How could we have allowed this architecture atrocity??

While San Francisco is experiencing an extreme population boom and even more severe housing crisis, it is very easy for those who do not know or really care to just walk with the mindset of lets tear it down to be able to house more people with a new, bigger building….

Before thinking so recklessly, let us use this example below to keep this all in our perspectives.  The tearing down of the Fox Theater and replacing it with Fox Plaza is one of the most outrageous oops’s SF has done to itself and even today, it stands as a landmark as to what not to do…. Continue reading

A few generations away and boy the times have changed!

One of my favorite websites is called FoundSF.org.  It has such great articles about San Francisco and all of its colorful history.  Sometimes when i am bored, i go to it to just read.  My ancestors were some of the founders of San Francisco.  I did not learn this fact until i was the age of 19, at which point i began studying San Francisco history as well as my own lineage.

When i came across this article this morning, i could not believe how perfect it was… like it was written just for me!

I have always had trouble understanding just how my ancestors lives influenced my own.  It is several generations away and clearly lifestyles have changed greatly.  But i feel the past.  I feel my relatives around me.  They push me to become a better person and to continue to be proud of the Koshland name as well as my closely related relatives. Continue reading

Dear San Francisco recent recruits… Question for you on housing…

Image

Dear San Francisco recent recruits... Question for you on housing...

If you make so much income, why are you really working for your landlord and not yourself? You know that you are being fleeced by your deep pocketed (and lined) landlord. It doesnt really have to cost that much to live in San Francisco but you are willing to give up up to 60% of your income in order to live here which means, you are really working for your landlord who is planning his retirement thanks to you now.

So, if you are making all of this elitist income, which entitles you to be able to call yourselves San Franciscans, WHY ARE YOU RENTING AT ALL???

You are supposed to be the smart ones right? If you were so smart, with interest rates where they are and programs for first time buyers in place, why on earth would you not be working to be paying yourself to be able to call yourself a SFer instead of some international corporation that is your landlord?

The thing that has been going through my mind ever since this new tech migration started moving in… How can these kids afford to be saving anything that they earn? They only eat out and at the hippest joints!. They can pay upwardly of up to 50-60% of their income on rent and the fees associated with hi-rise and condo living (parking, gym, etc.). They (mostly) refuse to use MUNI so only take cabs which by 2015 will not cost less than $5 just to get in.

Where are you saving or investing your income? How do you plan on actually becoming one of these rich people that you are pretending to be?

Real rich people are NOT renters that is for sure! And they have houses that are actually big enough to COOK in!

As well as a place to store all of your fun outdoor sporty equipment so you can stop having to rent a storage unit to house the real stuff in ones life. Hard to live so minimally without any storage or space isnt it? Hard to invest when you can not save. Hard to save when you are throwing all your money away as disposable income.

No wonder the city likes you so much! You come in, make a good wage and turn around and just gladly give it right back.

You all may be ‘smart’ but you do not have much common sense or intelligence. If you did, you would have migrated into this town with a whole different approach and with a knowledge of what their smartest way of integrating would be for both them and for those that they are trying to inter-merge with.

All of other groups in the past that get recruited or just decide to move to SF to work, if they can not find appropriate accommodations, They, in the past have taken a place outside the city until they can find the right place for them. Why is this not an option for you? If some of you had decided to do this, the cost of your rent would not be so overly inflated and you would be able to figure out exactly where in SF or otherwise you fit best thus looking in that area if you chose to come in after getting settled in your new job. This is how things have been done for the ages. What makes you think that instead of that, you can come in and force the market up into the sky so you can find a place right here right now??

I am just wondering, why is it not YOU that has to look outside the city to find a place and not people that have lived here for decades?

Remember the saying… First come first served… YOU are definitely NOT the first! So go serve yourself somewhere where there is availability. Quit being predators upon the local population AND with that awful entitled attitude problem of yours! It makes me truly SICK.

I am just saying….

Let me introduce to the house my ancestors built… 3800 Washington St. San Francisco.

Video

The house is called The Koshland House and is one of San Francisco’s landmark number 95. (http://www.victorianalliance.org/house-tour/house-histories/koshland-house/)
It was built beginning in 1904 and housed many refugees after the earthquake. My ancestors built this house because they were in the process of getting ready to build Emanu-el down the street on Anza. You can see the giant terracota dome of the church in the arial shots here. I try to imagine what it must have been like to have grown up here in San Francisco in the victorian era. Things were so very different back then! It may look glamorous but there were a LOT and i mean A LOT of unwritten societal rules that had to be adhered to or your whole families reputation could be at risk. There was (at least for a woman) a lot of down time too. I think that this is part of the reason for having such large families. That and to help keep the wealth within the family lines as well. There was a lot of 1st 2nd and 3rd cousin marriages within families back then. If they went outside those lines, they stayed within their ethnic culture (mine being Bavarian Jews).

