5 Things: August 26, 2011

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A Gaza artist brandishes her activist tools at one site of a worldwide water rights project.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MAIA MURAL PROJECT

>>WATER WORKS Everyone's abuzz about Ali Farzat, the Syrian cartoonist whose hands were broken after creating wildly popular illustrated works critiquing the government. The assault on Farzat is a reminder that art has the power to change minds and lives -- an idea that US artists with Estria Miyashiro's Water Writes mural series were fully with when they teamed up with young people to create eight environmental justice-themed murals at water purification sites in eight days in Gaza. The beleaguered city was the project's fifth stop -- including already-completed Phillipines and Hawaii walls, the Water Writes project will go to 10 worldwide cities in total.

>>BABY BANKROLL Back in June, Tim Redmond looked at the reasons for why families stay in San Francisco. His isn't the only clan that is sticking in the city: Broke Ass Stuart just launched a new column called Mommy No Bucks that'll be looking at how all us broke asses (with children!!) make it work in the concrete jungle. 

Not til you're 21, honey. 

>>CHEESE IT! With all the experimental mixologists in San Francisco and our very own grilled cheese food truck, Toasty Melts, you'd think we'd be the first to come up with this: the grilled cheese martini. The Internet has been aglow in gooey praise/disgust the past few days over this concoction, which can be ordered at Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro in Seattle and the Cellar at Beecher's in New York – both owned by Kurt Beecher Dammeier. It consists of grilled cheese sandwich-infused vodka (“six piping hot sandwiches in 10 gallons of vodka”), fresh tomatoes, basil, and tomato juice. Sounds like vomit central.

>>WINING DOWN We went to check out the public premiere of Wine From Here, a documentary on California's nascent natural wine culture. Natural wine, we say? Yeah, the definition's under a fair amount of debate -- never more evident than at the filmmaker Q&A after last night's screening at the Victoria Theatre. The crowd quibbled over things like the use of oak barrels (shouldn't the fragrant wood be considered an additive since it alters vino's flavor profile?), labeling moratoriums, and relative price points of wine grown with and without the addition of foreign yeasts, dyes, and government-approved chemicals. Hopefully the differences of opinion were smoothed over at the screening's after-party at natural wine-friendly Heart, where the profiled vignerons' bottles were on the menu, including pours from Coturri Winery and Berkeley's Edmund St. John.

>>BLAST-OFF TO THE WEEKEND When the aliens come for us, we hope they have noodle faces like the claymates in the new Hopie Spitshard and Del the Funky Homosapien video for Hopie's single "Space Case," shot outside Beauty Bar and around the Yay. And we hope they transmorgrify our faces with the same fly colorblock eyeshadow as Bay Area MC Hopie's. And we hope that the ray of light doesn't come for us today -- we wanna catch Spitshard's show at 111 Minna tonight, part of a fundraiser for Alameda's Bohol Circle Filipino community center.