SF Walk of Fame, Why Not?

Hollywood has one. Now Cambridge’s got one. SF should have one, too.  A star-paved Walk of Fame.

We’ve got stars and plenty of ’em. If you only count the ones born here. One website counted 424. We’ve got enough to line Market Street from end to end.

Here are a few that clearly deserve a star.

Writers like Pierre Salinger and Robert Frost (He may have moved to New England when he was 11 but he was born here.)

Musicians like Jerry Garcia, Paul Kantner

Architect Julia Morgan

Comedian Margaret Cho

Voiceover artist Mel Blanc (Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn)

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

Photographer Ansel Adams

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Anthropologist Dian Fossey

Even Casper Weinberger

O.J. can lead the Walk of Shame

Then there are the people who became famous in San Francisco

Like Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jewelle Gomez, Dashiell Hammett, Maya Angelou, Amy Tan, Robin Williams, Mark Twain, Harvey Milk, Grace Slick, Danielle Steel, Armistead Maupin….

Whad’ya think? Don’t we deserve a star studded Walk of Fame?

Another reason why I love SF!

by Karen Topakian

Yesterday, I was reminded once again why I love this city. Here’s what I saw unfolding before me while sitting in Dolores Park in the late afternoon.

A shirtless man wearing black bike shorts and a baseball cap balanced on one leg atop his turquoise yoga mat. Moving from downward facing dog to tree to pigeon poses seamlessly.

Another shirtless man with a full blonde beard kneeled on his blanket, his fingers pulling black thread through a needlepoint of a tiger’s head.

A woman wearing a black bikini covered up by a thin white shirt gave herself a complete Mani Pedi. Ending with 10 toenails and 10 fingernails lacquered in bright red.

A tall man wearing knickers, a shirt, vest and a hat with long striped horns played an accordion and sang for three dancers. One dancer, a man in white underpants wore a bed sheet as a cape fluidly moving around the musician and his fellow dancers – a man and a woman leapt and fell, rolled and tumbled to the music. What was the musician singing? When I Get Low, I Get High.

And finally a large man sporting long dreadlocks walked by everyone’s blanket saying, “Ganja products for sale.”

While I, sat on the grass finishing a gripping book, “Minding Her Own Business – The Self-Employed Woman’s Essential Guide to Taxes and Financial Records.”

Signs, Signs, Everywhere there’s signs

by Karen Topakian

For a city that’s all about freedom and liberation, my neighborhood, Mission/Castro, sure has a lot of signs. Telling you what you can’t do.

The Clay Theater Needs You

by Karen Topakian

If you’re an SF movie lover, who still goes to the movies (instead of using Netflix), one of our cherished single screen theaters, the Clay, is about to close. On Sunday August 29th.

This 100-year old theater in the fabulous Fillmore district stands ready to shutter its doors.

True, it’s hard to keep a single screen theater open these days. But this one has a plan. The 54-year-old San Francisco Film Society wants to buy the theater and continue to program a mix of international, independent and documentary films along with mini-festivals, screenings with panels, talks and filmmakers.

The only thing stopping them is a breakdown in communications with the landlord Balgobind Jaiswal.

Just remember, the Clay premiered John Waters outrageously hysterical Pink Flamingo. Ain’t that reason enough to help out?

Here are two things you can do today.

1. Take a moment to urge the landlord (Balgobind Jaiswal c/o Blu, 2259 Fillmore Street, SF 94115) to continue negotiations to keep this century old icon alive and well in San Francisco. Yes, that means writing a letter and putting a stamp on it.

2. Go to a movie theater instead of watching one at home. Enjoy a film experience the way the filmmaker intended. In a dark quiet theater. Try it. I guarantee you’ll like it.

The Sun Sets on the 26 Valencia

by Karen Topakian

It’s just a bus route. I know. Hard to get all worked up about it when there are 30,000 men and women heading to Afghanistan. But this bus route and I go way back. 

When I first moved to SF in 1984 this was my ride to graduate school. At the SF Art Institute on Russian Hill. The 26 to the 30 Stockton. Talk about a long slow journey.

I rode the 26 along Valencia and Market Streets in the rain and shine. Toting my 16 mm Bolex movie camera, Sony tape recorder and brilliant ideas.

Years later, I rode it in the opposite direction to my book writing class in Glen Park. I waited, rarely patiently, at 19th and Valencia for the number 26 to chug along. This time clutching the latest chapter of my long-suffering novel.

For all of the right reasons, MUNI is discontinuing this route. I should know. My partner Peg worked long and hard on the Transit Effectiveness Project that recommended these important changes.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t mourn the loss of one of my favorite bus routes, does it?