Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween...Ghostly tour of San Francisco's City Hall! Indian Burial ground spirits beckon!






Historians and locals alike are keen to the fact that over the years San Francisco's City Hall has been rebuilt, renovated and relocated on three or four different occasions.

Currently, the glittering showplace rests on a former Indian burial ground.

Consequently, a handful of folks assert that the building is haunted!

Tonight, revellers and naughty trick-or-treaters are invited to take a free tour of City Hall, and get the skinny on the rumors first-hand.

Disinterred remains, assassinations and other ghostly lore form the focus of this spine-tingling tour.

Instead of tossing the spotlight on the architecture, there will be fascinating snippets from interviews with city employees that detail chilling paranormal activity.

The tour is approximately 45-60 minutes.

Free.


Happy haunting - um - hunting!

Venue

Guests meet in the South Light Court through Goodlett Place (Polk St.) entrance.

Hours

6:30 p.m.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street..."General Strike" slated for Wednesday in Oakland! November 2nd!





After a week of frenzied protests and skirmishes with the police in front of Oakland City Hall (sparked by violence on occasion) the "Occupy Wall Street" chapter is calling for a widespread "General Strike" on Wednesday (November 2nd).

According to sources, protesters are knocking on doors of local business and labor unions urging workers not to clock in at their place of employment in a show of solidarity for the movement gaining momentum around the Nation.

A spokesperson for the union that represents teachers has pledged their support as of press time.

"We are part of the 99%," the teacher asserted in a public statement to the media.

Stay posted for updates!


St. Paul's Cathedral...to oust protesters with legal action! Sprinkler dousing, too!





Frustrated by the unsightly blight of "tent city" on their front lawn - erected by supporters of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement - St. Paul's Cathedral (in London) have shuttered up their "House of Worship" as they fathom an effective way to rid themselves of the dilemma.

According to one Church Official, the action has backfired in one respect, though.

Each day the doors remain shut, St. Paul's coffers lose several hundred dollars in donations.

Lawyers have urged their Holy clients to to take legal action in a last-ditch effort to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, one Church-goer has drummed up a novel approach to chase any the protesters.

St. Paul's is tinkering with the idea of installing a sprinkler system timed to automatically water the gardens at the crack-of-dawn daily.

If the plan succeeds, just betcha, there will be a surge in sprinkler sales and a rise in gainful employment in the coming weeks.

Stay posted for updates!




Judging individuals...quote by Julian Ayrs!





An individual
who judges a person's character
based
solely
on their
past actions
is
a
fool!


Julian Ayrs
Chocolate Buddha
Collection of Poems



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dowtown Throwdown...exhilerating snowboarding in downtown San Francisco! Rail-jam urbanboading contest!






OMG!

Today, downtown San Francisco will be transformed into a winter wonderland.

100,000 lbs. of shredded ice will be hauled into the Civic Center to whip up a snowy trail to accommodate 25 Professional Snowboarders competing for $10,000 in prize money.

Snowboarding in Civic Center?

Uh-huh!

The "Downtown Throwdown" event organizers - Lib Tech and Snowboy Productions - are promising a "non-stop shred action" along with food, music, and raffle prizes.

And, admission is free!

"The idea is to get people excited about snowboarding and also kind of show people what goes on in snowboarding by bringing it into the city," beamed Krush Kulesza, President of Snowboy.

"For a lot of people, probably their only connection to snowboarding is what they see at the Olympics."

Snowboarders will slide down a rail similar to one that accompanies a flight of stairs.

For sports (and outdoor) enthusiasts it should be an extreme thrilling blast.

See 'ya there!

Event

12 noon - 4 p.m.
(today)

Venue

Civic Center
(Fulton & Larkin Street)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Melvita...tosses chic soiree! Organic skin care products with nature at heart!








The staff - smartly-attired in chic black - were gracious and attentive (all smiles), the upscale patrons were bubbling over with lively cocktail chatter, and a musical duo elevated the mood to warm and fuzzy!

Well, I fess up.

The potent champagne- which flowed generously - was a factor.

The elegant soiree was tossed by Melvita (health and skin care products) to celebrate their 1st Anniversary at Westfield Mall on Market Street in downtown San Francisco.

Regulars of Melvita were personally invited to toast the store's success at their aesthetically-pleasing outlet (next door to Abercrombie & Fitch) and take advantage of a one-time 15% discount.

Shoppers munched on delectable finger-foods and sipped on cocktails as they perused a myriad of enticing high-quality products on the shelves (imported from France).

In fact, a handful of the clerks on duty were born overseas in the Paris region.

Obviously, it was the European touch that put the event over-the-top.

