Help stop racial profiling

A couple of days, while shopping at Salama Halal (our butcher of choice in the neigborhood), we noticed this sign on the door. It’s for a mobilization happening tomorrow Wednesday October 5th at the San Francisco Police Commission Meeting. It’s organized by the Coalition for a Safe San Francisco to end police racial profiling. So if you’d like to support them, here’s what the poster says:

The San Francisco Police Commission will be discussing the SFPD’s relationship with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) at its upcoming meeting on October 5, 2011. The Coalition for Safe SF is asking organizations and individuals to stand in solidarity with us for a mobilization to demand an immediate vote to end SFPD involvement in FBI racial and religious profiling practices via “opting out” of the existing FBI JTTF MOU contract.

The recently released secret contract between the SFPD and the FBI revealed that SF Police assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force are put under the control & rules of the FBI. This allows SF Police to circumvent local intelligence-gathering policies, police orders and California privacy laws that prevent spying on people without any evidence of a crime. It should be absolutely clear that our officers are in compliance with local and California law.

The FBI’s more permissive guidelines have raised grave civil & human rights concerns & complaints across the country because they could be based on, or lead to illegal & unconstitutional profiling & surveillance. Thousands of innocent individuals are being contacted by the FBI and local police officers assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force. These innocent Americans have done nothing wrong. In many cases, the FBI does not have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Instead, people are being harassed because of their affiliations and their identities.

Community testimony at a recent SF Human Rights Commission hearing helped document that Arab, Muslim & South Asian community members are indeed facing consistent interrogation, surveillance, harassment, & infiltration by federal law enforcement personnel (including FBI, CBP, and ICE) at homes, places of worship, workplaces & while traveling, due to the guidelines.

The mobilization will be at the:
SF Police Commission Meeting
Wednesday October 5, 2011 at 5:30PM Sharp
San Francisco City Hall,
Room 400 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlet Place
For any questions call: 415.848.7714

New Thai Idea Veggie Opens!

As I was rolling down to a Filipino food tasting at the Civic Center yesterday afternoon, I came across a new restaurant on Polk between Eddy and Ellis named Thai Idea. I stopped to look at their menu and the friendly owner, who introduced himself as Pop, came out to say hi.

He told me he opened a bit over a week ago in the space that was formerly an unremarkable Mexican restaurant (that I have seriously no recollection of ever existing), and that his menu is 100% vegetarian and vegan. After a few minutes chatting on the sidewalk, he invited me inside to check out the brand new space. The furniture is nice and comfortable, and the walls are painted green, silver and gold with decorations handcrafted by Pop himself. The decor is definitely a notch above most other Thai and Asian places in the neighborhood.

Pop explained that his mom cooks super amazingly and that she owns two very successful Thai restaurants in Foster City and San Mateo, Basil Sweet and Basil Cha Cha respectively. He has also been working as the manager for the Osha Thai branch on 2nd Street and Howard, so he felt like it was really time to open a place of his own.

He’s vegetarian so he wanted to have a place offering a fully vegetarian menu with no meat dishes whatsoever and no fish or oyster sauce sneaking in. He also wanted to offer a different food experience from most other Thai places nearby, such as Zen Yai around the corner which we know most of you swear by. But in spite of the menu focus and the pretty interior design, Thai Idea’s prices are still all under $10, making it a great value for the dining experience.

And if you’re as excited as we are to check out Thai Idea, then you’re in luck! We’re giving away 10 Complimentary Dinner Entree vouchers to Tender Readers who leave a comment below telling us why they’d like to eat there. You have until this Wednesday October 5th so get commenting! The winners will be notified via email, thank you all for your interest in trying Thai Idea!

-Thai Idea Vegetarian Restaurant (Facebook)
-710 Polk St. San Francisco

The Tender This Weekend: Filipino Book Fair & Arab Cultural Festival

This is a weekend full of events in the neighborhood, as you can see in our Tender Calendar. On Saturday there are a few art shows, as well as two cultural festivals:

Filipino Book Festival

Happening all weekend long in the Civic Center Plaza and at the Public Library, this festival explores Filipino music, art and culture in addition to literature. Their program is full of literary events and performances, both for children and adults. And of course, there’s also lots of Filipino food lined up — free food tastings, food stands and culinary lectures by experts.

At 10:30am on Saturday local officials (including Mayor Ed Lee and Philippines Consul General) will kick off the festival at the Fulton Street outdoor stage. This will be followed by various musical and theater performances, a digital storytelling workshop, a traditional Filipino poetry debate, book signings and much more.

The Sunday program is packed with similar events, including dance performances, martial arts exhibitions and of course a lot of readings. There will even be additional activities taking place at the Asian Art Museum.

For more details, check the full program.

If you’re longing for some lumpia or longganisa though, make sure to also stop by for free food tastings, food booths and culinary lectures from the likes of chef and food columnist Claude Tayag and author Felice Santa Maria, to get a taste of traditional Filipino cuisine, which is known for its unique blend of sweet, sour and spice.