I hope you enjoy it!

…Nothing like a little bit of pressure to fill some pretty big shoes! I am just going to let someone else in the family worry about accomplishing that! Instead, i will be the family historian for myself and all of you…. 😉

Can you imagine this? Cost of living in San Francisco in 1904….

 

Thanks to the people over at San Francisco History website, i found this article on the cost of living in 1904.  It is interesting to read, partly because as i go through the same thought kept going through my head…  This woman could totally be writing for her blog….  Haha.  I suppose that thoughts expressed will hopefully be thoughts expressed right from the writers mouth.  That is, if you can find one that has not been sold out and totally corporate-ified.  For me personally, my math skills are so bad, that i did not even try to figure out the percentage that costs have gone up in 106 years but it is more than x10 and x10.  It is really quite incredible if you think about it.  I really think back then, you got much more of what you were paying for and not all of the packaging, advertising and insurance costs.  I think it would have been really a hard working existence back then, but it also would have been really exciting and really cool!  Probably pretty dusty and in winter muddy though!   I hope you enjoy going back in time to the era of my great grandparents….

San Francisco History
Cost of Living


Some Facts About the Cost of Living in San Francisco.

By Evangeline Adams.

Can a family of four live on $14 a week in San Francisco? Yes, they can and do—hundreds of them. They may not often have porterhouse steak nor wear tailor-made gowns costing from $75 to $100, or swallowtail coats for social functions; but that need not mean that they do not have plenty of good meat and are not becomingly dressed.

And right here let me say—seeing that the subject of dress has come up—that the workingman’s wife has often quite the advantage of her sisters who have more money to spend on clothes, in that she numbers among her friends the actual makers of the beautiful shirt-waist suits, shirt waists, skirts, collars, hats, etc. that fill the shop windows. A lady who claims many friends among these apprentice girls said to me just the other day: “I have such a beautiful new stamine dress and it didn’t cost anything to speak of. My friends made it for me. One friend made the skirt, another made the waist and another the collar, and I don’t know when I have had a dress that I liked more.” And in this way friends make for friends, often with no charge at all, and never with anything more than what would seem a nominal price to those of us who pay the prevailing high price for such work.

HOW THE MONEY IS SPENT.

It is a very difficult matter to find out how people spend their money in any particular except in the matter of rent. They are always quite ready to tell you what rent they pay and shake their heads over the high prices, or, in a very few instances, chuckle over the fine bargain they have been smart enough to find. But when it comes to telling how much they spend on food—how much on clothes—how much goes into the savings bank for the proverbial “rainy day”—they either do not know or will not tell.

For instance, the family of four—three grown people and a child going to school—pay $8 rent for a three-room flat and $32 per month for food, light and fuel, making living expenses $40. The housekeeper is a good manager and they live well on that amount. But what they spend on clothes and pleasure, we have no idea, because we do not know their income. And so I might quote the expenditure for a number of families—just so far and no farther.

ESTIMATES BY THE LABOR BUREAU.

The July bulletin of the National Bureau of Labor gives the result of the expense accounts of over 2500 families living in industrial centers, selected at random from thirty-three states. Taking $14 as the weekly income, the average expenditure would be about as follows:

Food
$5.9556
Rent
1.8130
Fire
.5866
Light
   .1484
Total
$8.5036

This would leave for other expenses $5.4964. The estimated amount for clothes would equal $1.9658—nearly $2 a week.

The other expenses included:
Taxes.
Insurance.
Principal and interest on mortgage on home.
Fees for labor and other organizations.
Church.
Charity.
Furniture and utensils.
Books and newspapers.
Vacation.
Liquor.
Tobacco.
Sickness and death.
Other purposes.

Comparing with the average of five workingmen’s families in good employment in Prussia (Daily Consular Reports, Department of Commerce and Labor, No. 2033) we find:

Rent (three rooms, per week)
$1.5300
Fire
.3372+
Light
.1212+
Food (four persons)
2.8497+
Clothing and all other expenses
   1.8772+
Total
$6.7166+

Again comparing with the average of five Saxon families. (Same consular report):

Rent (three rooms, per week)
$1.0710
Fire
.5220
Light
.1380
Food (four people)
2.4196
Clothing, etc.
   1.5709
Total
$5.7224

[Note: the last total should have been $5.7214.]

