Friday, September 30, 2011

San Francisco...Castro Street Fair! Harvey Milk's legacy marches on! October 2nd!







The festive "Castro Street Fair" hatched up by former businessman Harvey Milk  (& slain politician) and launched thirty-eight years ago, kicks off on once again in San Francisco on Sunday October 2nd.

The theme for the annual event this year is:

"The Happiest Place in San Francisco!"

The organizers have lined up a stellar roster of talent which includes Joshua Klipp, the Freeplay Dance Crew, Chloe Sevigny impersonator Drew Droege, and the Beard Summit (a band).

Performers from Barnaby's "World of Entertainment" are slated to interact with street guests, too.

In keeping with the latest "Food Truck" craze, the Fair has given the nod to a handful of mobile eateries to participate this year.

Beer booths will be allowed, so thirsty revellers will be able to wash down their culinary delights with an agreeable belch!

One sponsor - Stoli - will be offering up Vodka.

Donations of $5.00 are suggested.

The proceeds will benefit more than 30 local non-profit charities.

For the most part, there will not be any significant changes in respect to operations this year.

"The merchants and the residents in the neighborhood seem to be happy with the event which is why we like to keep the status quo with a lot of infrastructure and the footprint," a rep boasted proudly.

Vendors will be flogging an assortment of products with widespread appeal to the gay community, touting local gay organizations, and attempting to lure traffic their way with special promotions and great give-a-ways difficult to resist.

Castro Street Fair will throw the gates open wide at 11 a.m. and ceremoniously close 'em at 6 p.m.

See 'ya there!








North Beach...San Francisco's bohemian neighborhood on the rise! Popular again!






If you're in San Francisco and crying the blues alone in a hotel suite, skip that tired comedy on the old boob tube, and take an adventurous stroll through North Beach!

The legendary neighborhood where Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg pondered the "beat generation" is on-the-rise once again with tourists and locals alike!

On a perfect fall evening last night, I slipped down a quaint little sidestreet off Broadway and suddenly found myself sipping on a glass of bubbly, and taking in a group exhibition of portraits by a smattering of cool down-to-earth local artists.

To some art connoisseurs, an art opening is supposed-to-be a high-brow affair that provokes thought.

But, at this happenin' (the crudely-crafted sign tacked on the wall actually referred to the gathering that way!) the mood was pretty mellow.

A guitarist entertained guests with a sweet riff or two, as the young visionaries mixed-and-mingled and discussed their works of art.

Some of the renderings were undistinguished at best, but a couple of talented emerging artists showed a lot of potential (boy, could they push paint!).

Paintings by O'Donnell were original, well-executed, and literally brought a smile to the face!

A handful of portraits were so "bang on" that I recognized the artists' faces in the gathering crowd inside.

When I stepped out of the cozy little gallery I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.

I expect that I'll be out exploring another night this week and on-the-look-out for other haunts to while away an hour or two in.

Next, I'll be howling at the moon, I guess!





Thursday, September 29, 2011

San Francisco...protestors lament Bank bail-outs & the super rich! Cry Poor! Threaten Revolution!

San





An ugly storm was brewing downtown in the financial district at the Bank of America this afternoon.

A gang of well-organized protestors gathered en masse to denounce "robber bankers" and demand that the rich be taxed and bank criminals be held accountable for their misdeeds.

"They get a rich. We get foreclosed," one graphic sign screamed out in bold-faced lettering.

"They get a bail-out. We get mad."

Yes, the humbling masses have become so angry, that they have decided to stand up a fight back.

One disgruntled San Francisco resident lamented to all within earshot:

"There's nothing left for us. We're poor. There aren't any jobs."

One hand-out distrubuted by the protestors noted that 47 million people live below the poverty line in the U.S (or 1 in 6 people).

And, half the nation is relying on food stamps to put food in their gut daily.

Subsequently, the protestors' angst was focused on corrupt bankers and the uppercrust in this country.

"Tax the super rich," one shouted.

"Stop banker fraud," cried out another.

