‘Tenderloin USA’ Launch Party Photos

Last night Tender friends Brad Evans and Travis Jensen debuted their photojournalism book on Tenderloin today at Ever Gold Gallery. Their respectful and judicious look at our community is captured in a 50-page journal whose proceeds will go towards Larkin Street Youth Services.

The party was a big success (there was even free decent wine and brownies!), and they ran out of journals to sell. They’ve raised over two grand already and after last night’s show I’m sure that number is going to be even bigger. You can order your own copy here.

The Tender Tonight: ‘Tenderloin USA’ Book Party

For over a year, All City photographers Travis Jensen (pictured left) and Brad Evans (right) have been regularly hanging out in the Tenderloin and photographing it. There’s always a lot of activity in the streets and people to talk to, so they kept coming back for more. They loved engaging people and chatting with them, Brad told me, and after each visit they felt really energized. But talking to other San Francisco photographers they were often asked things like “Isn’t the TL dangerous?”, “Have you ever been hassled?” or simply “Any bad experiences?”. Most of them were shocked and probably disappointed to discover that they really didn’t have any ‘war stories’ to share.

That’s when they started realizing that most San Francisco photographers avoid the Tenderloin, preferring other neighborhoods they perceive as ‘safer’ for street photography. So after a few months Travis and Brad decided to do something with all those photos they had been shooting, and this eventually led to a book that they have simply titled ‘Tenderloin USA‘ that they are now selling online. It’s mainly a collection of gorgeous black-and-white portraits of people they’ve encountered in the neighborhood, some of them with an accompanying story giving context (unfortunately, not all). Their ultimate goal, they say in the book, is that “you, the reader, will walk away from ‘Tenderloin USA’ with a fresh perspective about the neighborhood”.

Priced at $20, ALL proceeds after printing costs will go directly to Larkin Street Youth Services, a charity organization providing homeless, runaway and at-risk youth ages 12-24 with various support services, including emergency shelter, primary medical care, transitional housing, job training and scholarship assistance, amongst other services.

But if you’re too lazy to order the book online, or already got your copy but would like to meet Brad and Travis in person, tonight from 6 to 10pm they’re having their official launch party at Ever Gold Gallery where they’ll be selling some copies. There’ll be large-size prints of their photos, (free) drinks & nibbles, music, predictably lots of photographers and your unique chance to chat with them about their project and tell them what you (truly) think about it.

See you tonight!

The 200 Yards deadline looms

If you haven’t submitted your photos yet to the next 200 Yards exhibit, your window of opportunity is closing. Thus, freakin’ get on it. You’ve only got until Thursday to take that beautiful shot of the Tenderloin Heights/Post-Up/Academy Downs/Gimlet area to then have your work shown at Cafe Royale starting August 4th.

Also of note is that our next TenderNights is in conjunction with this event, so if you don’t submit, you’re not just letting down your burgeoning photo skills, but also your favorite neighborhood blog. Well, okay, that’s not true, but still read up on the guidelines and submit pronto!

Tender 200 Yards Photo Walk this Sunday

So, have you submitted photos for the next 200 Yards show yet? No? Well, the deadline is June 30th so you’d better get on it.

Of course, if you wanted to a bit more social about capturing the actual 200 yards around Cafe Royale you could join us, your Tender authors and fellow Loin lovers to walk about Tenderloin Heights, Academy Downs, the Post-Up, and the Gimlet to capture shots for submission to the show that happens August 4th (in conjunction with TenderNights!).

We’re going to be doing the photo walk this Sunday, June 19th at 5PM. Since the epicenter for this 200 Yards edition is Cafe Royale, well, we’ll start and end there. Just come along with your photo rig whether it be your phone or $10,000 Hasselblad, and enjoy the stroll.

If everyone gets along we might even be tempted to grab a couple of drinks after, and listen to some (free) live jazz music starting at 7PM.

A Tender Night of 200 Yards!

