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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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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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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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April 7 2012 is MAPP! Mission Arts & Performance Project! This is not an artwalk!

Event:

Mission Arts & Performance Project

Date:

April 7, 2012 6:00 pm

Cost:

FREE

Category:

All, April, Events, MAPP, Performing Arts

 

Venue:

Red Poppy Arthouse

Phone:

1.415.826.2402

Address:

Google Map

2698 Folsom St, San Francisco, 94110, United States

Mission Arts and Performance Project

 

 

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!

Performance Program:

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)

 

Download MAPP Program PDF Here

 



What is the MAPP Project? 

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.

The MAPP also beautifully demonstrates how individuals in a community in partnership with one another can create an integrated arts festival that does not require an expansive budget, outside funding, or commercial marketing strategies, but can happen through the inspired efforts of artists and community members working together with a unified and inclusive vision.

Part of the charm of the MAPP is that you never know quite what’s going to happen until you get there! This innovative platform allows serendipitous connections to emerge organically across visual artists, musicians, poets, dancers, choreographers, filmmakers, playwrights, and other artists, community organizers and local residents. However, adopting this platform also means sometimes not all of the most up-to-date information is available ahead of time. The point is to arrive and embrace the adventure. Plus, you’ll get a program (with an actual map) to navigate the event.

Be sure to check out the other MAPP spaces as well. Download a PDF of the Program here.

ICAL IMPORT

via Mission Arts & Performance Project | Red Poppy Arthouse.

a street in the Mission District, for which th...

a street in the Mission District, for which the festival was named (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Explore SF is proud to announce The Armory

WELCOME TO THE SF ARMORY

The Armory

 

The Mission Armory is located in the northern Mission District of San Francisco at the corner of 14th and Mission streets.  It is the largest building of architectural importance in the Mission District.  Similar to contemporary American armories, The Mission Armory represents a unique combination of revivalist architecture and early 20th century machine age construction.  The Building is divided into two sections:  the 84,700 square foot Administration Building and the 39,000 square foot Drill Court.

The exterior of the Mission Armory is designed to convey the impression of a heavily armored and forbidding Moorish fortress, with four octagonal towers, rough clinker brick exterior walls and narrow rectangular lancet windows.  The building is constructed of a reinforced concrete frame consisting of twelve to twenty-one inch square columns.  Concrete floor and roof beams span the length of the building to girders on the east-west grid lines.  The exterior of the building features eight to twelve inch thick exterior load-bearing brick walls.  In the Drill Court, the upper portions of the walls are thirteen inch thick unreinforced masonry.

The interior of the Mission Armory contains approximately 190,300 gross square feet of space and 160 rooms.  While many of the more utilitarian spaces have simple, durable finishes, the reception stair lobbies, public/recreation rooms, and administration offices display high levels of design and finish materials, including marble, milled oak and walnut paneling.  Although mostly concealed behind finish materials, the concrete frame is partially exposed in some areas, with beams and columns protruding into finished spaces.

The Basement originally housed a one hundred by sixty foot gymnasium, a natatorium (swimming pool), locker and dressing rooms, an industrial kitchen, a banquet room and the original quarters of the Naval Militia.  The Basement, which extends beneath the Administration Building and the Drill Court, also contained an arsenal, company store room, boiler room, indoor rifle range, ammunition hoist, storerooms for field wagons and an elevator to haul the wagons to the vehicular entrances on Julian Avenue.  However, the Basement is also the most heavily altered portion on the Mission Armory, many of the original brick and hollow clay and tile partition walls have been replaced over time with concrete masonry units.  The most interesting features of the Basement are the exposed concrete frame and truss bases and Mission Creek, which runs beneath the building.

