Sub-Mission, one of the last remaining truly independent performance venues in probably the whole world, is in danger

Thanks to rent woes and new demands from their landlord, they’ve been forced to launch a GoFundMe campaign.

Capp Street Crap reports:

Txutxo Perez, one of the owners of the gallery and performance space between 17th and 18th Streets, said the landlord has agreed to a new 5-year lease with the condition that they first make the necessary upgrades themselves. Perez said he hoped to have started construction this month but now he doesn’t know when it will happen.

As of April 15, Sub-Mission’s rent will also go up by $3,000. The goal of the fundraising campaign is to raise enough money to help Sub-Mission get through at least until the end of April. But Perez said the situation will be dire if the project is at a standstill when May rolls around.

Read on for more story and photos.

Protestors blockade SFPD’s Mission Station on anniversary of Alex Nieto’s death

Mission Local reports:

Protesters have blocked traffic with street theater and chained themselves to Mission Police Station as part of an action against officer-involved shootings in the city and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The roughly 100 activists began arriving at about 7 a.m. to mark the one year anniversary of the police shooting of Alex Nieto. They were joined by Nieto’s parents and the youth rhythm and dance ensemble Loco Bloco.

10 of the protesters joined hands through tubing and chained themselves to the Valencia street exit of the Mission Station parking lot. Public Information Officer Albie Esparza said the action is not interfering with their ability to respond to calls for service with the vehicles they already have out and about. Esparza said the police do not currently have plans to take action against protesters and are simply monitoring their “First Amendment rights activity.”

Read on for more story and pics, and some video.

Local bar Elixir the latest victim in taxi-Uber feud

Keep it civil, y’all!

SF Gate reports:

An Uber driver and a taxi driver collided Wednesday morning in San Francisco’s Mission District, sending the cab into a bar, authorities said.

The crash happened at 9:24 a.m.

Read on.

(Thanks, Nicky!)

Sinbad’s to close forever in less than a month

No more sitting there pounding margaritas before a ferry ride to Oakland for a Burger Boogaloo or a happy hour (or sitting there pounding Fernets all afternoon when a ferry fails to turn up).

Another piece of Old SF lost to the tides of progress. (They’re gonna put in an improved ferry terminal, which will help us evacuate in the event a disaster takes out the bridges and tunnel, which is good I guess.)

The Examiner reports:

The restaurant’s landlord, the Port of San Francisco, wants Sinbad’s gone from its prime location on Pier 2 near the Ferry Building by March 21.

With its unmatched views of the Bay Bridge, Sinbad’s has been a waterfront institution in The City since the 1970s. Despite decidedly mixed reviews from diners — along with repeated warnings from the Public Health Department about food-safety issues — the restaurant is a popular cocktail destination for service-industry workers, locals and tourists.

Sinbad’s has also been a thorn in the Port’s side, documents show.

It has often been late with rent payments and has bounced checks — at one time the eatery owed the Port $220,000. Sinbad’s also has caused at least five sewage leaks into San Francisco Bay over the past six years, the most recent of which was in January, according to a Port memo.

Read on for more on the possibility (unlikely) of a reprieve.

I love you, Sinbad’s.

Fire at Mission & 22nd St

So much for sparing the air… This fire has been raging at the Sketcher’s building at the corner of Mission & 22nd street since about 6:30pm, and it’s now close to 8pm and seems to only be getting larger.

MissionMission Fire at Mission and 22nd

[via ABC7news]


The fire appears to be centered on the building on the Northwest corner of 22nd and Mission, which houses Popeye’s.  The Sketchers building seems to be safe at the moment, thanks to the efforts of the SFFD.


SF Gate reports that 6 people have been injured and that 1 person has been killed.  Besides Popeye’s, the building was also a residence for dozens of families.  The SFFD was able to rescue several people trapped there, but the fire is still raging at this time as they continue to work to contain it.

Please read Capp Street Crap if you’re not already

Capp Street Crap is a wonderful blog, all about the Mission. (I link to it all the time, but I’ve been a little off the grid lately, so you should just follow it yourself.) In addition to charming posts about junk in the gutter on Capp Street, they do some killer in-depth reporting (like well more in-depth than anything we do). Here are some examples from recent weeks:

Officer-involved shooting at SFPD’s Mission Station

High-tech new trashcans at 16th and Mission

Difficulties reopening Capp Street theater/venue the Lost Church

Get to work!

Setting fire to a robot butler box (aka marketing trash)

Yesterday these robot butler boxes showed up all over town. And I guess they turned out to be an elaborate marketing scheme (wherein a marketing company leaves trash on a sidewalk).

Last night, somebody went pyro on them:

[Photos by open mouth, via thong2000]

Are white people turning Dia de los Muertos into a bummer?

A number of readers pointed us to local writer/performer/mom/activist Aya de Leon‘s blog post titled “Dear White People/Queridos Gringos: You Want Our Culture But You Don’t Want Us – Stop Colonizing The Day Of The Dead”:

Dear White People (or should I say Queridos Gringos/Gabachos),

Let me begin by saying it is completely natural that you would find yourself attracted to The Day of The Dead. This indigenous holiday from Mexico celebrates the loving connection between the living and our departed loved ones that is so deeply missing in Western culture. Who wouldn’t feel moved by intricately and lovingly built altars, beautifully painted skull faces, waterfalls of marigold flowers, fragrant sweet breads and delicious meals for those whom we miss sharing our earthly lives. I understand. Many cultures from around the world celebrate these things, and many of them at this time of year. As a woman whose Latin@ heritage is Puerto Rican, I have grown up in California, seeing this ritual all my life and feeling the ancestral kinship to this reverent, prayerful honoring of the departed.

