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    Little Saigon and Tendernob

    Little Saigon and the Tendernob are two Tenderloin neighborhoods that are home to large immigrant populations and some of the best food in the city. Join us as we take you on the only food tour of this district and explore the flavors of Asia, the Middle East, and beyond!
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    The Mission District

    San Francisco's 1st neighborhood, The Mission District is still the heart & soul of this vibrant city. This area is so rich in culture, that we have 4 Mission food tours & 2 neighborhood walks.
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    North Beach

    North Beach is that rare thing -- a neighborhood that manages to be a perennial hit with tourists, and also to remain beloved by San Franciscans. It's San Francisco's Little Italy and the home of the beatniks.
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    Scenic Running

    Just a short run from the urban landscape of San Francisco's busy city streets you will find numerous trails and parks offering phenomenal views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the City Skyline and other gems.
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    Chinatown

    Established in the 1840s, San Francisco's Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia. Our food and walking tours are 2nd to none.
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    Wild Parrots in San Francisco? Yes there are officially at least two flocks of wild Parrots here. These Parrots have evolved into a brand new species of parrot indigenous to San Francisco.

Politics Blogs

San Francisco concerts that changed the nation.

 BY: COLLIN BRENNAN | 9.4.2015 |

Originally this article by Collin Brennan had 5 concerts listed, I have added a couple more.

San Francisco concerts have long reflected the music of the times, but the inverse is also true: time and time again, music has revolved around whatever’s going on in San Francisco. This was most apparent in the 1960s, when bands like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane turned the hippie counterculture into the city’s greatest export. Five decades later, we can look back and identify five concerts that changed American music forever—an inventory of five San Francisco nights that defined San Francisco nightlife.

 

The Beatles at Candlestick Park    
August 29, 1966
The San Francisco concert was their last
beatles

Nobody but the Beatles knew that this show at chilly Candlestick Park would be their last live concert performance ever. If it had been announced ahead of time, the Fab Four might have sold the place out. Instead, large swaths of seats were left unsold for the final date of their fourth and final North American tour. It was a strangely low-key farewell for the most popular rock band of all time, who occasionally paused their 11-song set to snap pictures with a camera they had brought on stage. It was the end of an era in many ways, and it paved the way for the decade’s latter half and the Summer of Love, which would take shape in San Francisco less than a year later.

 

The Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park
January 14, 1967
human

The Summer of Love actually started with this mid-winter event at Golden Gate Park, just a stone’s throw from the Haight-Ashbury district that would soon become synonymous with the counterculture. Inspired by sit-ins taking place at lunch counters, colleges, and universities across the country during the early 1960s, the Human Be-In was perhaps the first focused expression of the hippie movement. California had recently passed a law banning LSD, and everyone from poet Allen Ginsberg to psychologist Timothy Leary showed up to encourage a crowd of thousands to “turn on, tune in, drop out.” Of course, no celebration of hippiedom would be complete without bands like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, both of whom found their way onto the bill.

 

Aretha Franklin at Fillmore West
March 5–7, 1971
aretha

Though people tend to associate San Francisco with the hippie counterculture, the city has long been a haven for jazz and soul. From Jelly Roll Morton to John Coltrane, musicians would flock to play the clubs on Fillmore Street, and their hundreds of legendary concerts exist now only in memory. This is not the case with Aretha Franklin’s three-night set at Fillmore West, which eventually became one of the best live albums of its era. The Queen of Soul dove right in with her hit song “Respect,” but she filled out her set with such hippie standbys as the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” In doing so, she bridged the gap between the counterculture and modern American soul in a way that few singers had ever attempted.

 

The Band at Winterland Ballroom
November 25, 1976

Another San Francisco concert that’s been immortalized for new generations to enjoy, the Band’s farewell show at Winterland Ballroom is considered one of the greatest concerts, period. Martin Scorsese‘s documentary film The Last Waltz captured the Band in all their fading glory, but they weren’t the only ones to take the stage that night. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, the Staples Singers, and Van Morrison were among the special guests on hand, making this arguably the most star-studded affair in San Francisco’s history.

