The Story of Oofty Goofty So far as journalistic or public knowledge went, Oofty Goofty had no other name than this singular appellation, which he acquired during his first appearance before his San Francisco public, as a wild man in a Market Street freakshow. From crown to heel he was covered with road tar, into which were stuck great quantities of horsehair, lending him a savage and ferocious appearance. He was then installed in a heavy cage, and when a sufficiently large number of people had paid their dimes to gaze upon the wild man recently captured in the jungles of Borneo and brought to San Francisco at enormous expense, large chunks of raw meat were poked between the bars by an attendant. This provender the wild man gobbled ravenously, occasionally growling, shaking the bars, and yelping these fearsome words: “Oofty goofty! Oofty goofty!” He was, naturally, immediately christened Oofty Goofty, and as such was identified to the day of his death.
For a week or so he was a veritable histrionic sensation, the wildest wild man ever exhibited on the Pacific Coast. Then, since he could not perspire through his thick covering of tar and hair, he became ill and was sent to the Receiving Hospital. There physicians vainly tried for several days to remove Oofty Gooftys costume without removing his natural epidermis as well. He was at length liberally doused with a tar solvent and laid out upon the roof of the hospital, where the sun finally did the work.
Thereafter Oofty Goofty eschewed character parts and decided to scale the heights of theatrical fame as a singer and dancer. He obtained a place on the bill at Bottle Koenigs, a Barbary Coast beer hall which also offered a low variety entertainment. There he danced once and sang one song. He was then, with great ceremony, thrown into the street. In reality this was a very fortunate experience, as it indicated his future career, or, as he termed it, his “work.” Oofty Goofty was kicked with considerable force, and landed heavily upon a stone sidewalk, but to his intense surprise he discovered that he was, apparently, insensible to pain.
This great gift he immediately proceeded to capitalize, and for some fifteen years, except for occasional appearances at the Bella Union as a super, and a short engagement as co-star with Big Bertha, he eked out a precarious existence simply by letting himself be kicked and pummeled for a price. Upon payment of ten cents a man might kick Oofty Goofty as hard as he pleased, and for a quarter he could hit the erstwhile wild man with a walking-stick. For fifty cents Oofty Goofty would become the willing, and even prideful, recipient of a blow with a baseball bat, which he always carried with him.
He became a familiar figure in San Francisco, not only on the Barbary Coast, but in other parts of the city as well. It was his custom to approach groups of men, in the streets and in bar-rooms, and diffidently inquire: “Hit me with a bat for four bits, gents? Only four bits to hit me with this bat, gents.” Oofty Goofty was knocked off his feet more times than he could remember, but he continued to follow his peculiar vocation until John L. Sullivan hit him with a billiard cue and injured his back.
Not long afterwards Sullivans pugilistic standing was impaired by James J. Corbett, the pride of San Francisco, and Oofty Goofty always felt that Corbett had acted as his agent in the matter. Oofty Goofty never entirely recovered from his encounter with Sullivan. He walked with a limp thereafter, and the slightest blow made him whimper with pain. With his one claim to distinction gone, he soon became a nonentity. He died within a few years, but medical authorities said that Sullivans blow had not been a contributing cause. –From Herbert Asburys The Barbary Coast. HOME
(Site-specific installation on the corner of 6th and Howard St. in San Francisco)
This multi-disciplinary sculptural mural involves seemingly animated furniture; tables, chairs, lamps, grandfather clocks, a refrigerator, and couches, their bodies bent like centipedes, fastened to the walls and window-sills, their insect-like legs seeming to grasp the surfaces. Against society’s expectations, these everyday objects flood out of windows like escapees, out onto available ledges, up and down the walls, onto the fire escapes and off the roof. “DEFENESTRATION” was created by Brian Goggin with the help of over 100 volunteers.
The concept of “DEFENESTRATION”, a word literally meaning “to throw out of a window,” is embodied by both the site and staging of this installation. Located at the corner of Sixth and Howard Streets in San Francisco in an abandoned four-story tenement building, the site is part of a neighborhood that historically has faced economic challenges and has often endured the stigma of skid row status. Reflecting the harsh experience of many members of the community, the furniture is of the streets, cast-off and unappreciated. The simple, unpretentious beauty and humanity of these downtrodden objects is reawakened through the action of the piece. The act of “throwing out” becomes an uplifting gesture of release, inviting reflection on the spirit of the people we live with, the objects we encounter, and the places in which we live.
The ground level has served as a rotating gallery
THE MISSION DISTRICT
Location: The principal thoroughfare of the Mission District of San Francisco is Mission Street. Its borders are U.S. Route 101 to the east which forms the boundary between the eastern portion of the district, known as “Inner Mission” and its eastern neighbor, Potrero Hill, while Sanchez Street separates the neighborhoods from Eureka Valley (also known as “The Castro”) and Noe Valley to the west. The part of the neighborhood from Valencia Street to Sanchez Street, north of 20th, is known as Mission Dolores. South of 20th towards 22nd, and between Valencia and Dolores Streets is a distinct sub-neighborhood known as Liberty Hill. Cesar Chavez Street (formerly Army Street) is the southern border which lies next to Bernal Heights, while to the north the neighborhood is separated fromSouth of Market roughly by Duboce Avenue and the elevated highway of the Central Freeway which runs above 13th Street. Also along Mission Street, further south-central are the Excelsior and Crocker-Amazon neighborhoods, sometimes referred to as the “Outer Mission” (not to be confused with the actual Outer Mission neighborhood). The Mission District is part of San Francisco’s supervisorial districts 6, 9 and 10.
The microclimates of San Francisco create a system by which each neighborhood can have radically different weather at any given time. The Mission’s geographical location insulates it from the fog and wind from the west. As a result, the Mission has a tendency to be warmer and sunnier than the rest of the city. This climatic phenomenon becomes apparent to visitors who walk downhill from 24th Street in the west from Noe Valley (where clouds from Twin Peaks in the west tend to accumulate on foggy days) towards Mission Street in the east, partly because Noe Valley is on higher ground whereas the Inner Mission is at a lower elevation.
