"Shaping San Francisco is an ongoing multimedia project in bottom-up, participatory history." Earthquakes, freeways, baths, parks, jazz clubs, chutes, streetcars, neighborhoods dead and alive, and oh so much more.
Thirty years ago yesterday (November 27, 1978) San Francisco Board of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor. Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the U.S. Prior to his death he championed a movement against a California proposition (Proposition 6, dubbed the Briggs Initiative) which sought to ban gays and lesbians, and anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California's public schools. In the midst of a national right-wing, conservative, religious movement heralded by folks like Anita Bryant the proposition was soundly defeated. Fast forward to today. A new film "Milk" [trailer] (starring Sean Penn in the title role) is garnering critical acclaim and is relevant to current events. "Harvey came up against a lot of obstacles, which I think is the case for any gay man now," says Brolin, who plays Dan White [in the film]. "The irony is that Prop 8 is now what Prop 6 was then."
NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
Del Martin, with her partner Phyllis Lyon, were pioneers in so many fields that it's hard to do justice to all of it in one post. [more inside]
myopenbar.com (Chicago link) is a dandy little site that lets you know where to score free and/or cheap eats and/or drinks on any given night in your area (assuming 'your area' = NYC, SF, LA, Honolulu, Miami, or the aforementioned Chi-town). The places are rated, and visited personally by the website's bloggers, but who cares? It's free booze. [more inside]
These "track boards," or "fix push" boards, were initially developed to be raced in the velodrome, and differ from traditional skateboards in one major way: the rider can never coast. A brief documentary on the increasingly popular fix-push skateboard culture and its roots in San Francisco's Mission district. [more inside]
With over 35,000,000 visitors a year, it could be argued that it is the busiest museum in the world. Yet most people are there to catch a plane. [more inside]
So you'd like to see daily photographs taken in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area? You can start with What I'm Seeing and supplement your viewing with the following sites. [more inside]
The world's largest ball pit? 400,000 black plastic balls, one reservoir, thousands of happy goths. Other unusual things being filled with balls: the Spanish Steps, Rome, a co-worker's cube, San Francisco. (videos)
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]
San Francisco's Hugo Hotel, the current home of Brian Goggin's Defenestration, has been seized by eminent domian and will probably be demolished. Fear not; San Francisco has many other ancient hotels.
Postcards from Our Awesome Future. [via] An art exhibition stemming from the minds of Packard Jennings (whose illustrations have appeared in Adbusters) and Steve Lambert (of Anti-Advertising Agency fame); using San Francisco's infrastructure as a model for improvement, the duo answered the siren call of Objectivism through an arcology devoid of “...budgets, beauracracy [sic], politics, or physics”. [more inside]
Life isn't always easy if your father or grandfather was Jim Jones, the legendary founder of the People's Temple. Jones and wife Marcelline adopted seven children of varying ethnicities. Son Jim Jones Jr. lives an upstanding existence as a pharmaceutical sales rep and volunteer basketball coach, but has been hounded by his past throughout his life. Meanwhile, grandson Rob Jones is San Francisco's top high school basketball player. But sometimes the legacy just follows you. (Video)
One man was killed and two others critically injured when Siberian tiger Tatiana escaped from her pen at the San Francisco Zoo. The men were eating at a cafe on the Ocean Boulevard end of the zoo. The tiger was shot to death by police at the scene. Tatiana, allegedly not known for violence, mauled her keeper one year and three days ago, after which the Lion House was closed for ten months for a $250,000 safety upgrade. It reopened in September, 2007.
The NY Times looks at the decline of gay meccas. The GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco has held several discussions about the Castro district. A shift in values, gentrification, and violence are named as factors in the "de-gaying" of the Castro. The area's famed Halloween party has been canceled and revelers told to stay out. What will happen to this gay destination?
"California has a decision to make. We either brace ourselves for long-term [water] cuts that threaten our economy and our very way of way of life, or we invest in a solution to fix the [San Francisco Bay] Delta and expand our water toolbox so we can meet future challenges head-on.” [more inside]
Rents are up in San Francisco. CraigStatsSF can tell you by how much over the last year. (coming soon: NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and more. What neighborhoods are hot? (Heatmaps are cool). Firefox is your friend.
In the winter of 2007, a pair of great horned owls was staying at the top of Bernal Hill. On April 9th, one of these amazing creatures was found dead. And today, July 19th, the body of the other was found as well. The first died of an avian herpes virus. We still don't know what killed the second. These owls were great ambassadors of nature to our hill, and we'll miss them.
Picnicmob would like to invite you to a picnic and seat you precisely with those most like you.
The mission stencil story is an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure story that takes place on the sidewalks of the Mission district in San Francisco. Via
Modern Military Ruins in San Francisco. Really awesome Flickr set includes documentation of Hunters Point Shipyard, Treasure Island Naval Station, Alameda Naval Air Station, the SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Hamilton Field Air Force Base, and Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority is reviewing and asking for your votes and comments on new designs for San Francisco's bus shelters, kiosks, and shared bicycles. SFGate story here.
Misako Inaoka is a Japanese born artist living and working in San Francisco who makes her own ecosystems where the real and the artificial intertwine. She is currently showing at the Johansson Projects gallery. [via]
Summer of Love: 40 Years Later, a series of articles appearing this week in the San Francisco Chronicle, revisits the fabled, far-out, semi-spontaneous happening of 1967 in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Videos and oral history interviews help tell the story of a utopian vision which created a pivot point for American social values, before going a bit rancid around the edges. For more consciousness expansion, see PBS' The American Experience episode on the same topic. Check out that summer's San Francisco Oracle. Oh, and the Diggers are still around.