 

The Sex Pistols at Winterland Ballroom
This San Francisco concert was their last
January 14, 1978

sexp
The Sex Pistols, one of the most influential rock bands ever, the biggest punk act to come out of England, played their biggest concert, and their last show at Winterland in SF. In just a few months Winterland would be closed and demolished, Sid Vicious would be dead in about a year, and by 1979 punk was exploding around the world, although many will say that punk died on this night in SF.
The two week tour in America, was plagued by poor planning and predictably violent reactions, the group’s bass player, Sid Vicious, paved the way toward a whole new level of decadence. During the band’s engagement in Memphis early in the tour, Vicious, now addicted to heroin, went in search of a connection and was later found in a local hospital with the words “Gimme a fix” carved into his chest with a razor. He engaged in numerous fights both on and off stage, sustaining numerous other injuries as the tour progressed.
The tour eventually culminated in the high profile gig in San Francisco, where concert promoter Bill Graham convinced McLaren that the band was popular enough to play Winterland, dwarfing any performance the band had previously attempted by far. This now legendary concert, the biggest of the group’s career, would also turn out to be the Sex Pistols‘ last. Headlining a triple bill that included local punk bands the Nuns (featuring a young Alejandro Escovedo) and the Avengers (featuring a young Penelope Houston), this night would prove to be an extraordinary theatrical event and the Sex Pistols’ final gig before a sold-out audience of 5000. Due to local demand, the Sex Pistols set was also simulcast on KSAN radio, where it would be heard live by thousands of additional listeners and would soon circulate far and wide, becoming the most ubiquitous bootleg recording of the group.
Evaluating this Sex Pistols’ performance in terms of music is a relatively pointless exercise, as the band had no desire to please the audience in terms of music, nor could they even play well in any traditional sense. The performance, devoid of pacing, range, tempo, or melody, is instead an onslaught of rage, rebellion, and release, which is relentlessly ragged throughout the set
At first it appeared the band would not do an encore,  but amidst roars for more, the Pistols return to the stage and launch into a cover of the Stooges‘ “No Fun.” This eventually culminates with Rotten hunched on the stage, screaming “No Fun!” over and over. The song comes to an abrupt halt and in his most insinuating manner, Rotten poses the question that has by now become infamous, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” before smirking a final “Goodnight” and the band leaving the debris-strewn stage… for good.
Whether you loved them or hated them , the Sex Pistols created one of the great paradigm shifts in modern music, forever changing the landscape of the music industry.

avengers band 001

 

Metallica at The Stone
March 5, 1983

Who knew that the future of heavy metal would be born on a spring night in San Francisco? Metallica had already made a name for themselves as thrashers whose live show took no prisoners, but this date at The Stone felt different. For starters, it was their first show with new bassist Cliff Burton, who would eventually go down as the greatest metal bassist of all time. It was a prelude of what was to come later that summer on Kill ‘Em All, one of the fastest and heaviest albums in history. And—like many of the best moments in American music history—it all started on a sweaty stage in San Francisco.

Rock Against Reagan San Francisco Concerts and Demonstrations
Democratic National Convention
July 1984

The 1984 National Democratic Convention in San Francisco saw some unusual characters outside the building where the members of the party met. Among the large crowd assembled for demonstrations and marches, a man dressed as “a lobster confessed to one of the local papers that his costume was impractical for a march. ‘It’s more for standing in place and doing a little break dancing. It’s hard to be a lobster these days in the city.’” This crustacean would be one of numerous people dressed up for an “All Species parade”. Others joined the all species costumes with outfits such as “a bunch of transvestites in nun costumes [who] performed an exorcism of [the evangelical Southern Baptist pastor and televangelist] Jerry Falwell.” Along with all of these people expressing their concerns towards the America around them; the streets around the convention center in San Francisco also included “a seven-hour punk rock concert, ‘Rock against Reagan,’ featuring such artists as The Dead Kennedys.

July-1984-stage-diver-at-rock-against-racism-concert-in-front-of-Democratic-Convention

Stage diver at RAR across from Moscone Center, in what was then a vacant lot. The buildings that encircled the lot all had military personel with machine guns watching us all the time

The first presidential term of Ronald Reagan was coming to an end and in hope to prevent another term, the Youth International Party, known as the Yippies, from New York City created the “Rock Against Reagan” (RAR) tour. The group toured all across the United States from 1983-1984, leading up to the presidential election. The shows featured some of the most popular punk bands of the era including: The Dead Kennedys from San Francisco, the young trio from San Pedro, California known as the Minutemen, the Crucifucks from Lansing, Michigan, the Dicks and Millions of Dead Cops from Austin, Texas, and Reagan Youth―whose name played off of Hitler’s Youth―from New York. The tour had more than just free shows to see some of the biggest acts in punk rock, however. RAR also registered voters, presented informative films on topics such as American imperialism, political speakers, and even comedy; with the later to come popular comedian Whoopi Goldberg performing during the tour’s 1983 show at Dolores Park in San Francisco.2 As one tour spokesman shared with a Florida newspaper, the shows were also to generate “proceeds from accompanying T-shirt and art sales . . . to be used for the cause.” The “cause” in question was simple: prevent another four years of the Reagan administration.

