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Culture, The Exhibitionist Bohemian Grave: The Montgomery Block

Bohemian Grave: The Montgomery Block

Welcome to Bohemian Grave, a semi-regular feature on the vanished countercultural history of San Francisco, from long before anyone started lamenting the impending demise of Lucky 13. When the Transamerica Pyramid was completed in 1972, the 853-foot tower was…
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Calendar, Night&Day Daisey Does America

Daisey Does America

In early reviews, Mike Daisey was often compared to monologist Spalding Gray. Nowadays, it's Mark Twain because, from 2001's 21 Dog Years: Doing Time at Amazon.com to 2013's Fucking Fucking Fucking Ayn Rand, Daisey has deftly reflected the conceits…
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Calendar, Night&Day Go Niners!

Go Niners!

A treasure hunt conjures images of adventure, thrills, and pirates who look like Johnny Depp. Reality is a bit bleaker: empty sluices and empty stomachs, "fill-in-the-blank or bust" most often ending in the latter. Sarina Finkelstein spent four years…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Tourism For Locals: Ina Coolbrith Park Honors S.F. Poet Pioneer

Tourism For Locals: Ina Coolbrith Park Honors S.F. Poet Pioneer

In the San Francisco poetry world, there's a woman that embodied the sayings of "women rule the world" and "behind every great man is an even greater woman," and that woman was Ina Dona Coolbrith. Coolbrith was a revolutionary…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Ben Tarnoff's <i>The Bohemians</i> Makes Mark Twain S.F.'s Own

Ben Tarnoff's The Bohemians Makes Mark Twain S.F.'s Own

Its the 1860s and San Francisco is booming: the Gold Rush has fueled the economy of the City and everything is growing and expanding at an exponential rate. San Francisco is getting larger -- not just in infrastructure but in…
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Calendar, Night&Day Twain in San Francisco

Twain in San Francisco

The story sounds like it could happen today: A young man moves to San Francisco and gets a job writing news articles for a local outfit that pays almost nothing. It's boring grunt work, but he persists to stay…
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News, Feature Notes from Utopia

Notes from Utopia

In the wake of the Polar Vortex, another media-concocted buzzword for "weather that proves we are murdering the earth," aren't we smug Californians just a little more thrilled that we decided to live in this sunny utopia? Perhaps the "sunny"…
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Dining, Eat

Distillations: Fake It 'Til You Make It at InnerFog

"I got a job!" my 23-year-old burlesque dancer friend Alaric said as we slipped over to a table at InnerFog wine bar. "A real job! With benefits! A grown-up job!" The place was packed with people in a way that…
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Calendar, Night&Day Christmas in July

Christmas in July

The proudly (or perversely) named San Francisco Frozen Film Festival -- a reference to Mark Twain’s apocryphal one-liner, not the summertime allure of dark, cool cinemas -- aspires in part to fill a void left by the long-gone Film Arts…
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Calendar, Night&Day Twain Shall Meet

Twain Shall Meet

It says something about our culture that young adult books keep blowing up. We’re not going to say what it says; we like reading them as much as the next 30something preteen, and we also like how supposedly serious authors…
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Calendar, Night&Day Slaughterhouse Revisited

Slaughterhouse Revisited

Kurt Vonnegut isn’t merely the foul-mouthed author perennially popular among surly, booksmart teenagers. He was also a humane political satirist cut from the Mark Twain cloth, assuring him bogeyman status among the Fox News commentariat, and ensuring that his novels…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Right to Be Deranged

The Right to Be Deranged

A good way to defeat (or at least derail) an absurd line of reasoning is mockery. The more you mock, the louder and more defensive the absurdist gets. Eventually the absurdist gives up. (Or maybe he hits you, but for…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist <i>Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim</i>: A Stupid, Cowardly New Book that Equates Being Black with Flesh Eating

Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim: A Stupid, Cowardly New Book that Equates Being Black with Flesh Eating

So, Simon and Schuster's "Blood Enriched Classics" series is dumping out another one of those shovelware "mashups" where some author improvises pulp horror-fiction nonsense on top of a copied-and-pasted text file from a classic you might have read in…
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Music, Bouncer Bouncer Ponders the N Word at the Mark Twain Hotel

Bouncer Ponders the N Word at the Mark Twain Hotel

Don't get me wrong: I don't mind the fact that San Franciscans love to associate themselves with Mark Twain, even though he was just passing through town in the 1860s. It's just that, seein' as I am from an area…
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Calendar, Night&Day Old's Cool

Old's Cool

When volume one of Autobiography of Mark Twain hit stores last year, it seemed like half of America found a Christmas gift for their parents. Never mind that most of it had been released before -- the unexpurgated edition included…
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Calendar, Night&Day Party Like It's 1899

Party Like It's 1899

Any time is a good time for a new Mark Twain memoir, but especially now. For one thing, Twain, who died in 1910, told the world to let him be dead 100 years before we could read his life story.…
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Calendar, Night&Day But &#147;Frisco&#148; Tattoos Are Fine

But “Frisco” Tattoos Are Fine

Visitors should understand that civic disdain for the epithet “Frisco” stretches back as far as 1872, when Joshua Abraham Norton, self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, issued a severe edict against the mindless utterance. This, newspapers…
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Film, FilmCap

Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes

It's a paradox that Garrison Keillor, the troubadour of a lost continent of jug bands, roots music, and small-town Americana, is the province of latte-loving public radio. But, as we see in Peter Rosen's Keillor-loving documentary, this unlikely star can…
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Calendar, Night&Day &#147;Not for Babies &#150; They Can&#146;t Read&#148;

“Not for Babies – They Can’t Read”

Initially, we figured the comedy book The Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life wouldn’t pass the laugh-out-loud test, because few books do, and this wasn’t by The Onion staff or Simon Rich (look him up). And there’s the…
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Music, Bouncer

Skittles and Punk Floyd at the Uptown

After spending an evening meandering through the Mission, I wasn't feeling well by the time I reached my final destination. "I think I'm having a low blood sugar episode," I said to my friend Floyd. I get those now and…
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