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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

CounterPulse to Turn Former Porn Theater into Cultural Hub

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 1:46 PM

  • Courtesy of CounterPulse

When Twitter moved onto the same block as the small but mighty art organization CounterPulse, it was a blessing in disguise. Though initially terrifying, the sky-high rent increase didn’t send the one-room SoMa theater running for the hills. In fact, after bringing new and diverse arts to the area on a small scale for 22 years, CounterPulse is on to bigger and better things.

Just in time to coincide with the end of their lease, CounterPulse proposes to switch neighborhoods — from SoMa to the Tenderloin — in an ambitious plan that includes raising over a million dollars, completely remodeling and re-purposing a run-down porn theater, and expanding massively in just about every area of operation. Through a series of talks with a consulting firm, an IndieGoGo campaign, and monetary help from several tech companies — including Twitter itself — the new and improved CounterPulse is nearly ready to go.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tourism For Locals: Wally Heider Recording Plaque Marks Birth of San Francisco Sound

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM

A small plaque in the corner marks the spot where San Francisco became the center of music recording in the United States during the '60s, '70s and '80s. - JUAN DE ANDA/ SF WEEKLY
  • Juan De Anda/ SF Weekly
  • A small plaque in the corner marks the spot where San Francisco became the center of music recording in the United States during the '60s, '70s and '80s.

When we are asked to describe San Francisco, practically all of us will focus on the sights of our City. But as locals, we know full well that the sounds of San Francisco are equally as important. And by sounds, we mean more than just the clanging of cable cars and blaring fog horns. Our music scene is constantly shifting and with all this evolution, it can be difficult to pinpoint when and who was responsible in the fostering the earlier days of the musical mecca.

Fortunately there is a small plaque in the Tenderloin commemorating the spot where San Francisco Sound was born. It's time to visit the site where Wally Heider created his San Francisco recording studio that forever altered the history of American music. 

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Tourism for Locals: Hallidie Building First in Nation to Employ Glass Curtain Style

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 7:40 AM

A glass marvel and architectural accomplishment. - JUAN DE ANDA/SF WEEKLY
  • Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
  • A glass marvel and architectural accomplishment.

San Francisco is, and has been, home to inquisitive authors, brilliant inventors, and — as we'll explore this week — architectural mavericks. 

While we know that San Francisco is home to famous buildings and homes, we have one edifice that employed a revolutionary technique that was not only a first in the United States but also set the standard for several modern buildings we see around the world today.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tourism For Locals: Hotel Vertigo Commemorates Alfred Hitchcock's Classic Film

Posted By on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Still standing today. - PARAMOUNT STUDIOS/ YOUTUBE
  • Paramount Studios/ YouTube
  • Still standing today.
San Francisco has a rich cinematic history and is a haven for avid cinema fanatics — from respected film schools to iconic shooting locations for films like The Maltese Falcon and Mrs.Doubtfire — there is always a gem waiting for the movie buffs to visit.  And perhaps, without question, one of the greatest film makers of the 20th century treated San Francisco as his greatest muse and inspiration for scenery.  Alfred Hitchcock filmed many of his greatest films like The Birds and Vertigo in here in the City and his his work are massive love letters of reel proportions. Although there are many cameos made by S.F. locations in his films, we'll be exploring a place that was pivotal in plot development and very much a character itself.

It's time to check into the Vertigo Hotel.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tourism for Locals: Keeping Time with Ingleside Terrace's Massive Sundial

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Aerial picture of this century-old neighborhood landmark. - FLICKR/ HOBBIESTOOMANY
  • Flickr/ Hobbiestoomany
  • Aerial picture of this century-old neighborhood landmark.

If you ever gets a chance to gloss over the city maps handed out in hotels and at tourism agencies in the downtown area, you'll see that that the map is incomplete, even though it clearly states it's a "complete" map. The cartographers ended the map at Sloat Avenue and cuts off the bottom half of the City, as if to allude that there is nothing interesting or important to visit in the southern portion of San Francisco.

Yes, the area is primarily residential, but as we locals know, that assumption is erroneous, and this week's Tourism for Locals highlights a local landmark installed a century ago. The centerpiece of a real estate development ,and adorned by a small park, it's time to check out the massive Urbano Sundial resting in the Ingleside neighborhood.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Top 10 Iconic Signs of San Francisco

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

10. Doc's Clock

This edge of the Mission district has its share of flashy signs, but none top the irony of Doc's Clock': flashy on the outside, dive-y on the inside.

