Famous people are always invading our favorite Mission food spots these days. Whether it’s Lady Gaga at Rosamunde (or El Farolito) or Steve Jobs at Flour and Water, celebrities seem to constantly be seeking that “edge” with their suppers. Perhaps that validates all the rest of us who live here, or maybe it just makes us trendy. Not Dave Chappelle though. He just really likes Indian food, and Pakwan has really good Indian Food. (One time I saw Sarah Silverman at St. Francis, but all she ordered were egg whites.)
Oh yeah, I almost forgot about this fellow in the limo outside our “it” donut shop. Whoever it was obviously forgot to consult Sexpigeon, the undisputed expert of Mission donut appreciation. Aw, now I miss that guy. New York does not deserve him.
MrEricSir posted these videos about Swan, AKA the Pigeon Whisperer, who we mentioned a few of days ago. The documentary was directed by one of his best friends and ex-coworkers of 30 years.
Turns out Swan’s real name is John Ratliff. He was once a gifted television news reporter and father of four until schizophrenia overtook his life and moved him into the streets, where he has rejected any help from his family and friends. It’s really an amazing and tragic story that you should set aside some time to watch today.
Artist Iris Alden wrote in to share a story:
I’m a local artist/barback/sometimes I work at Adobe Book Shop. I’m guessing, what with your throughly thorough knowledge of the Mission, that you guys know about Swan (a.k.a The Birdman, a.k.a John Ratliff), the white bearded character almost seen at Adobe, sometimes sitting outside smoking, sometimes inside with or without a pigeon companion. Anyway, I made this comic after having a conversation with him one night, and I thought you guys might like to see it. Voila!
Can’t get no results from the humans is right!
The Pigeon Whisperer
Snapped on 17th and Mission.
It’s always nice when you find out who “that guy” is is. Today, “that guy” is the jolly Indian dude with the bumpin’ speaker-loaded trike. You’ve probably seen him riding around Dolores Park or Sunday Streets and said to yourself, “that guy RULES”.
Well, that guy introduced himself today on our Introduce Yourself page:
Hi folks –
My name is Amandeep but everyone calls me ‘Deep. I’ve lived in the Mission since I discovered it in ’96.
I’m all about making urban spaces the most vibrant, enjoyable and human places possible, and I love our particular slice o’ the planet. I’m doing my best to give back all the awesomeness that is the Mission & SF.
I’m involved in a lot of of SF stuff (SF League of Conservation Voters, SF Bicycle Coalition), local stuff (Dolores Park Movie Night) and my own crazy activities (my flash mob dance parties: flashdance.org) and my roving tricycle sound system – which you’ve probably heard blasting around our ‘hood and Dolores Park :-) (http://www.facebook.com/trikeasaurus)
Rock On Mission Mission!
Facebook him if you want, and next time you see him say, “What’s up, ‘deep!”
[photo by Velo Vogue]
Woah, I just realized that the most comprehensive definition of hipsters was achieved in this past week. First, Ben at Mission Loc@l:
Ben, I think you’re close. However, I think you’re leaving out some minority groups. Maybe add Asian folks who don’t wear Cal sweatshirts and we’re getting warmer.
Then this from MM reader Rod:
Bingo! Next, please.
Here’s a good one, what’s a “bro”? Lately, I’ve seen dudes who are clearly hippies being called “bros”. Are hippies also bros? I guess hippies might say the word “bro” on occasion. But I guess I do that too. Wait, am I a bro? I also can’t name a member of the Giants baseball team.
Our pal Becca has spent the last couple years traveling around Central American and India developing innovative new educational curricula that center around storytelling. Give the kids the tools they need to tell a story in an innovative way, and suddenly they’re teaching you.
Becca is a great storyteller herself; you might recall her Guatemalan bike machine story, her ocelot attack story, or her “Bill Clinton slept here” story, among others.
So now Becca has a pitch up on Spot.us, and it’s about halfway funded. She’s brought this new program to the States, beginning at the Mission elementary school where she worked before she headed abroad. (Here‘s the story of Becca’s return to her old classroom.) This time, she’s asking students to focus their storytelling efforts on their experiences with migration:
The collective voyages of these students compose a narrative of the way the Bay Area’s unique culture has emerged, and how it continues to evolve. I want students to step up and tell their stories in a way that an audience will understand across boundaries of language, class, and nationality. I’ll bring a good supply of pencils, cameras, colors, papers, scissors, books, songs, and ribbons; the goal is to figure out a universal language along the way.
She’ll document her findings, and we’ll all learn a thing or two.
Read all about Becca’s plan, and help fund it if you want to, here. There’s even a way to donate without actually donating any of your own money; just click the “Earn Credits” button.