In spite of an ailing economy, shoppers were quick to splurge on healthful products designed to - not only heal the bod - but put a "fresh-face" forward.

Just maybe, that focus will engender positive results in the employment line!

No doubt, the Marketing Director - Julie-France Airenti - was keen to that fact.

That's probably why she employed a talented photographer - Adrian Spencerparra - to snap a bevy of publicity stills last night to facilitate in the next advertising campaign???

If you're unfamiliar with the Melvita line, it is basically organic - and thus - green.

"We try to minimize our footprint on the planet," beamed the store Manager, an articulate young french man with an affable air about him.

Products run the gamut from moisturizers to toothpaste.

One young male I struck up a conversation with swore by the Shaving Balm.

"It makes my skin so smooth," he gushed.

One criticism, though.

It may behoove Melvita to repackage the men's toiletries along the lines of more masculine sensibilities since the current wrapper is too feminine-looking.

Discerning males are inclined to gravitate towards products with more macho appeal.

In closing, I would like to remind all my readers about an old familiar truism:

"You get the face you deserve at 50!"


AFI Fest...filmgoers frustrated by web site glitches! Incompetent Bob Gazzalle at helm!






When excited filmgoers surfed to the AFI Fest site yesterday morning to reserve tickets for a roster of flicks to screen next week, they were deluged with an avalanche of frustrating glitches which triggered a few expletive deletives under their breath!

Quite a few patrons had difficulty logging in, for example.

And, when a handful managed to access the poorly-designed site, the web pages they were directed to often failed to load properly or simply "froze up" for some inexplicable reason.

On occasion, when a filmgoer managed to reserve a ticket or two, the shopping cart suddenly malfunctioned and emptied the basket.

ARGH!

Angry ticket-seekers either pulled out their hair as they screamed bloody murder to their pals, or simply gave up attempting to secure seats for what has become a "joke" in the movie industry.

In contrast, the Los Angeles Times reservation site (installed for the Envelope screening series) responds to RSVP's daily without a hitch.

The AFI touts itself as a prestigious film festival - but, the truth of the matter is - that it's just a rinky-dink outfit run by incompetents without any skills or the ability to follow thru.

For example, the AFI suffered the same troubling problem last fall with their web site.

Although fans complained about the stink - a year after the fact - Mr. Gazzalle (President & CEO of the AFI Fest) and his clueless staff have neglected to conduct an overhaul to prevent the same snafus from plaguing the reservation process this year.

Part of the problem is Bob Gazzalle - who would rather hob-nob with celebrities (and the AUDI "brass" sponsors) - than roll up his sleeves and sort out the abominable mess!

Last year, quite a few embarrassing moments reared their ugly head at a handful of events, too (with regard to failing mics, poor lighting, and lousy production values) which also underscored just how unprofessional and incapable Gazzalle and his AFI team truly are.

I expect the problems will persist next week at the Festival to the dismay of film buffs!

Don't say I didn't warn 'ya, eh?





Mann's Chinese Theater (AFI venue) deserves better!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bette Midler..."Divine One" auctions off stage drag! Mermaid outfit up for grabs!





On November 12th - a collection Bette Midler's glittering frocks, upscale shoes, and a bevy of accessories - will be auctioned off at Julien's Auction House in Beverly Hills.

In addition, there will be precious memorabilia up-for-grabs spanning the Divine M's spectacular forty-year career in the entertainment industry.

The much-anticipated event has been organized to benefit Bette Midler's new Restoration Project.

The charity puts the spotlight on (and provides financial assistance for) under serviced parks, walkways, and outdoor spaces in the otherwise drab environs of the cityscape in major American cities around the country.

Fans of Ms. Midler's comedic skills will be delighted to hear that the Boogie Woogie Girl has a new feature film in the works, too.

Ms. Midler will be starring opposite Billy Crystal in "Parental Guidance" which is slated for release next year.

Can't wait for it to flicker on the silver screen.

How 'bout you?




Earthquake...San Francisco residents rock 'n roll! Swarm of temblors!





At the crack of dawn this morning residents of San Francisco got a rude awakening - in fact - many were rousted from a deep sleep by an Earthquake at approximately 5:34 a.m. which was registered as a 3.6 (after a downgrade).

Over the past week the Bay Area has been rocked by three earthquakes in total now - in what geologists are referring to as - a swarm of quakes.

I was in my own cozy bed catching the daily news when there was a severe jolt in the Hotel Suite - which not only shook me beneath the covers - but also triggered a rolling motion which resulted in a series of eerily-sounding "creaking" noises which were a bit unnerving in the otherwise quiet room.

