Monday, July 25, 2011

Amoeba Find: Shuggie Otis

Found this in the Blues section at Amoeba.  On the 1974 album "Inspiration Information" not only did Shuggie Otis write, arrange and sing the songs but he played most of the instruments too.  This release also includes four songs from 1971's "Freedom Flight", made when he was just 18.  Take a listen to "Strawberry Letter 23" from that album:

Shuggie plays the blues, sure, but he takes his music in so many other directions.  Brilliant.  Back in the day he was offered Mick Taylor's job in the Stones but he refused them.  I've heard a rumor that he's set to release a new album this year, his first in 37 years...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Temescal Library

At the Temescal branch across the bay in Oakland you can get all the usual library materials including books, DVDs, newspapers and internet access. But if you go around to the back of the building you will find a very unique resource:  the tool lending library.

There is equipment available for carpentry, gardening, plumbing and electrical work.  You can sign it all out just like a book.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Golden Dreams of the Mission"

A mural painted in 1983 at 24th and Van Ness celebrates the Carnaval parade in the Mission...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Coit Tower

Lillie Hitchcock Coit was a wealthy San Francisco woman known for smoking cigars, wearing mens clothing to get into male-only gambling dens in North Beach, and her enamor of the fire department.  Since being rescued from a hotel fire at age eight (or another story is that she was on her way home from school and noticed the Knickerbocker #5 engine having trouble climbing Telegraph Hill so she ran to help) she became an honorary member of the fire department and even wore a diamond-encrusted #5 badge. Legend has it she would take off from wherever she was when she heard the sound of a siren.  Coit Tower was built in her honor atop Telegraph Hill in 1933 with money she left to the city.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Heart of the City Farmers Market

The Heart of the City Farmers Market happens on Wednesdays and Sundays at UN Plaza, between the glittering city hall and the gritty streets of the Tenderloin.

On the fringe of the market some women set out their wares: two jars of peanut butter, two cans of soup, two loaves of bread...

There was a long long line snaking up the block for live chickens.  Also a sign saying this was the last week they were allowed to be sold here.

Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, piles 'n piles of greens...

I strolled around, had a handful of chili-lime pistachios and a dollar bag of perfectly ripe cherries while listening to a man play an erhu, a Chinese double stringed violin, whose wavering trancelike music sailed through the market, punctuated by a bell he would tap with his foot...