History

Period piece: The San Francisco prostitute march of 1917

|
()

One morning in January 1917, 300 prostitutes marched into the church of their biggest detractor, Reverend Paul J. Smith. They were ready to show the anti-vice crusader what they were made of. The women were organizing in the face of what had become a decades-long dwindling of their rights, spearheaded by the reverend himself.

The world’s oldest profession flourished in brothels all over the city during the Gold Rush, thanks to all those lonely 49ers. But sex work has never been uncontroversial -- and the local practice quickly accumulated its own critics.

Read more »

Halloween 2011

Boo! Ghost hunts, spectre detectives, zombie flicks, a haunted map of SF, complete halloween events, and more to scare the pants off ya. 

|
()


Ghost Hunt! On this week's cover, the spirits of Johnny Venetti, Jasmine Donaldson, and Jackie Andrews haunt meddling kids Caitlin Donohue, Marcus Banshee, and Walter Gomez on the Kink.com Armory's Upper Floor (NSFW). Photo by Matthew Reamer, concept by Mirissa Neff. 

This year we're doin' it up (f)right for halloween with an issue full of ectoplamic boo-ness. Fear our terrifyingly bad puns!Read more »

A quick and spooky guide to haunted San Francisco

Join us as we delve into the sctoplasmic mysteries of our fair peninsula with this spectral map and slideshow

|
()

"Even in their graves Californians are happy," posits a 1922 Chronicle article. "[Ghosts] don't go at all with a land of sunshine and flowers." This may have been a slight simplification. With a history full of calamity and a climate ruled by fog, San Francisco seems a good spot for a haunting or two. In fact, our city holds a multitude of spooky spots. From golf course to aircraft carrier, some of San Francisco's less expected haunts continue to incite shivers. (Lucy Schiller)Read more »

The great Pacific Heights Ghost Hunt

Trailing Alta Plaza spooks with tour guide Jim Fassbinder

|
()

With his bedazzled fanny pack, kerosene lantern, Civil War-era boots, calf-brushing leather jacket and windswept gray mane, Jim Fassbinder looks like any weathered San Francisco character. Listen to him wax poetic on Mary Ellen Pleasant or Gertrude Atherton, though, and you'll realize you're talking to a man with a serious passion. To Fassbinder, these gals aren't only appealing for their work as (respectively) an abolitionist and a feminist novelist. Their lingering spirits are the real draw.Read more »

45 years of printing the news and raising hell

|
()

 

When the Bay Guardian produced its first issue in October, 1966, the paper described itself as "a fortnightly journal of news, analysis and opinion." Circulation was soon running at 20,000 copies. Read more »

Period Piece: A Carnegie library reopens in the Marina

|
()

Period Piece is Lucy Schiller's recurring feature on the hidden histories of San Francisco. Give her a shout at culture@sfbg.com if you know of some hot dirt on olden times in the city

About a hundred years ago, Andrew Carnegie was giving away most of the money he had amassed from a gargantuan steel empire. Eight libraries in San Francisco directly resulted from Carnegie’s efforts, including the Marina's Golden Gate Valley branch – the recipient of a much needed facelift that concluded last week. Read more »

Period Piece: Life and death at the Columbarium

|
()

“This place scared the crap out of me,” says Emmitt Watson, caretaker, historian, and tour guide at the San Francisco Columbarium, the only nondenominational spot in San Francisco to be laid to rest. “When I opened the doors, the first thing I saw were two raccoons.”

The Columbarium is a remnant of an earlier era in San Francisco, an era when everything west of Laurel Heights was pretty much a huge graveyard. Built in 1898, the building with a stone rotunda was a landmark in a sea of headstones. Read more »

Period Piece: Mission Creek houseboat community rocks with the tides

|
()

Period Piece is Lucy Schiller's recurring feature on the hidden histories of San Francisco. Give her a shout at culture@sfbg.com if you know of some hot dirt on olden times in the city

Few wander into Mission Creek’s small houseboat community. It’s hard to find, unless you live in the luxury condos across the channel or are tailgating in a nearby parking lot for a Giants game. But tucked under the I-280 ramp floats a tiny neighborhood, an undiscovered fixture of San Francisco. Read more »

Legends of the underground

Gehenna's Mike Apocalypse doesn't care what you think

|
()

emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC "There are people like us who decide we no longer want to deal with what is fed to us through commercial forces," says infamous hardcore singer Mike Apocalypse, "We strive to create new things — if I couldn't create new music, I would fall apart in a month's time."Read more »

San Francisco Smut Map

SEX ISSUE: A peep at our fair city's filthy-gorgeous history

|
()

culture@sfbg.com

SEX ISSUE 2011 In 1969, San Francisco became the first city in the country to permit the exhibition and sale of hardcore pornography. Although "permit" isn't exactly right. The city's vice squad (with the help of Supervisor Dianne Feinstein) fought it every step of the way. But by the time a rag-tag band of hippies with cameras began harnessing the Free Speech movement to challenge obscenity laws, San Francisco had already become, in the words of the New York Times, "a sort of Smut Capital of the United States."Read more »