Should we all move to Stockton?

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In the quite lively comments section of yesterday’s post about whether the Mission is still cool or not, former Mission resident and Mission-based business owner Jared Rusten posted the following thought:

you guys should come buy buildings with us in downtown Stockton (like Detroit, but smaller, safer, warmer… but with plenty of cool old historic spaces.) The mortgage on the 5000sf warehouse we just bought in Stockton (6 blocks from the waterfront) is under $1k/mo.

That is incredibly cheap. So I went back through Jared’s Instagram and grabbed a couple pics of the space. (The one up top is from several weeks back when they’d just started moving in; the next one is from more recently, after the skylights were put in.)

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Maybe we should all move to Stockton?

Here’s where it is in relation to San Francisco btw:

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[Map by Google Maps]

Gnarly flash flood at swimming hole in Hawaii, filmed by drone

Professional drone pilot Renee Lusano was chillin’ at a swimming hole when some wild shit happened:

A video posted by W R E N E E . C O M (@wrenees) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

See lots more footage on Renee’s blog here.

And for goodness sake be careful next time you’re at a swimming hole.

(Also, I was checking out the Columbia River Gorge last week and saw a whole chunk of forest go up in extremely violent flames in like 30 seconds, which was also gnarly. Be careful anytime you’re anywhere.)

Next time you’re like, “Man, the Mission has changed a lot the last few years,” here’s a little perspective…

From a certain news source:

Palestinian Man Marvels At How Much Childhood Refugee Camp Has Changed

AL-SHATI, GAZA STRIP—Saying he hardly recognized some of the makeshift buildings and piles of rubble he played in as a child, Gaza native Ramzy Abu-Dhubah told reporters Tuesday he was struck by how much the refugee camp he grew up in has changed over the years.

As he walked through his “old stomping grounds” in Al-Shati, a 0.3-square-mile camp currently home to 87,000 displaced Palestinians, the 36-year-old remarked how the whole area seemed more bustling and crowded to him now than it did when he was a boy.

“So many of the spots where I used to hang out are gone, and they’ve all been replaced by new homes—I guess this place has really been growing,” Abu-Dhubah said as he pointed out a demolished concrete structure filled with improvised mud-brick shelters that had not been there when he left Gaza in 1999. “This used to be an empty lot where I’d play soccer, but there’s got to be a few dozen families that have moved in here now. They put in one of those big ration-distribution centers, too. My buddy Ibrahim was telling me that’s where pretty much everyone goes to eat these days.”

Read on for lots more.

[Photo by Google Maps]

Crystal clear day on the bay means cool view of overlapping bridges

On our annual ferry ride to Burger Boogaloo yesterday, we were stricken dumb by the clear skies all around us. From as far away as the Alameda ferry terminal (where the ferry from SF makes a quick stop on its way to Oakland) we could see the Golden Gate Bridge clear as if we were floating right under it.

And what’s more, look how it was framed perfectly by the westernmost towers of the Bay Bridge!

(These photos, though shot on iPhone 6, don’t do justice to what was incredibly stunning to the naked eye — like, you had to be there.) (But anyway, take the ferry more often, y’all.) (Budget yachting, it’s called.)

All the dudes I ran into at Telegraph Beer Garden in Oakland after the Warriors parade on Friday

Usually when I do these lists it’s because I ran into 10+ people at some event in the Mission, but I figured 5 dudes was pretty damn good being that I was in Oakland. The Warriors parade was heaps of fun, and waiting out the BART shitshow at Telegraph for a few hours was really fun too. Here are all the dudes I saw:

  • Ryan Christopher Parks, internet genius and local rock musician and bartender at Telegraph
  • Luke Spray, co-host of Roll Over Easy (the best SF-themed radio show in SF)
  • Tyler Davin-Moore, former Crispin Cider rep and current Oskar Blues rep and eternal hard partier
  • Jordan Miller, manager of the lanes at Mission Bowling Club and eternal hard partier
  • Brian Brophy a.k.a. The Tens, Bay Area-based street photographer

We did lots of shots. (And the frozen greyhounds were good too.) (See you next season, gents!)

[Photo by Jess Kelso]

[related-posts]

OAK smokes SFO in outrageous TSA finds

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)’s awesome Instagram account, which primarily shares photos of crazy items the TSA has found while screening airline passengers, is not new, but it did see significant new attention on the Internet this week. Whoever is running it has made an effort to include wild finds from many different airports across the U.S., including several from San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport. At SFO the TSA confiscated a brush dagger and a bullet-knife, child’s play compared to the novelty bomb belt, throwing star, seven pounds of weed, and 81 more pounds of weed (pictured) taken at OAK. Wow, you’d think that last one would’ve just slid right through, huh?

