Broke Ass Stuart

Missing Indie Mart


THE WEEKNIGHTER  Weekends are for amateurs. Weeknights are for pros. That’s why each week Broke-Ass Stuart ( will be exploring a different San Francisco bar, bringing you stories about the places and people who make San Francisco one of the most phenomenal cities in the world. Who wants a drink?

I’ve fallen in love many times at Thee Parkside. Okay, that’s a gross exaggeration. I’ve fallen into moderate, short-term infatuation many times at Thee Parkside.

For years it was home to Indie Mart, the DIY, rock-n-roll, block party Kelly Malone and Co. used to throw. Scores of local artist and designers would set up booths along Wisconsin Street, selling all the strange and beautiful things they created, while grimy-looking bands played ear-splitting music inside.

The parade of manic pixie dream girls was unnerving. They had no real place in society and only belonged as unblemished ideals in my mind. Some would float into town for the weekend and set up shop, only to disappear as soon as Indie Mart shut down. Others would flit from booth to booth, trying on each other’s wares and complimenting each other’s outfits. All of them pretty much sold the exact same shit, not that it mattered to me, they were all so lovely to look at and really only brought things to sell to each other anyway.

Thee Parkside is way more than just for day-long block parties full of whimsically dressed Amelies though. It’s a semi-legendary dive bar famed for it’s out-of-the-way location and its kick-ass live shows. Any night of the week you can see a variety of punk, metal, or country bands playing their hearts out on that tiny stage in that perfectly dingy barroom.

It’s also known for an awesome kitchen that manages to turn well-executed dishes like bahn mi and Cuban sandwiches into perfect bar food. If you haven’t been before, the Original Famous Twang Sundays are a great introduction to Thee Parkside life. Where else in The City can you hear country and bluegrass at an all-ages venue with a back patio for free? I think that’s what Sundays were invented for.

Despite these great things that happen at Thee Parkside, it’s still all those Indie Mart afternoons that most poignantly stick out in my mind. Maybe that’s just because, for many San Francisco’s doers and makers, Indie Mart was a place where we found a community of like-minded bad-asses. Dozens of people who were tinkering with wonderful things all throughout the Bay Area suddenly had a place to coalesce, sharing and selling what they made.

Sculptors, screen printers, and jewelry designers, set up shop next to each other while vintage clothes were hawked down the way and carpenters displayed their crafts. People who may never have encountered each other otherwise, were now meeting and forging relationships that would lead to marriages, babies, collaborations, and successful businesses. A diaspora of creative people now had a base and a community and a way to show the world what they were up to. It was honestly and truly, with all earnestness, magical. And Thee Parkside allowed that to happen.

Like all great scenes, Indie Mart came and left just like a goddamn fireball. One day it jumped from being a small thing in Kelly Malone’s backyard to a block party at Thee Parkside. It burned hot and heavy for a few years, and then suddenly it was done. But what it left in its wake was a slew of creators who now had the confidence and contacts to make a business out of what was previously just a hobby. And of course Thee Parkside is still around too.

Every time I pass by, I think, maybe I should get some people together and throw one more big block party for old times sake. And then I say nah, and stop in for a Cuban sandwich and a cheap drink instead.

Stuart Schuffman aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, and TV host. You can find his online shenanigans at

Out of focus


THE WEEKNIGHTER  Weekends are for amateurs. Weeknights are for pros. That’s why each week Broke-Ass Stuart ( will be exploring a different San Francisco bar, bringing you stories about the places and people who make San Francisco one of the most phenomenal cities in the world. Who wants a drink?

I was standing at the bar ordering a round of drinks for my friends when I noticed something slowly creeping in and out of my peripheral vision. It was just on the edge of my consciousness, like the very beginnings of a psychedelic trip, and for a split second I thought, “Jesus Christ! One of these strange bastards dosed my drink. This night is about to get really fucking weird.”

And then I saw the movement again and I focused on it. Reflected in the mirror of the back bar was an animatronic rat sliding up and down the wall. It was around Halloween and Mission Bar (2695 Mission St, SF. 415-647-2300) was completely decked out like the Spirit Halloween store had sneezed all over the walls.

Needless to say, I was relieved that no one had slipped LSD into one of my vodka sodas. The last thing I wanted to deal with was 12 hours of getting confused by the way a Muni bus’s hydraulics sound like Chewbacca. Plus the vibes over in that part of the Mission can be a bit sinister sometimes, and Mission Bar reflects this perfectly, which is exactly why I like it.

