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"Millions make me lose interest. It should have a 'B' in front of it."

How can a company that earns no money be worth a billion dollars? How you answer that question will determine whether you believe that what is now occurring in the office parks and strip-mall coffee shops of the San Francisco Peninsula is the last gasp of another speculative financial bubble or the early articulations of a new world order.
posted by four panels on May 4, 2013 - 106 comments

Do you spit or swallow?

Bostonians Tyler Balliet and Morgan First love wine. Drinking it, talking about it, introducing other people to it. But wine, unfortunately, is often perceived to have an attitude, a culture of snottiness and pretension that puts people off before they even get close to a wine glass. Why swirl it? What's with that obnoxious sucking sound? What the hell is the deal with spitting it out? What about the confusing vocabulary and snooty descriptors? When did wine become "sassy" or "understated", instead of "delicious"? [more inside]
posted by MissySedai on Apr 30, 2013 - 127 comments

Likely named for merchant William Fell

How the streets of San Francisco got their names: a fun little history lesson, nicely formatted as a giant clickable map (with search if you just want to look up a specific street).
posted by mathowie on Apr 29, 2013 - 36 comments

You said we were going to try new food! An umbrella isn't food!

A four year old reviews Mission Chinese Food (with his face)
posted by desjardins on Apr 25, 2013 - 22 comments

San Francisco 1955

San Francisco in 1955 in color "Shot by filmmaker Tullio Pellgrini, the 20-minute movie gives an up-close-and-personal tour of the city from Pellgrini's automobile. His narration is charmingly earnest in a way that's promotional of the city's virtues while never stepping over into being particularly phony or cloying."
posted by Long Way To Go on Apr 20, 2013 - 34 comments

Break me off a piece of that

Upon proudly celebrating 10 years of the show's rich history at the forefront of Drum & Bass, Breaks, Dubstep, Grime, Broken Beat, 2Step and other emerging genres, the hosts of Future Breaks are satisfied that the time has now come to pass the torch and retire the weekly broadcasts of the program. The final broadcast of Future Breaks FM! will air live January 26, 2008 at 4pm PST. Our online presence at www.futurebreaks.fm will be preserved and we may continue to podcast select archival programs from the "vaults" as well as other surprises. Our small, non-profit radio show was founded in January 1998 by Ms. E, dj PUSH and Arc Angel Gabe Real as an outlet for underground 21st Century electronic dance music featuring weekly, live in-studio mixing by turntable DJs.
Future Breaks FM was a weekly electronic music show with a decidedly Jungle/DnB flavor that ran on KUSF, the University of San Francisco's radio station (which went off the air 2011) from 1998-2008. Forty-nine episodes, up to the last show on 26 Jan 2008, are still available on the podcast archive.
posted by changoperezoso on Apr 14, 2013 - 7 comments

San Francisco by air at night is beyond beautiful.

Absolutely gorgeous aerial footage of San Francisco bay (shot in gyrostabilized ultra-high def, so watch in full-screen if you can). [via]
posted by quin on Apr 9, 2013 - 39 comments

The Bacon-Wrapped Economy

The Bacon-Wrapped Economy, or how the rise of a new elite of wealthy, predominantly twentysomething, software engineers and startup founders is changing the San Francisco Bay Area's economy and culture. [more inside]
posted by acb on Mar 24, 2013 - 134 comments

I believe I can fly

R/C cameraman Robert Mcintosh takes you soaring high above Santa Monica, Venice, and San Francisco. Float through the air as you glide along the beach and up through the spokes of the Ferris wheel over the Santa Monica Pier. Then head a mile or two south and get a bird's eye view of Venice's Muscle Beach. When your head has stopped spinning you can take in San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge or get away from it all (including the ground) out at at Vasquez Rocks. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Mar 10, 2013 - 44 comments

Sharing is caring ... and cashing in?

AirBnB And The Unstoppable Rise Of The Share Economy
“We’re going to have to invent new economics to capture the impact of the sharing economy,” says Arun Sundararajan, a professor at the Stern School of Business at NYU who studies this phenomenon. The largest question for academics is whether this all creates new value or just replaces existing businesses. The answer is surely both. It’s classic creative destruction.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 9, 2013 - 53 comments

Not Talking About Pakistan

Part I
Questions about Pakistan are now a fact of living here, no different from damp weather or calls from salespeople. Some I deflect, and others I frame around my own terms.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 5, 2013 - 12 comments

Douglas?

