Our espresso machine is still in the shop -- apparently one of the pressure vessels is cracked, and needs to be welded, which takes a black belt in welding or something -- so in the meantime we found a rental! It's bigger than what I want, but it does in fact make coffee. And there was much rejoicing.
So come by and caffinate. In fact, come by and caffinate the middle of the night or early in the morning -- we'll be open all night tonight, and will probably be open 24/7 for good starting this weekend or early next week!
Our architect had a good meeting with the planning department today, so "operation: knock a hole in the wall" is inching along at its predictably glacial pace. This meeting meant that the folks at planning tentatively believe that the story laid out in our blueprints makes sense and is legal. Next week, we have the same meeting with the fire department, and the department of building inspection. After that, we get to schedule an appointment to submit our plans to planning and building, which will be in about a month. Then, they will put us on the calendar for a hearing -- which will probably be two months after that. Assuming we get through that hearing with a "yes" from planning, then the department of building inspection takes our plans and ponders them... and it may take three months after that to get an answer from them.
And only then can we swing our first hammer.
It's really a wonder that anything gets done at all, ever.
If you haven't watched this video, you really should. The most amazing thing about this is that it was made by the San Francisco Planning Department.
That video would be funnier if it was not my life.
Also, photos are up of Blow Up, possibly the most photographically well-documented event that there has ever been, in the history of clubbing. Every month, those guys post thousands of photos, and they aren't even all near-duplicates of each other. I usually try to prune our galleries down to 50 or so, because I believe people suffer gallery-fatigue if there are more than that... They're mostly pretty decent photos, though, so it's hard!
They called them "siamese songs" back then, apparently...
Also, this is going to prove to be a very expensive piece of paper. It turns out that the six little words "EXISTING LOT LINE TO BE REMOVED" are not cheap words to buy.
DNA Pizza has been open continuously since Monday night! We're "officially" starting 24/7 this coming Monday, since we may be closing briefly at some point this weekend, but after that, it's the new permanent plan.
24-Hour Eateries Satisfy Post-Midnight Cravings
It's four in the morning and you're starving. Where should you go?
San Francisco eateries aren't very good at staying open into the wee hours, so we've compiled a list of places for you to go to in case the cupboard is bare when you want a midnight snack. New to the Scene
DNA Pizza (371 Eleventh at Harrison) is the new kid on the 24-hour dining block, starting around-the-clock service this week. On the menu: "The Carnivore" and "The Whole Damn Vegan Garden" pizzas.
Also, did I mention that we now have lunch and dinner specials?
Lunch: $2 off any slice + drink, 11am - 4pm.
Dinner: $1 off any slice + drink, 4pm - 7pm.
Happy Hour: $1 off all beer from 2pm - 7pm.
We ran some print ads a few weeks ago, which we rarely do:
(See that pizza on the left? You see what we did there?)
The Chronicle wrote up the Drag Kings show:
Drag King Contest a winner at the DNA Lounge
Nothing could drag down last week's 16th annual S.F. Drag King Contest at the DNA Lounge - not even, say, a no-show by numero uno contestant Ryder Moore. No worries, with consolation performances by last year's winner, Hamm Graham & the Wham Bamm Thank You Ma'ams, which socked the mob with a ramshackle sing-along to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," and the Rebel Kings stepping up with a "Star Wars"-themed mime-athon to the sound of "Ballroom Blitz."
"I have a little foreshadowing," volunteered roller-skating judge Anna Conda (a.k.a. Entertainment Commission member Glendon Hyde). "Han Solo, don't marry Calista Flockhart!" Ah, the perils of looking backward - or forward. "I'm sorry, uh, I'm too young to remember 'Star Wars,'" judge Elvis Herselvis drawled. "Er, 'Star Trek,' yeah."
That Star Wars act was, in fact, pretty great.
Mixed Reality Clubbing in SL's Club Republik and SF's DNA
It was a hugely fun event, and as promised, I did indeed dance my ass off. That said, I do wish the mixed reality aspect came off better at the DNA Lounge.
Apparently, the club's big screens could not display SL running at high resolution, so Keela had to use an old viewer running at a lower resolution, and consequently, the video feed wasn't super great. With all that, I think most of the real life clubbers didn't quite get what was happening on the screen. When the DNA Lounge's emcee asked them all to give a shout out to the clubbing avatars in Second Life, a drunk girl near me shouted, "Can you please speak in English?!"
All that to one side, I'd love to see more mixed reality clubbing events like this, just with better deployment. When they're done well, they're seriously cool. I once helped run one at a party in the Mission district, and the SL feed was so fascinating, all those beautiful fricking hipsters actually stopped dancing to gawk at the avatars.
(My understanding is that the technical difficulties were because the prepartory words, "our video projectors take composite or S/Video. Not VGA, not HDMI, and not DVI" were insufficiently clear. Oh well.)
Seems like our network held up find under the load, though, which is nice. The DSL fire-drill appears to have worked.
Photos of Blow Up vs. Popscene are up.
