A fun ditty to celebrate Golden Gate Park's 150th birthday

Happy mutants Andy Cowitt and Michael Wertz have collaborated on a song that tells the story of Golden Gate Park -- San Francisco's three-mile-long stretch of man-made natural space -- from its sandy start to "skaters on streets." It was created to coincide with the park's 150th anniversary (Saturday, April 4!) and the release of Marta Lindsey's new children's book (illustrated by Wertz), Golden Gate Park, an A to Z Adventure ($17.99).

Look at how stunning the book is!

-- Michael Wertz previously on BB Read the rest

Expensive underground "sleeping pods" proposed to house San Franciscans

A housing development project hopes to put people underground in the cavernous depths of San Francisco's Mission neighborhood.

SFGate reports:

Developer Chris Elsey of Elsey Partners in Manhattan, Kansas, has plans to build two apartment buildings in San Francisco's Mission District that would each include two basement-level floors with 88 so-called "sleeping pods," measuring about 50 square feet each, just a little bigger than a king-size bed...

"The contentious part is these below-grade sleeping pods," said Elsey... "When you’re building something, the plans have to be approved by the Planning Department and the Building Department. These below-grade sleeping pods meet the building codes, but there’s this perception from the Planning Department that it’s not something any human being should be exposed to or allowed to do."

...With close living quarters, the underground spaces would likely have "house rules" that residents would need to obey.

"Obviously people don’t like it when people come home drunk and belligerent," he said. "And no pod sex. I think anyone who has been in college or a dormitory, you’ve had experiences where you prefer that people do those things in private."

The project has not yet been approved by the city and it could take years for that to happen. But, if it gets the go-ahead, it's estimated that the individual, windowless sleeping pods would rent for $1,000 to $1,375 each.

Head to SFGate for images of the proposed apartment building, including plans for the sleeping pods.

screenshot via The Mole People/YouTube Read the rest

Unreal footage of a guy falling on subway tracks and getting saved in the nick of time

There are near misses and then there's this guy in Oakland, California who got saved just before a subway train creamed him. Wow!

BART's humble hero saves a passenger from fast approaching train. On Sunday, November 3, 2019, transportation supervisor, John O'Connor was working crowd control at the Coliseum Station after the Raiders game when an intoxicated passengers miss-stepped and fell into the trackway. John sprang into action and pulled him to safety.

(KQED) Read the rest

Mating season for Bay Area tarantulas just got longer

Extra-horny spiders is yet-another unexpected consequence of climate change. The warmer-than-usual weather has prolonged the male tarantula's annual mass booty crawl—and, by extension, their lives.

The typical mating season for male tarantulas in the Bay Area runs from August to early October. They reach that tender age of 4-7 years old, molt their hairy husks for a shiny new shell (including a fresh set of "nuptial hooks"), then head out on the prowl, do the humpty dance, and die. "They’re not returning home," Cameron Morrison, supervising state park peace officer for Mount Diablo State Park, told ABC. Mount Diablo is home to a large tarantula population, and a popular tourist destination who are really into sexy tarantula voyeurism. "That’s their final voyage, basically."

Government officials have been warning the public about the possibly-jarring sight of thousands of tarantulas searching for a mate. But not because they're dangerous to humans; in fact, it's the other way around. Although their bites do sting—they are quite large, after all—their poison is harmless to humans, and they're only really likely to bite if they feel threatened.  "Hollywood and the media have made tarantulas seem monstrous, so to many people these slow-moving spiders appear ominous and threatening," explains the Mount Diablo State Park website. Nothing is farther from the truth; they are truly one of the gentle giants of the animal world."

So if you see 'em, leave 'em alone while they get it on. Consider it a Halloween blessing.

View this post on Instagram

Late September, early October is mating season for the BAY AREA BLOND TARANTULA.

Read the rest

BART map inspires poster of The Fillmore's upcoming shows

Click to embiggen image

Designer Jose Garcia at Zoca Studio Inc. used a familiar Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) map to showcase the Fillmore's 50 upcoming fall concerts. Ironically, you can't take BART directly to this historic San Francisco music venue. Still, it's a really neat design.

