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:

JACK SPADE OPPONENTS RETURN FIGHT TO CITY HALL
WITH EXPANDING SUPPORT FROM POLS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS

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.

(more…)

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:

[link]

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]

Nate Silver used to be a burrito analyst

Who would’ve guessed that before Nate Silver was using his “witchcraft” (ahem, math) to forecast election results with uncanny precision, he ran a burrito blog? In true Nate Silver form, he evaluated burritos and Mexican restaurants across Chicago and ranked them using a bracket system. Math and burritos?! Man after my own heart!

And thanks to Nate Silver, we can finally settle this age-old question:

High fives!

High fives on market st

[photo by Doc Pop]

Here in the Bay Area many of us are probably feeling good about last night’s main election result. Obama won. (Spoiler?)

I think it was an exciting night for our country. Especially that it was decided and not dragged out and brought through various legal möbius strips. Personally though, I’m feeling dismayed by the overall results of the state propositions. We really want to keep the death penalty? We don’t think that consumers should be able to have questions about what’s in their food answered? Well, at least 30 passed and it’s not all on George Lucas’s shoulders to save education.

Yet I’m excited overall that our country generally seems energized to head in a direction that I think is best. It was a good night for LGBT rights, people overcame voter suppression and intimidation to get their voice heard, and we re-elected a president who best represents the majority of the people in this country, not just the most privileged. If this sounds like very careful, faint praise, it is. In last night’s acceptance speech, President Obama once again set the standards perhaps impossibly high for what we’d like to expect from his presidency. He mentioned really taking care of our returning veterans, LGBT equality, a lot of feel good things that I really wanted to hear. Does he believe in those ideals? I think he does. But how much will he actually do? How much can he do?

Election Night in the Mission
[November 3rd, 2008]

Four years ago our neighborhood exploded with joy and celebration when Barack Obama won the first time. This time around, not as much. While I think most of us are grateful that we didn’t see the chaos that followed the recent World Series win, maybe we were still a little underwhelmed by the relative quiet. The Castro partied. And why not. But the HOPE and CHANGE that we felt four years ago feels a bit more like PERSIST and SUSTAIN at this point.

And keep hoping.

Anyway, the rest of the internet has much better election breakdowns than you should expect to find here. I’m just rambling. Elections are big and broad and complicated and it’s all still sinking in for me. Feel free to ramble on in the comments. If you haven’t yet, check out Mission Local’s great coverage of our neighborhood’s experience of voting day.

For now I’m hanging on to the little things, the things immediately around me. Things like the picture at the top of this post, taken this morning. Doc explains:

It was an extra gloomy walk down Market Street this morning until I reached this Muni stop full of schoolkids cheering along every cyclist that came their way. Perfectly lined up along the bike path, the kids started reaching out their palms for some extreme high five action. Even the most serious bikers popped a smile at the scene. Perhaps in a post election world, this is a sign of pedestrians and bicyclists finally coming together ;).

Delightful.

Joyful negativity

[via Scene and Not Heard]