First Friday, the awesome event organized by the Lower 24th Merchants and Neighbors Association, is back for the first time in 2012. As usual, there will be lots of food, art, music, kid stuff and merrymaking. Check out the new map/planner thingie that Lower 24th put out this time. Have a great time strolling around 24th, and high five LiLo if you see him.
La Espiga de Oro is one of LiLo’s favorite businesses. They make Mexican food from scratch. No maseca, no preservatives. Pablo, the proprietor, gave LiLo a little video tour a little while ago. Check it out and see the story behind the best tamales in the Mission.
St. Valentine is the patron saint of bee keepers. To celebrate this interesting facet of an otherwise tired holiday, HMS Beekeeper is throwing an after dinner, drop-in celebration of honey. The store will be lit entirely by candlelight. We will have reasonably priced, locally-sourced honey and cheese tastings, DIY candle making with real beeswax and surreptitious mead drinking. There will be a demonstration bee colony (behind glass, don’t worry). Plus, meet Her Majesty’s chickens, including Henrietta Alpha’s new chick born on Thursday. Great for couples looking for something interesting to do after dinner, or single folks who don’t want to do the bar thing. Maybe you can find a new honey.
Valentine’s Day is fraught with cliches and expectations. Spend a lot of money on a fancy dinner and buy mediocre chocolates in a pink box just to meet expectations. That stuff is boring, do this instead (or after). Starts at 8:30 and goes until whenever, probably 11ish. Learn about bees, dip your own candles for late night merry-making, try lots of honey and cheese and get credit for coming up with something interesting to do for Valentine’s Day.
What: Honey and cheese tasting, mead drinking, DIY candle dipping and romantic mood making
When: 8:30pm – 11ish, 2/14
Where: HMS Beekeeper, 3520 20th St
Why: To put some romance into a cliched holiday.
Who: You, your honey and/or your future honey
Cost: Free. Honey and cheese tasting, candle making and mead all available for sale.
A HMS Beekeeper / Live Local Mission joint
Casa Sanchez, a Mission icon for at least a thousand years, is fighting to keep Salsa Sundays alive. A cranky neighbor has issued noise complaints, called the cops, and taken his or her fight to City Hall.
Marta Sanchez, Casa Sanchez’s owner, brings in tons of local salsa bands to play on the back patio, and the margarita-drenched affairs are one of the best ways to spend a Sunday. The music is local, the Mexican food is great and the sun is (usually) shining. If noise is a concern for the neighbor, LiLo humbly suggests not living on 24th St.
There’s a hearing tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/10) at 6:30pm at City Hall. Marta is offering a free margarita to everyone who comes and testifies on behalf of Salsa Sundays. You can bet your ass LiLo will be there. Here’s the Facebook event page. I’ll let Marta explain in her own words after the jump.
The Bay Citizen ran a nice profile on Live Local and other local alternatives to Groupon, Scoutmob, etc. The story is really good, check it out:
“Different groups have different discount models. Live Local, whose mascot is a funky robot pigeon, is distributed as both a plastic (recycled, of course) card and mobile app that can be purchased for $20.
Once a user buys into the program, they receive small discounts at local businesses in the Mission, which the businesses get to dictate. Most go for a simple 10-15% off of the full purchase amount, although some opt for a flat discount.
Mazow, who has a background in non-profits and politics, launched with 16 businesses and now has 35 on board, including such neighborhood staples as La Victoria Bakery and Adobe Books. He calls Groupon “a one-night-stand” for their focus on the short-term deep discount, and aims to cultivate repeat business with what is essentially an updated version of the punch card.”
Leef from Mission Comics and Art wrote something interesting yesterday in his post “It’s not cheating…when done right (or taking a bite out of Apple).” He talks about retail and online methods of distribution in the comic book industry. TL;DR: he notes the current disruption caused by online purchases, points to examples of digital content driving money to artists and publishers, voices some skepticism about the “digital will save the industry” trope and introduces (to me, at least) a fair way of buying comics online that still supports the local comic book shops.
The whole post, which actually isn’t TL at all, brought to mind Amazon’s recent gambit, the one where they paid people $5 to price check goods at brick and mortar stores and then buy it on Amazon. The ploy got lots of people to use the app, but it rubbed lots of folks the wrong way.