It may have been in San Francisco, at the Democratic National Convention in July of 1984, where the punk movement reached the apex of political engagement. As the convention met opposition from numerous left wing groups outside; inside according to the title of an editorial “wasn’t a circus, but was one great show.”  If inside the convention was not a “circus” surely the show outside was. Peaceful protests went on throughout the week of the convention, however, July 19th marked a police crackdown on the crowds that amassed on San Francisco’s streets.

The day started with a march, “held by a marijuana group and members of a coalition called the War Chest, which was protesting [military-industry] business dealings of top Democratic Party leaders.” As these peaceful protesters reached closer to the convention center, they were met by police and “booked for investigation of obstructing traffic.” These criminal charges, however, were claimed to be faulty with demonstrators pleading that, “they were forced to block the street when police herded them into groups.” Hearing the calls of injustice, a “second protest march was hastily arranged to demand release of the first demonstrators and was announced at [the] ‘Rock Against Reagan’ punk music concert outside the convention hall.” As the protesting march reached upwards to five-hundred people, the crowd began marching several blocks to the Hall of Justice where the protesters from the earlier march were being held. “Chanting ‘No KKK, No Fascist USA’”―the popular slogan for demonstrators the week of the convention―and being accompanied by a “papier-mache Trojan donkey colored green and brown like Army Fatigues.” The marchers were met by a force of one hundred police officers. “Within minutes, Police Capt. Richard Shippy declared over a bullhorn that the rally was an unlawful assembly and ordered [the protesters] . . . to disperse.” By the end of the second march 369 people total had been arrested. Billy Nessen, a twenty- seven-year-old who partook in the event, was quoted saying: “There was no order to disperse.” He added that the purpose was to protest the connection between several corporations and the De[m]ocratic Party, the war machine, and South Africa.”

Police-pressure-Salvador-demonstrators-at-Hilton Polbhem1$trojan-donkey Polbhem1$wartoys-1984-war-chest-tour Polbhem1$no-more-hiroshimas-1984-wct Polbhem1$eowf-banner Polbhem1$eowf-handbill  Cops-pepper-spraying-protestors-at-anti-Gulf-War-demo-1981-downtown-SF-by-Keith-HolmesMounted-police-against-Salvador-demo-w-anti-Kissinger-sign

The outcome of the protests in San Francisco triggered an alarm for the Republicans who held their convention in Dallas the following month. Dallas prepared for a large assembly of protesters by bringing in extra law enforcement and clearing out the city’s jails. The Dead Kennedys were coming to the town where John F. Kennedy himself was assassinated! Escorting the band would be the “Rock Against Reagan” show and hundreds if not thousands of protesting punks. In addition, there were also concerns over how the pro-Reagan supporters and anti-Reagan demonstrators would interact during the week of the convention.

Republican National Convention, Dallas
The outcome of the demonstrations outside the DNC in San Francisco resulted in a large amount of arrests, but punks had been noticed by the media. Police had harassed the protestors the whole week leading up to the convention but they did not divide their spirit. The rallying of punks to join with others towards a common cause stirred up the sense that something positive may in fact come from their effort. Demonstrating against the Democratic Party’s growing connections with the military industrial complex was one thing, but they were not the head of the beast. It was the Republicans―and more importantly to the cultural rebellion of punk, Ronald Reagan―that was the prized target. Yet although the punk community showed hype towards the upcoming Republican National Convention (RNC) in Dallas, obstacles of counter-protests would prevent the same commotion that RAR stirred in San Francisco.

Before MRR even published a full story on the outcome of the events at the DNC in San Francisco, their July 1984 issue was already informing punks of the upcoming RAR show and demonstrations the following month in Dallas.

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TUESDAY JUNE 2 – WE NEED YOU ALL IN CITY HALL

TOMORROW- TUESDAY JUNE 2ND, 1:00- 5:00PM or later…

TUESDAY!!!   WE NEED YOU ALL AT CITY HALL!!!

NEW ALERT:  A MONSTER ON BRYANT!!!

FROM THE PLAZA 16 COALITION

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88d81edf-de77-4579-9f33-4287c53c9052

THE MISSION TAKES CITY HALL PART 2

Last time they feared us. Maybe this time they will do as we say.

SUPPORT THE MISSiON LUXURY MORATORIUM

Tuesday June 2nd 2015

 

1:00 pm :: Come early to guarantee a seat in the Chambers
1:30 pm ::  Rally on Steps of City Hall
3:00 pm ::  Hearing begins on moratorium at Board of Supervisors, Room 250 at top of grand staircase.

Hearing may last until 6pm or much later. Join whenever you can!

