Power to the Peaceful. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 2009. FREE / $5 donation.

14 09 2009

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I’m not a big fan of Michael Franti’s music or his ego. That’s kind of funny because I tried really hard to be into his earlier band, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, but it just didn’t work out. I think I liked the name of that band more than any of the music they actually made. I also distinctly recall watching The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy host 120 minutes on MTV and Michael Franti spent the entire 120 minutes talking about how great and deep his music was. The other half of that band, Rono Tse, just sat there looking lonely and depressed. It was painful experience, it was like watching an early version of Jon & Kate plus 8 where you have one overbearing personally that’s doing all the talking and the Asian kid who’s just sitting there looking lonely and defeated.

That and the fact that when you look at a Spearhead CD booklet it’s all glamour shots of Michael Franti posing and showing off his tattoos. He’s like the Bay Area Rastafarian version of Zoolander. We get it Mike; you’re on an ego-trip. Just take a time out every now and then and let the Asian kid talk for a change.

I’m not a big fan of Michael Franti’s music or his ego but the guy throws a great free / $5 donation party in Golden Gate Park. It’s the week directly after Burning Man so everyone still has this post-Burn glow. It’s also in the same place that the Human Be-In was in 1967. That only happened once with 20,000 – 30,000 people and it’s become a legendary event. The Power To The Peaceful has been happening for a decade or so now with crowds of 50,000+ people and yet it still manages to slip under most people’s pop culture radar.

Also, there was an amazing thunderstorm this morning. Check out the video over HERE

Buildings shook; car alarms cried out in terror, it was a massive shock and awe exercise. If those thunderstorms and the intense rain showers that followed had kept up for the rest of the day there’s no way this party would have gone through, but amazingly enough the party did see the light of day.

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I didn’t see as much Obama gear as last year. Last year Obama was hands-down the most popular brand label of clothing. There were several booths selling his images, he was more popular than Adidas and Puma combined.

This year, not so much.

power to peaceful 2010





Taraval Street Fair vs. The Last Sunday Streets in The Outer Sunset vs. Doin’ it in The Park. San Francisco. 2009. FREE

9 09 2009

Taraval has a street fair?

I heard about this offhand and apparently some of the Mermen played surf rock at this street festival last year in a sideband.

Fuck.

I would have loved to hear those guys play surf rock at my beach for free. I live for stuff like this.

So when I heard (offhand) that there was going to be a Taraval Street Fair the same day as the last Sunday Streets I knew I had to check it out.

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I’m not entirely convinced that the Taraval Street Fair just wants to be left alone.

It’s the dark, edgy, loner of the San Francisco Street Festival circuit.

It’s the Luke Perry of the show.

Anywhoo, I volunteered to be a crossing guard for Sunday Streets. There’s a strong desire there to extend the hours, but the explanation given to me was that they are only able to run this campaign for $25,000 – $30,000 per event and 100-200 volunteers till the 2PM shift. Hopefully, as it gains steam, if more people volunteer (C’mon it’s not like most of us have jobs or anything anymore) we can extend those hours.

So because I was more preoccupied with making sure agro drivers didn’t run over any pedestrians or bicyclists, I don’t have that many pictures from this Sunday Streets, but I did find a youtube that summed up my feelings towards that day perfectly.

And there was a Free Doin’ it in the Park at the 25th Ave part of Golden Gate Park.

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Check out how all that morning fog burns off and by 4PM it’s like San Diego out there in The Sunset.

Simply Awesome.





The Brass Tax. FREE party in Golden Gate Park.

4 06 2009

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There were lots of kids, lots of dogs, and lots of booze at the BTxGGPPwBC3 party this last Saturday.

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I also stumbled upon what has got to be the largest colony of succulents that I’ve ever seen in one spot.

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There was a shrine set up for Otto Schutt who passed away recently from cancer.

I love his taste in fashion, as is evident in his hoodie.

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UPDATE # 1

Great footage by Mr. Holehead of the BrassTax Boom Box at Burning Man 2009

I love it when DJs have a sense of humor.





Bay to Breakers 2009. FREE.

19 05 2009

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This race ends in The Outer Sunset area of Golden Gate Park and that’s normally where most of the splinter parties are at, so I normally ride my bike straight there to check out the action.

Bay to Breakers is a pretty unique event and it’ a great free party with 70,000 + other people. It’s one of the few events that San Francisco will wake up at the ungodly hour of 8AM on a Sunday and then be smashed by noon. People were annihilated last year. If you’re any kind of recovering alcoholic you want to stay far, far away from Bay to Breakers.

You could definitely notice the effects of the city’s Death of Fun campaign but people still had a great time. As I type this now on Monday it’s really cold mid 50s and overcast outside. The fog has come in and even bundled up under a few layers it’s still cold. Yesterday it was gorgeous, sunny in the low 90s, with people in shorts and no shirts. Amazing how drastically the weather can change in just a single day out here.

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There wasn’t anywhere near the number of floats this year, but there was still quite a few sound systems. I think in the future we’ll see smaller scale, individually powered, sound systems.