Leef calls the future of comic book distribution “complicated and messy”. True dat. If you do buy things online, try to be judicious. Is there a way reap the benefits of online purchasing while still supporting local businesses (a la Comixology)? Can online purchases be limited to items that can’t be purchased from the little guys? Buying a printer cable from Amazon as opposed to some big box store doesn’t bother LiLo too much. It’s not cheating if you buy online sparingly and with thought.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, LiLo fundamentally believes in the value that local businesses provide the community. They circulate money locally, use local vendors, decrease carbon emissions, support public services and create local character.
Yes, Amazon and ITunes are cheaper, and yes, they are convenient. But if that’s all you’re looking for, why are you living in the Mission anyway? If you want cheaper and easier, go to Emeryville or Daly City. Rent is cheaper, parking is more plentiful, local businesses are rare and Amazon ships there all the same.
One of the many benefits of living in the Mission is the amazing local businesses that are run by and for its residents. What’s the price of being in walking distance of Mission Comics and Art, a comic book store that has tons of free, snack-filled comic events (like the PUPPYKITTY opening reception this Saturday)? Buying a comic book every so often just about covers it.
The BACE Timebank Holiday Fair is happening this Friday, December 16th 7-10pm at the Happiness Institute (1720 Market St, at Valencia). From 6-7m, Charles Eisenstein will be speaking about Sacred Economics.
I know it’s outside the Mission, but juuuuuuuuust barely. Press release is below. The timebank is a fantastic community of sharing; it’s better than a barter system because the currency, (time) allows for non-reciprocal trades. Get cool stuff and learn some skillz at the holiday party, in exchange for time. You should totally come!
Press release below:
Occupy your time, not the mall! Wanna find holiday presents for friends and family without breaking the bank? Come to the Bay Area Community Exchange Timebank Holiday Fair and buy gifts with time instead at over 30 vendors with stations. You are welcome to bring your own goods and services and trade (selling space available on a first come first served basis). Swap time for knitted scarves, jars of salsa, recycled gifts, DIY lessons, artworks or sweet treats. Exchange goods and services for hour credits that you earn by helping others on the Timebank…and you don’t have to earn before you can spend! Make new friends, build community, experience the abundance of the holidays, and enjoy music.
Bring your potluck dish, homemade gifts, skillshares, classes or healing services to trade on the Timebank. Invite your loved ones and get free holiday portraits. Not a member of the Timebank yet? We will have instructors to help you sign up and learn how to use this free community resource. If you can, sign up ahead of time and create a profile at www.bace.org for a free account.
Because scarcity is a myth that separates us and keeps us at the mercy of the economy – there really is enough for everyone.
- Soup is Love – Vegan soup
- Om Shan Tea – Tea service and supplies – Om Shan Tea
- SF Free School
- Sophie Howell & Adair Arnold – Flourish Feather earrings & hairpieces, cards, gourmet goodies
- Rana Chang, House Kombucha – 16-oz Kombucha drinks and Kombucha making workshop
- Seth Mazow* – Kale chips
- Happy Kate Pottery – pottery
- Jenny Shore – Handcrafted delicacies, goat fig ice cream cones (!!!!!!!!!)
- Tracy Bullock, Babylonian Soap – soaps, lotions, other homemade goods
- Peter J – tea service and I Ching Readings
- Marshall Hilton – Photography
- Kalie Ilana – Photography
- Susan Bernstein, Work from Within – 10-minute speed coaching
- Abel Silva, People for People – Spanish lessons
- Lisa David, Your Sunny Patch – Edible Gardens for your habitat; design, installation, maintenance & coaching
- Natalie Kilmer, The Little Acre – Plant your own seeds and starts
- Beverly Pitzer and Antonio Roman-Alcalá – Seeds and seed saving workshops (Transition SF, insearchofgoodfood.org)
- Kerrick Lucker Permaculture: Permanent Culture in a Temporary World – workshop; used books, handbooks, little terrariums, plant starts, and miscellaneous handcrafts.
