SAN FRANCISCO — Airbnb has charmed and strong-armed lawmakers around the world to allow it to operate in their communities. But two cities, Airbnb’s hometown, San Francisco, and New York, the service’s largest United States market, have not been so compliant. On Monday, Airbnb sued San Francisco over a unanimous decision on June 7 by the city’s Board of Supervisors to fine the company $1,000 a day for every unregistered host on its service. If Airbnb does not comply, it could face misdemeanor charges. The suit follows a bipartisan move by New York lawmakers who voted this month to heavily fine anyone who uses Airbnb to rent a whole apartment for fewer than 30 days, a practice that has been illegal in the state since 2010. [more inside]
Remarkable comic book work published in The San Francisco News. Scanned by Ron Henggeler from a book found in the UC Berkeley Library. (Previously!)
"Rentberry is a new startup that turns the rental process into a quasi-auction. (I saw this on Tumblr and I thought no way, it can’t be real, but IT’S TOTALLY REAL.) Tenants register with Rentberry, look at available listings, and bid on how much they’d be willing to pay in rent. Landlords examine all of the potential tenants and their bids, and make a decision. If you’re all “bidding on rent is a terrible idea,” I absolutely agree with you—but according to San Francisco’s Curbed blog, some people are already making bids in order to secure apartments."
Established in 1982, the [San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive] preserves 6000 hours of newsfilm, documentaries and other TV footage produced in the Bay Area and Northern California from the Twentieth Century. We are a part of the J. Paul Leonard Library’s Department of Special Collections and oversee material owned by local TV stations KPIX-TV, KRON-TV, KQED and KTVU. All 1,659 items in the collections can be streamed. A few notable inclusions within. [more inside]
What is actually happening with San Francisco rental prices?
From mefi's own urban planning, history, infrastructure, transit and walkability obsessed blogger, Eric Fischer. [more inside]
From mefi's own urban planning, history, infrastructure, transit and walkability obsessed blogger, Eric Fischer. [more inside]
Quick: imagine a colorful San Francisco Victorian. The way it looks in your mind's eye probably has something to do with Buckter's decades of steady influence.
Back in Februrary, Talia Jane went 'viral', thanks to a bit she wrote concerning poor pay at Yelp. She was fired from Yelp that same day (previously). Now, Lauren Smiley at Backchannel.com takes a closer look at Talia Jane.
Last Men Standing. The stories of eight men who aren't supposed to be here. Diagnosed with HIV in the 1980's, when that was a death sentence, they are now living lives they never expected to have. [more inside]
San Francisco had been a place where some people came out of idealism or stayed to realize an ideal: to work for social justice or teach the disabled, to write poetry or practise alternative medicine – to be part of something larger than themselves that was not a corporation, to live for something more than money. That was becoming less and less possible as rent and sale prices for homes spiralled upward. What the old-timers were afraid of losing, many of the newcomers seemed unable to recognise. (slTheGuardian)
Dear Jeremy... starts the open letter from [former] customer service representative Talia Jane to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, highlighting her inability to live in the San Francisco's Bay Area on the wages paid by Yelp subsidiary Eat24. [more inside]
Kim-Mai Cutler: Nothing Like This Has Ever Happened Before - "San Francisco Bay Area poverty rates in all nine counties have increased in the last economic cycle, even with the Facebook and Twitter IPOs and private tech boom. The main transfer mechanism is land and housing costs, as rising rents and evictions push service and other low-wage workers to the brink. [Henry] George's solution was a single land tax that would replace all other government revenue sources. If an owner wanted to develop their property to make it more useful or productive, George argued that they should have the right to keep the value from those efforts. But increases in the value of underlying land were created by — and ultimately belonged to — the public at large." (previously: 1,2,3) [more inside]
Dan Hicks, Bay Area music icon, dies at age 74. Last night Clare Wasserman announced that her husband, musician Dan Hicks, had succumbed to liver cancer. [more inside]
19 Historical photographs of well known places in San Francisco. Use the sliders to see them today. (SLGuardian).
Yesterday the Coxless Crew, a team of four women, completed their unsupported row across the Pacific. It took them 257 days to travel 8446 miles in three stages - San Francisco to Hawaii, then to Samoa, and completing their journey at Cairns. They travelled in a 29-foot long pink boat called Doris. [more inside]
The Police Use of Force Project investigates the ways in which police use of force policies help to enable police violence in our communities. (Proposed policy solutions from Campaign Zero) [more inside]
The San Francisco sewer system is an amazing feat of engineering. Almost entirely gravity-run, it directs both stormwater and wastewater into a combined system of pipes that flow to wastewater treatment facilities. In the Life of Poo, you can type in an address in San Francisco and see where your toilet waste flows.[more inside]
How the “sharing economy” has turned San Francisco into a dystopia for the working class. Oh, Canada! I’m writing you from Berkeley, California to warn you about this thing called “the sharing economy.” Since no one is really sharing anything, many of us prefer the term “the exploitation economy,” but due to its prevalence many in the Bay Area simply think of it as “the economy.” Whatever you want to call it, the basic idea is that customers can outsource all the work or chores they don’t want to do to somebody else in their area. [more inside]
Want a frozen pint of ice cream from your favorite artisanal creamery delivered by helicopter to your suite at the Burj Dubai at 11PM tonight? San Francisco startup Magic claims that they will arrange any request for $100 per hour, plus expenses.
