Posts Tagged ‘John King’

Octavia Boulevard Rorschach Test: What Do You See Here? Do You See an Unmitigated Disaster or a “Model” for Others?

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Wow.

It’s over 100 feet wide (and some people wanted it wider. In fact the Chief Architect herself says it’s too wide, but oh well.)

Let’s see here, a stalled lane of traffic next to another stalled lane of traffic next to one of three useless medians next to an unused lane next to a lane so rich white people can park their cars. And then repeat on the other side and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done:

(Most “new ideas” are bad ideas, of course.)

Oh well.

Know Your Financial District Buildings: Pre-Quake, Post-Quake, Post-Modern, Modern – All in a Row

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

From California Street, starting in the lower right:

400 Montgomery, the Alvinza Hayward Building, aka the Kohl Building, 130+ feet tall, 1901

500 California, the Omni Hotel, these days anyway, ___ feet tall, 1927

580 California, the No Name Building, apparently, 351 feet tall, 1987

650 California, the Hartford Building, 466 feet tall, 1964

Click to expand

There’s a lot of history in this photo. Do you see the trend – taller and less ornate until, whoops we went too far…

You know who should write about this kind of stuff? John King. Get him a camera like this or something.

PG&E, San Francisco National Laughingstocks – Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Have a Normal Gas and Electric Utility?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

I don’t know, PG&E. Don’t you know by now that you’re a loser organization?

So how does it help to have your spokesmodels Blame the Customer First?

Right now, we’re actively investigating the cause,” PG&E spokesperson John King said shortly after the outage. “It could be a number of things, from customer-owned equipment to PG&E equipment…”

Oh, I know. The answer is that it doesn’t help.

It doesn’t help at all.

Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job:

Via David Yu - click to expand

Here’s the latest:

PG&E and the City and County of San Francisco Investigate Power Outages at Candlestick Park

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 19, 2011 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) issued the following statement from Geisha Williams, executive vice president of electric operations, about the power outages that impacted Candlestick Park this evening:

PG&E is working closely with the City and County of San Francisco, owner and operator of Candlestick Park, to determine the cause of tonight’s power outages. The first priority for both PG&E and the City and County has been to get the power restored as quickly and safely as possible and keep the power on through the rest of the game. Determining exactly what happened and working to prevent something like this from happening again is very important to everyone involved.

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company”

And from SFGov:

“MAYOR LEE’S STATEMENT ON POWER OUTAGES AT CANDLESTICK PARK

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement on the electric power outages at Candlestick Park at tonight’s San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Monday Night Football game:

“Following the loss of electric power to Candlestick Park before kickoff this evening, I directed our Police, Fire and Recreation & Park Departments and our Public Utilities Commission to work closely with the 49ers and PG&E to ensure that maintaining public safety and restoring power to the stadium were the top priorities. City staff worked immediately to deliver backup power and support PG&E staff in their repairs.

I have directed Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington to conduct a full investigation into the cause of both outages and, with PG&E, identify immediate actions that must be taken to prevent incidents such as this from happening again.

Tonight we all share in tremendous pride for our San Francisco 49ers. We must make every effort to support continued victories for the team and fans across the Bay Area in the weeks ahead.”

And from Mayor Ed Lee on September 1, 2011, during the one-year anniversary of PG&E’s incompetance killing eight people in San Bruno:

 “They’re a great company that gets it.”

Uh, nope!

Gaia Bless Writer John King – Protecting San Francisco From Larry Ellison and the Organizers of America’s Cup 2013

Monday, November 7th, 2011

San Francisco Chronicle Urban Design Writer John King was in fine form over the weekend:

“They know how to win a regatta. Soon, we’ll learn if organizers of the 2013 America’s Cup also know how to keep legitimate concerns from becoming full-scale controversies.

If they don’t, a huge project with a rare degree of support in San Francisco could find itself the target of sniping by second-guessers from all sides. The event organizers also could find themselves scrambling for permits as the clock ticks down in a time frame that leaves no room for error.

That’s why it makes sense to make a few concessions early – such as Cup officials clearly stating that they will not seek to build marinas along the downtown waterfront after the conclusion of the summer-long sailing spectacle.”

Is there anyone left in town who thinks that former Mayor Gavin Newsom did a good job negotiating the America’s Cup agreement? Or, at this point, even an average job? Not to my knowledge.

So our Road to AC13 will be full of nails and garbage pails – of that you can be certain. But it’s nice having John King around to mind the store, in’nt?

JK OTJ in SF – The Man in the Trilby Hat:

Via Justin Beck – click to expand

Gaia Bless John King

Audi Avenue: Powell Street Promenade is a Big Fat Joke – A Series of Eight Parklets to Market Audi’s Cars

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

[During all of this Powell Street Promenade stuff, please remember:

"...the benches draw their inspiration from the aluminum chassis of the all-new A7, the Audi ASF® frame."

