Calling all mallrats: Celebrate the inventor of the shopping mall at Gruen Day

Are you an architecture nerd, scuzzy ex-mall rat, or a person who loves cool and interesting things? Then you’ll love the first annual Gruen Day, taking place tomorrow, July 18, at the Bayfair Center in the Eastern Bay!

Back in May, 99% Invisible‘s Avery Trufelman wrote and produced an excellent episode on Victor Gruen, inventor of the shopping mall. Avery then joined forces with Tim Hwang (founder of the Bay Area Infrastructure Observatory) and SPUR to produce Gruen Day: a celebration of our favorite suburban merchandising complexes and its creator.

Festivities include talks, tours, nerding out, and hanging out in the food court at Bayfair Center (which, FYI, opened in 1957 as one of the first Gruen-designed shopping centers in the country). There may or may not be Minions present.

Gruen Day tickets are still available here! Plus, every ticket scores you a limited-edition poster designed by Justin Carder and two shiny limited-edition pins designed by yours truly:

(Fun fact: One of these pins may or may not have been inspired by my misreading of “Gruen Day” in an email subject line…)

RSVP and invite your friends here!

And grab yourself a ticket here before they sell out!

Reasons to love Cafe St. Jorge

1. Their coffee is great!
2. Their food is delicious! (I think about their sardine + fava bean crostini at least once a week)
3. They have excellent taste in men! (see stickers above)
4. Andrea, Cafe St. Jorge’s owner, is the sweetest person!
5. They’re right around the corner from your house (if you happen to be me or my neighbor)
6. They’re giving away FREE COFFEE all day today, to celebrate their 2-year anniversary!

Happy birthday, Cafe St. Jorge. I love you so.

Mobile healthcare for your pet

One recent morning, as I was waking up by thumbing mindlessly through my phone, I noticed an unread email. A new veterinary service called VetPronto had found my adorable cat Arya’s blog and wanted to offer her a complimentary house call appointment. “The robots know everything,” I mumbled, dragging myself out of bed.

Later, while sorting through a mountainous pile of receipts (in case you didn’t know, freelance tax prep is one of the seven circles of hell), I came across the file I keep of my cat’s health records. Here were the facts: my cat was due for her next round of vaccines, the Affordable Care Act doesn’t cover feline children, and I couldn’t afford not to take VetPronto up on their offer. Not to mention that being stuffed into a crate and being literally cat-called on the 14L are among Arya’s least favorite activities.

I made an appointment with VetPronto through their website. The day of the appointment, a friendly vet named Dr. Hoppe arrived promptly. Arya was instantly at ease and barely noticed that needles were entering her body moments later. Dr. Hoppe was very patient and addressed all of my questions and concerns, leaving me feeling like a great cat mom. The whole thing was over in under 30 minutes.

Thank you, VetPronto, for making pet healthcare so painless and convenient. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

This Thursday: PUBlic Transit Crawl on the 14 Valentine Line!

Artist, transit activist, and Mission Mission reader Ilyse, whose projects we’ve posted about before, has been leading a series of pub crawls on public transit routes (aka PUBlic Transit Crawls) to raise money for the SF Transit Riders Union. The next crawl takes place this Thursday in the Mission, and in honor of Valentine’s Day, it’s along the 14 bus route.

Here are the details:

Starting Point: 16th/Mission BART
Date/Time: Thursday, February 12, 6-10pm

6PM: Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, 2323 Mission St (btw 19th St and 20th St)
7PM: El Rio, 3158 Mission St (at Precita Ave)
8PM: St. Mary’s Pub, 3845 Mission St (at College St and Crescent St)
9PM: Pissed Off Pete’s, 4528 Mission St (btw Santa Rosa St and Ocean Ave)

Read more about the crawl at the SF Transit Union’s website.

RSVP and invite your friends!

What do we want for Christmas?

[via Jenny]

At long last, Hapa Ramen’s brick-and-mortar opens tomorrow!

After doing the farmer’s market pop-up thing for years, Richie Nakano is finally opening his long-awaited ramen shop tomorrow. The Hapa Ramen restaurant is located at 2293 Mission Street, in the former 99¢ Depot. As a long-time noodle advocate, I headed over to report from the front lines, armed with a fellow noodle-loving lady.

The opening menu features snacky small plates (ribs, a raw fish tartare, a Korean seafood pancake), steamed buns a la David Chang, and with three types of ramen. The restaurant’s namesake bowl, pictured above, is generously topped with pork slabs, nugs of fried chicken, a poached egg, and seasonal vegetables.

There’s also a full bar and cocktail menu, which includes a gin drink involving Hi-Chew tincture and Hawaiian Punch syrup (above, right) that tastes exactly like a Pixy Stix. The bourbon drink on the left contained banana, black sea salt, and cacao.

Above, two of my favorite things I ate: a savory pile of roasted baby carrots and radishes, and an adorable fried chicken-and-pickle steamed bun that, in the most flattering way possible, reminded me of the classic sandwich from my childhood favorite now-shunned fast food establishment.

Oh, and those in-progress booths we reported on awhile back cleaned up real nice:

[Booth photo by Erin Conger]

P.S. Visit Girls Love Noodles!

World Series aftermath: fires and riot cops

[via Namita, dude named Kale, Sports Guy, Mission Local, Allison]

Hot new look for Indian summer

[via Melissa]

New signage for new Emmy’s!

As we mentioned last month, our favorite spaghetti shack will be taking over the former El Zocalo space (RIP) very soon. And according to Emmy’s Instagram, the (meat)ball is rolling along steadily!

SPCA is at cat-pacity! Free kittens for all!

According to their Twitter, SPCA’s cat shelter is positively overflowing with felines, so they’re waiving all cat and kitten adoption fees through Sunday! If you didn’t already know, cats are the best! Here are some reasons why:

  • They’re cute!
  • They’re warm! (Winter is coming.)
  • They’re really soft!
  • They have those funny pointy ears!
  • They do the darndest things!
  • They eat bugs and stuff!
  • They reduce anxiety!
  • They’re good at computers and technology!
  • They’re easier to take care of than plants!

Also, adopting a kitten was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made — I mean, just look at her! Don’t you want one too?

Helen Tseng

Posts: 212

Email: helen (at)



Biographical Info:

Helen is a designer and illustrator. She was born on a full moon during the hour of the wolf. On Tuesdays, she casts sonic spells on She has had cameos in two hip hop music videos.