It was with relish that I awaited my interviews with El Tecolote's managing editor, Roberto Daza, and its founding editor Juan Gonzales on a homey couch in the paper's modest office on 24th Street. Being a community journalist, it isn't every day that you are able to check out the digs of another community newspaper – particularly one with as storied a history as the Mission's bilingual go-to for news on social issues that affect the historically Latino and working class neighborhood. El Tecolote is celebrating forty years of activist journalism this month, kicking off with an opening reception tonight (Wed/11) at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts of an exhibit featuring their extensive photo archives.
Repurposed streetcars perch haphazardly in dunes not yet cowed by asphalt and the Java Beach coffeeshops. They’re homes to a community of urban escapists and artists. Some of them have front porches, some of them house bicycle clubs. It’s like a Dali painting, it’s like the boxcar children -- but it’s also an accurate picture of the first non-indigenous inhabitants of the Sunset, on whom local historian Woody LaBounty has written an awesome book, Carville-by-the-Sea. Read more »
Back when he was a television star in El Salvador, Luis Echegoyen could have little guessed that fifty year later he’d be performing in his own poetry reading in San Francisco of classic Spanish authors (Sat/8, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts). But it's not the least probable feat that legendary Spanish language Bay area news anchor Echegoyen has accomplished -- after all, poetry is his retirement project. Read more »
You think you know mammals? You don’t know mammals. Those were the fighting words thrown at me by the Academy of Sciences with their invitation to the media preview of “Extreme Mammals,” a furry, live-birthin’ romp of a good time that opens up to the public Sat/3. The invite also promised a look into the museum’s famed dead thing vault, typically only accessible to swashbuckle biologists and moneybanks VIP tour guests. I saddled up and rode out to Golden Gate Park to investigate the goings-on. Only thing was, the event was structured around “live blogging.” I asked around the Guardian office, but none of us really seemed to know what that was, so I just wrote down what my cell phone clock for each note I took. I find the numbers made everything look more scientific, enjoy.
San Francisco has always had a liberal streak, but not so its business community, as a current exhibit highlights. In 1963 and ‘64, San Francisco was hit with massive demonstrations that denounced businesses’ discriminatory hiring practices and demanded equal work opportunity for African-Americans. Crowds picketed on Auto Row, in front of Mel’s Drive-In, Lucky Store, the Sheraton Palace Hotel, and Bank of America.
The Main Library exhibit “Occupation! Economic Justice as a Civil Right in San Francisco, 1963-64” retraces a struggle for economic justice that was specific to the city by the Bay, where thousands of African-Americans had moved to during World War II to work on the shipyards. When the war effort wound down, they were the first to be fired. Only direct actions—sit-ins, sleep-ins, and shop-ins—were able to shake the status quo: they led to more than 260 employment agreements for minority workers. There’s only a few days left to discover this important yet underrepresented piece of SF history: the display ends on March 27. Read more »
It’s a lot to take in for a cub reporter. Seven stories of news. 250,000 square feet of news. Just down the street from our country’s Capitol Building, the Newseum is probably the most comprehensive, evocative look at the power and responsibility of the journalist under one roof that our country has yet produced.
What’s so impressive about the museum? Put simply, breadth and depth. Today’s front pages from around the US and world greet you to the museum. Inside, you journey through a carefully sculpted continuum of information and artifacts.
It was a casual question to end a brief interview with SF Treasure Hunts clue master Jayson Wechter. “What’s something about San Francisco’s history that most people who live in the city don’t know about?” “Hmm, let’s see,” Wechter begins, whose Chinese New Year hunt this weekend (Sat/27) is his mostly highly attended event of the year. Before I can apologize for putting him on the spot, he starts reeling off the following:
1. The CIA used a house on Telegraph Hill in the 1950s to perform unauthorized LSD trials on men they hired prostitutes to bring home from bars.
2. The bay used to come all the way up to Montgomery Street on the east side of the city before it was filled in. Land being in such short supply back then, dud ships were converted to hotels, saloons and warehouse space.
3. William Tecumseh Sherman was a banker in SF before the Civil War.
“The only war that matters is the war against the imagination.” Diane di Prima, San Francisco’s new poet laureate as of last year, should be an expert on imagination’s primacy. Her work in such volumes as The Revolutionary Letters (1971) helped to shine a light on the role women played in Bohemia- not always the most well-lit arena. On Fri/19, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts holds a reception to laud the most well known female voice of the Beat movement, and celebrate her turn as our city’s bard.