There will be a test later.]

[Chronicle Urban Design Critic John King just weighed in. Uh, John, the original plan was supposed to relieve "pedestrian congestion," as this recent design concept from Audi shows, but the current design won't do that. And "parklet" is a pejorative in this case. And those "abstract oars" you see are "inspired by" a 2012 Audi. Thusly:

The hockey stick behind the rear wheel - see it? That's where your oars came from.]

Get up to speed on the new Audi Avenue / Powell Street Promenade Project right here.

Let me tell you, the Powell Street Promenade in Union Square will look nothing like this:

Click to expand.

Instead, it will look like this, with aluminum grating and paddles and twisted things. See?

Are these tables? I think they’re tables:

We were promised no advertising, but you make the call:

“…like much of the promenade, the benches draw their inspiration from the aluminum chassis of the all-new A7, the Audi ASF® frame. While the twisting and sculpting of the metal is intended to reflect the dynamic styling of the luxury sedan…”

Is this why Audi owners make such bad drivers, generally, the boldness? (I’d call it hubris, frankly.) Anyway, let’s let Audi make the case:

“We believe that a boldly designed car, like the new Audi A7, deserves a boldly designed world. So today we’re breaking ground on an urban design initiative to re-imagine Powell Street in San Francisco.”

I’ll tell you, the last thing Audi drivers need is anything to do with boldness.

Oh, and Foursquare too: Audi Powell Street Promenade

This is the primary surface. Number one will pass right through, number two not so much:

Now, the original idea was to have a widened sidewalk but that would have caused issues with area hotels (like them suing the City and County for starters). So we’re going to get cutouts on both sides of both blocks. Thusly:

Here’s parklet eight of eight, near the Cable Car turnaround:

Now let’s thank Gaia that the aluminum hasn’t been arranged in interlocking rings to further advertise Audi and its million-dollar Audi Avenue. But there will be Audi’s name onsite and that’s too much, IMO. Oh well.

And I can’t think of any other carmaker that’s as closely associated with aluminum as Audi, so there’s that.

Was this marketing deal put out to bid, like maybe some other car companies might want to market their vehicles using the streets of San Francisco as well, right? Anyway, I don’t know.

Feel free to share your thoughts with SFGov – oh, whoops, comments be closed, just like the way they have it at BeyondChron, which is also financed with your taxpayer dollars.

All right, which particular Audi did the Powell Street Promenade draw its inspiration from? All together now, the A7! Get one today – starting price is merely $60K.

Hurray!

Lively SocketSite has some deets along with reaction from the commonweal.

SF Streetsblog

Progress on Powell 

[Earworm of the day: We're going rock down to-oo/ Audi Avenue.]

[UPDATE: And a commenter from FineInternets.com frets over the metal theft issue. I wonder how much this aluminum would be worth melted down. See comments.]

Influential Critic John King Calls Out Preservationist Cabal Over North Beach Branch Library Fiasco – Good For Him

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Chronicle Urban Design Critic John King is going after mindless preservationism today.

Check it out.

Click to expand

Harsh! San Francisco Architecture Critic John King Takes Down the Richmond District and Its NIMBYs!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Dude, harsh!

Dude!

“A Richmond Review article on a 2004 meeting described how an Almaden resident protested the likely loss of light and views – even though the building would be to the north, out of the sun’s path, and the “lost view” would be of a 125-foot-wide thoroughfare that has yet to grace a postcard.”

Harsh!

From the time betwixt the Coronet Theatre and the senior housing what’s there these days:

Click to expand

Moving on. I’ve come to the conclusion that not only does John King take pichures as good as the full-time staff photographers/editors what’s at the San Francisco Chronicle, he takes pichures better than the full-time staff photographers/editors what’s at the San Francisco Chronicle.

I mean, he’s making his point about whatever, so isn’t he the best person to take the photo to make the point?

To prove this, I’d cite the photos from the article above and also what SFGate had about the CIRM worm. (I was looking forward to seeing how a pro would handle that crazy building, but oh well.) Compare those shots with John King’s over at the SFGate archive. See?

John King is better, faster, cheaper, stronger, photography-wise

Just saying, bro.

San Jose Mercury News Work Rules: Photographers Can’t Write and Writers Can’t Take Photographs?

Monday, November 15th, 2010

From the California Media Workers Guild, comes news of negotiations at the San Jose Mercury News concerning our “changing, online media world.”

Check out a clause from the current contract below – it explains a lot.

