Archive for May, 2012

West of Pecos opens Monday, May 14th

May 10th, 2012

West of Pecos opening day West of Pecos

West of Pecos, the new restaurant from the Woodhouse Fish Company folks, is slated to open this Monday, May 14th.

As you may recall, this newly built-out restaurant replaces the old Valencia St location of beloved Indian ice cream joint, Bombay Bazar.

For more on West of Pecos, check Eater’s coverage here.

Things San Franciscans despise: filth

May 7th, 2012

Most visitors would be shocked to learn that San Franciscans hate filth.

Ours is a city that doesn’t want to stay clean, but we try our best. Some cleaning accomplishments we’re especially proud of include:

  • We require restaurants to display a hygiene score card.
  • We have a number to call for park and sidewalk cleaning.
  • We heavily fine anyone who dares block our street cleaning vehicles’ precise schedule.

Yes, we live in moldy old buildings. Yes, the entire city often smells terrible. And yes, that’s human urine on your car door. Sorry, I should have told you not to park here.

Tourists don’t recognize our little obsession with cleanliness because we often focus on minor details, ignoring larger issues that are politically unpalatable to address head-on.

The poster child for our cleanliness obsession reaching a disorder level is Bart. Despite drug deals and human excrement problems in certain stations, Bart focuses on appeasing germaphobes who demand free hand sanitizer and inorganic germ-resistant vinyl seats.

This isn’t to say San Franciscans are trying to scrub away our hippie image; we’re just washing our organic heirloom tomatoes with soap these days.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go confirm that the overflowing trash can I reported to 311 was emptied.


Original photo by gruntso.

How to wait for the 22 Fillmore

May 4th, 2012

Muni stop party

Is the wait for the 22 too long? “No shit,” you mutter under your breath, steam coming out your ears and veins popping out of your forehead.

Fortunately, some smart local folks have apparently figured out a way to make the 22’s notoriously inconsistent schedule work in their favor: with sangria.

Now on most Muni lines you don’t have time to buy a couple bottles of wine while you’re waiting for the next bus, let alone cut up fruit, allow it to steep, and drink the entire pitcher before the bus arrives. But the 22 isn’t a normal bus line. The wait for the 22 can range from 1 second to 48 minutes; the NextMuni prediction tends to oscillate randomly between those extremes.

Frankly there’s no way to tell when (or if) the next 22 will come. So until then, why not have a sangria party? Aside from your liver, what have you got to lose?

My paper airplane

May 2nd, 2012

Paper airplane

If you attended Obscura Day 2012 in San Francisco, you may have seen my paper airplane. What was it doing there?

It’s a long story, but here’s the short version.

The Elsewhere Philatelic Society (a bunch of odd stamp collectors, it’s a long story) at some point asked everyone to send “talismans.” These objects had to be sent through the mail bare — without box packaging of any kind.

I immediately recalled a book I read as a child: Kid’s Shenanigans from Klutz Books. In the book, they mention that you can send any object through the mail as long as it wouldn’t come apart or endanger anyone. They cite a shoe (sans shoelaces) as something that could be safely mailed.

Around that same time, Origami had become a fad, and by extension paper airplanes. I’d gotten pretty good at folding paper, and after reading the Klutz book I’d started to wonder what would happen if I sent a paper airplane through the mail.

To me it seemed like the basic paper airplane was the best shape for mailing purposes. You could tape it in only one spot and it could not come unfolded. Unfastened folded paper, I posited, had the risk of unfolding during the mailing process and stood the risk of damage or being delivered back to the return address.

For a while, I wondered what would happen if I mailed a paper airplane to a friend. But everyone I knew as a kid had the same dude as their postal carrier. I worried that if I sent a paper airplane, the cool gray haired guy who delivered our mail would just carry my paper airplane directly, skipping USPS. I felt like that was cheating, and I still feel like I was justified. A system is more than the sum of it’s parts and I aimed to test the policies of USPS as a whole rather than the generosity of a single employee.

After a while I forgot about the experiment. Other things came up in my life, like girls, college, etc. But then one day it all came back to me: I had to send a talisman to the Elsewhere Philatelic Society. From their ad, it seemed like they’d notify me in some way if I sent something in. Exactly what I’d wanted! So, why not? I made a paper airplane and sent it on its way.

For a while it seemed like nothing had happened. I worried my poor little airplane had gotten destroyed by USPS’ industrial equipment somewhere along the way.

Then, out of the blue, it happened. My paper airplane appeared on this Flickr page, relatively unscathed by USPS. Thus proving my childhood hypothesis: one can send paper airplanes through the mail!

That was a couple of years ago. Now at the little “exhibit” on Potrero Hill the other day, my airplane seems surprisingly still intact despite both USPS and the Elsewhere Philatelic Society’s storage over the past couple years. Victory!

While it’s by far the least cool talisman in their collection, that little paper airplane is important to me as it satisfies a long-held curiosity with USPS and folded paper objects.