Switchboards lit up a local news stations around the region as excited locals - and tourists alike - shared their stories.

Is the big one on the way???

Stay posted for updates.





1906 San Francisco Earthquake damage!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beatles...Rolling Stones Special Edition a must-have for fab four fans!





Rolling Stone Magazine has just released a "Special Edition" catalogue on the Beatles which is a must-have keepsake for die-hard fans of the mop tops who landed on U.S. shores (The British Invasion) with their catchy upbeat tunes in the sixties.

The comprehensive volume is an in-depth review of all the Beatles LP's pressed which includes insightful commentary on their music by such luminaries as James Taylor, Stevie Nicks, and Bob Weir.

A smattering of publicity stills - some rarely in print - round out the publication beautifully with an artful touch.

I vividly recall my own first-hand reaction to the albums (Rubber Soul, Sergeant Pepper, and the White Album, in particular) when I first scooped 'em up at the local record store in my teenage years in Toronto.

Once I got home, and when my parents had taken off to shop or go for a Sunday drive, I'd plop the LP's on the Hi-Fi (!) and dance around the living-room imagining I was a pop star!

Of course, I also scrutinized every delicious detail on the album cover as I went over the lyrics with a fine-tooth comb.

Was Paul McCartney really dead?

Do the lyrics in No. 9 hold the answer?

Only Sir Paul and Ringo know for sure.

Just betcha that John Lennon is laughing in his grave!





Occupy Wall Street...melee breaks out in Oakland! Tear gas & paint bombs trigger clash with police!





Angry over a nasty sweep yesterday at 4:30 a.m. (post: http://ijulian.blogspot.com/2011/10/occupy-wall-streetpolice-dismantle.html) - which resulted in the dismantling of the Oakland "Occupy Wall Street" camp - hundreds of supporters of the cause descended on Frank Ogawa Plaza late Tuesday to protest the early-morning raid.

The protesters were confronted by a posse of Police Officers, however - recruited from 16 law enforcement agencies in the region - bent on preventing the irate upstarts from reclaiming the plaza in front of Oakland's City Hall.

After barking out orders to disperse - which went ignored - officers tossed canisters of tear gas into the gathering crowds.

In response, there was a knee-jerk reaction from the protesters.

The angry mob hurled paint bombs at the officers (who were attired in riot gear), spat in their faces, and got vocal.

"Fuck you," some taunted.

Although the rally fell apart at City Hall at this juncture, it gained momentum once again when 400-500 supporters of the "Occupy Wall Street" cause turned up at the main branch of the Oakland Public Library to reorganize.

Early in the evening, the protesters then proceeded to march on City Hall with new vigor.

Their return triggered more skirmishes with the police which persisted throughout the night.

In spite of being arrested earlier in the day, many protesters returned on the heels of being processed, cited, and released from the local jail.

"Occupy Wall Street" protesters have vowed to all within earshot - especially to the media out in full force - that they intend to "fight" for the right to encamp 24/7 and not just between the business hours ordered by police and City Officials.

Stay posted for updates!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

President Obama...fundraising at San Francisco's swank "W" Hotel today! Protesters expected!








President Obama will touch down in San Francisco briefly today to attend a fundraiser at the swank "W" Hotel before jetting off to Denver.

Supporters are expected to cough up $5,000 a plate for a luncheon and the golden opportunity to mingle with the Commander-in-Chief.

Regular folks won't be so lucky!

In fact, lookie loo's won't even get within a hair's breath of Obama.

For security reasons the streets around the Hotel will be blocked off for several hours.

The President will be airborne before thoroughfares downtown will re-open.

I guess his whirl-wind junket is what you would call a quickie, eh?

Take the money and run, Mr. President!


Occupy Wall Street...police dismantle Oakland camp! Protesters arrested!








Bright and early this morning - at approximately 4:30 a.m. - a posse of well-trained Oakland Police officers in riot gear descended on Justin Herman Plaza to break down the "tent" city originally erected in support of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement gathering steam around the country.

Initially, law eenforcement fired a shot off their bow.

"If you leave peacefully, you will not be arrested," a rep from the Police Department barked out in a bull horn.

A few protesters got the message loud-and-clear and exited the square (no doubt licking their wounds).

But, a dozen or so of the upstarts held their ground; subsequently, they were led away meekly like lambs to slaughter with their hands tied in plastic wristbands behind their backs.

On the heels of the raid, Officers proceeded to haul away tents, lawn chairs, and the personal possessions of the squatters.

Although one young man resisted arrest (he was eventually carried off to a police vehicle kicking-and-screaming blue murder) the clean-up - which took about twenty minutes - went down without much incident.

