Category Archive 'San Francisco'
08 Jul 2019

$1200-a-Month Pod Living in San Francisco

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“O brave new world, That has such people in’t!”

How many years of school? How many hours a week working? For this?

But, hey! they get access to all the great SF restaurants!

HT: Vandeleun.

30 Jun 2019

The Irony is Exquisite

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Washington with slaves picking cotton.

At the height of the New Deal, government contracts for “works of art” by Bohemian radicals to decorate public buldings were passed out like salted peanuts.

One prominent beneficiary of all this public largesse was the very left-wing Russian muralist Victor Arnautoff who got to paint an endless series of “socially conscious” works taking pokes at both American history and the contemporary American scene all over the San Francisco Bay area.

Arnautoff started off as a Tsarist officer and fought for the Whites before fleeing into exile in the United States, but once in the New World, he fell in with the Mexican communist painter Diego Rivera, became Rivera’s assistant, and converted to Communism himself. He was investigated by HUAC in the 1950s in connection with a caricature he drew of Richard Nixon. Arnautoff in retirement returned to Russia to live out the end of his life, happily, under Communism.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s WPA naturally chose Arnautoff to decorate San Francisco’s George Washington High School. Araunoff’s series of Washington murals came out precisely as everything the left-wing heart could desire. Bari Weiss describes it, in the New York Times:

    [His] “Life of Washington,” does not show the clichéd image of our first president kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge. Instead, the 13-panel, 1,600-square-foot mural, which was painted in 1936 in the just-built George Washington High School, depicts his slaves picking cotton in the fields of Mount Vernon and a group of colonizers walking past the corpse of a Native American.

There is a happy ending though. The ultra-leftwing SF School Board is so stupid that they have voted to spend $600,000 of the tax-payer’s dollars, not to cover up, but actually to destroy the communist series of paintings. Not because they are pretty crappy paintings abusing the Father of Our Country and treasonously siding with Stone Age Savages against the pioneers, but because the left-wing dimbulbs out there feel threatened and offended by these dreadful images which they interpret (erroneously) as glorifying Colonialism.

Here we have a case of Life not resembling Art, but rather approximating with perfection a satire based on extreme exaggeration.

You go, SF School Board! Trash that obnoxious Communist Colonialist bunch of paintings!


Evil, ruthless white settlers (one equipped with a pick to violate the landscape) advance past the body of the noble Indian they killed.

22 May 2019

San Francisco: Now a City Everyone Loves to Hate

The Washington Post updates the condition of the city by the bay which has more billionaires than any other location on earth and also more bums and winos crapping in the street.

San Francisco seems to be what you get when the piratical tradition of Gold Rush Capitalism somehow managed to interbreed with Hippy Dippy Gay Leftism.

Michael Feno stands outside Lucca Ravioli, his beloved pasta emporium on Valencia, a vestige of old San Francisco, puffing on a cigar while posing for pictures, his customers in tears.

Living in this city’s radically shifting landscape, veterinarian Gina Henriksen found comfort by telling herself, “Thank God, Lucca is still here. If Lucca goes, I’m going to have to leave San Francisco. What do we have left?”

Lucca is no longer here.

After 94 years, doors shuttered on the last day of April. The parking lot sold for $3.5 million. A three-building parcel, including the store, listed for $8.3 million and was purchased by — need you inquire? — a developer.

A few blocks away, in this neighborhood of shops hawking $2,600 electric bikes and $8 lemonade, Borderlands Cafe — a throwback with plants cascading from the ceiling — closed the same day after a decade in business.

Owner Alan Beatts couldn’t retain staff, even with a $15 minimum hourly wage. Who can live on $15 an hour in this city transformed by innovation?

How can Alba Guerra, co-owner of nearby Sun Rise restaurant, continue to charge $10.95 for the housemade vegan chorizo platter after her rent spiked 62 percent last year to $7,800 a month?

For decades, this coruscating city of hills, bordered by water on three sides, was a beloved haven for reinvention, a refuge for immigrants, bohemians, artists and outcasts. It was the great American romantic city, the Paris of the West.

No longer. In a time of scarce consensus, everyone agrees that something has rotted in San Francisco.

