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Three decades into his career, indie stalwart Jim Jarmusch delivers one of his best films yet

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The Performant: Sleep No More

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Upon reaching the fifth floor of the California Institute of Integral Studies, a wall of makeshift web diagrams asks arriving oddience members to detail what the longest amount of time they went without sleep was, and what do they tell themselves to get through stress. The average appears to be around 36 hours — which is about as long as I can boast — but no responders quite match the Guinness Book record of 449 hours held by Maureen Weston, nor even to the 60 hours that Mugwumpin, creators of performative “occurrences,” intend to stay awake in this, its last presentation of the year, Asomnia.

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Homeless hater Greg Gopman was a jerk at the office, too

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Former AngelHack CEO Greg Gopman not only fanned the flames of San Franciscan tech resentment by calling the homeless “degenerates” and “trash” on Facebook, but it seems people in his own company didn’t like him much, either. 

Apparently the small staff of AngelHack rebelled against Gopman’s management style, leading to a power swap in October, said new AngelHack CEO Sabeen Ali. It all started when she took a vacation.Read more »

Carb your enthusiasm

Pop-up Mattarello rolls out authentic, handmade pastas

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On a bright November afternoon, I ducked into Biondivino, a tiny but tremendously well-stocked Italian wine shop in Russian Hill, to meet John Pauley and Anna Li of Mattarello — an artisanal, handmade pasta pop-up.Read more »

Amanda Lepore brings the body heat

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"You know how I'm obsessed with coordinating my outfits," NYC club legend and "most expensive body in the world" Amanda Lepore breathed into the phone, in advance of her Sat/14 appearance at Beaux in the Castro. "So I spend time getting ready for a night out. If I don't have a coat that matches I just grab one of my stoles -- and then run out real quick to get the cab!" 

I had asked her how she stays so put together, out at all hours in the winter cold. (Lord knows the plastic fantastic chanteuse and fashion muse shouldn't stand too close to a heater.) But of course she's a champion, having been at the club kid forefront for two decades. Her influence on nightlife glamour -- and appetite for parties -- has been enormous, despite her petite frame. 

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SF Sketchfest posted its schedule today! (Spoiler: it's awesome)

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Dudes! Nerds! Pedro-voters! SF Sketchfest 2014 posted its complete schedule today, unveiling over 200 shows to be held in 20 venues from Jan. 23-Feb. 9. Over the past 13 years, the fest has exploded from humble local offering to one of the most popular comedy events in the country, luring the biggest names in the biz — as well as cult comedy heroes — to town.

Tickets go on sale Sun/15 at 10am, and since SF Sketchfest is P.O.P.U.L.A.R., you won't want to delay if something in the line-up catches your eye. (Pro-tip: though the festival does contain sketch shows, it also has music, film screenings, live recordings of pod casts, panel discussions, lots of tributes, and more.) You want guidance? Highlights? Best bets and sleeper hits? Read on!

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Bus riding tech workers respond to national spotlight on evictions

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Evictions are rippling through San Francisco. Tensions are high. Tech workers with gobs of cash are driving up the rental market in what may be the newest tech bubble -- or the city’s new reality. Protesters took to the street earlier this week, blocking a Google bus to draw attention to gentrification, and our video of a union organizer posing as a Google employee shouting down those protesters lit up the InternetRead more »

Dragons and drag: new movies from Peter Jackson and Tyler Perry, plus more!

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Breathe easy, halfling: the middle installment in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy is a huge improvement over the first film. Also new this week: Emma Thompson turns in a cranky-yet-lovable performance as the woman who wrote Mary Poppins in Saving Mr. Banks (with Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney); Liev Schreiber battles oddly familiar space monsters in The Last Days on Mars; and Tyler Perry celebrates the holidays as only he can, with A Madea Christmas. Read on for reviews and trailers.

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Personal archives: CAAM's home-movie project Memories to Light

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For as long as I can remember, my family has spent New Year's Day at my aunt and uncle’s house in Campbell. As we had our fill of sushi and kamaboko, watched football, and, in more recent years, entertained my little cousins, my Uncle Hiro would walk around the house with his video camera, getting everyone on tape. He would focus in on my brother and me, narrating in Japanese so I could only catch our names and how old we were that year. It was just a thing Uncle Hiro did on New Years Day. I never thought of it as recording history.

