Archive for April, 2010

Fight Mayor Newsom’s Proposed $7 Strybing Arboretum Fee on May 6th – A Public Meeting

Friday, April 30th, 2010

First, get up to speed on the concept of charging fees for the first time in history at Strybing Arboretum here. Now, check out the news of this upcoming meeting at the Hall of Flowers coming up May 6th, 2010, below.

The scene in front of a recent San Francisco Budget Town Hall informercial taping at the Hall of Flowers not too long ago. The “protesters” shown, a group of Plant People and gardeners, actually want the fee. The other side is composed of Strybing’s neighbors, users, and a smaller group of Plant People.


(We’re reaching endgame on this one.)

And here’s your draw – KALW’s “Your Call Radio” talk-show host Rose Aguilar will be there to moderate a discussion after the brief presentation.

You’re invited. See you there!

Host: Inner Sunset Community 

Location:  Hall of Flowers (San Francisco County Fair Building) Auditorium, Ninth and Lincoln,  San Francisco, CA 94122 US

When: Thursday, May 6, 6:30PM to 9:30PM   

Preface: This general invitation is being sent out to individuals who have either expressed or are believed to have an interest in preventing the implementation of a discriminatory fee at Strybing Arboretum (now called SF Botanical Gardens by the Society). It is also being sent to proponents of this fee, in the interest of creating a community dialog.

A Facebook version of this invite is here:

We also invite you to join the yahoo! group and peruse its file section:

A Public Forum and Open Discussion Concerning the Fee for the  San Francisco  Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum

Thursday, May 6, 2010
6:30pm – 9:00pm

Hall of Flowers (San Francisco County Fair Building)

Ninth Avenue and Lincoln, San Francisco, CA

Too often in San Francisco a chosen few make major decisions without public input. This has been especially true with the Recreation and Park Department.

Please join us on Thursday, May 6, 2010 at the main auditorium of the Hall of Flowers (County Fair Building) to discuss the issues surrounding the proposed $7  nonresident fees for the San Francisco Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum.

We will begin (at 6:30 PM) with a brief informative and humorous presentation about the history of the Arboretum and the Society’s decades-long role in proposing a fee.

The role of City administrators and bureaucrats in pushing for this fee, and the lack of public input will also be covered.

A discussion, moderated by KALW ‘Your Call Radio” talk-show host Rose Aguilar, will follow the presentation. All points of view are welcome, and, in contrast to most public meetings, question/comment cards will not be used. Participants will stand in line in order to comment.

We expect a lively discussion and welcome questions and comments on a variety of topics (detailed in the Facebook link above and omitted here for lack of space).

Norway Day Festival 2010 Comes to San Francisco This Weekend – May 1-2, 2010

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Have you been to Norway? The whole place is filled with Beautiful People – everybody looks like they are or they used to be Abercrombe & Fitch models. Well, guess what, this weekend Norway is coming to the Bay Area and YOU”RE invited.

It’s Norway Day Festival 2010 and it’s coming to San Francisco’s Fort Mason this weekend, Saturday May 1st and Sunday May 2nd, 2010! It’s as cheap as nine bucks to get in, or something. (Pretty cheap compared to Oktoberfest By The Bay or something.)

Typical Norwegians. They’ll be there, just like last year:
via Bea Ahbeck
And best of all, Tom Perkins will be there too, giving the keynote. And straight outta Osloartist Kristine Maudal, who came to SoMA last year to do Norwegian Instant Art, will also be there. Here’s her release:  Other Rhythms_press_eng 
And bonus, free Iced lattes from Seattle’s Best Coffee. The big red fridge will be there in Fort Mason giving cold cans away on both days.
All right, see you there!
2010 Norway Day Festival Schedule
Saturday, May 1
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Time Event
 10:00 a.m.  Festival Opens
 10:45 a.m.  Opening Ceremonies w/National Anthems
 11:00 a.m.  Entertainment Begins on Main Stage & in Pub
 6:00 p.m.  Last Entry Into Festival
 7:00 p.m.  Festival Closes
 8:30 p.m.  Evening Concert Event at Cafe Du Nord

Sunday, May 2
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Time Event
 10:00 a.m.  Festival Opens
 11:00 a.m.  Entertainment Begins on Main Stage
 12:00 p.m.  Entertainment Begins in Pub
 4:30 p.m.  Raffle on Main Stage
 5:00 p.m.  Festival Closes

Rave New Reviews for Fantastic Beach Blanket Babylon – It’s 36 Years Young in 2010

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

How can Beach Blanket Babylon be a “new show” at 36 years old? Well, I don’t know, it just is – it evolves, it keeps up with the times. Anyway, Media Week 2010 just ended at Club Fugazi up in North Beach, so a bunch of reviews have been popping up.

And that includes The Review from San Francisco Chronicle Theater Critic Robert Hurwitt. He just recently gave instructions to have The Little Man to hop out of his seat. See?

“In Chronicle parlance, this one is called Wild Applause. Readers should know that the critic believes the production…, having achieved all of its artistic goals, is firmly in the don’t-miss category.” 

You can’t do better than that.

Yes indeed, BBB rolls along for 90 entertaining minutes – it’s all filled up with jokes, sight gags, costumes, and musical numbers.

Here’s how it looks close to the end:

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Now, speaking of blankets, if you are a wet blanket, if you’re a hater determined to not have fun with your friends, well you could be like some of the Yelpers who label it “cheesy.” But that’s not a bug, it’s a feature, right? And of course most of the Yelpers just love, love, love this production.