One clever supporter of the cause celebre drafted a handful of chants for the "week of action" ahead.

Hey, hey, ho, ho!
Bank foreclosures have got to go!

Bank of America , You're no good!
Stop foreclosures like you should!
Bank of America, You can't hide!
We can see your greedy side!

Bankers, gangsters, have no shame!
Both rob families, just the same!

One member of the local San Francisco Board of Supervisors alleged that they were gathered at the Bank of America headquarters because the scandal-ridden financial institution was still holding over 300 million dollars that belonged to the City of San Francisco.

"We want to pull out that money out and use it for our community right here in San Francisco," he shouted to wild round of applause.

"This is democracy at work," appeared to be the battle cry of the afternoon.

The general consensus?

It was time for the working class to take back the country.

The activists are currently working on a 2012 ballot initiative to ding the top 1% of the richest citizens with a 10% tax.

"The initiative will generate $18 billion , solve the deficit, fund schools, and put California back to work," they argue vigorously.

According to the U.S. Constitution, the government was set up by our founding fathers to be a democratic institution to be run by the people and for the people.

When it ceases to be for the people, it should be abolished, accordingly.

No wonder one protestor was inclined to conclude that:

"Revolution is beautiful"

Amen!

Lady Gaga...bends President Obama's ear on issue of bullying at pricey fundraiser?





Pop DIVA Lady Gaga sashayed her way into one of the ritzy fundraisers tossed for President Obama in the Silicon valley (after plunking down a staggering $35,000.00 to slip through the staid old establishment doors) this past week.

In contrast to the other power-players on-hand - there to primarily rub shoulders and smooze with the Commander-in-Chief - the altruistic gay activist was bent on enlightening the politician about the escalating problem of bullying around the country in recent days and the need for a call to action.

At press time, it was not determined with certainty if the wildly popular chanteuse managed to finagle a close encounter with the President (I expect the Secret Service kept her at bejwelled arm's length) on the pressing social and political issue.

Curiously - on the eve of one fundraiser - the President's handler's reported to the press that Mr. Obama would be addressing the issue of bullying next year in March.

Mission accomplished?

We won't hold our breath, eh?

News at 11!




National Coffee Day...I got my free cup @ 711 in San Francisco! Java hit the spot!





To celebrate National Coffee Day, 711 is offering up a free cup of java at participating outlets around the country between 7 am - 11 am this morning.

I got mine.

How 'bout you?

Shortly after I gobbled down my oatmeal at McDonalds, I scurried around the corner to the local 711 to take the successful franchise chain up on their smart promotion.

Frankly, I was surprised at how organized the staff were.

Dozens of medium-sized "yellow" cups were at-the-ready to be filled by their anxious customers looking to jump-start the day with a bit of (free) caffeine.

Although, I do not personally drink a lot of coffee - when I do sip on a cup - I prefer to purchase the steaming-hot beverage at 711.

For good reason!

Their self-serve counter is usually well-stocked with creamers - in a myriad of tasty flavors (such as hazelnut, chocolate, and French Vanilla) - which add a jolt of flavor that hits the spot.

Ah, now I am ready to face a hectic day ahead, shopping!

Later.


San Francisco...4 men in black suits attack homeless man @ 275 Post in Tourist District! Shocking!




I was strolling along Post Street in the downtown San Francisco bright-and-early this morning at approximately 7:20 am when I spied a disturbing incident going-down across the street at 275 Post (Johnston & Murphy Retail outlet).

Four men neatly attired in black suits were angrily hovering over - what appeared to be a homeless man - crouched on the cold pavement in the front stoop at that location.

Suddenly, without provocation, one of the gentleman (!) started kicking the man!

At this juncture, two of the men caught sight of me across the street - at which point - they scurried up the street looking back at me nervously.

I kept my eye-out and was able to determine that they entered the St. Francis Hotel.

In view of the fact they were wearing black suits and name tags, I surmise they were employees of historic landmark Hotel.

Needless to say, I was baffled by the disturbing beating.