This may be too on the nose, but Mission Bar is the quintessential Mission dive bar. It’s dark, there’s a pool table, and dogs are always scurrying around. Plus the booze is exceptionally cheap; if I’m not mistaken, well drinks are $3.50, possibly $4. DO YOU HEAR ME EVERY NEW BAR IN SAN FRANCISCO?!?! I always forget how cheap it is until I go in and order a drink, then when I hear what the total is, I smile with all my teeth, tell the bartender how much I love him or her, and then wonder why I bother going to any other bars.

That night I collected the round of drinks and sloshed them over to the table where a bunch of my favorite people in the world were sitting. “Guess what guys,” I said as I handed them their beverages, “nobody dosed my drink!” They all looked like I was nuts and like maybe someone had actually dosed me. They obviously had no idea what I was talking about. I decided to drop the subject.

I wish I could tell you exactly which of my favorite people in the world were having a mellow night of drinks with me at Mission Bar that night. But the truth is, many of the stories I write for The Weeknighter are amalgamations of multiple evenings spent in a single bar, spread out through my dozen or so years in San Francisco.

Was it the first night we drank at Mission Bar after Marina got back from the Peace Corps? Maybe. Was it one of the last nights before Jeremy and Erin started keeping grown-up hours because they had a baby on the way? That could be it too. Truthfully it doesn’t matter; the great thing about spending a third of your life in a city is that the places you go become the stories themselves, and all the things that happen in them are just the decorations, kinda like the animatronic rat scooting along the wall.

These things creep into the peripheral of your memory and you need to focus on them to remember which parts were real. The unfortunate part about Mission Bar (read: fortunate part) is, considering how strong and cheap the drinks are, it’s pretty hard to focus on anything once you’ve been there for an hour. So the stories blend together and you just leave happy that no one dosed your drink with LSD.

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, and TV host. You can find is online shenanigans at

Red-eyed trends: 420 fashion at Dolores Park


For the really sloppy, you had to go to Hippie Hill. All in all, Dolores Park last Saturday looked pretty much the same as any other gloriously warm Saturday in San Francisco. Course, we love a theme.

“Rasta colors” made their appearance in smatterings, as did green pot leaves on tank tops and hella tie-dye. My favorite trend this year? Blankets covered with trays of cheesy bread and chimichangas. 


Betchu though, the Dolo kids didn’t leave the same amount of trash as the multitudes out in Golden Gate Park (to be fair, I wouldn’t spend too much cleaning up either if there had been a guitar-swinging brawl going down.)

You have to appreciate the coordinating stripes on these four. Props to goofy glasses for demonstrating that stoner pride need not entail ill-advised homage to another religious faith 

Blogger Broke Ass Stuart probably wasn’t even stoned — he’s just trying to hype his costume closet

Cute couple #1

Best of the Bay-winning entrepreneur Crista Hill of Hey Cookie! had the only un-medicated baked goods on the block

She gives me hope.

At this point things get a little unfocused. Here’s roaming foodie Rocky Yazzie (front) with his friend inna funny hat

“You gotta scream when you take a photo”

Simply majestic. 

I got sprung on these ladies’ snacks, then I noticed they looked amazing…

… but really, their snacks.

Cute couple #2, the best.

On the Cheap Listings


On the Cheap listings by Caitlin Donohue. Submit items for the listings at For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.


Beats for Lunch Monarch 101 Sixth St., SF. Noon-2pm, free. It has to be the best party deal in town. Not only do you get in free with pre-registration for this lunchtime disco, but upon entering Monarch’s dark haven from the harsh noon sun, attendees receive their very own organic brown bag lunch. How you’ll eat it neatly while dancing to co-founder of global fusion group Delhi to Dublin, Boogiemeister and DJ Matt Haze is your own challenge to deal with.

Crossroads Irish American Festival reading California Historical Society, 678 Mission, SF. 6pm, free. Readings of little-known Irish immigrant writers who lived in San Francisco are interspersed with live harp music at an event perfect for adding cultural learning to your St. Patty’s season.


A Simple Revolution book launch Modern Times Bookstore, 2919 24th St., SF. 6:30pm, free. Judy Grahn celebrates the release of her memoir and raps today about her life as a lesbian in the Bay Area during the 1960s and ’70s.