FOR UPDATES on day of hearing: 

Text to 415-710-8908

or follow on Twitter: @PlazaSixteen

or follow our Facebook page

– Seniors and parents with children will be granted priority in speaking at hearing and do not have to wait in line.

– Children welcome!

– Food provided!

– RSVP and stay tuned on the event page.

:: SUPPORT the LUXURY MORATORIUM for the Mission! ::

This temporary moratorium would allow time for a community-based plan for truly affordable housing. It would temporarily stop all market rate projects within the covered areas in the Mission, including the Monster at 16th and Mission.

Luxury housing accounts for 93% of the housing being built in the Mission. The SF Planning department has determined that only 13 sites remain in the Mission for the development of affordable housing. The very limited property left in the Mission must be prioritized for affordable housing, not luxury condos unaffordable to the majority of San Franciscans.

_

_________________________________

SCOTT WEINER IS A DICK

SALVE EL BARRIO LA MISSION

MARTES 2 de Junio en la Alcaldía de SF
1:30 PM MITIN en las gradas de la Alcaldía
3:00 PM LEVANTE SU VOZ en la mesa de los supervisores

La audiencia durara hasta las 6:00pm o más tarde. Alcancenos cuando puedas. Evnvie un mensaje al 415-710-8908 para manternerlo informado o signalos en twitter @PlazaSixteen. Niños y familias son bienvenidos.

:: AOPOYE un ALTO a la CONSTRUCCIÓN de CONDOMINIOS ::

Este alto temporal nos dara tiempo para crear un plan comunitario que ofresco viviendas de bajos ingresos.

Los espacios limitados en la Mission deben de ser una prioridad para vivendas de bajos ingresos y no para condominios de lujo.

 

 

 


:: ALERT!  ::  Breaking News! ::

ANOTHER LUXURY MONSTER SLATED FOR THE MISSION!
Save our Cultural Spaces and family-run legacy businesses!


We have just learned that a huge, 274-unit development of mostly luxury housing, proposed for the 2000 Block of Bryant Street, will be coming before the Planning Commission on Thursday, June 18th. We will need a very big community turnout at this meeting! This Wednesday, June 3rd we will have an organizing meeting to begin the fight against the Monster on Bryant Street.

This project would allow for the demolition of:

  • three (3) rent-control dwelling units 
  • Tortilla Flats, a Legacy, family-run Business
  • Businesses employing Union and blue collar workers at the A.C.T. prop, a music studio, and an auto repair shop
  • Inner Mission (formerly Cell Space) artist space, a Mission cultural institution 
     

ORGANIZING MEETING TO STOP THE MONSTER ON BRYANT

Wednesday, June 3 at 6PM
Inner Mission (fomerly Cell Space)
2050 Bryant St. between 18th and 19th

Please join us for this meeting to get the ball rolling on fighting the Monster on Bryant Street! It’s a perfect “next step” after the Mission Takes City Hall Part 2.

 

 

:: We Need You! ::
PLANNING COMMISSION HEARING FOR THE MONSTER ON BRYANT

Thursday, June 18th at 12 noon
City Hall Room 400

We will need a very big community turnout for this hearing. Please join us and please help spread the word to anyone who cares about the affordable housing of the Mission and the preservation of our city’s priceless cultural institutions and legacy businesses.

 

More info on the website: Plaza16.org.

Join and endorse the Plaza 16 Coalition.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

   

 

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Clarion Alley Mural Project VS Tour Guides (Including Explore SF?)

As Tourism Rises, So Do Mural Turf Clashes

Sign posted on Clarion Alley.

Sign posted on Clarion Alley.

The Mission’s status as a global tourism destination has never been more acutely felt—walking down any of the Mission’s increasingly famous mural alleys, French, Japanese, German, Korean, Swedish and the ubiquitous snap of cameras can all be heard. As the number of tourists increases, so have the companies providing neighborhood walking tours—at least a dozen coming to the Mission. Not everyone, however, is thrilled about these arrivals.

Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP), the non-profit that first organized the creation of murals in Clarion Alley in the 1990s, has asked private tour companies to refrain from including Clarion in their tours—going so far as to list specific companies contacted on their website including: Avital Tours, Precita Eyes, Wild SF, Dylan’s Tours, and the Real SF.

“We obviously have had a lot of problems with the tours on the alley,” said Megan Wilson, one of CAMP’s artists and organizers, which offers its own tour of the alley. “Our position is that we want to represent ourselves, we want to give people a tour that gives an accurate lens through which we operate.”

Wilson says that despite notifying numerous companies to cease offering tours of Clarion Alley, she’s observed new tours coming through the alley every day she’s there. These visitors are part of a growing trend affecting the entire city. According to the San Francisco Travel Foundation, the city welcomed 16.9 million tourists in 2013, a 13-year high.

