The Outer Sunset – Manifest Destiny

12 12 2009

I just finished reading Jason Aaron’s Wolverine – Manifest Destiny mini series as part of the X-Men – Manifest Destiny collection. The other stories were crap but the Jason Aaron story was a pretty fun ride. The X-Men have just relocated to San Francisco and Wolverine has violated a 50-year-old ban by entering Chinatown that results in an epic kung-fu beat-down, training, and then revenge/ redemption story.

I guess it’s obvious, if not somewhat safe, to put the story in Chinatown because even people not familiar with San Francisco can figure out what kind of neighborhood Chinatown is.

I still maintain that The Outer Sunset is a far more versatile neighborhood that you can tell several different kinds of stories in.

The Outer Sunset has loud Chinese and English advertising that makes a great background for any kind of kung-fu or Blade Runner type story.

The Outer Sunset is littered with these beautiful miniature castles, Hansel and Gretel type homes, and suburbs on acid that would make for great surreal or head-trip stories.

And then you have some straight up batshit crazy neighbors.

With locals that drive around in Burning Man art cars or demon busses.

The Outer Sunset is like living on the set of the weirdest movie David Lynch never got around to making.

I really love this house in The Outer Sunset.

The Outer Sunset - Manifest Destiny 1

It’s your classic San Francisco kung-fu house.

The Outer Sunset - Manifest Destiny 5

I could brainstorm an entire X-Men mini-series just off of this house.

 The Outer Sunset - Manifest Destiny 4

Here’s my pitch –

The Outer Sunset - Manifest Destiny 7

This is Mr. Hung’s house.

1969 –

Back in the late 60’s Mr. Hung was this 20-year-old Jet Li looking kind of guy with this rad Jim Lee hair and bitching yakuza tattoos.

Mr. Hung is China’s #1 spy and the world’s #1 assassin. He’s the best there is at what he does.

Back before he was in The X-Men and was in Weapon X or Strikeforce X or whatever, Wolverine is loaned off to this ultimate black-opts project that no-one has words or even clearance levels for and finds himself working with Mr. Hung.

They don’t like each other.

They’re off with Nick Fury, the previous Dr. Strange, and Snake Eyes on a covert mission to seek and destroy a downed unidentified astral object.

2009 –

Mr. Hung is this Sammo Hung looking kind of guy who actually looks like he’s 40 years older.

40 very haggard years older.

He’s a few feet shorter, has almost no hair with a receding hairline, a potbelly, and is always wearing a goofy Hawaiian t-shirt. Now that the X-Men are in San Francisco, Logan always comes over to crash on Mr. Hung’s couch in The Outer Sunset whenever he needs to unwind and heal in private. They have a much better rapport these days. There’s a Jacuzzi and an endless supply of beer in the back yard with a bitching view of the sunset.

The Outer Sunset - Manifest Destiny 11

I love the backyard too.

The Outer Sunset - Manifest Destiny 3

This is actually from a completely different Outer Sunset house but I’m gonna take some artistic liberty and fuse the 2 of these images together for the sake of my pitch.

Mr. Hung’s tattoos are all fucked-up now. There are scars, bullet holes, stab wounds, claw marks, cigarette burns, electrical burns, farmer tans, and a potbelly. It’s a mess.

Logan’s giving him a hard time and is all

“Jesus Christ, Hung. Who does your touch-up work these days? GG Allin?”

And Mr. Hung is all,

“Tell me about it. kid. When I was young and stupid I used to be into tattoos, Now that I know better I’m into scars. Each one tells a different story about how it fucked-up my life”

Camera zooms into Mr. Hung’s right arm and this lengthwise burn in the form of an iron chain.

1969 –

Escape pod from Hell has just crash landed in Vietnam.

4 Ghost Riders hit the ground running at 100 miles per hour in opposite directions.

Wolverine + crew destroy them all in less than 3 issues but in the process they also massacre half of an early Private Frank Castle’s platoon in seconds.

Hearts, minds, blood, guts, and demon curses are splattered everywhere. It’s a bloodbath.

And that’s my pitch for the –

Punisher Ghost Rider Wolverine – Manifest Destiny mini series.

Sign Jason Aaron onboard and that’s just money in the bank.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

11 12 2009

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Aluminum can recycling is big business in The Outer Sunset and no one takes it as seriously as the old Chinese ladies. Other people hop in their cars and drive their cans to the Safeway parking lot on Noriega for cash. The old Chinese ladies load up their carts, sometimes up to three times their body mass, and then push it on up the road. Hardcore.

This lady doesn’t have it too bad. She’s headed westbound on Moraga so it’s relatively downhill on a quiet road and the few uphill parts aren’t that steep. I love her hat to. Old people have rad, practical fashion accessories.

What’s nuts are the people that live down by the beach and push their carts uphill on Ortega. That hill kicks my ass just riding my bike up it, I can only imagine if I was 30 years older and pushing a cart three times my size up that hill on a regular basis.