Let me continue by saying that it is completely natural that you would want to participate in celebrating The Day of The Dead. You, like all human beings, have lineage, ancestors, departed family members. You have skulls under the skin of your own faces, bones beneath your flesh. Like all mortals, you seek ways to understand death, to befriend it, and celebrate it in the context of celebrating life and love.

I understand.

And in the tradition of indigenous peoples, Chican@ and Mexican-American communities have not told you not to come, not to join, not to celebrate your dead alongside them. In the tradition of indigenous peoples and of ceremony, you, in your own grief and missing your loved ones have not been turned away. You arrived at the Dia De Los Muertos ceremony shipwrecked, a refugee from a culture that suppresses grief, hides death, banishes it, celebrates it only in the most morbid ways—horror movies, violent television—death is dehumanized, without loving connection, without ceremony. You arrived at El Dia De Los Muertos like a Pilgrim, starving, unequal to survival in the land of grief, and the indigenous ceremonies fed you and took you in and revived you and made a place for you at the table.

And what have you done?

Like the Pilgrims, you have begun to take over, to gentrify and colonize this holiday for yourselves. I was shocked this year to find Day of the Dead events in my native Oakland Bay Area not only that were not organized by Chican@s or Mexican@s or Latin@s, but events with zero Latin@ artists participating, involved, consulted, paid, recognized, acknowledged, prayed with.

Certain announcements of some of this year’s celebrations conjured visions of hipsters drinking special holiday microbrews and listening to live music by white bands and eating white food in calavera facepaint and broken trails of marigolds. Don’t bother to build an altar because your celebration is an altar of death, a ceremony of killing culture by appropriation. Do you really not know how to sit at the table? To say thank you? To be a gracious guest?

Read on for more on the politics of it all, and how Halloween used to be spiritual before white people let it get commercialized.

[Photo by Rusty Hodge]

Is political activism turning Dia de los Muertos into a bummer?

Reader M. McDonell wrote in with this essay about this year’s event:

Walking with the Dia de los Muertos procession in 2011 was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in San Francisco. I came upon the slow-moving crowd by accident and was transfixed by the solemn, beautiful spectacle. Abashed that I didn’t have a candle or a painted face, I nonetheless felt welcomed.

The walk was surreal; the familiar street made strange by the lack of noisy traffic, and my neighbors by their elaborate makeup.

When we arrived at Garfield Park, I wandered among the alters, near to tears thanks to beautiful and sad tributes to friends and relatives. I contemplated what I might do to celebrate my grandmothers and grandfathers.

The event’s goal is to help us “contemplate our existence and mortality — a moment to remember deceased friends and family, and our connections beyond our immediate concerns.” And, wow, for me, this happened. Rarely do events live up to their promise; this one went far beyond.

Fast forward to 2014. Circumstances have kept me away from Dia de los Muertos for several years, but this year I was ready to go back, and I invited my brother and sister in law and their kids to come up for it as well. I warned him: it is beautiful, sad and maybe a little scary. Do you think the kids will be up for it? He said yes.

We painted our faces, stowed candles in our pockets, and headed down Harrison. First stop, Garfield park. The alters were sparse this year and I could see that my relatives weren’t coming face to face with their own mortality. Maybe the procession would get us into a more appropriate headspace.

We planned to meet up with the procession at 24th and Bryant, but it seemed to be running ahead of schedule. We walked down 24th and were told to “get back, get out of the way,” as a police escort cleared the street for a Native American dancers. Thus, we became (and stayed) spectators rather than participants. The people I expected to see–my friends and neighbors gorgeously dressed to celebrate their ancestors–were bookended by political activists. It’s an election year and oversized versions of the fliers I’ve been recycling for the last month were being waved around on sticks. Add in a dash of “no development,” and “no evictions,” the vague save the Mission sentiments, and the procession went from a solemn contemplation of life and death to a political rally. And a loud one at that. Drums beat, bands played.

My sister-in-law turned to me and said, “This is like Mardi Gras!” No, I wanted to say, it is nothing like that, but I couldn’t deny the circus going on around us.

San Francisco, can’t we have nice things? Can’t we have a themed event without everyone bringing the ax they have to grind? The political posters were inappropriate and disrespectful. The goal of the festival bears repeating:

To “contemplate our existence and mortality — a moment to remember deceased friends and family, and our connections beyond our immediate concerns.”

I was hoping the evening would be a chance to take a moment and reflect and pay my respects. Three of my friends lost their fathers this year. Instead, a “Yes on H” poster distracted me from my reverie. Okay, you got me. What is H? Something to do with graveyards? Time off work to attend funerals?

As soon as I got home, I looked it up. Prop H would require “certain Golden Gate Park athletic fields to be kept as grass with no artificial lighting.”


San Francisco, I know you have a lot to say, but take a deep breath and look around. Maybe now isn’t the right time for your pitch. Maybe this isn’t your parade. Set down the sign, pick up a candle, and help the planners of Dia de los Muertos realize their goal. We can talk about fake grass tomorrow.

Thanks, M.

[Photo by Rusty Hodge]

Bay Bridge update

Never stops being trippy.

[via jonobr1]