Remember this nut that decided to climb the Millennium Tower without thinking about the crazy ass downtown traffic it would cause? He was found guilty today of creating a public nuisance and delaying his own arrest. When sentenced he will face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail. The moral of the story: don’t mess with downtown traffic!

According to this article, the House of Shields bar reopened last night and I will be stopping by there later today to check it out for myself. The big rumor is that there are no televisions there, which is a throwback to the days when the bar was established back in 1908. That means that you should be able to hear your friends speak.

The House of Shields is a San Francisco institution that you have to check out. It’s located at 39 New Montgomery, just South of Market Street.

This is an amazing, well-produced video of SF Giants World Championship Parade.

Gap’s new logo came and went in less than a week. Much like New Coke, there was a huge public outcry about the new logo. The backlash was swift and furious and the new logo lasted less than a week. In contrast, New Coke was on the market for a little less than three months before Coca-Cola brought back the original formula as “Coca-Cola Classic” back in 1985. The moral of the story: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Crazy Climber

An old man decided to climb the Millennium Tower and cause all kinds of traffic ruckus yesterday. The reason for all this craziness? “To dramatize the vulnerability of skyscrapers to terrorism and his own fight against cancer.” Uh, so now we are all informed: skyscrapers are vulnerable. Oh wait, that’s right, there was this small event called 9/11 which really dramatized the vulnerability of skyscrapers a few years back.

Have you heard of that old man?! We don’t need you to tell us skyscrapers are vulnerable. Other ways people learn skyscrapers are vulnerable: getting stuck in elevators and spitting (or being hit by spit) from the top of buildings. We really don’t need your assistance to understand the effects of gravity. And cancer. Almost everyone knows someone that has died from cancer. Unless you have a new rare Ostrich Ass Crack virus that you picked up and needs attention, please keep your feet firmly planed on the ground.

Also, if you want to impress us, you need to free climb the building like Alain Robert. You used suction cups. Suction cups!? How are we supposed to take you seriously buddy? I mean c’mon!! Needless to say, most people in The City didn’t appreciate the street closure, extra traffic and emergency vehicles. You are just plain lucky the residents in the building gave you water out of their windows instead of trying to take you out Crazy Climber style with a flower pot. Thanks for nothing and enjoy jail.

Derek Powazek wrote a great blog post with ten very helpful tips on how to be a driver in The City. I read through these and can say that they are all reasonable and actionable. The only tip I would add to the list is that if you are a serious San Francisco driver is that you should know all of the events going on in The City at all times. San Francisco is very small and any event causes a huge traffic backlog.

You should know the one day a month when Critical Mass is taking place (last Friday of every month). You should know when parades (Folsom Street, Haight Street Festival, Gay Pride), races (Bay to Breakers, SF Marathon, AIDS Walk), and street closures (JFK in Golden Gate Park on Sundays, filming downtown) are happening to avoid being stuck in traffic. The days when these events are happening are walking days, period. Only advanced drivers should attempt to drive around major events while they are taking place.

Send your friends a link to Derek’s tips next time they come into The City and check the event schedule while you are at it. If there is a parade or major event that day, just tell them to take BART or MUNI coming in. Good luck drivers!

A German tourist was struck by a car and killed this weekend while riding a bike in the North Panhandle on Masonic and Turk. While just last weekend, another German tourist was shot and killed by a stray bullet just one block from Union Square on Mason and Geary. It’s hard to believe that German tourists were involved in both of these tragic incidents. The shooting last weekend was particularly tragic, since the lady that was shot was only walking down the street after dinner, not riding a bike through city streets which is inherently dangerous. Stay safe.

This video captures the craziness of Bay to Breakers 2010 in a nutshell. I love the fun of the race, but the drunkenness and public urination (and even defecation) I think we can do without. Either way, B2B is uniquely San Francisco. Big ups to “rockjonj” for putting this together.

Update: Here’s a link to SFGate’s great photos of the event as well.

Sweet video of a bright summer day at Dolores Park in San Francisco.

The guys from the Gadling‘s Travel Talk show spent one day in San Francisco and hit a few highlights. Clearly it is impossible to see all of San Francisco in only 24 hours, but they do have good tips if you only have one day. The most important of which is to stay away from tourist traps like Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz. Check it out.