Click that 'hood! is a simple game which tasks you to locate neighborhoods in one of six cities: Chicago, IL; Lexington, KY; Louisville, KY; Oakland, CA; San Francisco, CA; and Seattle, WA. An easy game gives you 20 neighborhoods: A hard game gives you the entire city.
posted by shakespeherian on Feb 4, 2013 - 43 comments

Google Invades

Rebecca Solnit on how Silicon Valley corporations are transforming San Francisco: I weathered the dot-com boom of the late 1990s as an observer, but I sold my apartment to a Google engineer last year and ventured out into both the rental market (for the short term) and home buying market (for the long term) with confidence that my long standing in this city and respectable finances would open a path. That confidence got crushed fast. It turned out that the competition for any apartment in San Francisco was so intense that you had to respond to the listings – all on San Francisco-based Craigslist of course, the classifieds website that whittled away newspaper ad revenue nationally – within a few hours of their posting to receive a reply from the landlord or agency. The listings for both rentals and homes for sale often mentioned their proximity to the Google or Apple bus stops. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Jan 31, 2013 - 143 comments

Night City, here we go

Is San Francisco The Brooklyn To Silicon Valley's Unbuilt Manhattan? Much has been said about how San Francisco should build up and become a new Manhattan. (Previously.) Similarly, much has been said about the utterly boring suburban sprawl that is Silicon Valley. (At least in San Jose.) The Awl's Ken Layne points out that there's a lot of underdeveloped land in between that isn't exactly virgin wilderness- and suggests making more out of it: an entire metropolis, in fact. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic Cities mentions that Redwood City is the neighborhood of the future. [more inside]
posted by Apocryphon on Jan 9, 2013 - 134 comments

The man on the ledge is named Dylan Yount.

From the street 100 feet below the ledge, the man barely seems real. He is nondescript, nothing more than white skin with a mild tan, a fit build, and shaggy blond hair. He is a faceless blur. He is anonymous, but will be defined by his final act. SF Weekly chronicles the life of a man whose suicide was cheered on by onlookers and captured by social media.
posted by desjardins on Jan 5, 2013 - 77 comments

Back where he otter be

For the first time in more than half a century, there is a river otter living in San Francisco. Photos. Photos and video. [more inside]
posted by Lexica on Jan 5, 2013 - 25 comments

From the Oakland Hills to the Bubble’s Epicenter

First the Bubble. Then the Short. Now the Long.
Some neighborhoods in Oakland are as devastated as any of the worst hit regions across America — Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix. Now the morphing of the housing bust and foreclosure epidemic into a lucrative multi-billion dollar opportunity for major investors is also uncannily centered upon Oakland and the greater Bay Area, where companies flush with hedge fund cash are buying up homes by the thousands. The entire sweep of the US housing bubble, financial crisis, and foreclosure wave can therefore be told by looking at persons and companies with intimate links to Oakland and the Bay Area. What follows is one account.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 11, 2012 - 41 comments

Adolph Sutro

Anyone who has spent any time at all on the Western side of San Francisco is familiar with the name Sutro. Being the 24th mayor of the City was actually one of his smaller and lesser-known accomplishments. Born in Prussia in 1830, he first made a name for himself with The Sutro Tunnel, which was used to drain water from underneath the Comstock Lode, improving working conditions and lowering the mine's operating costs. He sold his interest in the company he founded and left for San Francisco, where he built himself a mansion, among other things... [more inside]
posted by MattMangels on Dec 9, 2012 - 24 comments

Welcome to San Francisco. Now what the hell are you doing here?

San Francisco can become a world capital. First it needs to get over itself.
posted by MattMangels on Dec 5, 2012 - 227 comments

Golden Gate Park Windmills

At the western edge of Golden Gate Park sit two Windmills, claimed to be among the largest in the world. Built over 100 years ago to irrigate the park, they were eventually made functionally obsolete by electric water pumps and were allowed to fall into a state of neglect. The North (Dutch) Windmill was given a face-lift in 1980, and more recently The South (Murphy) windmill has been completely restored. For the first time in decades both windmills started spinning, appropriately enough, on Queen's Day earlier this year. The entire reconstruction process of the South Windmill is documented in this extensive photo gallery.
posted by MattMangels on Dec 3, 2012 - 11 comments

Trashman Forever

Spain Rodriguez Fought the Good Fight - underground comics artist Spain Rodriguez, most famous for his violent antihero Trashman, passed away yesterday.
posted by Artw on Nov 29, 2012 - 30 comments

The yard.

