Posts Tagged ‘cancelled’

So, Who Just Killed the Beloved, Annual, SF Nike Women’s Half Marathon? Nike, Of Course, But Also NIMBYs, High SFGov Fees?

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Read the news and turn the pages:

“After more than 10 years of hosting one of the most anticipated race registration lotteries, lighting up the streets of San Francisco and handing out those coveted Tiffany necklaces to finishers, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon will not be returning to Union Square in 2016.”

Here’s your NIMBY problem – the Presidio and RPD don’t/didn’t mind this route, but millionaire residents of the Western Addition and the Great Sand Wastes certainly do/did. 

Nike-Half-Marathon-San-Francisco-Map-1024x679

And speaking of RPD, SFGov, DPW, the SFMTA, and all the rest of the “City Family*” Alphabet soup, they’re always happy to oblige but it’s going to cost you (NIKE) big big bucks to operate here, more here than anywhere else in ‘Merica (except possibly NYC – it can go either way, depending).

And then there’s the “bandit” issue, which we’re not supposed to talk about, but bandits is everywhere, right? So I don’t know – we probably have more than our fair share of banditas. granted Still, I don’t think that could kill a tradition.

I don’t know. There’s a story here though – Enquiring Minds Want To Know.

What if some kind of SFGov fee got increased by like 1000% all of a sudden? What if SFGov has done the wrong thing, once again?

Static friction is what an event needs to overcome to get started here (like, OMG, it’s going to cost us how much?!), but Nike managed to overcome that reaction, a decade ago. OTOH, your kinetic, that’s what wears you down, year after year, until you just say, “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”

Bye, Nike.

(We’ll Always Have NikeTown, in Union Square, right?)

FIN

*Family!  

What, No More Christmas Trees in Front of SF City Hall? – Annual Tradition Lost – A Brief History of “Holiday Trees”

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

All right, I promised a history of the giant Christmas trees of San Francisco Civic Center in front of City Hall (aka the highest classical dome in the Western Hemisphere, believe it or not.*)

Here we go, from the mid to late Aughts, complete with a Star of Bethlehem atop. A shot from my office:

go8f6726-copy

You know, keeping with Christian Tradition, as they say.

Well that didn’t go down good. So, in part due to some of my photos on SFist, back when Blogging Was King, and due to complaints of City Hall / SFGov workers objecting to having Christmas sort of imposed upon where there work – look it up on SFGate, Matier and Ross were on it – bye-bye Bethlehem star and bye-bye other overt displays of Christianity in and around City Hall.

But the tree stayed, and each and every year it came back, starless of course. And it was labeled a “Holiday Tree” in case there was any worry about it being a Christmas tree. Fine

3135050190_216855f66b_b

Via Steve Rhodes, who, like Visa, is Everywhere You Want To Be.

And then, oh no, the garish lights on the tree! All those colors! Well, some rich white ladies about town thought they looked tacky, so away they went.

So that left us with this:

O.K. fine. Matier & Ross also had this story, about how the new, classier, white lights for white people cost RPD five figures, but that was OK, they said, because the colored Christmas tree lights would be able to be used in Golden Gate Park on Stanyan and perhaps they’re still in use, IDK.

Except this lack of color just wasn’t jazzy enough for other certain people.

So then came this:

Capturefsfs

Via Julie Blaustein

So, the colors came out of the tree in front of City Hall and they went into City Hall itself.

And then Mayor Willie Brown wanted ever more color.

Were these changes “improvements?”

No. But that’s what they were called at the time.

Oh well…

Anyway, that takes up to 2014, when we didn’t get any giant tree at all? NEWS TO ME! Did I not notice it wasn’t there? I forget. I tend to notice new things, I don’t tend to notice things what should be there and aren’t.

A Commenter just hepped me to the ABSENCE OF GIANT TREE, and I can see these photos from last year proving her point – no tree.

Here’s her beef:

“Hello. I was online trying to find info on why there was no Christmas tree outside of SF’s city hall in 2014, and I came across your post about the lights’ history during recent years. Regardless of any decor inside of city hall, i just don’t see why the tree was not part of last Xmas. I looked around online for info about the tree going up again this December, but any info on SF lighting ceremonies did not include a city hall plaza tree. I suppose the mayor’s argument for no tree is cost cutting and that people can go inside city hall to see some festive decor or head down to Union Square to join the tourists, but I find it pretty stunning that a major city has nixed its plaza tree. If you have an answer on this subject, I’d greatly appreciate hearing it.

Thank you,

Kay”

It’s a Christmas Mystery!

6-grinch-stealing-tree-260x300

*No no, the dome you’re thinking about (US Capitol Building) aint actually higher, OR it (San Jose City Hall or SuperDome) aint classical, OR it (St. Peter’s Basilica or Dome des Invalides) aint in the Western Hemisphere. Sorry. Look it up!