- Clery Villacrez – Reiki
- Katharina Dress, Aging in Harmony – Workshop in Nonviolent Communication: Get Ready for Holiday Gatherings: Creating Connection by Listening and Speaking from the Heart (& gift certificates)
- Meredith Buck – Knitted crafts, felting workshop
- Allison Ambrozy, Opportunity Impact – Kids arts and crafts
- Mira Luna – Art card workshop
- Leonie Holzman, CreateHeartMeaning – Book Arts handmade goods, workshop
- Ananda Reeves, Universal Insight – “The art of making life easy” – coaching on how subconscious mind works, & speaking its language
- Anna Gautier – hoola hoop lessons
* LiLo’s handler
Tonight is the final First Friday of the year. There will be live music at Casa Sanchez, art and wine at L’s Caffe, jazz at Explorist International and lots more. LiLo will be slinging cards outside of L’s Caffe and Community Acupuncture Works. All up and down the street will be alive with music, art, food and awesomeness. Check it out from 6:30 to 9:30. Click the map to see it full size.
Black Friday, that magical time of year when people leave their loved ones at hangover o’clock to line up at
China’s distribution centers big box stores to trample one another in an effort to buy a bunch of crap. LiLo is decidedly not a fan. Big box stores hurt our communities economically and environmentally.
But if you’re down with the robot pigeon, you already know this. So what to do? Plaid Friday!
Plaid is the new black. It’s funky and weird, and better reflects the Mission’s quirkiness. Participating stores (including Live Local faves Room 4, Serendipity, Speesees and Weston Wear will high five anyone wearing plaid, and might even offer a discount. The 35 Live Local businesses will be offering their usual discount, but lots of other local businesses will be joining the fun as well, check out the list.
Plaid Friday was started in Oakland, and has spread like viral wildfire. It’s an awesome idea that helps our communities and local merchants. So get up at a reasonable hour, bust out your grunge-era plaid shirt and cruise Valencia or 24th for the afternoon while middle America is stuck in a mall. Support your local businesses and rock out. Live Local is totally stoked to sponsor such an awesome event.
Live Local encourages you to shop locally, which is a pretty green thing to do. So it feels good to announce that the City of San Francisco has recognized Live Local Mission as a SF Green Business. W00t!
The certification process was pretty hardcore. City officials looked at everything: light bulbs, packaging, printer paper, faucets, transportation (bike FTW!), sourcing, materials, energy/water usage, etc. The result is Live Local’s Green Policy Statement, which outlines LiLo’s specific actions and business practices to minimize his robot pigeon footprint.
LiLo walks the green walk, and is proud to be certified as the greenest robot pigeon around. Yet another reason to buy a Live Local card.
Day of the Dead enveloped the Mission last week. Thousands processed through the streets to honor those who have passed. Or to play dress up and party.
Afterwards, people gathered at Garfield Park to visit altars built by Mission folks who wanted to pay homage to people who have left us. They ranged from traditional to modern, Frida Kahlo to Burning Man, reverent to playful. LiLo talked to a few of the creators about the reasons behind why they made altars.
This lady is a hospice nurse who comforts people, mainly AIDS victims, who are on death’s door. She made her altar to honor the patients who have passed through her life, and her fellow healthcare workers who have helped them through the transition.
Next I talked to Rosa. She needed to run home and get some more photos, so LiLo let her borrow his bike so she wouldn’t lose her parking spot. She’s experienced a lot of loss recently. Her son’s friend was murdered at 23rd and Harrison, her pastor recently died, etc. Rosa was super nice, and seemed to have quite the network of folks around her.
Lastly, I talked with Dominic and MacKenzie Santiago, who made one of the more accessible, participatory altars at this year’s Day of the Dead festivities. Theirs spanned many religions and cultures; photos of Jimi Hendrix, Steve Jobs and Black Jesus were inches away from each other. As we were chatting, a guy came up and put a photo of his dog on the altar, and told us how much she meant to him. Every year the Santiago brothers take the marigolds from the altar and place them at graves in Colma that are over 100 years old, to keep the energy flowing.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s Day of the Dead festivities. Hopefully it gave peace to those who sought it.
Today is Sunday Streets! All of Valencia and 24th streets will be closed to cars from 11-4 but open to people, bikes, wheelchairs, skateboards, unicycles, etc. Expect music, food, art, street performers, family and other related forms of awesomeness. This is one of the Mission’s best days of the year. Meet your neighbors and explore your neighborhood :).