Arab Cultural Festival

Taking place in Union Square on Saturday afternoon, this is the 17th edition of a festival showcasing the arts, entertainment, cuisine, traditions, culture and “the spirit” of Arabs, of Arab Americans and “of the Arab world”. Performers at this year’s festival will include: debkeh group Al Juthoor, Oudist Naser Musa and percussionist Faisal Zedan, contemporary vocalist Salma Habib, Nubian soul group Al-Sarah and the Nubatones (unplugged) and Syrian-American hip hop artist Omar Offendum.

The booth Bazaar will include: Arabic cuisine, jewelry, textiles and crafts from the Arab world, a children’s activity booth, informational booths from many Arab organizations, artwork and much more.

Vietnamese Restaurant becomes Vietnamese Restaurant

According to the photo above, as well as Eater, we now have the new Vietnamese restaurant, “Sao Bien” where there once was a Vietnamese restaurant, “Vietnam Too”. The only visible difference seems to be that this one also has Chinese food.

So, for all of those people who love to say that the Tenderloin is a vibrant, constantly-changing neighborhood, suck it. We can be as boring as a brunch line at Brenda’s if need be, although you’ll probably still want to look out for random bouts of flying trash while you wait for a table.

Someone hates EINE

It’s obvious that we like what EINE does as we mentioned previously. But, apparently, those who don’t like him have decided it’s worth putting their opinion on a sticker. Having chatted with Ben a bit here and there, I assume his respond would be, “Eh, whatever. Good job. I’ve got my art in the fucking White House. Enjoy your stickers.”

>Update

As we should have figured, but didn’t because we really aren’t cool, apparently EINE himself made the stickers (as pointed out by reader Steve). Ha, figures. So, now you know and knowing is half the battle.

Up in the Loin is the Best Ass in the Bay

The SF Bay Guardian would like you to vote on the hottest ass in the Bay Area to publish in their upcoming Sex Issue. As pointed out by SFist, not all the butts are what we would consider Best of the Bay quality, hell, they might not even be Best of the Bakersfield quality.

But fortunately the Tenderloin is well represented with this hot ass below (#15), for which we of course urge you to vote. If you vote for anything #20 and beyond, we’re not talking to you anymore for any number of reasons that are obvious.

Do dog walkers avoid the Tenderloin?

It’s not the first time that we hear a Tenderloin resident complain about the discriminating attitude of some dog walkers in the city who refuse to come to the neighborhood, like @heyitsjamhands (aka ukulele girl) was doing tonight.

On the other hand, we’ve seen a lovely dog walker lady a few times who picks up Gus of Hooker’s Sweet Treats with her car full of other happy doggies. She didn’t seem to have any issue with offering her services in this neighborhood, although we can’t be sure if she’s the only exception and she probably goes and walks them elsewhere–hopefully painting the Marina brown. Unfortunately, we don’t have a dog (that’s why we need to stalk all of yours) and thus we don’t know what problems there may be.

So you tell us, dear Tender readers, have you experienced problems finding a dog walker who’s not scared of the TL?

Zendesk moves to Mid-Market

We learned about Zendesk moving to Mid-Market to take a advantage of the city’s recent payroll tax exemption about two months ago. But, we so tired of how incensed some people were by what they saw as an impending threat of gentrification, that we didn’t write anything about it at the time.

Zendesk, a company that originally started in Denmark and moved to SoMa in 2009, sells cloud-based help desk software. They currently have 80 employees, but they’re planning to almost double their staff by the end of the year so they needed a bigger space. Back in June, when they started the move, they wrote on their Zengage blog:

The city’s been an amazing incubator for some of the world’s most innovative tech companies. Its energy meshes well with our own disruptive aspirations, and its signature quirkiness is often in line with our own. This city has been very good to us, and in return, we want to be good to it.

Which is why we’re thrilled to be one of the first tech companies to move to the Mid-Market neighborhood. We’ll be taking advantage of the city’s new tax incentive to bring pre-IPO companies to that longtime blighted neighborhood. […]

It’s a chance for us to help turnaround a notoriously distressed area and helps us stay firmly planted in San Francisco. It will also help us expand our 80-person office to include an additional 70 new hires by the end of 2011.

Not to say we haven’t been happy here on good ol’ 410 Townsend Street, but the move to 989 Market Street, well, it’s going to be pretty cool. We’re excited to meet our neighbors: the Warfield, Show Dogs, the infamous Tu-Lan, and the soon-to-be Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers, and of course, our yet-to-be seen tech colleagues who we’ll soon be working next to.