The TSA’s photos offer a fascinating look at human naiveté, stupidity and stubbornness. They expose some very weird parts of the black market. The TSA’s Instagram is great, but I can’t help but notice an alternate purpose that it serves: scaring us into liking and trusting the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security by giving us the impression that “threats” are much more frequent than they actually are. The Instagram gives the illusion that the TSA is constantly confiscating tons of weapons, many deviously disguised, in every airport. A few hundred or thousand weapons is certainly many weapons, but it’s not so many when one considers that the TSA screens 600-700 million passengers every year. That means the TSA finds ~3 firearms for every million people it screens. The TSA’s posts are entertaining, but whether they intend it or not, and whether we realize it or not, they serve another purpose too. Thoughts?

Stuff’s happening in neighborhoods other than the Mission btw

Andrew Dalton, for SF Weekly, takes a look at some changes coming soon to one of them:

On a Wednesday night in January, in the cafeteria of a private high school just across Interstate 280 from the Balboa Park BART station, a group of 100 or so neighbors and activists gather to discuss the future of the neighborhood. Specifically, they come to deliver their opinions regarding what should be done with the Balboa Reservoir, a nearly 18-acre plot of city-owned land next to the City College of San Francisco.

The Balboa Reservoir is an odd space, not least because it doesn’t look much like a reservoir at all. It’s an open and flat parking lot (unusual for the area) smack in the middle of a neighborhood mostly populated by single-family homes. The reservoir sits, sunken a few feet below the surrounding area, between Mt. Davidson to the north, CCSF to the east, and a new low-rise condo building with a ground-floor Whole Foods to the south. New residents of the complex, which fronts Ocean Avenue, can look straight out their third-floor windows and enjoy a view of the three-story earthen dam that separates the reservoir from the quaint Westwood Park neighborhood to the west. On a recent Saturday, the parking lot that serves as the reservoir’s asphalt bottom was empty save for a man on a recumbent tricycle pedaling laps around the perimeter while a woman waited for him in the passenger seat of a parked Prius.

Read on for lots more background and astute reporting. (Also, take a walk around this area if you get a chance. I was there a lot when I was a CCSF student in ’03 or so, and there’s heaps of history and geography and interesting vibes around there. Randy’s Place, am I right??)

No more love for the Upper Haight

Our pal Daisy, longtime proponent of the Upper Haight, has finally had enough:

You know how you can talk crap about your family, but if someone else does, it’s totally not okay? That’s kind of how I feel about everything I’m about to say. See… I’ve lived in the Upper Haight since 2006. And I’ve been going to Haight St since I was a teenager. And sure, maybe that’s not nearly as long as a bunch of other people who live in the ‘hood, but it’s long enough for me to know that where I was once enamored with the street, I now pretty much can’t stand it.

Don’t get me wrong — there are a lot of great things about the Upper Haight: Magnolia, Alembic, Amoeba Records, Aub Zam Zam, Murio’s Trophy Room, Hobson’s Choice, Best of Thai Noodle, Off the Grid, The Booksmith, Second Act… I love all of those spots and wish I could regularly patronize them. Unfortunately, in order to get to any of them, I have to actually set foot on Haight St. Which, I’ve recently realized, is just not something I want to do anymore.

Read on for a whole heap of specific reasons Daisy doesn’t want to set foot on Haight.

(How long do you reckon it’ll be before I’m writing a listicle about being done with the Mission?)

[Photo by Google Maps]

Can Oakland possibly gentrify responsibly?

Holy cow, Susie Cagle‘s new piece on the gentrification situation in Oakland is a barnburner. Here’s how it starts:

Gentrification: We think we know it when we see it. Pour-over organic coffee, double-wide designer strollers, gluten-free options. Millennials and their unrelenting desire to live and work in cities that pushes out longtime residents. A tide rising, cresting and washing over. An act of nature.

These demographic and economic shifts in cities aren’t the result of organic social and cultural trends; the changes are wrought by decades of investment and public policy choices, and inextricably bound to histories of racism, exclusionary land use policies and exploitative banking processes that left certain communities vulnerable to a steamroller of new investment.

“If you don’t know what the problem is you definitely can’t stop being a part of it, and I think a lot of people don’t know what the problem is,” says DeeDee Serendipity, a native of Oakland who now owns a salon in the city.

Read on for an exhaustive examination of how exactly gentrification works and what exactly is happening in Oakland.