The League of Justice
You loved it as the Kennel Club, you ignored it as the short-lived Crash Palace, and now you'll get to reassess your opinion about the cavernous space at 628 Divisadero when it reopens as the Justice League this summer. With the I-Beam long gone and Nightbreak recently closed, and even Park Bowl scheduled to be converted into a record store next year, night life in the once-buzzing Haight is at an all-time low, the tiny Deluxe and Boomerang (now the only live venues in the area) the sole exceptions. While Western Addition shopkeepers and music fans have been vocally supportive of Michael O'Connor's bid to turn 628 Divisadero, which has a fire code capacity of 400, into a jazz and rock club, the Berkeley resident has faced an uphill battle for permits and widespread community support. After a series of official hearings and denials since O'Connor bought the club last year, the Board of Permit Appeals recently gave him the go-ahead to open, provided he adhere to various noise, security, and parking requirements. "This is just going to bring more crime to the neighborhood," argued resident Milton Jones, as he passed out protest fliers on the corner of Divis and Fell last weekend, "and kids pissing on our doorsteps and hooting and hollering every night." "I think the neighborhood actually used to be safer when the Kennel was here," contested Jenny Lim as she sipped a pint at the nearby bar Chances, " 'cause the streets weren't so deserted at night. Besides, look around -- guys are already pissing on the streets and dealing drugs." In any case, O'Connor hopes to have the club up and running by mid-July.
Here's a bizarre image: parents wondering where they can get graffiti lessons for their kids. Last week, after MTV News Unfiltered -- a show that airs homemade videotapes of young people's projects -- featured the East Bay's Ed and Jose Quiroz of the graffiti magazine Nightcrawler and the hip-hop zine Payin' Duez, the brothers received fan mail from adults "stunned that spray cans could make real art." "We filmed the way we put our magazines together, from the beginning stages to layout," says Jose, "and we filmed our friends doing graffiti. People found it incredible that a bunch of kids could put together an actual publication, one that's distributed by Tower Records." The segment will air throughout May. Ed and Jose are also senior editors at Hip Hop Verses the World, whose debut issue will hit the stands this summer with exclusives on De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. Contact Nightcrawler and Payin' Duez at P.O. Box 55254, Hayward, CA 94545; and Hip Hop Verses the World at (510) 848-1356.
By Sia Michel