In all the years I have visited the romantic city by the Bay, I have never witnessed this kind of senseless violence in the streets (certainly not in the tourist district).

I sincerely hope this is not the beginning of a trend for the popular destination spot on the West Coast!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Seismic Dance Company...free performance of "We don't Belong Here" in Union Square!





The "Seismic Dance Company" is itching to entertain the locals and tourists alike in a series of free performances in Union Square in San Francisco which kick-off tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

The troupe is also slated to offer up their dazzling eclectic dance routine in Yerba Buena Lane.

The choreographed piece (created by Katie Faulkner) is titled:

"We Don't Belong here"

"All of us have some relationship to what it means to belong or not somewhere," she philosophized at a recent press interview.

"I think, too, San Francisco is a city of refugees. It really attracts people who are looking for a place to belong."

The movement and multi-media event is part of the Dancer's Group ONSITE series.

Michael Trigillo - an acclaimed international multi-media artist - is contributing the dynamic visual and sound design.

Years ago, I was a free-style dancer on the bustling streets of downtown Toronto.

Just betcha, the special performances in Union Square and Yerba Buena Lane, will trigger a lot of fond memories

Who knows!

I may jump in and join the joyous celebration!

See 'ya there!

CONTACT

www.dancersgroup.org


Hardly Strictly Bluegrass...free concerts in Golden Gate Park! Robert Plant, Chris Isaak, & Emmylou Harris!








Once again, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass free concert kicks-off in Golden Gate Park at the Speedway and Mark & Lindley Meadows September 29th - 30th & October 1st - 2nd in San Francisco respectively!

This year's festival is dedicated to the loving memory of Hazel Dickens!

MC Hammer & Poor Man's Whiskey are both featured on Thursday September 29th!

Personally, I plan to attend on Friday when the legendary Robert Plant & the Band of Joy is slated to charge on stage and WOW all in attendance!

That night, there will also be entertaining appearances by the likes of King of the Funky Drums, South Memphis String Band, Chris Isaak, John Prine, and & Maxim Ludwig & the Santa Fe Seven (to name a few).

On Saturday, Kris Kristofferson graces the stage with his unique brand of music with Merle Haggard in tow.

Emmylou Harris is sure to delight her fans on Sunday.

Other performers slated to pick and twang include the Blind Boys of Alabama, The Devil Makes Three, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Fitz and the Tantrums, Dog Star Orchestra, and a smattering of other top bands currently making the concert circuit around the country.

See 'ya there!







West Hollywood...bans sale of fashion ensembles featuring fur! Ballsy move angers retailers!




If you're a fan of TMZ, or inclined to browse the gossip rags for juicy tidbits on your favourite stars, chances are the news blurbs featuring publicity stills were shot at trendy watering holes or a smattering of chic exclusive nightclubs in West Hollywood where the celebs step-out for a night-on-the-town in designer fashions often accessorized with fur.

In fact, a slew of chic boutiques on Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard cater exclusively to a jet-set clientele that clamours for pricey luxury eye-catching fur outerwear and the alleged status it conjures up (until now, that is).

In a bold-faced effort to protect wildlife - and halt what amounts to a some as the slaughter of God's innocent creatures - the City of West Hollywood has taken an unprecedented stand on the issue.

At a recent City Council meeting the WeHo Board unanimously passed a bill to ban the sale of apparel crafted with fur products.

Councilman John D'Amico (the sponsor) proudly pointed out that the City of West Hollywood is the 1st community in the Nation to take such a ballsy sweeping move on the manufacturing industry.

Council members pray that other City leaders around the country will pick up the torch, too.

The ban applies to fur sold in apparel, only.

So, for now, interior design studios will not be forced to toss inventory in stock (such as fur rugs, pillows, chair coverings, etc.) just yet!

Since 46% of the fashion outlets in the upscale gay enclave sell fur products currently, an uproar is expected!

A bold few (with big-bucks-backing) may challenge the decision before the law goes into effect next year.

