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Friday, June 19, 2015

Scenes from the Re-Opening of Dolores Park

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 8:00 AM


Dolores Park's re-opening comes just as Pope Francis' controversial new encyclical denounces treating the Earth "more and more like an immense pile of filth." He's a wise pope in some ways, and in a similar vein, Rec and Park wants you to #LoveDolores and not trash it. As of 7 p.m. on Day One of the northern half's unveiling, it seemed like everyone was listening.


There was no enjoying the park in its totality, however: The city wasted no time in fencing off the southern half. Goodbye Gay Beach, goodbye most-Instagrammed-bench-in-SF-with-view-of-the-skyline. Delays and cost overruns pushed this part of the project back, but at least Phase 2 is only scheduled to take half as long as the northern half because there are fewer amenities to install this time.


The old bathroom, that sad clump of nasty toilets in the center of the park, has been demolished, and brand-new, palm-bedazzled facilities have opened in its stead. (Some of them are gender-neutral, too!) I was hoping to take a pic of a shiny new urinal but the line was long and then I realized that might be seen as creepy.


Still, you can't deter some people from urinating in public, no matter what you do.


Chan Quach and his macaws, Rudy and Bella, were there, flexing their feathers. Although these birds can live a long time, they're only four or five. As they fly around the entire city anyway, the park's accessibility to homo sapiens doesn't matter much, but the birds enjoyed themselves.


And there were lots of people drinking and getting high — heavy police presence notwithstanding — but this guy was among the very last to keep on grooving to the Silent Disco, courtesy of his Four Loko. 

Welcome back, Dolores Park [Northern Half]! May you never need another renovation during our lifetimes, because we promise to take good care of you.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tourism for Locals: Fancy Animal Carnival Prances at Civic Center Plaza

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Temporary Artful Whimsy. - JUAN DE ANDA
  • Juan De Anda
  • Temporary Artful Whimsy.

San Francisco lives in a bubble all its own. Our surroundings are fantastical and bright—thus always evoking an image of city of perpetually effulgent color, despite the enclosing fog cover. Now, for the time being, there's another artist adding his Pop-art colored work to our artistic landscape: Taiwanese artist Hung Yi and the member sculptures of his Fancy Animal Carnival.

The Taiwanese sculptor, who 15 years ago decided to sell his nine restaurants in Taiwan and pursue art full time, works in a playful, hybrid style full of bright, primary colored hues, cartoonish figures and traditional motifs, patterns and lettering. Each one of his sculptures is handmade out of baked steel enamel plates and represents anthropomorphic interpretations of animals. Yi's current large-scale display on the east side of City Hall is no exception. 

A modern Taiwanese twist on Aesop's Fables, Fancy Animal Carnival uses the folk tale of the twelve animals of the zodiac, blending the Chinese and European versions of the famed tale. Each of the 19 animal sculptures represents a story, an allegory of life wisdom, expressed through its interaction with each piece and the public. Take the example of the elephants. According to the artist's description at the base of the work, the word elephant is a homonym of the word "sharing" in Mandarin. Therefore the work depicts two elephantine figure sharing a cherry with each other and the action in the sculpture is being shared with the spectator.

  • Juan De Anda

Bold colors, meticulous details, and symbolic imagery innately embellish each animal alluding to the joys, as well as the double entendres, we experience in everyday life. Within some works, their toothy grins turn into snarls depending on the viewing perception angle. Also, by mounting this artwork in Civic Center, a zone of the city replete with homelessness and social inequality, Hung Yi reminds viewers of the power of play and creativity, even while complexities in life arise and surround you.

The exhibition was organized and privately funded by the Insian Gallery in Taiwan  and the Swinging Skirt Golf Foundation. It was coordinated by the Office of the Mayor, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Recreation and Parks Department and will be on temporary display from April 19 through May 7. 

So the moral of this article, if any? Take a walk near City Hall and witness this artful circus act before it packs up and leaves town.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Aiming beyond funny, ripping out hearts with Bob Rubin

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 1:21 PM

Bob Rubin at the Punch Line Comedy Club in the 1980s - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Bob Rubin at the Punch Line Comedy Club in the 1980s

It's fair to say that comedian Bob Rubin, who has been living the comedy life for three decades, has a rather sui generis style. The comic, a fixture of the San Francisco comedy scene in the 1980s and beyond, has a way with a non-sequitur and absurdism. 