So, just down the street from us is a burned-out shell of a warehouse that used to be the Veterans' Cab lot. It has been vacant for many years, and it periodically catches on fire (apparently because homeless folks often break in to sleep there, and "falling asleep with a hot crack pipe" is a common problem). I've also heard that the owner of the property, sick of having to deal with their building catching on fire all the time, tried to get a permit to just tear it down, but some of the neighbors stopped that, thinking "as soon as he tears it down, he'll secretly build something else there!", which if true, betrays a fantastic misunderstanding of how these things work. But I digress.
Back in April, I heard about a proposal (PDF) to put some picnic tables and porta-potties in the adjacent lot and allow a dozen or so food trucks to park there during the day, turning it into a de-facto outdoor food court with almost no investment. This sounded like a fantastic idea to me, and apparently to many of our neighbors as well.
Then in July, there was this:
We will not be able to continue with the project. The project is currently being under review by the city, and we've been running into constant roadblocks, the latest being a fee of $20,000 to put in trees around the sidewalks. It's not that we wouldn't like to beautify the area, it's just that it's one fee after another and we don't have the funds to continue any further.
Which is just... wow. Someone wants to run a low-impact business experiment, and the city wants them to increase the scope of their investment by an order of magnitude before they can serve their first customer. Sounds familiar to me! You've watched this video that I posted a couple weeks ago, right? Go watch. I'll wait.
Then a couple weeks ago, there was another update saying that the project isn't quite dead yet. Reading between the lines here, I think this means that they've decided that maybe they'll suck it up and actually pay twenty grand to plant some anemic twigs on the sidewalk before being allowed to serve food.
But hey, great to see our fine city doing its best to make it easy for small businesses to start up. Oh wait, I meant the opposite of that. An idea starts with, "Hey, here's an unused vacant lot, let's get a few hundred dollars worth of tables and let some food trucks park there during the day!" and ends with a huge construction project and permit nightmare. Welcome to San Francisco.
Best of the Bay.
Which is very kind of him, and we really appreciate the sentiment... but...
Someone, possibly Liz Taylor, once said, "Say what you want about me, just spell my name right." Well, I've seen my name spelled a lot of different ways over the years, but this is the first time that I've seen "Jamie Zawinski" spelled "John Schneider".
Photos are up of last night's SFIEC hair show. There were some epic constructions, as usual!
Now Entering Ninth Year of Their Successful Mashup Party, Bootie SF's Tireless Duo of A+D Show No Signs Of Slowing Down
Instead they went above and beyond the typical duties of a club promoter by putting on a huge production; one that included the SOMA club filled with festive streamers & NYE style balloons ready to drop, a full concert by their spinoff live mash up band Smash Up Derby (a bad ass six piece rocking band featuring Adrian on lead vocals) whose mixed media set included an informative history of the mashup projected onto a large screen, and they passed out 600 complimentary mashup compilation CDs that they pressed up especially for this party. They also gave away special prizes of their Bootie brand headphones.
And our bar manager Chris is opening a cafe in Oakland! Here's a write-up about it in the East Bay Express:
Rolling Soon Into Temescal: Arbor, a Bicycle Cafe
Looks like the Temescal cafe formerly known as SadieDey's is ready for its next chapter. WTF ducked into the space at 4210 Telegraph today to find new owner Christopher Marquez working on its transformation into Arbor, a bicycle-friendly cafe not unlike Actual, Sal Bednarz's bike refuge from San Pablo Avenue's car cluster. Marquez is a first-time business owner who plans to keep his regular gig as bar manager of San Francisco's DNA Lounge.
But Marquez lives in Oakland, and says he wants Arbor to be a family-friendly hangout, even after he gets the beer and wine license he's applied for.
Ah, the wide wonderful world of liquor licensing. Welcome to hell.
Photos of Hubba Hubba Revue: Summer Camp are up now, with the fabulous Fans of Jimmy Century, who put on a great show as always. This was also the premiere of their new music video Hollywood Ending, which you can now watch online.
I've also put up photos of last month's Mortified. I had forgotten that I hadn't posted them yet, oops!
It looks like SF Weekly is having another contest for some "Web Awards" thing, and one of their categories is "Best Venue Website". Guess what? DNA Lounge is not one of the choices, and there's no mechanism for write-ins. What do you think is it a deliberate snub, or simple incompetence? It's not like we don't win their "Best of SF" contest every year! Feh.
I happen to think that this web site is pretty good!
Hey, The Guardian likes our pizza!
24-HOUR VEGAN PIZZA ALERT! 24-HOUR VEGAN PIZZA ALERT!
We've been really, really into vegan pizza lately here at the Guardian -- and while our old standby is a simple veggie minus cheese from neighborhood spot Goat Hill Pizza, we finally had a post-clubbing opportunity to experience newly revamped pie parlour DNA Pizza, conveniently located right next to party-central DNA Lounge itself. It's open 24 hours! It has lots of options! Best of all, there's an excellent vegan overload called "The Whole Damn Vegan Garden": spinach, basil, tomatoes, red onions, artichoke hearts, black olives, daiya vegan cheese, and bell pepper on some pretty great crust. No need to sink into dead grease after drinking at the goth party, y'all.