History Prior to 1900
The Yelamu Indians inhabited the region that is now known as the Mission District for over 2,000 years. Spanish missionaries arrived in the area during the late 18th century. They found these people living in two villages on Mission Creek. It was here that a Spanish priest named Father Francisco Palóu founded Mission San Francisco de Asis on June 29, 1776. The Mission was moved from the shore of Laguna Dolores to its current location in 1783. Franciscan friars are reported to have used Ohlone slave labor to complete the Mission in 1791. This period marked the beginning of the end of the Yelamu culture. The Indian population
at Mission Dolores dropped from 400 to 50 between 1833 and 1841. Ranchos owned by Spanish-Mexican families such as the Valenciano, Guerrero, Dolores, Bernal, Noé and De Harocontinued in the area, separated from the town of Yerba Buena, later renamed San Francisco (centered around Portsmouth Square) by a two mile wooden plank road (later paved and renamed Mission Street).
The lands around the nearly abandoned mission church became a focal point of raffish attractions including bull and bear fighting, horse racing, baseball and dueling. A famous beer parlor resort known as The Willows was located along Mission Creek just south of 18th Street between Mission Street and San Carlos Street. From 1865 to 1891 a large conservatory and zoo known as Woodward’s Gardens was located along the west side of Mission Street between 13th and 15th Streets. In the decades after the Gold Rush, the town of San Francisco quickly expanded, and the Mission lands were developed and subdivided into housing plots for working class immigrants, largely German, Irish and Italian, and also for industrial uses.
As the city grew in the decades following the Gold Rush, the Mission District became home to the first professional baseball stadium in California, opened in 1868 and known asRecreation Grounds seating 17,000 people which was located at Folsom and 25th Streets, a portion of the grounds remain as present day Garfield Square. Also, in the 20th century, the Mission District was home to two other baseball stadiums, Recreation Park located at 14th and Valencia and Seals Stadium located at 16th and Bryant with both these stadiums being used by the baseball team named after the Mission District known as the Mission Reds and the San Francisco Seals.
During European settlement of the City in the 19th and 20th century, large numbers of Irish and German immigrant workers moved into the area. Development and settlement intensified after the 1906 earthquake, as many displaced businesses and residents moved into the area, making Mission Street a major commercial thoroughfare. In 1926, the Polish Community of San Francisco converted a church on 22nd Street and Shotwell Street and opened its doors as the Polish Club of San Francisco, referred to today as the “Dom Polski”, or Polish Home. The Irish American community made their mark during this time, with notable people like etymologist Peter Tamony calling the Mission home. During the 1940-1960s, large numbers ofMexican immigrants moved into the area, initiating white flight, giving the Mission the Latin character it is known for today. During the 1980s and into the 1990s, the neighborhood received a higher influx of immigrants and refugees from Central and South America fleeing civil wars and political instability at the time. These immigrants brought in many Central American banks and companies which would set up branches, offices, and regional headquarters on Mission Street.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Valencia Street corridor had a lively punk night life with several clubs including The Offensive, The Deaf Club and Valencia Tool & Die and the former fire station on 16th Street, called the Compound, sported what was commonly referred to as “the punk mall”, an establishment that catered to punk style and culture. On South Van Ness, Target Video and Damage Magazine were located in a three-story warehouse. The neighborhood was dubbed “the New Bohemia” by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1995.
Since at least the 1980s, a wave of gang affiliation appeared in the Mission. Branches of the Sureño and Norteño gangs settled in and engaged in criminal activities and open violence over territorial boundaries in the neighborhood, northwest and southeast respectively. Also, the notorious international gang MS-13 who was originated in LA,become active at the time. Although during the late 1990s and into the 2000s gang prevention programs, including a 2007 injunction, have attempted to reduce the associated violence from these gangs, these kind of activities still continue to be a persistent problem for the neighborhood, resulting in uncomfortable socio-economic overlaps of a neighborhood in transition.
Following that decade in the late 1990s and into the 2010s, and especially during the dot-com boom, young urban professionals, to twentysomethings and thirtysomethings living thehipster lifestyle moved into the area, initiating gentrification, and raising rent and housing prices, with a number of Latino middle-class families as well as artists moving to the Outer Mission area, or out of the city entirely to the suburbs of East Bay and South Bay area. Despite rising rent and housing prices, many Mexican and Central American immigrants continue to reside in the Mission, although the neighborhood’s high rents and home prices have led to the Latino population dropping by 20% over the last decade. Most recently, the Mission has a reputation of being edgy and artsy.
Landmarks and Features
Street Murals and paintings of Latin American culture by local artists are a common feature and attraction.
There are even a couple very coveted works by Banksy in the Mission valued in the tens of thousands.
Murals of some size adorn almost every block in The Mission. Usually the murals are not tagged by local graffiti artists.
The Mission District’s annual Day of the Dead celebration is not to be missed, Garfield Square. This nighttime parade and celebration now attracts thousands, if not tens of thousands of participants.
The “hot-spot” to be right now in the ‘Mish’ is Dolores Park where mostly young hipsters and members of the gay community congregate to enjoy this beautiful Park. People here are socially and culturally expressing themselves creatively in different ways through clothing, sexuality, politics, music, art, bikes, hair, even shoes. Some of the “hot” things in right now in Dolores are…..
On a beautiful day in Dolores, musicians come together to jam on the bongos and guitar. Local bands sometimes set up their sets and rock out for people to enjoy. Up on “Gay Beach” where most of the gay community likes to congregate, DJ’s set up tables where they spin house and electronic music, getting everyone in the party groove. Down on “Hipster Hill” the Capoeiera Brazilian Martial Arts crew is usually playing their instruments while players kick, jump, and pull out cool break-dancing moves.
