The 77th season of the always free, always packed Stern Grove Festival kicks off this Sunday, June 22 with an afternoon of hits like “Shop Around” and “You Really Got a Hold On Me” from R&B legend and former Miracles frontman Smokey Robinson. The man’s still going strong at age 74, so what excuse do you have not to trek out to the park to see him? The show kicks off at 2pm with opener Patti Austin; get there early if you’re interested in visibility. For info: www.sterngrove.org.
Last week, the Bay Guardian hosted a feisty community forum titled Bikes, Buses, and Budgets: How to create the transportation system San Franciscans need. One audience member piped up during our question-and-answer session with a bold proposal: Stakeholders should be made try out different modes of transit to understand the challenges people encounter getting around. Think cops on bikes joining the clutch of cyclists making their way up Market Street at rush hour, or top-ranking Muni officials sent to languish on the T-Third platform after dark, when the train runs excruciatingly slow. It’s like that old saying, bus a mile in another person’s shoes …
WEED COP RETIRES
Captain Greg Corrales of Park station is retiring, news likely so spur whoops, hollers, and massive rips from oversized blunts from the stoners of Hippie Hill. Corrales has long run undercover stings to catch pot deals, because you know, that shit’s SO DANGEROUS. Though undercover pot stings are so Summer of Love, we will miss Corrales’ colorful newsletters, which he paraphrased in his farewell email. “On Wednesday, after turning in all my gear, I opted to check conditions on Haight Street one last time…I was unable to spot any suspicious scoundrels skulking sinisterly. Purveyors of pernicious poison, in possession of passels of The Weed with Roots in Hell were nowhere to be seen. I knew then that I could go home.”
SHINY NEW APPLE
As part of a new deal to save beloved local video store, Le Video, Green Apple Books is set to open a new store location August 1. But because every minor update about the marriage (okay, okay, co-habitation) of two of our favorite indie stores is exciting, seeing the new store’s logo made us go “squee!” The new location will be called Green Apple Books on the Park, and a blog post from the store says it will feature more “breathing room” for events. Because as we all know: reading is sexy, but it’s even sexier to read together. (Fun fact: Guardian publisher Marke B. managed Green Apple’s previous Sunset outpost, Ninth Avenue Books, in the 1990s.)
ELDERLY UBERS SPURNED
Uber drivers are part of two systems: the fancy-pants town cars of UberBLACK and the regular-Joe cars of UberX. In a new email from Uber to its drivers, the company laid out plans to phase out cars older than 2006 by January, 2015 and cars older than 2011 in June, 2015 from UberBLACK. All those UberBLACK drivers stuck with cars older than 2011 will be pushed onto UberX, and take a big ol’ hit to their profits as well. Uber’s recent valuation of $17 billion (a figure that’s been disputed) is apparently giving it the clout to push out thousands of drivers nationwide.
Last week the Daily Show with Jon Stewart fired a shot straight at Google Glass and everyone’s favorite Glasshole: Sarah Slocum (she of the “hate crime” attack at Molotov’s bar in Lower Haight). “These Philip K. Dicks are on a mission to bring us all into the future,” correspondent Jason Jones narrates. One person defends Google Glass to Jones as an interface between the user and the real world, in an example of the all-too-common tech evangelist gobbledygook. Jones calls him out: “Do you guys hear yourselves talk? Interface between you and the real world… those are called eyes.”
WE WERE QUEER HERE
San Francisco has a lot to offer on the surface (killer views, tasty snacks, etc.), but it also has a remarkably rich hidden history. Get a peek behind the curtain Sat/21 at “Step Back: A Walking and Reading Tour of Old Queer North Beach,” led by author Nan Alamilla Boyd (Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965) that explores the historic ‘hood’s queer past. Meet at City Lights Books at 4pm and get ready for pop-up performances — by the likes of Lil Miss Hot Mess, Kat Marie Yoas, Maryam Farnaz Rostami, and others — bringing bygone eras to life. And talk about radical: it’s free! www.radarproductions.org
Historic strip joint the Condor Club — first “home of topless” and launchpad for famous erotic dancers like Carol Doda (pictured) is celebrating its 50th anniversary Thu/19, 8pm-2am, with a hot-hot-hot burlesque extravaganza. Tireless drag heroine D’Arcy Drollinger will play Doda herself, with performances by Los Shimmy Shakers, Roxanne Redmeat, Sugarcane Jane, Princess Pandora, and many more. Period attire encouraged! See www.condorsf.com for more details.
A group of local nightlife players have purchased the set of huge warehouse structures on Pier 70. “Dating back to the turn of the 19th century, the structures that remain at Pier 70 are rooted deep in San Francisco’s ship building history,” they say. “These buildings are now being re-purposed for unique, one-of-a-kind events — for 30 to 13,000.” So far, the “soft launches” have included a free movie screening of seminal Steve McQueen action flick Bullitt. But starting 1pm, Sat/21, an enormous “Community Showcase” featuring more than 50 local vendors, a car show, giant rollerskating rink, free salsa lessons, and live performances will introduce everyone to the new spaces. Bonus: at 8pm a “Great Gatsby Spectacle” brings back the roaring ’20s with live bands and DJs and dancers, and features a screening of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. www.facebook.com/pier70partners