“Hooch, Harlots, and History: Vice in San Francisco” Old Mint, 88 Fifth St., SF. 6:30-9:30pm, $10. Rapscallions Broke Ass Stuart, historian Woody LaBounty, and more spin tales of vintage shenanigans, while audience members sip classic cocktails and 21st Amendment Brewery beer.

Ask a Scientist’s Pi Day puzzle party SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428 11th St., SF. 7pm, free entry, food purchase suggested. A math and logic puzzle contest in which solo and team competitors (up to six on a side) are invited to bust out the pencils, erasers, and pocket protectors.


“Shifted Perception” Fouladi Projects, 1803 Market, SF. Through May 11. Opening reception: 6-8pm, free. Will painter Marcus Payzant’s work inspire a level-jump in your gray matter? Payzant’s into animist beliefs, instilling deep meaning in relics from the natural world.

“The Art of Dr. Seuss” Dennis Rae Fine Art, 781 Beach, SF. Through March 31. Opening reception: 5-8pm, free. Curator Bill Dreyer will be on hand to introduce the Bay Area to this touring exhibition of the beloved children’s author and illustrator’s hat collection, which are displayed alongside the works of art they inspired.


“Cloth, Clouds, and Survival: Weavers’ Tales from East Timor” de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, SF. 10am, $10. Cultural anthropologist Jill Forshee presents on her 12 years collecting oral histories from the textile workers who live in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Commonplace Birthday weekend Castle in the Air, 1805 Fourth St., Berk. In celebration of Karima Cammel’s picture book Commonplace Birthday, an installation in the author’s Commonplace Mouse children’s series, Castle in the Air studio and art supply shop is hosting a weekend of raising support for Oakland Children’s Hospital. Drop-in crafting sessions for all ages will give visitors the chance to make decorations for sick kids’ birthdays,

St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival Parade starts at Market and Second St., SF. 11:30am, free; festival at Civic Center Plaza, SF. 10am-5pm, free. High step your way downtown today for the biggest leprechaun of all: St. Patty’s Day celebrations. This week’s theme is “Celebrating the Celtic Woman” — SF Fire Department chief Joanna Hayes-White presides over the processional, and will hopefully keep the pub louts in line.

Brain Health Expo Samuel Merritt University Health Education Center, 400 Hawthorne, Oakl. 10am-3pm, free. Care for your cranium with this day-long event, where you can dig on stress management pointers, ways to prevent hurting that noggin, and tricks for beefing up your memory.

G.I. Joe cosplay at the Cartoon Art Museum Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission, SF. 1-5pm, $7. In celebration of the new G.I. Joe: Retaliation movie, local cosplay group Cobra 1st Legion is taking over the Cartoon Art Museum, providing soldier models for live drawing sessions, and presiding over beaucoup giveaways of comic nerd manna.

“Tarot: Art of Fortune” Modern Eden Gallery, 403 Francisco, SF. Through April 9. Opening reception: 6-10pm, free. Immerse yourself in woo this weekend at this group exhibition curated by local art website Warholian’s founder, Michael Cuffe. The creative works comprise an alternative look at the all-knowing tarot deck.


“Feast of Words: A Literary Potluck” SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan, SF. 7-9pm, $5 with a potluck dish, $10-12 without. Every third Thursday, gourmands and writers congregate at this sit-down reading and eating event. Maggie Weber-Striplin of Pachamama provides the culinary centerpiece at this edition, with a plate inspired by the name of Quiet Lightning, the local reading series that delivers quick bolts of author greatness.

“Colors of Sao Paolo” Glama-rama Salon, 304 Valencia, SF. The Mission salon bedecks its walls with Seren Moran’s vivid color block paintings of sights she took in teaching English in Indaiauba, Brazil.


Ay, muchacha


SUPER EGO Can’t talk long, chicas grandes, I’m winging off to Oaxaca to dance with some gorgeous muxes, hike up lost pyramids, dive into cauldrons of darkest mole, and wooze along to the ethereal, chromatic-marimba sounds of son istmeño, one of my favorite musics in the world. (If I don’t come back, give my turquoise witchy retro-’70s thrift store jewelry to Juanita More, to distribute to wee drag newbies in need as she sees fit. And somebody play an accordion by the light of the equinox moon, because.)