America Rejects Toyota’s Smallest Car – Scion IQ had 11 Airbags, 4 Seats, Easy Parking – Seemed Perfect for Frisco

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Four seats, sure, but they marketed it as a “3+1,” ’cause the seat behind the driver had no legroom, assuming the driver wasn’t able to scrunch forward. But the front passenger had plenty of room, as did the right rear passenger, sort of.

Read all about this unloved ride here

7J7C0092 copy

Perhaps one could pick up a used model…

Imperfect alternatives still in production include the Smart ForTwo (just a two-seater), the Toyota Yaris (harder to park) and the MINI (much more expensive), oh well.

RIP, Scion iQ.

A Brief History of the Mavericks Big Wave Surf Contest

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

“I’ll tell you, Mavericks used to be something, man. But now it’s all corporate and shit, man.”

Sort of.

Hey, isn’t the Mavericks surf contest just like the Burning Man festival? Just look where they got started – same beach, different county:

Click to expand

I’ll you, ten years from now, you’ll hear about some underground event what’s been gaining in popularity and I’ll bet you it will have gotten its start on one of these Bay Area beaches that you can see in the photo.

Anyway, Mavs is on, once again, this coming Friday, January 24th, 2014.

Now back in the day, to see Mavericks you’d just park you ride on the Pacific Coast Highway and then ride your bikes to the beach. Easy peasy.

And then they’d let you climb up on the bluff for a good view (even though people fell off of it all the time).

This big green thing:

(Mmmm… why do these rocks a “breakwater?”)

And then they didn’t want people on the bluff so they put up an “event village” or something on the beach below.

Dangerous hilarity ensued, due to what they called a “sneaker wave,” but really it was just kind of a regular wave

Via dwan.mac click to expand

And then, Mavs went Hollywood:

But, you know, I guess it’s really the same event as it always was.

Fundamentally.

(Just as with Burning Man.)

So, look for all the same thrills chills and spills as back in the day:

Darryl “Flea” Virostko was a tad aggressive in the first round of 2008:

Canon 1D Mark II, Canon EF 300mm 2.8 IS plus Canon 2x II extender at f8.0

And if you’re on a boat with an aggressive Captain, this will be your view on Friday, January 23rd, 2014:

All right, see you there!

But let’s hope we have more lulz than lulls.

‘Cause nobody wants to see too many heats like this:

Tink happy tots!

This Photo is Your Best Shot of Seeing the Blue Angels During San Francisco Fleet Week 2013 – Federal Sequester Blues

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

A photo from the Presidio, from back in the day, from an innocent time when we didn’t know what a “sequester” was, you know, federal-wise:

Click to expand

But yes, they would fly them jets ‘neath the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Man, That Mavericks Surf Contest Aint What It Used To Be, Man – (Just as with Burning Man!) – A Brief History of Mavs

Friday, January 18th, 2013

I’ll tell you, Mavericks used to be something, man. But now it’s all corporate and shit, man.

Sort of.

Hey, isn’t the Mavericks surf contest just like the Burning Man? Just look where they got started – same beach, different county:

Click to expand

I’ll you, ten years from now, you’ll hear about some underground event what’s been gaining in popularity and I’ll bet you it will have gotten its start on one of these Bay Area, Pacific Coast beaches that you can see in the photo.

Anyway, Mavs is on, once again, this coming Sunday, January 20th, 2013.

Now back in the day, to see Mavericks you’d just park you ride on the Pacific Coast Highway and then ride your bikes to the beach. Easy peasy.

And then they’d let you climb up on the bluff for a good view (even though people fell off of it all the time).

This thing:

(Mmmm… why do these rocks a “breakwater”)

And then they didn’t want people on the bluff so they put up an “event village” or something on the beach below.

Dangerous hilarity ensued:

Via dwan.mac click to expand

And then, Mavs went Hollywood:

But, you know, I guess it’s really the same event as it always was.

Fundamentally.

(Just as with Burning Man.)

So, look for all the same thrills chills and spills as back in the day:

Darryl “Flea” Virostko was a tad aggressive in the first round of 2008:

Canon 1D Mark II, Canon EF 300mm 2.8 IS plus Canon 2x II extender at f8.0

And if you’re on a boat with an aggressive Captain, this will be your view on Sunday* January 20th, 2013:

All right, see you there!

But let’s hope we have more lulz than lulls.

‘Cause nobody wants to see too many heats like this:

Tink happy tots!

*Boy, isn’t that a sponsor-friendly day of the week? How convenient! Let’s hope the waves show up in addition to all the sponsors and advertisers…

OMG, It’s Time for the 2012 Union Street Festival, Where It’s OK to be an Out Republican

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

I’ll tell you, San Francisco doesn’t have too many Republicans but they manage to come out in force during Steve Restivo’s annual Union Street Eco Urban (or is it Urban Eco?) Street Festival.