The Drill Court is one of the most significant interior spaces in the Mission Armory.  It is reputed to be the largest unsupported enclosed volume in San Francisco, featuring a dramatic exposed roof structure composed of curved steel open-web trusses.  A reinforced-concrete balcony accessible from the third floor of the Administration Building runs around the perimeter of the Drill Court, sixteen feet above the floor.  This was added in 1925 to provide a base for bleachers for boxing matches.  The 170-foot-long roof trusses support the entire width of the barrel vaulted wood roof without intermediary vertical supports.  The San Francisco National Guard Armory and Arsenal, as it is listed, was nominated to the National Register in 1978 for three areas of significance:  architecture, engineering and military; for the period of significance 1900-1912.  As an exceptional example of the work of the architectural firm of Woollett & Woollett (led by State Architect John F. Woollett), the building originally housed the California National Coast Guard Artillery, the naval Militia, and later acted as a social center for the City’s national guardsmen.

Between 1870 and 1906, Italianate and Eastlake style flats, built by firms such as The Real Estate Associates (TREA), and cottages erected by individual homesteaders went up on newly subdivided parcels of the Mission.  The socio-economic level of the Mission neighborhood was generally middle-class although not as affluent as other Victorian streetcar suburbs such as the Western Addition. The 1906 Earthquake and Fire was a watershed event in the history of the neighborhood, however. This event transformed the district from a quasi-rural streetcar suburb into an industrial district populated principally by working class Irish and German immigrants.

San Francisco Armory

San Francisco Armory (Photo credit: zykokite)

In the years following the 1906 Earthquake, the San Francisco based units of the National Guard were quartered in a temporary wood frame structure on the southeastern corner of Van Ness Avenue and California Street.  Two-and-a-half years later, in January 1909, Captain Herman G. Stundt, began actively lobbying Governor James Norris Gillett for funds to construct a new modern armory that would consolidate the dispersed local companies into one facility.  On April 20, 1909, Governor Gillett signed a bill appropriating $420,000 for the construction of a new armory, with the caveat that the citizens of San Francisco raise $100,000 to purchase the land. As a first step in the process, Governor Gillett consolidated all four companies of the local Fifth Infantry into the 250th Coast Artillery.  In spite of repeated fundraising pleas from the editor on the San Francisco Call newspaper, San Franciscans raised only $60,000 by the end of 1909.  Reiterating the editorials in the Call, the director of the San Francisco Real Estate Board appealed to the patriotic sensibilities of San Franciscans.  When this tactic failed, he pointed out the large number of lucrative construction contracts and local equipment and supply purchases that would result from the construction of the armory.  The funds were raised.

Wollett’s designs were finalized and the contract put out to bid in August 1912.  The contract was awarded to the construction firm of McLeran & Peterson.  Construction began in September 1912 and proceeded steadily for a year and a half.  By June 1914, the new California Armory and Arsenal was completed and occupied.  Departing from many contemporary armories in cities of the Northeast and Midwest, the Mission Armory was designed within the context of California’s architectural traditions.  Interchangeably labeled by Wollett as being either a Spanish or Moorish fortress, the Mission Armory made use of features and materials typical of California’s contemporary regional Mission Revival and Arts and Crafts movements, clearly departing from the Gothic or Romanesque styles popular back East.  The final cost of the building was approximately a half-million dollars, including the land.  When completed (minus the Drill Court) an article in the San Francisco Chronicle claimed:  “San Francisco now has one of the finest armories in the United States, not only in point of cost and equipment, but in point design.”

 

The new California Armory and Arsenal would house then companies of the Coastal Artillery, two divisions of the Naval Militia, one Signal Corps one Engineering Corps and several other divisions of the California National Guard brought in from Oakland and San Mateo.  Almost as important as its military purpose was its promised role as a social and recreation center for Guardsmen.  It was believed that the multitude of amenities and activities offered would help to recruit men into the service of the California National Guard.  From its completion in 1914 onward, the Mission Armory served as a social center for National Guardsmen, many of whom were recruited from San Francisco.