However, shortly after the initial police action, protesters began to gather down the street a hop-and-a-skip away to voice their disapproval.

Traffic was interrupted for a couple of hours much to the dismay of early-morning commuters.

The Bart Station located at the Justin Herman Plaza, for instance, was temporarily shut down and buses that normally routed through a terminal at the square were detoured along side streets not affected by the ruckus.

At press time news spread that the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters intend to march to the ritzy "W" Hotel where President Obama will be attending a fundraiser.

Stay posted for updates!




Swank "W" Hotel in San Francisco

Monday, October 24, 2011

Occupy Wall Street...shit or get off the pot!








As the "Occupy Wall Street" ruckus continues willy-nilly in the streets of major cities around the country, it has become obvious to hard-nosed critics and astute media pundits alike, that the anti-establishment upstarts appear to be more intent on protesting (and as of today, shouting off rooftops) than hammering out legitimate solutions to their grievances.

An old familiar saying applies here:

"Shit, or get off the pot!"





Asian Museum...free family day lures in art-lovers to dazzling Maharaja exhibit!





The Asian Museum was a hotbed of activity yesterday when the prestigious gallery space threw open its doors for "free" courtesy of generous sponsors Kumar and Vijaya Malavalli.

For children - the "Free Family Day" occasion - was a delightful foray into the exotic realms of one of the oldest most-fascinating cultures on the globe.

The day started off with an adventurous treasure hunt and ended at a Henna Tattoo demonstration.

Juding by the expressions on their faces, the young ones were particularly enthralled with the spell-binding storytelling, lessons on adornment and jewellery-making, and a Royal photo op where they were able to pose on ornate thrones, let their imaginations run wild, and act out.

A live performance featuring the sitar and bongos - traditional and fusion-influenced - thoroughly entertained all the patrons in attendance as well.

Musician Ashwin Batish and his talented family so roused the music-lovers in the packed auditorium at the end of the set with an original piece titled - "Bamboo Boogie" - that they enthusiastically jumped up and danced alongside an exotic Indian Dancer who had enchanted the guests earlier in a solo performance.

Free ice cream hit the spot, too!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Convention of the Tattoo Arts...My heart beata tattoo on my ribs! Oct. 21st - Oct. 23rd!





The 7th Annual Bay Area "Convention for the Tattoo Arts" kicked-off last night at the Hyatt Regency at SRO in Burlingame.

Intrigued by the thought of transforming into a living illustration?

Maybe one dictionary definition I rifled up a few moments ago will inspire tat visionaries to conjure up an alter-ego worth crowing about!

Tattoo

"A knocking or strong pulsation: My heart beata tattoo on my ribs"

And, for those who hot-foot it down to the Convention Hall over the weekend, there will be a posse of ultra-talented craftsmen (and women) to etch the magical ink - and ultimately - dazzle even the toughest biker critic.

Special Appearances

Living Legends

*Thom DeVita and Don Ed Hardy will be selling art work IN PERSON

*Bloodwork

*Bodies

The official release of the epic new must-have book from ADRIAN LEE and MAX DOLBERG

Immovable

The official release of HORITOMO's first book
(Seminar in tandem with release)

Venue

SFO Hyatt Regency
1333 Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, CA 94010

Hours

Friday 5pm-11pm
Saturday 11am-11pm
Sunday 11am-6pm

See 'ya there!

$20 (door)

www.bayareatattooconvention.com

San Francisco...be sure to pack a pistol! 4th meanest city in America!





Today, some disgruntled folks are pointing accusing fingers at the "Occupy Wall Street" movement as they try to fathom how a recent poll ended up labelling San Francisco as the 4th meanest city in the U.S.

What ever happened to those carefree innocent days of the sixties in the picturesque City by the Bay when peace and love were the mantras of the day?

How do those lyrics go?

If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to pack a pistol in your belt
If you're going to San Francisco!


Chinese Hospital...San Francisco HIV patients encounter discrimination! Sick patients turned away!





If you cruise up Jackson Street in Chinatown - and blink - you may miss the Chinese Hospital tucked away amidst a row of ramshackle store stalls that run curbside from Stockton to Powell.

And, administration at the hospital takes solace in that.

After all, the staff here would prefer to provide medical care for their "own"(a member of the Chinese Community).

What of the "outsiders" or those inflicted with "dreaded diseases" such as HIV and Hepatitis?

Shortly after these hapless souls wander in - and are registered - the hospital staff rustle up excuses to usher them out the door (before the patients have been properly treated and after a huge bill has been rung up).

For instance, one patient was rushed to emergency suffering from a debilitating ailment which required immediate medical treatment.

In fact, a female Doctor on duty admitted just as much to the patient at bedside.

