NYC Subway Cars Dropped into the Ocean to Become Reefs

By michelle young : untapped cities – excerpt

Have you ever wondered what happens to New York City’s subway cars after they are taken out of service? From 2001 to 2010, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), dropped 2,580 cars into the Atlantic Ocean, off the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia, to become artificial reefs. This incredible process, which began in the 207th Street Overhaul Shop in Inwood, Manhattan, was documented over the course of two years by photographer Stephen Mallon. Starting Wednesday, the public can see nineteen of his large-format photographs on display at the New York Transit Museum’s Grand Central Gallery in the exhibit: “Sea Train: Subway Reef Photos by Stephen Mallon.”… (more)

Smart way to recycle large objects.


Newsom can fix homeless; meanwhile, more yarn

By Diane Dean-Epps : the union – excerpt

Acting as a sheet of sorts, the paper bag is mostly underneath him. He looks uncomfortable. And cold. And so, so tired. And that combination does it. I may have been walking past him, but I can’t look past him. Nor should I.

I see him.

That means, as I make my way toward the parking garage, my thought “overhang” is that I need to do something — anything — that will make him more comfortable.

I’m standing at my car looking at the multitude of things I consider necessary, which includes boxing gloves, hard-covered books, and fancy shoes that don’t exactly qualify as items providing warmth.

And then I spot it. It’s the one scarf I knitted for myself this year, in a field of 40 scarves that have gone to Operation Gratitude, a San Francisco shelter, and the friends and family I love with every fiber of my being.

While my Id, Ego, and Superego duke it out over my decision to approach a homeless stranger, about whom I know nothing, I outrun all three of them to where our homeless man is resting (lest we try to cast them off, these are “our” homeless people because they’re part of our community)… (more)

SF to start permitting cannabis smoking, sales at events — but not in time for this year’s 420

By Joshua Sabatini : sfweekly – excerpt

Smoking and selling cannabis at San Francisco events have gone hand-in-hand for decades, but now The City will attempt to regulate it through permits.

Legislation introduced by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman creating the first ever permit for cannabis sales and consumption at events was approved 9-2 Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors. The proposal implements state legislation that took effect Jan. 1, giving cities throughout the state this legal authority.

The Office of Cannabis will administer the permits, which will initially only be available for events that have traditionally involved unpermitted pot smoking and cannabis sales, such as Outside Lands, Hardly Strictly, 420, How Weird, Clusterfest, Carnaval and Pride.

But given the tight timeline, the permits will not, as initially hoped, be ready in time for this year’s 420 event at Hippie Hill, according to Supervisor Vallie Brown, who represents the neighborhood where the event April 20 event occurs. Events also need to obtain state permits.

Supervisors Gordon Mar and Ahsha Safai both opposed the legislation, expressing concerns over the expected consumption of tobacco at the events…(more)

Only in San Francisco do politicians worry about second hand tobacco smoke in a public park full of potheads smoking weed?

The Public


Trailer for the movie on YouTube

THE PUBLIC Official Trailer (2019) Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin Movie HD


SF libraries as sanctuaries for the homeless — Hollywood movie captures realities

By Kevin Fagan :  sfchronicle – excerpt

Francisco Martinez likes to read. The Bible, usually. And he likes to ditch his tent a few hours a day for somewhere inside, where it’s warm and out of the rain, the people are nice and he can snatch a nap in a chair.

There’s one place that fills the bill for a homeless guy like Martinez, who at 78 moves more like someone who’s 88….

“The Public,” set for national release on April 5, is a fictional drama about a group of homeless men who take over the Cincinnati Main Library one winter night to avoid freezing to death. And though it’s got the usual Tinseltown flashes of romance, a standoff with the cops, and a powerhouse cast — Alec Baldwin, Taylor Schilling and Emilio Estevez — it achieves a rarity in films about the homeless. It captures reality… (more)


More than 2,300 people lost their jobs in a media landslide so far this year

Benjamin Goggin : sfgate – excerpt

In March, New York Media announced that it was cutting 32 jobs, that brought the number of media jobs eliminated in 2019 to over 2,300. The cuts follow layoff announcements at BuzzFeed, Verizon, Vice Media, McClatchy company, Machinima, and Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the US.It is estimated that between 2014 and 2017, some 5,000 media jobs were cut from the market.

