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Life inside San Francisco's vanishing Single Room Occupancies (SROs)

There are approximately 530 single resident (or room) occupancy (SRO) hotels in San Francisco. San Francisco has hundreds of SRO hotels that are home to more than 30,000 tenants or approximately 5% of the city, the majority of whom live in low-income neighborhoods such as the Tenderloin and Chinatown. As San Francisco’s cost of living continues to leap upwards and SROs get demolished or converted to condos, many housing activists worry about what will become of the vulnerable SRO population. Life has always been precarious for these residents and far from idyllic in even the best-managed buildings. Here are the stories of six people trying to survive in a city that’s increasingly out of reach. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 18, 2014 - 22 comments

Less techies, more cowboys

The SFMTA has published excerpts of their photo archives from donated collections, spanning the post-1906 earthquake period all the way up to modern times. [more inside]
posted by slater on Jun 12, 2014 - 9 comments

No Exit

Wired's Gideon Lewis-Kraus reports from the trenches of the Silicon Valley "ecosystem". [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Apr 25, 2014 - 79 comments

The Epicenter of Crime

The Hunt's Donuts Story Hunt’s Donuts was a thorn in the side of the police at the heart of a neighborhood that has always been a thorn in the side of the police. . [more inside]
posted by dubold on Sep 13, 2013 - 5 comments

The evanescence of vision: a journey in search of sight

Into the Light
Humanity has paused on Jones Street near the summit of Russian Hill in San Francisco. Tourists, businessmen, café workers, the homeless – all seem to have taken a collective breather at this steepest of places, a city peak where stairs are carved into the sidewalks so people don't topple. Only one person keeps climbing, and he's talking, too; he's saying that you can't stop here, that if you just keep pushing, you'll see things no one else will see, that Macondray Lane is just over the hill and that it's the most magical place in all of San Francisco, but you'll never see it if you don't keep pushing, you'll never see Macondray Lane unless you really know how to look.
[via Slate]
posted by Joe in Australia on Jun 10, 2013 - 12 comments

Bradley Manning and the mainstreaming of gay pride

For about a day, Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning was going to be one of the Grand Marshals in this year's San Francisco Pride Parade. Since Manning continues to languish in a military brig, his* frequent champion, the Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, agreed to attend in his stead. Manning was selected by Pride's "electoral college," a jury of former Grand Marshals that elects some of the Grand Marshals for each year's parade. But almost as soon as his selection was announced, it was revoked by the Pride board. Here is the statement from board President Lisa Williams. The SF Pride board is meeting right now, and Manning's advocates will be gathering outside and possibly inside the meeting. @lizatblackrose is livetweeting the meeting. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on May 7, 2013 - 97 comments

Bush to the bay, Pine to the sea

Reddit user and actual wizard bananimator takes us on a quick spin through the city by the bay.
posted by theodolite on Jul 13, 2012 - 19 comments

Ford Fiesta Flips Donuts in SF

DC and Ken Block present Gymkhana FIVE: Ultimate Urban Playground; San Francisco -- Or what happens when a drifting master gets free reign over SF streets. I have been wondering who put those donut-shaped tread marks on the Bay Bridge. Previously... Previouslier... Previousliest
posted by cman on Jul 10, 2012 - 69 comments

In the name of Defense.

In December 1974, New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh's front-page account (paywall) of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program documented their illegal domestic intelligence operations against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States. The article eventually prompted investigations by the Rockefeller Commission and the Church and Pike committees. "There have been other reports on the CIA's doping of civilians, but they have mostly dished about activities in New York City. Accounts of what actually occurred in San Francisco have been sparse and sporadic. But newly declassified CIA records, recent interviews, and a personal diary of [George H. White,] an operative at Stanford Special Collections shed more light on the breadth of the San Francisco operation." SF Weekly: "Operation Midnight Climax: How the CIA doped San Francisco citizens with LSD." MK-ULTRA: Previously on Metafilter. (Via)
posted by zarq on Mar 26, 2012 - 29 comments

49ers-least talked about comeback story?

The 49ers are back, but who's paying attention? Sitting on top of a weak NFC West, is the Niner's impressive rise going overlooked? [more inside]
posted by Carillon on Nov 15, 2011 - 77 comments

“Why do we eat shrimp and crawfish but not their brethren on land?”

The San Francisco Street Food Festival is an annual Summer event in the Mission District that features around 60 different Bay Area vendors and is attended by tens of thousands of foodies. This year the usual mainstays were joined by Don Bugito, which served up insect-based dishes and billed itself as the first "PreHispanic Snackeria." When the food truck commences permanent operations this month, it may be the first eatery in the country devoted exclusively to preparations involving insects. But they're not the only entomophagy pioneers in San Francisco, where Bug Cuisine is Booming. So just how tasty are insects? (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 5, 2011 - 30 comments

The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.

