World Homeless Day celebrated with random occupations

Today was World Homeless Day and, like last year, it was celebrated by local homeless advocates led by the squatters’ collective Homes Not Jails — with Frank Chu in an advisory role. Their main focus was occupying vacant buildings around the Tenderloin, as opposed to say, SOMA, North Beach, or everywhere else that’s vacant in SF these days.

According to their website, they gathered at Civic Center by Larkin & Fulton at 5pm and were joined by members of the hashtag-friendly OccupySF protestors. At this point, according to Chron intern Vivan Ho who was there, the group was about 20 people with nearly as many journalists covering it. Sounds like the SF I know and love…

The group then rallied towards the former Cathedral Hill Hotel at 1101 Van Ness Avenue, which was subsequently occupied. They reported that most if not all of the rooms remain furnished and in habitable condition. Apparently, the protesters were allowed to stay after security did a safety check through the building. Afterwards, at around 8pm, part of the group split and moved on to the former Charlie Hotel building at 1030 Geary, right above the shuttered Infusion Lounge. For a little bit, they partially blocked traffic on Polk Street but the police merely yawned as if saying it would be illegal were traffic not to be blocked on Polk.

I then stopped petting my neighbor’s cat and left the comfort of The Tender HQ to go check out the “action”. I saw about 50-70 people gathered in front of the building, which contains 17 apartment units that they said should be opened to homeless individuals immediately. They were all eating dinner (spaghetti, I think) served by what appeared to be the guys from Food Not Bombs. I overheard the leaders discussing where to go next, but there didn’t seem to be a clear plan. There were also a few people inside of the building, eating their dinner quietly as well. Across the street four media vans and a couple of police cars were watching the action. On my way back home I saw one of the cops buying some food at Jebena, presumably donuts.

I have no idea if more buildings were occupied as was their initial plan, but I wish they hadn’t focused exclusively on the buildings that are vacant because of the planned CPMC Hospital. For example, how about raising some attention towards 655 Geary? I mean, shouldn’t the main target for such actions be buildings that owners are deliberately keeping vacant for speculation (Hibernia Bank, anyone?) instead of the ones that have an actual development plan?

Have you seen this stolen painting?

The above painting is about three by four feet in size and it’s at the heart of the whole Cafe Royale stolen painting drama a few weeks ago. So, if you come across it in somebody’s living room (or bedroom, we don’t judge), you should know it’s stolen.

I don’t know if you should sound the alarms, bust out your Glock (we all carry one after all), and make a citizen’s arrest, but I’m guessing tell some kind of authorities would be wise… (also, you could tell us as we’d like to know how this all ends).

Alabamboo hit Bamboo Bike Studio

Tonight at Bamboo Bike Studio they had the culmination of Alabamboo’s effort to bike across the US when this gang of four completed their bike ride on bamboo bicycles from Alabama to San Francisco to promote Alabama’s bamboo industry.

I would say that with the Tacos Santana truck there and Tecates all around it looked to be a good time, but I pretty much flat-out missed it as I caught the very end when I was coming back from the gym, glistening in my god-like sweat. Thus the reason for the totally shit photo up top as I only had my iPod given that my Spandex body suit holds nothing but me. I gave Justin a hard time about making sure to get the word out next time as they’ve got a lot of cool things going on there and y’all should hear about them.

If interested, check out the insane pedal route and get sore just thinking about it.

Pride Parade Roundup

This morning I spent a few hours standing by the UN Plaza listening to Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” looped 6,000 times while watching the Pride Parade wedged between an opportunistic dry humping creep and a giggling Latino family. I then followed the music to the Civic Center (which smelled glorious thanks to a beautiful display of BBQ stands) and ended up at home blasted all the way to the tune of disco music. Just before taking a nap I realized I had over a couple hundred photos, a ridiculous t-shirt tan and several crappy necklaces made of shiny beads. There must be an entire city in China making plastic beads for this country’s many parades and celebrations.

I had the impression that this year there were a lot of doggies looking to be adopted, less elaborate floats and more politicians in campaign mode barely making an effort to wear anything Pride-related. Take Jane Kim for instance (our favorite supervisor to pick on because we like easy targets), not only did she look hungover and like she’d just stuffed a quiche in her face, but she was wearing a boring white dress and beige sandals while encircled by a sad entourage of about five lackeys supporters. Although the prize for most boring supervisorial outfit had to be Scott Wiener, dressed like he was going to the office (although he had a whole bunch of people marching with him). When you’re as tall as him, I guess you wear whatever fits and is clean.

Otherwise the drag queens were (as usual) the most glamorous and better dressed people, the SFPD and fire department marchers got the most applause, the leather gang got photographed the most, and the Google Legion had the coolest t-shirts. We always find the same-sex parents marching with their children cute, as well as the couples who’ve been together for decades showing their love. But we particularly enjoyed the marchers in support of Bradley Manning and Wikileaks, which were quite a large number by the way. Now if only there was a Chinese Marching Band to play during this parade like the way the Gay Marching Band plays during the Chinese New Year Parade…

For those who missed the fun, here are a couple of photos for you. We hope you had a great weekend and are making sure to moisturize after all the sun or, well, whatever else you got.

EINE strikes again

Wondrous spray textologist, EINE, is around the Loin again. A few months back, he made these kickass murals all leading up to his show at White Walls.

Well, he’s back in town again, partially to speak at ArtPad but also to again, put up some large scale outdoor “urban contemporary” works. Here he is doing up the side of Thai House Express with “BEAT”. When I asked him why he chose that for this corner of Larkin & Geary he simply said, “Because it fits”. We Yankees could learn a good deal from British brevity.