It will be seen that the Saxon and Prussian pay a little less for rent, light and fuel; less than half as much as the American for food; and about as much for clothes and all other expenses as the American pays for clothes alone. And let me add—everyone of the ten Prussian and Saxon families put something in the bank each week.

CONDITIONS IN SAN FRANCISCO.

Then came the question: Are these averages true of San Francisco and vicinity? And it was this that I set myself to find out.

I found the rent in San Francisco to run from $7 to $17 for a small flat of from three to four rooms, sometimes with and sometimes without a bathroom. Those who had cheap rents paid car fare as a rule, although this was not necessarily true. The rooms were light and with the same proportion of them sunny as in higher priced flats. These houses are usually on side streets and alleys and the plumbing is good, but not the most modern.

I found a washerwoman and three children who had kept an expense account for the months of June and July, 1902. This woman had two children of her own and they were so well taken care of that the ladies of the Associated Charities felt justified in placing a child to board with her. Her two month’s account averages as follows:

Groceries (per week)
$1.70000
Meat
.43750
Fruit and vegetables
.44375
Rent
2.00000
Total
$4.58125

The above includes light, but not fuel. They lived near the bay and the children picked up drift wood. Milk was included in the groceries.

Consulting the bulletin of the Bureau of Labor again, I found that the retail prices of food have decreased 5 per cent since 1902, so that this woman and the three children can still live on the same amount in the same way assuming that the conditions are the same in San Francisco and vicinity as in other parts of the United States.

HOME EXPERENCE COMPARED.

But can a family of four live on $14 a week and be happy? In the short time of my search, I could not find a family who were living on just that amount and were willing to say so and tell how it was done.

So I asked my mother to weigh everything that we ate and to keep also a record of the number of people at each meal. I found that during eleven days the equivalent of 165 meals had been served to one person.

There had been used:

15
pounds flour.
2
pounds sago and rice.
9
pounds bread.
14
pounds sugar, honey and molasses.
2 3/4
pounds coffee.
7 7/8
pounds eggs.
17 1/3
pounds meat.
3 1/4
pounds fat (butter, olive oil and fat).
72
pounds fruit.
19 1/2
pounds potatoes.
6 1/2
pounds green vegetables.

I live where prices are the highest for everything. So I made some inquiries as to prices on Market street and south of Market street, between Third and Sixth. I give a few items of what I found:

On Market South of Market
Steak
50-55c
25-30c (same weight)
Chops
5c each
2 for 5c
Bread
1 loaf 10c
6 for 25c (same size)
Tomatoes
6 or 7 for 10c
10 for 10c
Lettuce
2 heads for 5c
3 heads for 5c

Using the cheaper prices where I knew them and the average price on Market street where I was in doubt, I made the following expense account, per week:

Rent ($15 per week))
$3.500000
Light (from bulletin)
.148400
Fuel (our own acct. from one stove
capable of warming three rooms)
.500000
Food
4.561452
Cost of housing and food
8.709850
For clothes and other expenses
5.300000

[Note: the total for cost of housing and food should have been 8.709852.]

HIGHER RENT PAID HERE.

Comparing the average cost of living for the United States with my estimated cost for San Francisco, I find that we pay almost twice as much for rent as the average workeman in the United States and a little less for food, the other items remaining much the same.

Again consulting the bulletin, I find that the cost of food in the Western states is perceptibly lower than in any other group of states. Perhaps I should state that those 165 meals which are the basis of my estimate were fed to hungry and hearty people, who during that time did not happen to have any of the nourishing foods that go a long way, such as beans, split peas, cheese, dried fish, cracked wheat, dried fruit, etc. so that I am confident that the estimate is high enough.

Glancing over the expense account for the past two years for the clothes of a large family of ladies, I find (not counting their work, and they do considerable) that the labor is two-thirds of the cost. The wife of the workingman can make her money go over twice as far, on account of her many friends engaged in industrial work. Putting that together with the difference in the price of food which I found within a few blocks, we begin to see how the workingman’s wife can make her money go so much farther than other ladies can.

Taking a last glance at the bulletin, I find that in 1903 wages were 16.3 higher than the average between 1890 and 1899, and that the retail price of food was only 10.3 per cent higher than the average for the same time, thus making an increase in the purchasing power of money of 5.4 per cent. The entire cost of living has advanced somewhat less than the cost of food, however, because there are certain fixed items which change only very slowly.