Did you know that Oaxaca has one of the largest concentrations of pipe organs in the world? I did not. It’s a meta-calliope! In any case, I’ll need you to represent hard at the following parties, since I Mexican’t. See y’all in Abril.


The deep house domination of the East Bay continues with this new weekly, put on by some of pretty damned good DJs: Mo Corleone, Indy Niles, Alixr, and Nackt. Mo tells me they’re meaning to attract “house enthusiasts looking for something fresh (and maybe a little bit raw).” I’m so down.

Thursdays, 9:30pm, free. Lounge 3411, 3411 MacArthur, Oakl.


Maybe there could be a better name for this thingie, but if you’re bonkers for that poppy yet sensual tech house sound that’s dominated the past four years and helped form an accessible corrective to corporate EDM — well, your head’s about to explode. Kindly remove your fedora! Rebel Rave Thu/14 (not really a rave) with Art Department and Damian Lazarus, Detroit’s Seth Troxler Fri/15 with Cosmic Kids, and Israeli cutie Guy Gerber Sat/16 with Cassian. ‘Nuff said.

Thu/14-Sat/16, various prices, 9pm-late. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF.


Our favorite weekly Latin soul and Afro funk party, headed by those too-cute McGuire brothers, just released a zazzy album of live music, which is awesome. Check out the full band to celebrate, well, life and everything. You must dance to the beat of the drums.

Fri/15, 8pm, $15. Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell, SF.


Vogue for life! The original dance form (not so much the Madonnified version) is back in full swing — here’s the second vogue ball this month. This time around there won’t be much shade, as our local representatives of the mighty House of Aviance (plus NYC’s fearsome Icon Mother Juan Aviance) present this showcase ball. Open to all newbies and welcoming of everyone, it should be a real hoot. Check out the link for the competition categories and bring it like a legend. With DJs Gehno Sanchez, Sergio, and Steve Fabus — and appearances by Vigure and Tone, Manuel Torres Extravaganza, many more.

Fri/15, 8pm, $10. Abada, 3221 22nd St., SF.


One of the absolute greats of DJing returns from the UK to bring his pitch-perfect electro funk and old-school soul, seasoned for three+ decades, to the lovely Monarch’s tables. Maybe this time the club’s lighting system won’t project an error screen onto him for half his incredible set? That was neat for a minute, then weird.

Fri/15, 9pm-3am, $10–<\d>$20. Monarch, 101 Sixth St., SF.


I can tell by the title that this gathering was simply made for you. Super-cool old-timey event with complimentary native drinks pisco punch and 21st Amendment beer, plus “tales of dubious moonshine, dirty roadhouses, and nefarious characters” told by scene players like Broke-Ass Stuart and Woody LaBounty. Live music, rare film footage, and a gaggle of real characters for sure.

Thu/14, 6:30-9:30pm, $10. Old Mint, 88 Fifth St., SF.


The name says it all for this installment of the stylish yet dour monthly Morrisseypalooza. And with both Suede and Johnny Marr pimping new albums, it’ll be a twee bloodbath. They will play “Suedehead”? They must play “Suedehead.”

Sat/16, 9pm, $5–<\d>$8. Milk, 840 Haight, SF.

Run over by a reindeer



Union Square ice-skating rink Union Square, SF. Through Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. except for when closed for private parties, $10 for 90-minute session. Sweetheart, the rink is open, grab my hand and try not to twist an ankle as we glide in circles around downtown’s living room.

Westin St. Francis sugar castle Westin St. Francis, Landmark Lobby, 335 Powell, SF. Through Jan. 24, on view 24 hours/day. Don’t lick it. For although this ever-growing sweet behemoth which each holiday season occupies the lobby of downtown’s classic luxury digs with its 1,300 pounds, 20 towers, 30 rooms, and sugar replicas of 2012’s movers and shakers has a hold on our heart, its original dimensions were sugar-spun back in 2005. Incredibly made, undeniably festive, but altogether inappropriate for dietary purposes.

Jack London Square holiday tree lighting Jack London Square, Oakl. Nov. 30, 4:30-7pm, free. Performances by Disney-approved pop stars! Reindeer petting zoo! Miss California 2012 and a kids dress-up station with costumes from the Oakland Ballet! You’ll be hard-pressed not to find some holiday cheer at this annual lighting of Jack London’s fir tree for the masses.