Here's the real BART System Map for comparison:

Speaking of Fillmore and its posters, if a show sells out ahead of time, they'll hand you a cool, artist-created poster for free on the way out as a gift. These posters are uniquely sized, usually at 13" X 19", and stores carry special frames to display them. My first one was from 1995 for the Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazelwood show. It was my first introduction to the work of mosaic pop artist, Jason Mecier, who created the original art in pasta and beans.

images via The Fillmore and BART Read the rest

Playful guerrilla group hang 'swing bombs' around San Francisco

Many locals whine that tech has killed the creative vibe in San Francisco but don't bury it just yet. A merry group of urban pranksters -- who call themselves Swing Bomb SF -- have surreptitiously placed over 50 swings around the city, as a way of turning it into an all-ages "pop-up playground"!

They've marked the bottom of each of these "swing bombs" with both the #SwingBombSF hashtag and a number from one to ??. They encourage folks to try and find all of their swings. However, since the project started a few weeks ago, some have already been removed. But don't let that stop you from searching them out.

Head to their Instagram for clues:

View this post on Instagram

#swingbombsf . #randomactsofkindness #rakday #sanfrancisco #igerssf

A post shared by Swing Bomb SF (@swingbombsf) on Feb 17, 2018 at 9:49am PST

View this post on Instagram

#swingbombsf . #sanfrancisco #embarcadero

A post shared by Swing Bomb SF (@swingbombsf) on Feb 17, 2018 at 3:17pm PST

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Swing Bomb SF (@swingbombsf) on Feb 17, 2018 at 1:33pm PST

photo by Christie Aurélio

(SFWeekly) Read the rest

'Fuck Trump' projected on a building in California's 'Mayberry by the Bay'

On Tuesday night, the words "FUCK TRUMP," as well as other political statements, were projected on the Odd Fellows building on Park Street in Alameda, Calfornia.

I live in Alameda, and have for many years.

It's a beautiful, quiet island suburb wedged between San Francisco and Oakland. Our public schools are highly rated and it's known as a safe place to raise kids.

In fact, my friend Sunny jokingly coined it the place "where hipsters come to breed," which is funny because it's true. That bumper sticker already exists.

We have a grand Art Deco movie theatre, a world-famous tiki lounge, and a Fourth of July parade that can make the most disaffected feel a tinge of patriotism.

Life moves a bit slower here, literally. The speed limit is 25 MPH on nearly all of the island, a throwback to when the island had a military presence.

Alameda is so quaint that it earned the apt nickname, "Mayberry by the Bay."

We have our issues, though it has felt as if our sheltered bubble had become remarkably unpoppable until the past couple of years.

Still, it was a surprise to see such powerful words broadcast publicly on our main drag. And it wasn't just "Fuck Trump" being featured, there was a whole slideshow of messages with a distinct "Resist" bent. I'm not complaining, it was simply something I'd more expect to see in one of our other, more politically-active, East Bay cities like Berkeley.

A photo and a video of the projections were posted in several closed Facebook groups created for Alameda residents, as well as in the public-facing Resistance SF Facebook page. Read the rest

Artist secretly shares 'Meals For Thieves'

Bay Area artist Richie Rhombus has been leaving hot meals on the front seat of his unlocked mini-van and quietly hiding in the back. When a food "thief" comes around to eat the home-cooked dinner, Rhombus eats with him, but secretly.

He explains:

Now here’s the fun part: So since this is a meal that doesn’t stay good long in open air, I wanted to have an experience that could happen within a couple hrs. So I sealed the dish in plastic wrap & left the side-door open. I also wanted to share the meal with the person without them knowing I was there, so I made a trap-door hidden area in the van, where I hid, with an identical meal, waiting for them to arrive.

...One set of footsteps stopped at the van, and after about a minute someone entered inside the vehicle at around 3:50 am... When I heard the sound of their fork hit the dish, I began eating my meal as well, together with the person. I was careful to not make any sounds, and just listened carefully while we both ate. They hit the fork against their teeth with ever bite, though no smacking sounds, chewed with their mouth closed, but several deep sniffing sounds, and deep breathing. They ate quickly, but were patient between bites. After a few minutes they sat up, and left the van.

I’m aware that I'm an artist with the creative luxury to design an experience. And this person is unknowingly involved in that experience.

Read the rest