My brother’s friends from Tampa visited me in San Francisco yesterday and we had lunch at the Osha Thai location near my office. After that we had Peet’s Coffee and hung out at Yerba Buena Gardens for a few minutes before they went to SFMOMA. Here’s a photo of all of us in front of Osha Thai. Good times.

Yesterday evening, a couple of thousand people converged at Justin Herman Plaza to beat the stuffing out of each other with pillows. Why did so many innocent pillows have to die?

Pillow Crowd
Pillow to the Face

Kevin Smith was in San Francisco last week giving a geek address at Macworld. Well, on his way home to Los Angeles he was kicked off a Southwest flight for being too fat. This led to a super awesome Twitter rant. This morning, Southwest apologized to the director by stating its policy; a non-apology if you ask me.

Burning Man 2010 Ticket Snippet

A local graphic artist named Arin Fishkin designed the ticket for Burning Man 2010. This is a pretty big deal when you consider that each ticket is equivalent to a $200 to $300 bill.  Some of the security features include embossing and two separate foil stamps, one which is holographic. Other features are so secret that the event promoters asked him her not to include them in his her blog. The ticket is a work of art in itself that should get you excited about the event. Check it out.

A San Francisco Mission District local is the founder of Ambient Industries, a company that recently released an awesome iPhone application called Flook. Flook is described on their website as a location browser which allows you to bookmark and tag the real world around you. It has a cool user interface too! From the founder:

Flook is not about finding the nearest McDonalds but rather about discovering that this fire hydrant is painted gold each year to commemorate its part in saving the Mission from fire after the 1906 earthquake (http://www.flook.it/community/Jane/50524) or that there’s an Edwardian Ball on next weekend (http://www.flook.it/community/smiling-robot/71128).

It is pretty cool to have “an extra layer of information to the world around you.” You should definitely check it out when you get a chance.

Hubba Revisited by foxxyz

Hubba Hideout is a legendary San Francisco skate spot in the financial district that has been glamorized in video games like EA’s Skate. It was very popular back in the 90’s but was made “unskateable” with the use of anti-skate studs put in place by the Embarcadero Center maintenance crews circa late 2001. Guerrilla skaters have since removed the anti-skate studs from the bottom stairs to make it partially skateable again.

I watched some skaters rip this thing up at lunch time back in the summer of 2001, before the studs were put in place. My office was just a half block away. Below is a great video documentary of the spot made back in 2001, when I saw some great lunch time sessions.

Apparently, the hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of seals at Fisherman’s Wharf have dwindled to just a handful since Thanksgiving.

According to the article, the seals magically appeared after the Loma Prieta Eartquake in 1989 and have been a part of Fisherman’s Wharf for over 20 years. Now they are gone. Scientists think they are searching for food. Is this an ominous sign of another large earthquake on the horizon?

It all seems a bit mysterious.

A decomposing body was found in Golden Gate Park “just a few feet from the sidewalk” near the intersection of Fulton Street and 8th Avenue (see map above). The body of a woman was found by a City Parks and Rec gardener who was a bit shaken up by his discovery. Crazy that someone would dump a body in the heart of the city!

San Francisco bought Treasure Island from the U.S. government for a $55 million guaranteed payment. However, the deal could be worth as much as $105 million should the development of the island prove to be highly profitable for the city.

Hank Leukart, the editor of the online travel magazine Without Baggage, just posted a story showcasing several San Francisco day trips that he did with his 61-year-old mom. A total badass! The day trips included in his guide are to Muir Woods, Point Reyes Lighthouse (pictured), Año Nuevo State Reserve, and Santa Cruz.

It is definitely worth checking out his website prior to planning your next day trip out of San Francisco, whether you are taking your mom or not. Come to think of it, it would be wise to check out his site prior to planning your next vacation.

A semi truck driver with a full cargo of pears reportedly took the S-curve on the Bay Bridge a little too fast this morning and “BLAM-O!” He drove his truck through the concrete barrier and off the bridge plummeting some 200 feet to his death. I have not driven the new S-curve, but those that have claim that it is hairy for cars at more than 45MPH and according to authorities the truck was traveling in excess of 50MPH with a full cargo of pears!