Ed Buck, with Free Fur West Hollywood, asserted that the fur business is inhumane.

"Compassion is fashion," he opined.

"You do not need to sacrifice an animal to be fashionable."

Amen!




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Glamorama...Bruno Mars appears @ A.I.D.S. Fundraiser @ Orpheum Theatre! September 30th!







Bruno Mars and the "Far East Movement" are slated to perform at the glittering ARTRAGEOUS soiree on Friday September 30th at the Orpheum Theatre which is expected to be one of the wildest fashion blow-outs of the fall season!

Ticket prices include a dazzling fashion show featured sizzling "hot" designers such as Armani Jeans, Tommy Girl (Tommy Hilfiger), Bar III, Tracey Reese, and Kenneth Cole (to name a few).

Afterwards, guests still hot-to-trot at the witching hour, will no doubt trek over to the ARTLANDISH after-party at the trendy Asian Art Museum at Civic Center.

Milliner Katie Burley is slated to showcase a collection of her ornamental chapeaus (hats) - known by the fashion elite locally as "Fascinators" (Kate Middleton, eat your heart out!) - at the chi chi affair which is expected to sell-out.

INFO

MACYS.COM/GLAMORAMA




Goodwill...sells defective laptops! Rips-offs Consumers! Engages in fraudulent deceptive business practices!







The Goodwill sells defective laptops and computer parts to unsuspecting customers - and balks at meeting their legal and moral responsibility to issue a refund - once the hapless victim complains to management at the Mission Street headquarters in downtown San Francisco.

In fact, one employee routinely engages in deceptive business practices in a bold-faced deceitful effort to rip-off the low-income shoppers who frequent the thrift outlet so Goodwill doesn't have to pay-up when they get caught in the act.

For example, when one patron complained to the Better Business Bureau about a $225.00 lemon that was foisted on them under false pretenses, a manager was quick to twist-and-distort the facts in a dishonest effort to defend their position and ultimately avoid reimbursement (and damage to the Charity's public image).

"We have a 30-day guarantee," she insisted to the investigator at the BBB.

Then why wasn't the laptop taken back with no questions asked?

Notwithstanding the obvious, it should also be noted that the ingenuous liar neglected (?) to point out to the BBB employee that an actual credit would be issued (not a refund in cash).

If a shopper was not interested in any other products on the shelf (after being ripped off, why would they?) they would be SOL.

By the way, in the next breath, the employee really put her foot in a heapload of ka-ka, when the she proceeded to allege that she could not find any receipt for the purchase in question!

Curious, that!

The customer has a copy in their possession which clearly states $225.00 was spent on the useless computer that Goodwill falsely claimed was refurbished!!!

What a liar, eh?

Goodwill?

Hardly!

When you consider that generous patrons donate the inventory to the charity with the best of intentions, the shameful conduct of Goodwill staff truly shocks the sensibilities.

Talk about miserable good-for-nothing scrooges!

Just betcha that if a government agency launched an investigation into their business affairs, that the authorities would uncover a lot of double-dealing, theft, and financial shenangans on the part of Goodwill employees.

Stay posted for the fireworks!

Monday, September 26, 2011

San Francisco...Opera fans pack AT & T stadium at free simulcast of Puccini's high-brow Opera "Turandot"!






The mouth-watering aroma of garlic fries wafted through the air, the stadium stands were packed to near capacity, and spontaneous applause erupted impromptu out-of-the-blue now-and-then at AT & T Ballpark (home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team).

Curious, that!

After all, there wasn't any sports match underway yesterday afternoon.

In fact, all the hoopla was over a free simulcast of Puccini's high-brow Opera "Turandot", which succeeded in packing the locals (and tourists in) at least 30,000.00 strong!

Who knew the San Francisco Opera Company was so popular with the both tourists and the common Joe!

Though the die-hard fans were greeted with inclement weather early in the morning, they threw caution to the wind, and made the trek out to the ball park in high spirits anyway.