Now, let’s just count the seconds before the Community Leadership Alliance sends off a “bulletin” complaining about this latest “travesty”…


Here’s the finished mural:

Friday Eye Candy

We’re constantly working on product placement at The Tender, having it take up at least 75% of our Tender Time. In this instance you see above, we’ve managed to slide in one of our old stickers alongside chiseled abs and the winning smile of local confectioner David “Hooker” Williams. We’re not exactly sure who that dude is above David’s shoulder, crapping up and otherwise sexy product placement opportunity, but rumor has it, he’s a Tender author.

Mid-Market’s just another way of sayin’ the Tenderloin

Ah, Mid-Market, our beloved new district for city development. I mean, Curbed even has a neighborhood tag and lots of retail space is for lease. It seems vibrant and new with the Central Market Cultural District Loan Fund ready to dole out 10, yes $10 million dollars to rebuild Mid-Market, although that’s kinda been a bit of a meh when it comes to loans being given.

Oh yes, everyone is out to revitalize Mid-Market. Famed, city-emptier, Burning Man is looking to move there, maybe in the Warfield building. Tourist-favorite, ACT might open up a theater as well as soon-to-IPO-favorite, Twitter might settle down at 9th and Market (if the city gives them a payroll tax-break). Oh, and let’s not forget everyone’s favorite burgers, Pearl’s, big announcement to open their 4th location at 6th and Market by March 15th, as well as a new hostel to take over the currently desolate Grant building at 7th and Market.

Yes, all of this is simply amazing and this revitalization is coming to a part of the city that needs it so bad, not only because it has a lot of gorgeous buildings with empty storefronts stupidly rotting away, but also because this area didn’t even exist a couple of years ago. You see, the truth of the matter is that minus a few blocks sliced off from SOMA between from Mission up, “Mid-Market” really is, wait for it, the Tenderloin.

That map above was pulled directly from the Office for Economic and Workforce Development website. While it is true that this area is the middle of Market (the straight, non-hilly part anyways), it’s also true that it comprises what most people consider to be the Tenderloin, specifically, the heart of the Tenderloin between Polk, Mason, O’Farrell, and Market. Naturally, it makes a great deal of sense given that you if one were to say, “Tenderloin Redevelopment” that immediately sounds like “gentrification” which in turns pulls homeless advocates out from under their comfy rocks to decry it as evil. Call it “Mid-Market” however and they have a much harder time as it’s a much broader and non-stigmatized term.

To a great extent, I’m all for this. Sneaky, even if it is abundantly clear, is quite necessary at times. It would just be nice if people would be honest about it from time to time because when you give a neighborhood a case of schizophrenic identity issues, you sorta get those kinds of developments in turn which while there are successes are indeed “gap-toothed”. Some day, far in the future one can only hope that the Tenderloin won’t become/already be a “Sanctuary District” (that’s a Star Trek reference which is pretty much becoming truth) and that we’ll realize that we just might want to develop the heart of our city and say that’s what we’re actually doing.

(As one geeky ass sidenote, I find it ironic that searching “Sanctuary District A Tenderloin” brings up Jane Kim in the top results)

City Hall Holiday Party

Wha? Snow? Here? In Civic Center? Yep – this past Sunday afternoon was (still Mayor) Gavin Newsom‘s Holiday Open House and crazy kid party, which meant truck loads of “real” snow constructed into a sledding hill, toddler play area, and make-your-own snowman corner. Of course the food carts rolled up too. This Tenderblogger didn’t quite have the patience to wait in the line for the actual open house, which snaked AROUND THE BLOCK. (Seriously people? Can’t you go into City Hall, like, any day of the year?) Apparently Mr. Newsom himself was in attendance greeting citizens and spreading holiday cheer. I was fine to ride the sugar high from the Cupkates cart while soaking up the manufactured winter wonderland… mmm, red velvet…

> Update 12/14

The Civic Center blog has more photos of the holiday party at City Hall, including some of a smiling Mayor, as well as some info on who funded the whole thing.

Not a pleasant morning

Meligrosa submitted a photo to our pool over the weekend that showed a rather mightily smashed-up car window. This appears to be up on Post in front of farm:table (you can see the outdoor chairs in reflection on the door handle) which just goes to show that when it comes to car break-ins, you’re pretty much screwed in San Francisco. Window smashing and your shit getting stolen is a hobby that’s city-wide.

As a constant reminder, leave nothing of interest within view, although oddly the Minnie Mouse plush toy belted in to the passenger’s seat was left unharmed.

Sign the petition, bring the parklet

For those of you who know, love and style up farm:table on Post Street, you may or may not be aware that they’ve applied through the Pavement to Parks program to bring a “parklet” to the front of their establishment. We’re all for this initiative as it’s grassroots, created and funded by those it directly affects, and works to make our dense city areas more livable and sane. This would also be the first parklet in the Tenderloin/Nob neighborhood.

There are some people who are against this, though. Maybe it’s due to the loss of one or at most, two parking spaces. Maybe it’s the potential for noise, which um, is that something someone in downtown could be annoyed by? Maybe it could also be the belief that a private business is grabbing “public land” unfairly. But, here’s the thing: these parklets are granted conditional use. The people that sponsor them have no claim to the space where they’re constructed. They’re temporary and most of all, they’re for the general public. Yes, it’s true that a business such as farm:table can get more outdoor seating from the deal, but at the same time, they provide more non-transient street space that we can all enjoy in a town that’s damned near criminal in its lack of benches and any kind of outdoor spaces.

I got in to all this to say that two people out of the entire neighborhood (who are a couple and decided to remain anonymous) voice objection to the permit granting the parklet to farm:table. I guess they have their reasons for whatever that’s worth, but now those who support this parklet need to speak up in favor of it. If you want to see this go through (not just for the seating at farm:table, but also to increase our sorely lacking outdoor leisure space) then sign this petition and mail it in to the address provided on the letter.