Oakland-Alameda Estuary Lighted Yacht Parade Visible from Jack London Square, Oakl. Dec. 1, 5:30pm, free. Let those cheeks get rosy, it’s boat-watching time. This yearly tradition sees the yacht owners of the East Bay putting their aquatic rides on display, stringing bulbs galore across decks and sails.

Festival of lights Union between Van Ness and Steiner, Fillmore between Union and Lombard, SF. Dec. 1, 3-7pm, free. Wiggle your nose at Santa at this explosion of twinkly tinsel and Cow Hollow reindeer — today Union Street puts on the holiday glitz and lays out the welcome mat. Cudworth Mansion (2040 Union) will be hosting a cupcake-decorating session from 3:30-5:30pm, at which Old St. Nick himself will make an appearance out front.

Golden Gate Park holiday tree lighting McLaren Lodge, 501 Stanyan, SF. Dec. 6, 5pm, free. A tradition started by Golden Gate Park grandfather and San Francisco’s first park superintendent John McLaren in 1929, the lighting of the tree returns to Fell Street for the 83rd year in a row. Accompanying fanfare includes live performances, carnival rides, and a visit from Saint Nick.

Great Dickens Christmas Fair Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva, SF. Fri/23 and Sat.-Sun. Sat/24-Dec. 23, 10am-7pm, $21-25. For an ace weekend drunk this holiday season, toodle over to the Cow Palace. Once ensconced in the warm period embrace of the Dickens Fair, you will have the run of five bars (absinthe!), a multitude of meat pie shoppes, hilarious accents, near-constant stage shows, and the company of “famous Victorians,” including Charles Dickens and Her Majesty, the queen herself.

Family holiday crafts day Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, SF. (415) 554-9600, Dec. 1, 10am-3pm, free admission, activities fees vary. Bring the kiddos to the always-free-admission Randall Museum so they can spend the morning making holiday decorations and gifts. Cap off the morning with a performance by Asian American performance troupe Eth-Noh-Tec and its fusion of ancient and contemporary movement.

Community Hanukkah candle lighting Jewish Community Center, 3200 California, SF. (415) 292-1200, Dec. 8-14, 4:30pm, free. Join up with your neighbors for the Jewish Community Center’s daily lighting of the menorah in the building’s atrium. Attend the Shabbat celebration on Dec. 14 for a family storytelling session, grape juice, hallah, and Hanukkah gelt.

Bill Graham Menorah Day Union Square, SF. Dec. 9, festivities start at 3pm, menorah lighting at 5pm, free. Each day from December 8-15, a candle will be ceremoniously lit on the Bill Graham mahogany menorah, a gift from the famous San Francisco promoter to his city. But on the 9th, Bill Graham Menorah Day festivities will occupy Union Square, a beautiful beginning to the Festival of Lights in the city.

Public library winter celebration Bernal Heights Library, 500 Cortland, SF. Dec. 12, 6:30-8:30pm, free. The library’s got all kinds of free holiday programming this year, from cupcake-decorating and card-making to a magic show with a winter wonderland theme. Today’s no exception: join the Bernal Heights community for a kid-friendly celebration featuring the Bernal Jazz Quintet, refreshments, and children’s movies.

Frosting the Conservatory Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F. Kennedy, SF. (415) 831-2090, Dec. 15, 11am-3pm, $10. Make your own ginger-greenhouse at this event amid the hothouse blooms of the Conservatory of Flowers. This events gets our thumbs-up for guaranteed toastiness, because being warm and cozy is a pre-req for Christmas cheer.

Jewish Christmas with Broke Ass Stuart The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., SF. Dec. 25, 5-11pm, $10. Strip dreidel set to the tune of streaming Woody Allen, Larry David, and Sascha Baron Cohen footage sounds like our kind of Christmas. Such was the vision of DJ Matt Haze and host Broke Ass Stuart, who designed this kitschy extravaganza for all of you (Chosen and Left Behind alike) who can’t stomach staying in on a perfectly good day off. Did we mention there will be a Chinese food buffet?

Kwanzaa celebration Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds, Sausalito. Dec. 26, 9am-5pm, free. A traditional Kwanzaa altar will greet you upon arriving at the kids museum’s celebration of African-American culture, featuring two performance (at 11am and 1pm) by African Roots of Jazz.