The young ones squealed with joy as make-up artists dabbed grease paint on their cherubic faces, while their parents scouted down perches on the green below the wide-screen, where picnic baskets were set out to munch on throughout the celebrated day.

By mid-afternoon, the sun poked through the clouds, making it the perfect afternoon.

There were hilarious surprises, too.

When the cast of Turandot took their bows, they sported Giant's baseball caps, ubiquitious t's, tongue-in-cheek.

Even a drama Queen has a sense of humor, after all!




San Francisco...relief nurse injects fatal dose during strike! Patient dies!




A relief nurse, hired under a five-day contract to fill in for irate medical staff striking in the streets of
San Francisco, injected a patient with an unprescribed drug - and unfortunately - the individual died.

Any patient who has been under intensive care at a local hospital (or anywhere in the State of California for that matter) is keenly aware that protocol and Hospital policy dictate that when a nurse saunters into a patient's room to administer medicine, they are required to check the wrist band to verify identity (even if the Nurse is familiar with and/or treated the patient in the past).

I surmise - though sources have not confirmed it - that the unskilled Nurse on duty that fateful day neglected to follow procedure which resulted in the individual's sudden and unexpected demise.

News at 11!


The Amazing Race...auditions in San Francisco Bay area! October 1st!





Adventurous thrill-seekings - bent on rustling up big bucks - may want to hustle up an audition for "The Amazing Race" next week when the casting directors for the hit show trek into the Bay area to audition for new hopefuls.

Both team-mates must be present to be considered for an audition.

Applicants are encouraged to creatively express why they should be considered for the popular entertainment show.

For example:

1.  Why would you make a great team to win The Amazing Race?
2.  What do y ou hope to improve or change in your current relationship?
3.  What issues do you need to work on?
4.  How much have you travelled together?
5.  What team do you most relate to from the past season.

Venue

Blackhawk Plaza
Prickly Bear Cantina
Danville, CA

Date

Saturday October 1st (2011)

Audition time

11 am - 3pm

*All contestants must be 21 years old.

Break a leg, eh?


Michelle Obama...guests on "Extreme Makeover"...Bad hair days!





The 1st Lady signed on with "Extreme Makeover" this season with the specific aim of launching the - "Jubilee House" - a residence for homeless military personnel in dire need of shelter from the storm.

On last night's segment, Michelle Obama demonstrated that she has an appealing outgoing personality that lends itself well to the medium of television.

In a nutshell, Mrs. Obama was warm, gracious, and displayed a lot of generosity of spirit!

The surprised veterans - on the receiving end - were knocked out by her selfless efforts, too.

The shelter - unveiled with a lot of fanfare - features a state-of-the-art kitchen, spacious comfortable bedrooms, and a fully-stocked library, for starters.

In the backyard, a greenhouse was installled so that the residents would be able to grow their own organic vegetables year-round (and also provide for themselves through the winter months).

A "play" room - fashioned after the "White House" - delighted the children in tow.

For some inexplicable reason, however, Michelle elected to "downplay" her appearance.

For example, she tossed on a plain-jane patterned frock (accessorized with a tacky tasteless belt) which was lacking in style (and panache)

As for her curious "do" - well - what can I say?

Local news anchors have been tittering over that bizarre "beehive" (?) for days!

Maybe the Obama's have been forced to cut back on expenses after that pricey holiday in Martha's Vineyard a few weeks ago?

News at 11!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

X Factor...American Idol copycat! Simon Cowell's brand "X" same old same old!







When Simon Cowell boasted about his spanking-new talent show last spring, he vowed that X-Factor would be dazzling potent bill-of-fare in a league all of its own.

In fact, the cheeky Brit promised that his "unique" offering would - not only feret out talented unknowns who possessed that undefinable "X" quality (which deseved network exposure - and quite possibly - a multi-million recording contract) - but also captivate American audiences from the get-go, too.

After tuning in to the season-opener one thing was crystal clear.

Uh-huh!

X-Factor is simply a rip-off of American Idol re-packaged as "Brand X" on an overcrowded shelf on the fall line-up.

2 stars!