Meg Allen's photo documentary project BUTCH 'attempts to explore the butch identity and aesthetic through a series of personal portraits'. This Buzzfeed article selects a few pictures and has some quotes from the artist.
Life in a Studio Apartment with my Wife and Two Sons - Between July 2011 and August 2015 I lived in a ~400sqft studio apartment in San Francisco. I moved in a bachelor but by the time I moved out, I was one member of a four person family. Here are some things I learned along the way. (via)
Robert Crumb talks to The Observer about misogyny, sex, fame, cartooning and getting older in a sprawling interview.
A few days ago, a reddit user posted a thought-experiment about living in Las Vegas and working in San Francisco, commuting four days a week by airplane. Their back-of-the-envelope calculations have them saving about $1100/month. The posting was picked up by CityLab, and is leading to some interesting discussions. [more inside]
"The way to kill a complex city is to chase out all the poor people – and their food" "When greed makes a place like New York, London or San Francisco unaffordable, the non-wealthy leave, and the city loses the smells and tastes that made it great." [SLGuardian]
After two devestating fires - Rocky and Jerusalem - Lake Country is hit again. This time with the Valley Fire. Lake County is an hour north of Napa in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has spent the past three months more or less constantly on fire. In just under seven hours, the fire has burned an estimated 20,000 acres. This time, it's heading straight for two of the larger communities in the area: Middletown and Hidden Valley Lake. Four firefighters have been treated for second degree burns received while fighting this new, explosive fire. [more inside]
1906 San Francisco Earthquake survivor Ruth Newman passed away July 29th at the age of 113. This leaves William Del Monte (warning: auto-playing video), currently 109, as the last confirmed living person to have survived the earthquake and fire.
You Must Remember This: Charles Manson's Hollywood - Karina Longworth's podcast on the hidden history of Hollywood (previously, previously) takes an an in depth look at the darker side of the 60s. [more inside]
Paul Madonna (previously on MeFi) and his wife have been evicted from the home and workspace in which they've lived for ten years. In response, Paul is drawing and writing All Over Coffee: The Eviction Series about his life in San Francisco right now.
As the demand for tech labor grows, ambitious teenagers are flooding into San Francisco. There’s no official tally of the number of teens who work in tech, but Fontenot estimates that there are as many as a hundred recent high school dropouts working on startups in the city. Some were too distracted by programming projects and weekend hackathons to go to class. Others couldn’t pay for college and questioned why they should go into debt when there is easy money to be made. Still others had already launched successful apps or businesses and didn’t see why they should wait at home for their lives to start. In Facebook groups for young technologists, they saw an alternative: teens lounging in sunny Dolores Park (dolo, as they call it), teens leasing expansive South of Market office space, teens throwing parties whenever they want. And so they moved to San Francisco, many of them landing in houses like Mission Control. -- The Real Teens of Silicon Valley: Inside the almost-adult lives of the industry’s newest recruits
Why Is It So Hard to Get a Great Bagel in California? [New York Times] San Francisco bakeries have tried and tried again to replicate the chewy, crusty perfection of New York’s specialty. They are still trying. [more inside]
In a five-part series, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carolyn Said examines Airbnb’s impact in San Francisco. (Previously) [more inside]
San Francisco City Hall peacocks for its birthday (SLYT) in front of tens of thousands, including the US Conference of Mayors. The projection system will be a permanent donation, complimenting its elaborate LED lighting, used to celebrate holidays, Pride Month, sports victories, etc. The building was completed in time for 1915's Panama Pacific Exposition, and features the 5th largest classical dome in the world, surpassing the US Capitol. A retrofit made it the world's largest base-isolated building, while the grand dome was restored with $500,000 worth of gold foil. The new lighting, combined with the Bay Lights and other projects, have prompted discussion about creating an annual festival of lights.