Still, you would think that truck drivers, who drive for a living, would have a better sense of braking distances for their cargo than the average person. If you ask me, this guy just fell asleep at the wheel at 3:30am. RIP.

The Bay Bridge is closed because of a broken cable and Caltrans has no idea how long it will take to fix it. Needless to say, BART, ferries, and other highways were filled beyond capacity with commuters. SFGate has great photos of the mess during this morning’s commute.

Westfield has been trying to figure out what the hell to do with the Metreon since they acquired it in 2006. They stated last year that they would concentrate on making the Metreon a “food and culture” destination.  In their defense, we saw them open a small farmer’s market on the property that has been well received.  However, Tavern on the Green filed for Chapter 11 and announced that they would not be taking the fourth floor.  Also, the Firewood Cafe closed in the food court on the ground level.  Not good. The Metreon is still in decline.

The answer: open a Target on the second floor. An effing Target!? Stay tuned.

I had no idea that TCBCourier.com existed until I got an email from someone to check out their commercial on Vimeo. These guys aren’t your dad’s courier service.  They will deliver whatever you want from point A to point B anywhere in the city for prices starting at around $6.  According to their Yelp review, they’ve delivered hot pizzas from the Mission to Japantown! They are fast! So, if you are outside the delivery zone of your favorite restaurant, just call these guys.  They are like Kozmo.com, but hopefully not so much that they will go out of business soon.  Hungry!? Call them!

Reason #17 not to ride on a Muni bus: fighting. And don’t even think that the driver provides you with any protection whatsoever. After all of this craziness, the driver did not call the police or report the fight. People have been beaten worse than this, and even stabbed, without any trace of a police report or video of the assailant. Thankfully, this fight was caught on video and posted on Youtube. Now there is a pending Muni investigation. Stay safe San Francisco.

On September 6th and 7th, there is a company named MyBrandz.com that is sponsoring free tattoos throughout tattoo studios in San Francisco.  The catch, the tattoo has to be a company brand name or logo.  I know there are a lot of Apple-faithful in the city that would jump at the chance of getting an Apple on their person.  If you want one too, just go to the MyBrandz.com website and sign up for the free tattoo of your choice.

On Wednesday, I headed to Justin Hermann Plaza to see The Shack’s Laptop event. Instead, when I got there I saw a skydiving event (see SFGate story, see my video) that was happening to promote a new T-Mobile’s new phone.  You will notice in the still frame below that The Shack’s giant laptop was not operational during the skydiving event.  And to tell you the truth, I didn’t hang out afterward to see them turn the laptop on.  Looks like The Shack got the shaft!

Lonely Laptop at Skydiving Event

No, I am not talking about the Dove Shack from the LBC,  I am talking about Radio Shack!  The company has decided in their infinite wisdom to drop the antiquated “radio” from their name and simply be referred to as “The Shack.”  Yeah, that doesn’t sound antiquated at all, right!?

Just to prove that they are not antiquated, they are setting up two huge (14ft x 17ft) laptops in Justin Hermann Plaza, San Francisco and in Times Square, New York for three days.  The laptops will deliver bi-coastal images to each other via live webcam.  Becuase nothing says “leading edge” than 10-year-old webcam technology, right!?  The laptop event will be setup from Thursday, August 6th through Saturday, August 8th.

I may go to Justin Hermann Plaza tomorrow during my lunch break to see hilarity ensue as kids “wave” at each other from San Francisco to New York using a huge live webcams.  I wonder how many middle fingers we will see?  Just sayin’.

No news as to when the website and stores will be completely re-branded.  They will have to lose the “R” logo that looks like the registered symbol to make this all happen.  Stay tuned.

Hackers found that SF “smart” parking meters are not so smart.  They totally own the SFMTA parking meters right now and gave a detailed presentation at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas explaining their methods.  They didn’t give away the code to defraud the SFMTA in their presentation, but these guys are totally parking for free right now.  I am jealous.

Some mofo is lighting cars on the streets of San Francisco on fire in the middle of the night!  Last night 4 cars were torched, and authorities say that the count is up to a dozen cars.  People that park on the street are not scared, they are pissed.  I feel sorry for the bloodshed that will take place when someone catches this guy around their car.  This case is ripe for some sweet vigilante justice.  Stay tuned.