Be Local, Buy Local, Read Local. But especially Buy Local :).
LiLo is proud to partner with Mission Local as the first featured business in their shiny new Be Mission Market. Buying stuff from their market helps Mission Local keep doing what they do: provide the Mission with badass reporting. They really are a gem. Support them by buying the Live Local card (or any of the other cool things) from them to keep hyper local journalism alive and well in the Mission. Someone has to update the gangs and cupcakes map.
The 3.9 Collective, a group of African American artists in SF have an art exhibit opening tonight at Sirron Norris’ studio. 3.9 is the percentage of African Americans in SF according to the last census, and the collective is showcasing work to demonstrate that they’re still here:
The word “black” recently has become all to synonymous with the act of vanishing, especially in San Francisco where the 2010 census revealed that the African American population has dropped to 3.9%. What does that mean for a city that prides itself on its cultural diversity when members of its population are no longer represented? The loss of a culture, the absence of differentiation, even the lack of a visual presence can be devastating to a community. With the exhibition entitled “Still Here”, San Francisco artists Nancy Cato, Rodney Ewing, Sirron Norris, William Rhodes, and Ron Moultrie Saunders have adopted this statistic and created a banner of support and defiance. The work they will be creating confronts this anomaly of absence by representing how at least one segment of the Black community is alive, and a integral part of San Francisco culture. The work may not stem the tide of the exodus, but to paraphrase the poet Dylan Thomas “We will not go quietly into that good night”.
Rocky Yazzie will be slinging his famous frybread, Kippy Marks will be performing, and refreshments will be served. Sirron redid his gallery to prep for the show, which is free. Check it out tonight from 6-9pm. Facebook invite.
Tonight is First Friday on 24th St. Organized by Lower 24th Merchants and Neighbors Association, the event highlights the people and culture of the Mission. There will be food, music, kid stuff, low riders, street performers, discounts at merchants and mo’ from 6-10pm tonight. Unless you’re Jewish and are atonenin’, you got no excuse not to be here.
By the looks of LiLo’s flooded inbox on Sunday, everyone saw the big New York Times piece about how Groupon and its clones (Living Social, Scoutmob, etc) are bad for merchants. The article brings to light a few points LiLo constantly talks about in his perambulations around the Mission:
- Groupon and it’s clones offer drive by deals that encourage coupon hopping rather than loyalty. This is good for customers who just want a massage or burrito or whatever and don’t care where it’s from, but it’s not very good for the businesses.
- The Groupon clones bring in picky, tire-kicking customers. When customers only come in because they have a 50% off coupon, they might not value the business or experience very much. The product or service seems cheap to them. And to many, it’s simply “this month’s discount Thai food”. Why should they pay full price, when another place will do a deal in a few weeks? These customers are constantly comparing the business to others, often negatively. An influx of them can wear on employees’ morale, and the spike in traffic can cause supplies and inventory to run low. So the cut-rate customers come to the Thai restaurant, wait forever because of the other deal-holders ahead of them in line, find out that there’s no more Tom Kha (again, thanks to the other coupon holders) gets something that they don’t really want, and don’t really like it. It’s not a pleasing experience, and it’s unlikely to lead to repeat business.
- Deal holders tend to complain on Yelp, thus bringing a business’ rating down an average of half a star, according to the article from researchers at Harvard and Boston University that was quoted in the NYT piece. People who frequent businesses repeatedly are more likely to be sympathetic to a new employee or someone having a bad day, while the drive bys unload a snark barrage on the business’ Yelp page.
Groupon executed a great idea, and their model works well for some businesses (those already going broke, offering lessons, etc) but it’s not for everyone. Sadly, the army of coupon clutchers tends to walk right out as fast as they walked in.
Live Local offers much smaller discounts than the Groupons and Scoutmobs of the world. But by offering year-long discounts that can be used all the time, Live Local encourages loyalty to neighborhood businesses. The card only makes sense if you are going to use the it time and time again at the same local shops. That helps increase the bond between merchant and customer that leads to a better experience for both. So while LiLo isn’t swimming in Groupon’s possible IPO bathtub of funny money, he’s happily cooing around the Mission.