From 1920s through the 1940s, the Mission Armory served as San Francisco’s primary sports venue, eventually earning the nickname the Madison Square Garden of the West.  For almost three decades, at least two prizefights were held in the Drill Court each week, usually on Tuesday and Friday nights.  One very notable fight included a light heavyweight title fight between Young Jim Corbett III and Jackie Fields.  Other notable fights that took place in the Mission Armory included matches between Mike Teague and Armand Emanuel (Teague was the World Light Heavy Weight Champion); Jackie Fields and Jack Thompson (both were welterweight champions); and Young Jim Corbett and Pete Myers in 1929.historic photo 4

After the Korean War, the Mission Armory slowly lost its value as a military training facility.  By the 1950’s, close-order drilling was no longer a central part of the National Guard’s training regimen.  World War II era technological advances in air warfare rendered coastal batteries outdated.  With the 250th Coast Artillery converted into an anti-aircraft unit, there was no longer any need for the large non-firing field guns installed in the Drill Court; they were removed in 1947.  After the Korean War, training at the Mission Armory became centered on classroom instruction.  With a large and permanent standing Armory, the California National Guard was increasingly deployed to the sites of natural disasters and to quell riots, including the Riots of 1967 in San Francisco’s Bayview–Hunters Point district.  By the late 1960s, the Mission Armory was deemed obsolete, and in 1973, the California National Guard announced its intention to move operations to a new armory at Fort Funston.

After the California National Guard vacated the Mission Armory, the building was used sporadically over the next few years by various entries.  The San Francisco Police Department established an after school boxing program for neighborhood youth but few other agencies or organizations stepped forward to claim the building for any full-time use.  In 1976, George Lucas used the Drill Court to film some scenes for Star Wars but plans to convert the building into a full-time film studio never came to fruition.  In 1974, a citizens group called the Mission Planning Council (MPC) set up the Mission Armory Task Force to develop a plan for the building’s reuse.  The first step involved convincing the State Services Administration to declare the building surplus property and to sell it to the City.  As city property, the MPC hoped to find a developer to reuse the building.  They envisioned a weekly Mercado, combined with dances, concerts and sporting events, taking place in the Drill Court.  The MPC hoped that this commercial component would pay for the renovation of the Administration Building on Mission Street.  Additional intended use included neighborhood non-profit office space, a recreation center, a theater and a branch of City College.

The neighborhood reuse efforts came to a standstill in 1975 when the California National Guard was evicted from its new quarters at Fort Funston to make way for a new sewage treatment plant.  Faced with the prospect of returning to the Mission Armory, the California National guard developed plans to demolish the building and replace it with a modern facility with ample surface parking.  Mission residents, determined to prevent the building’s demolition, actively pursued landmark status for the Mission Armory.  In 1978, the Mission Armory was listed in the National Register, and a year later it was designated San Francisco City Landmark #108.  In 1979, the California National Guard abandoned their plans to replace the Mission Armory and decommissioned the building.

 historic photo 5

In 1980, the Mission Armory was declared surplus property by the State Services Administration and put up for sale.  The Drill Court was still used occasionally by the San Francisco police Department (SFPD) for boxing matches and by the San Francisco Opera for building sets.  In that same year, a team of consultants including Charles Hall Page & Associates, Sanger & Associates and others developed a reuse plan for the building.  As the largest public assembly space in the City, the options seemed endless.  However, the cost of rehabilitating the structure and bringing it into conformance with modern seismic and life-safety codes were too formidable for any developer.  Throughout the 1980s, a series of development proposals emerged.  In 1986, a private developer purchased the Mission Armory and planned to convert the building into market rate housing but abandoned his plans in the face of neighborhood opposition.  Later that same year, another developer made plans to convert the Armory into a movie studio but this proposal also failed to materialize.  In 1996, a taskforce, lead by City Supervisor Susan Leal recommended that the City purchase the Mission Armory, but by this point the State was already in negotiations with a private developer. In 2000, yet another proposal surfaced to convert the building into dot-com office space.  When this effort collapsed in the face of intense neighborhood opposition, plans were amended to convert the Mission Armory into a server farm for computer equipment.  This plan also failed to gain support, and the building remained empty until January 2007 when Armory Studios, LLC purchased the building.