"My friend showed me around the MUNI Kirkland bus yard. MUNI is the municipal public transit system serving the city and county of San Francisco. It will turn exactly 100 later this year." [via]
posted by brundlefly on Nov 9, 2012 - 15 comments

No more monkeys jumping on the bed! (unless they're professionally trained and have years of experience)

Reuben Reynoso gets paid to jump on mattresses, day after day, mattress after mattress. The McRoskey Mattress Company in San Francisco has been making mattresses — and having people jump on them — for 112 years, since before the 1906 quake. [more inside]
posted by Lexica on Oct 31, 2012 - 10 comments

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

How Philip K Dick transformed Hollywood, who could be Hollywood's next PKD and how PKD could change your life.
posted by Artw on Oct 3, 2012 - 74 comments

'Certain places, for unknowable reasons, become socio-cultural petri dishes'

Suddenly That Summer: It was billed as “the Summer of Love,” a blast of glamour, ecstasy, and Utopianism that drew some 75,000 young people to the San Francisco streets in 1967. Who were the true movers behind the Haight-Ashbury happening that turned America on to a whole new age? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 15, 2012 - 48 comments

Blended Photos of 1906 Earthquake

Shawn Clover has created blended photos of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake/fire aftermath. His first set was posted in 2010 (Beware: dead horses in one photo) and he's just released his second set.
posted by agatha_magatha on Sep 5, 2012 - 9 comments

Privately Owned Public Spaces

When is a private space a public space? When it's a Privately Owned Public Space (POPS). In accordance with the planning codes of some cities, owners or builders of buildings are mandated to provide members of the general public access to spaces which include rooftop gardens, courtyards, and plazas. [more inside]
posted by larrybob on Aug 31, 2012 - 23 comments

RIP Bill Brent

Bill Brent was the publisher of the zine Black Sheets and the alternative sexuality directory The Black Book and the author of the book How To Make a Zine (recently republished in a revised edition) as well as a lot of erotica writing. He was very active in the San Francisco Bay Area sexuality, kink, and zine scenes from the early 90s onward. Unfortunately, he committed suicide in August 2012; Liz Highleyman penned an in-depth obituary of Bill.
posted by larrybob on Aug 30, 2012 - 13 comments

Heavy Air

Last year, the Heavy Air Laser Slalom regatta was run out of St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. Organizers pick what they think will be a consistently windy day, and competitors race on the fastest points of sail. Here is some incredible footage. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 10, 2012 - 17 comments

Armistead Maupin is leaving San Francisco for Santa Fe

A headline rivalling “Batman to leave Gotham”: “Maupin to leave San Francisco.” But before the Tales of the City author (previously) moves to Santa Fe with his husband, you can pick up Armistead Maupin’s house for a mere $1,198,000. (28 Barbary Lane is not for sale.)
posted by joeclark on Jul 25, 2012 - 32 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

The U.S.'s West Coast Icon Turns 75

The Golden Gate Bridge is 75 years old today. They had a daylong celebration culminating in a spectacular fireworks display. These people had an excellent view of the finale.
posted by NetizenKen on May 28, 2012 - 12 comments

Whicker's World. Party time! Excellent!

Whicker's World was a BBC documentary series that ran from 1959 to 1988, presented by Alan Whicker. In 1967, Whicker traveled to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco to examine the phenomenon of hippies. Part One introduces us to The Love Generation. Part Two reveals that The Grateful Dead smoked marijuana. Part Three features freak-out dance performances and a hippy not on LSD. In Part Four, a woman in a hammock leads to teeny boppers violating the fuzz and the natural antagonism between the hippies and police. Part Five is on LSD. Part Six has many self-indulgent hippies. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet on Apr 21, 2012 - 25 comments

Reckless Cyclist May Face Charges for Fatal Accident

On March 29, San Francisco web entrepreneur Chris Bucchere was returning from a group cycling ride when he struck and killed a 71-year-old pedestrian while "bombing" his bicycle down Castro street and through a crowded crosswalk—at 35 MPH, according to his STRAVA app. "In a nutshell, blammo," is how Bucchere described the incident in a (since deleted) posting to the Mission Cycling Club website. While he noted a "RIVER of blood" from his victim, Bucchere ended his post with a jovial ode to his own "late helmet." As Bucchere tries to scrub his online identity, including posts about fixed-gear bikes, some cyclists are questioning whether riding a fixed-gear bike without brakes may have contributed to the accident.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Apr 7, 2012 - 292 comments

The Broderick-Terry Duel

On September 13, 1859, a former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court shot and killed a U.S. Senator in what has been called the last notable duel in American history. The duel itself can be interpreted as a sort of proxy battle between pro- and anti-slavery groups of the time, and a harbinger of the American Civil War (which would begin a year and half later).
posted by MattMangels on Apr 3, 2012 - 10 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

AIDS Quilt - 25 Years Later ...