L’Shana Tovah! Get your Rosh Hashanah honey at HMS Beekeeper today from 5-6pm and get 20% off with your Live Local card. That’s twice the normal Live Local discount. Dip your apples in local honey to usher in a sweet new year.
The first monthly SF Bay Area Community Exchange (BACE) timebank meetup will happen Thursday evening (9/29) at the Mission Community Market (Bartlett and 22nd), from 5:30-6:30pm. The timebank is a volunteer-run, nonprofit market for goods and services that uses a person’s time as the currency instead of money. For every hour you spend doing something for someone in your community, you earn one hour to use to have someone do something for you. It is an alternative way to give and receive resources. It’s that simple.
The meetup at the Mission Community Market allows timebank members (free to join!) to meet each other and figure out what they need and what they can give. Sometimes a website can be sterile, and it can be intimidating to send an email to a stranger. At the meetup, you can meet your neighbors, see what they have to share (Mexican cooking lessons, produce from their garden, guitar lessons, computer help, anything!) and how you can help. Remember, timebank trades don’t have to be reciprocal, the timebank credit allows you to use an hour gained from helping person A to get stuff or skills from person B. The more people join, the bigger the “store” of services is. Come to the meetup and become a more integrated part of the community.
This Sunday, LiLo will be sponsoring a free bike tour of the Mission’s trees given by Friends of the Urban Forest. The two hour tour, which starts at 11am at Atlas Cafe (20th and Alabama), will be led by an arborist who knows what’s what. While you might know incredible amounts about the Mission’s bars or taquerias, you probably don’t know much about its trees. Take your bike on a joyride and learn about some of the cooler trees in the Mission.
Why are certain bars empty? Why does the Mission look, demographically speaking, like it did 10 or 20 years ago? Why is next week a fantastic time to buy a dirty, shitty bike?
Burning Man. Enjoy the serenity while you can, folks.
Tonight is the Valencia Evening Fair, a wonderous evening of local business awesomeness from 5-10pm. All along Valencia and her tributaries, local businesses will be staying open late. They’ll have refreshments, discounts, music, art and more. Here’s a list of Live Local Mission businesses that are participating that you can use your Live Local card at:
LiLo will be at 22nd and Valencia, with refreshments from some or all of these Live Local bidnesses: Dynamo Donuts, HMS Beekeeper, Casa Sanchez, La Victoria and L’s Caffe. Boxed wine will be available for anyone who says the secret phrase “robot pigeon of death”. LiLo will be there for five hours, so come keep him company
Friends of the Urban Forest is looking for volunteers to help plant some sidewalk gardens at 26th and Alabama on Thursday and possibly Friday. They might make like a tree and leave (high five!) if they have enough volunteers and might end up on a neighboring block. Email LiLo’s secretary at seth at livelocalcard dot com to find out where the team is when you want to volunteer. It’ll be a nice way to enjoy the crazy good weather we’ve been having and help beautify the neighborhood.
On a related note, do you know that ginormous, modern mansion at the corner of 25th and Alabama? One day LiLo was waddling by and saw a pile of human poo in the dirt right around the house. Some crude TP-substitutes were sprinkled liberally around the mound for effect. It stayed there for days. About a week later, the poo was gone and some spiky succulents filled the dirt. Not cactus-of-death style, but enough to dissuade stealth, neighborhood poo-ers.
LiLo is a big fan of the Timebank, a community of sharing that works better than a barter system because a currency (timebank credit) allows for asymmetrical trades. See Live Local’s page on the Timebank here.
The Timebank is having an orientation at the Glen Park YMCA (4080 Mission St) from 10:45am until noon tomorrow, 8/24. LiLo’s tamer Seth, founder of Live Local and Timebank board member, will be co-presenting with fellow Timebank board members about the awesomeness of the Timebank, and why you should join right fucking now. Check it out if you’re free.
Here’s a couple last minute suggestions on how to rock the streetfood festival that will dominate the Mission today:
- GO EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t emphasize this one enough. Lines will be redonkulous by mid afternoon if not before. For those of you trying to drive to the Mission, don’t. Parking will be a nightmare. Biking is the preferred mode of transport, followed closely by jetpacking.