Thus, SF Weekly would like to declare 04-01-2015 OFFICIAL BOB RUBIN DAY, since he's performing at the Punch Line Comedy Club tonight, and also because we're huge fans, and this blog doesn't let things like "not having the authority to declare holidays" get in its way. We don't have any keys to the city to give out, but you can check out Bob Rubin's off-the-wall new "Bananaland" podcast on his website,, or his fascinating interview on Marc Maron's podcast

San Francisco's comedy scene in the 1980s

SFW: What were some of the big venues?
Rubin: Holy City Zoo, anybody who started there, that was their favorite spot, because it just was such a hole in the wall. There was a music club, the Last-Day Saloon, next door. ... Sitting in the Holy City Zoo, you might as well have been sitting in the Last-Day Saloon, because that's how loud their music was.
Rubin: It seems like that was one of the hardest places to learn how to be a comedian, but I think that's what made it one of the greatest places, because everybody was relaxed. Nobody cared. Nobody thought, "Gee, I'd better look good here, because this is going to make or break my career." You have to have a place where you can go and be bad, in order to get good, and not just your parents' living room.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

S.F. rules, N.Y. drools, implies highly scientific sketch about Internet

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 5:24 PM

At right, YouTube. Courtesy YouTube.
  • At right, YouTube. Courtesy YouTube.

When decided to cram the entire Internet into the microcosm of high school, we couldn't help but notice how many of these kids are probably using "hella" on a regular basis. Surprising? Hardly. An opportunity to mock New Yorkers? Absolutely.

Below, a geographical breakdown of the sites and apps mocked in the video, because somebody had to. 

Bay Area crew
Twitter - San Francisco
Wikipedia - San Francisco
Instagram - San Francisco
Reddit - San Francisco
Google - Mountain View
Facebook - Menlo Park
YouTube - San Bruno
Netflix - Los Gatos
Geocities (Yahoo) - Sunnyvale
Silk Road - (Anywhere there’s somebody in need of a hired assassin or black-tar heroin, although convicted mastermind Ross William Ulbricht, Dread Pirate Roberts and San Francisco resident, was famously arrested at the Glen Park Library)

New York City?! 
BuzzFeed - New York City
Kotaku - New York City
Unworthy - New York City
Vine - New York City
Vice - New York City
OKCupid - New York City
Huffington Post - New York City

The Fly-Overs
Clickhole (The Onion) - Chicago
Snapchat - Venica, Calif. (developed by two Stanford students)
Hulu - Los Angeles
Kik - Waterloo, Canada
Snopes - California
UpRoxx - Culver City, Calif.
The Chive - Austin, Texas
Alibaba - Hangzhou, China

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Tourism for Locals: Visiting Diego Rivera's The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 11:26 AM

A Diego Rivera masterpiece in San Francisco,  The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City. - JUAN DE ANDA
  • Juan De Anda
  • A Diego Rivera masterpiece in San Francisco, The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City.

San Francisco is home to many of the finest artists of the 20th century and the new millennium, whose works foster artistic rebellion and social critique. The City has played host to one of the greatest modernist painters of the 20th century, whose style exemplified revolutionary renegade art: Diego Rivera.

For those who don't know who he is, aside from his portrayal by the actor Alfred Molina in the 2002 Academy Award-winning film Frida starring Salma Hayek, Rivera was an enigmatic painter who fostered the muralist style of painting in Mexico at the turn of the last century.

Along with artists Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfredo Siqueiros, Rivera created allegorical and fantastical depictions of traditional indigenous cultures alongside uplifting and humane characterizations of working-class people that were welded with visions of a utopian future under socialism. The purpose of the muralist movement was to create public art that would educate those who were from low-income backgrounds, but also appeal to the aesthetic tastes of those from the higher rungs of the social ladder.

The first commissioned murals that Rivera painted outside of Mexico were in San Francisco.

Between 1930 and 1940, he painted murals in San Francisco, Detroit, and New York that focused on social and cultural progress through industry and technology. Here, he painted three murals, aiding him in getting global recognition for his technique and use of color. One of those works is titled The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City

Located inside the San Francisco Art Institute, the mural was commissioned by SFAI President William Gerstle, and was completed by Rivera in the course of one month, from May 1–May 31, 1931. Living up to its name, the fresco shows the building of a city and the making of a fresco, including the various individuals involved in the commission, such as artist assistants, architects, and general laborers.