AIDS Quilt - 25 Years Later: Yesterday marked the end of the "largest showing of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in [San Francisco] since the NAMES Project Foundation -- the quilt's caretaker -- closed its original Market Street location in 1999 and relocated to Atlanta the following year." What started 25 years ago "as a single 3-foot-by-6-foot fabric panel has grown to a more than 54-ton tapestry with more than 47,000 panels remembering the [90,000] names of those lost to HIV/AIDS."
posted by ericb on Feb 21, 2012 - 16 comments

Thanks for all the music, Warren

Warren Hellman, billionaire, financier, and sponsor of the best free music festival around, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, died today in San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Dec 18, 2011 - 35 comments

Erich Von Stroheim's "Greed"

No one living can say whether the original, ten-hour version of Erich von Stroheim's most famous movie was the epic masterpiece it was touted to be. The 140-minute version is all that remains, and while it's only a quarter of the film it was meant to be, it's still one of the greatest accomplishments (SPOILER) of the silent film era. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Dec 18, 2011 - 13 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

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Teachings on Right Practice by Shunryu Suzuki, as compiled in Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, read by Peter Coyote: "Posture", "Breathing", "Control", "Mind Weeds", "The Marrow of Zen", "Bowing", "Nothing Special"
posted by Trurl on Nov 8, 2011 - 16 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

Somewhere in San Francisco

Meanwhile, 6th and Mission St is in the center of city. If you've ever walked it, it's like stepping into the another world, not a pleasant one either. On a rainy night, wandering into Tu Lan, it's famed Vietnamese restaurant, is the closest experience I can recommend to feeling like you're in Blade Runner in America. I work between 5th and 6th on Mission and have wondered and despised how such a place like this came to be. Here's an answer from someone that lives there, which really has me thinking.
posted by straight_razor on Nov 4, 2011 - 106 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

Bookseller/Zine Publisher/Free Speech Hero

"Born Shigeyoshi Murao in 1926, he was universally known as Shig. His playful demeanor—not to mention his signature beard, Pendleton shirts, Royal Air Force exercise vest, horn-rimmed glasses, and bowler—rendered him unforgettable. But that did not make him easy to know. Shig, who died in 1999, is largely remembered for an event that occurred on June 3, 1957, when two undercover agents from the San Francisco Police Juvenile Squad showed up at City Lights to buy a seventy-five-cent book of poetry." [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Oct 5, 2011 - 10 comments

Good luck to you

"What Every Woman Should Know" by Susie Cagle on Cartoon Movement provides an illustrated investigation of "crisis pregnancy centers" like First Resort. (via)
posted by mrgrimm on Sep 21, 2011 - 41 comments

Transient Man

Transient Man. "Transient is a black comedy about a homeless man who's visions lead him to believe he is an inter-dimensional savior of humanity, on a mission to save the universe. Is he indeed the 'one', chosen by mystical divine forces to embark on a crusade against ultimate evil, or a hopeless lunatic, aimlessly wandering the streets of San Francisco? Transient is a spoof on the hero's journey that's part Men in Black, part Raising Arizona, flavored with liberal portions of Ghostbusters and John Steinbeck. It is a ballad to the city by the bay, and a heartfelt tale of the sacrifices one man will take for his love for his family, his friends, and all of humankind." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 3, 2011 - 20 comments

The Fleishhacker Pool

The Fleishhacker Pool, formerly located in San Francisco, California, was once the United States' largest swimming pool, as well as the world' largest heated saltwater pool. The pool closed in 1971 and was eventually acquired by the adjacent SF Zoo, which filled in the giant pool to make its present parking lot. The Pool's Bath House, however, is still standing, albeit derelict.
posted by MattMangels on Aug 30, 2011 - 45 comments

Old S.F.

Old S.F. Browse the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection by time and location.
posted by roll truck roll on Aug 27, 2011 - 13 comments

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