The Christmas Ballet Various times and Bay Area locations. Nov. 23 — Dec. 23, $25-65. Back by popular demand, the Smuin Ballet Company returns with this annual production, split this year into two acts: “Classical Christmas” and “Cool Christmas.” Both promise eye-opening, energetic entertainment set to eclectic tunes from Elvis to klezmer.

A Christmas Carol American Conservatory Theatre, 415 Geary, SF. (415) 749-2228, Nov. 30-Dec. 24, various times, $20–$160. Stressful election year and rumors of apocalypse tightened those purse strings? Exorcise your inner Scrooge at this classic stage production of Charles Dickens’ terrifying ode to generosity and kindness towards diminutive children.

The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St., SF. Dec. 6-30, Thu.-Sat. 8pm, Sun. 7pm, $30. Our cover girl Cookie Dough co-stars as Sophia Petrillo in this now-traditional SF holiday stage production of the classic sitcom that employs more shoulder pads, even, than the original TV show. You’ll never know a catty elderly network television star until you’ve seen her re-enacted by a drag queen. Buy tickets pronto, the shows usually sell out.

California Revels Oakland Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside, Oakl. (510) 452-8800, Dec. 7-9, 13-15. Fridays 8pm, Saturdays and Sundays 1 and 5pm, $20-55. Feast and family are cornerstones of this annual interactive period piece performance celebrating the winter solstice. Hoist your mead and turkey leg and sway to the music, friends, good times will be upon ye here.

The Nutcracker Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon, SF. Dec. 8, 2pm & 7pm; Dec. 9, 2pm, $20. Yes, everyone does The Nutcracker. At this point, it’s like the Rocky Horror Picture Show of ballet. (Would that ballet patrons donned Rat King costumes to attend!) Embrace the tradition, and check out the City Ballet School’s production of a classic.

Charles Phoenix Retro Holiday Show Empress of China Ballroom, 838 Grant, SF. Dec. 12, 8pm, $25. The creator of the Cherpumple, a pie-stuffed cake concoction that rises to the dizzying heights of kitsch, humorist Charles Phoenix celebrates the retro in every occasion. Tonight, he regales the crowd with tales of his favorite SF landmarks, road trips, and yes, feats of food fantasy.

Holiday youth mariachi concert Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission, SF. Dec. 14, 7:30-9pm, $15. Three mariachi troupes made of young people join forces for this exciting holiday program. The hat-dropping, guitar plucking action will be highlighted by Zenon Barron’s Mexican youth folk dance class.

The Snowman Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness, SF. (415) 864-6000, Dec. 22, 11am, $13.50-57. Even the smallest budding season ticket holder will find this film-symphony presentation of Joe Nesbø’s classic children’s book a welcome boost to their holiday cheer. The animated version of this story of a youg’n’ whose bud is a Frosty-like chap will soar when paired with the world-class musicians of the SF Symphony.

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific, SF. Dec. 22-25, various times, $44-64. There’s nothing like having dinner on Christmas to up your alterna (or simply, not pan-Christian) cred. Add stand up comedy and you have a winning formula, which is obvious from the longevity of Lisa Gedulig’s annual show. This year features yucks from Judy Gold, Mike Capozzola, and Adrianne Tolsch.

Clairdee’s Christmas Yoshi’s San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore, SF. (415) 655-5600, Dec. 24, 8pm, $20. Everything could use a little soul in lives and the holidays are no exception. Come hear the sounds of soul-jazz vocalist Clairdee, and soak in her ensemble’s rhythmic takes on Christmas standards.

“Holiday Memories” double feature A rare 16mm showing of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales will be accompanied by a screening of The Sweater, a tale of a young hockey player’s passion for the sport, and the dangers that come of wearing the wrong jumper. Dec. 22, 2pm, Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon, SF. (415) 563-7337,


Darkness and Light: A Hanukkah Meditation Retreat Jewish Community Center, 3200 California, SF. (415) 292-1200, Dec. 9, 10am-5pm, $50-60. No prior experience is needed for this day-long workshop on finding the light within during the Hanukkah season. Sitting and walking meditation will be covered — the perfect primer for a month that can try the patience of even the most festive reveler.

Winter solstice ceremony San Francisco Zen Center, 300 Page, SF. (415) 863-3136, Dec. 21, 6:15pm, free. Recharge on the longest night of the year in the peaceful confines of the SF Zen Center. The crowd here promises to be made of meditation newbies, Zen Center students, and all those in-between. It will also be your best bet to avoid jingles and tinsel, if that’s what your body is craving at this point.