 

San Francisco Armory

San Francisco Armory (Photo credit: www78)

In January, 2007 Armory Studios, LLC announced that it had acquired the San Francisco National Guard Armory and Arsenal located at the corner of 14th and Mission Street.

This 200,000 square foot reproduction Moorish Castle was completed in 1914 and was used as a National Guard facility until 1976.  It retains original period details including wainscoting, stone staircases, sweeping corridors, cavernous access to Mission Creek,and a gigantic drill court spanning almost an acre. It served as both a barricade and safety point for officers during rioting in San Francisco in 1934. Though for most of the past 40 years, it has sat vacant, it was used by George Lucas to film the first Star Wars movie.

The Armory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and has been out of official use since this time.  Previous conversion plans throughout the years were met with much community resistance for various reasons including gentrification and broader concerns relating to social and environmental impact.  Armory Studios, remaining mindful of these concerns, plans to restore and renovate the Armory to its original splendor, style and beauty.

Armory Studios has leased the drill court portion of the Armory building to The Armory Community Center, LLC (TACC) for the purpose of converting the long dormant Drill Court into a thriving community center for business, educational, sporting, religious, family, entertainment and other community uses and events.  The conversion process will include modernization of building systems, hazardous materials removal and a structural upgrade to meet modern seismic codes.

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Spring fairs and festivals | SF Bay Guardian

Spring fairs and festivals

The Bay’s got it all, from garlic to tango fests — here’s your handy guide to spring happenings

03.20.12 – 5:39 pm | Ali Lane | (0)

 

Trash Mash-Up is just one of the colorful crewes to hold down SF‘s Carnaval (May 26-27)

PHOTO VIA TRASH MASH-UP

culture@sfbg.com

MARCH

SF Flower and Garden Show, San Mateo Event Center, 495 S. Delaware, San Mateo. (415) 684-7278, http://www.sfgardenshow.com. March 21-25, 10am-6pm, $15–$65, free for 16 and under. This year’s theme is “Gardens for a Green Earth,” and features a display garden demonstrating conservation practices and green design. Plant yourself here for thriving leafy greens, food, and fun in the sun.

 

The Art of Aging Gracefully Resource Fair, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California, SF. (415) 292-1200, http://www.jccsf.org. March 22, 9:30am-2:45pm, free. Treat yourself kindly with presentations by UCSF Medical Center professionals on healthy living, sample classes, health screenings, massages, giveaways and raffles.

 

California’s Artisan Cheese Festival, Sheraton Sonoma County, 745 Sherwood, Petaluma. (707) 283-2888, http://www.artisancheesefestival.com. March 23-25, $20–$135. Finally, a weekend given over to the celebration of cultures: semi-soft, blue, goat, and cave-aged. More than a dozen award-winning cheesemakers will provide hors d’oeuvres and educational seminars.

 

15th Annual Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting, Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, Buchanan and Marina, SF. (800) 467-0163, http://www.rhonerangers.org. March 24-25, $45–$185. The largest American Rhone wine event in the country, with over 2,000 attendees tasting 500 of the best Rhones from its 100 US member wineries.

 

Whiskies of the World Expo, Hornblower Yacht, Pier 3, SF. (408) 225-0446, http://www.whiskiesoftheworld.com. March 31, 6pm-9pm, $120–$150. The expo attracts over 1400 guests intent on sampling spirits on a yacht and meeting important personages from this fine whiskey world of ours.

 

Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair, SF County Fair Building’s Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, SF. (415) 431-8355, bayareaanarchistbookfair.wordpress.com. March 31-April 1, free. This political book fair brings together radical booksellers, distributors, independent presses, and political groups from around the world.