Conservatives have long loathed it as the axis of liberal politics and political correctness, but now progressives are carping, too. They mourn it for what has been lost, a city that long welcomed everyone and has been altered by an earthquake of wealth. It is a place that people disparage constantly, especially residents.

RTWT

13 Aug 2018

New York City versus San Francisco

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31 Jul 2018

“Well, Do You?”

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07 Mar 2018

Statue Commemorating Missionaries & Pioneers to Come Down in SF

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Hyperallergenic:

After years of criticism, a controversial statue of a Native American will be removed from its longstanding post at the base of a prominent San Francisco monument. Yesterday, the city’s Arts Commission voted unanimously to take down the bronze sculpture that stands near City Hall, which many locals consider racist and celebratory of America’s violent colonial history. The statue, titled “Early Days,” depicts a fallen Native American male who looks up at a missionary as a vaquero (cowboy) gazes into the distance. It is one of four smaller statues that surround “Pioneer Monument,” dedicated in 1894 to commemorate chapters of California history.

“The Commissioners agreed that this racist and disrespectful sculpture has no place in the heart of our city,” the agency said in a statement. “In the coming weeks, Arts Commission staff will take steps to remove the sculpture and place it in storage. Staff will also create a didactic plaque on or near the monument explaining the rationale for the sculpture’s removal.”

Monday’s vote follows months of community outcry against the statue, which were reinvigorated when right-wing protests in Charlottesville, Virginia — over the removal of a Robert E. Lee monument — left a counter-protester dead. Spearheading the protests were members of the local Native American community, who said the statue “promotes a white supremacist ideology that is connected to the mass genocide of indigenous people.”

Their calls renewed two earlier efforts by Native activists to remove the statue. In 1991, in response to criticism from local organizations, the Arts Commission added a plaque beneath the figures that added historical context. Plants, however, obscured the plaque over time, and activists argued that the sign did not provide adequate information to explain the racist images. Demands to remove it emerged once more in 2007, led by a Native American task force representing the Bay Area.

This time, amid a national reckoning with Confederate monuments, the city responded differently, at least after a bit of bureaucratic pingpong. In October, the Arts Commission voted unanimously to begin the process of removing the statue. The vote then went to the Historic Preservation Commission, as the Pioneer Monument stands within a historic district. The Historic Preservation Commission voted on February 21 to remove the statue, with the stipulation that the city add a plaque explaining the reasons behind its removal. Yesterday the Arts Commission gave its final approval. The city plans to take down the figures within months.

RTWT

If these establishment Americans in positions of power and responsibility hate America so much, instead of removing statues, why don’t they just resign and move back to Europe or to some morally superior socialist country like Venezuela?

19 Feb 2018

New York vs. San Francisco

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just click on image for the link.

05 Sep 2017

San Francisco Celebrates 1967

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Judith Miller discusses the odd culture of America’s Cool Grey City of Love as San Francisco commemorates the 1967 origin of the Counter-Culture which today dominates the city.

It is San Francisco’s smug self-satisfaction that so enrages critics like Michael Anton, the San Francisco native who now works for the Trump White House in national-security communications. In a blistering 2015 critique in the Claremont Review of Books, Anton asserted that “San Francisco values” had come to reflect little more than a “confluence of hippie leftism and filthy lucre,” a marriage of convenience between “old-time materialism and hippie ‘morality.’ ” What kept the Summer of Love veneer going for so long, he asserted, is the implicit deal between the high-tech oligarchs and the hippie rank-and-file. “The latter not only decline to use their considerable propaganda skills to vilify the former, but cheerfully glorify and whitewash them,” he wrote. “The oligarchs in turn subsidize the lefties through nonprofits and make-work jobs” and, more important, “take their cues from them on matters of politics not directly contrary to their economic interests.” Both groups benefit from what he called this “socio-intellectual money laundering.” The resulting policies have done little to create opportunities for an aspiring middle class that is neither elite nor bohemian.