I found also that 34.3 per cent more persons were employed in 1903 than in 1894. Verifying that statement for San Francisco, I was told by workers in the various charitable organizations that they had not been called upon for assistance in the past two years by any skilled laborer, and almost never by an able-bodied man who was willing to work. And as for supplying the demand for women and children, they had not been able to come anywhere near doing so.

Judging from all these facts, a family of four can live on $14 in San Francisco and spend some money for fun.

I think i have helped unlock to the key to my unease of the gentrification of San Francisco… Again!..

 

 


 

A conversation with one of my roommates led us to talking about the infamous after-hours nightclub / gay bar pioneer in SF, The Endup.  (It has quite the story ending with a fight for power after the third brother of the founder challenged the former club manager for the estate after his two first brothers passed away, one from AIDS and the next from a shooting accident.  I have not gotten that far in my research to tell you what happend there…. The Endup was turned over to brother 3 because of mismanagement of the moneys and some shady unpaid bills type history, which enraged the manager which kinda made him go kinda crazy to the point that he shot the brother in the back and then committed suicide after a 10 hour stand off with police two weeks later….anyway…) The Endup is a legend and thankfully to historical landmark distinction will be for years to come.  It is the one place they are gonna have a heck of a time getting rid of!  It is true SF fabric.

Of course in normal fashion, my roommate and i got into a good healthy discussion (argument) that i was not buying (one of my roommates has a vivid creative mind and memory!) and decided to try and fact check him (which is a regular activity for me and i hate to brag, but i am 98 out of 100 times right, or at least proving he is wrong actually usually.)

This in turn led me back down memory lane  which has become a bit foggy in areas which is always surprising (remember… WRITE IT DOWN NOW!! You will not remember it in 20 years most likely no matter how sure you could not forget!), and right into my old beloved home away from home…The Endup!

The Endup is a SF Landmark and now thankfully a little more protected for the future generations to use and experience and find themselves as the last almost 4 decades of generations have.  The Endup sits right under the Hwy 80 overpass and merging onto the Bay Bridge part of the freeway that runs right between Harrison and Bryant at 6th St.  Ironically it is also across the street (and on the opposite side of the 80 overpass from 850 Bryant, AKA the Hall of Justice (the popo station and jail.) ( Infact, now days, when you forget to move your car at 6am for commute flush down 6th, and your car get towed, you only have to go one block to not only retrieve your car, but pay your tickets that release your car.  In the old days, you had to go to 850 to pay and release and then (usually back) to 11th and mission to get your car from the infamous City Tow… unless you were REALLY having a bad day and they were full at City Tow and they took it to the city overflow lot at Pier 70 (way out down by Bayshore/ HP.).

When reading different articles about the crazy end of the era that i was there regularly (1992-1998ish) attending, i came across this AWESOME article that is truly the pre-curser to my writings regarding the fear and sadness in the changes i have seen in this city.  It brought it all back.  It is incredible that i forgot truly how horrible the dot com loft explosion fucked up our town.  It really took a huge blow.  One that was so immense that i did not know if it ever could truly recover.  I guess we will never know now because it hit before full recovery.  I was watching closely, but never imagined a just few years later it would happen all over again only instead of the all the industrial and lot spaces being made into these so called live/work-loft conversions all over town and especially SOMA and China Basin, but now, the only difference is that it is vertical.  They are putting up more high rises than i had ever realized until i watched a video on utube of the city from 1992.  It was so sparse then.  It is filling in and in and in and in!  And not picking the most beautiful of high rise structure always either unfortunately.  Hopefully the ugly ones will soon be covered  by yet another new layer of bldgs. OR, an earthquake takes em back down!

I am so upset by this, because i have lived this before!  How could I have forgotten so soon?  It is like tangible Deja Vous.  The kind that you can go back into for hours and bite onto.  I have watched the soul of this beautiful bohemia get sucked dry one time already and now i am horrifically watching it happen all over again.

To give you an idea of what it was like, you must read the article.  It was so close to home for me because i know a bunch of the people mentioned in the article (Kato, Charlotte the baroness, Martel & Pollywog).  These were my people.  This was my 20’s-30’s.  Now all over again for my 30’s-40’s only unfortunately now, without any real kind of kick ass underground or at least grounded parties:(.  Heart breaking i am telling you. H E A R T B R E K I N G !!!! ! ! !

Now re-live the boom that was the 90’s dot com invasion….

A huge THANK YOU and BRAVO to Michelle Goldberg circa 1998 in its full form….