There’s this one couple that I’ve watched do that for years now. They have to be in their 60s or 70s, yet a few times each month I’ll see them trek up Ortega street and the funny thing is that the wife always kicks her husband’s ass. She’s easily a block ahead of him by the time they get into the final stretch. They both definitely define what it means to have a serious work ethic.

Longboarding in The Outer Sunset.

9 12 2009

Video courtesy of aaaknot30

I really dig these Outer Sunset skating videos and find myself watching the houses flying by as much as the skaters. If I was a real estate agent I think I would commission these guys to tape the neighborhood of any homes I wanted to sell. It’s an interesting way to showcase real estate, not just as still pictures of a house but also video of the neighborhood that the house lives in.

But this block on 21st Ave always struck me as being odd.

90% of the block is very much cookie-cutter homes. It’s pretty much the exact same house xeroxed off right next to each other with a few variations. The difference from any other American suburb being that Outer Sunset homes have colors that you’d expect to find in a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal. Looks like Poppa Smurf lives in this one.

Papa Smurf house of The Outer Sunset

But these two homes always struck me as being really odd.

Enigmas of The Outer Sunset

Out of nowhere, there are two completely different kinds of houses right next to each other.

The one of the left looks like something you would find in the Berkley Hills. That’s an intense driveway and a patio on the 1st floor, then another patio with the entrance to the house on the 2nd floor. It’s very different from any other house on the block. I imagine the person who lives here has cats, listens to NPR, and is a big fan of chai tea.

Then check out his neighbor. A boring 3 story house that I would expect to see in Baltimore or some place that gets a lot of snow in the winter. It’s also the only 3 story building on a block of houses that are all 2 story, so you know the people that live here are kind of cocky about having the tallest house on the block. I keep expecting to bump into Gavin Newsom coming out of this house.

I can only imagine why these homes were built this way. Maybe Henry Doelger was out that week and the crew was all “Fuck it. We’re tired of building the same house over and over again. Let’s do a Berkeley house over here and spin the wheel to see what to put next to it…uh, a boring 3 story East Coast house? Sure, why not. No one will notice.”


Lords of Sunset

The Outer Sunset Has Loud, Tacky Colors

Tsunami Warnings of The Outer Sunset.

3 12 2009

Great picture of last week’s high surf advisory courtesy of George Nikitin

I love that image of those Outer Sunset homes standing their ground and staring down those 25 – 30 foot waves.

Not only is The Outer Sunset built on sand dunes and the San Andreas fault line… which is really not that great a combination when you think about it.

Not only is The Outer Sunset on some days pretty much a tropical rainforest ecosystem….everyone is all “Save the Rainforest! Save the Rainforest!” OK. Try living in a tropical rainforest kind of neighborhood where you have to bleach the walls on a regular basis to kill the mold and the fog is eating your car alive every night. There are days that the news is all about “Watch out for that heat-wave that’s scorching the Bay Area” and I look outside my window and all I can see is Jack the Ripper era London fog.

Not only that, but we also have the threat of Tsunamis. Right here in San Francisco.

Tsunami Warnings of The Outer Sunset. 1

So in case there’s a Tsunami you want to run in this direction.

Hint, it’s in the direction directly opposite from the beach.

I love this sign too.

Tsunami Warnings of The Outer Sunset. 3

Because it’s San Francisco everyone looks like they are safe.

Now if this were San Diego the adult stick figures would be making a mad dash to the top and in the process dislocating the child’s arm.

I love this neighborhood.


The Outer Sunset Has FREE Curbside Parking Right By The Beach.

The El Burrito Express of The Outer Sunset Frequent Customer Stamp Card.

24 11 2009

Burrito Express has long been said to be the best burrito in The Outer Sunset.

I would not argue that statement. The Taraval St location is kind of dive. Total take-out food. No tables or chairs, just a handful of stools, a heavy weighted entrance door precariously balanced on a slanted floor, and a mob of people waiting for their food; which is the universally acknowledged sign of any healthy food establishment.

And they make a wicked wet carne asada burrito that’s a meal for two.

El Burrito Express of The Outer Sunset  1

But the funniest thing about this place is just last month I discovered that they have a frequency customer stamp card.

Buy 9 burritos, the 10th one is free.

I’ve been going to this place for the past 14 years.

I grew up in San Diego. We take our burritos seriously and I’ve literally dropped hundreds of dollars at Burrito Express.

And this is this first time I’ve ever heard about this program.

That’s one of the neat things about living in the city – discovering new restaurants, delis, take-out food, tamale ladies, food carts, illegal hot dog stands, and taco trucks.

Discovering new, exciting, cheap, exotic, and amazing food.

Makes you feel like Christopher Columbus.

And that’s another one of the neat things about being part of the secret club. Like the secret and now outlawed in 50 states 100 X 100 $98 cheese burger at In N Out (And with a dinner party of 8 people that’s a reasonable price) The idea that you’re part of the insider knowledge. You’re onto the secret menu.

And this is the first time I’ve ever had those both feelings at once.

I just discovered that my favorite burrito place in my back yard has a special El Burrito Express Frequent Customer Stamp Card.