San Francisco Fog Before Sunrise

In the news, a great story today about the famous San Francisco summer fog.  Here’s a great photograph of the San Francisco fog just before sunrise. This is why we love living here.  Awesome.

Wow, I stepped away from the blogosphere for the week and I return today to see the aftermath of a war.  Peter Getty, who is famous for you know, being a Getty and little else, has a new job writing a blog for SFGate with Billy Getty.  The first blog post was an entry titled “What the Butler Didn’t See,” which includes wonderful vomit-inducing prose like this:

“By the way: there are slews of people richer than we are, just in this neighborhood. We’re more famous for being rich than we really are rich. But we have enough to belong to the leisure class, meaning we get to spend very little of our time doing anything we don’t feel like, and we have means to sample, if not to gorge on, pleasures that most people, sad to say, won’t likely ever share in — things like yacht trips and safaris, ludicrously expensive wine, and private jet travel. You can be richer than we are, but you can’t live a whole lot better without mere ostentation.”

SFist wrote about Peter’s post and now Peter is upset that his reflections of self aren’t more well received by the commenters on the site.  He is so upset that he responded to the SFist post and has been trolling the comments section of SFist posting defensive missives about anyone that dares criticize his views on being rich.

I am sure all of the members of high society remember fondly those days when publishing required a lot of paper, ink, and expensive printing presses that the poors could not afford.  Ah, those were the days when only the opinions of the rich really mattered.  I don’t know the Gettys and don’t know what could have inspired Peter (and Billy) to want to open themselves to criticism in this way.  But it sure is fun to watch.  I wonder how long Pedro’s blog campaign will continue.

A friend of mine told me about this bird that is attacking passers-by on Front Street, between Sacramento and California Streets.  This CNN video shows people getting jacked by the bird as they walk on the sidewalk last week.  Someone told me the bird is still terrorizing people.  Beware humans.

A huge underground explosion in the Tenderloin today knocked out power for 3,500 people.  As of this writing the power is still out.  I wondered what the hell was going on when I saw two helicopters hovering over what I thought was the Civic Center earlier today.  This must have been it.

Our mayor’s hair has a Twitter account, and a charming personality.  Comedy.

Clergy Blocking Van Ness by Steve Rhodes
Protesting Prop 8 by Steve Rhodes

Today’s supreme court decision had many people, gay and straight alike, up in arms. Many took to the streets, including clergy as pictured in the first photo above.  SFGate has some great images of today’s Prop 8 protest.  Also, SFist has great photos of today’s Prop 8 protest and tonight’s rally.  A similar rally in Hollywood brought out celebrities such as Perez Hilton and Drew Barrymore.

To all of our gay friends: we will hang in there with you and continue to fight.  This is total bullshit!

Some lady in Corona (near Riverside) claims that her father was the Zodiac Killer and even took her with him (when she age 7) to commit some of the murders.  The claim sounds extraordinary, but she has eyeglasses that she claims belonged to one of the victims that may have sufficient DNA evidence to prove if she is telling the truth.  You have to admit that at first glance this sounds like a woman in desperate need of some attention.  I mean, her press conference was on the sidewalk in front of the Chronicle Building!  SFPD said “they would look into her claims”but are surely not amused.

Swine flu prevention technique: full exposure to build resistance

Seasonal flu, the regular influenza virus, has killed more than 13,000 people since the beginning of the year and swine flu has killed only one.  Although you wouldn’t know it by the mass media hysteria surrounding this flu of swine.  All of the news networks are tracking the “outbreak” by reporting the number of cases as they increase, which by the way, (insert sarcasm here) is REALLY exciting to watch 24 hours a day.  Just yesterday a couple of people were reported to have swine flu in Marin and everyone in San Francisco started to panic as if Godzilla was swimming around The Bay ready to pounce on us Tokyo-style.

Almost immediately after the Marin “outbreak,” The Governator declared a state of emergency in the best press conference ever by saying, “there is no need for alarm.”  Well, isn’t that what “declaring an emergency” is all about!? You are sounding a freakin’ alarm so that people take notice, right!?  Uh, really!?

Let’s keep things in perspective people!