Reclaiming’s Sing Up The Sun ritual Inspiration Point parking lot, Tilden Park, Berk. Dec. 21, 6:30am, free. Wake up before the sun does to greet it on this, the day of the year when it spends the least time out of its bed. A pagan celebration, you’re welcome to bring musical instruments and a warm Thermos of liquid to the community gathering.


Celebration of Craftswomen Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, SF. (650) 615-6838, Nov. 24-25, Dec. 1-2, 10am-5pm, $9 or $12 two-day pass. The first edition of this alternative holiday fair took place 34 years ago at the now-defunct Old Wives’ Tales Bookstore on Valencia Street with 22 female makers-of-things. Today, the event fills the Herbst Pavilion, features 150 juried artists and a mini-film festival. It’s still the best place for feminist shopping, some things don’t change.

Holiday Design Bazaar Intersection for the Arts, 925 Mission, No. 109, SF. Nov. 30, 5-8pm; Dec. 1, noon-6pm, free. An arts fair with 25 local creators, plus live music and refreshments that may well make a difference in our kids’ art education. The event is a benefit for Arts Ed Matters, a group that is looking to build community support for art in schools.

Creativity Explored holiday art sale Creativity Explored, 3245 16th St., SF. Dec. 1-2, noon-5pm, free. Shop at this studio for developmentally-disabled artists and half of your bill will go straight into their pocket — standard practice for Creativity Explored, which has been the real-deal spot for outsider art in San Francisco since 1983.

Paxton Gate holiday party Dec. 1, 3-6pm at Paxton Gate’s Curiosities for Kids, 766 Valencia; 8-10pm at Paxton Gate, 824 Valencia, SF. (415) 824-1872, One of the city’s most beloved families of taxidermy/kid’s toys/nursery shops, Paxton Gate is turning two decades of age this weekend. What better time to shop there? And what better to get your face painted “Victorian-style” (?!), check out stilt walkers and an accordionist-ballerina duo, and eat snacks during the day at its kids location — then walk two doors down later that night for more circus freakery, door prizes and a Hendrick’s gin open bar at 826 Valencia’s pirate shop?

Palestinian Craft Fair Middle East Children’s Alliance office, 1101 Eighth St., Berk. Dec. 1-2, 10am-5pm, free. Sip Arabic coffee while you paw through painted ceramics from Gaza, children’s book, scarves, West Bank olive oil, and more at this chance to support a nonprofit benefiting craftspeople living in Palestine — a particularly salient cause in this year of war and turmoil.

Bazaar Bizarre Concourse Exhibition Center, East Hall, 620 Seventh St., SF. Dec. 1-2, 11am-6pm, free. This traveling indie craft fair stocks all the twee and yippee you need to get your gift recipients in your pocket. New in 2012: a mini-version of Forage SF’s Underground market, for all your small biz-sourced holiday edible needs.

Muir Beach Quilters Holiday Arts Fair Muir Beach Community Center, 19 Seascape, Muir Beach. Dec. 1, 10am-5pm, Dec. 2 10am-4pm, free. Make a blustery beach journey that has time to spare for handicraft browsing. This annual gift fair stocks locally-made knickknacks by local groups (Muir Beach Garden Club included), and has more than retail opportunities. Hands-on crafts bars will stoke the creative fire of kids and big person shoppers alike.

La Cocina Gift Bazaar Crocker Galleria, 50 Post, SF. Dec. 7, 1-7pm, free. You’re not going to have problems finding foodie-friendly presents at this fair — but getting them safely to their intended destination sans bite marks might be a problem. La Cocina business incubator program graduates Clairesquares, Onigilly, Love & Hummus Co., Chiefo’s Kitchen, and more will all have their wares for sale.

East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest Berkeley City College, 2050 Center, Berk. Dec. 8, 10am-5pm, donations suggested. For the indie comic nerds on your list, you’ll want to check out this expo of all things zine. Talks by New Yorker illustrator Erik Drooker and Go the Fuck to Sleep author Adam Mansbach spice up the fair’s schedule and there’s rumor of a dance party to take place at day’s end.

KPFA Crafts Fair Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 Eighth St., SF. Dec. 8-9, 10am-6pm, $10. Our public radio station hosts 220 artists and their wares for this no-brainer shopping weekend. Pick up unique wrapables from leather fashion to gourmet snacks to lotions and creams to pamper your loved ones.