Anton is not wrong about the less savory aspects of the counterculture. A notable omission in the city’s much touted tradition of “tolerance,” for instance, is that it rarely extends to politics. There is no welcome mat out for Republicans, especially conservatives. Student mobs at Berkeley boast about preventing conservative scholars from speaking on campus. Socially liberal but fiscally conservative activists like David Crane, who worked as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s finance director, struggle to raise funds for candidates willing to question the pension burdens being imposed on future generations by San Francisco liberals in the name of “workers’ rights.” Several Republican city residents confided that they would never display a Trump/Pence sticker on their car or home window for fear of vandalism.

RTWT

27 Nov 2015

San Francisco’s History and its Disastrous Impact on American Politics and Culture

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san-francisco-skyline-victo

Michael Anton, in the current Claremont Review of Books, has an absolutely brilliant, must-read article which identifies the peculiar historical relationship between San Francisco’s Barbary Coast outlaw culture and American haute bourgeois culture’s contemporary decadence all of which is closely connected to the incongruous American alliance between big wealth and the revolutionary left.

Contemporary liberalism exists to redistribute wealth, which in turn has, historically, sought to fend off, mock, and discredit liberalism. In the rare cases when these tactics fail, wealth makes the minimum necessary concessions to ensure its own survival against the Left’s relentless envy and resentment.

But for a decade or two now, the rich haven’t needed to make much of an effort because they’ve managed to beguile liberals in much the same way that Tom Sawyer tricked his friends into whitewashing the fence. Rather than clamoring to redistribute wealth, liberalism now gratefully accepts whatever crumbs wealth deigns to bestow—and in return treats wealth with the obsequious deference of a court eunuch.

How this happened—and especially its San Francisco pedigree—I hope to explain. It’s long been a truism that California is the political and cultural bellwether for the nation. But this particular export remains underappreciated.

For the moment, though, it’s enough to recognize that both the rich and the Left—and above all the rich Left—have a clear interest in obscuring and even denying their arrangement: the Left because they need the culture’s rhetorical guns trained rightward in order to maintain their grip on power; the rich to deflect scrutiny and envy from themselves. Politicians decline to stoke populist outrage against this partnership because the rich pay them not to and because, in a democracy, they must court the Left for reasons not dissimilar to Willie Sutton’s rationale for robbing banks. Sutton, though, couldn’t count bankers as backers or allies. Today’s Democratic Party, by contrast, enjoys near universal support not just from Wall Street but from the 1% in every industry, save Big Oil and Big Pharma.

Drop everything and read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

17 Feb 2015

Timelapse Photography San Francisco Video Comes Out Very Noir

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Tho the dark be cold and blind,
Yet her sea-fog’s touch is kind,
And her mightier caress
Is joy and the pain thereof;
And great is thy tenderness,
O cool, grey city of love!

George Sterling

14 Oct 2014

Lost San Francisco

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SFFisherman

photos by Fred Lyon from the 1940s and 1950s.

From Slate Via Fred Lapides.

16 Sep 2014

Bring Back the Grizzlies

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SFGirl
Mission Hipster Chick by Wendy MacNaughton

I recently linked a hilarious account of how exactly she was once moved to purchase a $4000 jacket while out of work by Mary H.K. Choi.

That story was so good that I immediately purchased her “How-I-Came-to-My-Senses-and-Got-the-Hell-Out-of-NYC” memoir (published as a quite inexpensive eBook).

It’s only 45 pages, and I got around to reading it last night. I particularly liked her take on San Francisco.

I loathe San Francisco. Sure, it looks like Jurassic Park in places, and the fog layer is enchanting with its plumes and trellises interweaving with the leaves and lichen on the redwoods. But everything else is like if New York’s Gramercy neighborhood got a whole town. On any given night there are way too many ‘going-out shirts’ and the women dress like there was a fire sale at some emporium that only sells clam-diggers and kicky little jackets with ornamental zippers. I have never so frequently witnessed pinstripe and patchwork meeting in the middle as I have on the tragic A-line skirts of Valencia Street. Every man who isn’t contemptibly rich enough to be famous for it reminds me of Matthew Lillard’s pigtail-braided Rollerblader in Hackers. I have never tallied so many ‘Pick-Up Artist’ hats or labret piercings outside of 1996. Fashion is no more than an indication of larger trends. Certain parts of San Francisco are what happens when white people have no natural predators. [emphasis added]

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