The Street View abides

This bit popped up today about 245 Leavenworth being infested by both bed bugs and thugs. Naturally, as any good nerd will, I ran over to Google Maps, punched in the address and came up with what you see above, or here. Yes indeed, it appears that there is thug infestation at 245.

Contest: review on Google Places, eat at Canteen!

The season of giving comes early (that and we’re flaky), so we’ve extended the deadline for submitting to our contest to end on Sunday, October 30th by midnight. So you have the whole weekend to go out places, review away, and send us your profile link to get in on this offer! All you need is a minimum of ONE review about a Tenderloin establishment (preferably not a sauna massage parlor day spa)

For those unfamiliar with it, Google launched their Places reviewing site a few months ago. It’s similar to other reviewing sites, but it’s a lot easier to use as it’s integrated with Google Maps and all you need is a Gmail/Google account and you’re off and running. Reviews can be quick, they can cover just about anything (including Muni!).

To spread the word, they’re now giving away $100 gift certificate to Canteen to one lucky Tender reader!

All you need to do to claim this fine prize is submit reviews to Places between now and the 26th, which means you have two weeks to unleash your opinions. Canteen, by the way (not to be confused with Cantina down the street), is one of our favorite restaurants for a special occasion, with great California-style food by well-known chef Dennis Leary. and it has an average of 4.42 stars on Google Places.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below with a link to your Places profile (or email it to us if you’d like), so a team of crack judges (us) will choose the best reviewer based on quantity and quality. Oh, and this being The Tender, at least one of your reviews needs to be about an establishment in the Tenderloin or TenderNob, although naturally we encourage more than that to increase your chances of winning.

Anyways, happy reviewing and hopefully happy eating at Canteen!

The heart of the Tenderloin is ABC Automotive?

Funny things happen when you’re bored and cruise around Wikipedia. Sometimes you learn shit! But, take for instance the article on the Tenderloin (citations are apparently needed, fools). On the little magic info map thing on the right hand side, it places the absolute center of the Loin at 545 Eddy which also happens to be ABC Automotive.

While I’m not sure if ABC is happy or displeased at this placement, can it really be said that that is the dead center of the Loin? For me personally, I think that both street boundaries and the dead center of them are really, really fluid. But, if one must place a pin on a map, I’d propose the Donut Express at 301 Eddy but that’s just me.

Shitter my timbers and all things feces-related

Shit. There, I said it. Shit, shit, shit. I said it again and if our byproduct of eating delicious meals bothers you, then that would explain why we have such a problem dealing with shit (excuse me, “feces”, no, wait, “shit”). Thankfully, as SFist noted from the full Bay Citizen article, attention is being paid to the fact that seeing some dude taking a dump between two cars is about as common these days as some mustachioed gentleman riding by on a fixie and going, “Ewwww…”

So the city, inspired by the success of parklets, are studying a plan that would put eco-friendly, translucent public toilets in parking spaces that are being dubbed: pooplets. Apparently the name shitlets was already taken and/or potentially offensive to delicate, new residents’ ears that don’t want to realize that what goes in, must come out and if you’re feeding 10,000 people, then that’s potentially 10,000 asses without a place to crap.

I’m not terribly keen on the fact that this study seems to have solely focused on the Tenderloin as shit is a problem all over San Francisco, but it is true that people don’t like talking about it in general, as noted in this article on the poo taboo or even better by the Gates Foundation:

I mean, we need to face the fact that while we don’t have Flying toilets (you should really check out that link) here we do have a massive shit problem and ignoring it has so far really not worked out so well.

Tenderloin microhood map update

The time has come to update the Tenderloin microhood map again. With 13,000 views, a solid call out, and some other events, things needed a little dusting off.

For instance, with the Koko closing, the Gimlet needed to have its western borders brought in a bit. The Hydeaway also takes a little chunk out of the Gimlet because well, it just feels right.

With great fanfare though, we’re happy to announce the establishment of Rental Row right smack in the middle of the Pandhandle. This momentous occasion has been brought to us by the throbbing thrust of tourist season and the fact you can rent from just about every major car company here at the corner of O’Farrell and Mason.

All hail Rental Row, our newest MiniTender and a fine, automotive addition to our fine neighborhood!

Bringing sanity to McAllister

By way of SF Citizen we hear the news that as of August 4th, McAllister will be a two way street (again). As we’ve mentioned before, in the 1950’s, the Tenderloin streets were wholesale converted in to downtown boulevards for through traffic to other neighborhoods. This didn’t turn out so well for the neighborhood, especially the fact that idiot drivers collide on such streets as McAllister because well, one-way streets allow them to get up to speeds that exceed their inherent intelligence.