 

_______________________________________________________________________

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All We Want to Do Is Dance

[whitespace] IllustrationSan Francisco may not be facing the end of nightlife, but we are looking at the end of the mega-club, the end of the club-as-institutionBy Michelle Goldberg
Illustrations by Katherine Streeter

 

 

 

At 3pm on a Saturday, the EndUp is still going from the night before. On the dance floor, a girl–totally bald except for a tiny gelled spike of hair like a baby unicorn–gyrates in lime-green platform shoes and fluorescent orange hip-huggers. A stunning white-blonde from Austria sits on a banister and sways while her boyfriend, a compact man from Ethiopia with a long, black goatee and tiny rectangular glasses, moves with funky, serpentine grace on the dance floor. He’s been at it since midnight the night before, she tells me. The dancers spill out onto the Edenic back patio, where the sound of fountains mingles with the insistent thump of house music. Bright and lush with palm trees, the back yard of the EndUp is a kind of country club for the underground, where people who still look shockingly attractive after nearly 20 hours of partying stretch out in the San Francisco springtime sun. No wonder local scenester Miss Polly called her book I Found God at the EndUp.

But the EndUp, like nearly every other club South of Market, could be gone by 1999, forced out by a locust-like invasion of lofts and their attendant noise complaints. “It’s a basic struggle for life. It’s almost like the Native Americans that were overrun,” says Carl Hanken, the EndUp’s avuncular, white-haired owner, a former research chemist. “The EndUp could go. It’s a distinct possibility. It’s almost a week-to-week existence for the club industry. Each week I hear of some other problems.”

San Francisco may not be facing the end of nightlife, but we are looking at the end of the mega-club, the end of the club-as-institution. It’s one of many ironies in this unfortunate situation that San Francisco’s booming economy is threatening the very vitality that accommodated so much of our region’s famed technological development. The fate of SOMA could indicate something much larger–whether bohemia can coexist with our decade’s gonzo postindustrial hypercapitalism.

“Money has destroyed San Francisco’s bohemia and attitude,” says Hanken. “Young people were once more driven by idealism; these are more driven by the buck. They operate more with the head than with the heart. That’s why we have the confrontation.”

Hanken says that it would be impossible to open up a club like the EndUp today, and most club promoters agree that for the last few years the club scene has been moving to smaller bars and lounges. There’s currently a moratorium on after-hours permits in SOMA, and while some of San Francisco’s best parties are held in small bars–Kate O’Brians, Liquid, The Top–they can never approach the grandiose decadence of a 1015 or a Club Townsend.

Whether or not SOMA nightclubs are able to survive depends on whether the notoriously apolitical nightclub scene can pull together to fight a gentrification process that has become so ingrained in big cities that it’s seen as inevitable–first the “pioneers,” the nightclubs and artists, move into an industrial wasteland, making it both habitable and hip and popularizing its new name. The yuppies follow, rents skyrocket, and the nomadic creative types start the whole process again somewhere else. Many see it as a foregone conclusion that what happened in New York’s SoHo–where an artists’ neighborhood became a shiny maze of chichi boutiques–will also happen to San Francisco’s SOMA.

“What happened in SoHo is clearly happening here,” says San Francisco senior planner Paul Lord. “In New York, Alphabet City wasn’t far behind. Here, Alphabet City could be the back side of Potrero Hill or the South Bayshore, but where’s Manhattan’s Alphabet City now? That’s gone yuppie, too.” New York’s quality-of-life-obsessed Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been padlocking nightclubs and yanking licenses for years now, and San Francisco is following in his ignoble footsteps.

Of course the greatest irony in all this is that SOMA is becoming a victim of its own coolness. The professionals who are moving into SOMA lofts go there seeking hipness–the new live/work spaces are essentially condos built to look like converted warehouses, their faux-industrial chic as transparent as that of an Urban Outfitters or a Starbucks. And just as the notorious coffee monolith has strangled so many of the boho java joints that inspired it, so SOMA’s culture is being trampled by developers selling “authentic” hipster lifestyles for half a million bucks.

As a result of land-use laws passed in the ’80s in order to make SOMA more hospitable to artists, the area is zoned for both living and light industry. That means that nightclubs are being forced to comply with the same noise-abatement limits as residential neighborhoods. SOMA lofts were supposed to go to artists, people who really did live and work in their spaces. But here we have the situation’s second great irony–there are no guidelines in place to decide what constitutes an artist because the artists themselves resisted efforts to legally define them. They didn’t foresee that SOMA would become a hot address for technology professionals who can afford to plunk down the $250,000 to $500,000 asking price for the area’s new lofts or “live/work units.”