Most hipsters in Dolores are avid listeners and blog followers of Indie-Rock bands and the latest hype around Electronic music. Here is some of the music that people here enjoy-
-The Morning Benders
-Kings of Leon
The Mission’s nightlife is alive and full of an eclectic mix of music and local IPA brews. Some of the most popular bars to hit up while visiting are the Elbo Room, Beauty Bar, Thieves Tavern, Delerium, El Rio, The Knockout-real hipsters out here…Some other classic Mission bars-
Mission Hipster Fashion
Here are some of the most popular fashions that are alive in The Mission-
-Skinny and tight jean
-Scruffy hairdues and long mustaches on guys
-Girls with edgy bangs, hair usually long and dark or bleach blonde, very ‘Mod’
-Chrome messenger bag
Although gentrification during the 1990s and 2000s shifted the demographics and culture of the neighborhood, to account for a large younger, more White American, the Mission remains the cultural nexus and epicenter of San Francisco’s, and to a lesser extent, the Bay Area’s Latino, Chicano, Nicaraguan Salvadorian and Guatemalan community. While Mexican, Salvadorian, and other Latin American businesses are pervasive throughout the neighborhood, residences are not evenly distributed. Most of the neighborhood’s Hispanic residents live on the eastern and southern sides. The western and northern sides of the neighborhood are more affluent and less diverse.
The Mission district is also famous and influential for its restaurants. Dozens of Taquerías are located throughout the neighborhood, showcasing a localized styling of Mexican food and is the original home of the San Francisco burrito.There are also a high concentration of Salvadorean, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, restaurants there as well as a large number of street food vendors. In the last couple decades a number of high caliber of multi-ethnic specialty restaurants have gained national attention, most notably the Michelin two-star rated French restaurant Sai’son on Folsom Street. A large number of other restaurants are also popular, including: Mission Chinese Food and Foreign Cinema on Mission Street, Delfina on 18th and Alma, the Slated Door and Luna Park on Valencia.
Due to the existing cultural attractions, less expensive housing and commercial space, and the high density of restaurants and drinking establishments, the Mission is a magnet for young people. An independent arts community also arose and, since the 1990s, the area has been home to the Mission School art movement. Many studios, galleries, performance spaces, and public art projects are located in the Mission, including the Project Artaud, First Exposures, Southern Exposure, Art Explosion Studios, Artist Xchange, Artists’ Television Access, and the oldest, alternative, not-for profit art space in the city of San Francisco, Intersection for the Arts. The Roxie Theater, the oldest continuously-operating movie theater in San Francisco, is host to repertory and independent films as well as local film festivals. Poets, musicians, emcees, and other artists sometimes gather on the southwest corner of the 16th & Mission intersection to perform.
Numerous Latino artistic and cultural institutions are based in the Mission. The Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts, established by Latino artists and activists, is an art space. The local bilingual newspaper, El Tecolote, was founded in 1970. The Mission’s Galería de la Raza, founded by local artists active in el Movimiento (the Chicano civil rights moment), is a nationally recognized arts organization. Late May, the city’s annual Carnaval festival and parade marches down Mission Street. Meant to mimic the festival in Rio de Janeiro, it is held in late May instead of the traditional late February to take advantage of better weather.
Some well-known artists associated with the Mission District include:
- Ricardo Gouveia (a.k.a. “Rigo 23″, painter, sculptor, and muralist)
- Chris Johanson (painter and street artist)
- Xiani Yngojo-Wang (painter, sculptor, and visionary)
- Eth-Noh-Tec, Kinetic Story Theater Eth-Noh-Tec (storytelling kinetic theater)
- Margaret Kilgallen (painter, printmaker, and graffiti artist)
- Barry McGee (a.k.a. “Twist”, painter and graffiti artist)
- Ruby Neri (painter, sculptor, and graffiti artist)
- Michael V. Rios (painter, designer, and muralist)
- Xavier Viramontes (printmaker)
- Scott Williams
- Craig Baldwin (filmmaker, archivist, curator)
- Dori Seda (cartoonist, painter)
- Laurie Toby Edison (photographer)
- Dan Plasma (muralist)
- Whittles Graham (curator and street performer)
- The Hooks (Rock’n'Roll Group)
- Carlos Loarca (painter, muralist)
- Pico Sanchez (painter, printmaker)
The Mission is rich in musical groups and performances. Roving Mariachi bands play in restaurants throughout the district, especially in the restaurants congregated around Valencia and Mission in the northeast portion of the district. Carlos Santanaspent his teenage years in the Mission, graduating from Mission High School in 1965. He has often returned to the neighborhood, including for a live concert with his band Santana that was recorded in 1969, and for the KQEDdocumentary “The Mission” filmed in 1994.
Classical music is heard in the concert hall of the Community Music Center on Capp Street.
Elbo Room, a bar/live music venue on Valencia Street, is home to Dub Mission, a weekly reggae/dub party started in 1996 byDJ Sep and over the years has brought many luminaries of reggae and dub music to perform there.
The Mission District is also very popular for its influencing Hip-Hop/Rap music scene. Record labels like Black N Brown/ Thizz Latin and Hometeam Ent. help put Mission District rappers, like Goldtoes, mousie, Gangsta Flea, Mr. Kee, Friscasso, 10sion, The Goodfelonz, and Don Louis & Colicious, get exposure through various compilations such as 17 Reasons, 18 Wit A Bullet, Organized Crime, Filthy Livin’ In The Mission, The Daily Grind ‘Fillmoe 2 Da Mission,’ and many others. There is a new generation of young and upcoming rappers who are emerging from this neighborhood such as G-One (R.I.P.), Los Da Rockstar, DJ Blaze, Rob Baysicc, Loco C, Young Mix and Yung Dunn to name a few.
Some other prominent musicians and musical personalities include:
- Luscious Jackson (alternative rock)
- Los Mocosos (cutting-edge salsa)
- Faith No More (alternative rock)
- Cesar Ascarrunz (Salsa pianist, impresario, politician, owner of the late Cesar’s Latin Palace dance club)
- The Looters
- Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express (alternative rock)
- Beck (alternative rock)
- Jawbreaker (alternative rock)
Festivals, Parades and Street Fairs
- Carnival The major event of the year occurring each Memorial Day weekend is the Mission’s Carnaval celebration.
- 24th Street Fair In March of each year a street fair is held along the 24th Street corridor.
- San Francisco Food Fair Annually, for several years recently, food trucks and vendor booths have sold food to tens of thousands of people along Folsom Street adjacent to La Cochina on the third weekend in September.
- Cesar Chavez Holiday Parade The second weekend of April is marked by a parade and celebration along 24th Street in honor of Cesar Chavez.
- Transgender and Dyke Marches. On the Fridays and Saturdays of the fourth weekend of June there are major celebrations of the Transgender and Dyke communities located at Dolores Park, followed by a march in the evenings along 18th Streets and Valencia Streets.
- Sunday Streets Twice each year, typically in May and October, Valencia, Harrision and 24th Streets are closed to automobile traffic and opened to pedestrians and bicyclists on Sunday as part of the Sunday Streets program.
- Day of the Dead Each year on November 2, a memorial procession and celebration of the dead occurs on Harrison and 24th Street with a gathering of memorials in Garfield Square.
- First Friday Monthly on the evening of the first Friday, a food and art crawl including a procession of low rider car clubs and samba dancers occurs along 24th Street from Potrero to Mission Streets.
- Open Studios On the first weekend of October, the ArtSpan organization arranges a district wide exhibit of Mission District artists studios.
- Hunky Jesus Contest Annually for 32 years on Easter Sunday the Sister’s of Perpetual Indulgence hold an Easter Sunday celebration including a Hunky Jesus Contest in Dolores Park.
- Rock Make Street Festival Annually for four years the Rock Make organization sponsors a music and arts festival in September on Treat and 18th Streets in the Mission.
- LitCrawl Annually on the third Saturday of October as part of the LitQuake, a literature festival, hundreds of book and poetry readings are held at bars and bookstores throughout the Mission.
- Party on Block 18 The Woman’s Building organization annually, typically in August, has held a street party on 18th Street between Valencia and Guerrero streets.
- Clarion Alley Block Party Eleven years annually, a block party on the Clarion mural alley, fourth weekend in October.
- Remembering 1906 Annually for 105 years there has been a gathering and ceremonial gold repainting ceremony of the fire hydrant located at Church and 20th streets in honor of the only working fire hydrant that allowed the cessation of the fire following the 1906 earth quake.
The neighborhood is served by the BART rail system with stations on Mission Street at 16th Street and 24th Street, by Munibus numbers 9, 12, 14, 14L, 22, 27, 33, 48, 49, 67, and along the western edge by the J Church Muni Metro line, which runs down Church Street and San Jose Avenue.
- 826 Valencia
- Intersection for the Arts
- Southern Exposure (art space)
- Precita Eyes – Mission Mural Project
- Garfield Square – Popular soccer field, swimming pool, playground and annual Day of the Dead shrines.
- Tartine – local bakery
- The Deaf Club
- San Francisco Burrito
- The Redstone Building
- Dolores Park (includes list of neighborhood associations)
Heading East: Artists in flux
04.11.12 – 5:30 pm | Steven T. Jones | (0)
PHOT BY CATIE MAGEE
San Francisco isn’t an easy place to live for artists and others who choose to fill their souls at the expense of their bank accounts, particularly with the comparatively cheap and sunny East Bay so close. And with more of these creative types being lured eastward, Oakland and its surroundings are getting ever more hip and attractive — just as San Francisco is being gentrified by dot-com workaholics.
It’s a trend I’ve been noticing in recent years, one that I saw embodied during regular trips to make Burning Man art with the Flux Foundation (see “Burners in Flux,” 8/31/10) and hundreds of others who work out of the massive American Steel warehouse.
At least once a week, I would take BART to the West Oakland station and cycle up Mandela Parkway, a beautiful and inviting boulevard, riding in the wide bike lane past evocative public art projects in weather that was always warmer than my neighborhood in San Francisco.
Since then, I’ve watched waves of my Flux friends moving from San Francisco to the East Bay, pushed by the high cost of living and pulled by the allure of a better and more sustainable lifestyle, a migration of some of the most interesting and creative people I know, some of the very people that have made San Francisco so cool.
“I love San Francisco, but it’s just not an affordable place anymore,” said Jessica Hobbs, one of the Flux founders who last year moved with two other women from the crew into what they call the Flux Meow House in a neighborhood near the intersection of Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville.
Hobbs has long worked in the East Bay and “I’ve never been one of those who has that bridge-phobia” — that resistance to cross over into other cities for social gatherings — “but the most interesting culture of San Francisco is starting to move to the East Bay.”
In the last 10 years, workspaces for burners and other creative types have proliferated in the East Bay — including the Shipyard, the Crucible, NIMBY Warehouse, Xian, Warehouse 416, and American Steel — while the number in San Francisco has stayed static or even shrunk. That’s partly a result of SF’s dwindling number of light industrial spaces, but Hobbs said the influx of artists in the East Bay supported and populated these new workspaces and fed the trend.
“They were making space for that to happen, so we came over here,” Hobbs said. “There’s more willingness to experiment over here.”
There have been code-compliance conflicts between these boundary-pushing art spaces and civic officials, including Berkeley’s threats to shut down the Shipyard and Oakland’s issues with NIMBY, but Hobbs said both were resolved in ways that legitimized the spaces. And then events such as Art Murmur, a monthly art walk in downtown Oakland, put these artists and their creations on proud display.
“Oakland and the East Bay have been very welcoming,” Hobbs said. “They want us.”
As we all talked on April 5, Karen Cusolito was throwing a party celebrating the third anniversary of American Steel, a massive workspace she formed for hundreds of artists and a gathering space for her extended community. Cusolito had working in the East Bay since 2005, commuting from Hunters Point before finally moving to Oakland in 2010.
“I moved here with such great trepidation because I thought I’d be bored,” she said. “But I’ve found a more vibrant community than I could have imagined, along with an unexpected sense of calm.”
Reflecting on the third anniversary of American Steel, Cusolito said, “On one hand, I’m astonished that it’s been three years. On the other hand, I’m surprised that this hasn’t always existed,” she said. “I have an amazing community here. I’m very blessed.”
Hobbs’ roommate, Rebecca Frisch, lost her apartment in Hayes Valley last year and decided to seek some specific things that she felt her soul seeking. “I wanted more light and space and a garden. I had a long wish list and nearly all of it came true,” she said. “I cast my net as far north as Petaluma and even Sebastapol. It’s really about a home and setting that felt good and suited my wish list.”
The space they found was spacious and airy, almost suburban but in a neighborhood that is lively and being steadily populated with other groups of their friends who have also been moving from San Francisco, gathered into three nearby homes.
“It was a great space with this huge yard. It’s got sun all day long, fruit trees everywhere, and we now have an art fireplace. You don’t find that in San Francisco,” Hobbs said.
As much as Hobbs and Frisch have been pleased with East Bay living, they each felt finally pressured to leave San Francisco, which makes them wonder what the future holds for the city.
“It’s made me sad because it’s apparent there’s no room for quirky, creative individuals. It’s only for the super rich,” Frisch said. “I feel horrible for families and people with fewer options that I have. I wondered if I would mourn the city I loved, and it’s been just the opposite. I really love it here.”
There have been a few challenges and tradeoffs to living in the East Bay, Hobbs said, including a lack of late-night food offerings and after hours clubs. “With anything, there will be a balance between positives and convenience,” she said.
Not everyone from Flux is flowing east — that balance tips in different ways for different people at different times. Monica Barney recently moved to San Francisco from Oakland and she’s enjoying the more dense urban living.
“I got sick of living in the East Bay,” she said. “I didn’t like that you have to drive everywhere. It changes the tone of the neighborhood when you can get around without a car.”
Yet for most of the couple hundred artsy people in the Flux Foundation’s orbit, the East Bay is drawing more and more people. Jonny Poynton moved to West Oakland three years ago after living in San Francisco for nine. He appreciates the sense of community he’s found in Oakland, and he doesn’t feel like he’s given up much to attain it.
“One of the things I like about West Oakland is how close it is to the city,” he said.
Flux’s latest transplant is Jason DeCook, who works in the building trades and moved from San Francisco to just down the street from Poynton on April 7.
“I moved because of the usual reasons that most have, larger space for the same rent, but also the sunshine and proximity. I’ve been hella reluctant to do this for the past few years but thought about it a couple of times. Now the issue has been forced with all the art this year,” DeCook said.
In addition to working on art at American Steel, DeCook says he’s excited to have a yard and storage areas to work on his own projects.
“I’m a blue collar, hands-on kind of guy and it’s easy for me to feel connected to a lot of the people that live around me or are beginning to visit the area. It’s exciting to be in a place that has been ignored for so long by money, because a group of us can come up with a project or I can on my own and get to doing it with little red tape and it will be appreciated by the neighbors for making the place a little bit better,” DeCook said.
In many ways, he thinks that West Oakland and other East Bay pockets are on a similar trajectory as many of San Francisco’s coolest neighborhoods decades ago, many of which are now getting too expensive for the artists to live.
- Whose house? (sfbg.com)
About Old S.F. (One our favorite sites here at ExploreSF)
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the San Francisco Public Library in any way.
This site provides an alternative way of browsing the SFPL‘s incredible San Francisco Historical
Photograph Collection. Its goal is to help you discover the history
behind the places you see every day.
And, if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even discover something about San Francisco’s rich past that you never knew before!
Where did these images come from?
The images all come from the San Francisco Public Library’s San Francisco Historical
Photograph Collection. They were culled from many sources, including the
Francisco News-Call Bulletin.
The creators of this site did not collect or digitize any of these images
— credit for that massive undertaking belongs entirely to the
Who built this site?
What did this site do?
The creators of this site associated latitudes and longitudes to the images in
the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection at the San Francisco Public Library, located in the Main Branch on the 6th floor. This process is known as geocoding. Doing this
allows the images to be placed at points on a map, which enables new ways of
exploring this collection.
How were they geocoded?
The geocodes are based on two sources:
- Photo Subjects. All photographs in the “City Hall (old)”
series presumably belong in the same place. We manually geocoded several
- Addresses and Cross-Streets. The photo descriptions often contain
either an address, block number or set of cross-streets. These were
converted to coordinates using the Google
What’s the story of this project?
Several years ago, I searched for my cross-streets
on the Library’s San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection and found the
photo on the right. The image was mislabeled — the intersection in the
foreground is actually Waller and Fillmore, not Waller and Webster. Which
meant that this photo from 1945 was taken from my roof!
I put together a now-and-then
shot, but it always bothered me that the mislabeling of the image was so
crucial to my finding it. This led to the idea of putting the images on a
And now, years later, we have that map!
What fraction of the images have been geocoded?
The library’s collection contains about 40,000 images. Many of these
photographs have little geographic context (e.g. they’re portraits) and
cannot be located. In all, about 20,000 of the images could be placed on a
map. We’ve geocoded about 65% of the possible images: 13,000.
How can you help?
If you’re technically minded, here’s a JSON file containing all the image
descriptions, as well as geocodes for the records on the map (including the
reason I thought they were at that location): records.js.zip (2MB download).
If you improve on my geocoding or do something else interesting with the data,
please share your results!
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To see this collection in person or to order reprints please come to The San Francisco Library, Main Branch, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 Telephone (415) 557-4567, email: email@example.com
The San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, located in the San Francisco History Center on the 6th floor, contains photographs and works on paper of San Francisco and California views from 1850 to the present. The Collection is open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-5 and Saturdays 10-12 & 1-5
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- September 18, 1935
- Photo ID#
About the Photo Collection
The San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection contains photographs and works on papers of San Francisco and California scenes ranging from 1850 to the present. This collection includes views of San Francisco street scenes, buildings, and neighborhoods, as well as photographs of famous San Francisco personalities. The collection consists mostly of the photo morgue of the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin, a daily newspaper, ranging from 1920s to 1965. The collection also contains albums, slides, postcards, cabinet cards, stereoviews, and lantern slides of San Francisco and California subjects.
Copies of images may be ordered with the Reproduction of Images Form (PDF 31K). Many of the photographs are available for commercial use when a Permission to Publish Form (PDF 40K) has been submitted.
The collection may be viewed in two ways: through the online database on the San Francisco Public Library website, which contains 40,000 digitized images from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, or in person during photo desk open hours.
When viewing the collection in person, only a limited number of photographs may be examined at one time. Library users will be provided with gloves to wear while examining the photographs. The photographs are to be handled by the edges only and held securely on two sides. The following items are not to be used in contact with the photographs: pressure sensitive tapes, all types of glues, paper clips, elastic bands, staples, pins, pens or pencils. Photocopying of photographs is harmful to the image and is not allowed. Photographs may be reproduced through a photo lab of the Library’s choice, through the Library scanning service or through a scheduled photo shoot. See Order Images for details.
For further information about the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection please call 415-557-4567 during open hours.
- Pedestrian hit, seriously injured by car in S.F. (sfgate.com)
Mission Arts & Performance Project
April 7, 2012 6:00 pm
All, April, Events, MAPP, Performing Arts
Red Poppy Arthouse
The Misson Arts & Performance Project (MAPP) is a FREE bimonthly festival that happens the first Saturday of every other month. Join us for this Saturday, April 7th!
6pm – “The ItCH” – Investing in the Creative Hunch (Social-Cultural networking)
7:15pm – Tom Sway (Writer of Remarkable Songs)
7:42pm – Adrian Arias presents “The Lost Literary” (short film)
8:00pm – Poet Michael Warr & the Armageddon of Funk (poetry w/ live music)
8:40pm – Amy Seiwert’s Imagery (solo contemporary ballet)
9:00pm – Embodiment Project (urban dance theater company)
9:45pm – Sriba Kwadjovie (solo modern/contemporary dance)
10:00pm – Teobi Dreams (work-in-progress experimental performance)
10:30pm – Fared Shafinury – Skyping from Texas (Indy-Persian music)
11:15am-12am – The Anti-Hype Lounge (youtube projection DJ)
Launched in 2003, the Mission Arts & Performance Project (MAPP) is a homegrown bi-monthly, multidisciplinary, unruly intercultural happening that takes place in the Mission District of San Francisco. Started by Founding Artist of the Red Poppy Art House, Todd Brown, MAPP has now produced over 48 neighborhood-level arts festivals.
MAPP is not an “art walk” (thank god). Instead, it’s a collage of 10-20 odd spaces transformed into micro art centers, focused on intimate artistic and cultural exchange among people. Placing art and performance on the street level, MAPP utilizes such alternative spaces as private garages, gardens, living rooms, studios, street corners, and small businesses. At its heart, the MAPP shows how ordinary spaces can be made extra-ordinary through creative techniques.
Be sure to check out the other MAPP spaces as well. Download a PDF of the Program here.
Tag, You’re It: How Do You Decide Between Art & Vandalism?
posted by jared schwartz // monday mar 19, 2012, 7:30 am
A reader recently informed us that someone has been tagging and re-tagging the side of the building that faces a parking lot on the northwest corner of Gough and Grove.
Someone associated with the apartment has been painting over the taggings and can be seen doing it multiple times a week.
We weren’t able to speak with that person, but when we visited the parking lot, we found this:
wall facing parking lot
And when we turned to the right and walked a few paces, we saw the word “Red” on another wall:
Yet in the short distance between these two spaces, in an alcove that can’t even be seen from the sidewalk, we found these designs spray-painted along two adjacent walls:
Our guess is most people think the first two examples of tagging serve no purpose except to destroy property, but the third photo is a toss-up.
While it’s on a wall that surrounds the same property from Photo #1 (and we’re unsure as to whether permission was granted to do it), it feels planned, carefully created and visually appealing.
When it comes to graffiti, many of us have differing opinions on what we consider art and what we consider vandalism. With multiple forms of graffiti (anything drawn or painted on a wall in a public space) and tagging (scribing one’s name, initials or catchphrase) found throughout our neighborhood, where do we draw the line? When do we repaint and when do we keep it?
We walked around the neighborhood and paid attention to all the random graffiti and taggings we found. For example, soon as we exited the parking lot and turned right on Grove, we saw this face hidden in a small gap between apartments:
greetings on grove
When we walked up Laguna and turned left on Linden, we saw this design along the wall of Momi Toby’s:
Then we came across a few other designs with additions to them, including the mural on Page Street that has recently been tagged by “Leo Dime”:
“Leo Dime” also made their presence known back on Linden, just down the block from Blue Bottle:
Tagging graffiti takes this debate to another level. While the original design may or may not have been commissioned (not just above, but in any example), these taggings feel like a destruction of artwork since they ruined something that took a long time to create.
We’ve shown you a lot of examples, yet there are still plenty we didn’t capture. Do you have any favorites, or do you think everything that comes from spray paint only devalues the neighborhood? How do you decide what destroys property and what gives the neighborhood character?
ART on STREETS: Swoon in the Missionby faern
One of the most enjoyable things about living in the city of San Francisco is how visually dynamic it is. There is simply art everywhere, but not in a way that inundates you. The most interesting pieces are hidden away in nooks and crannies that you may not even see. ART on STREETS highlights this city’s art through the lens of a “Polaroid” camera (except it’s various apps on the iPhone). Each week we will feature a different soundtrack for your viewing pleasure: a single song from a Bay Area musical artist. So plug in your earbuds (or not) and have a listen while you check out the art.
This week we are checking out a piece by the artist Swoon. On a recent visit to our fair city she graced us with this paste-up over on Hampshire, right at 24th Street. If you are going to check it out in person, I suggest that you do it soon—with all this rain, it may not stick to those bricks for long. Incorporating an abundance of nature and art history references, this piece is very bright and flowing, and carries a lot of emotion. However, I particularly appreciate its placement. The only artwork set against a monochromatic brick wall—at the end of a pretty residential block—it jumps right out at you. (In the rain, the wet paper added to this effect.) I got the feeling that strength and perseverance were being birthed right out of the bricks.
Musical Artist: Ganucheau
Hampshire Street and 24th Street [Map]
- Our Weekly Picks: March 7-13 (bestofthebay.com)
- Our Weekly Picks: March 14-20 (cgi.sfbg.com)
- Music Listings (cgi.sfbg.com)
- GrafRank Ranks Global Graffiti Statistics In SF And Oakland… And Beyond! (sfist.com)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
It’s the biggest art bash of the year! Join us for this signature celebration featuring dining, dancing, and art in support of SFMOMA’s renowned exhibitions and innovative education programs, serving more than 50,000 students, teachers, and families each year.
The Post-Modern Party
Mix it up in a whole new way as partygoers converge at a museumwide celebration featuring acclaimed electrofunk duo Chromeo, late-night bites from San Francisco’s hottest restaurants, drinks, and dancing into the night.
Individual tickets: $100 advance purchase and SFMOMA members; $125 after March 25, 2012; $150 at the door
9:00 p.m. Doors open
10:00 p.m. Chromeo DJ Set
Chromeo DJ set rocks the Post-Modern Party Party goers at the Post-Modern Party 2007
The Supper Club
See and be seen in an ultrachic lounge featuring a DJ, flowing drinks, and gourmet culinary stations.
Individual tickets: $500 – $1,000
6:30 p.m. Reserved Benefactor seating
8:00 p.m. Evening lounge (unreserved seating)
9:30 p.m. Access to all Post-Modern Party venues
The Supper Club 2007 The Supper Club 2007
The Gala Dinner
Experience the ultimate night out, including a sumptuous dinner, dazzling entertainment, a live auction featuring artist Doug Aitken’s 1968 (black), and irresistible surprises.
Individual tickets: SOLD OUT
6:00 p.m. Cocktails – Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Atrium
7:00 p.m. Seated Dinner – The Gala Tent
9:30 p.m. Access to all Post-Modern Party venues
The Gala Dinner 2007 Doug Aitken’s 1968 (black) featured in premier live auction
For more information or to order tickets, please call 415.618.3263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: All Modern Ball attendees must be 21 and over.
Sorry, no refunds or exchanges. All sales are final.
[layout show="3"] World famous Banksy has graced San Francisco with at least
6 of his works. You can see them posted here: http://bit.ly/All_6_SF_Banksys.
But what about his other works? Originally, from England,
he must have several graffitis and stencils there.
Here is some of his work, with links and credits given, of course.
Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.
His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.
Banksy’s work was born out of the Bristol underground scene which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. According to author and graphic designer Tristan Manco and the book Home Sweet Home, Banksy “was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s.” Observers have noted that his style is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris and members of the anarcho-punk band Crass, which maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube System in the late 1970s and early 1980s and is active today. However Banksy himself stated on his website  that in all actuality he based his work on that of 3D from Massive Attack, stating, “No, I copied 3D from Massive Attack. He can actually draw.”
Known for his contempt for the government in labeling graffiti as vandalism, Banksy displays his art on public surfaces such as walls and even going as far as to build physical prop pieces. Banksy does not sell photos of street graffiti directly himself; however, art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder. Banksy’s first film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, billed as “the world’s first street art disaster movie,” made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film was released in the UK on 5 March 2010. In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary for the film.
Banksy began as a freehand graffiti artist 1990–1994 as one of Bristol’s DryBreadZ Crew (DBZ), with Kato and Tes. He was inspired by local artists and his work was part of the larger Bristol underground scene with Nick Walker, Inkie and 3D. From the start he used stencils as elements of his freehand pieces, too. By 2000 he had turned to the art of stencilling after realizing how much less time it took to complete a piece. He claims he changed to stencilling whilst he was hiding from the police under a rubbish lorry, when he noticed the stencilled serial number and by employing this technique, he soon became more widely noticed for his art around Bristol and London.
£10 notes to Barely Legal (2004–06)
In August 2004, Banksy produced a quantity of spoof British £10 notes substituting the picture of the Queen’s head with Diana, Princess of Wales’s head and changing the text “Bank of England” to “Banksy of England.” Someone threw a large wad of these into a crowd at Notting Hill Carnival that year, which some recipients then tried to spend in local shops. These notes were also given with invitations to a Santa’s Ghetto exhibition by Pictures on Walls. The individual notes have since been selling on eBay for about £200 each. A wad of the notes were also thrown over a fence and into the crowd near the NME signing tent at The Reading Festival. A limited run of 50 signed posters containing ten uncut notes were also produced and sold by Pictures on Walls for £100 each to commemorate the death of Princess Diana. One of these sold in October 2007 at Bonhams auction house in London for £24,000.
Banksy held an exhibition called Barely Legal, billed as a “three day vandalised warehouse extravaganza” in Los Angeles, on the weekend of 16 September 2006. The exhibition featured a live “elephant in a room,” painted in a pink and gold floral wallpaper pattern, which, according to leaflets handed out at the exhibition, was intended to draw attention to the issue of world poverty. Although the Animal Services Department had issued a permit for the elephant, after complaints from animal rights activists, the elephant appeared unpainted on the final day. Its owners rejected claims of mistreatment and said that the elephant had done “many, many movies. She’s used to makeup.” Banksy also made artwork displaying Queen Victoria as a lesbian and satirical pieces that incorporated art made by Andy Warhol and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Banksy effect (2006–07)
After Christina Aguilera bought an original of Queen Victoria as a lesbian and two prints for £25,000, on 19 October 2006 a set of Kate Moss paintings sold in Sotheby’sLondon for £50,400, setting an auction record for Banksy’s work. The six silk-screen prints, featuring the model painted in the style of Andy Warhol‘s Marilyn Monroepictures, sold for five times their estimated value. His stencil of a green Mona Lisa with real paint dripping from her eyes sold for £57,600 at the same auction. In December, journalist Max Foster coined the phrase, “the Banksy effect,” to illustrate how interest in other street artists was growing on the back of Banksy’s success.
On 21 February 2007, Sotheby’s auction house in London auctioned three works, reaching the highest ever price for a Banksy work at auction: over £102,000 for his Bombing Middle England. Two of his other graffiti works, Balloon Girl and Bomb Hugger, sold for £37,200 and £31,200 respectively, which were well above their estimated prices. The following day’s auction saw a further three Banksy works reach soaring prices: Ballerina with Action Man Parts reached £96,000; Glory sold for £72,000; Untitled (2004) sold for £33,600; all significantly above estimated values. To coincide with the second day of auctions, Banksy updated his website with a new image of an auction house scene showing people bidding on a picture that said, “I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit.” In February 2007, the owners of a house with a Banksy mural on the side in Bristol decided to sell the house through Red Propeller art gallery after offers fell through because the prospective buyers wanted to remove the mural. It is listed as a mural that comes with a house attached.
In March, a stencilled graffiti work appeared on Thames Water tower in the middle of the Holland Park roundabout, and it was widely attributed to Banksy. It was of a child painting the tag “Take this Society” in bright orange. London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham spokesman, Councillor Greg Smith branded the art as vandalism, and ordered its immediate removal, which was carried out by H&F council workmen within three days. Over the weekend 3–5 May in London, Banksy hosted an exhibition called The Cans Festival. It was situated on Leake Street, a road tunnel formerly used by Eurostar underneath London Waterloo station. Graffiti artists with stencils were invited to join in and paint their own artwork, as long as it did not cover anyone else’s. Artists included Blek le Rat, Broken Crow, C215, Cartrain, Dolk, Dotmasters, J.Glover, Ben Eine, Eelus, Hero, Pure evil, Jef Aérosol, Mr Brainwash, Tom Civil Roadsworth and Sten & Lex.
In late August 2008, marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the associated levee failure disaster, Banksy produced a series of works in New Orleans, Louisiana, mostly on buildings derelict since the disaster. A stencil painting attributed to Banksy appeared at a vacant petrol station in the Ensley neighbourhood of Birmingham, Alabama on 29 August as Hurricane Gustav approached the New Orleans area. The painting depicting a hooded member of the Ku Klux Klan hanging from a noose was quickly covered with black spray paint and later removed altogether. His first official exhibition in New York, the “Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill,” opened 5 October 2008. The animatronic pets in the store window include a mother hen watching over her baby Chicken McNuggets as they peck at a barbecue sauce packet, and a rabbit putting makeup on in a mirror.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
The world premiere of the film Exit Through the Gift Shop occurred at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on 24 January. He created 10 street pieces around Park City and Salt Lake City to tie in with the screening. In February, The Whitehouse public house in Liverpool, England, was sold for £114,000 at auction. The side of the building has an image of a giant rat by Banksy. In March 2010, the work “Forgive us our Trespassing” was displayed in the London underground. The work had to be displayed without the halo over the boy’s head. After a few days the halo was repainted and the poster was removed by Tube advertising bosses. The display was organised by Art Below, a London based public art agency. In April 2010, Melbourne City Council in Australia reported that they had inadvertently ordered private contractors to paint over the last remaining Banksy art in the city. The image was of a rat descending in a parachute adorning the wall of an old council building behind the Forum Theatre. In 2008, vandals had poured paint over a stencil of an old-fashioned diver wearing a trenchcoat. A council spokeswoman has said they would now rush through retrospective permits to protect other “famous or significant artworks” in the city. In April 2010, to coincide with the premiere of Exit Through the Gift Shop in San Francisco, five of his pieces appeared in various parts of the city. Banksy reportedly paid a San Francisco Chinatown building owner $50 for the use of their wall for one of his stencils. In early May 2010, seven new Banksy pieces appeared in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, though most have been subsequently painted over or removed. In May 2010, to coincide with the premiere of Exit Through the Gift Shop in Royal Oak, Banksy visited the Detroit area and left his mark in several places in Detroit and Warren. Shortly after the Detroit piece showing a little boy holding a can of red paint next to the words “I remember when all this was trees” was excavated by the 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios. They claim that they do not intend to sell the work but plan to preserve it and display it at their Detroit gallery. There was also an attempted removal of one of the Warren pieces known as “Diamond Girl.”
In late January 2011, Exit Through the Gift Shop was nominated for a 2010 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Banksy released a statement about the nomination, where he said, “This is a big surprise… I don’t agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I’m prepared to make an exception for the ones I’m nominated for. The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me.” Leading up to the Oscars, Banksy blanketed Los Angeles with street art. Many people speculated if Banksy would show up at the Oscars in disguise and make a surprise appearance if he won the Oscar. Exit Through the Gift Shop did not win the award, which went to Inside Job. In early March 2011, Banksy responded to the Oscars with an art piece in Weston, UK, of a little girl holding the Oscar and pouting. Many people think the piece is in reference to 15-month old Lara, who dropped and damaged her father’s (The King’s Speech co-producer Simon Egan) Oscar statue. Exit Through the Gift Shop was broadcast on British public television station Channel 4 on 13 August 2011.
Banksy was also credited with the opening couch gag for the 2010 The Simpsons episode “MoneyBART,” depicting people working in deplorable conditions and using endangered or mythical animals to make both the episodes cel-by-cel and the merchandise connected with the program. His name appears several times throughout the episode’s opening sequence, spray-painted on assorted walls and signs.
In May 2011 Banksy released a lithographic print which showed a smoking petrol bomb contained in a ‘Tesco Value’ bottle. This followed a long running campaign by locals against the opening of a Tesco Express supermarket in Banksy’s home city of Bristol. Violent clashes had taken place between police and demonstrators in the Stokes Croft area. Banksy produced the poster ostensibly to raise money for local groups in the Stokes Croft area and to raise money for the legal defence of those arrested during the riots. The posters were sold exclusively at the Bristol Anarchists Bookfair in Stokes Croft for £5 each.
In December, he unveiled “Cardinal Sin” at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. The bust, which replaces a priest’s face with a “pixelated” effect, was a statement on the child abuse scandal in the Catholic church. 
In early 2012, Banksy finished his first book titled: ‘You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat.’ The book will be published by Carpet Bombing Culture, and has a official release date of July 2, 2012 
- Buy yourself an original Banksy artwork (lostateminor.com)
- Banksy: You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat Book (hypebeast.com)
- Kate Moss Burglary: $115,000 Banksy Stolen! (celebritynetworth.com)
- Banksy and Hanksy (polentical.com)
- Want a Banksy Temporary Tattoo? Here You Go (bellasugar.com)
- Banksy on Advertising: Guess What? He Doesn’t Love It (adweek.com)