But that’s exactly what home movies are – a largely untapped source of our histories from an intimate and personal perspective. Recognizing this, the Center for Asian American Media has developed Memories to Light, an initiative that collects, digitizes, and shares the home movies of Asian American families. Advances in digital media and discussions between CAAM executive director Stephen Gong and archivist and filmmaker Rick Prelinger gave way to the project, which has now gained over a dozen family collections and somewhere between 30 and 50 hours of footage.

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Proposal seeks to improve prospects for the formerly incarcerated

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Questions concerning an individual's criminal history have been banned from city agency employment applications in San Francisco since 2006. Now Sup. Jane Kim has proposed legislation to expand the reach of that policy into the private sector and affordable housing.

Introduced at the Board of Supervisors Tue/10, Kim’s legislation seeks to eliminate the bias of first impression that has long plagued the formerly incarcerated. Read more »

Official SF bike count shows big increase, but not big enough to meet city goals

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As anyone who has traveled the streets of San Francisco knows, there’s an increasing number of bicyclists out there. And the just-released biennial bike count from San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency attempts to quantify that increase: 14 percent since 2011.Read more »

SFUSD gifts city 115 affordable housing units for the holidays

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The San Francisco Board of Education last night (Tue/10) approved a land swap with city government, gifting San Francisco an empty lot that it will use to build new affordable housing. That’s 115 units of living space for low income San Francisco renters, wrapped in a bow for the holidays. 

The proposal was the brainchild of board members Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell and Sandra Lee Fewer, who worked on the measure with the Mayor’s Office of Housing for over two years. The district will trade a lot on 1950 Mission street and another on Connecticut in exchange for a property it currently rents from the city of San Francisco. The city will also pay SFUSD $4.5 million, according to district data.

Last night was the culmination of that work, which Fewer said was the right thing to do.

“Could we get more money from [selling] this property with a private developer? I’m sure. But would we get the value? No,” Fewer said at the meeting. Read more »

Real tech worker says SF homeless "grotesque," "degenerates," "trash"

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Just a day after a fake tech worker blew up the Internet with class hatred, an actual tech worker spewed hatred for real -- and it’s worse than anything that our political thespian had to say.

As first reported by tech blog Valleywag, AngelHack founder and CEO Greg Gopman posted this gem on his Facebook yesterday: 

Just got back to SF. I've traveled around the world and I gotta say there is nothing more grotesque than walking down market st in San Francisco. Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash I have no clue. Each time I pass it my love affair with SF dies a little. Read more »

Breaking the fast

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Vincent Pan barely had the energy to speak, and seemed to fall asleep before the eyes of the 30 or so activists gathered in Chinatown last night.

Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, was on the 11th day of a fast he’d started in solidarity with immigration activists who fasted for 22 days in Washington DC, all with a common goal -- to push Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Last evening, Mon/9, marked his last night depriving himself of food. Before taking his first bite in nearly two weeks, he reflected on what the fast meant for him.Read more »

The Performant: Home is where the art is

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Valencia Street art space struggles to retain its physical and spiritual existence
 
Sometimes you stumble across places that just feel like home the instant you step across the threshold. Maybe not the kind of home where you lounge around in sweatpants binging on Dynamo Donuts and Netflix, but a home that offers comfort for the spirit, where creativity and intention reign. Curiosity shop, design showcase, and artist enclave, Viracocha at 998 Valencia Street has been one such home for many, from the poets who helped build its pallet-wood walls, to the neighborhood literati who donated to and borrowed from Ourshelves, the private lending library that until very recently occupied the back of the building, to the acoustic musicians and spoken-word artists who gathered in the basement to perform and to connect, to the visual artists whose work was treated as décor first and merchandise almost as an afterthought.

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Folsom Street gets a bike-friendly makeover

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In the wake of some high-profile cases of motorists running over cyclists in San Francisco this year, including the Aug. 14 death of Amelie Le Moullac at the intersection of Folsom and 6th Streets, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has taken a lane from drivers to create safer cycling along seven key blocks of fast-moving Folsom Street.Read more »