Meanwhile, up in San Francisco, writer John King seems to be doing a fine job taking photos to illustrates his points.

Ask yourself, how do these rules serve the reader?

Anyway, welcome to the 20th century:

“ARTICLE VI — JOB LIMITATION

(a)     A reporter shall not do the work of a photographer, and a photographer shall not do the work of a reporter, nor shall the members of the editorial department perform duties outside the editorial department, nor shall employees of other departments do editorial and news work. This shall not be construed to prevent the employment of reporter-photographers for special work after agreement with the Guild, which agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld. Provided:

(b)     Combination reporter-photographers may be employed outside Santa Clara County, but shall be limited to no more than two (2) in any one bureau. Within Santa Clara County, combination reporter-photographers may be employed only as follows:

1.      Two designated combination reporter-photographers may be assigned to the South County bureau, and may use cameras only south of Coyote.

2.      One designated Venture (outdoors) section reporter, including the wildlife writer, may use a camera south of Coyote on subjects to appear only in the Venture section.

3.      The Inquiring Reporter may use a camera for head shots which may be reproduced only in the Inquiring Reporter column.

4.      On a voluntary basis, cameras for the purposes of head shots only may be used by reporters when outside of the main office. Application of this subsection shall not be a direct cause of a reduction in force of staff photographers.

(c)     The Travel Editor may use a camera outside of the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey; to illustrate travel articles only.

(d)     In the graphics department, graphic editors and photographers may be interchanged for temporary periods; provided that their competency shall be judged only on their designated primary skill, and that they shall not do the work of reporters or other newsroom employees.

(e)     A combination reporter-photographer shall not be required to be proficient in both skills. Competency shall be judged only on the designated primary skill.

(f)     Online outside salespeople (online sales team and one (1) online classified recruitment sales representative) only may carry lightweight point-and-shoot digital cameras.  Their photographic work shall only be used in online publications.  Affected employees shall not be judged by their photographic skills.”

John King, the Equine Dentist, vs. the CAMP Museum in the Presidio

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

To begin, John King is the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Urban Design Writer. And an equine dentist is one who looks a gift horse in the mouth. And CAMP is the proposed Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio. Now you’re up to speed!

Here’s the deal. Check out John King’s Fisher’s Awkward Location for Presidio Museum article and this graphic to see where he’d prefer our new museum to be.

img_7848a.jpg

If you like huge parking lots and “historic” freeway on-ramps, then you’ll want to delay any changes at the main post of the Presidio for as long as possible.  

Now here’s the case for keeping the proposal where it is. By the numbers:

1. Framing. CAMP would help to “frame” the newly-green main parade ground, which is now a huge parking lot of course. That’s the basic version, but internationally-famous architect Richard Gluckman would probably be able to expand on that. He should be more than capable of doing so, as his name is literally synonymous with from Bauhaus to our house minimalism. See and hear for yourself on July 10 in San Francisco, if you can pony up the dough.   

2. The view from inside of CAMP. Check out this graphic - it’s a glass wall that would let visitors look to the north. JK’s idea would be to keep the proposed location of CAMP empty in order to let future generations to decide what’s best. But the glass wall and other features of the building certainly suggest it was designed for this particular site.

3. The proximity to Building 101. You can see 101 here – it’s the middle building on the right. There’s your administrative offices for the museum and also the place for workshops and programs. It would be nice to be able to have the main museum building reserved mostly for display space leaving Building 101 for other things. And of course, it would be nice to have these two locations close to each other.

So there you have it.

Would John King prefer chucking the whole idea of CAMP if it can’t be placed at his preferred location?

That, unfortunately, remains left unsaid. 

Check out the Presidio Main Post via Free Walking Tours this Summer

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Well, as promised, park officials over at the Presidio led a tour on Sunday describing new proposals for the area around the Main Post.

Yesterday, a good turnout of about 75 people went on a 1.5 hour tour of El Presidio and the Main Post. Tour participants inside the Presdio Officer’s Club, click to expand:

img_8590-copy.jpg 

It’s your Presdio, of course, so feel free to attend other walking tours scheduled for this summer:

Come see for yourself what proposals for the Presidio are all about. On this easy-to-moderate 90-minute guided walk, Presidio Trust staff will describe the birthplace of San Francisco at the heart of the Presidio – the historic Main Post – and discuss ideas for revitalizing it as the heart of an urban national park. Learn about proposals for a heritage center, an archaeology lab, public uses in the iconic brick barracks, a park lodge, reuse of the historic theatre, and a museum of contemporary art. Get answers to your questions and find out how you can make your opinions heard in this public process.

img_8606-copy.jpg

July 14th will be the next big event in the process of Bringing Back the Heart of the Presidio, as they say.

See you there!