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This account of a journalist buying a stolen bike in the heart of Mayor Ed Lee’s gritty Twitterloin district isn’t new, but it’s new to me, so there you go.
Via Patrick Symms:
“Over the years, SFPD Sergeant McCloskey had launched dozens of stakeouts, stings, and reverse stings against bike thieves in the city’s Tenderloin District, becoming a legendary Lone Ranger in the bike wars, a one-man encyclopedia of cycle crime. He once spent an hour telling me his favorite techniques for catching thieves. The best spot was the San Francisco Public Library’s main branch, a few steps from Market Street. “We took a nice Cannondale and locked it to the bike rack there, set up a robbery detail, and watched the guys stealing the bikes,” he explained. “It worked really well. They’re very slick. They ride up on their own bike, park next to it. They have bolt cutters on a shoelace around their neck and lean down to cut it. They’re very fast. We did this successfully more than 20 times. We’ve only been skunked once. About 90 percent of the people we get are drug addicts, meth heads. Speeders, we call them.”
In Portland, Joe Luiz had confessed that he’d never quite figured out where all the bikes were going, but in San Francisco this wasn’t an issue. Stolen bikes were for sale, openly, at Market and 7th, a block from where Sergeant McCloskey got so many stolen.
I’d come to San Francisco for a funeral—my father-in-law had passed away. I drove downtown to pick up his ashes and, combining two errands into one, drove down Market Street to buy a stolen bike. I parked and walked to the corner of 7th, where there was an open-air market in fenced goods, from canned food to blue jeans to batteries.
The hot-bike market in downtown San Francisco was shameless, a disgrace to the city. But it wasn’t the Bay Area’s only dubious bicycle venue. The Alameda flea market was notorious for recycling stolen bikes, and in Golden Gate Park there was a chop shop where amateur mechanics swapped components and resold stolen bikes for profit.”
In related news:
Here it is, brand-new:
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Prediction: This station will be difficult and expensive to maintain. (Of course, the people behind Bay Area BikeShare already know this. And yet, they will be surprised by what will occur in this area. You’ll see.)
Here it is, in the Twitterloin.
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Now let’s see some reviews:
This was the strangest “museum” I’ve ever been to. And really, it’s worth a visit if you go on a free day. As other reviewers have mentioned, it should really be categorized as a gallery because most of the pieces are done by one man. The placards are hilarious. Instead of saying “Tiger in bamboo – Oil on canvas – 1993″, it will say something like “The Master has expertly crafted this piece and is the best work to have ever captured the grace of this animal. His Holiness has magnificent talent….”. It’s like a paragraph about how great he is without any mention of the materials used. I have some suggestions to make this place better. 1) call the upper floors a gallery 2) turn the ground floor forest/fireplace area into a bar 3) let people climb in the tree house.
Actual artist’s note: ”The external appearance of this stone is too beautiful to be absorbed all at once … In creating this wondrous art form, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has opened an entirely new epoch in the history of art in the world.” This whole shoddy enterprise seems to be one giant vanity project by a self-styled “spiritual” guru. If you do trail around this vast collection of mediocre pastiche, then at least embrace the comedy value and read the item descriptions. But make sure you don’t get waylaid by one of the dead-eyed volunteers who will ask you to describe your experience. The whiff of the cult is strong in this one.
Renoir Hotel, Market Street:
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When are these ladies going to stop?
Sunday Sunday Sunday:
Clement St. Grand Opening!
Agricultural Institute of Marin is partnering with the Clement Street Merchants Association to bring the Inner Richmond San Francisco’s newest farmers market! Beginning June 23rd, join us every Sunday from 9am to 2pm, on Clement Street between 2nd and 4th Avenues, year-round, for what promises to be a great Sunday morning destination for foodies and families alike.
Read the news and turn the pages:
“Lord knows that Sundays at that part of Clement can be a bit depressing, what with infrequent bus service, a number of empty parking spaces, and lots and lots of closed storefronts abutting a handful of thriving businesses.”
For lease, for rent, “retirement sale,” going out of business sale, and on and on:
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Tell me how it goes.