I can just about assure that the Mitt Romney people will on the scene and out in force, with the ironing boards and whatnot – like this guy:

img_7458-copy.jpg

All right now here’s your Union Street Festival Decision Tree:

“1. Is it sunny outside?

2. Can you stand crowds of overgrown sorority girls and fraternity boys?

3. Can you stand crowded beer gardens filled with the aforementioned?

If you answered yes to the above, proceed to the Union Street Festival. “

Dude, harsh!

But here’s the retort, from a party-lover, here’s the other side of this perfect dramaturgical dyad:

“SORRY FOR:

(1) PARTYING AND HAVING FUN AT A FESTIVAL

(2) NOT BEING A GRANDMA, and

(3) LIVING LIFE A LITTLE.”

So there you go.

The alcohol drinking used to be totally wide open, and then things got toned down a bit, and now I think even the walled-off beer “gardens” are gone. But you can always join one of the annual beer-fueled house parties, why not?

All right, let’s travel back to years past – here are some shots from yesteryear:

“Now here’s what’s funny when the so-called neighbors who own houses near traditional San Francisco street parties, like the Bay to Breakers Fun Run and the Union Street Festival. Inevitably, some of the actual neighbors, the people what live on the street itself, throw open their doors for anything-goes, beer-fueled house parties.

Anyway, today Andrea Koskey has the news about how there will be no more beer gardens at the Union Street Festival 2011, prompting this response from Serg of the Uptown Almanac:

“Yeah because rock and fucking roll brings the “wilder element.” Yeah I bet it must be nuts when your heehaw ass festival gets raided by tall-can wielding dave matthews fans. Ain’t no dancing in this town bitches! We want to sell shitty ass freeway artwork and braclets made out of old rocks and trash to senior citizens and sweater knots. Fucking dumb asses chewing on shitty grilled meat on a stick can’t hang out in beer gardens or do whatever dumb fucking bullshit it is that they do on their lame ass stoops on Union st. Union street can suck my balls, that shit has been herbfest from the gate, amatuer hour trainwreck can stay gone.”

O.K. then.

All right, get your house partay tickets or invites now. (It’ll be a piece of cake if you are popular/cute enough.)

The perils of post-adolescent Union Street Fest shotgunning. The front of this house faces Union:

img_7477a

That entire residence was filled to the brim with partiers in 2008. Ah, memories.

All right, see you there, or not.

Now enjoy a trip down Union Street Festival Memory Lane:

This thing is biiiig – it will take you a long time to wander about Union:

img_6924-copy1

You know who proved popular was Tom Rigney, “electric violinist, Cajun fiddler, composer, graphic artist, and leader of the American roots music band, Tom Rigney and Flambeau.”

img_6929-copy

Best in Show – Candy Wrapper Handbags, something like this, as seen on Oprah

img_6916-copy

Micro cupcakes continue their dominance over the cuisine of the late aughts

img_6948-copy

Your streetfest four basic food groups are poultry (including turkey legs, they’re not just for renaissance festivals anymore), corn on the cob, couscous (not pictured) and garlic fries (not pictured).

img_6926-copy

2.5 star-rated Left at Albuquerque [sadly closed now, I think] offered crowd-pleasing  beer towers to sidewalk diners:

img_6945-copy

Now they’re renting out A2B electric scooters to tourists. Do people really ride these things on the Golden Gate Bridge sidewalks at 20 per back and forth to Sausalito? People do. Anyway, Blazing Saddles bike rentals was offering test drives.

img_6912-copy

Suds on the Roof, but much less than in years past. I think a man partying outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a red cup of suds.

img_6957-copy

“Eco-Urban” Union Street featured a hell of a lot of gas powered Honda generators, but this year, not so much. Originally, I thought this distribution amplifier was a box full of car batteries, but now I’m at a loss at figuring out how this band got its power. If they had a generator, they hid it well.

img_6907-copy

What’s this?

img_6914-copy

It’s an overhead extention cord leading from a Union Street business to one of the food vendors in the middle of the street. Is that an extension cord being used as internal wiring? Cough electrical code cough.

img_6913-copy

Oh, there it is! One of at least two Hondas in operation today.

img_6940-copy

But at least all the amplified music won’t disturb this slumbering. ear-protected pooch.

img_6905-copy

It’s big, in’nt?

And here’s the lateral view from our most-polarizing street fest yesterday, the day with “fewer hooligans” drinking beer according to at least one Sunday attendee:

I’ll tell you, myself, I didn’t see too many “drunken douchebags.” Myself. Anyway, it’s nice to see Union busy for a change.