Please to enjoy, the first and only photographic evidence online of The El Burrito Express Frequent Customer Stamp Card of The Outer Sunset with its terms and conditions –

The El Burrito Express of The Outer Sunset Frequent Customer Stamp Card. 1

1 down.

8 more to go.


The Bashful Bull Burger Special

The N Judah Proletariat Blues

10 09 2009

The N Judah Proletariat Blues 1

The N Judah Proletariat Blues 2


Noticed that the artist has since added his signature tag.

The N Judah Proletariat Blues 7

The N Judah Proletariat Blues 11

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.


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.

Taraval Street Fair 2009 2

Taraval Street Fair 2009 3

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.

Doin’ It In The Park 2009 4

Doin’ It In The Park 2009 7

Doin’ It In The Park 2009 13

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 Big Lebowski House

24 08 2009

The Big Lebowski house of The Outer Sunset

How sweet is that?

Your house has a miniature castle tower to the left and a bowling pin to the right.

Personally, I could do without the pink. But hey, welcome to The Outer Sunset.

This is how The Dude abides.



The Outer Sunset Has Loud, Tacky Colors

The Odd Couple

19 08 2009

The odd couple1

This miniature 3 story castle to the left is quite amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another one quite like it out here. And it makes an even more amazing contrast to the surfer shack to the right. I could sell this right now as a primetime TV pilot.

Here’s my pitch –

The King from Role Models lives in the castle and he’s neighbors with these jackass reality TV kid surfer genius protégés. You want to hate them but each episode they seem to help people work through their problems. The Force is strong with them. They are the Fonzie’s of the show and they are played by Michael Cera and McLovin.

Yeah, I agree. Those guys have already been typecast waaaay too much as the shy, nerd types. Michael Cera especially is really talented; I would really like to see him play a different character already.

The odd couple 2


Architecture Of The Outer Sunset.3

The “Dude, Where’s My Car?” guys live here. None of their one-night stands have any kind of respect for them the next day when they wake up and see the color of their house. All the neighborhood kids make fun of them in public and even bust out into these elaborately choreographed break dancing disses whenever they’re trying to score at Safeway.


Gary Busey is The Wacky Next Door Neighbor that lives on the other side of the Sunset but is always hanging out in their living rooms.

Oliver Rousseau 33

Slim Shady is the filthy rich Paris Hilton type diva of the Entourage.

Choose your own adventure bus 1.5

And this is their ride.

It’s a 24-hour on-call bus large enough to carry them and whatever small groups of people that they picked up along the way that night. Their driver / bodyguard is Kato. He was just recently kicked out of the Yakuza for reasons he doesn’t really feel like talking about right now.

Sammo Hung was born to play this role.

golden gate pharmacy 2

And they all hang out at Ron Jeremy’s pharmacy shop.

Gotta have my agent set up a meeting to pitch this to NBC as a companion piece for this fall’s Community

Tripping Out on the Architecture of The Outer Sunset along the Great Highway.

17 08 2009

I spent the first part of last weeks Sunday Streets just riding my bike up and down the mostly deserted Great Highway and getting reacquainted with all my favorite houses out here. This stretch of road is what turned me onto Outer Sunset house watching several years ago. The houses out here have a lot of character and each one tells a different story.

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 1

This house would be perfect if you were a superhero type that fought crime with a hovercraft type vehicle that kept getting tagged up every time you parked it on the street. Problem solved. Just park your vehicle on the roof and then bogie on down.

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 13.5

This house is quite amazing. It takes up three lots lengthwise and is two lots deep but still manages to be modest in its space consumption. Check out that front lawn. It’s like Vietnam down there with succulents large enough to eat a small child.

She was originally built in 1949 by architect Ernest Born as his personal home and then later added onto by Aidlin Darling Design. It’s quite possibly the sexiest house in The Outer Sunset. You have to check out her photo spread in The New York Times to really appreciate her glory.

Photos courtesy of Dwight Eschliman.

It’s a fantasy of mine that a porn star exhibitionist type of girl moves in here one day and converts that third floor room in her bedroom/playspace.

Speaking of which, Mika Tan, if you’re looking for a house in San Francisco I found you a fabulous spot right by the beach.

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 3

The house that Viagra built.

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 13

There’s a lot of circular windows embedded into the homes out here. I think some of the architects went over the top on driving home this whole “we all live in a yellow submarine” theme.

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 7.5
What’s that on the roof of the blue guy? Is that an antenna? Or maybe that’s an anti prop-8 art piece. I have no idea.

And check out how the green guy has boarded up and colored over his submarine window on the 2nd floor. “Yeah, we all live on the beach. I got the memo. Now get the fuck out of my house you stupid submarine window”

There are houses that have seen better days.

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 24

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 19

There are houses that are painted like the doodle pads I used to scribble on my peachy folder back in junior high.

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 16

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 23


Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 40

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, was our castle and our keep
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, that was where we used to sleep

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 33

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 30

The Life is the Great Highway House

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 17.5

The Jolly Green Giant House

Architecture of the Outer Sunset along the Great Highway 39

And John Law was taking his dogs out for a walk.

Thank you, Outer Sunset.

Thank you for helping to keep San Francisco weird.