The Flat Streets of San Francisco Photographs by Dan Ng.
posted by grouse on Oct 10, 2011 - 36 comments

The Great West Coast Newspaper War

The alt-weekly newspaper war in San Francisco - The titanic struggle between The Bay Guardian and SF Weekly (owned by Village Voice Media), as told by Eli Sanders of Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger.
posted by Artw on Mar 20, 2010 - 23 comments

Tales of the City

In 1974 - or 1976, depending who you ask - Armistead Maupin began writing "an extended love letter to a magical San Francisco” in the form of a serialized, fictional drama published originally in the Pacific Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, originally called "The Serial" which then became collectively known as Tales of The City. It is a suprisingly beautiful, deep, emotional, cosmopolitan and lasting tale about life in San Francisco in the turbulent, heady days of the 1970s and 1980s. Widely credited with and cherished for helping spread a little of the openess, tolerance and acceptance that San Francisco is now famous for. It then became a series of books - Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You - and lastly, the spin-off tale of Michael Tolliver Lives. Almost exactly twenty years after first publishing, it then became an excellent miniseries from the United Kingdom's Channel 4, which aired in the United States on PBS, but not without protest or limitations. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on May 4, 2008 - 39 comments

Flavorpill adds Art & World Events mailing lists...

2 years ago I FPP'd FlavorPill, a company that sends out permission-based emails for books (Boldtype), music (Earplug), and fashion (the JC Report). They've since added ArtKrush (it's art, stupid! - nsfw) and Activate (world events) to their aresenal. In addition to the topic-specific mailing lists, they offer city-specific lists for London, New York, SF, LA, and Chicago. Sample issues are archived on the site.
posted by dobbs on Aug 11, 2006 - 6 comments

A pleasant day of sailing on the bay...

Pictures of a not so pleasant day of sailing on the bay...
posted by H. Roark on Apr 5, 2005 - 48 comments

BYOBW

This new film [25MB, QuickTime] documents the 3rd annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race, in which a bunch of crazed fools raced headlong down San Francisco's Lombard Street (aka: the crookedest street in the world) on Big Wheels. Good drunk fun! Here are some pics for the bandwidth-challenged.
posted by scarabic on Sep 30, 2003 - 22 comments

Ommm you rough beast, Ommm.....

Buddhism tames the amygdala Covered recently on Metafilter (here), new research at the University of California San Francisco Medical Centre ( into the "Happy Buddhist" phenomenon ) shows that Buddhist meditation techniques "can tame the amygdala, an area of the brain which is the hub of fear memory." [BBC] -Is this the Rx for a nation of Americans gripped by fear? Do Christianity, Islam or Judaism have effective techniques to tame the amygdala too?
posted by troutfishing on May 22, 2003 - 48 comments

GumBall Rally 3000

The Gumball Rally 3000 is almost upon us. San Francisco to Miami in five days all in the spirit of the classic movie. With an entrance fee of $20k and A List celebs like Johnny Knoxville and Jason Priestly participating... Not to mention the Bikini Bandits it's sure to be a wonder to behold. Starts at the Fairmont today at 9. Be sure to say hi to the Hustler Honeys in their twin turbocharged Lamborghini....
posted by zeoslap on Apr 17, 2003 - 22 comments

Serratia Marcesens and Project 112

Project 112 was a secret, cold-war era project to determine vulnerabilities of US warships to various chemical and biological attacks. While lots is known about what happened, there's still a lot of information that hasn't been released yet. In the early 1950s, the US Army sprayed the bacteria Serratia Marcesens over San Francisco. While the government thought that it was safe, many people ended up checking into the hospital. One elderly man even died as a result of the US testing chemical and biological agents against it's own citizens.
posted by manero on Jan 22, 2003 - 4 comments

Dog-mauling convicts' adopted Aryan son might be the Night Stalker

Dog-mauling convicts' adopted Aryan son might be the Night Stalker says the SF Chronicle. This case continues to get weirder. The DA now wants DNA evidence from Paul "Cornfed" Schneider -- the Pelican Bay inmate and Aryan Brotherhood gang leader whose Presa Canario dogs mauled Diane Whipple to death and whose lawyers (convicted in that death) adopted him -- to see if he is the missing link in the decades old "Night Stalker" serial killer case in California. Yeesh.
posted by brookish on Apr 24, 2002 - 8 comments

LA is the number-one relocation city for fleeing San Franciscans.

LA is the number-one relocation city for fleeing San Franciscans. Has the world turned upside down? The L.A. Examiner has the summary. And the complete story can be found, for now, on the LA Business Journal front page.
posted by josholalia on Jul 24, 2001 - 34 comments

San Francisco couple has been charged with murder and manslaughter from the January 26 fatal mauling of a neighbor by two dogs they were caring for.
posted by crushed on Mar 27, 2001 - 16 comments

SF Gate article

SF Gate article states, "with a wireless ethernet card, a laptop and some basic software savvy," people walking around downtown San Francisco could just point their antenna at a building and be privy to private, unprotected coporate networks.
posted by paladin on Mar 22, 2001 - 9 comments

Salon is running a piece on how the internet has ruined San Francisco.

Salon is running a piece on how the internet has ruined San Francisco. I have to say I agree 100%. I've lived in Southern California all my life and S.F. has historically been a much cooler, mellower place that I looked forward to visiting. But over the past couple of years, I've found myself travelling up there once every couple months, and every time I go it's busier, more crowded, and everyone is in a bigger hurry. For me, the mystique of S.F. is totally gone. The dotcom riches have ruined the place. [found at Camworld]
posted by mathowie on Oct 28, 1999 - 0 comments

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