Yes! We are announcing the next TenderNights for August 4, 2011 at Cafe Royale. And you may ask yourself*, “Why are they doing it in ‘Tenderloin Heights’?” And you may ask yourself*, “Why are they announcing this so far in advance?” Well, we are heavily jumping the gun for the simple reason that this time around, we’re doing it in partnership with the good folks of 200 Yards, a photography project which works to place a photographic focus on microhoods throughout San Francisco.

You can read up on the guidelines but basically it works like this: photographers go out and take photos within 200 yards of Cafe Royale, they submit them to the gang at 200 Yards by June 30th, they select from that group, hang the show, and then August 4th there is the opening/soiree/good ole time to be had at Cafe Royale. The show will then stay up through the month of August which is one of the reasons that this is happening much higher up in the general Loin as their display space and hours permit mucho viewing.

Obviously, as the weeks click by, we’ll bug you about deadlines again and have more announcements about what to expect for this TenderNights, but until then, mark your calendars, go out, and be photographically fruitful!

* For those not up on ‘Once in a Lifetime’ by the Talking Heads, have a listen

The 105th remembrance of the quake

For those of you who, like me, woke up this morning and thought, “What the hell is with all this 1906 earthquake stuff?” it is because today is the 105th anniversary of the 1906 Earthquake which between seismic activity and to a greater extent, massive fires, leveled the crap out of San Francisco. More importantly, it’s directly responsible for the Tenderloin neighborhood having the buildings that it does now as this area was gutted by the catastrophe and subsequently rebuilt.

If you’re looking to thumb through archives today, SFMTA put up a rather awesome little photostream from which the above image of Sutter & Hyde is taken. Something even cooler is recently-unearthed account by Dr. Leonie von Zesch’s who was living in San Francisco and working as a dentist at the time, only to lose her home and practice after the quake. She lived at Sutter & Leavenworth in a house, yes a house, not a ten story apartment. It was a most different hood back then.

Meet Joanna

Today on i live here: SF, the ever-ebullient Julie Michelle features Tenderloin local, Joanna Lioce (hint: she’s not the one wearing sunglasses in the photo) who was featured in her Tenderlogue a little bit ago. For those out and about in the local scene will know Joanna from being part of the Tenderloin Reading Series. Go and have a read when you get the chance.

Photos of the week March 29 – April 4

Every Monday we feature some of our favorite photos from our cool Tender Flickr pool. If you, too, want to be featured here, simply add your Tenderloin/TenderNob/Civic Center pictures to the group. Here are some of our favorites during last week:


untitled by Ben Edward


Market Street, San Francisco by Dizzy Atmosphere


Ellis and Jones by Estify


Love Symbol by Cyril_at_sf


Shut Up and Order a Donut, Beavis by Generik11

Photos of the week March 15-28

Every Monday we feature some of our favorite photos from our cool Tender Flickr pool. If you, too, want to be featured here, simply add your Tenderloin/TenderNob/Civic Center pictures to the group. Here are some of our favorites during last week:


Looking For Dashiell Hammett by bats


untitled by Adamina


Self Parking by Shawn Clover


the best by Jef Poskanzer


Containers by Jed Sullivan


untitled by chelseaarita


Windsor Hotel by Generik11


untitled by Adamina


Tail by Jed Sullivan

Photos of the week March 8-14

Every Monday we feature some of our favorite photos from our cool Tender Flickr pool. If you, too, want to be featured here, simply add your Tenderloin/TenderNob/Civic Center pictures to the group. Here are some of our favorites during last week:


Tenderloin, late night by Travis Jensen


Untitled by Marc Tarlock


Daylight Spending Time by Erik Wilson


Untitled by Rob Padley


Walter Hua’s art by Armazi


Jones by Adamina


Gangway by SF à gogo


And You Walk Wet Streets Trying to Remember by Erik Wilson


Smile by Matthew Almon Roth