“There’s more now than ever before,” said Precita Eyes tour coordinator Patricia Rose, of the mounting number of tour groups in the Mission. “Because our smaller neighborhood-based tours are successful, it’s drawn the attention of mega tour companies….their scale is really out of sync with the rest of the neighborhood.”

Most of the companies CAMP listed on its website confirmed that they had been asked by the arts group not to use the alley and several said they no longer operate tours down Clarion because of interactions with the arts-group. For some of the tour operators, the alley was clearly a heated subject.

“We talk about other murals in the Mission, but this is probably not something we want to engage in a discussion about,” said the founder of one tour company. “If the story is about Clarion Alley, we don’t want to talk about it.”

Another tour operator said an apparent representative from CAMP shouted at one of his tour bus drivers and then left a very negative review of his company on Yelp.

“If you want to sell your canvas and I can take it home with me that’s one thing, but if you’re going to be painting on what’s essentially public property, you shouldn’t be able to restrict it,” said the bus tour operator. “I’ve been living in San Francisco my whole life; the last thing I want is to deal with some newly-arrived Mission District hipster complaining that my bus is disturbing them.”

Michael Moran, a longtime Mission resident and owner of the tour company ExploreSF, explained that after having conversations with CAMP he now drops off his walking tours at one end of Clarion Alley, lets them walk down the alley on their own, and meets them on the other side.

“They have never said, don’t come to alley; they’ve just said they’d like to represent themselves,” said Moran, who explained that he has every intention of respecting CAMP’s requests. “I agree it’s surprising, but it’s their prerogative, it’s their business.”

According to Wilson of CAMP, the restriction on tours other than their own has little to with business competition and everything to do with representation. Though CAMP is still in the process of building a website that will provide more details about its tour, Wilson says the tours will be offered on a sliding scale and may include a tour of the alley as well as a potential tour of the Roxie Theater, which has murals by CAMP artists. Other tours in the Mission, which include more than Clarion Alley and range in services provided, can be free or cost upwards of $70.

floweralleyhouse

floweralleyhouse (Photo credit: mpmoran)

Wilson says that in the many hours she’s spent painting in the alley, she’s heard numerous private tour groups sharing inaccuracies about Clarion, getting things wrong such as basic facts about who painted each mural as well as the project’s general philosophy.

“Listening to the tours go through, a lot of them are so bad…it’s like a nails on a chalkboard,” Wilson said. “It’s a public space, and obviously anybody can come in, it’s not like we can stop them, but we can ask these tour companies to please request our wishes and not come down the alley.”

For Paula Tejeda, owner of Chile Lindo and a longtime neighborhood activist, CAMP’s requests seem counterproductive to the neighbor’s well-being, in that tourism is an industry that supports the Mission’s economy. It’s also personal for Tejeda. Her aunt Juanita Rieloff lived on the corner of Clarion Alley when it first became a public canvas and welcomed the artists into her home. Rieloff’s name is inscribed in one section of the alley as a commemoration of her support of the original artists.

“When you are an artist, everyone is going to interpret your work differently; you can’t hold a patent on how your work is interpreted…it’s a street, it’s public,” Tejeda said.

Wilson stressed that she has no problem with individuals coming through independently and says the alley is open to everyone and their own unique interpretation.

back

back (Photo credit: mpmoran)

“Self-guided tours are better…you can come and interpret the work however you want. But if you have a guided tour, they’re doing that work for you and speaking for the project and by some degree it implies it’s okay, when in fact it’s not the case” Wilson said.

Started in 1992, inspired in part by the murals on Balmy Alley, CAMP hoped to create a subversive arts space that was more open-ended than Balmy’s focus on Latin American politics. The alley’s artworks represent a range of political issues and styles and it has long been a place for anti-capitalist and subversive manifestos.

For example, the recent work “Wall of Shame & Solutions” by Wilson with Mike Reger and Christopher Statton addresses perpetrators of gentrification and displacement, listing specific tech companies and politicians. As part of this tendency towards subversion, CAMP also has a history of opposing unauthorized and commercial use of their work; there are signs posted throughout the alley asking that any reproductions of the murals r

"Wall of Shame" by Megan Wilson, Mike Reger, and Christopher Statton. Photo by Ramón Burgos y Ruíz

eceive consent from the artist.

When Absolut Vodka used footage of Clarion Alley in an advertisement in 2011, CAMP campaigned against the beverage company. This past fall Mission Local was the target of CAMP’s frustration when the opening of the alley was featured on the winning entry, a Google Street View, in our Bedazzle a Tech Bus contest.

