Two 35-year-old men talking about how the Mission used to be different, via text

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Phewf, okay, now let’s watch this vintage video of Jonathan Richman and drummer Tommy Larkins doing one of their classic sets at Make-Out Room circa 2011:

And then, I dunno, check out the Make-Out Room event calendar for goodness’ sake. Or maybe meet somebody there for a $4 PBR some time.

San Francisco then and now, via one little house in Bernal Heights

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Local blog Big Old Goofy World tells the tale:

What a difference two or three decades makes. We called this “the Hell’s Angels house” or “the Cheech and Chong house.” On the top we see it c. 1980s, and on the bottom today. This house had so much drama that my brother and I, who didn’t have a TV, would often turn out the lights in our living room and watch the fighting and drunkenness. Guns, knives, family disputes, and high speed chases ended up here. These guys were straight from the cast of Sons of Anarchy. But they were also good neighbors, when they were sober. Dave, the main occupant in the 80s, was handy with motors and installed our garage door, still in use today. And we were told to knock on his door if we were in trouble. After the 89 quake, when portions of the city were burning, he rustled up a flat bed truck, big TV, and generator, and the whole block watched the news there on Moultrie Street.

Read on for more.

Mission Street a million years ago

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[via The Fog Bender]

Making ‘Making the Mission’


Author Ocean Howell wrote this book about the beginnings of the Mission as we know it today, and is giving a talk about it at the library this weekend.

Here’s a blurb about the book:

In the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, residents of the city’s iconic Mission District bucked the city-wide development plan, defiantly announcing that in their neighborhood, they would be calling the shots. Ever since, the Mission has become known as a city within a city, and a place where residents have, over the last century, organized and reorganized themselves to make the neighborhood in their own image. In Making the Mission , Ocean Howell tells the story of how residents of the Mission District organized to claim the right to plan their own neighborhood and how they mobilized a politics of place and ethnicity to create a strong, often racialized identity–a pattern that would repeat itself again and again throughout the twentieth century. Surveying the perspectives of formal and informal groups, city officials and district residents, local and federal agencies, Howell articulates how these actors worked with and against one another to establish the very ideas of the public and the public interest, as well as to negotiate and renegotiate what the neighborhood wanted. In the process, he shows that national narratives about how cities grow and change are fundamentally insufficient; everything is always shaped by local actors and concerns.

And here’re details on the talk:

“Do cities make neighborhoods or do neighborhoods make cities?” (Eric Avila, University of California, Los Angeles.)  Ocean Howell discusses his new book, Making the Mission, challenging assumptions about the complex relationships that shape neighborhoods, as well as the historical narratives.

Saturday, 11/14/2015, 11:00 – 12:00
Latino/Hispanic Rms A & B
Main Library
100 Larkin St.


Clarion Alley, 2006

Some vintage sketches by our own Ariel Dovas:

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Follow Ariel on Twitter if you don’t already.

Spectre Challenger-themed Muni youth fare tickets from like the ’80s or ’90s or something

What the heck is Spectre Challenger you ask? I mean, it was this:

Here’s some Wikipedia info:

Spectre was a computer game for the Apple Macintosh, developed in 1990 by Peninsula Gameworks and published in 1991 by Velocity Development. It was a 3D tank battle reminiscent of the arcade game Battlezone.


The goal of the game was to drive the tank around the playfield, collecting ten flags by driving over them, while avoiding obstacles (including rotating windmills) and the shots of computer-generated enemy tanks.

In single player mode, you can choose four kinds of tanks, each one having different stats for shields, speed and ammo: Balance, Speedy, Strong and Custom (you can freely distribute 15 stat points for this one). Each stage passed increases game’s difficulty (quantity and speed of enemy tanks). Furthermore, from level 6 appear orange cone-shaped tanks (which are faster and more resistant than normal enemy red tanks) and every 10 levels the shields of all enemy tanks are increased by 1. Also, after level 9 is passed, the player can throw grenades which cost 10 ammo and damage all enemy tanks in explosive range.

