Archive for July, 2011

Remembering the Red Vic Movie House

July 30th, 2011


In spite of their uncomfortable seats and strange popcorn toppings, many of us have fond memories of Haight Street’s Red Vic Movie House, which closed forever on Monday after more than 30 years.

Their silent “Dishes” video (above) was of course shown prior to every film. It served as a reminder to not make a mess and to return your popcorn bowl after the film. Otherwise, of course, you might find yourself pulled under the seat in front of you down into the depths of hell. An important lesson for us all.

But what really made the Red Vic memorable wasn’t just their funny film bumper or their selection of cult classic films — it was the guests who showed up. For example, when I first saw mumblecore classic “Funny Ha Ha,” director Andrew Bujalski stuck around to answer questions and just hang out with us in the audience. That sort of interaction between filmmaker and audience was the rule, not the exception at the Red Vic. You rarely find that at any other theater.

And that’s why the Red Vic will be missed.

16th and Guerrero restaurant update

July 30th, 2011

Two empty restaurant spaces are about to get less empty. Today a new sign went up at the former Bangkok 16 space for Krua Thai:

Krua Thai

And further down the street at the former Il Cantuccio space is an alcohol permit for (what else?) a new Italian pizza joint called Mozzeria:


Metreon renovation

July 26th, 2011


IMG_2729 IMG_2730 IMG_2732 IMG_2731 IMG_2733 IMG_2734 IMG_2736 IMG_2735

Stopped by the Metreon lately? (No? Of course not.)

Currently it’s being torn up, and almost everything is closed. The only two remaining establishments are the theater and the Japanese restaurant. Everything else is either gone or being rebuilt. Even Jillians is closed for renovation, despite signs everywhere claiming the opposite.

The only two enterances now face 4th St. and Yerba Buena Gardens, with a temporary theater ticketing area on the ground floor. Everything else is walled off, with warning signs about hard hats.

Here’s to hoping the Metreon’s new Target store means fewer trips for us city folk down to the “twin Targets” of Colma and Daly City.


July 26th, 2011


Spotted at Church St. Station.

Breadache: The Tartine bread experiment

July 25th, 2011

Last Christmas I got a copy of Tartine’s bread cookbook. Oh wait, did I say cookbook? It’s more of a narrative bread manifesto. (Breadfesto?) The recipes are interwoven with tips, advice, and pages upon pages of photos. Following Tartine breadmaster Chad Robertson’s basic country bread recipe is a serious undertaking.

But who doesn’t like a challenge?

For those not in the know, Tartine’s bread recipe is old-fashioned naturally leavened bread. That means you basically put some flour and water out on the shelf and let it go “bad,” and that’s your yeast. That’s right, no little packet of yeast; it just comes magically from the air. (Cool, huh?) So the only ingredients you need to buy are flour, water, and salt.

Tartine bread experiment

Tartine bread experiment

As you can see in the above photos, my bread actually did rise — but not enough! This was my third attempt. While the bread tastes fine, it’s still a bit too dense and not quite fluffy enough.

A couple notes for people attempting the “basic” country bread recipe:

  • Making bread takes pretty much all day. You need to pick a day when you’re going to be home at all times.
  • The book tells you that once you’ve mixed the dough, you let it sit for a few hours. But don’t stop reading, because the next thing he says contradicts this! You need to come back in half an hour to “fold” the dough.
  • Feed your leaven in the morning. This is important, because you need to take a sample from it at night in order to have dough ready the next morning. There’s no way to get around this.
  • If you don’t have a dutch oven, buy the suggested Logic Logic combo cooker. It’s a really cool invention, because it doubles as a pot and skillet when you’re not using it as a dutch oven. I found mine at my local Ace Hardware, but Rainbow Grocery sells them as well.
  • Chad doesn’t say this upfront, but you need a “bench knife.” It’s basically a piece of sheet metal with a handle. You need this for shaping the dough. Any store that sells kitchen stuff will have this.

More to come when I get this challenging recipe perfected.

Does BoingBoing coverage confirm San Francisco street art no longer hip?

July 22nd, 2011

Mural at 19th and Mission

There was a time when BoingBoing was an underground zine, and being covered in its pages meant you were an up-and-coming phenomenon. Now that BoingBoing is the 11th most popular blog on the internet, your grandmother is probably reading it. Nothing diminishes the cool factor more quickly than when uncool people know about it.

With this in mind, has street art in San Francisco finally jumped the shark into non-hip status with recent coverage of the superhero mural at 19th and Mission?

Or will local street art survive such deserved (but unnecessary) praise and maintain its local cred?

18th St. art wall replaced with anti-plastic bottle message

July 19th, 2011

Oh no!

As you may recall, last time we checked in with the 18th St. art wall, it was alive with a collaborative effort started by Zoltron.

Now the wall is gone, replaced with a message about plastic bottle waste. Lame.

Maharaja to become Taj Express

July 19th, 2011


The defunct Maharaja on Valencia at 16th now has a liquor license on the window for a new Indian eatery to be called Taj Express.

We can only hope this will be a step up from the previous tenant, notorious for empty seats, bland food and poor service. With only Pakwan in the immediate area, a second good (or even decent) Indian joint would be a welcome sight.

Run Lee

July 18th, 2011

Okay Ed, you need to make up your mind NOW. Are you going to run for mayor? If not, stop teasing people and tell us if you’d like to get your old job back. If so, fine, go for it — you couldn’t be any worse than the last joker we had.

Anyway, I spent approximately 3 minutes making you the best campaign poster of all time. So if you decide to run, don’t be a sucker MC; put on your Adidas and use this poster.

Pica Pica applies for outdoor seating permit

July 15th, 2011

Pica Pica Permit

Everyone’s favorite Pokemon themed Venezualen eatery, Pica Pica has applied for an outdoor seating permit. By eating outside their establishment, one could combine the intoxicating smells of a delicious arepa with the intoxicating smells of intoxicating substances.

Sounds like a swell idea, although it’s not terribly clear where these tables would go. I’m assuming the only space to squeeze six tables would be along 15th, though the sidewalk there is not terribly wide.