The Great Bagel Manifesto: in which J. Kenji López-Alt—kitchen guru, national treasure, and relatively recent transplant to the West Coast—rants about bagels. [more inside]
"Who wrote this amazing, mysterious book satirizing tech startup culture?" "A mysterious little book called Iterating Grace is floating around San Francisco right now. At least a dozen people have received the book in the mail—or in my case, by secret hand-delivery to my house. (Which is a little creepy.) The artifact itself consists of a 2,001-word story interspersed with hand-drawn recreations of tweets by venture capitalists and startup people like Chris Sacca, Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Sam Altman, and others. The story’s lead character, Koons Crooks, goes on a spiritual quest by contemplating the social media feeds emanating from the startup world. It leads him to a Bolivian volcano and a chillingly hilarious final act with some cans of cat food, a DIY conference badge, and a pack of vicuñas (which are sort of like llamas)."
“an atlas of a specific luxury” (regarding five white male humans i witnessed swiping right repeatedly on the app “tinder” in californian-american public throughout the year 2014) by tim rogers
Beautiful by Night is a short documentary by James Hosking about veteran drag queens in San Francisco. [more inside]
You live in the Bay Area, it's a Friday evening and you have nothing to do...why not try Bike Party? It's like a less angry, more laid-back Critical Mass. There's one in San Francisco every First Friday of the month, another in the East Bay every Second Friday, an even bigger one in San Jose every Third Friday (which had a special guest rider last March), and a Peninsula ride every Fourth Friday. These rides change their route (and their theme) every month to keep it fresh. Not everyone is a fan, however, as evidenced by the comments on this local news article about the Sep. 2014 East Bay Bike Party.
Wetsuit donation to SFFD honors man who dreamed of firefighting
The San Francisco firefighters who pull struggling swimmers from the Pacific Ocean were feeling quite toasty Thursday in their brand-new fire-engine-red wetsuits. "This is great," said firefighter Harry Higgins. "I can move my arms. And it’s really well insulated. I don’t have to wear any undies." Like other members of the water rescue unit, Higgins has been obliged to provide his own wetsuit, a cumbersome model designed for surfing and not swimming. On Thursday, the department received 40 hand-sewn, flexible swimmer’s wetsuits — a gift from the family of an aspiring firefighter who wanted to wear one and never did.[more inside]
How hedge-fund mogul Tom Steyer is using his checkbook to punish climate-change deniers, persuade Obama to halt the Keystone XL pipeline, and try to save the planet. [more inside]
"There are several ideas of what happened here this evening. It could have been a fantastic promotion stunt, or a demonstration against the film establishment, but a lot of people think it was actually a motion picture being produced here at the film festival. The only thing sure is that the 13th annual San Francisco Film Festival got off to a smashing start." That's a bit of reporter humor, which accurately captures the diverse goals and ideas behind Pie Fight '69, a most memorable yet virtually forgotten piece of San Francisco's cinema history. The film from a half dozen cameras, run by members of Grand Central Station independent film collective, was lost until 1999. The rediscovered film was cut into a short documentary, which you can see on Archive.org, YouTube, and Vimeo.
In the late 70s, John Roberts was a visual arts major at San Francisco's Institute of Art who spent his free time documenting the Bay Area's blossoming punk scene. His photos—a mix of street photography, portraiture, and concert shots—uniquely captured the last moments of the city's pre-AIDS and post-hippie era. Roberts's best shots were from a tiny punk venue called the Deaf Club on Valencia Street. The Deaf Club was a deaf community center that hosted hardcore shows from 1978 to 1980—the resulting scene was grungy, sweaty, and truly bizarre, and Roberts's photos captured it perfectly.
How Parks and Recreation Took Aim at Silicon Valley (Laura Hudson at Wired):
"Over the course of the season, Leslie remarks on how the character of the town has morphed since the arrival of Gryzzl, with juice bars, yoga studios, and pet hotels popping up across Pawnee. “Everything has changed. This town is going to be unrecognizable in 10 years,” she says wistfully. One episode revolves entirely around trying to save their perennial waffle hangout J.J.’s Diner; thanks to the surging housing market, the property has been bought out by a perfume magnate who plans to flip it for profit.[more inside]
"If that sounds reminiscent of the housing crisis that’s currently plaguing San Francisco—and displacing large numbers of long-time residents—it should. Rental prices in the tech hub city are currently in the highest the nation, with the median price of a one-bedroom apartment hovering at more than $3,400 a month. Meanwhile, local establishments like the Lexington Club (the J.J.’s Diner of lesbian bars) are getting sold to new owners."
A San Francisco deputy public defender was handcuffed and arrested at the Hall of Justice after she objected to city police officers questioning her client outside a courtroom, an incident that her office called outrageous and police officials defended as appropriate. [more inside]
A lovely meditation / photo essay about California's Yerba Buena Island.
Dérive is a smartphone app inspired by the Situationists that encourages you to wander your city. You can use the general deck, use one for Abu Dhabi, Biella, Ithaca, Johannesburg, Kampala, New York City, Paris or San Francisco, or make your own