Here ya go, it’s Down and Out in Mid-Market:
1. Do you see that “Market Street Specials” graphic, The Bold Italic? It’s better than anything you’ve ever done* since you came to town to try to make money hawking made-in-San-Fran goods to clueless tourists and your fellow newcomers, you dig? It serves THE READER, right? Oh, what’s that, TBI? Your job is to lose millions upon millions year after year to serve up a fat tax break for your corporate masters Back East? Well, mission accomplished.
2. And srsly, I don’t think it’s the job of SFGov-funded COMMUNITY AMBASSADORS to confiscate food in the Twitterloin.
3. Uh, the vast majority of food market food comes on 18-wheelers, you know, on pallets and stuff. (Speaking of corporate tax breaks…)
4. Adieu, writer Albert Samaha? It’s been real.
5. And finally, ah memories. Find the Crispy Hexagons cereal and win:
Official San Francisco COMMUNITY AMBASSADORS:
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One time I was almost a COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR. Well actually, I was a COMMUNITY ASSISTANT CONSUL GENERAL, you know, making moves, on my way up. But then at the ANNUAL COMMUNITY GALA I upchucked on the silk dress of the COMMUNITY SECRETARY GENERAL. Later on my CCG said, due to that “unfortunate incident,” I would never ever become a COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR no matter what.
So I said screw it, street diplomacy just isn’t the life for me.
Oh look, from District One Supe Eric Mar:
“Thank you to Peter Lauterborn from my office, the Clement Street Merchants Assn, Argonne Community Garden, Peabody elementary school PTA, Argonne elementary school PTO and many others for working with the great folks from Marin Agricultural Institute to organize our community farmer’s market! We are working hard to make it family friendly, and thanks to Foggy Notion, Seed Store, ParkLife, Green Apple, Cumaica Coffee House and Giorgio’s Pizzeria and other businesses too for helping to make this successful! [Signed] Eric Mar, District 1 Supervisor. If you have any suggestions or questions – contact Peter at 415-554-7411 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org“
And “youthful” (I mean, his relatively short Wiki entry uses the term 14 times, right?) aide Peter Lauterborn speaks his piece here.
The thing is is that some businesses on 3rd Avenue, where a couple block will get shut down weekly, don’t seem to be aware of the CSFM.
The Sloat Garden Center for one:
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I myself have no particular beef with the new farmer’s market* but I cry foul at the SFMTA-type, everybody’s-a-winner, everybody-supports-this-new-thing, just-wait-until-you-see-the-transformation-of-the-Inner-Richmond style of campaign behind it.
Anyway, Lord knows that Sundays at that part of Clement can be a bit depressing, what with infrequent bus service, a number of empty parking spaces, and lots and lots of closed storefronts abutting a handful of thriving businesses.
(One assumes that most customers of the 3rd Avenue Burger King and Sloat Gardens will figure another way of getting to and fro asides from approaching from the north.)
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*Indeed, I just might visit. Actually, I was out yesterday taking King and Messiah for a walk to a bakery on 3rd very near Clement.
Here’s the background on the soon-to-come CSFM.
And this is from Eric Mar’s office last week:
“This is the “youthful” Peter Lauterborn form Supervisor Mar’s office. Glad to see the market being covered.
The date has been pushed back, but only because of scheduling needs. The MTA has been very supportive of the project and it is currently projected to start June 23rd after the ISCOTT hearing on 6/13.
The reroute is just 7 blocks total, the existing merchants are very supportive of the project, and we have had well over 100 letters of support come into our office. We feel very good about this project. (The only issue has been with the bouncy house, which was really just an example from other markets and that’s been scrapped already.)
But if people have specific concerns they should feel free to email or call my direct line. Of course we want to mitigate any inconveniences to people.
And here’s the new flyer – this one’s more complete and less mysterious than the optimistic original
And this is the vary latest, from the Eric Mar newsletter:
The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) is managing the proposed market. AIM is primarily an educational non-profit which uses its six large, diverse markets to help fulfill their mission. The food options would include both organic and conventional seasonal produce, bakers, meat and dairy, and even local artisans. Their markets have a wide range of price points and accept EBT cards (aka food stamps).
This street closure will be voted on at an upcoming meeting of the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT).
ISCOTT Hearing: Thursday June 13 at 9AM, 1 South Van Ness
If you can’t attend in person and want to send a letter of support, or you have any other questions or comments, please contact Peter Lauterborn in my office atPeter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org or 415.554.7411“