You are no more likely to die from swine flu as you are from regular seasonal flu.  The same rules apply.  People should be a lot more worried about getting the AIDS virus, since that has a much higher mortality rate.  But understandably it is a lot easier to get the swine flu virus than the AIDS virus.  Use the same precautions that you would to avoid getting the flu and you will be fine.  I am not saying we should all go out and start kissing pigs, but there is definitely no need to panic.

Now that Mayor Newsom is married he is selling his sweet bachelor penthouse in Russian Hill.  Apparently the condo has been reduced from its original asking price of $3.2 million just a couple of months ago, to a little less than $3 million today.  It’s pretty sweet, but crazy expensive for 1600 square feet and $1,400 a month in HOA dues.  You would have to be seriously big pimpin’ to buy this place.

This Sunday will be the first of six car-free “Sunday Streets” that will happen this year at different locations throughout San Francisco.  The streets will be blocked off from car traffic, much like JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park on Sundays.  Except there will be activities such as activities such as dancing, yoga, skating, biking, walking, hula hooping, and recreational sports available for people to participate.  This Sunday’s route will extend along the Embarcadero waterfront from South Beach Park to Aquatic Park, and the event goes from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.

  • Sunday, April 26: The Embarcadero waterfront from South Beach Park to Aquatic Park.
  • Sunday, May 10: Waterfront Route in the Southeast Sector from AT&T Park to the Bayview Opera House, along the Bay.
  • Sunday, June 7: New route for 2009 through the Mission (TBA).
  • Sunday, July 19: New route for 2009 through the Mission (TBA)
  • Sunday, August 9: Great Highway Route. Connecting Golden Gate Park to the San Francisco Zoo, along Ocean Beach.
  • Sunday, Sept 6: Great Highway Route. Connecting Golden Gate Park to the San Francisco Zoo, along Ocean Beach.

Get outside and enjoy these!

It was 92F degrees in San Francisco today and it is still 85F degrees at 6:45pm.

A fellow San Francisco blogger and gonzo journalist has re-branded his blog, Dream Not of Today, as I am Totally Gay for Glenn Beck.  Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The dramatic shift in gears comes on the heels of editor Rob Spectre’s admission that is very homosexually in love with Glenn Beck, a popular Fox News commentator.  “I am totally gay for Glenn Beck,” says Spectre, the blog’s editor for two years.  “I feel this is the only moment and vehicle appropriate to express these long repressed feelings.”

If you are totally gay for Glenn Beck too, or want to hear stories about those that are, go check it out.  It’s an entertaining funny read.

A local wedding photographer by the name of Peter Bruce is putting together a photo blog project called “1 Photo. 3 Words. 365 Days.” From the description of his photo blog:

“My mission for the next 365 days… to find a person on the street who I don’t know, take their photo, and ask them for three words that describe how they are feeling at that moment.”

The photo blog is currently on day 22 and already has some very interesting portraits. I will be returning back to during the next year to check it out.

You can also find Peter and his photography at his wedding photography site.  I know it can be very difficult to do a blog post each day so my hat is off to him. Here’s wishing him the best of luck in completing his project.

The WonderCon Comic Convention was at Moscone this weekend and it brought out its share of fanboys and fangirls to San Francisco.  As always, the nerdiest wore the costumes of their favorite character.  In fact, I saw a Batman walking home from work on Friday evening which was weird, but now I know why.

The Chronicle did its best to capture some of them.  But the Chron’s photos pale in comparison to the Flickr photos taken by those that attended the event.  Ah, the spectacle.  Enjoy!

The unbuilt Transbay Station is already obsolete.  Engineers commented that the proposed design would only accomodate half of the train capacity that will be needed in 2030.  This new development may force SamTrans and Caltrain boss Michael Scanlon to request new designs prior to requesting stimulus funds for the project.  Supervisor Chris Daly let loose one of his infamous profanity laden tirades against Scanlon on Wednesday night for suggesting that they put the brakes on $400 million in funding.  Likely because Daly cannot understand the difference between 6 trains per hour and 12 trains per hour.  In any case, it looks like it’s back to the drawing board for the Transbay Station design.