Yesterday we had the chance to visit their brand new 17,500 square foot space at 989 Market Street (almost at the corner with 6th Street, above Blick’s, where they are already regular customers). We were there with a bunch of more ‘serious’ journalists (dead tree, dead air, etc.) for the official announcement of their move to the space (their actual move just happened a week ago). Zendesk’s CEO and founder, Mikkel Svane (who was wearing a great hat) welcomed Mayor Ed Lee for a little welcome-to-the-neighborhood speech. And since everyone is in campaign mode, David Chiu was there as well smiling a lot. Lee and Chiu, who agreed so much on everything that they even almost hugged each other when a reporter asked about their ‘deteriorating relationship’, both called for a comprehensive tax reform. Lee said that San Francisco, as a ‘global and international city’ needs to be more welcoming for businesses.

Lee also announced the launch of a website to coordinate revitalization efforts for the neighborhood. He said that the website, Central Market Partnership, will provide information about neighborhood news and events, as well as about programs and resources in the area. We’re assuming that it will have less snark than us, but with less content so pick your poison(s).

Afterwards, Lee was shown a helpdesk they had prepared for him and they asked him to provide customer service on the phone. All the photographers crowded his cubicle so I missed the details of the conversation, but I’m sure it wasn’t as amusing as it should have been. Fortunately, that didn’t last long so we moved on to exploring their shiny new offices. We particularly loved their awesome kitchen (if I worked there I would never cook at home again), the Guitar Hero room which is apparently very popular with all employees, and the cabinets with a cushion on top for impromptu meetings by your desk.

In between admiring their decorative Buddhas and nice meeting rooms, we also found out that Zendesk has just signed a lease for an additional floor in the building, which would double their space. In spite of the challenges of being on Market & 6th, they all said they are very happy with their new location. Most of their employees commute to work by public transit or bike, and they are loving being in the middle of things and so close to everything. Svane even said that when they found that space they didn’t think twice about moving in, that it was a “quick love affair”. Let’s hope that once the romantic infatuation phase passes (ie post-IPO), their love for the area doesn’t go away.

The Tender Tonight: Please Touch Garden Launch Party

Remember that a few weeks ago we featured the “Please Touch Garden” and we mentioned that it was about to be open to the public? Well, the time has finally come and tonight they’re having a launch party at Swig (561 Geary) from 5:30 to 9PM.

So please come out and show your support for this awesome community project by grabbing a drink and having a great time.

All the proceeds from the party will go to the garden. But this won’t be just a fundraising event, but also a fun party with live music, DJ’s, drink specials, cool raffle prizes, and an auction for a date with some of the hottest bartenders in SF (wait, what?!).

If you’d like to RSVP, you can do it here.

And if you can’t make it out for the fun, you can still be there in spirit and show your support by making a donation.

Hope to see y’all at Swig tonight!

Kittehs of the week: Madeira, Roxy and Milan (plus roommates)

Although for the longest time we barely greeted each other when coming in or out of the apartment, my next door neighbor Ryan recently became very friendly. He had discovered the adjacent location of The Tender HQ and admitted to reading the site and particularly the kitteh of the week section. One day, upon seeing me in the street playing with the attention-loving Vixen, he even stopped to chat about his cats. I had met one of them on a couple of occasions when she escaped his apartment in search of adventures in the hallway, but it hadn’t occurred to inquire further. As it turns out, he was dying to have them featured on The Tender, and I was happy to oblige.

Pictured above is the cheekiest and youngest of the three cats, Madeira. She’s a three year-old pure breed Maine coon and escape artist in her spare time. She also loves laser pointers to the point of manic insanity.

Roxy is much calmer, usually hanging out on the bed or any other elevated surface watching what goes on in the apartment with an air of bored indifference. Milan’s indifference goes even further, looking annoyed at the disturbance for the picture.

Milan was the first kitteh that Ryan adopted in a shelter in Seattle, where he lived prior to moving to San Francisco. Milan and Roxy get along really well, often grooming each other and cracking jokes about attention-whore Madeira. Before Madeira they used to have another sister named Sprite when they lived in a different apartment on Post, but unfortunately she fatally fell off the window (they lived on the 8th or 9th floor). Now they have three rats as their roommates.

Ryan says he had never thought about owning a rat, but one day he saw an abandoned dresser on a sidewalk that looked interesting. He was going to check the drawers when he saw a friendly rat hanging out on one of the shelves. He felt sorry for the newly-orphaned little fella, and decided to adopt him. Eventually, he got him some companions at Petco. Pictured above is Moo-Cow and here’s Brownie looking cute for the camera (the third rat is Blackie).

The cats don’t pay much attention to them as they’re too big to be interesting and/or huntable. Sometimes they’ll play with their tails, but that’s about it. I’d even say they’re a bit intimidated by them, as proven by Madeira’s wary reaction to Brownie’s attempts to be friendly.

The rats don’t usually pay much attention to the cats either, except for when one is sleeping on top of their cage and they try to steal some fur for their nest. They don’t usually leave their cages as they get nervous and pee all over.