- Try new stuff. Lots of SF’s mobile food community will be there, and you know how good they are. But you can find them all the time. Use this opportunity to try something new.
- Find a respite. Things will get hectic. Get some food, and fine someplace to chill and eat it. A empty spot on the curb, Garfield Square park, or perhaps Kaleidoscope, which is having an open-door art market. They’ll have couches and such.
- Tequila blueberry parfait at the La Victoria booth. Just sayin’.
LiLo is a big fan of The King, and mourned the 34th anniversary of his death today. He checked out a number of Live Local businesses to see what they had that paid respect to Elvis.
Adobe Bookshop had a number of books about Elvis that while tattered, might shed some light on his tortured life.
Room 4 had an Elvis tie and a record of Elvis doing gospel songs. Elvis didn’t live a terribly pious life and succumbed to a fair bit of temptation, but this is San Francisco, we’re not so concerned about such things. I bet the record is fantastic though. Chris at Explorist International has been bugging me to get a record player and I’ve been resisting, bu Elvis doing gospel might compel me to break down and get one.
Mission Comics and Art was my last stop, and it didn’t disappoint. Leef had a comic book series about an Elvis in the desert who defeats evildoers, and a long graphic novel about an Elvis impersonator in Vegas who gets a little too close to the truth behind the legend
I’m sure there were other Elvis nods elsewhere in the Mission that I couldn’t find today. Perhaps you can find them and use them in your Elvis shrine/altar for your remembrance. LiLo will make a deep fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, grow some sweet sideburns and do some sweet karate.
Tonight Artillery is hosting a Mission Arts and Performance Project (MAPP) event from 7-11pm. This is a free musical event that encourages the Mission community to show their love to all the beautiful artist and musicians that make the hood.
All Night Mixing DJ BAYSIK & DJ EWOK
8:00-9:00 Santos Perdidos (Afro-Cuban dance music)
9:15-10:00 Burnt (Reggae)
“The Zoo” Visual exhibition of Mission Artist Ivan Lopez
Check out local art and local music about 30 yards from the 24th St BART stop. Should be pretty rad.
Looking for a way to help the community, enjoy some sunshine, meet some new folks AND get a free lunch? LiLo sure the hell is. Join Live Local, Lower 24th Street Merchant and Neighborhood Association and lots of cool folks to pick up trash, remove old stickers, paint over graffiti, remove weeds, etc. 24th street gives so much to you: pan dulce, tacos, luchador masks, and more, show it some love. Cleaning gear and lunch will be provided. Meet up at 10am an the corner of Harrison and 24th. We’ll be there, you should come too.
Congrats to the three Live Local Mission businesses that won best of the bay kudos from the SF Bay Guardian!
The editors gave Asiento their parentheses-laden “BEST HAPP(IL)Y( SELF-DETERMINED) HOUR” award, Explorist International won “BEST SONIC SAFARI” in and the readers gave Artillery the nod for “BEST STORE STAFF“.
Always nice to see the Mission representin’. Even if the description of 24th St as a jungle in the Sonic Safari piece is a little fucked up.
Hola! Live Local Mission will launch at the Mission Community Market this Thursday night, from 5:30 – 7:30pm. The market is located at Bartlett and 22nd in the heart of the Mission. It’s a great farmers’ market, and this is the height of the most delicious season. Bring some reusable bags and pick up some figs, peaches and tacos from the local farmers and vendors.
LiLo will give away about $200 in gift certificates from the
15 16 17 inaugural Live Local businesses through trivia contests, pigeon draw-offs and a silent auction that will benefit Mission Graduates, an organization that helps kids in the Mission get accepted in and thrive at college. You can also learn about what Live Local Mission is, why it’s needed, and maybe even buy a Live Local card. The first ten people to do so will win a beer with Seth (the founder). Follow Live Local Mission on twitter (@LiLoMission) and Facebook for more info and updates.
Although this is the first post of a blog, it’s actually the culmination of lots of work. Live Local is committed to strengthening the bonds between Mission residents and businesses. It’s time to take the veil off this little idea and let it bound around the Mission. See you on Thursday!