The Virgin Megastore on Market and Stockton Streets is liquidating its inventory, announcing that it will be closing its doors in late April.  The company cites declining sales due to online downloads.  With on-demand downloads over satellite and cable, iTunes, AppleTV, Netflix streaming, and others, it’s no wonder they are going down.  It’s a bit ironic that the iPods which helped fuel this trend are sold directly directly across the street at the Apple store on Stockton.  Buh-bye.

According to Valleywag, Jennifer Siebel Newsom is expecting a baby and pissed that some of her friends let the cat out of the bag.  Per the article Gavin Newsom is likely very happy to be having the baby just in time for his expected gubernatorial campaign.

From the article: “Newsom’s wife expecting a child in the fall, he will have the perfect family-man campaign prop. What better way for a claimant to the throne to seem young and vital than to have his very own heir?”

I guess you can say he will have an heir to go with his hair.

The Metreon opened to much fanfare in June, 1999.  Sony invested over $85 million dollars to create what it called a technology entertainment complex.  In fact, when it opened Sony officials were really upset if you called it a “mall.”  Never mind that it was simply a mall that sold no clothes.  Dig a little deeper and you find that the Metreon was a place for Sony to showcase its products, artists and technology in its SonyStyle and Playstation stores, the sound system in Jillian’s, and the 15 movie theatres, which were all developed with Sony technology and equipment.

In short, you could buy high-tech equipment from Sony or Microsoft, who also had a store there, and entertain yourself at the movie theatre, Jillian’s, or the huge state of the art arcade. Oh, and there was a kids entertainment section too on the top floor.  A year after The Metreon opened, over 6 million people had visited the new entertainment complex and Sony’s experiment was deemed a huge success.  I had my 30th birthday party at the Metreon in 2002 and really enjoyed Jillian’s and the arcade with a lot of friends.  It was great!

Then, as with all things that are centered around technology, it was all downhill from there.  All of the state-of-the-art equipment that filled the Metreon started to look commonplace after a while.  The Microsoft store closed.  The plasma big screens inside Jillian’s started to look dated against the LCDs that most people started to get in their homes.  The video games inside the arcade weren’t as cool as the video games that most people had at home with the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. Ultimately the arcade closed, and then reopened, but it was never really popular.  The big restaurant other than Jillian’s closed.

Sony couldn’t take it anymore and sold the Metreon to Westfield in 2006.  They finally realized that they had no idea of how to run a mall (retail space) in an urban area and called it quits.  Westfield immediately opened cart kiosks selling everything from mobile phone accessories to Rosetta Stone software.  The Metreon started to look like a cheap mall.  Then an Oakland teenager was shot at the Metreon in little over a year ago.  Westfield increased security at the Metreon after the incident but the damage was done.

The Long Life Noodle Company food court restaurant closed a couple of months ago.  Westfield boarded up the restaurant and put a sign on it saying that something new will open in its place in 2010.  It looks that there are no new takers for 2009.  Sony is now the biggest, and only original remaining tenant at the Metreon. But Sony recently announced that they would not be renewing their leases for their SonyStyle and Playstation stores this summer.  When those two stores close, it will be the official end of the Metreon as it was intended to be.  It will officially be dead and its metamorphosis to be just-another-mall (with a movie theater) will finally be complete.

The Metreon’s death may not be a bad thing, but it sure was a long time coming.  With its location, there is no reason that the Metreon shouldn’t be one of the most successful retail spaces in the city. Tavern on the Green announced last year that they are going to take the entire top floor of the Metreon.  Hopefully they will still be able to follow through with their plans given the rough economy.  Here’s hoping that Metreon’s rebirth is just around the corner.

Home prices in the Bay Area have lost $202 billion in value this last year. Bay Area home prices also dropped 18 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, which is more than the overall U.S. decline of 11 percent. Only 12 zip codes in the Bay Area gained value. Those rare “appreciating” zip codes are in affluent areas such as Atherton, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, parts of San Francisco, Berkeley and Bodega Bay.

Earlier today, I took my first exterior moblog photo of the San Francisco skyline from UCSF and was happy to see that it was mapped by Flickr upon receipt (due to the photographs embedded GPS coordinates).  By the way, have I told everyone how much I love my BlackBerry Bold, because I do.  It will be interesting to see what my Flickr map will look like in a couple of months of moblogging with GPS.  Very cool.