All you really need are some speakers, an energy source, an ipod, and some wheels.

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The pink people were back and set up shop under the bridge again.

I had heard reports that all music had to be off by 11:30, but this was the party going off at 3PM with no indication that it was planning to wrap up anytime soon.





The California Academy of Sciences FREE for Sunset residents.

9 05 2009

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The California Academy of Sciences has started a new free day specifically for local residents. If you live in The Sunset you got in for free today and there was almost no line to get in. Amazing.

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The trick is to grab the free passes to the Planetarium and the 3D Show as soon as you get in and then plan your day around those shows.

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This was another shot of the line to get in from a few hours later.

If you were trying this on that other free day there would be 300+ people in line ahead of you.

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This sign cracks me up.

Just incase you weren’t sure which direction down was, The Academy has got you covered.

The Free days at the California Academy of Sciences for Sunset residents are May 8, 9, 10, 2009

And then again in September 11, 12, 13, 2009





The Conservatory of Flowers. FREE the first Tuesday of the month.

6 05 2009

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I didn’t realize it till just now, but I love how the girl in the pink jacket is standing with the pink flowers and her mom in the white jacket is standing is solidarity over with the white flowers. Thank you both for keeping my picture balanced!

Most people know that the Conservatory of Flowers is free the first Tuesday of the month. What most of those people don’t know is that there is an amazing drum circle that also jams out in front. I was there on a Thursday a few weeks ago and they going off at like 3PM when most people should have been at work. The Conservatory of Flowers drum circle is a really polished group with tight synchronization, especially considering that they included someone on electric guitar and someone else on a didgeridoo.

A Didgery what?

Yes, a didgeridoo.





Hippy Hill on 420. FREE

21 04 2009

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It was a gorgeous low-90s heat-wave day yesterday and the entire teenage wasteland nation was scrambling for shade, like Burning Man at high noon.

There was this great dog that was sitting down next to me. Every now and then it would lift its head, close its eyes, and just sniff out whatever smoke trail was drifting within its vicinity. I was watching him do that for a few minutes before going over and talking to the dog’s owner.

“I just wanted to say you’ve got a great dog. I don’t know if you noticed, but she’s doing this cute thing where she closes her eyes, lifts her head up, and is able to sniff any smoke trail that comes next to her.”

And the dog’s owner said “Oh, that’s because she’s blind.”

And I felt like the biggest dick in the park.

But her owner was super nice and explained that she came down with glycomia when she was two and now five years later she’s still doing fine. She’s been able to survive in the city just relying on her other senses. That’s amazing. There’s such an onslaught of audio overload in the city, even on blocks where there isn’t any construction. And then you can go from that to secluded park life where it’s quiet and peaceful, then turn the corner and you’re on 19th Ave, which is basically a freeway with stoplights and bus stops. Being able to survive without your sight in this city is amazing.

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Nice meeting you, Daredevil Dog.

You are by far the most unique soul that I met on 420.





Walk The Earth Like Kane in Kung Fu

17 04 2009

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There’s been lots of amazing gymnastics in the park lately. I’m not sure if you would call this yoga or Jedi training, I think I might just stick with Kung Fu for now. Wherever there’s a drum circle on a sunny day you can find these guys practicing.

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And lately the drum circle by The Conservatory Flowers has been going OFF. I was there on a Thursday at 3PM and they had a solid group sound that included someone on guitar and someone else on a didgeridoo and all the different sounds complimented each together.

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Homeless Crusty Punk Pirates Have Seized Control Of The Janis Joplin Tree.

16 04 2009

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ZZ Top Got A Posse.

15 04 2009

This is probably one of the stranger things that I’ve seen on Hippy Hill…

Or at least it was strange in greater numbers than I’ve seen before.

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I want to say that’s an Amish sect, but I could be wrong, doing a field trip to Hippy Hill on a Sunday. Notice the guy in the green with the tupperware of glass pipes for sale. He’s one of those guys who sells his goods in the park by yelling out at people from a dozen feet away. As they ride their bike. Down a hill. No thanks guy, I don’t want to get high right now. I’m just trying to ride my bike through the park without hitting anyone.

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A representative from the Hippy Hill is dispatched to open diplomatic relations and ask if they have a lighter.

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On the way out the sect stops by the Janis Joplin Tree to negotiate for the barter of some nuggets.

I know it’s easy prey to make fun of someone because they dress differently, but I’m not even going to go there. Strictly from a fashion standpoint, I approve of any kind of organized religion that encourages their spiritual leaders to get crazy with their facial hair. I’m just jealous because I can’t do that. I can dot.com slum it and go 2 weeks without shaving and it just looks like I have scattered breadcrumbs on my chin. I would kill to be able to grow out a ZZ Top caliber beard.

And fashion wise, the boys dress a lot like most of the straight edge or even 2-tone ska kids that I went to high school with. I’m a creature of habit and I like the idea of having a simple uniform to wear everyday. I can get behind that.