“We just want people to respect the fact that we put so much time and energy into this project,” said Wilson, who has been working on Clarion Alley’s murals since 1998. “It’s unreal how much of our lives we put into this project, it’s tens of thousands of hours.”

On behalf of Precita Eyes, Patricia Rose says she completely understands CAMP’s territorial stance.

“Balmy Alley got started years and years before Precita Eyes began, so we can’t claim it in the same way… but Clarion Alley is different; until CAMP there wasn’t anything there,” Rose said. “I can certainly understand the irritation that they see these groups bringing hordes of people, making up information and getting so much wrong.”

While Precita Eyes used to operate tours along the alley, Rose says the organization stopped once CAMP started their own tours. Rose added that she, too, hears a lot of frustrating inaccuracies about Balmy Alley and has offered free Precita Eye tours to several erring tour guides.

“I have to say, none of them ever want to,” Rose said. “Why would they take the time, when they’re already getting the benefits?”

J. Jo, the founder of the new free tour provider called Wild SF Tours, also used to lead tours down Clarion Alley but has stopped out of respect for CAMP’s wishes. He acknowledges the complexity of leading tours in a neighborhood in the midst of so many often-fraught changes.

“To bring tourism into the Mission is delicate,” J. Jo said. “For me, I’d only want to bring in fresh eyes of tourists to the Mission if it’s helping the community, pointing wallets to where it counts. We want to support shops and cultural centers, but also try to raise awareness about the issues going on here.”

For Wilson, one of those issues is the displacement of artists and their work. As such, she suggests that anyone interested in learning more about Clarion Alley get it touch with CAMP directly.

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  1. 26 Comments

    1. John

      These CAMP’ies come across as parochial, possessive, self-absorbed control freaks.

      I thought that when they were whining about being honored by the winner of the Google shuttle art contest (so admirably organized by ML) and I’m thinking that now as they seek to discourage those who come to see their work.

      I cannot really express this better than the tour operator who said:

      “If you want to sell your canvas and I can take it home with me that’s one thing, but if you’re going to be painting on what’s essentially public property, you shouldn’t be able to restrict it . . . I’ve been living in San Francisco my whole life, the last thing I want is to deal with some newly-arrived Mission District hipster complaining that my bus is disturbing them.”

      Bingo.

      • Mission of Mercy

        “…I thought that when they were whining about being honored by the winner of the Google shuttle art contest (so admirably organized by ML)…”

        I read what CAMP wrote on their Facebook page about the Google Bus art contest, and I could not agree more. The idea that artists should compete to decorate a Google Bus, the very buses that transport workers into their neighborhoods and have caused the rents to skyrocket and led to thousands of people being displaced, many of them artists, is disgusting, repulsive and insulting. The winning artist was paid some minimal amount of money for an original piece of art as their reward, not even enough money to pay a weeks worth of rent. The whole thing was so vile, I thought it was a joke at first, something straight out of the Onion.

    2. missionresident

      If CAMP’s real goal is making sure the art is interpreted in their way, why don’t they put pamphlets at each end of the alley with an explanation of each mural? OR at least the name of the artist for each mural. Then everyone can get along.

    3. marcos

      Enclosing on the commons is always a bad idea.

    4. seth

      i live 2 blocks from Clarion and have for over a decade. I understand where CAMP is coming from – if I put a lot of work into something I would want accurate information about it given out.

      however, they should do a better job of ensuring the passers-through can access that information. Perhaps a history of the alley and CAMP’s role painted in a corner at the entrance? maybe getting that website up and running so they can promote their tours?

      i agree that they are coming off as “control freaks” – understandably so to a degree, but they can do better at ensuring the right information gets passed on, instead of being heavy-handed.

    5. pete

      Dear CAMP,
      You don’t own a public street.

    6. Beercamper

      Why don’t they just work together and get their artist story right? Then everyone will be happy at the end.

      It is because those artist want to get a piece of the pie as well; as in the tourist guide profit. Perhaps the tourist group should give a donation to the artist, then I’m sure it will be okay then.

    7. marco

      Since when does CAMP own a public street?

      English: June 1853 advertisement of horse race...

      June 1853 Poster from Pioneer R

    8. Jean

      Artists have the right to assert their voice in how their work is presented. Period. CAMP is not trying to “own” anything but their own voice. Part of the reason that tourism is so booming right now is because corporate air b&b is currently operating ILLEGAL HOTELS. Check the mural “shame & solutions” in the alley. And check your entitlement to others’ work.

      • marcos

        You are making privatization claims on a public thoroughfare and are asserting that others have entitlement issues?

        Once you put your art out there, you no longer control it. THAT IS WHAT MAKES IT ART.

