A veteran skater reviews the new SoMa West Skatepark

We asked our buddy Eric, who’s been spending a lot of time at the new spot, to tell us all about  it:

First off, the City of San Francisco started dialogue about this park, going back as far as 2008. It was a project to help “brighten up” the dismal setting that is the Mission/Duboce underpass. However, the economy tanked, and fun projects like this were left in limbo.

Fast forward to July 2014. The park is open, skateboarding fever is in the air, and everyone is looking good in their new Benny Gold hat.

The park was designed to be a “skate plaza” of sorts. Instead of an eyesore of brown ramps, steel quarter pipes, and oversized handrails, the designers of this park used old San Francisco spots as their muse. Any SF OG will notice the throwbacks, and maybe some of the new kids will notice the 3 up/3 down that famously lives right down the street (and is still skateable).

The park does have a bit of something for everyone, but honestly, if you don’t know how to skate, don’t go there at peak hours. Here are a few tips:

-New to skating? Go in the morning. The park opens up at 9, but you’ll find people hopping the fence as early as 7. It’s not that tall, and is worth getting a ticket.

-Veteran skater looking to get back into it? Go in the morning during the week, or the evenings on Saturday. Pretty much all of the evenings have been chill.

-Blind spots. At peak hours there are tons of blind spots. Prepare to run into someone. Just make sure and be hella polite.

-Cheer! When someone does something super sick, make sure you’re supporting.

-Need to piss? There aren’t any public port-0-johns in the area, but people are asking the City for them. Try Cash N’ Carry on Van Ness, Zeitgeist, or Rice Paper Scissors at Brick and Mortar Music Hall (make sure to order a banh mi!).

-How to get there? In the evenings there is ample parking all over the neighborhood. Just make sure that your shit isn’t visible in the car after you park. Also, the whole area is flat, just skate there!

-The local kids will fuck with you. Don’t be dumb, just skate. This is a skatepark, there will be fights, cops, etc. Just be prepared to run, no matter who you are, or how old.

-Lastly, if there are any people reading this who ride an electric skateboard and think it would be “neat” to ride around… Please stay far away from the skatepark. You will get harassed and your shit will get stolen. No lie.

I encourage anyone who has ever loved skateboarding to try this park out. It is beautiful, well designed, and conveniently located. My favorite thing in the world is to grab some brunch/lunch at Rice Paper Scissors (inside Brick and Mortar), skate over to the park, shred for a bit, then roll over to Zeitgeist. It’s like a match made in heaven. See you out there.

10/10 A+ Gold Star Yay!

Yay! Oh and here’s Eric’s bio:

*eric ehler is a has-been skater. after dedicating his ankles to pushing for 10 years, he decided to go to culinary school and become a chef. after a 6 year hiatus from skating, he’s been back at it for the past few years. when he’s not cooking, he’s skating 3rd and army, eating chinese food, or creeping around the new park.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Turns out it’s a big bummer when you hop the fence during off hours.

[Photo by Dale Thorn]

Zeitgeist-adjacent skatepark now open (after all these years)

5+ years ago was the first time we heard about this project. Today it opened!

[via SF Department of Public Works on Twitter]

Google Glassception

Just chillin’ in fronta Zeitgeist.

[Photo by Kevin Woodruff]

Tamale Lady, the restaurant, coming soon for real!

It took a lot of political willpower, apparently, but it’s happening! Mission Local reports:

Nate Albee, legislative aide to Supervisor David Campos, confirmed the details to Mission Local Monday.

“It will be her very own place,” Albee says. “We pulled out all the stops, and it took six months, but we found a place.”

Campos told us about the 16th and Mission location in a text message last week, which Albee says was going to be a secret until they signed the lease and had a press conference likely in January. “He was not supposed to tell anyone that,” Albee sighed. “Oh, David.”

And it looks like they’ll have beer! Might never have to go to Zeitgeist again! (Just kidding.) Read on for lots more info.

