Today in San Francisco History

(Disclosure:  This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page.) WARNING: HISTORY LESSON! HISTORY LESSON! Today, May 21, is the fortieth anniversary of the Dan White verdict and “White Night” riots which occurred in the S.F. Civic Center and Castro District. People still debate whether the riots had a positive long-term effect on LGBT rights. I say they didn’t, and shouldn’t have happened in the first place. The far-out nature of the verdict made a violent public reaction likely, though, so no one should have been surprised. Dan White’s crime was viewed as homophobic, and San … Continue reading Today in San Francisco History

One More Piece of San Francisco Has Been Lost

Please see the end of this post for a link to a Hoodline article by Carrie Sisto about the demolition of the Hemlock Tavern on Polk Street.  The Hemlock was a longtime bar and entertainment venue.  Many years earlier, a gay bar called Giraffe was in that space (Polk Street was a less conspicuous gay-themed alternative to the Castro for decades). I’ve lived in San Francisco since 1982, and can recall how my mother used to note the sad changes in the Financial District skyline whenever my parents drove me home on the Bay Bridge from their house in Oakland.  I made … Continue reading One More Piece of San Francisco Has Been Lost

Maintaining a Smartphone on a Budget — and Frightening Guesswork

More than two years ago, I invested in my first smartphone.  It was an unused, clearance-priced iPhone 5s, listed on the site of the service provider who was overseeing the account for a cheap flip phone I’d been using. Even the best smartphones don’t last forever, regardless of whether you treat them gently.  I treated that phone gently often, too.  I let go of it to shower, sleep, read books and go into public places, and that was about it.  The rest of the time, I was the constantly needy infant, and that phone was my caregiver. Recently, I noticed … Continue reading Maintaining a Smartphone on a Budget — and Frightening Guesswork

Pictures From My Staycation

Wait.  First, a question:  Exactly how is staycation defined? I have a feeling a real staycation is one of those things where you remain within the walls of your home and have more fun than a barrel of monkeys, playing table tennis and computer games.  Whatever. That wasn’t exactly what I did this weekend.  I stayed at a hotel located within a couple of miles of my home, and did nothing in particular besides take photos and look for cheap places to buy nutritious meals. I also read miscellaneous stuff and solved the Saturday New York Times crossword.  I had neglected to … Continue reading Pictures From My Staycation

Blue Angels Over San Francisco

Today (Sunday) is the last day this year that the Navy Department’s Blue Angels aircraft will be flying over San Francisco, causing eardrums and nerves to shake citywide. We’ve been hearing them during limited daytime hours since Thursday.  The (usually) yearly air show is held on weekends, but practice runs are handled on Thursday and Friday. This air show is regarded by many as a tribute to servicemembers who protect our country from threats, and for the record we should not blame servicemembers for instances in which the White House and Pentagon have acted on the wrong impulses.  War decisions … Continue reading Blue Angels Over San Francisco

Some People Suffer, Others Take Advantage

Today, San Francisco set a new record for a high temperature in the City By the Bay: 106 degrees Fahrenheit. The previous all-time S.F. record was set on June 14, 2000, when it reached 103 degrees. Today, it was cooler in Los Angeles than in S.F. — by only a few degrees.  A wildfire in the San Fernando Valley has people in the L.A. area thinking about more than weather specifics, though. Irma, following Harvey, may or may not cause further devastation, depending on the path it takes.  The people affected by Harvey have already seen too much. The climate … Continue reading Some People Suffer, Others Take Advantage