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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

San Francisco's Top 10 Places to Take or Act Like a Kid

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 7:30 AM


Life is hard enough without a screaming, running away, randomly pooping, peeing, puking, money-sucking companion at your side, whether it be your child, multiple children, or Chris Daly. If you've been feeling spread a little thin lately, we're here to help. Below are the top 10 places you can nourish your inner child, or entertain your real one(s).

(Key: Poot! = Take your toddler, Toot! = Take your kids, or Woot! = Take yourself!)

10. Urban Recess (Poot!)

Urban Recess
  • Urban Recess

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Epileptic Bicycles and Pessimistic Jenga -- Kid Stores Turn Dark

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM


Teen-angst hero Daria once asked, "Is life always taudry, stupid, and humiliating? Or is it just a phase?" In San Francisco, no one understands this better than our precocious little beacons of hope -- the children. I recently stepped into the charming, education-minded children's boutique that is Paxton Gate's Curiosities for Kids only to come to the horrifying realization that the Darias of the world are coming out earlier than I'd thought.

Here are a few tools of enrichment available today:

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 11:30 AM

It could have been the Bumblebee Bridge, our Golden Gate. Back in 1937 when the iconic span was built, the Navy wanted to make sure ships and planes wouldn't go careening into it and suggested it be painted in bands of black and yellow. Fortunately, saner heads prevailed and the trademark solid vermilion was chosen instead. It's a color known within engineering circles as "International Orange," which is also the name of a site-specific group exhibition at Fort Point that opens today (Friday) at 10 a.m. and is part of Golden Gate Festival on Sunday celebrating the bridge's 75th anniversary.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Balboa Celebrates 86 Years Sunday as It Adapts to the 21st Century

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 8:30 AM


The neighborhood movie theater has a lot in common with the neighborhood bookstore. Both are being edged out of business by technology. Those that stay in business need a unique draw -- something people can't get on a smartphone or e-reader. San Francisco has seen its share of neighborhood theaters go dark over the years (the Alexandria, the York, the Mission, and the Crown), but the city retains a few that providing locals with programming and events such as the Oscar Parties we mentioned last week.

One such theater is the Balboa, which turns 86 this year and throws itself a birthday party Sunday. The theme is the Jazz Age, inspired by the film that won Best Picture and also current feature at the theater, The Artist.

We sat down shortly after the Balboa's Oscar party with co-owner Adam Bergeron to discuss the future of the theater and the industry. He and his wife Jaimi Holker recently took over the theater from Gary Meyer, who stepped down after 10 years to focus on his ongoing work with the Telluride Film Festival. When we arrived, Adam was out front chatting with a painter who was working to replace those old, weather-worn tiles on the front façade with a fresh coat of paint.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Guide to Facebook Etiquette on Your Birthday

Posted By on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 7:30 AM


What's the proper etiquette for responding to Facebook wall posts on your birthday? Do you respond to all of them? Write a status update saying "Thanks, pals!" Ignore it completely?

This is the eternal question of our time, second only, perhaps, the one about whether it's really impossible to lick your own elbow. Unless you have 10 friends, the prospect of replying to every single birthday comment can be daunting indeed. You can deal with it a few ways, the best is probably some combination of what you describe in your question.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Specs: A North Beach Bar that Resists the Onslaught of Corporate Sameness in S.F.

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Three generations of Specs.
  • Three generations of Specs.
It's rare to hear news of an old San Francisco establishment that doesn't end in "evicted over a rent dispute" or "replaced by a Starbucks." While ongoing development of the city is a mark of vitality and should be welcome (well, maybe except for Starbucks), it's distressing to note the regularity with which bits of San Francisco's history vanish without fanfare, often supplanted by  chain businesses, luxury condos, or doomed ventures in the latest short-winded culinary, hobbyist, or fashion crazes.

So it was heartening to hear of celebratory events related to the continuance, rather than demise, of a favorite city institution. Specs' Twelve Adler Museum, one point of the Columbus Avenue triangle of historic bars including Tosca's and Vesuvio, enjoyed two rounds of festivities last week.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Today's Birthday:
Steve Bono, Former 49ers Quarterback

Posted on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 8:00 AM


Former 49er Steve Bono turns 49 today. Bono is among a group of great athletes to play quarterback for San Francisco. For better or worse, he backed up two of the greatest ever to play the game -- Joe Montana and Steve Young -- so his playing time was limited. However, in 1991, with Montana out for the year and Young injured, Bono started six games, going 5-1 and finishing the year as the NFL's fourth-rated passer.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today's Birthdays: Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle

Posted on Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights - VOXTHEORY / FLICKR

Author, poet, artist, and liberal activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti co-founded City Lights Booksellers and Publishers in 1953. The World War II veteran who studied at Columbia University made it a priority to publish the work of up-and-coming poets. Ferlinghetti and City Lights were among the centerpieces of the Beat community that included Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. It was City Lights' publication of Ginsberg's controversial poem, Howl, that led to Ferlinghetti's prosecution in 1957 under federal obscenity laws. Ferlinghetti won that landmark case. His book of poetry, A Coney Island of the Mind, has been translated into nine languages and is still the most popular poetry book in the U.S., according to City Lights. Ferlinghetti turns 92 today.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today's Birthday: Andrew S. Hallidie, Cable Car Inventor

Posted on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Andrew S. Hallidie - AOMARKS / WIKIPEDIA
  • Aomarks / Wikipedia
  • Andrew S. Hallidie

Go to the Cable Car Museum on Mason Street and you'll hear the story: Andrew Smith Hallidie was on Jackson Street in San Francisco one morning when he saw a team of horses being whipped to haul a trailer up a very steep -- and very wet -- incline. The car lost its traction, and the horses were dragged to their deaths. Hallidie was horrified. He saw an obvious need and, using a "wire rope" invented by his father, started to work on what would eventually end up as the city's cable car lines. You might recognize his last name from Hallidie Plaza, the cable-car turnaround at the end of Powell Street.

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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.'"