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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

Dog Gone

The Doggie Diner was the name of a Bay Area chain of burger joints that had its heyday in the '60s and '70s. The last remaining restaurant in the Chain was located at the corner of 46th and Sloat in San Francisco, CA. Even after the place became a restaurant with a new name ("Carousel") the giant Fiberglass dachshund head remained as a piece of nostalgia until a storm toppled it on April 1st, 2001. The head was relocated in January 2005 to the median of Sloat Boulevard and became San Francisco city landmark #254. Now the restaurant itself is slated for demolition. [more inside]
posted by MattMangels on Aug 22, 2011 - 32 comments

But your fog, it really moves!

San Francisco's fog rolling in (SLVimeo).
posted by spitefulcrow on Jul 29, 2011 - 47 comments

Bay Area photo archives

Let's Go to the Morgue! features images dug up from the San Francisco Chronicle's basement photo archives. Peter Hartlaub got distracted from his parenting blog to find and caption vintage photos of Golden Gate BART and Other Failed Rapid Transit Dreams, Sexy time! Five decades of Bay Area bathing suits, Tourist season in San Francisco, Six decades of roller derby in the Bay Area, When arcades ruled the Bay Area and A journey back to your high school prom. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia on Jul 28, 2011 - 15 comments

Oceans 1

Shortly before noon yesterday morning an art thief walked into the Weinstein Gallery near San Francisco's Union Square, grabbed Pablo Picasso's 1965 pencil drawing, "Tête de Femme (Head of a Woman)" and strolled casual out of the museum to a waiting cab. Witnesses described the man as a "well dressed" "white man about 6 feet tall, age 30 to 35, wearing a dark jacket, a white shirt, dark pants, large dark glasses and loafers with no socks." Surveillance cameras at nearby restaurant Lefty O'Doul's appear to have captured the suspect as he walked briskly down the street, Picasso under arm.Most galleries that show this caliber of artwork don’t put it on street level,” said gallery owner Rowland Weinstein. “It’s very upsetting, because my goal is to keep this kind of work accessible to the public.” Weinstein says the piece was insured and is valued at $200,000.
posted by 2bucksplus on Jul 6, 2011 - 101 comments

The essays of Kenneth Rexroth

The poet and translator Kenneth Rexroth, one of the central figures in the San Francisco Renaissance, only wrote prose for money. But he did it very well. (way previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 3, 2011 - 8 comments

SF To LA Using Public Transit

As a public transit geek, I really enjoyed this story. We've talked about taking public transit on unlikely routes previously, and I read the original blog post giving the directions on how to get from SF to LA using only public transit. But the article from SF Weekly's In Transit blogger, Joe Eskanazi, really brings the trip to life.
posted by agatha_magatha on Jun 27, 2011 - 28 comments

Ghost Ships of the Mothball Fleet

Inside the Ghost Ships of the Mothball Fleet : The Cleanup of Suisen Bay

For decades, dozens of forgotten Navy and merchant ships have been corroding in Suisun Bay, 30 miles northeast of San Francisco. These historic vessels—the Mothball Fleet—served their country in four wars: WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Desert Storm. After a decade of impasse, the ghost fleet is slowly dwindling as the ships are towed out one-by-one for scrapping. About 15 retired ships are already gone; by 2017, the entire fleet will be just a memory. [more inside]
posted by HopperFan on Jun 8, 2011 - 53 comments

New Front in the Battle over Foreskin.

A movement to ban circumcision appears to be gaining momentum in San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by HabeasCorpus on Jun 5, 2011 - 427 comments

Smug liberal bigots

After Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan lambasted The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's Hunky Jesus Contest in San Francisco's Dolores Park with a short post flamingly titled "The Tired, Lame Bigotry Of Some Homosexuals," the Sisters responded. Sullivan reacted to the responses with an escalation, calling the Sisters "smug liberal bigots." Is the Hunky Jesus Contest "everyone's favorite blasphemous hoot" or a "profane and shockingly insensitive spectacle" that "illustrates the secular, pro-'gay' Left's hypocrisy in demanding 'respect' for homosexuals and transsexuals"? (previously)
posted by mrgrimm on Apr 29, 2011 - 148 comments

Interactive toothpick sculpture of SF

Man unveils interactive toothpick sculpture of San Francisco that took 35 years to create. Mindblowing. (single vimeo link)
posted by the_bone on Apr 23, 2011 - 56 comments

Video of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and rescue work

Video produced by the California Highway Patrol of the 7.1 1989 San Francisco Bay Area earthquake and the rescue attempts that followed. It focuses on the Bay Bridge and the Cypress collapse. This video has some intense footage, including much that I'd never seen of the rescue efforts. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Dec 27, 2010 - 22 comments

"Look. It is like one big family ... everybody my brother, everybody my sister."

On Christmas Eve, exactly 100 years ago, Luisa Tetrazzini, the most famous opera singer of her day, sang in the streets of San Francisco as a gift to the city she loved. 250,000 people, most of them survivors of the 1906 earthquake listened in silence as she began with "The Last Rose of Summer," then sang along as she ended with "Auld Lang Syne."
posted by williampratt on Dec 24, 2010 - 9 comments

San Francisco Symphony

Keeping Score is designed to give people of all musical backgrounds an opportunity to explore signature works by composers Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, and Dmitri Shostakovich in depth, and at their own pace. The interactive audio and video explores the composers’ scores and pertinent musical techniques as well as the personal and historical back stories. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 12, 2010 - 7 comments

Giants Baseball: Torture.

The San Francisco Giants are the 2010 World Series Champions, having defeated the Texas Rangers 4 games to 1. [more inside]
posted by clearly on Nov 2, 2010 - 131 comments

Streetcar-Mounted Film Cameras (and more)

San Francisco 1906, Barcelona 1908, London 1927. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Oct 19, 2010 - 49 comments

Give me a wooden ladder is not a euphamism

The San Francisco Fire Department has a ladder making shop (SLYT)
posted by zerobyproxy on Sep 30, 2010 - 19 comments

Don't get caught lingering

Three Question Marks: the photo/story/painting blog of artist "merkley???" [ALL LINKS VERY NSFW]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 29, 2010 - 15 comments

Paul Madonna draws San Francisco.

"I never know what to call myself really. I call myself a cartoonist because it's what I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember, it's what I always return to, and it's how I think. But I don't really work in that field. I think I'm an artist and a writer, or more appropriately, an artist who writes." [more inside]
posted by oulipian on Jul 31, 2010 - 5 comments

Paddle from Alcatraz

The Alcatraz Swim-o-Meter calculates the time and path of your watery escape from Alcatraz, designed and built by San Francisco Dolphin Club member Kent Myers.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jul 14, 2010 - 13 comments

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