      • John

        Jean, the folks at CAMP are free to do their own tours and presentations if they wish. The problem here is that they appear to want to stop others doing the same.

        If they had wanted exclusive rights to show and present their art, they should not have chosen to locate their art in a public place.

        • Clarion Alley Mural Project

          Thanks Daniel Hirsch and MissionLocal for covering this ongoing point of contention for Clarion Alley Mural Project … as we continue to try and convey to tour groups and others that the issue is one of respect, and as noted in the article – CAMP wants to represent our project and the 22 years of labor we’ve put into it. The concept of respect seems really simple to us, however, it’s clearly foreign to many others. Our response to those who believe our wishes aren’t worthy of that respect is – start your own mural project! If you feel so negatively towards how we choose to run our project and our desire to represent ourselves, then start your own project and run it the way you want to run it. CAMP does provide tours when requested and we are in the process of developing a new Website to better formalize our tours. We can’t stop others from giving tours – we’ve asked that they respect our wishes not to.

          • marcos

            Respect does not mean doing whatever CAMP says.

            CAMP needs to respect the fact that they’ve chosen to put their PUBLIC ART on a PUBLIC STREET.

            Run your project as you would, but after the paint dries, public streets are the commons, for the public.

            If CAMP wants total control, then find a private space to instal your art. Oh, yeah, the public would be able to see your art if it was installed in a private location.

            So the desire of the artist to receive the gaze gets trumped by assertions of control on who gazes, when they gaze, how they gaze and the motives of the gazing.

          • SciLaw

            How about you respect my wish not to paint graffiti on public space?

            “silence”

            Exactly. I can’t force you to acquiesce to my wishes on public space and neither can you force others.

          • missionresident

            We can’t stop others from playing on the playground at Dolores park, but we ask that they respect our wishes that they not play there. It’s our playground since we’ve been there for 22 years and anyone else playing there doesn’t have any RESPECT!

    9. Russell

      Seeing many comments here around the concept of “you don’t own a public street.” The artists do in fact own their public art. And the tours do in fact capitalize on the artists’s murals. On top of that, I have seen commercial photo shoots many times in Clarion Alley, where corporations want the “cool, edgy” look. And guess what, they are capitalizing on artist-owned murals without any compensation. In SF, the exterior walls of buildings are privately owned. If there is a graffiti tag on a building, you can bet a local hater will post a “paint over or get fined” notice so that the property owner has to deal with the problem (in that part of the Mission, there are a few haters who constantly post these notices). Property owners even own the sidewalks in front of their buildings, as well as the trees. So…. the streets are public and the rest is not. Finally, I have given art tours in the Mission for the past 2 years. I am also a muralist, author, and document street art. In the public art world (street art, graffiti, murals, etc) there is a word you learn very early that must be kept: RESPECT. When CAMP asked me to back off the alley, I had to see their 22 year history, their activism, their talents, and RESPECT their request. When it comes down to choosing between tourists, making money, and respecting the artists’s wishes, I’ll go with the local creative folks any day. That’s how things work in the streets. With the murals I have painted, and the walls I have helped get painted, I can only hope that the other artists will do the same for me.

      • Clarion Alley Mural Project

        Well said Russell – thank you!!!

      • marcos

        Are you seriously trying to assert private intellectual property rights over representations of public façades of buildings?

      • SciLaw

        Where did you get your law degree?

        You can enforce copyright protection on “reproductions” of your art but trying to stifle “freedom of speech” about publicly display ed artwork is a non-starter.

      • Your friend

        Russell,
        Why do you characterize those who object to graffiti tags as “haters”?
        Does this point support your argument?
        Point of information: property owners in SF don’t “own” the adjacent sidewalk or the trees; they are legally responsible for the sidewalk and tree maintenance, however.

        • marcos

          In a Charter City in California, the property lines run to the street center line but the public has right of way to the sidewalk and street.

          • John

            I have no reason to doubt that but, as a practical matter, the city tries to make property owners pay for repairs to the sidewalk outside their property but not the roadway itself.

            The most obvious reason why the mural artists do not “own” their art is that someone can come along and paint over it. They are temporary.

            If anything, the art is owned by the person who owns the property wall on which the painting resides. While it may be viewed by the public without charge, let or hindrance.

            Russell is deluded.

    10. I would like to say that considering that CAMP dedicated the alley to my aunt Juanita Rieloff, I wish they would put a little bit of work to their dedication, for it looks very run down. My aunt was very supportive of CAMP, as she was supportive of anyone creating their own path. I know, for a fact, that Michael Moran, founder of ExploreSF, is a very creative and progressive individual. He is the owner of a small business that supports other small businesses in the community. My aunt would have been supportive of his endeavor as well. These are sensitive times in the Mission, no doubt. I know only too well for I’m loosing my home of 17 years. However, that does not give me the right to decide who is or who isn’t welcomed in this community. The speculators creating this havoc are no where near Clarion Alley. Just “Let It Be”.