Loft development has risen exponentially–there are 1,000 units pending right now, according to land-use attorney Sue Hestor. And as new residents with early bedtimes move in, they’re calling the police and demanding enforcement of noise laws. As a result, the VSF is close to having its permits revoked, the Holy Cow has had its permits temporarily suspended, and other clubs are feeling an increased police presence. “We haven’t had a noise complaint in 10 years, until last weekend, when noise abatement was knocking on people’s doors and asking them if they had a problem with us,” says Robin Reichert, owner of the Paradise Lounge. “In large cities, noise ordinances are a way to select or select out what kind of businesses are going to be in an area. In the next three or four months, we could lose all the clubs.” The officer in charge of noise abatement, Edward Anzore, responded that Reichert is “a pain in the butt” and said that knocking on neighbors’ doors is standard during noise-abatement investigations, which are conducted “the same way we would do a criminal investigation. We knock on neighbors’ doors and say, ‘Do you hear the music?’ If the noise can be heard inside a person’s apartment, it’s a violation of the noise ordinance.”

SOMA loft-owners don’t see themselves as interlopers but as a fledgling community. “Longtime SOMA residents are bitching and moaning about yuppies like me moving in,” says one new-media professional who recently bought a $350,000 loft at Seventh and Brannan. “There’s a core group of people who won’t be satisfied until SOMA returns to what it was five years ago, an industrial no man’s land, but the bottom line is that people like me outnumber people like them 10 to 1.”

He continues, “The fact that they close SOMA’s nightclub district doesn’t mean that San Francisco is going to lose all its nightclubs. They’re just going to have to find a new place. If you go to China Basin, it’s like SOMA used to be. Very few people live there, and more and more nightclubs will be moving into that neighborhood.”

But the yuppification treadmill has speeded up tremendously in the past few years, and San Francisco is only about 50 square miles. Perhaps the clubs could move to China Basin, but the lofts will surely follow, and after that, there’s just ocean. “We are right now in the middle of a white-hot economy where the pace of change is very fast,” says Richard LeGates, director of the urban studies program at S.F. State. “Processes which may have taken 20 years in Greenwich Village are happening in the space of a few years in San Francisco.”

IllustrationBesides, club owners who have owned their buildings for decades can’t just pick up and move every few years–the EndUp has been on Sixth Street for 26 years. The argument that neighborhoods necessarily go from clubland to yuppieville is just “onanism of the mind,” says Hanken. “They like to massage themselves in comfortable places. It’s a sugar-coated excuse. These people are nine-to-fivers. They’re not involved in the club scene, and they see us as transient. That is their problem. They simply do not understand us. We cannot move. We have many encumbrances. There are handfuls of licenses to maintain. All they need is another buck, or five hundred thousand, and they’ll move. We’re stuck.”

Lord says that even if the clubs did move, they can’t be assured that the new neighborhoods will remain conflict-free. “Until we get some controls in place, the club owners don’t have a high degree of certainty about where they can locate and not be in proximity to a residential development,” says Lord. “Right now all of the industrial areas are fair game for live/work development.”

The building that houses the Holy Cow has been a fixture in San Francisco’s nightclub scene since 1966, when it opened as The Stud. Last year it was bought by Jeff Thompson, Matt Goodrich and Bill Herrmann, three 31-year-old guys who met as barbacks in the club in 1990 and traveled the world together in 1992. The three work in the club up to 20 hours a day, and under their ownership the Holy Cow had been an overwhelming success. Then, a month ago, they lost many of their permits–they can no longer allow dancing, DJs, pool or pinball. While they wait for provisional permits, their business is down 70 percent. It’s like some kind of twisted version ofFootloose–they’re forced to patrol their club and make sure patrons don’t start dancing.

“Moving for us means bankruptcy,” says Thompson. Adds Herrmann, “For the people who have told us to move to China Basin and Hunters Point, my answer to these people is that if you like that area so much, you move down there. That’s a long way for people to go just to go dancing, especially for tourists. There’s a need for residences, but you can’t blanket the whole city and turn San Francisco into a suburb.”

Then there’s a third irony. Tourism is San Francisco’s No. 1 industry, and the nightclubs are a huge part of our city’s draw. Mayor Brown is often criticized for being wildly pro-business, yet he’s sitting back as developers blithely destroy one of San Francisco’s most vital industries–entertainment. What’s even stranger is that Brown is known as the party mayor–he’s been spotted at the EndUp and at the New Year’s Eve Treasure Island rave, and his son, Michael Brown, is one of the city’s biggest club promoters.

