Sean Sasser – perhaps best known as Pedro Zamora's love interest on the Real World: San Francisco – passed away from mesothelioma. He was 44. [more inside]
On July 1, 1913, a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry officials established the Lincoln Highway Association "to procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all description without toll charges," and to be a lasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Highway efforts started about three years before the first federal road act would provide funding to states to improve the broad network of roads. Never officially finished, the first transcontinental highway eventually became renumbered as various interstate and US routes. To celebrate its centennial, there was a cross-country tour in June. [more inside]
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed just before noon today while attempting to land at SFO. [more inside]
"Adrift is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge."
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]
I’ve recently joined the ranks of San Francisco landlords who have decided that it’s better to keep an apartment empty than to lease it to tenants. [SLNYT]
Locating the scene from The Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead album cover required an insane amount of research, painstakingly detailed by Bob Egan. He's done this for other famous locations (previously).
The Dancing Saints is "a 3,000 square foot icon wrapping around the entire church rotunda, showing ninety larger-than life saints; four animals; stars, moons, suns and a twelve-foot dancing Christ." Among the icons are traditional saints like Francis of Assisi and Mary Magdalene, but most of them are non-traditional saints, like Florence Nightingale, John Coltrane and Lady Godiva's Horse. The Dancing Saints Icon is inside the St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. You can watch a video tour of the church's architecture, read an interview with iconographer Mark Dukes, and a short essay on the Dancing Saints Icon by Richard Fabian.
"Now, my friend Adams was accused of a crime he didn't commit, so he escaped into the mountains, leaving behind the only life that he ever knew." In 1977, three years after the popular movie The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams introduced the story of John "Grizzly" Adams to the public, a TV show of the same name premiered. [more inside]
Dan Grover and Mike Belfrage have mapped transit inequality in the Bay Area after reading a New Yorker piece on the New York City subway (previously). The ways in which a widening income gap are changing the demography of San Francisco have been widely reported of late (previously, previously). The project's code is available if you'd like to try mapping your own city.
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]
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.
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]
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).
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."
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.
Absolutely gorgeous aerial footage of San Francisco bay (shot in gyrostabilized ultra-high def, so watch in full-screen if you can). [via]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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.
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]
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.
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]
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.
Spain Rodriguez Fought the Good Fight - underground comics artist Spain Rodriguez, most famous for his violent antihero Trashman, passed away yesterday.
"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]
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]
How Philip K Dick transformed Hollywood, who could be Hollywood's next PKD and how PKD could change your life.
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]
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.
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]
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.
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]
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.)
Reddit user and actual wizard bananimator takes us on a quick spin through the city by the bay.
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
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.
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]
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.
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).
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)
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."
Warren Hellman, billionaire, financier, and sponsor of the best free music festival around, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, died today in San Francisco. [more inside]