Maybe we should all move to Hawaii

Next time you’re like, “Man, the Mission has changed a lot the last few years,” here’s a little perspective…

From a certain news source:

Palestinian Man Marvels At How Much Childhood Refugee Camp Has Changed

AL-SHATI, GAZA STRIP—Saying he hardly recognized some of the makeshift buildings and piles of rubble he played in as a child, Gaza native Ramzy Abu-Dhubah told reporters Tuesday he was struck by how much the refugee camp he grew up in has changed over the years.

As he walked through his “old stomping grounds” in Al-Shati, a 0.3-square-mile camp currently home to 87,000 displaced Palestinians, the 36-year-old remarked how the whole area seemed more bustling and crowded to him now than it did when he was a boy.

“So many of the spots where I used to hang out are gone, and they’ve all been replaced by new homes—I guess this place has really been growing,” Abu-Dhubah said as he pointed out a demolished concrete structure filled with improvised mud-brick shelters that had not been there when he left Gaza in 1999. “This used to be an empty lot where I’d play soccer, but there’s got to be a few dozen families that have moved in here now. They put in one of those big ration-distribution centers, too. My buddy Ibrahim was telling me that’s where pretty much everyone goes to eat these days.”

Read on for lots more.

[Photo by Google Maps]

The most expensive cab ride ever

Our pal Carlos noticed something quite peculiar the other day:

An NYC cab spotted on Camp and Albion streets this morning.

Must have been a pretty pricey ride!  Perhaps they should have taken Uber?

Crystal clear day on the bay means cool view of overlapping bridges

On our annual ferry ride to Burger Boogaloo yesterday, we were stricken dumb by the clear skies all around us. From as far away as the Alameda ferry terminal (where the ferry from SF makes a quick stop on its way to Oakland) we could see the Golden Gate Bridge clear as if we were floating right under it.

And what’s more, look how it was framed perfectly by the westernmost towers of the Bay Bridge!

(These photos, though shot on iPhone 6, don’t do justice to what was incredibly stunning to the naked eye — like, you had to be there.) (But anyway, take the ferry more often, y’all.) (Budget yachting, it’s called.)

Man, why aren’t we at the river?

[via Otto Venta]

All the dudes I ran into at Telegraph Beer Garden in Oakland after the Warriors parade on Friday

Usually when I do these lists it’s because I ran into 10+ people at some event in the Mission, but I figured 5 dudes was pretty damn good being that I was in Oakland. The Warriors parade was heaps of fun, and waiting out the BART shitshow at Telegraph for a few hours was really fun too. Here are all the dudes I saw:

  • Ryan Christopher Parks, internet genius and local rock musician and bartender at Telegraph
  • Luke Spray, co-host of Roll Over Easy (the best SF-themed radio show in SF)
  • Tyler Davin-Moore, former Crispin Cider rep and current Oskar Blues rep and eternal hard partier
  • Jordan Miller, manager of the lanes at Mission Bowling Club and eternal hard partier
  • Brian Brophy a.k.a. The Tens, Bay Area-based street photographer

We did lots of shots. (And the frozen greyhounds were good too.) (See you next season, gents!)

[Photo by Jess Kelso]

The narrow alleyways of Noe Valley

It’s like a different world, man. Every damn time we leave the Mission, it’s like some different world.

(We gotta start leaving the Mission more often, all of us, am I right?)

[via Chris]

Virgin America braces for ‘HELLA full’ flight to Los Angeles

[via Megan]

OAK smokes SFO in outrageous TSA finds

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)’s awesome Instagram account, which primarily shares photos of crazy items the TSA has found while screening airline passengers, is not new, but it did see significant new attention on the Internet this week. Whoever is running it has made an effort to include wild finds from many different airports across the U.S., including several from San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport. At SFO the TSA confiscated a brush dagger and a bullet-knife, child’s play compared to the novelty bomb belt, throwing star, seven pounds of weed, and 81 more pounds of weed (pictured) taken at OAK. Wow, you’d think that last one would’ve just slid right through, huh?

The TSA’s photos offer a fascinating look at human naiveté, stupidity and stubbornness. They expose some very weird parts of the black market. The TSA’s Instagram is great, but I can’t help but notice an alternate purpose that it serves: scaring us into liking and trusting the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security by giving us the impression that “threats” are much more frequent than they actually are. The Instagram gives the illusion that the TSA is constantly confiscating tons of weapons, many deviously disguised, in every airport. A few hundred or thousand weapons is certainly many weapons, but it’s not so many when one considers that the TSA screens 600-700 million passengers every year. That means the TSA finds ~3 firearms for every million people it screens. The TSA’s posts are entertaining, but whether they intend it or not, and whether we realize it or not, they serve another purpose too. Thoughts?

Stuff’s happening in neighborhoods other than the Mission btw

Andrew Dalton, for SF Weekly, takes a look at some changes coming soon to one of them:

On a Wednesday night in January, in the cafeteria of a private high school just across Interstate 280 from the Balboa Park BART station, a group of 100 or so neighbors and activists gather to discuss the future of the neighborhood. Specifically, they come to deliver their opinions regarding what should be done with the Balboa Reservoir, a nearly 18-acre plot of city-owned land next to the City College of San Francisco.

The Balboa Reservoir is an odd space, not least because it doesn’t look much like a reservoir at all. It’s an open and flat parking lot (unusual for the area) smack in the middle of a neighborhood mostly populated by single-family homes. The reservoir sits, sunken a few feet below the surrounding area, between Mt. Davidson to the north, CCSF to the east, and a new low-rise condo building with a ground-floor Whole Foods to the south. New residents of the complex, which fronts Ocean Avenue, can look straight out their third-floor windows and enjoy a view of the three-story earthen dam that separates the reservoir from the quaint Westwood Park neighborhood to the west. On a recent Saturday, the parking lot that serves as the reservoir’s asphalt bottom was empty save for a man on a recumbent tricycle pedaling laps around the perimeter while a woman waited for him in the passenger seat of a parked Prius.

Read on for lots more background and astute reporting. (Also, take a walk around this area if you get a chance. I was there a lot when I was a CCSF student in ’03 or so, and there’s heaps of history and geography and interesting vibes around there. Randy’s Place, am I right??)