Protesting a Google bus

Our pal Luke snapped this pic of this very organized protest this morning at 24th and Valencia. Thanks, Luke!

Check out the techies up top :(

UPDATE: SFist has lots more info.

Watch Al Jazeera America’s report on gentrification in the Mission


(Thanks, Allie!)

2 Culture Sportscasters

In the comments section of last week’s post about a Valencia Street boutique offering a “punk princess” interior design for your toddler’s room, commenter Sean began a comment thusly:

I’ve lived in the neighborhood on and off since ’99. [link]

To which a new voice known as 2 Culture Sportscasters delivered the following analysis:

“He’s gone in with 99, that’s a strong date there, good opening, good opening.”

“Yes, 99 is a real strong date, going to be hard to complete with that, Paul, but he could get in trouble there, 99 during the first boom and all”

“That’s true, that’s true, but many of the other competitors probably don’t have a good hold on when that first boom was happening, remember the ad didn’t appear until 2000, that would’ve been many of these other sportsmen’s first exposure to dot-com, and that’s a full year after 99″

“You’re right, you’re right, but he’s also got the on and off, that’s open to question, of course”

“I think that’s close enough, these other guys probably have a number so far past 99 that on and off isn’t going to make any difference here, but we’ll see”

“Yes, we’ll see, we’ll see! Well, it’s a great opener so far! A great day here, and can I just say the weather is gorgeous? You can’t beat that early October!”

So, yeah, there is good stuff in the comments section. Occasionally.

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano supports local “Jack Off” movement

Yeah, the “Jack Off” movement. You know, to stop Fifth & Pacific’s upscale menswear chain, not the other kind of jack, how dare you think I was making a lewd inference in order to get you to read yet another article about this company. Both Ammiano and former President of the Board of Supervisors Matt Gonzalez support a new appeal. The two are authors of the formula retail ordinance, and believe that the company has acted in bad faith, not holding a hearing and muscling their way in through technicalities.

But they love our gentrification!

Andy Blue sends in the press release, describing the next steps to keep the shop out of the Mission. Full text after the jump:


Author of formula retail ballot measure, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano:
“Jack Spade has operated in bad faith”

Matt Gonzalez, Aaron Peskin; Supes Campos, Avalos,
and Mar support the appeal.

SAN FRANCISCO –– Backed by the original drafters of San Francisco’s formula retail ordinance, the coalition fighting to stop designer menswear line, Jack Spade, from opening a new store in the Mission District, heads to City Hall this Wednesday, October 9 (City Hall, Room 416, 5:00pm) to request a rehearing before the Board of Appeals.


Casting call for “Looking”

Formerly called “The Untitled Michael Lannan Project”, HBO’s new series about a few gay men who design video games and hang out in Mission bars is now casting for background extras. They have a “constant need for 20s-30s Hipsters/Mission Neighborhood types & LGBT Community”. And you “must be able to pull off Hipster vibe with your own clothes or style”. Make of that what you will.

Birds At Evening
[random Mission file photo by me]

Quit waiting around for the Real World narcissists to come to your neighborhood bar and get out there and get on this show! Then send us back some reports from the set!

UPDATE: Doc Pop notices that they’re shooting at Doc’s Clock today.

Even Newsom is concerned about Tech’s effect on the SF housing market

Or is he . . . ? He deleted this tweet shortly after he tweeted it. Maybe because it could be seen as criticizing Twitter on Twitter? Maybe because he would seem hypocritical to be concerned about San Francisco’s shifting demographics? Who knows, maybe he was hacked. Maybe he meant it in a positive way, that the Twitter IPO could finally clear out any remaining undesirables. Wait, wait, maybe I’m being too harsh on ol’ Newsom. It was just an ellipsis with an extra dot. Who can know what meaning lay beneath that fourth little dot . . . . ?

Comedian Jeff Seal’s teenage self addresses gay homework

Our pal Jeff Seal, who, incidentally, in his capacity as standup comedian, is performing Wednesday night at The Business, just posted this ‘gram of a column his teenage self wrote for his high school paper, back in high school, like 20 years ago:


The Business takes place every Wednesday evening at the Dark Room on Mission Street.

HBO’s gay SF dramedy has been picked up as a series

It’s still untitled, so we have time to submit some more here . . .

Birds At Evening
[another stock Mission photo by me]

Production starts in the fall for a premiere in 2014, story here.

Previous coverage here.

Does anyone else see a beer?

Maybe I’m just too thirsty/sober.

Other neighborhoods

When the Vice Magazine article about social work in the Tenderloin came out last week I had a strong desire to write my own rebuttal. My main problem being the hopelessly negative view of a neighborhood with a lot of uphill battles that sits in the middle of a city of extreme wealth. The Tenderloin needs all the help it can get, and I don’t think this article helps. It’s fun to talk and write about all the cool things that other neighborhoods have going for them, as writers on this blog often do, but when the only thing we hear about the communities that aren’t booming is a tired old story like the Vice article it just seems lame.

Before I had the chance to write about it I saw the interview with Brian Brophy on Uptown Almanac, which I thought presented some great counter points and an overall reality check back to Vice, as well as a surprisingly thoughtful comment thread. I also saw the powerful response by Dregs One, which really highlighted the Vice interviewee’s lack of awareness about her own privilege and unhelpful dearth of empathy. I say unhelpful, because I think for people working with a community like the one she works with you need to have empathy not to feel sorry for your clients, but to understand how they’ve come to be in this situation so that you can help them move toward a healthier life. Maybe this person does have that awareness, something gets her out of bed and to this work every day, but it wasn’t present in the article.

Though I don’t read Vice, I understand that the writers are probably going for a tone that is “honest” in that it sounds like two friends talking with each other like they would if nobody was listening. But people are listening. Maybe the social worker in this article needed to vent after day after day of dealing with intense situations. Fine. But now that venting is a widely read article that defines this community in a lot of people’s minds. In a time when San Francisco is changing very fast and some of us are working really hard to make sure that certain communities don’t get shut out and left behind, again, this is not helpful. I know all too well that talking about blood and human waste and edgy stuff gets a lot more attention than stories of hope and triumph, at least in the demographic and mediums that this blog and Vice have in common. I’ve blogged about poop before and I’ll do it again. Even so, I’m going to take up a little internet real estate every once and a while to share other kinds of stories that I see going on in this city that I feel need to be shared. I don’t do enough to bring them to light, but here I am trying.

Summer Program - Graphic Arts 02
[picture of Jayraj by Ariel Dovas for BAYCAT]

Contrary to what the social worker says in the Vice article, the Tenderloin is not “one of the two predominately black neighborhoods left in SF”. However, the Bayview Hunters Point population in 2010 was made up of 33.7% African Americans, the largest ethnic group in that neighborhood. As I’ve mentioned a number of times before, I’ve spent almost 9 years working with people from this community at BAYCAT, Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts & Technology. Recently, one of our former students and a current intern, high school student Jayraj Govender, created a short video for his school that deals with the the choices that a teenager faces. I think it shows a real maturity and artistic curiosity and I’m excited to see what he does next.

[Link on Vimeo]

For the last thing, in 2012 Jayraj teamed up with three other former BAYCAT students turned young adult interns from Bayview Hunters Point, Iman Rodney, Teak Stephanchild and Tiffany Jones, to create a short documentary bringing the neighborhood’s health issues to light from a young adult’s perspective, called Endangered. The project was funded by Metta Fund and produced with mentorship from Melinda James. Tiffany created all the animation for the piece.

[Link on Vimeo]