Mission Murals – meet Lower Haight

LowerH Aug30The street art of the Mission has been infiltrating other parts of the City. Downtown of course gets sidewalk sprays – but I don’t count most of them because they seem to be attempts at viral advertising. I’m seeing sidewalk graffiti in Castro and Noe Valley these days – of the classic “Mission Type.” And for a while now murals have been seen more and more around Haight Street around Fillmore. Or maybe all over Haight Street but I get more to the Lower Haight – because of course of Memphis Minnies and Rosamunde Sausage Grill. Which – by the way – has leased a large restaurant space over on Mission past 24th Street now. I can’t wait to see what that turns out to be like!

I would guess the mural art in the Lower Haight is more influenced by the artists who do Upper Playground, and even the Gamma Go artists. Here are some recent examples from the area:

LowerHaight Aug 30

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What to do with the hot weather

We’ve had a friend from NYC staying with us the past few days. He was hoping to escape the heat wave that had been strangling the Northeast. I think our minor SF heat wave hasn’t bothered him (he’s not a delicate California coastal flower after all not used to temperatures above 75 or below 50) except for everyone constantly repeating to him he mantra that we never have weather like this. Which he might believe except he had already told us that every time he has ever visited San Francisco the weather has been like this.

Anyway the heat was oppressive enough that we all headed to Marshall Beach near the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday. In addition to the wildlife on the beach we observed sea lions swimming out just beyond the surf line and we also saw a killer whale which would occasionally surface for air before going back under. And the endless parade of cargo ships going in and out of the Golden Gate.

After the beach we went to the naked Yoga practice in the Mission to curl ourselves into pretzels in the coolest possible way. Not as weird as it sounds.   Hungry after that, I had heard about a new restaurant on Mission at 18th called simply The Corner (a door down from Weird Fish) serving locally sourced food at very reasonable prices and having outdoor seating. Since it was still warm and sunny when we finished our yoga we walked there and had some delicious food on the 18th Street side of the sidewalk, where we could listen to the live music from a party at the tattoo parlor next door. Lots of locals hanging out listening as well, and someone was taping the event. Across 18th Street an artist from the tattoo parlor was airbrush painting a huge club-wielding Aztec gargoyle on a doorway-sized canvas that had been stretched over some windows of the 99¢ store, which looked vacant but might be in operation – it was hard to tell.  The cameraman was taping that was well, and interviewing the occasional onlooker.

The food at The Corner was great.  Happy Hour had ended at 6pm  and no one in the neighborhood eats as early as 6:30pm because we had it pretty much to ourselves when we got there.  By the time we left people were waiting and also nearby at Weird Fish.  By that time it was cooling off and we headed back home.

Love-apples on a rooftop

My roof-top tomatoes (or love-apples) are having a marvellous summer.  I don’t know if it is putting them in a larger container, or bringing them in when it gets fog-windy in the evening that is helping.  I’m now getting Sweet 100s and Black Cherries every day.  Yummy.

I also have heirloom beans that are maturing.  I’ll have to wait a bit more to have enough to make them worth a harvest though – next crop I will plant more containers.

Back at Ritual – Suit and Sneakers

I am back at Ritual Roaster’s Cafe this morning – in a white dress shirt fitting in (on the surface) with the Web-2.0 crowd which mingles here uneasily with the hispters, and bike messengers who also drop by for a morning coffee.  Wall Street Journals and Bay Guardians side-by-side. 

Last week I spent Thursday back in Los Angeles with the Bank – it was nice being back in the 100 degree August heat for a day, and the round-trip on Virgin America was not only on-time but pleasant both ways.  Well – ‘cept for the high-pitched scream of a two-year old in front of me on the flight back.  I felt sorry for the father holding her – I could tell it was his mother-in-law sitting on the aisle across from him and I imagined she was coming to San Francisco to stay with them for a while.  She was carping at him the whole way.

On the trip down, at 6am, most everyone was dressed for success for their business trips.  One guy ahead of me leaving the plane caught my attention with a very snappy gray suit (most everyone now avoids the full suit, opting for either the high-tech khaki’s and blue-shirt or at most opting for a sport-coat) that he had paired with sneakers.  I wondered whether he had a pair of dress shoes in his backpack, or whether (as I hoped) the sneakers were his look for the day.  I tried to catch up from behind him to decide if his sneakers were expensive or not, but had to give up – they were rather indistinguishable I thought.  Could have been expensive or could have been cheap. 

Now looking at the line-up to order here the thought crosses my mind – is that gay-fashion icon of the black leather motorcycle jacket going the way of the DoDo bird?  It seems the guys on motorcycles are more-and-more opting for high-tech kevlar, padded, jackets.  All in all not a bad look either I think, but bulkier and will be harder to pull off unless you also have your helmet with you. 

Maybe the leather motorcycle jacket will just fall briefly out of fashion only to return later, like the porn ‘stache or Bill Clinton.

I’m a blue person now

I did learn that "Shay shay" is thank you.

I did learn that "Shay shay" is thank you.

Needing some magic elixir to help me concentrate at work, I searched out a little shop in Chinatown called Vital Leaf Tea. It’s not one of the dusty old shops staffed by seniors but a spiffy tea-tasting bar, presumably to draw in the hordes of sight-seeing tourists.

The proprietors are smart about how to bring in the sightseers, and also know a lot about tea in China. So while the shop doesn’t have the exotic and dusty ambience I might have might wished I was able to get a tea that helps my concentration, right away.

So, now I’m sipping Blue People. I should have asked how it is pronounced in Mandarin I guess. A mix of green oolong and ginseng. I am favorably impressed so far.