The central figure of a helmeted worker, rendered in supernatural proportion, is the primary subject of the mural within the mural, thus driving home Rivera's belief of the importance of the industrial worker. Rivera makes an appearance in this mural, looking up to  the work, wielding palette and paintbrush, his back to the viewer. 

This is one of three Rivera murals in the city. The other two: The Allegory of California and Pan American Unity are located in The Pacific Stock Exchange and City College of San Francisco, respectively.

The gallery is open to the public from 8 a.m.until 9 p.m. daily

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Tourism for Locals: San Francisco Surround Sound at Audium

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 2:04 PM

Surround yourself with acid for the ears. - JUAN DE ANDA
  • Juan De Anda
  • Surround yourself with acid for the ears.

San Franciscans are truly a lucky bunch. We  live in a city chalk-full of sensory overload — from bright  architecture to eclectic individuals to drastically diverse terrains — hence diminishing any hope of ever being bored.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Top 10 San Francisco Foodie Accounts To Follow on Instagram

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 3:52 PM

  • From Left to Right: @Juantanamero, @EdibleSF, @CoffeeCakesCafe

Food snapshots, along with selfies, plague the Instagram stream. There are plenty of square-cropped, filtered photos out there on the social medium platform: 200 million users with 20 billion posts, to be exact. With that in mind, it can be difficult to sort through Instagram accounts worth following — ones that provide images that satiate our hungry eyes.

So we did some of the  work for you and selected our 10 favorite San Francisco-based foodie accounts. These users vary in occupations — from photographers to tech-savvy chefs and professional writers to food enthusiasts — they all have one thing in common: making the San Francisco food scene appear just as delicious and diverse on social media as it is in person. These user accounts, at one point or another, made us think and exclaim: "That looks good!"

Let us know if we left off any other users worth following. Happy scrolling!

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Monday, February 9, 2015

It's a Zoo Out There on the Internet, and Ziibra Wants Artists to Show Their Stripes

Posted By on Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Katie Nealon of Folding Bones Press in Santa Rosa, featured on ZIIBRA
  • Katie Nealon of Folding Bones Press in Santa Rosa, featured on ZIIBRA

For the 21st century artist, the internet cuts many ways: behemoths like Amazon have cut into bookstore profits, actors who make it big are often subject to harassment, and closer to home, money generated by internet entrepreneurs has made San Francisco unaffordable for many creative types. Bay Area artists would undoubtedly have their reasons not to see another startup founder as a fast friend. 

But, here's some good news for artists: There's a guy out there who says he's on your side. His name is Omri Mor, and he's the Founder & CEO at ZIIBRA, an online marketplace where artists can create extensive profiles and attract enthusiasts through subscriptions to their work. The Seattle-based company is part Etsy and part crowd-funding site,  like Kickstarter, and aims to create a whole new way for artists to show off their works and make money online. 

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Tourism for Locals: Church of 8 Wheels Provides Heavenly Fun

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 1:25 PM


We have already mentioned that the closest thing to heaven on Earth is located at the corner of Fillmore and Fell streets — and the best things in life, often, come on wheels. By day, the abandoned Sacred Heart Parish looks like any other religious building: solitary and somber. But at night, that is when everything shifts to heavenly heights and the choir of angels is guided by the voices of Gloria Gaynor, Mariah Carey and the holy trinity: Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Prepare yourself for a rolligious experience because we are now crossing the San Francisco Pearly Gates and entering the Church of 8 Wheels. 

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tourism For Locals: Camera Obscura Provides a 360 Degree View of the Coast

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 8:43 AM

  • Wikipedia

San Franciscans are surrounded by 360 degrees of beautiful views. Yet, some of us still take the beauty of the City for granted at times, forgetting to look up from our phones and remind ourselves that we, us lucky few, get to call this place home. If this has ever happened to you, then maybe it's time to have a paradigm shift.

Sea Cliff's Camera Obscura, an edifice contraption inspired on a 15th-century design by Leonardo da Vinci, produces 360 degrees of  images of the Seal Rock Area, all while using only mirrors and natural light. 

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    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.'"