 

Monterey Jazz Festival‘s Next Generation Festival Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza, Monterey. (831) 373-3366, http://www.montereyjazzfestival.org. March 30-April 1, free. 1200 student-musicians from schools located everywhere from California to Japan compete for the chance to perform at the big-daddy Monterey Jazz Festival. Free to the public, come to cheer on the 47 California ensembles who will be playing, or pick an away team favorite.

 

APRIL

Argentine Tango Festival, San Francisco Airport Marriot Hotel, 1800 Old Bayshore Highway, Burlingame. http://www.argentinetangousa.com. April 5-8, $157–$357. Grip that rose tightly with your molars — it’s time to take the chance to dance in one of 28 workshops, with a live tango orchestra, and tango DJs. The USA Tango championship is also taking place here.

 

Salsa Festival, The Westin Market Street, 50 Third St., SF. (415) 974-6400. http://www.sfsalsafestival.com. April 5-7, $75–$125. Three nights of world-class performances, dancing, competition and workshops with top salsa instructors.

www.sresproductions.com/union_street_easter. April 8, 10am-5pm, parade at 2pm, free. A family festival with kids rides and games, a petting zoo, and music.

45th Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, Japan Center, Post and Buchanan, SF. (415) 567-4573, www.sfjapantown.org. April 14-15 and 21-22, parade April 22, free. Spotlighting the rich heritage and traditional customs of California’s Japanese-Americans. Costumed performers, taiko drums, martial arts, and koto music bring the East out West.

Bay One Acts Festival, Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma, SF. www.bayoneacts.org. April 22 — May 12, 2012, $25–$45 at the door or online. Showcasing the best of SF indie theater, with new works by Bay Area playwrights.

Earth Day, Civic Center Plaza, SF. (415) 571-9895, www.earthdaysf.org. April 22, free. A landmark day for the “Greenest City in North America,” featuring an eco-village, organic chef demos, a holistic health zone, and live music.

Wedding and Celebration Show, Parc 55 Wyndham, 55 Cyril Magnin, SF. (925) 594-2969,www.bayareaweddingfairs.com. April 28, 10:00am-5:00pm. Exhibitors in a “Boutique Mall” display every style of product and service a bride may need to help plan his or her wedding.

San Francisco International Beer Festival, Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, SF.www.sfbeerfest.com. April 28, 7pm-10pm, $65. The price of admission gets you a bottomless taster mug for hundreds of craft beers, which you can pair with a side of food from local restaurants.

Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, Half Moon Bay Airport, 9850 Cabrillo Highway North, Half Moon Bay. www.miramarevents.com/dreammachines. April 28-29, 9am-4pm, $20 for adults, kids under 10 free. The annual celebration of mechanical ingenuity, an outdoor museum featuring 2,000 driving, flying and working machines from the past 200 years.

May:

San Francisco International Arts Festival Various venues. (415) 399-9554, www.sfiaf.org. May 2-20, prices vary. Celebrate the arts, both local and international, at this multimedia extravaganza.

Cinco de Mayo Festival, Dolores Park, Dolores and 19th St, SF. www.sfcincodemayo.com. May 5, 10am-6pm, free. Enjoy live performances by San Francisco Bay Area artists, including mariachis, dancers, salsa ensembles, food and crafts booths. Big party.

A La Carte and Art, Castro St. between Church and Evelyn, Mountain View. May 5-6, 10am-6pm, free. With vendors selling handmade crafts, micro-brewed beers, fresh foods, a farmers market, and even a fun zone for kids, there’s little you won’t find at this all-in-one fun fair.

Young at Art Festival, De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, SF. (415) 695-2441.www.youngatartsf.com. May 12-20, regular museum hours, $11. An eight-day celebration of student creativity in visual, literary, media, and performing arts.

 

This article is courtesy of and continues at Spring fairs and festivals | SF Bay Guardian.

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