After taking a battery of tests - a CT Scan, X-rays - and blood draws - the doctor proceeded to inform her charge that he required treatment and at least two days of bed rest in the hospital to resolve the medical issues.

The patient was thankful that the troubling sickness had been diagnosed, but was later shocked, when the doctor announced that the Nurses and Interns on duty felt "uncomfortable" caring for an HIV patient!

In San Francisco,the revelation was a quite disturbing for obvious reasons!

Meanwhile, other patients have complained about comments that have been made out-of-the-blue that hint that racism is prevalent at the hospital, too.

"We don't get many Caucasians here, 'ya know," one employee quipped.

Was the individual imagining it, or did he hear a bit of disdain in the Nurse's voice?

Another employee explained her staff's reluctance to provide care for a middle-aged white individual in the following mind-boggling way:

"We treat a lot of elderly Asian patients who tend to suffer from ailments related to age," she argued in their defense.

In one scenario, a Doctor discharged the patient without treatment on the grounds that her staff lacked the skills to carry out simple medical procedures.

If that's the case, shouldn't these incompetent employees be cut loose, and qualified medical staff installed in their posts?

Bottom line?

If the Chinese Hospital is receiving grants and/or funding from the Government to run their medical facility, then there should be a review (and/or revocation of their financial backing) since they don't operate with an "open door" policy.

Amen!


Friday, October 21, 2011

San Francisco...Earthquake! Residents shaken but not stirred! No Northridge!




Northridge quake (above)

1906 San Francisco quake (below)






Residents - and tourists alike - were all a-twitter over two earthquakes (one was an aftershock) which struck the San Francisco Bay area out-of-the-blue yesterday.


The first jolt erupted at approximately 2:41 pm, was centered about two miles from Berkeley, and was six miles deep.

I was in the midst of a "power" nap, so I nearly missed the entire first temblor.

At one point, though, I was roused from my slumber because the bed was shaking and gently tossing to-and-fro.

When I switched on the old boob tube, the airwaves were a-buzz with news of the quake, which was - not only quite a jolt for many - but pretty far-reaching around these parts as well.

The second quake struck in the evening at 8:17 pm.

I had just returned from the grocery store, when the floor beneath my feet began to shift, and the door frame and plaster work began to twist and make an eerie creaking sound.

The foundations of the old Hotel in downtown San Francisco appeared to groan a tad, too.

The quake was so persistent - it lasted over a minute at my location - that I was temped to exit the building (since there was no table to hide under!).

Now, excited residents were lighting up the switchboards at media outlets around the mainland, anxious to share their unsettling experiences.

Like myself, many thought that the both quakes were larger in scale that originally reported by the geologists.

And, when both were summarily downgraded, folks were downright baffled.

The general consensus?

The second shaker was no three-point-eighter!

The quakes didn't phase me.

After all, I survived the Northridge Earthquake.

Not unscathed, though.

The 5th storey "New York Style" walk-up where I was residing was so badly damaged that City Officials red-tagged it.

Uh-huh!

I was forced to grab a few possessions and exit the building within two hours!

It was a harrowing experience.

Tattler readers may recall my post:

Post: 04/19/2008

http://ijulian.blogspot.com/2008/04/northridge-earthquakea-lesson-to-all.html

What can we expect if the "big one" that's been predicted for San Francisco hits?

Let's hope we never find out!





Northridge home crumbled!

Lindsay Lohan...DOA at Community Service! City Morgue or bust!





In spite of being scolded by a Judge in court for an alleged probation violation - which triggered a mandatory imposition of 16 hours a week community service at the City Morgue before a hearing date set for November 2nd - bad girl Lindsay Lohan continued to thumb her nose at the court.

For example, Ms. Lohan was spied tooling down the road in a pricey pristine Porsche towards the Coroner's office to meet her obligation in a lackadaisical fashion without much urgency to her mission as precious minutes ticked away.

You got it!

When the troubled party-girl attempted to check into the City Morgue, the hapless beauty was turned away from the facility DOA.

Uh-huh.

Because Lindsay was twenty minutes late - it was no-way Jose - as far as the administrators were concerned.

"Sorry, I was late," she meekly uttered up.

""I didn't know where the Coroner's office was located."

Duh!

Most folks would - not only have conducted a search on the Internet to get their bearings right before heading out on the trek (never heard of mapquest, Lindsay?) - but left a little early to account for parking delays, the stroll up the walk, signing in, and so-forth-and-so-on.

Not the blond bimbo babe!

When God was handing out "common sense", Ms. Lohan must have been partying under a rock!

Stay posted, eh?





Lindsay's new acquaintances!