The game supported multiplayer operation over an AppleTalk network. Each player used a single Mac, but the other players were depicted as enemy tanks.

Sounds more or less like your average Muni ride, am I right?

P.S. How did I just remember the game Spectre Challenger off the top of my head after seeing these Muni passes on Instagram you ask? I didn’t.

I was like, “Jess, look at these Muni passes. What was that videogame for computers from like 25 years ago where you drive around in a little Tron-looking tank or whatever???” Jess didn’t know, so I started digging around my one box of old-ass stuff from childhood and found a little yellow 3.5-inch floppy case containing something called “Verbatim DataLife 2nd Edition 11th Disk MicroSoft Entertainment Pack,” a disk full of (if I recall correctly, but we can’t know for sure since I can’t plug a 3.5″ floppy in anywhere around here) topless pics of Bridget Fonda, a disk called “SHIZNIT,” annnnnnnnnd finally Spectre Challenger for IBM & 100% Compatibles …..holy shit what a barbaric world.


And finally:

[via The Heated]

Hayes Valley, a poem

RIP Moishe’s. (Long live Tru Pilates!)

Valencia Street, 1999

[Photo by Willy Johnson, via It's Always Sunny in San Francisco]

The word ‘Mission’ in a cool old typeface from 1925

It’s called “World Gothic” by Barnhart Brothers & Spindler.

[via Noele Lusano]

Throwback Thursday: Check out this vintage review of the DJ Purple scene at Jack’s

From a Dusted Magazine top-10 list by musician Leyna Noel Tilbor:

This one time at Jack’s was the best show any of us had been to in a Very Long Time. Jack’s is a neighborhood place, not too on the scene, and you can tell because moms are there, and gangster looking tough guys, and hipsters, and fun people in general. It’s two dollar buds so that might have to do with the fact that its is popping off. I’ve seen broken glass, broken mirrors, and douche bags walking on tables. If it were a house party, the cops’d come. But Thursdays belong to DJ Purple, his incredible Karaoke with a capital K, and his deep purple velvet (velour?) blazer. There is not a proper stage, just an area by the door crammed with screens and fluorescent-fur-covered wireless mics. DJ Purple is damn unfuckwithable; you have to literally run up to catch your song as it’s starting because Purple doesn’t pause or call roll. He DJs the karaoke songs so they run right into one another. Really embodying the music major grad years later, DJ Purple rocks a saxophone, playing leads on every song and adds pitch-perfect vocal harmonies, unsolicited. This one particular Thursday, I’m rolling in a crowd three-deep — myself, my man Daniel, and his housemate Neale — and we’re enjoying the mayhem. Neale only does songs that have key changes (usually ends up with Neil Diamond). Yours truly sang NIN’s “Closer” with a perfect stranger/gothy lady who seemed timid about the chorus. A duo of Latin dudes did “California Love” and the WHOLE PLACE IS DANCING, I mean getting down. They’re getting in everyone’s faces and it looks just like MTV. A tall kid in skinny jeans just channelled Bowie with “Heroes” and it’s truly epic. Feeling so ebullient. To intensify the vibe further “Bohemian Rhapsody” comes on, and it’s a ridiculous, the tender togetherness in this bar. Swaying and singing loud, as if we were in a pub. Then, the song crescendoes just before the Wayne’s World freakout part and a mosh pit erupts. Neale, who is from Baltimore and hell-bent on being “rowdy” grabs me and throws me into the pit. Though in sneakers, I get caught terribly underfoot in the pit, and there’s a sudden alien pop in my right foot. Hop out of the pit stunned, alas, the problem in my foot is real and we aim for the ER. I’m mostly super-bummed to leave the dance floor. Hours and X-rays and Vicotins later the three of us consummate the bizarre awesome journey of the night with 5am peanut butter shakes at Sparky’s.

Read the rest of the list here.

[via DJ Purple on Twitter] [File photo by Vic Wong maybe?]