Sachin Chopra sits in a makeshift dining tent in the parking lot of his once Michelin-starred restaurant, All Spice. It’s Friday. It’s drizzling. And he’s about to burst into tears. Chopra and his co-owner/wife Shoshana Wolff just signed a new two-year lease on the charming, 116-year-old Victorian that houses All Spice. And both of them know this is likely the last lease they’ll ever sign for this building. A real estate developer bought the San Mateo land that All Spice sits on (along with five parcels next to it) for $7.1 million in 2018, and in 2019 announced plans to demolish every existing structure in favor of a slew of market-rate condos, townhomes and 82 underground parking spaces. Since then, All Spice’s owners have been strung along on very short leases as the pandemic has helped keep the project at bay, but Chopra and Wolff both know there’s a day in the not-too-distant future when they’ll watch a bulldozer tear through what has been a figurative home to the couple … [Read more...] about Why All Spice, a Bay Area restaurant that once held a Michelin star, is set to be bulldozed
Deep in the archives, at the bottom of a 1931 newspaper page, we found a section titled, “Little Facts We Should All Know.” The first fact involves an invention that most modern readers do not, in fact, know. “Why are we able to hear a great distance through a speaking tube?” the snippet reads before explaining the science: “When we speak into a tube, the sound waves cannot scatter, but must travel within the tube, and so we can hear at a much greater distance.” Relics of the speaking tube can still be found in old houses, including some of the many Victorians around San Francisco. In some cases, the tube has been removed, leaving a curious small hole in the wall where it once protruded. “I’ve been to several houses that have them. People value stuff like that again,” said Bonnie Spindler, a Bay Area-based real estate agent and expert in all things Victorian. “Things that don’t need electricity I think are making a comeback. … People are trying to get off the grid. All these … [Read more...] about ‘Granny chic’: Are San Francisco Victorian speaking tubes making a comeback?
Gov. Gavin Newsom has another powerful politician in his corner after Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Monday urged Californians to oppose the recall effort seeking to oust the Democratic governor. Sanders was the second high-profile figure as of Monday to support Newsom after the White House last month said President Biden “clearly opposes any effort” to recall the governor. The Vermont senator on Twitter said that right-wing Republicans are behind the effort to recall Newsom “for the crime of telling people to wear masks and for listening to scientists during COVID.” “Extremist Republicans have done enough to undermine democracy already. We must all unite to oppose the recall in California,” Sanders wrote. Groups have been trying to recall Newsom since he became governor in 2019. His opponents say they want him out of office because of how he has handled the coronavirus pandemic, often referencing the incident when the governor defied his own administration’s COVID-19 … [Read more...] about Bernie Sanders backs Newsom against recall, says GOP trying to ‘undermine democracy’
An unleashed dog attacked and injured a security guard attempting to assist its unresponsive owner at the San Francisco Main Library over the weekend — and the attack was captured on video. According to San Francisco Public Library officials, witnesses on Sunday afternoon noticed a dog barking at its owner, who appeared to be unresponsive while sitting at a computer kiosk. Two security guards were sent to check on the man’s welfare. But the dog wouldn’t let them get anywhere near its owner. It lunged at the man, grabbed his arm and tossed him to the floor, library officials said. Two other guards tried to rescue their colleague, who suffered serious injuries and was being treated at the hospital. A video posted on Reddit captured the dog lunging at the guard, who was on his knees, with its teeth grasping the man’s arm or sleeve. The guard yells in pain and attempts to pull his arm free but the dog doesn’t let go. “Hit him, hit him,” one guard screams, as another struck the … [Read more...] about S.F. security guard hospitalized with serious injuries from pit bull attack inside Main Library
The Abercrombie & Fitch in the Westfield Mall is the latest in a growing number of retail closures to hit downtown San Francisco. An employee of the clothing store confirmed the closure to SFGATE on Tuesday afternoon, and said its last day in business will be Jan. 26, as the Chronicle first reported . (SFGATE and the San Francisco Chronicle are both owned by Hearst but operate independently of one another.) Customers are no longer able to pick up online orders at the store as staff prepare to shutter San Francisco’s only Abercrombie location. The employee said the store’s lease was up at 865 Market Street. “We’re hoping to reopen at a different location, but we’re not sure where or what the timeline might be,” said the employee, who wished to remain anonymous, adding that a minimum of 50 employees were affected by the closure. The Ohio-based company, which also owns abercrombie kids, Hollister Co. and a lingerie line Gilly Hicks, did not immediately respond to a … [Read more...] about San Francisco’s only Abercrombie & Fitch to permanently close