9. House of Prime Rib

One classy sign of San Francisco that actually reflects the same level of classy on the inside of this fine establishment.

8. Tommy's Joynt

We're not sure what's more iconic, the mouth-watering scent of their slow-cooked meats from block away, or the groovy font and flowing flags hovering above this destination BBQ joint.

7. "Today is the first day of the rest of your life"

Sure, the intersection of Haight and Ashbury is legendary and probably the most photographed street sign in San Francisco. But many tourists and locals overlook this humble wooden sign at Central and Waller Streets allegedly left behind by the Diggers community activists of the 60s. It encapsulates the ideologies of San Francisco then and now.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kosher Christmas at the Historic Haas-Lilienthal House

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Elizabeth Lilienthal Gerstley's "Christmas Parties" album contains 201 photographs taken inside the Haas Lilienthal House at 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco, between 1954 and 1971. - THE MAGNES MUSEUM
  • The Magnes Museum
  • Elizabeth Lilienthal Gerstley's "Christmas Parties" album contains 201 photographs taken inside the Haas Lilienthal House at 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco, between 1954 and 1971.

The Haas-Lilienthal House was donated to the San Francisco Architectural Heritage in 1974, but every December 24, descendants of William and Bertha Haas take out the one set of keys they kept and unlock the front door to 2007 Franklin Street. Since 1886, the Haas-Lilienthal family has gathered every Christmas Eve, a tradition Joshua Plaut used as an anecdotal opening in his new book, Kosher Christmas.

"That was never a term we used," said John Rothmann, the great-grandson of the Haas family. His mother, Frances Bransten Rothmann, simply called it Christmas in her book, The Haas Sisters of Franklin Street: A Look Back With Love. "When I hand my children, now in their 20s, the keys to the front door of their great-great grandparents' house, it's continuity, generation to generation."

See also:

Two-story dollhouse Isn't Child's Play

Haas-Lilienthal House Declare a "National Treasure"

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Get an Inside Look at the Armory's Porn Studio Sets

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

The word "porn" can make you think a lot of things, most of which you might not be interested in discussing with your boss/professor/mom/grandma. California and New Hampshire are the only two states that legally allow adult films to be produced, and currently an estimated 90 percent of U.S. porn films are made in the suburban San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, the nation's porn capital. But believe it or not, many films are made right here in SF, at the historic San Francisco Armory.

Recently, California Home + Design posted a slideshow of an inside look into some of the intimate settings where the magic happens inside the Armory, currently owned and operated by (DISCLAIMER: NSFW), who specialize in films of the hardcore to extremely hardcore variety. We thought this was pretty entertaining, so here's a couple of our personal favorite studio scenes. Just use your imagination...

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Downtown San Francisco's Top 10 Secret Spaces and Hidden Oases

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 7:30 AM


We've heard lore of bamboo forests and sun decks in the otherwise inhospitable downtown San Francisco, but when we endeavor to visit such mythical places, it always ends the same way: we can't find the exact location, or a menacing security guard prompts us to quickly turn away. Surely all the good worker bees should just continue hunching in front of the computer during lunch because that's the only option, right?

Wrong. Since 1985, this fine city has required developers to provide one square foot of public space for every 50 square feet of office space, known as POPOS or privately owned public spaces. How do you find POPOS? Developers aren't keen on making it easy. Bad signage or front desk inquiries are de rigueur, the nonprofit urban think tank SPUR noted in their 2009 report, but they've been on the case ever since,  and this month they've released a new app which promises to radically alter your lunch hour. S.F.'s Secret Spaces and Hidden Oases identifies over 50 POPOS on a map, as well as hours of operations and tricks to getting to where you want to go, whether it is a five-story atrium or a sculpture garden.

We combed the app to bring you the top 10 gems hidden in plain sight in downtown S.F.

See also:

San Francisco's Top 10 Offbeat Museums

The Haas-Lilienthal House Declared a National Treasure

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Haas-Lilienthal House Declared "National Treasure"

Posted By on Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 10:30 AM

  • Illustration by Michael Murphy

The Haas-Lilienthal House has just been declared a "National Treasure," an honor bestowed on the Victorian residence by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The purpose of the designation is to highlight historic and architecturally significant sites across the country. The house is the sole cultural institution in San Francisco to earn the accolade, which comes with perks that may prove vital to the house's future.

See also:

Two Story Dollhouse Isn't Child's Play

Recent Acquisitions archives

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"