The first bar I ever went to (besides with my dad as a kid) was the Uptown. It was a great experience, just what I always thought a bar would be like: Dark, damp and a little scary. I felt totally at home. Last week the owner, Scott Ellsworth, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. I didn’t know Scott that well, but the couple times we talked he was always really friendly, and very supportive of the weird artsy place my buddies and I were building across the street. He ran a bar that didn’t have a cocktail program or a dress code. He ran a bar where you could sit down, have a shot and a beer and chat with familiar regulars. Inside the Uptown I’ve stored paintings during a scavenger hunt art show, made business deals, broken up fights, maybe gotten in a fight, tried in vain to get up the nerve to talk to a girl, watched my team dominate the World Series, and seen Sean Penn close it down.
The Bold Italic has a great tribute to him today, which would have been his 60th birthday.
In 2011, when I posted a picture of “KiTOS”, the letters on the back of the bar, Scott wrote in to tell us that it stood for the previous owner’s names, Kim and Tony. Let’s just say now it stands for “Keep in Touch, Ol’ Scott.”
Now that Pal’s Take Away has officially left the building to open their own sandwich shop, the lovely Ethiopian couple who run the market on 24th and
York Hampshire have begun a new endeavor by offering fresh, homemade injera! In case you don’t know, injera is that wonderfully spongy sourdough-like stuff that’s used to eat Ethiopian food in lieu of utensils. And they’re selling packs of six for only five dollars!
Look at all that yeasty goodness! Just don’t do what I did and eat the whole pack in one night, because you might feel somewhat, well, incapacitated the next day…
Fayes Video (where I worked for a bunch of years around the turn of the millennium) has thrown down the Google Glass gauntlet with a new pint glass that they’ll be selling in the shop. The glasses will be $9.20+tax, so you can buy two of them, hold them up to your eyes and order $1,480 worth of Fayes coffee, knowing you’ve saved a buck or two not buying Google Glass! What a swell way to support a local business!
For the very first book published by the new collective!
Since Adobe’s inception 25 years ago, Andrew McKinley has been photographing neighbors, customers, musicians, poets, friends, loiterers & the Tartine girls. For years these portraits, dubbed Friends of Adobe, have decorated the bookshop & served as a visual representation of the Adobe community.
For the first time, a selection of Andrew’s photographs have been complied into a book. “Friends of Adobe Books” is the first book published by the Adobe Books and Arts Cooperative, edited by Calcagno Cullen and Katie Conry, design by Kyle Knobel, and photographs by the one and only Andrew McKinley.
Check out all the details here!
(And after that’s over, finish off your night with some karaoke ping pong!)
Esta Noche’s last night has come. I lived across the street from the queer Latino bar for a number of years, in the same building of my good friend Marco. We had some fun times there together, but he had many more without me. I asked him to share some thoughts and stories of the bar. We’ve seen a lot of closures recently, but this one hits hard. It’s a rare safe space for a community that doesn’t have many. Sad to see it go. Anyway, I’ll get out of the way and share Marco’s piece:
que a cada cual, le llega su hora
vive tu vida y gozala toda
that to each of us our time comes
live your life and enjoy it completely
Soon after I arrived in San Francisco in 1993, directo from Sinaloa, a gang of immigrant locas, known to me as Las Latinillas, became mi familia in all senses. Meaning, they were supportive, caring and fun to be with but also complete bitches and a beautiful hot mess. Always in your face. They will snatch your new boyfriend, get you a green card and a job, trash your soul con canciones de Juanga and uplift your spirits ala Gloria Trevi, as they revere Selena y Los Dinos and eat pupusas revueltas at Balompie. All this, a la luz del sol.
And at night, we had Esta Noche. It was my friend Mario, well, I called him La Marieta, who took me there the first time. La Marieta was dying of AIDS at the time but as he put it, “Despues de la novela, vamos a esta noche mana, hoy canta La Ronnie Salazar.” You always knew you were at Esta Noche because of a huge self-portrait of a naked Joe Dallesandro with an eternal spotlight on his even larger penis and how can you miss the Esta Noche smell . . . a mix of tequila, piss, and Chanel N°5. Running into friends, making new friends and losing friends all happened at Esta Nasty. It was the place for new immigrants like myself to listen to our music, speak our language and just for a few hours not to feel inadequate. It was also the place for young Latinos, to come out at night and join the festivities of music, drag, stripers, and drinks. But las reynas de la noche were the drag queens!
From the Mission Cliffs FB page:
Did you pass the rainy weekend watching the Sochi Olympics?
Then you MUST have noticed the highlight right? No, it wasn’t the triple Salchow, or the Air-to-fakie poptart….
IT WAS YOUR OWN Mission Cliffs Indoor Rock Climbing Gym APPEARING IN A COMMERCIAL! BOOM!
Look out world!
And take that, Putin! Btw, here’s the commercial:
Sadly, I haven’t talked to my buddy Jake Chevedden much since high school, but apparently this is what he’s been working on lately!
Mosswood Espresso Barrel Aged American Whiskey. Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey aged in a barrel seasoned with locally roasted coffee. Subtle notes of baker’s chocolate, nuttiness, bright red fruit and, of course, coffee spring from the glass. 46% ABV.
Located on San Francisco’s Treasure Island, Mosswood Distillers is comprised of Therese Agnew and Jake Chevedden. While plans for a fully functioning distillery are in progress, Mosswood is barrel aging and blending to bring interesting flavors together in harmonious ways.
Damn, that sounds like it would really hit the spot while huddled inside this weekend hiding out from the rain!
Check it out here.