104 year-old Herb Hamerol was the lone survivor on hand at this year's 101st memorial for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. To some people he's a celebrity. Truth is, to attend the memorial he took the day off from his long-held job as a stock clerk at Andronico's supermarket. Yes, read that paragraph again.
Photos and videos of the 2007 Big Wheel race down Lombard Street, the "crookedest street in America." (Or is it?) Official BYOBW page [warning: very loud music on pageload] (via)
Requiem for La Contessa: After she was set afire in December, three questions arose: who burned her, why, and what became of her figurehead? The first two have been answered, but the third remains a mystery despite the sculpture's brief appearance in a photo on tribe.net.
Where, exactly, were commercial vessels in the San Francisco Bay in the past hour? Here, for one. Behold the power of AIS! Previously
The San Francisco Armory, was built in 1914 and its 200,000 square feet spans an entire city block. For 30 years empty, abandoned, defunct, its imposing architecture, modeled on a Moorish castle, has long been an unsettling and intriguing curiosity for local residents. But new life will at least be breathed into this historic monument: the Armory has been purchased by Kink.com [nsfw], a fetish porn studio that will soon begin filming within its walls.
San Francisco, 1967. CBS news is there: "This is the house of a popular local band that plays hard rock music. They call themselves the Grateful Dead." In between some seriously heavy-handed editorializing from grand old man of the news Harry Reasoner, you can catch an interview with Garcia and company plus footage of a Golden Gate Park concert. Jump ahead 38 years, and another CBS newsman, a rather more respectful Ed Bradley, pays a friendly visit to grand old man of the 60's, Mr. Zimmerman. [links to Google video]
The Cliff House was San Francisco Mayor Adolph Sutro's amazing 7-storey Victorian chateau built in 1896 and destroyed by fire in 1907. The Cliff House Project (photos) has a large and absorbing database of related material. [via the indefatigable gmtPlus9 (-15)]
I found this footage shot at a crashpad called the Greta Garbo Home For Wayward Boys & Girls in San Francisco and I said, What can I do with this?
My name is Jack and I live in the back of the Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls: A movie, a producer, a hotel, and a song.
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.
I've linked their site before, but now Fecal Face has instructional How Tos: Stuff a Mouse, Make an Oil Painting, Screen Print a Poster, Make a Mini-Comic/Zine. The site has many other features as well but remember that where there's art, the occasional nsfw image may wait, brooding.
San Andreas primed to "explode." Growing up in SoCal, we constantly practiced earthquake drills in anticipation of the "Big One." Now, new evidence suggests that the Big One will be even worse than we all feared. At the moment, everything looks calm though. People say we're crazy for living in either San Francisco or Los Angeles, of course we think living in New Orleans is crazy too. But cities are rebuilt. And no matter where you go, you really can't escape natural disasters. Besides, some of the biggest earthquakes in the United States were in Missouri! In any case, Forbes compiled a list of the safest and least safest places to live in the U.S. in regards to natural disasters. Apparently... we should all move to Hawaii!
Battle Cry, the youth arm of the Christian Reconstructionist (also called Dominionist) movement, is holding a rally in Philadelphia this weekend. They've already had events in San Francisco & Detroit. Create your own Battle Plan or just chat with other soldiers in God's Army. But not everyone is happy about it.
The Katrina Cottage is economical, rather charming, and can serve as a "grow" house. At $35,000 for 308 sq ft, it compares favorably to the $75k FEMA trailer. Not a totally new idea - some of the 1906 earthquake refuge shacks are still in existence in San Francisco. Might tiny houses be the future for disaster relief? (via The Blues and Then Some)
Pillow Fight Club went off with nary a hitch in San Francisco on Valentines Day with over 1,000 people in attendance. Pictures at laughing squid, flickr, video, and previous thread.
PILLOW FIGHT! comes to the US. Already a success in Toronto, Tel Aviv, Madrid and London. Pillow Fight! now makes it's US debut in San Francisco, Feb 14th. On Valentine's Day feel like smacking down the ones you love? [oh I'd hit that...with a pillow]
First draft of 'On the Road' arrives in San Francisco. With pic of Jami and Carolyn Cassady viewing the scroll.
The Bancroft Library unveils a new 1906 San Francisco Earthquake site featuring a really cool clickable map that features photos from each section of town. Haight Street didn't look too bad, but just down the road, City Hall was leveled. The exhibit offers a guide to the event that look place nearly 100 years ago.
"I didn't know Jack London was such a good photographer." Jack London and his wife Charmian took photos several hours after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, and he wrote an eyewitness account for Collier's (it was the most he was ever paid per word--25 cents--for his writing). [more inside]
The idea behind the Parking art project is pretty simple: once you throw some coins in the meter, you can do pretty much anything with a parking space, right? Rebar decided to try converting some vehicle space into a community space, by laying sod, adding benches and a tree, then letting people enjoy the space for a few hours. [via treehugger]
Lethal Beauty is a seven-part series by the San Francisco Chronicle about the Golden Gate Bridge and its history of suicides. The articles present both sides of the argument regarding a barrier which would stop such tragedies. The presentation includes graphic representations of suicides by location, a timeline and podcasts from survivors & relatives, among others.