Another week, another use of the Ellis Act to evict long time SF residents. 98 year old Mary Phillips has lived on Dolores Street for 50 years, and she’s now being told that she has to leave by her landlord, a real estate company called Urban Green Investments. According to KRON 4, when she heard the news, Mary said “I didn’t sit down and cry, I just refused to believe it. They’re going to have to take me out of here feet first.” She says that she has never been late on her rent and has nowhere else to go. Heartbreaking. This is really where we’re at.
Way back in DotCom1 when my single mom and I were illegally evicted from our Dolores Street apartment, the Tenants Union was a big help. You can become a member or donate to them on their site.
UPDATE:According to Business Insider, Urban Green has released a statement revealing that they will allow Mary Phillips to remain in her apartment for the rest of her life, rent free.
“Contrary to recent reports, we have always planned to provide for Mary in this way,” said McCloskey. “We have made no comment about Ms. Phillips’ situation to this date as we have been negotiating with her attorney in good faith, but the recent media reports have made today’s comment necessary in order to clarify the facts.”
UPDATE 2: According to some, the deal that McCloskey wrote to Business Insider about was never acceptable to Phillips. The larger issue for her may be that her caregiver, Sarah Brandt, is still being evicted, making the living situation too unsafe for Phillips to remain. Though I’m seeing conflicting takes on who’s offering what and when they offered it. More on Brandt and her relationship with Phillips here.
A quite handy new guide to drinking your way through the city and letting your friendly neighborhood Muni operator be your designated driver. Thrillist put this map together, and breaks it down further on their site.
Thao Nguyen, of local band Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, is looking for a new career in the fun new short The Shepherd and The Guardian. Also starring local illustrator Wendy MacNaughton and local author Daniel Handler, the piece is number 7 in a series of short films made with filmmaker Lauren Tabak. Some pretty good lines and deadpanning here, especially by the kid.
I hope everyone’s enjoying Pride Weekend out there in the sun. Don’t forget to drink water. Seriously. We’ve all got to do our part in this awful drought, but drink a lot of water.
The Matrix filmmakers, The Wachowski Siblings, were back in our neighborhood shooting for their upcoming Netflix series yesterday. The series includes a diverse cast from all over the world, including a transgender blogger, which may be the connection to Pride. Though from what we see here it looks like they’re highlighting two cisgender women, so maybe not? I’d hope and assume the Wachowski’s would give a trans role to a trans person. (Correction: Jamie Clayton is trans, thanks, Andy. Did some searching and somehow didn’t find that.) They certainly seem to be willing to work with the communities that in which they’re shooting, Mission Local has an article about production collaborating with CAMP to shoot in Clarion Alley.
Cristiano Valli caught some good shots of them at work during Dykes on Bikes.
Andy Wachowski on set.
Jamie Clayton getting direction from Lana Wachowski.
Jamie Clayton and Freema Agyeman taking a selfie in character.
When I was a kid I got the little paper back collections from MAD Magazine, and one of my favorites was Jaffee’s, both because they were hilarious, and also because they offered the opportunity for me to put my own punchlines in.
Insert your own here.
Some originals from Jaffee’s book, with my adolescent-mind additions, after the jump.
This week, Katie & Brittany went to see a musical based on a movie that sparked a romance that turned into a Broadway show and then came to our little town. Here’s their report:
Remember the 2006 movie Once? I know it was a long time ago but we still remember getting “Falling Slowly” stuck in our heads.
So we were really excited to check out the stage adaptation of Once last week. The musical was nominated for 11 Tony awards and won 8 of them. Between the critically acclaimed movie and all the awards, needless to say, we went into this show with extremely high expectations.
Katie: What I’ve noticed about going to SHN shows is that the production value is so high and the actors are so talented that even if it’s not an amazingly written show it’s always really entertaining. Always.
Brittany: It’s true. Once is so interesting. It was more like real life, which means depressing. At the end I definitely was left saying “Wait that’s it? That’s the end?” No happy ending here. Which I guess is refreshing because most Broadway shows are tied up in 2 hours.
K: Yeah, tied up in a pretty bow with a happy ending and we are left with a dun dun dun di di di dun di di. Not Once. But what beautiful music and amazing talent.
B: It’s really music anyone would like. I would listen to it with someone who didn’t like show tunes and I wouldn’t be embarrassed.
K: One thing that I struggled with was the format of the show. The fact that the set was a pub, but even though we are in a realistic pub setting it’s used mostly as other locations, like the vacuum shop, the music store, his house. It would have worked better for me if the set was not a specific place. I thought they were going to be a little more creative with turning this movie into a musical but instead they grabbed moments from the movie and threw it awkwardly on a stage designed as a pub. Luckily the actors and the music were so good that was enough to make it work. But for me I don’t think it was an example of great writing or a well constructed musical.
B: They really did themselves a disservice by having such a detailed set behind them which made it harder for your imagination to transform it into other things. It was a beautiful set though.
K: Really beautiful, really detailed. Just not needed. I thought they were going to take the story and the music from the movie and present it in a different, a very creative, theatery way, which didn’t exactly happen.
B: I’ve never seen the movie so I didn’t come in with certain expectations or context. It took me a little bit to get into the staging, but they were good enough actors that midway through the first act it worked for me. I did really like the stylized movement.
K: I just feel that they should of taken it further. I mean there is already a movie. I can sit in my living room and watch the movie. What is going to make me want to see this on stage? And it’s that, it’s the stylized movement, it’s the musicians – who did a really good job – that’s why I’m going to want to see it live.
B: And I think when they went there it was really good. All of the musicians were amazing. I do wonder how I would be feeling if I saw the movie.
K: I think you would have had a different perspective. The production was really well done though. It was a concert with a story. The lead girl was so good. Her voice was almost like a violin. So beautiful. Loved how the lead guy would get crazy on the guitar. The music definitely makes it worth going.
The Verdict: Once is a great night out. The actors are super impressive. As always SHN brings through a tour with Broadway level sets and production values.
The Drama Talk:
While some of us struggle to walk and text at the same time, these actors act, sing, play the accordion, change the set and dance in front of an audience of 100′s all without skipping a beat. If you haven’t seen the movie, wait. The play doesn’t elaborate as much on the film as we may have liked, so if you can keep the plot a surprise, you may enjoy the show more.
This production offers a special opportunity to go onstage before the show and during intermission to have a drink, so we did just that. Brittany had a beer and Katie had a chardonnay. As we were sipping our beverages, that were served in a plastic SHN sippy cup, actors came onstage and started playing music . . . right next to us . . . in arms reach. A really cool experience worth the really expensive unremarkable drinks. You don’t need to get a drink to be on the stage though, just get to the theater early since they limit the number of people allowed on stage at a time.
On April 26th over a hundred local filmmakers took their cameras to the streets to document life in San Francisco over a 24 hour period. It was part of a new doc series from the people who made the feature length documentary One Day on Earth. One Day in SF was produced by local filmmaker Winnie Wong, and on the same day filmmakers in ten other cities around the US were participating simultaneously. I was out there with the BAYCAT crew, interviewing people in front of the Roxie and at The Secret Alley. The One Day on Earth team is putting all the pieces together for a 3-part documentary series that we’ll be hearing more about later in the year. You can see the locations of everyone’s videos and watch them on the interactive map, and I’ve included some selections below, mostly Mission-based.
Riding along with an ambulance for the night. Great night shots, and nice profiles of the EMTs: