Category Archives: Literary

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This Sunday, come Explore San Francisco and create some wonderful Mother’s Day memories to last a long time.

Take Mom out for a food tour and a cruise on the Bay for only $64!
Choose any of these food tours:

  • North Beach at Night
  • Mission Vegetarian
  • Little Saigon
  • Mission District South (24th Street)
  • The Real Chinatown

Paired with a Bay Cruise on San Francisco Bay!


To make reservations or for more information, please call:415.504.3636 x 102 or email: reservations@exploresf.bizLimited number of spots available
Golden Gate Bay CruiseOperated by:

Red and White Fleet

Give her the fun day she deserves
While making memories to last a lifetime

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Prague flower shop

Prague flower shop (Photo credit: jafsegal)

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The Most Creative Spaces in San Francisco History, Part One

City Lights and The Fillmore:

The Most Creative Spaces in San Francisco History

Copyright Jim Marshall Photography LLC

Creativity and innovation are hallmarks of San Francisco, where a startup mentality continues to define us. We routinely set foot on the hallowed grounds of storied cultural landmarks—unprecedented venues at their inception that remain progressive icons today. Here, insiders reminisce on the impact of four classic SF institutions to remind us why they epitomize the city’s special spirit. In this installment, we start with City Lights and The Fillmore. Next week, we’ll continue with Castro Theatre and Stern Grove.

City Lights Bookstore, est. 1953. By Lawrence Ferlinghetti, cofounder, publisher, and poet

In 1953, San Francisco wasn’t what it is today. At that time, paperbacks were not considered real books in America. Peter Martin, an editor I met in North Beach, had the brilliant idea to open the first paperback bookstore in the U.S. My idea was to make City Lights a literary meeting place. I was used to the literary scene in Paris cafes and wanted to create a public place where people could hang out and read all day.

As soon as we got the doors open—we started off with one little room and slowly expanded—the store attracted people because there was such a void in that space. This was a brand-new scene. Back then, bookstores weren’t open on the weekends or late at night. We changed that. We were the first to introduce a periodicals section and the first to carry gay magazines. There was a lot of demand for this new culture, and we rode the wave. Comedians like Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl stopped in before gigs.

I was one of those New York carpet-bagging poets. I wasn’t really one of the Beats, but I got associated with them because I published them. City Lights, under my direction, was a publisher almost from the beginning, and this was another innovation—bookstores didn’t do that sort of thing. We printed Allen Ginsberg’s Howl in 1956, at the start of the poetry revolution. The Beats articulated what later became the themes of 1960s hippie counterculture, antiwar demonstrations, and ecological consciousness. Kerouac’s On the Road was a sad book, but it turned everybody on because it expressed what his generation was feeling. Sociologists said it articulated the end of American innocence.

In the late 1990s, we restored the City Lights building because of a required retrofit, but the inside remains mostly the same. You’ll still see locals reading in the basement or up in the poetry room. We have so many events there, but the tourists don’t generally know about them—they’re just passing through. We also get a lot of professors and students from all over the country and an enormous amount of foreign visitors. Today, there’s not a literary revolution as there was when City Lights opened. Today, we have the electronic revolution, which is wiping out so many bookstores. We’re benefitting from being among the few that have survived. We could soon be the last man standing.”

—As told to Chris Trenchard and Allison McCarthy

The Fillmore, est. 1966 By Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle music critic, 1972–2009

I saw my first show at the Fillmore in 1967: Chuck Berry and the Grateful Dead. It cost $3 to get in. There were two walls covered with lights. The stage was small. About 1,100 people, absorbed in sound and lights, crammed into the room. The experience was truly authentic.

And to think that bands like Led Zeppelin, The DoorsOtis ReddingHowlin’ Wolf, and the Grateful Dead all played on that tiny little stage. Bill Graham started renting the place from promoter Charles Sullivan in the ’60s. The thing was a success right from the word “go.” Bill wasn’t really a fan of rock music—he was originally a mambo dancer from New York. But he had plenty of street smarts. Over time, though, he figured out how to book that room. It became a tribal rite to play there, and that gave the Fillmore this kind of mystique. Groups like Traffic and Cream gave performances that ended up being fundamental to the acceleration of their careers. It became clear that this place was at the center of something very special. At the time, Chet Helms operated the Avalon Ballroom, which was the Fillmore’s primary competitor back then. He had this theory that the Fillmore’s Apollonian stage and proscenium were gateways to the gods. Promoters would leverage this mystique to get bands like Crosby, Stills, and Nash, who would normally play at much bigger theaters. Then in the early ’90s, Tom Petty played 20 or 30 shows there over the course of a few months. Petty was definitely building on that mystique. It was quite a different place then. The old stage now lies (almost completely hidden from view) underneath the newer, bigger stage. But the Fillmore is still a space steeped in history and the ghosts of great performers. The guy who does the booking now, Michael Bailey, really knows the thrill of fandom. He’s been shrewd about capitalizing on the legacy of the Fillmore in the ’60s. Bands today are aware of the mystique—who hasn’t heard Cream’s Wheels of Fire: Live at the Fillmore? And it’s still a damn fine place to see a show.”

This article was published in 7×7’s June issue. Click here to subscribe.

Kick Off Spring with These Three Art Shows | 7×7

Kick Off Spring with These Three Art Shows

Katharina Wulff, Die Verbindung (The Connection), 2008; oil on canvas;

48 1/16 x 68 7/8 in. (122 x 175 cm); Olbricht Collection; © Katharina

Wulff

The city’s museums now have their major exhibitions out and swinging (you’ve seen Foto Mexico and Gaultier; the ads plastered over town are maybe coaxing a return visit) and the gallery circuit is on the cusp of exploding into a big spring season. Our suggestion: take this weekend to explore some of the Bay’s slightly smaller, considerably less hyped, but no doubt equally fascinating museum shows. Here are three picks.

New Work: Katharina Wulff at SFMOMA

Katharina Wulff is unmistakably contemporary in how freely she channels the modern. Befitting for an institution that hangs the likes of Matisse and Dalí, Wulff’s whimsical and captivating paintings are at turns Fauvist, Surrealist and Dada. The whole of art history is the Moroccan-based artist’s playground.

Consisting of twenty works, this showing marks the artist’s first ever solo exhibition in the U.S., and, more importantly, her west coast debut. What can you expect? Much in the way of fantastical landscapes, confused perspective, bizarre-looking animals and still more bizarre-looking people. They brim with color and intrigue, never staying too long in any one place.

Katharina Wulff runs through September 4, 2012, at SFMOMA, 151 3rd Street

Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes at Oakland Museum of California

Don’t call them comic books. The twenty first century graphic novel has elevated the panel-illustrated narrative to unprecedented heights. It’s been a thrilling and lucrative progression, and Oakland’s own Daniel Clowes has been at the forefront from the beginning. Some accounts would place this remarkably gifted illustrator, who has over fifty publications under his belt as well as an academy award nomination for screenplay, as the genre’s reigning patriarch.

The OMCA’s sprawling, installation-based show marks the first major survey of Clowe’s work to date. Complete with original drawings, artifacts and an extensive full-color monograph, this form of recognition is long overdue.

Modern Cartoonist runs through August 24, 2012, at Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street

Femmescapes at Mills College Art Museum

Femmescapes at Mills College Art Museum

A group of Mills College students were given a pretty amazing opportunity: to freely mine Lenore Pereira and Rich Niles’ marvelous collection of contemporary work by women artists. With names like Louise Bourgeois, Ann Hamilton and Francesca Woodman on the roster, this is a trove that many professional curators would probably kill for a chance to have at.

The resulting exhibition, Femmescapes, explores the various conceptual and metaphorical intertwinings of femininity and environment – nature as a woman, woman as land (lush, fertile, barren, etc.), body as landscape. Featuring about 40 works of painting, video, photography and sculpture, this is a unique glimpse not to be missed.

Femmescapes is on view Saturdays and Sundays only, through May 6, at 70 South Park

via Kick Off Spring with These Three Art Shows | 7×7.

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S.F. Bay Guardian Announcement: Brugmann Stepping Down, Headquarters Sold For $6.5 Million

S.F. Bay Guardian Announcement: Brugmann Stepping Down, Headquarters Sold For $6.5 Million

 

sfbg_hq2.jpg
Guardian HQ, via Street View

 

In an official announcement today, San Francisco Bay Guardian Executive Editor Tim Redmond cleared up some of the the rumors swirling around the will-they/won’t-they hookup situation between the Guardian and the San Francisco Examiner. The biggest take aways: longtime publishers Bruce Brugmann and Jean Dibble will be stepping down from their day-to-day operations as they cash in on the sale of the paper’s Potrero Hill headquarters.

Helping out Boss Brugmann and his wife as they sunset their way to retirement, San Francisco real estate investment firm Union Property Capital has agreed to pay $6.5 million for the paper’s HQ on Mississippi Street. That price tag is just under $2 million more than Brugmann paid for the 27,000 square-foot building back in 2002 using Small Business loans to make the down payment. The deal was reportedly made off the market.

Although Examiner Publisher Todd Vogt was originally being coy about the sale, he explained to Redmond, “Bruce and Jean have created a legendary publication, and we are happy to be able to give it a new home and the chance to continue its mission.” The Ex and the SFBG will remain separate and distinct papers, but Vogt did point out that, “the potential synergies will be beneficial to readers and advertisers.”

Redmond also explained the paper’s plan for the future and his own expanded role:

This transition is connected to ongoing exclusive negotiations with a subsidiary of The SF Newspaper Company LLC to purchase all assets related to the the Guardian publishing operations. SFNalso owns and publishes the San Francisco Examiner. Both parties are optimistic that a final contract will be signed shortly, most likely in May. 

There are no plans to change the editorial content or positions of the Guardian, which will remain the voice of progressive politics and alternative culture in San Francisco. Executive Editor Tim Redmond will stay on in the expanded role of executive editor and publisher.

 

Brugmann, meanwhile, will continue keeping up the Bruce Blog for the foreseeable future.

Previously: SF Examiner Just Bought SF Bay Guardian?

Contact the author of this article or email tips@sfist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
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What's happening today: Saturday, April 21, 2012 Sf Gate, Bay Guardian, Gay Cities Events

What’s happening today: Saturday, April 21, 2012

There is a lot happening today.

Deep Green Festival

A CELEBRATION OF CANNABIS, HEALTH & ECOLOGY

Not your average stoner gathering, the Deep Green Fest focuses on the utility of hemp as an economic andenvironmental resource. Political activists take note: a full day’s worth of lectures on cannabis policy is on tap, as well as 215 smoking areas and tons of smoke- friendly live jams on the numerous stages. noon-midnight, $12–$25 festival-only; $60–$75 conference admission.  Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour, Richmond. (510) 735-1133, http://www.deepgreenfest.com

Cesar Chavez Festival– For too many of us, Cesar Chavez Day passes by in a blur of I’m-not-at-work (or dammit-I’m-at-work) chaos. We don’t really stop to celebrate the man, and that’s a shame because as you can tell from the way Rainbow Grocery shuts its door to celebrate him, he was a seminal figure in California history, Chicano history, and labor movement history. Luckily, we all get a hall pass this and every year if we didn’t observe the man on his state-sanctioned holiday. Today, the Mission will be marked by a parade in his honor, leading to a street fair on 24th Street with live music by Carlos Santana’s son Salvador, local hip-hop phenom Bang Data, and the Cuicacalli Youth Ballet Folklorico, among many other acts. 11am parade; noon-6pm fair, free Street fair: 24th St. between Bryant and Treat, SF (415) 621-2665, http://www.cesarchavezday.org

San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival Today, 220,000 Attendees expected.

Today, Saturday, Apr 21 10:00a to 7:00p
at San Francisco Cherry Blossom FestivalSan FranciscoCA
Price: FREE to attend
Phone: (415) 563-2313
Age Suitability: All Ages

This year’s Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday April 14-15 and April 21-22, 2012. All are welcome to join in the festivities as we celebrate Japanese and Japanese American culture in San Francisco’s Japantown! The festival will be held on Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Streets. There will be food booths, cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Program, and more. The Grand Parade will be held on April 22, beginning at City Hall and concluding in Japantown. The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is said to be the second largest festival outside of Washington, D.C. to celebrate the blooming of cherry blossoms; and held at one of three remaining Japantowns in the United States.

Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon

Today, Saturday, Apr 21 6:30p
at Club Fugazi, San Francisco, CA
The always-changing Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon is the world’s longest running musical revue. Packed with hilarious spoofs of pop culture & political characters, outrageously gigantic hats and one show-stopping number after another, the show continues to dazzle audiences at Club Fugazi in San Francisco’s North Beach district. read more
Categories: ComedyMusicals

Berkeley Dance Project 20122

Today, Saturday, Apr 21 8:00p
Three new choreographic works explore the theme of transformation. Amara Tabor-Smith will use the Sabar dance form as a metaphor for personal growth and cultural shifts; Stephanie Sherman will explore assimilation using costumes to challenge traditional ideas of identity; and Lisa Wymore will experiment with ritual and heightened physical states. read more
Categories: DancePerforming Arts

via San Francisco Bay Guardian | News, Politics, Music, Arts, Culture.

 

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The Naked and Famous

Today, Saturday, Apr 21 9:00p
at The Warfield, San Francisco, CA
The Naked and Famous New Zealand indie electronic ensemble the Naked and Famous make driving, melodic pop with an ’80s post-punk influence. Centered around the talents of vocalist Alisa Xayalith and instrumentalist/vocalist Thom Powers, the band formed in 2008 and released two EPs before adding members to play live….
Monty Pythons Spamalot Monty Pythons Spamalot 
The funniest show on earth is back to taunt San Francisco for a second time! Winner …
4/21/2012 Saturday 2:00p Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco CA
Featuring:  Monty Python’s Spamalot

Bill Bellamy  Bill Bellamy

4/21/2012 Saturday 9:30p Cobb’s Comedy Club, San Francisco CA
Featuring: Bill Bellamy

4th Annual Goat Festival  4th Annual Goat Festival

A Celebration of All Things Goat! – co-hosted by CUESA.org (the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) …

4/21/2012 Saturday 10:00a to 1:00p Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, San Francisco CA

Thats What She Said! That’s What She Said!

That’s What She Said is a variety show full of awesome women. This show features … 4/21/2012 Saturday 7:30p The Garage, San Francisco CA
Featuring: Caitlin Gill

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the CatwalkThe Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Dubbed fashion’s enfant terrible, Jean Paul Gaultier launched his first prêt-à-porter …

4/21/2012 Saturday 9:30a to 5:15p
de Young Museum, San Francisco CA
  The Caretaker The Caretaker
The Caretaker – first performed in 1960 – was Harold Pinter’s first big hit. Fifty …

4/21/2012 Saturday 2:00p
Curran Theatre, San Francisco CA
Featuring: Jonathan Pryce
NPRs Says You! NPR’s Says You!
Host Richard Sher and hilarious panelists Barry Nolan, Francine Achbar, Tony Kahn …

4/21/2012 Saturday 2:00p
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, San Francisco CA

Gay San Francisco Happenings Today Saturday 21, 2012

 

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Literary San Francisco/ Mr. SF

 

LITERARY SAN FRANCISCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Twain, aka Samuel Clemens, came to San Francisco in the early 1860s and found work as a reporter for the Daily Morning Call. The failed Confederate soldier and miner found his calling after writing burlesque under the name Josh and comic tales in the style of Artemus Ward. In San Francisco, Twain lived at the Occidental Hotel

Mark Twain

Cover of Mark Twain

and fondly compared Montgomery Street to Main Street in his hometown of Hannibal, Missouri for he had made many acquaintances in a short time and was widely recognized walking along the downtown street. In the offices of the Golden Era at 732 Montgomery Street, which would have been in the Jackson Square area pictured here, Twain worked with a group of young writers including Bret Harte, who Twain credited with developing his talent. “He changed me from an awkward utterer of coarse grotesqueness to a writer of paragraphs and chapters that havefound a certain favor in the eyes of some of the very decentest people,” Twain said. As a reporter he covered the police, theatre, and society. Before going on to worldwide fame as the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and other works, his articles exposed police brutality, abuse of the Chinese, and political corruption. For the Golden Era, he wrote, “The Washoe Wit: Mark Twain on the Rampage.”

Jack Kerouac authored the American classic On the Road and influenced an entire generation more than fifty

Jack Kerouac by photographer Tom Palumbo, circ...

Jack Kerouac by photographer Tom Palumbo, circa 1956 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

years ago and just ahead of the rock and roll revolution. North Beach resident Kerouac tells the mostly autobiographical story of Sal Paradise (Kerouac) and Dean Moriarty (friend Neal Cassady), who find a kind of personal liberation and respite from mundane conformity by hitting the road from the east coast to California. What follows is a travelogue of American days and nights and people who “burn like fabulous roman candles.” With his

rebels-without-a-cause story line and spontaneous, unconventional writing style, Kerouac became a pop icon and celebrity. His work details a life of tumultuous friendships and social isolation anesthetized by caustic wit as well as drugs and alcohol. Kerouac died in 1969 in his late 40s.The original manuscript of On the Road, seen here, was written on 128 feet of  tracing paper fashioned by Kerouac with tape to form a continuous scroll. The manuscript, a stream of consciousness without interruption, was created in New York during a 20-day writing binge. The manuscript was purchased for $2.43 million by Indiana Colts ower James Irsay on May 22, 2001. The sum is the most ever paid for a literary work.

Danielle Steel  An air of romantic secrecy emanates from her Pacific Heights mansion
. The author, who recently published her 50th best selling title, lives a life more dramatic than that of the most harried heroine from her many romance novels including Passion’s Promise, Now and Forever, A Perfect Stranger, and No Greater Love. In childhood Steel survived polio and cancer. Among her five husbands are a convicted bank robber/rapist and a heroin addict/burglar. Later husbands include a Silicon Valley investor and John Traina, a vintner and film producer who owns one of the world’s largest Fabergé collections. Steel herself is Saks Fifth Avenue’s best customer here. In recent years she has survived the heroin death of her 19 year-old son, as well as a relationship with actor George Hamilton. An international traveler, Steel’s lavish home base is the 55-room mansion at Washington and Octavia which was built in 1912 for Adolph and Alma de Bretteville Spreckles.

Dashiell Hammett is the exemplar of 20th Century noir detective writers.
San Francisco’s foggy streets and mysterious atmosphere were a perfect match for Hammett’s dame-and-gumshoe imagination. The Thin Man, Black Mask, and Maltese Falcon author lived in this Tenderloin apartment building, 891 Post Street #401, one of his many San Francisco addresses in the 1920s. Hammett worked as a private eye for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in the Flood Building on Market Street before his success as America’s author of crime and murder fiction. Completists will find an ersatz descendant, Pinkerton Security Services, at 731 Market.

Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961)

Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rudyard Kipling  said that San Francisco is a mad City inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people whose women are of remarkable beauty,” said . Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865. Educated in England, he returned to India in 1892 and wrote for Anglo-Indian newspapers. He became famous for writing short stories of sympathetic soldiers. Works include Soldiers Three, Barrack Room Ballads, The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book, Captains Courageous, Just So Stories, Actions and Reactions, and Limits and Renewals. Kipling visited the City in 1889. He thought the place was barbaric but he liked its cable car system – an innovation that was only a couple of years old at the time – and its women. During his lifetime, Kipling was a Nobel Prize winning man of letters. He died in 1936. Of San Francisco Kipling added, “‘Tis hard to leave.”

Allen Ginsberg on October 13th, 1955 gave the first public reading of his poem Howl at this location, then the Six Gallery, at 3119 Fillmore Street. When the subversive rage against materialism was published in 1956 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights, the Beat movement had arrived. Worldwide media focused on the sensational First Amendment trial defended by City Lights after copies of the slim volume were seized by members of the San Francisco Police Department and U.S. Customs. The government claimed the poem was obscene and without redeeming social value because it used dirty words and blunt descriptions of gay sex. The vindication of Howl in a courtroom on September 9, 1957 paved the way for future generations of provocative literature by establishing obscenity criteria. Howl went on to become one of the most widely read poems of the 20th Century and was translated into more than twenty languages. Ginsberg became a Distinguished Professor at Brooklyn College in New York near the end of a prolific career and remained active in the literary community until his death in 1997.

Hunter S. Thompson is the acclaimed journalist and author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas who lived in this building at 318 Parnassus when he was researching his book Hell’s Angels. Thompson introduced the outlaw motorcycle club to mainstream America in 1967 with the book, which Thompson researched by partying with Hell’s Angels members. In typical San Francisco fashion, neighbors were undisturbed when Thompson shot out a window here with a 12-gauge shotgun and a .44 magnum, but complained when the Hell’s Angels parked their motorcycles on the sidewalk. More recently, Hunter S. Thompson wrote a column for the new San Francisco Examiner.

Jack London has a small street named for him which can be found on either side of South Park, a couple of blocks from the author’s birthplace on Third Street near Brannan. The short life of Jack London, who died of uremic poisoning at the age of 40 in 1916, was rich with adventure. The unwanted son of a spiritualist medium was raised in Oakland by his mother and a financially hapless stepfather. As a teenager, London lived on the edge on the Oakland waterfront, raiding the bay’s oyster beds and laboring in a cannery and jute mill. Later, he sailed with a sealing crew off Japan and Siberia then went on a vagabond’s tour across America. He joined the gold rush to the Klondike at 21. A veracious reader and writer whose stories were inspired by his travels, prolific London was writing two books a year and scores of articles in the late 1890s. America’s first working class writer, London was an avowed Socialist who reveled in his financial success, which he saw as a victory over the Capitalists as the U.S. entered into a tumultuous transition from laissez-faire to corporate capitalism.

Armistead Maupin created a phenomenon when he started writing Tales of the City as a column for the Chronicle in the 1970s. Reformatted and published as books in the ’80s then television films in the ’90s, Tales of the City is unmatched as a diary, however fictional, of San Franciscans. The entire range from secretaries and waiters to TV hosts, movie stars and international criminals are included as characters in Maupin’s tales as they are in San Francisco’s own true story. The adventures of Tales heroine Mary Ann Singleton predate the Chronicle serial, having first appeared in the San Francisco edition of the Pacific Sun. As in real life, most of Maupin’s characters keep one eye on their secrets while looking for love in the bay city. In addition to characters based
on popular public figures, the tales take place in well known City locations. Maupin’s alter ego, Michael Tolliver, wins a dance contest at the Endup but nearly loses the love of his life when Dr. Jon Fielding and his snooty Pacific Heights friends walk in during the finals.While Macondray Lane on Russian Hill is accepted as the Tales of the City location, 28 Barbary Lane, Maupin actually lived in several apartments on Telegraph Hill and Russian Hill from the time he moved to the City in the early ’70s. The tales debuted in the Chronicle on May 24, 1976. Later, Maupin moved to Noe Street in the Castro before settling in Cole Valley. Since everything about Tales of the City is a composite of real life, you can be sure that Maryann, Michael, Mona Ramsey, Brian Hawkins, landlady Anna Madrigal, and others all crossed the thresholds of these locations:

384 Vallejo Street
308 Greenwich Street
60 Alta Street
226A Filbert Street
331 Filbert Street
1138 1/2 Union Street
665 1/2 Noe Street (Noe/Castro Hill)
[Napier Lane]

William Saroyan, Flamboyant writer and humanitarian,  became a literary sensation at the age of 26 when his story, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, was published by Story magazine in 1932. Around that time he lived at 348 Carl Street. His play, “The Time of Your Life,” was drawn from characters and situations at a well known Pacific Avenue (then Pacific Street) pub owned by Izzy Gomez. In “The Time of Your Life,” the principal setting is “Nick’s,” #3 Pacific. If the address still existed, it would be located at the end of a pedestrian walkway between Buildings 1 and 2 of the Golden Gateway Commons. Off stage action occurs at nearby Pier 27. Saroyan, who called himself “The World’s Greatest Writer,” won the Pulitzer Prize for the play but declined it and the $1,000 purse, insisting that commerce should not drive the arts. Saroyan’s novel The Human Comedy draws from his own experiences as a messenger in his native Fresno. Unique among writers, Armenian American Saroyan advanced Armenian culture as an important source of literary inspiration. Saroyan once said, “No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living.”

Amy Tan‘s ground-breaking fiction demonstrates the power of the mother-daughter relationship to overcome adversity. The Oakland-born Asian-American achieved acclaim with The Joy Luck Club in 1989. Her work includes the novels The Kitchen God’s Wife (1991), The Hundred Secret Senses (1995), and The Bonesetter’s Daughter (2001), in addition to essays, children’s books, and screenplays. Her literature is characterized by themes of generational dissonance and immigrant issues. As a pop culture icon she has been a character on The Simpsons and is a member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock group whose members include Dave Barry, Tad Bartimus, Roy Blount, Jr., Kathi Goldmark, Simpson’s creator Matt Groening, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Ridley Pearson, and Joel Selvin. Tan lives in San Francisco and New York with her husband, Lou DeMattei.

Kay Boyle lived in this house at 419 Frederick Street in the 1970s when she taught at San Francisco State College. American-born Boyle left the U.S. and lived in Paris during the years between World War I and WWII. She earned a reputation as one of the greatest writers of that era. Boyle’s novels include Plagued by the Nightingale and Year Before Last. She was also celebrated for her story collections; Wedding Day, and First Lover, as well as for her poetry; A Glad Day and Selected Poems.

Dorothy Bryant a native San Franciscan and feminist writer  is the author of 12 novels, two nonfiction works, and four plays. “A Day in San Francisco” is Bryant’s controversial mother-son take on gay life in the City on the eve of the 1980 Gay Freedom Day Parade. Her 1986 novel “Confessions of Madame Psyche” is so realistic in emotional truth and historic detail about early 20th Century life in San Francisco and the Bay Area that most readers forget this is a fictional work. Bryant, the daughter of northern Italian immigrants, taught English and music in high schools and community colleges for 23 years. She lives in Berkeley, where she and her husband run the independent publishing company, Ata Books.

Ambrose Bierce came long before Caen, Hoppe, DelaplaneMorse, or Hinckle; ages before both Matier and Ross.Bierce created the first recognized newspaper column in the U.S. His “Prattles” ran in the Examiner for thirty years beginning in the late 1800s. Bierce continued a style of news commentary and reportage he used earlier in his “Telegraphic Jottings,” and in the News Letter’s “Town Crier.” His rapier criticism and bold satirical invective was aimed at just about everything and everybody corrupt in the eyes of Bierce. He took on other writers and even the Examiner. With that his aim was to “purify journalism in this town by instructing such writers as it is worthwhile to instruct, and assassinating those that it is not.” Blurring the line between social philosopher and humorist, Bierce was a self appointed hypocrisy detector. He wrote, “Truth is better than anything or all things; the next best thing to truth is the absence of error.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once occupied the Lafayette Heights residence at 2151 Sacramento Street the plaque on the wall.  Actually, Conan Doyle only visited for a few hours when this was the home of an associate, Dr. Abrams. Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, visited San Francisco once in his lifetime, in late May and early June of 1923. The author and his wife stayed at the Clift Hotel during Conan Doyle’s second and final lecture tour in the U.S. Though Conan Doyle’s stay was brief, his character Dr. Watson was married and practiced medicine in the City, according to a Conan Doyle play. One wonders what influence, if any, the exaggerated Sacramento Street plaque, which was placed by an owner of the house in the 1970s, has on the property’s value.

Herb Caen is one of a kind in the world but he is first and foremost a San FranciscanThe Sacramento native was hired by Chronicle editor Paul Smith in the late 1930s at the age of 20. Smith was a wonderkind who at 26 didn’t want to be the youngest person on the paper’s staff. After initially writing sports, Caen became known in all corners of the City for his man about town column, It’s News to Me, which debuted on July 5, 1938. He continued to chronicle the City for 58 years, guided by his instincts, his daily deadline, and his love for San Francisco. With a front seat at the epicenter of the City’s politics and society, the town belonged to him and him to it. There wasn’t a coming or going by a man, woman, or natural phenomenon here that wasn’t observed by Caen and distilled at the Loyal Royal, his well-worn manual typewriter. With his own brand of nostalgia and reportage he gave the City a voice nearly as natural as if the hills had spoken for themselves. In addition to lighter observations and gossip about visiting celebrities, Caen eloquently and poetically captured insights about this land and its people like no other writer before or since. Sometimes controversial, admired by countless readers throughout the 20th Century, Caen succumbed to cancer in 1997 less than a year after winning the Pulitzer Prize.

Ruth Witt-Diamant, who founded the San Francisco Poetry Center in 1954, hosted many famous poets in her guestroom when she owned the house at this address, 1520 Willard Street. Among the writers who slept here were Anais Nin, W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Stephen Spender, and Theodore Roethke.

Barnaby Conrad, author, artist, and raconteur  is the founding director of the Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference and the author of more than 27 books including Tahiti, La Fiesta Brava, Gates of Fear, San Francisco, Dangerfield, How to Fight a Bull, Famous Last Words, Hemingway’s Spain, Learning to Write Fiction from the Masters and The World of Herb Caen. The native San Franciscan is also a former vice consul to Spain, amateur bullfighter, art teacher, and onetime secretary to novelist Sinclair Lewis. He studied art at the Academie Julien in Paris and named his former North Beach night spot after his successful 1952 novel, Matador. His 1994 memoir Name Dropping: Tales from My Barbary Coast Saloon is, as the title suggests, a collection of gossip and stories from El Matadorwhich was located at 492 Broadway and known by regulars as “the Mat.” From the book: “The night Ava Gardner first came into El Matador she was sober and gorgeous. But two hours later she had snatched a bullfighter’s hat off the wall and was doing a torrid, if lurching, flamenco solo on the bar, her skirt hiked up around her waist, while her anonymous escort looked pained and the customers applauded.” Gardner’s inelegant turn notwithstanding, The Mat set a standard for elegant socializing in North Beach the likes of which has not been seen since the 1950s. Conrad, who founded the Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference in 1972, is also the artist of a portrait of Bing Crosby that graces the receiving room of the Crosby mansion in Hillsborough.

Journalist and author Frances Bret Harte was the editor of San Francisco’s successful Overland Monthly when he published his story, “The Luck of the Roaring Camp” which brought him instant and wide fame in the late 1860s. Luck was the child of a camp prostitute raised with the help of altruistic miners in Victorian society. Much of Harte’s work features some kind of reprobate who’s redeemed by sacrifice and self denial. In 1870 his stories and his respected work at the helm of the Overland Monthly earned him a then lucrative $10,000 a year contract writing one poem or story per month for the Atlantic Monthly. Harte left California but not before his work greatly

Portrait of Bret Harte 1868 from Overland Mont...

Portrait of Bret Harte 1868 from Overland Monthly, August 1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

influenced local color fiction here and elsewhere. His work elevated and romanticized Gold Rush denizens for a culture that was ready to listen. The same year, 1870, Harte wrote the poem, “Plain Language from Truthful Jim,” aka “The Heathen Chinee” which was easily exploited by racists for its unflattering portrayal of a Chinese card shark and the pronouncement by its narrator that “We are ruined by cheap Chinese labor.” During and after his run with the Atlantic Monthly, Harte’s career took him to New York, Boston, Glasgow, and Crefeld, Germany. Harte later lived in England where he wrote marginal stories using familiar material.

San Franciscan Jewelle Gomez is the esteemed activist and author of the award-winning novel, The Gilda Stories. Recent works include Forty Three Septembers (a book of personal and political essays), Don’t Explain (a collection of short fiction), and a Gilda stage adaptation entitled, “Bones & Ash: a Gilda Story.” Gomez is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship and two California Arts Council fellowships. She has served on literary panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council and the San Francisco Arts Commission. In addition to numerous anthologies, Gomez’s fiction, essays, criticism and poetry have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, The Village Voice; The Advocate, Ms Magazine, Essence Magazine, and Black Scholar. Gomez recently served three years as executive director of the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University. She frequently lectures at universities throughout the U.S. and is currently working on a comic novel about 1960s black activists facing middle age.

Robert Louis Stevenson came to San Francisco in August, 1879. A few months later he rented a room in the narrow three-story wooden building which then stood at 608 Bush Street. This plaque on the building at the Bush Street location commemorates Stevenson’s presence in San Francisco, as does a memorial at Portsmouth Square. While living at #608, Stevenson wrote From Jest to Earnest as well as essays about Benjamin Franklin and William Penn and a dime novel that he later abandoned.

Tom Wolfe‘ s 1968 best seller The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a record of the hippie movement that the New York Times Book Review likened to Norman Mailer’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Armies of the Night, a historical novel of the Vietnam protest movement. Wolfe rode around with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters in a bus driven by Kerouac cohort Neal Cassady. Wolfe’s brilliant book details the road trip and acid parties, the “acid tests,” given by the band of hippies and attended by Hunter S. ThomsponAllen Ginsberg, the Grateful Dead,Wavy Gravy, and many, many other leaders and followers of the psychedelic movement. Two acid tests were given in San Francisco among others in Palo Alto, La Honda, Los Angeles, Mexico, and Portland, Oregon. The acid tests were the epoch of the psychedelic lifestyle. Wolfe is also the author of The Right Stuff, for which he was given the American Book Award for nonfiction, the National Institute of Arts and Letters Harold Vursell Award for prose style, and the Columbia Journalism Award.

George Sterling called San Francisco “The Cool, Grey City of Love.” The poet was born into an old Puritan family on Long Island in 1869. Young Sterling left Catholic study after he picked up poetry and moved to Oakland. He was later befriended by writers Jack London and Ambrose Bierce. Sterling referred to his mentor Bierce, with whom he had a tumultuous association, as “the Master.” Sterling made a name for himself with the publication of “A Wine of Wizardry” in 1907. He is closely associated with the Bohemian Club and is sometimes called “the King of Bohemian San Francisco” or “the last classic Bohemian.” Sterling wrote and directed a number of plays for the club’s world famous summertime High Jinks, and commited suicide in his room at the club on Sutter Street in 1926. Two years later, a park on Russian Hill was christened in Sterling’s honor. In 1982, the George Sterling Glade was restored by a committee lead by Don Herron, Bill Kostura, and John Law.

William Bronson is the author of “The Earth Shook, the Sky Burned,” published in 1959. The collection of stories and more than 400 photos of the devastation from the April 18, 1906 Earthquake and of the City that rose from the ashes remains the definitive book on the disaster. Bronson, a third generation Californian, began his literary career at the age of nine when he sold newspapers on a City street corner.

Fritz Leiber is one of the world’s foremost authors of science fiction fantasies. Among his many acclaimed works is Our Lady of Darkness. The supernatural horror novel was written at 811 Geary Street, where Leiber and his alter ego, lead character Franz Weston, lived. In the novel, San Francisco literary icons Dashiell HammettGeorge Sterling, and Jack London appear as characters in flashback sequences. Leiber’s most famous novel is 1943’s Conjure Wife, which portrays all women as witches who control the world’s men. Leiber, who died in 1992 at the age of 82, is a multiple Hugo Award winner.

California’s first Poet Laureate and the first woman member of the Bohemian Club, Ina Donna Coolbrith is not only a pioneer in literature, she’s also a Pioneer. Coolbrith came to California on the back of a horse at the age of ten after her widowed mother denounced the Mormons and headed West with a new husband. Led by mountain guide James P. Beckwith, the family arrived in California from Illinois in September, 1852. Raised in Los Angeles, a young Coolbrith became a published poet. After a bad marriage, she reinvented herself and moved to San Francisco at the age 20. Her life here is marked by her distinguished career as a librarian and, with Charles Warren Stoddard and Bret Harte, as a member of “the Golden Gate Trinity,” the editors of the Overland Monthly. Coolbrith was a friend and mentor to three generations of writers including Mark Twain, Isadora Duncan, and Jack London. Though she achieved world acclaim, Coolbrith is perhaps equally famous for something she didn’t write. When the fire of 1906 burned her flat at 1406 Taylor Street, all of her notes were destroyed. Coolbrith’s lost history of literary California is akin to a record of the Italian Renaissance were it not to include the The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini. Among her accomplishments, Coolbrith was the first librarian of the Oakland Public Library. Born Josephine Donna Smith, her name is a composite of her birth name, a nom de plume, and her mother’s maiden name. A park dedicate in honor of Coolbrith is located near the Taylor Street address. With beautiful views and layers of walks and gardens, it is the pride of Russian HIll.

Frank Norris is best remembered for his 1899 novel, McTeague, the sordid story of a Polk Gulch dentist. Norris died in 1902 at the age of 32, but made his mark with naturalistic novels influenced by the work of Emile Zola. In his short but storied life, Norris studied art in Paris, attended Harvard University for a year, worked in South Africa as a travel writer, and covered the Spanish-American War in Cuba for McClure’s. Norris’ observations as a journalist covering the local scene for The Wave between 1891-1898 provided the writer with material for McTeague and his other San Francisco novels, Blix, and Vandover and the Brute. The alley named in honor of Norris is located off Larkin Street between Bush and Pine. McTeague became the basis for Erich Von Stroheim’s silent epic,Greed

As a teenager, Dr. Maya Angelou’s love for the arts won her a scholarship
to study dance and drama in San Francisco’s during World War II, she attended George Washington High School while studying dance and drama on a scholarship at the California Labor School. Before graduating, she worked as the first Black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco.  Three weeks after completing school, at the age of 17, she gave birth to her son, Clyde, who also became a poet. Maya Angelou  born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928)[3] is an American author and poet. She has published six autobiographies, five books of essays, numerous books of poetry, and is credited with a long list of plays, movies, and television shows. She is one of the most decorated writers of her generation, with dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her first seventeen years, and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

City Lights Bookstore on Columbus Avenue is an enduring icon of North Beach and a valuable resource for new voices in literature. Founded byLawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953, City Lights became the center of gravity for the Beat movement. Still owned by San Francisco’s former Poet Laureate, Mr. Ferlinghetti, City Lights continues to support freethinking writers and poets who fall under the mainstream radar.

Unmistakable with its cave like entrance at 916 Grant, Li Po’s is a Chinatown literary bar named for the erudite Chinese poet Li Po (701-762). Li Po’s work celebrates natural beauty, love, friendship, solitude, and drink. He is one of the great poets of the Tang Dynasty, China’s Golden Age of poetry. (The Lipo bar has lost some its charm since its owners installed a TV for sports watching.)

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826 Valencia/ The Writing Center

826 VALENCIA/THE WRITING CENTER

About Us

 

Our students

826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our work is based on the understanding that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success and that great leaps in learning can happen when trained tutors work one-on-one with students.

We offer a range of programs, all free of charge, for students, classrooms, and schools in the Bay Area. Our project-based approach allows students ownership over the writing process, and strengthens their ability to express themselves clearly and in their own voice. By making writing fun, by demystifying the process, and by creating gorgeous books, magazines, and newspapers that honor their work, we can inspire young people to gain critical skills and write with confidence. For a more in-depth look at our recent programs, check out our 2010-2011 annual report.

Co-founder Dave Eggers tells the whole story about 826′s inspiration, early beginnings, and ensuing momentum in a TED Talks video.


Dave Eggers at the 2007 Brooklyn Book Festival.

Dave Eggers at the 2007 Brooklyn Book Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Mission District

THE MISSION DISTRICT

Neighborhood Profile

Liberty HIll

 

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.[3] 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.

 

Climate

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.[4]

 

History Prior to 1900

Pioneer Race Course 1853, the grandstands shown were located just south of 24th and Shotwell St.

 

 

 

 

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.[5] Franciscan friars are reported to have used Ohlone slave labor to complete the Mission in 1791.[6] This period marked the beginning of the end of the Yelamu culture. The Indian population

Deanza

De Anza at Lake Dolores?

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).

 

 

 

Lake Dolores

Lake Dolores Marker, Albion Street

The lands around the nearly abandoned mission church became a focal point of raffish attractions[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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,[7] and also for industrial uses.

 

Professional Baseball

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.[10] 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.

 

Ethnicity trends

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.

 

Recent historyWomen's Building

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.[11] 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.

 

Hipster Central

Mission HipsterFollowing that decade in the late 1990s and into the 2010s, and especially during the dot-com boomyoung 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

Alta California missionMission San Francisco de Asis, the namesake of the neighborhood, and the oldest building in the city located in the far western end of the neighborhood on Dolores Street.

 

 

 

 

 

Roxie Theater, 16th Street and Valencia Street

The Armory

The Armory
The Armory and kink.com

 

 

 

 

Mission Mural

Mission Mural

 

 

 Murals

 

Throughout the Mission walls and fences are decorated with murals initiated by the Chicano Art Mural Movement of the 197 and inspired by the traditional Mexican paintings made famous by Diego Rivera.

Banksy

Banksy

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Mural

Mission Mural

 

Murals of some size adorn almost every block in The Mission. Usually the murals are not tagged by local graffiti artists.

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the more significant mural installations are located on Balmy Alley, and Clarion Alley.

floral house

floral house

 

Dead

Day of the Dead


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

"Gay Beach", Dolores Park

"Gay Beach", Dolores Park

 

Hipsters in Dolores Park

Hipsters in Dolores Park

 

Dolores Park– A thriving social location where people congregate to explore and create expressions of art, dance, music, and fashion. The Mission provides the city of San Francisco with some of it’s sunniest weather and also a wide array of fantastic restaurants and chic clothing boutiques. It offers a beautiful view of the city and brings a friendly and diverse people together.

Dolores Park is the perfect park in the city to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon with friends-just ride your fixed gear bike on over and set up a picnic blanket, pack a couple of cold brews and your Bi-Rite sandwich or a Blue Bottle Coffee and you’re all set to enjoy a great time. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to bring your doggie!
Mission Hipster Influence

The ‘Mish’  The neighborhoods old nickname makes a comeback

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…..

 

Bikes
To call yourself a true hipster you must have a fixed-gear bicycle also known as a ‘Fixie’ or an old vintage bike to mash around the City in. The grass at Dolores Park is packed with finely painted Fixies with neon colored bike wheels and an attitude that shows off, “I’m cool, I ride a Fixie.” To get your bike fixed up, head on over to Valencia Cyclery and then hit the City!

 

Mission Hipster Music

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-
-Phoenix
-The xx
-Ratatat
-Gorillaz
-Neon Indian
-Fever Ray
-The Morning Benders
-Kings of Leon
-Bob Dylan

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-
-Zeitgeist
-Make-out Room
-Dalva
-Amnesia

Mission Hipster Fashion

Here are some of the most popular fashions that are alive in The Mission-

-American Apparel
-Skinny and tight jean
-Ray Ban
-Scruffy hairdues and long mustaches on guys
-Girls with edgy bangs, hair usually long and dark or bleach blonde, very ‘Mod’
-Leather jackets
-Toms shoes
-Frye Boot
-Chrome messenger bag
-Timbuk2 bags

Be sure to hit up the vintage clothing store Schauplatz Clothing where you will find a mix of everything we call ‘Hipster.’

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, ChicanoNicaraguan 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.


 

Food

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.[21]There are also a high concentration of Salvadorean, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, restaurants there as well as a large number of street food vendors.[22] 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 Almathe Slated Door and Luna Park on Valencia.[23][24]

Art scene

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 ArtaudFirst ExposuresSouthern ExposureArt Explosion StudiosArtist XchangeArtists’ Television Access, and the oldest, alternative, not-for profit art space in the city of San Francisco, Intersection for the ArtsThe 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.[25]

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.

Artists

Some well-known artists associated with the Mission District include:

Music Scene

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,[44] and for the KQEDdocumentary “The Mission” filmed in 1994.[45]

The locally-inspired song “Mission in the Rain” by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia appeared on Garcia’s solo album“Reflections”, and was played by the Grateful Dead five times in concert in 1976.[46]

Classical music is heard in the concert hall of the Community Music Center on Capp Street.[47]

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:

Carnaval San Francisco Parade 2010 133

Carnaval San Francisco Parade 2010 133 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Festivals, Parades and Street Fairs

  • Carnival The major event of the year occurring each Memorial Day weekend is the Mission’s Carnaval celebration.[27]
  • 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.[28]
  • Cesar Chavez Holiday Parade The second weekend of April is marked by a parade and celebration along 24th Street in honor of Cesar Chavez.[29]
  • 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.[30][31]
  • 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.[32]
  • 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.[33]
  • 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.[34]
  • Open Studios On the first weekend of October, the ArtSpan organization arranges a district wide exhibit of Mission District artists studios.[35]
  • 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.[36]
  • 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.[37]
  • 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.[38]
  • 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.[39][40]
  • Clarion Alley Block Party Eleven years annually, a block party on the Clarion mural alley, fourth weekend in October.[41][42]
  • 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.[43]

Mission Bowling
Mission Bowling Club just opened in 2012

Transit

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.

 

See also

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Heading East: Artists in flux | SF Bay Guardian

Heading East: Artists in flux

One art collective joins a wave of San Franciscans who are moving to the East Bay

04.11.12 – 5:30 pm | Steven T. Jones | (0)

Part of the Flux Foundation Crew

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Part of the Flux Foundation crew in its American Steel workspace.

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.

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American Steel

Cover of American Steel

About Old S.F.

 

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
now-defunct San
Francisco News-Call Bulletin
.

The Library retains the copyright for many of these images. For details,
please read their Permissions page and FAQ.

The creators of this site did not collect or digitize any of these images
— credit for that massive undertaking belongs entirely to the
Library.

Who built this site?

The site was built by @danvdk and designed by @ravejk.Nob Hill 1896

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:

  1. Photo Subjects. All photographs in the “City Hall (old)”
    series presumably belong in the same place. We manually geocoded several
    hundred subjects.
  2. 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
    Geocoding API
    .

What’s the story of this project?

1945-1

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
map.

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 aHaight- Ashbury Hippies  during the 1967 Summer of Love San Francisco, Ca
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!

via About Old S.F..

 

 

 

 

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: info@sfpl.org
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

More about the collection

Explore the Library’s Geocoded Images On Old S.F.!

Two Construction Workers on the Golden Gate Bridge

 

Two construction workers on the Golden Gate Bridge

Date
September 18, 1935
Photo ID#
AAD-0884



About the Photo Collection

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.

Looking up in the atrium of the main branch of...

Looking up in the atrium of the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, California, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

via About the Photo Collection :: San Francisco Public Library.

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