Lots of swag from our corporate overlords at this street faire:

All right, here are a few of the Repubs. Yes on B and Fix MUNI Now were a few of their issues:

And here are some more. These people were promoting Dana Walsh (no, not the character on 24 and not this cutie, oh no – the Republican Dana Walsh).

As usual, the West End was strictly for kids:

And dogs, of course:

Fandango let people take two free spins on their unfairly-weighted (aka loaded, gaffed, cogged, weighted, crooked, or gag) swag roulette wheel – that was a mistake. Scored a bumper sticker the first try and then a precious $50 credit code the second. Bonus.

And of course, another Mini MUNI Meltdown, right on sked:

Well That’s It, the Big AT&T / T-Mobile Cell Phone Co. Merger has been Cancelled – How Will T-Mobile Make It On Its Own?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

We’ll see.

But I’ll tell you, I’m paying T-Mobile $118 a month (and that includes a whole bunch of tax) for two Samsung Galaxy smartphones, which have  bigger screens, which are lighter, which are better overall than the average Apple iPhone you’ll see about town. And that’s all working out just fine.

AFAIK, I never have network problems. (I have I-need-to-use-WiFi-at-home and I-can’t-get-coverage-in-the-basement-of-the-State-Building issues but I don’t know if that’s T-Mobile’s fault at all, really.)

All right, you go girl:

Make: Kawasaki
Model: 2007 ZX-10 Ninja
Builder: VIP Designs
Paint: Buddha Paint
Swingarm: C&S
Wheels: VIP Cynthia

All the deets from T Mobile:

“Dear T-Mobile Customers:

By now I am sure you have seen media reports that AT&T and Deutsche Telekom (DT) have mutually decided to terminate their agreement for AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA. This announcement effectively ends the acquisition process launched March 20.

What does this mean for T-Mobile USA customers? Our focus is unchanged: make the latest mobile products and services affordable for everyone.

And there are many reasons to choose T-Mobile as your wireless provider:

Great Value. We’re offering our best plan ever – 2 lines for $49.99 each that includes voice, text and data (including 2GB at full-speed) on each line with a new 2-year agreement. We also now offer a Monthly4G no annual contract plan that gives you unlimited talk, text, and web (including 100MB at full-speed) for $50.  

Compelling Products.  We offer a great line-up of 4G smartphones. We continue to rapidly expand our selection of amazing and affordable 4G smartphones, tablets and other devices that make mobile internet service easy and affordable. This holiday, we have cutting edge smartphones including the 42 Mbps-capable HTC Amaze™ 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S™ II. In January, we will begin selling the Lumia 710, the first Windows Phone from Nokia for as low as $49.99 after mail-in rebate with a 2-year agreement on a qualifying plan

America’s Largest 4G Network – now faster than ever. Whether you need driving instructions that are fast enough to keep up with your car, or want to stream a full-length movie uninterrupted, our 4G network delivers. We have expanded our 4G coverage to more than 200 million people in 208 markets and doubled speeds for nearly 180 million Americans in 163 markets.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, we appreciate your business and we will continue to focus on earning your loyalty every day.

Regards,

Jim Alling
Chief Operations Officer
T-Mobile USA, Inc.”

All right, bon courage, T Mobile!

OMG, the McDonalds “Dollar Menu” Has Returned to Haight Ashbury – McDoubles for All, Hurray!

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Remember back in the day, back last year in 2010 when the Hippie Hill McDonalds at the West End of Haight Ashbury on Stanyan got rid of its Dollar Menu, per Will “Big Daddy” Kane and Eric Thomas of KGO-TV?*

Well, the Tea Partiers nationwide had a field day with that one. And the “homeless veterans” and runaway teens, well they didn’t appreciate that price increase one bit.

But it’s all different now.

I first noticed when I was acting as a lookout for my friends who were shoplifting at the new Whole Foods Upper Haight – I could see a sign on the Micky D’s across the street that’s all “4 MEALS UNDER $3.**” See?

Click to expand

And I thought, well, that’s sounds like a pretty good deal, wonder if they brought back the Dollar Menu. Well, check it:

So, as of June 2011 anyway, you can enjoy the Great Recession Dollar Menu at McDonalds.

That means that they’ll add a patty to your $1.09 Cheeseburger and then lower the price to boot – that’s the Miracle of the McDouble.

Hurray!

Let’s hope they’ll still have the Dollar Menu running at the next Haight Ashbury Street Fair:

Sunday, June 12, 2011, from 11 am until 5:30 pm

*Per KGO, this store is located at Haight and “Canyon.”

**Apparently, that sign has been up there for the duration, since last year at least, To me, a $2.99 meal deal and the Dollar Menu go hand-in-hand, but I guess I was mistaken about that. (Your McDonald’s manager/ownerfeels that s/he should get about $7 per customer on average so can you imagine how offensive your order for three McDoubles to go is? It’s highly, highly offensive…)