The media industry continued to announce large cuts Monday, as New York Media laid off 32 employees, and 5% of its full-time staff. The announcement followed large rounds of layoffs in February from companies like BuzzFeed, Verizon, and Vice Media.

The massive cuts so far this year represent a recent trend of cuts at digital-media companies that sprung up as newspapers around the country were shrinking and disappearing… (more)

The lost art of writing and communicating is astonishing us. Wordsmiths are a dying breed.

Pioneering San Francisco poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti turns 100 this month

by Alisa Scerrato : hoodline – excerpt


The curious linger in Kerouac Alley between the City Lights Bookstore and Vesuvio

This month, renowned poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the co-founder of North Beach’s City Lights Bookstore, will celebrate his 100th birthday.

To mark the occasion, Mayor London Breed has officially proclaimed the poet’s birthday, March 24th, as Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day. But throughout the month of March, North Beach neighbors will be celebrating the milestone, as well as the publication of his new book, Little Boy.

A pre-Beat, bohemian voice, Ferlinghetti helped to spark the city’s famed 1950s literary scene. Born in Yonkers, New York, he studied and worked in North Carolina, New York City and Paris before moving to San Francisco in 1950, where he painted, taught French and wrote art criticism before co-founding City Lights with Peter D. Martin in 1953.

His most famous collection of poems, 1958’s A Coney Island of the Mind, has sold over a million copies. But Ferlinghetti isn’t just a poet: he’s also composed theatrical works, art criticism, essays, film narration and translations… (more)

Continue reading “Pioneering San Francisco poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti turns 100 this month”

Is the world ready for Frank Lloyd Wright’s suburban utopia?

By James Nevius : curbed – excerpt (published January 2017)

Inside the architect’s overlooked plan for Broadacre City

If you read enough about Frank Lloyd Wright, a standard narrative begins to emerge: There’s early Wright, where the brash young architect breaks from his Chicago School mentors to create the Prairie style and design such early icons as the Robie House in Chicago and Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel. Then there’s late Wright, the mature genius who brought us Fallingwater and the Guggenheim Museum. In between, there’s a fallow period of personal scandal, a slowdown in commissions, and oddball musings, such as his 1932 plan for a utopian, libertarian community he called Broadacre City…

Even though Wright didn’t get the chance to bring a Broadacre City to fruition, many of his Broadacre ideas have become central to the American landscape. With today’s telecommuting and technological breakthroughs—like the promise of self-driving cars just around the corner—will there finally be a full-fledged version of Wright’s Broadacre vision?…

Wright summed up his vision in a piece for Architectural Record titled “Broadacre City: A New Community Plan.” The architect distilled The Disappearing City into five pages, outlining the central tenets of the Broadacre concept, in particular the “freedom to decentralize,” and the idea that every citizen has “his social right to his place on the ground as he has it in the sun and air.”…

For Wright, the car was key (he had a mild obsession with them). Older cities like New York had been built to emphasize the pedestrian, but that was the model of the past. As Wright wrote in The Disappearing City, “grid-iron congestion is crucifixion now.”…

In his original plans, Wright envisioned cars and monorails whisking people to their gas station/shopping hubs. Soon, gas stations may be a thing of the past, but mercantile hubs make sense. (After all, you need your Starbucks and Pilates studio somewhere.) Why not reach them via light rail—already a viable solution in many communities—and build a town with “great arterials” that are designed to embrace the driverless car? Autonomous cars save both time and land (since so much acreage today is given over to parking lots), so they could be an important step in making a Broadacre City work.

Lastly, there’s the architecture. We will never have a city filled with Wright-designed Usonian homes. But the rise of the tiny house movement has seen a concurrent revitalization of prefab buildings. While Broadacre homes wouldn’t need to be tiny to comply with Wright’s writings, the ethos of the tiny house movement works well within the Broadacre vision. In fact, Wright’s love of little schools, factories, and more has been embraced by a generation that’s in favor of a smaller-scale, more DIY approach.

In the 1940s, the members of the collective that built Usonia each chipped in $10 a week for a few years until they had enough money to buy the 100-acre parcel to create their town. Today, a hundred investors chipping in $100 a week for three years would raise $1.56 million—before interest. Surely that’s enough to secure the land for a future Broadacre City.

Who’s in?

.. (more)