Anyway, the youthful gaggle of Fun Fearless Females who sat just ahead of me were into a couple wine bottles 15 minutes before the show began. They seemed to be having a good time, singing along. And yet, I’m sure my grandmother would be into to this joint as well. It’s hard to imagine a live production that would appeal to a bigger cross-section – locals, tourists, older, younger, etc.

(And best of all, while watching, you can even get a bottle of refreshing Dom Perignon for less than $200 – can you remember seeing a markup that low for Dom in this day and age? Moving on …)

I’ll tell you, I’ve hadn’t seen the BBB before last weekend. I thought it was great. You will too. See you there! (Again, maybe.)

Three Decades After Birth, The 1981 Chevy Monte Carlo Becomes Cool – The Kids Love It

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

I know this car. I definitely know this car, in a way. “Cause I remember how lame the fourth-generation Chevrolet Monte Carlo seemed when compared with imported cars of the 1980’s.

But the kids of San Francisco have now embraced it. 

A one-vehicle Carnival de Monte Carlo as seen on the Streets of San Francisco:  

Click to expand

Keep an eye out for this kind of long, low box on wheels. Or buy one for yourself while they’re still sort of cheap.


Skype Video and Voice Calling Program Comes to UCSF Med Center and Children’s Hospital

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The Future Is Now – virtual visits have come to UCSF. So now you can talk to your friend without having to worry about spreading the H1N1 flu or whatever else comes down the pike. Read all about it: 

UCSF Children’s Hospital and UCSF Medical Center have partnered with Skype to help connect hospital inpatients with family members and friends who are unable to visit in person. The innovative new collaboration is the first such partnershipbetween Skype and a hospital.

The Skype video and voice calling programis now available to all inpatients at the UCSF hospitals. Using designated laptop computers with Skype software delivered to the bedside, patients can have virtual visits with family and friends around the globe on a secure network. According to Lila Param, director of pediatric services at UCSF Children’s Hospital, Skype supports the healing process by overcoming geographical boundaries that can lead to a sense of isolation among patients.”

All the deets, after the jump


Japantown “Better” Neighborhood Plan Committee Meeting Tonight – April 27, 2010

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

The saga of the Japantown BNP continues at tonight’s meeting.

“Over the next several months there will be community meetings focused on the chapters of the Draft Plan.   The purpose of these meetings will be to educate the community on the contents of the Draft Plan and get input on the recommendations in the Draft Plan. Come and give input on the community-led organization, process, and timeline.   And, learn how you can get involved and participate in improving the Draft Plan.”

How it’ll look tonight. Sometimes they have a pretty good turnout:

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Host: Japantown BNP Committee 
Location:  JCCCNC
1840 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94115 US
View Map 
When: Tuesday, April 27, 7:00PM   
Phone: 415-346-1239
Come and learn about the next phase of the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan….the community review.

“No Right Turn When Children are Present” – A “Law” in California With No Teeth?

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Here’s something a little different – a town in the Bay Area has put up these signs. See? They go:


So, can a driver get a ticket for this? Not sure.

Could it be that this official-looking sign put up by Palo Alto is merely advisory in a Helen Lovejoy won’t-somebody-PLEASE-think-of-the-children kind of way?

Could be.

The Coffee-Mate Demon Dog of Divisidero Now Has a Matching Demon Guardian

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Andy Wright’s bit in the SFWeekly ably documents the progression of this billboard high above Divisidero.

And here’s the latest iteration. See? Sharpened teeth and a Chuck Manson prison tattoo have been added in for the doggie’s owner

Click to expand:

What’s your next move, Coffee-Mate?

Ashbury Street Billboard Removal Reveals Long-Forgotten Window

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

CBS or ClearChannel or somebody has had a billboard here on Ashbury for the longest time, but now the whole thing is gone tout de suite.

That could be due to regulations, a permit hassle, our Great Recession or whatnot, but the fact that it was a prime target for taggers probably played the biggest role.

Oh well. Maybe this window will be back in operation with a quickness.

Click to expand:


Orpheum Theatre Announces the End of Wicked – Fantastic Run Ends September 5, 2010

Monday, April 26th, 2010

SHN’s fantastic run of Wicked at our Orpheum Theatre is leaving us on September 5th, 2010 – that’s the news that came out over the weekend. 

Have you seen new witch Eden Espinosa yet? Well this is it. This’ll be your last chance to see the defining musical of the past decade.

A new batch of tickets are on sale now. See you there! (Again, maybe.)

All the deets, below.

This run will continue defying gravity until the end of summer:

by Joan Marcus


SAN FRANCISCO… The San Francisco production of the smash hit musical WICKED will play its final performance on Sunday, September 5, 2010, ending its record-breaking run at the Orpheum Theatre.  Tickets are now on sale for all performances through September 5th. Upon closing, WICKED will have played 660 performances and 12 previews.

WICKED, “the San Francisco-born musical that has conquered the world” (San Francisco Chronicle) , and which was recently called “the defining musical of the decade” by The New York Times, has already amassed over $1.8 billion globally in ticket sales and has been seen by over 23 million people worldwide.  The show’s enormous popularity was instantly apparent in San Francisco-immediately after it opened, WICKED broke the one-week San Francisco box office record with gross ticket sales of $1,459,610.50 surpassing the record previously held by The Phantom of the Opera.  Over one million patrons have seen WICKED in San Francisco, and to date the production has grossed over $75 million. 

More deets, after the jump.