[Photo by Trey Graham]

San Francisco 10 or 12 years ago

Local thirtysomething David Enos recalls a bygone era:

It’s been jarring to notice that nearly all of the local landmarks of my 20’s have disappeared.  They weren’t meant to last into this new era; even back then their appeal was in how surprising it was to find them.  Action Camera, CALA foods, The Video Cafe, the upstairs room at the Edinburgh Castle, Musee Mecanique at the Cliff House, Johnny Appleseed’s, Nap’s, Petra Cafe, Irving 5 & 10, the 100 Van Ness building, Koko’s Cocktails, Video Zone, Into Video, Salvation Army on Sutter, Indian copy and printing place on 16th and Guerrero, mysterious corner store run by lone elderly woman on Guerrero and 17th, Adobe Books, Stacy’s Books, Kayo Books, Borders, Tower Records, the Gold Dust, Ace Cafe, the Red Vic, Lumiere, Alexandria, Coronet and Bridge theaters. [link]

Yeah dude I’ll always miss those amazing bloody marys at Nap’s, and I was way bummed when they shuttered that Borders to make room for Zeitgeist.

But at least we’ve got that great short film about the Ace Cafe, and the 100 Van Ness TV series (and zine).

[Image © 2010 Microcosm Publishing]

Tamale Lady, the restaurant, coming soon

The silver lining behind Virginia no longer being able to sell her tamales at Zeitgeist is that she’s gonna open her very own shop! An Indiegogo campaign called “Viva la Tamale Lady” explains:

Recently some of the bars Virginia works out of have been told they cannot allow her to sell tamales because she isn’t permitted. Virginia, who just turned 60 this year, has stopped selling tamales to the community she loves.

After meeting with Supervisor Campos and other City departments and with pro bono help from Barbary Coast Consulting, Virginia has decided that it’s time to take her business to the next level!

The Tamale Lady is proud to announce that she will be opening up a brick and mortar “Tamale Lady” restaurant in The Mission.

And she needs our help!

Can do! Read on!

[via Shotwell's on Twitter]

Craft beer and tamales, together again

Well you might not be able to pair tamales with craft beers at Zeitgeist anymore, but Almanac and Roosevelt’s have got you covered. Here’s the deal:

Cervezas y Tamales
Roosevelt’s Tamale Parlor Beer Dinner
June 17th

Roosevelt’s Tamale Parlor and Almanac Beer are teaming up for a delicious Mexican Feast paired with Almanac’s Seasonal Ales. Join us for what is sure to be an epic feast.


Frijoles Con Agua Soup

Prawn Ceviche Tostada
Radish Jicama Slaw, Avocado
Honey Saison

Chef’s Seasonal Tamales
House Gravy
Extra Pale Ale

Puebla Chicken Mole
Housemade Tortillas, Jasmine Rice, Beans
Biere de Chocolat

Barrel Noir Float
Humphry Slocombe Horchata Ice Cream

Event Details:

$45 prix fixe menu & beers, plus tax and tip.
June 17th, reservations available from 5:30-9
To make a reservation, contact Roosevelt’s at (415) 824-2600
2817 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Please no changes or substitutions

Tamale Lady no longer allowed to sell tamales at Zeitgeist

SFist reports the tragic news that neighborhood icon Virginia Ramos, the Tamale Lady, is no longer allowed to sell her delicious tamales at Zeitgeist due to city codes and regulations and her lack of a permit. This is a serious bummer. Read on for more details from the Tamale Lady herself.

According to her Twitter, Tamale Lady is planning to have her 60th birthday celebration at the Eagle Tavern instead this year. If you have any ideas on how she can sell her tamales in the city legally, reach out to her there, or party with her at the Eagle on the 21st.

Drink of the Week: Sierra Nevada Double Pale Ale

At 9.5% ABV, this was a gnarly thing to try to drink on such a summery summer weekend, but I just had to try this rare variation on the classic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Its full name has something to do with the 25th anniversary of Celebrator Beer News, so I suspect it won’t be widely available, or available for long, but it was on tap at Zeitgeist as of a couple days ago.

Basically, it tastes like they crammed two or three classic Sierras into one small goblet: lots of hops, lots of sweetness, lots of texture. And lots of alcohol. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of the original, though it’d be more fun to drink in the winter months. (Good thing June is coming soon.)

Drink of the week is brought to you by Poachedjobs.com.

Community meeting tonight to discuss whether a skatepark or dog park or something else entirely should go under the freeway next to Zeitgeist

Man, seems like we posted this exact news like a jillion years ago. When will this actually happen???

(Thanks, Devin!)