Agnieszka Pilat with her robot dog and muse, Spot. Photo: Mark Sommerfeld When I meet Agnieszka Pilat , a pixie-ish Polish émigré who has become the court painter of the potentates of Silicon Valley , she has just returned from Necker Island, the private Caribbean domain of Richard Branson . “I’m always the poorest person in the room” at places like that, she says with a laugh, curling her paint-flecked Yves Saint Laurent sneakers beneath her on the couch as she absentmindedly twists and untwists her hair. We’ve met up in her Chelsea studio, in which paintings of robotic limbs in repose dot the concrete walls. She has another studio in San Francisco. In each, she kennels a duplicate Spot , her 70-pound emergency-yellow cybernetic dog, muse, studio assistant (it paints, too), and, in some sense, protector, both on loan to her from Boston Dynamics, where she was once artist in residence. Despite her Chelsea digs near the blue-chip Gagosians and Zwirners, Pilat … [Read more...] about See Spot Paint
The X17 was an express bus linking Staten Island to Midtown Manhattan. It made 85 stops, 66 of them before even leaving Staten Island. Total distance? Nearly 40 miles. Total drive time? The schedule said 2 hours 33 minutes, but closer to three hours was often more like it. “When people’s eyebrows go up, we tell them you could fly to Florida in less time,” said Tony Ventimiglia, a bus dispatcher. “And you certainly can.” The X17’s leisurely path across Staten Island underscored the inefficient and outdated bus network that crisscrosses New York City, the largest municipal bus system in the nation. Mounting frustrations over crawling service, endless delays and routes that simply do not get commuters where they need to go have led to a bus crisis , sending riders fleeing to the equally failing subway and onto crowded roads — worsening the city’s gridlock. Bus ridership declined to 725 million rides in 2017, down from 843 million in 2006. Now, transit officials are … [Read more...] about This Commuter Bus Took Nearly 3 Hours to Get to Manhattan. It Was the Express.
WASHINGTON — Central Valley Rep. Josh Harder pulled off an upset to defeat a Republican in the 2018 election, but in 2020 he did something more impressive: He won again. Harder was one of only a handful of swing-seat Democrats to survive last year’s elections, which ended with a sharply reduced House majority for the party. Harder, 34, and those who know him credit his success to focusing on issues that matter to his district and efforts at bipartisanship. Democrats hope he can serve as a model for their candidates in next year’s midterms, which historically are rough for the president’s party. But Harder also benefited last year from a weak Republican challenger in his first re-election campaign, raising questions about whether his success can be repeated, by him or by colleagues. Harder brushes aside Democrats’ internal debate over whether the best political strategy is to tack moderate or go big on progressive goals while they can. “Ultimately, over the next two years, … [Read more...] about This California Democrat’s survival in 2020 could provide a road map for party in Congress
By Michael Hurley , CBS Boston BOSTON (CBS) — While some football fans will forever hate Tom Brady, they at least have to respect the man’s ability to hold a grudge. Brady was asked by Jim Gray on his podcast this week if he still finds himself pulling for the 49ers to win big playoff games, based on his affinity for the team and Joe Montana when he was growing up in the Bay Area. The 44-year-old Buccaneers quarterback, though, said his love for the 49ers died when the team decided that Giovanni Carmazzi was a better choice in the 2000 NFL draft. “I lost my allegiance for the Niners when they skipped over me six times 22 years ago and drafted Giovanni Carmazzi after they had me do a local workout with Steve Mariucci and decided I wasn’t good enough to play there,” Brady said flatly. “After that decision was made I could really care less about 49ers football, other than saying that that’s the team that I loved growing up.” Jim Gray asked Tom Brady is he still pulls for … [Read more...] about Tom Brady Is Still Mad About 49ers Drafting Giovanni Carmazzi
A San Francisco Public Library security guard suffered serious injuries and is being treated in the hospital after a violent pit bull attack inside the Main Library on Sunday night, public library officials said. The incident occurred at approximately 5:40 p.m., when library patrons observed a dog barking next to its owner "who was seemingly unresponsive at a computer kiosk," the public library said in a statement. Two guards tried to approach the owner to determine whether to administer Narcan, a medicine used to prevent opioid overdose deaths. The unleashed dog was "exhibiting aggressive behavior" and wouldn't allow them near the man, the library said. The dog took hold of one of the guards and pushed him to the floor as the other two guards tried to rescue their colleague. A library patron posted a video of the horrifying scene online. The library said the owner was "largely unresponsive during the attack" until another patron eventually woke him. "Once alert, … [Read more...] about Video shows violent pit bull attack inside San Francisco’s Main Library