down to one side. Eventually I figured out that bikers were doing that to protect their paint from getting scratched by the rack. Since realizing that knitting racks was actually functional, about 95% of my yarn bombing has been on racks.

Emily’s work tends to stay up anywhere from 24 hours (in the Castro) to a year.

When strips get boring, Emily throws in an Easter egg like this Charlie Brown stripe.

Do you recognize this pattern? Take your best guess in the comments below.

So how long does it take to yarn bomb 5 circular bike racks? Emily does most of the work in what she calls “found time.”

“10 minutes while waiting for the bus. Another 10 minutes because the bus was full and it just passed me by. 20 minutes on the bus. I don’t really sit at home and work on a project like this.” When pressed, Emily confesses, “I probably spent 60-70 hours on this one.”

I thanked her for her contribution and with a smile she corrected me, “my egregious act of vandalism.”


Elbo Room definitely getting kicked out later this year, but the owners hope to start over elsewhere

Here’s the official word, via Facebook:

Hey Everyone
There is finally news.
Dennis and Susan Ring had a meeting with the powers that be and they seem quite confident that their condo project will be able to move forward.
As a result, they have decided not to renew our lease which expires Nov. 1st, 2015.

Yes, we are in shock.

What’s next?
We will be looking for a new space to continue what we are doing. With hopefully as little lapse as possible.
We own the liquor license, the business and all contents inside (except for pinball/pacman).
Hopefully we can find something soon.

If you have any leads on a space for us, or wish to help… please email

Thank You for your ongoing support

Matt Shapiro/ Erik Cantu
and the staff of Elbo Room

Sooo, better check out the Elbo Room calendar of events, or just pop in for happy hour.

[link] [via Capp Street Crap]

One last look at the Lexington Club

Ryan Kost at the Chronicle takes an in-depth look at the history of the place and the drama surrounding its very impending closure:

Lila Thirkield moved to the Mission in 1994. She was 23 at the time. She had tattoos and spiky black hair, and she played the drums. She never even considered another neighborhood. “All the dykes lived in the Mission,” she says.

In some ways, it was a revolutionary time and place for queer people. Artists, musicians and writers had come to the area. People felt energized.

“I always compared the ’90s in San Francisco for dykes and trans guys to being like Paris in the ’20s,” says Lynn Breedlove, the founder and lead singer of the homocore band Tribe 8. “At the time, we were popping out all over Valencia. It was mohawks and spikes in our face, and everybody’s name was Spike.”

Read on for the whole story.

[Photo by The Lex on Instagram]

Is punk dead?

Mission Local investigates:


Also, punk and indie karaoke at Rickshaw Stop this weekend don’t forget!

Protestors blockade SFPD’s Mission Station on anniversary of Alex Nieto’s death

Mission Local reports:

Protesters have blocked traffic with street theater and chained themselves to Mission Police Station as part of an action against officer-involved shootings in the city and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The roughly 100 activists began arriving at about 7 a.m. to mark the one year anniversary of the police shooting of Alex Nieto. They were joined by Nieto’s parents and the youth rhythm and dance ensemble Loco Bloco.

10 of the protesters joined hands through tubing and chained themselves to the Valencia street exit of the Mission Station parking lot. Public Information Officer Albie Esparza said the action is not interfering with their ability to respond to calls for service with the vehicles they already have out and about. Esparza said the police do not currently have plans to take action against protesters and are simply monitoring their “First Amendment rights activity.”

Read on for more story and pics, and some video.