      • Clarion Alley Mural Project

        Paula,
        Your aunt was a wonderful feisty character in the neighborhood and she is missed by many. She is also one of many, many folks the alley has been dedicated to over the project’s 22 year history … perhaps you would consider making a donation to Clarion Alley Mural Project to purchase materials to help maintain the alley – as a volunteer-run project, all donations are greatly appreciated …

    11. angus

      This is about territorialism and self promotion plain and simple.

      In street art, like a dog peeing on a tree, competing for territory, is a long standing tradition in everything from simple tagging to more complex forms of graffiti. It stems from the same chest thumping territorial competition of gang banging and early rap/hip hop, but, in essence, it is much the same as commercial interests competing for limited market share or tribes competing for arable land.

      As a painter who has been mounting street art anonymously in the Bay since the late 80′s, I know that any public work survives at the discretion of the community. I find it amazing that so many supposedly “socially conscious” street artists would rather focus on promoting themselves while bemoaning the encroachment of commercial interests that gravitate to their beauty, rather than promote the simple truth that public art is a gift to the community, a gift meant to stimulate, question and inspire. If it is valued it will be celebrated, and that is wonderful.

      A gift, once given, is no longer “owned” by the giver.

      If the work needs to be explained, or the artist is striving for more recognition, then that should drive the artist to do a better job, plain and simple. If the artists feel they deserve more commercial benefit then they have a responsibility to bring the work to a commercial arena or to create innovative ways to market their public work. But to begrudge other parties for engaging freely in public space that you have adorned smacks of a certain kind of self serving shortsightedness that dramatically reduces the beauty and merit of such public gestures.

      Embrace the world and it will embrace you. Within that embrace you can change it, albeit slowly. Rail against it and you will be marginalized, sometimes slowly, sometimes not. Sounds like romantic philosophy but it is the code of Respect. The code of the street, any street.

    12. Mission Of Mercy

      I am surprised that no one has mentioned just what it is that CAMP does to Tour Groups that disobey the laws of CAMP.

      CAMP attacks on Yelp. Douchey is as douchey does and if there is a douchier forum in which to attack someone who cannot fight back, I am not aware of it.

      So although CAMP says that they cannot make tour operators stop touring the public street whose adjoining buildings CAMP covers with copyright protected free public art. They know that businesses catering to out of town visitors rely heavily on small-business-fleecing Yelp. Less than 4 stars on this horrible site and you might as well not exist. Several months ago, CAMP tried launching their own tours of (one block long) Clarion Alley and fell flat on their faces. Back then they made no bones about why they wanted other tour operators out of the alley, so that their own tours would make money. They were completely unconcerned that this attitude is completely at odds with their core values, and they were willing to publicly destroy on Yelp, anyone who might get in their way.

    This is about territorialism and self promotion plain and simple.

    In street art, like a dog peeing on a tree, competing for territory, is a long standing tradition in everything from simple tagging to more complex forms of graffiti. It stems from the same chest thumping territorial competition of gang banging and early rap/hip hop, but, in essence, it is much the same as commercial interests competing for limited market share or tribes competing for arable land.

    As a painter who has been mounting street art anonymously in the Bay since the late 80′s, I know that any public work survives at the discretion of the community. I find it amazing that so many supposedly “socially conscious” street artists would rather focus on promoting themselves while bemoaning the encroachment of commercial interests that gravitate to their beauty, rather than promote the simple truth that public art is a gift to the community, a gift meant to stimulate, question and inspire. If it is valued it will be celebrated, and that is wonderful.

    A gift, once given, is no longer “owned” by the giver.

    If the work needs to be explained, or the artist is striving for more recognition, then that should drive the artist to do a better job, plain and simple. If the artists feel they deserve more commercial benefit then they have a responsibility to bring the work to a commercial arena or to create innovative ways to market their public work. But to begrudge other parties for engaging freely in public space that you have adorned smacks of a certain kind of self serving shortsightedness that dramatically reduces the beauty and merit of such public gestures.

    Embrace the world and it will embrace you. Within that embrace you can change it, albeit slowly. Rail against it and you will be marginalized, sometimes slowly, sometimes not. Sounds like romantic philosophy but it is the code of Respect. The code of the street, any street.

    REPLY

    martinlutherkingjr

    martinlutherkingjr (Photo credit: mpmoran)

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