“Maybe Willie Brown’s son should be sensitizing him to this problem,” says Lord. “If you have that natural sort of entry, maybe the nightclub owners really need to get to the mayor’s son and say, ‘Look, you’ve got to bring this to his attention or get us a meeting with him so we can bring it to his attention.’ “

Lord continues, “What seems strange to me is that this city will sit and watch while certain types of nighttime entertainment disappear for youth, while things like Crazy Horse and the Gold Club are going in their place. I don’t understand the city’s priorities when it comes to giving young people an alternative. Dancing is a healthy thing to do. A lot of people have seen that if young people do not have some place to go and let off all this incredible energy that they’ve got, it’s going to lead to trouble in one way or another. I don’t know what the state of the rave scene is anymore, but that was something where people said, We want to keep partying, and we’re going to do it after-hours, we’re going to get into buildings that maybe we shouldn’t even be in.”

The club owners will need an economic argument to counter the financial powers behind loft development, says Lord. “One of the major industries in San Francisco, one of the things that drives our office market, is insurance and real estate,” he says. “Mortgage brokers and financial institutions, they’re making the loans on these properties that are selling from anywhere from a quarter of a million to half a million dollars. There are literally billions of dollars involved in the live/work development process. If you look at the major downtown businesses that are involved as brokerage agencies, as mortgage companies, as title companies, as lawyers representing the condos, these are major, major players in the San Francisco political scene.

“The club owners themselves need to be organized to protect their rights,” Lord says. “They are a legitimate business concern in San Francisco that brings large numbers of tourists and visitors to the area. In fact, a case could be made that the proximity of the nightclubs to the Yerba Buena center has an influence on people deciding to have conventions in San Francisco of one sort or another. The club owners need to let their decision-makers, from the mayor to the Board of Supervisors to the Planning Commission, know what is at risk. If you look at the gross receipts, payroll taxes and other influences that the clubs have on attracting visitors and tourists to San Francisco, it’s an important aspect of the richness that is San Francisco and the diversity that is San Francisco. Visitors and tourism are the No. 1 industry in S.F. [Clubs] need to be able to demonstrate that they are a significant and important player in that sector of the economy and, in doing so, show the city what’s at risk if they aren’t here anymore.”

The organization that Lord spoke of has already started. On a recent Tuesday night, a hundred or so club owners, musicians, artists and old SOMA residents gathered at the Transmission Theater to form a coalition aimed at fighting development in SOMA and saving the area’s businesses. Hestor, who’s been in the thick of the loft controversy for years, explained the conflict’s history to the crowd of political novices. Said Brainwash owner Susan Schindler, “We need to know what we’re talking about besides knowing what pisses us off.” The crowd got increasingly passionate as Hestor elaborated on live/work abuses. One girl shouted, “They’re for people who want to live like pimps with their exposed brick walls!” Someone else added, “We created the fad, that’s the whole problem!” To which a third person replied, “We can’t help it if we’re cool!”

But despite Tuesday evening’s energy, some in the club scene feel that it’s not necessarily the city government’s job to safeguard hipness, and others are just giving up on San Francisco. Even Martel Toler, who with his partner Nabil Musleh is the owner of Sushi Groove and the club mogul behind parties like Release, Eye Spy and Leopard Lounge, says he was thinking about splitting. “San Francisco already is not a major party town or a town where there’s a ton of places to go out at night. I was even thinking about moving, especially in the last year, to Miami, New York or L.A.”

Some of the city’s biggest promoters and DJs believe the club scene thrives on adversity. “I don’t want it to happen, but I also believe in the natural evolution of things,” says Kato, the impresario behind Royal Jelly. “Until alternative art culture and club culture have no place to go, it’s a matter of not holding on to situations and realizing that maybe we do need to be uprooted sometimes. I actually have been getting tired of the same old spaces.”

DJ Charlotte the Baroness is reluctant to blame gentrification for destroying the nightclub scene. “You haven’t been able to open up a major nightclub in this city for years, but we have a Catch-22, because while the gentrification that’s going on in SOMA is definitely affecting the ability to have more nightclubs, at the same time gentrification has really helped the nightclub scene. Those people are the ones going to clubs and spending money on drinks. Those are the people who are paying our bills.”

She continues, “This challenges people. The rave scene has now moved back into the big club scene, and now if there’s going to be a problem there, it will motivate people to start doing underground parties again. It’s just another chapter in the dance-music scene. I would welcome people starting to get more innovative about parties again.”

DJ Pollywog says she’s so frustrated with the lack of venues to play at in San Francisco that she’s planning on moving to New York. “Clubland for the most part has been pretty weak,” she says. “It’s the same old clubs doing the same parties. I love San Francisco and I wish there were more opportunities out here. If there were a more thriving nightlife here, then there would be no reason for me to leave.”