We’re really happy to see this and hope that the other streets will soon follow. Also, SF Citizen swears that it’s an easier bike ride out to the panhandle by using McAllister to Divisadero. Seeing as how we at Tender HQ have just picked up some new bikes from Bamboo Bike Studio (they do more than bamboo), we are anxious to test this out. Anyone have any opinion on The McDiv vs. The Wiggle?

Gettin’ beat by the one-way stick

A commenter on this Streetsblog article posted a link to a 1948 traffic planning map. While the main article was talking about Hayes Street and the fact that they’re trying to convert it back to bi-directional traffic, it’s important to take note our hood in that map, which would be the one with all the red streets on it–the streets that they decided to change over to one-way streets.

This is interesting to note in that the Tenderloin’s slip in to what it is today came at several points and wasn’t just an overnight event. The first was the leveling of the hood by the 1906 fire which put an end to Saint Anne’s Valley and all the family homes that were in the neighborhood. This in turn created the high-density apartments we have today that make it difficult for families to really live in the neighborhood as cramming three or four people in to a studio or one bedroom apartment isn’t the most amount of fun.

Then came this traffic plan. The “boulevardization” of the Tenderloin was unlike any other neighborhood in that, as you can plainly see, one-way streets were implemented not only from East to West, but also North to South. This has the effect of pretty much killing whatever neighborhood was left as it became a fly-by area for people from other neighborhoods to drive through. Then naturally, the last nail in the coffin came in the early 80’s when Mister Shaw and company started building up the homeless industry that is now housed here as a containment zone that people are still able to blaze past on all the one-way streets, occasionally killing those who dare to walk.

Things are of course changing and the fact that some streets look to be re-two-wayed can only make one hope that it will work to reverse the malformed auto-centric changes that got started some 60 years ago.

Don’t go here today

So… if you have anything to do today, you might want to do it in the morning. Due to the funeral procession for the firefighters who died a huge slice across the middle of downtown and La Mission is going to be shut down. Basically, according to the article and this map if you have to do anything that’s on either side of the funeral route before it gets to 280W, you’re going to be out of luck from 3:00PM until probably 6:00PM.

Naturally, if you want to pay your respects as well as see a huge pile of fire engines, I assume that anywhere along that route would work.

A Tenderloin of many microhoods

Today we mark two years of The Tender (yay!) Somewhere around a year ago we posted a poll asking how people defined the Tenderloin. That got a number of responses and it in turned spawned the MiniTenders. These were dandy and fine, but we’ve decided to one up it in a new, Tenderloin Neighborhood Map which we fully admit was inspired by the cartographic work over at Burrito Justice.

Sure, you may think some area isn’t where you think it’s supposed to be or you may think that we don’t know what we’re talking about. In cases such as these, there is the comment form below to suggest alterations and updates because unlike our previous mayor’s hair, this map isn’t set in stone.

So, click on the map and have fun with it. We’ll be curious to see what you guys come up with as it’s meant to be taken lightly, unlike burritos from the Castle Triangle

Showing the data, ignoring the obvious

Via the Stevenson Alley Blogging Demon, Bluoz (and picked up on the UpAl), we got wind of this bit that was apparently aired last month on the BBC.

It’s a brief glimpse in to Crimespotting project, which is just one of the many wondrous interactive projects based on public data that Stamen has put out… in 2009. Since this map is about crime, the video focuses solely on the Tenderloin (of course) and attributes its high crimes rates to its “flatter topography” (really? that reminds me of a speaker at a conference in Stanford a couple of years ago who attributed Africa’s problems to its elongated shape) and goes a long way to explaining why SOMA is a hellhole…

The only thing that I found quite silly about all of it is to think that you can lead your life according to what data sets tell you. Saying that you can look at the map and, based on where the highest density of crime is, “choose your commute” is is a bit of a fallacy as shown by the fact that this is a violent ass country with a lot of guns and unpredictable violence. Sadly, even safe areas like where Mechthild Schröer was walking last year can get you shot and killed by random assholes.

It also is dangerous to rely too much on isolated data other than a point of observation. Anyone of a “charitable mind” looking at maps like these will see the “downtrodden” and think that social services are most needed where these people are. But how about considering for a minute that because there are so many social services already there that these may be bringing about the concentration of problems. There is no system that correlates these various points of data yet, but there should be. Of course the issue of which came first, the crackhead or the eighth, isn’t so important as someday working towards a more appropriate spread of social services across the entire city.