Like Kato and the Baroness, Pollywog thinks that clubland could find new energy away from the SOMA corridor. “When you change to a different location, you change the vibe of your party. That’s why, in a lot of ways, San Francisco nightlife is tired. It’s ‘Oh, same club, same thing.’ It’s a little bit stale if it’s the same spaces over and over. Part of the underground is wanting to stay fresh, and it takes those creative, pioneering types to build up something. Established clubs make it easier because all you have to do is show up. Creative people in the underground are almost against that, because it’s important to have fresh energy.”

Still, Pollywog says that without the big clubs, San Francisco can’t attract big-name DJs. “If we lose these big clubs, we’re going to lose so much credit on the international scene. No small club has the capital to fly in Dimitri from Paris or Dimitri from New York. Some underground people are like ‘Oh, the big clubs suck,’ but I know that they definitely have a place and are vital in keeping the scene alive. It’s important to have yin and yang.”

Back at the EndUp, DJ Jason Hayes says that the lack of replacements for the big clubs is affecting his career, and his friend Peter Letourneav fears that San Francisco is being turned into a kind of faux-chic Disney World. Inside, though, manager Alison Page is smiling as she surveys the crowd, convinced that bulldozing developers are no match for the ecstatic energy that keeps people dancing through the dawn and into the next evening. “After the comet hits,” she says, “after the earthquakes and tidal waves, the EndUp will be left standing.”

San Francisco | MetroActive Central | Archives]

 

 


From the May 18-31, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

 


Foreclosures – Real Estate Investing San Jose.com Real Estate

 

 

berg who wrote the following piece written in i believe the mid late 1990’s.

Puma Punku… the most unexplainable place on earth!

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When i was in my early 20’s to late teens, i was trying to get my mind around outer space. It was mind boggling. Then i saw a piece on Puma Punku and realized that i did not have to go so far to find crazy unexplainable mysteries. They are right here on earth!

Everybody knows about Stonehenge and the Pyramids etc. But that is nothing compared to Puma Punku up in the high desert of Bolivia. The cuts in the stone is so perfectly smooth and angles so perfectly sharp and 90degrees and cut into diorite which is the 2nd hardest stone on earth. Nothing is stronger except diamonds. They even poured moultin metal to make staples! There is just no explaining Puma Punku. It boggled my mind in 1993 and it still does to this very day.

If you think we are highly knowledgeable about where we came from and how long we have been here on earth, then you need to do some exploring because there are places on this planet that are just unexplainable. True mysteries in our civilization of the 21st century.

I do not think that we have the knowledge or ability to grasp the knowledge of our past on planet earth. I do think though, that we are barley scratching the surface in regards to our intelligence and advancements in our pasts. I hope you enjoy and find it as mind blowing as i do! Do a little more research on it… i dare you!

A drive back in time to 1992 Central Freeway in San Francisco. Pun intended.

Video

I remember back in the day, you could get from the Haight to Broadway St. or Mission Rock in like 5 minutes. I voted 2 x for the funds to retrofit it. I dont know where the first or second set of funds ever went considering that it passed 2x, they tore it down. I think i would have to ask good ole Willie Brown first and about how much all of those hats cost! Hmmmm.

And you thought it was a bitch to have to move!!

I would like to thank FoundSF.org for allowing me to share a great photo essay showing what a re-development compromise (mind you a very VERY tiny victory for this poor Fillmore neighborhood destroyed by the SF Redevelopment Agency) can look like.  Pretty crazy to think of them up and moving these homes over several blocks so to be able to build the geary cut.  I also find it kind of interesting that they chose (at least a few of them) to be really unremarkable and plain victorians.  I know what this city has to offer and these have got to have been built with the low bargin bid developers because they are barely victorians minus the bay windows and the railroad flat floorplans, when i know that they demolished some beautiful full gingerbreaded doll houses and chose to save these.  Well… at least they saved something!

Anyway… on to the article (which you can see on its original site here (http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=Moving_Victorians_in_the_Fillmore)

 

Moving Victorians in the Fillmore

 

Unfinished History

In the mid-1970s the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency stopped the wholesale destruction of venerable Victorian buildings. Instead, they picked them up and moved them around the neighborhood. One well-known example is the building that housed Jimbo’s Bop Cityon Post Street which was moved to its current location on Fillmore near Sutter, housing Marcus Books.

In 1976-1977 Dave Glass took these remarkable photos of the Victorians on the move.

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