Mercado de Cambio/The Po’ Sto’ market and knowledge exchange 2940 16th St., SF. Dec. 15, 3-7pm, donations suggested. We can pretty much guarantee you that there is no other gift fair that will have better hip-hop music. The Mercado de Cambio organized by POOR Magazine aims to counterbalance the corporatization of our holiday season. Go here for aforementioned live beats, indigenous crafts, Occupy gear, and POOR-published literature.

Renegade Craft Fair holiday market Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 Eighth St., SF. Dec. 15-16, 11am-6pm, free. A DIY gift wrap station is one of the attractions at this one stop for cute gift shopping, which makes one of its two yearly appearances in the Bay Area for the holiday season. The Oakland Museum of California will truck out its mobile “we/customize” exhibit, and of course, there will be crafters: over 250 will have booths hawking clothes, accessories, home stuff, kid stuff — most handmade, and most awesome.


Win tickets to The Bold Italic Presents: The Haberdash


Celebrate menswear and style with an evening fashion, art, and music. A fashion show will showcase a number of excellent brands and local boutiques including the Artful Gentleman, Department Seventeen, Self Edge, Bonobos, D Structure, Freeman’s Sporting Club, and others.

Making this a real party, the event will also feature exclusive musical performances, courtesy of Willcall, from Wildcat! Wildcat! And AB & The Sea. Blogger, TV host, author, and man about town, Broke Ass Stuart, will host the evening and Popscene’s DJ Omar will spin records.

Launched in 2010, The Haberdash is an annual fashion event paying tribute to the San Francisco’s many men’s looks. This year’s event will also be raising money and awareness for Movember, the men’s health campaign supporting prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

Buy tickets here. To win a pair of tickets ACT FAST! Email your full name to by Wed/7 at noon.

Wednesday, November 7 from 8-11pm @ Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell, SF




Some may have seen the deserted stretch of Harrison Street as a business liability, but Jay Beaman and Oliver Piazza of Thieves Tavern and Dirty Thieves didn’t let the low walk-up potential dissuade them from opening Dear Mom. We’re glad. Because if they had, we’d be bereft of their expansive boozery (once the salsa club El Rincon) flush with affordable booze, a photobooth, beckoning seating areas, and a kitchen that hosts pop-up eateries hawking sushi, fried green tomato hamburgers, and everything in between. The one thing Mom needs to be an SF standard is cheapo local icon Broke Ass Stuart hawking picklebacks (whiskey shots with pickle juice chaser, duh) on Wednesday nights in his never-ending quest to pay rent. Oh wait, that actually happens.

2700 16th St., SF. (415) 625-3362

More Easter! I must have more Easter!


You were a bad, bad bunny if you missed the killing-it three-tiered Easter egg hats and rampant stigmata injuries at the yearly Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Dolores Park takeover last Sunday. But even if you did make it, Broke Ass Stuart is bringing a free Easter-themed Saturday night pregame event your way. Won’t you drink free Pabst, do some (bouncy) foxy boxing, and hunt for Easter eggs with him?

Why’d he plan this wildness? Well, there’s a startup involved. More specifically, UpOut, which also put together this infographic (bottom of page) announcing there are 62 COFFEESHOPS currently operating in the Mission. It also calls the neighborhood “the last party before the suburbs,” which makes absolutly no sense whatsoever to me. Unless they are referencing this March Wall Street Journal article, and we already know how I feel about that.

But I digress. Because while we all still live here we should be drinking as much free Pabst Blue Ribbon as possible, hunting for plastic eggs in an indie gallery space, and knocking the crap out of each other with massive foam gloves. Before hitting the town!  

“Eggs, Beer, and Bouncy Boxing”

Sat/14 7:30pm-11pm, free

Zspace Gallery

450 Florida, SF


Murk T.W.D.Y. slang? You mightcould with this video


One hundred words they’ve taken from us. Do you know which ones they are? Sure, it’s a few years old, but Rafael Casal breaks down the Bay Area’s propensity to coin viral slang (without getting its props from appropriators!) in this track, off 2009’s The Monster LP. The video’s got easy-to-learn text graphics so that even if you don’t know the lingo that reigned three years ago in the Bay, you can cop it real quick. Wait a second… [Via Broke Ass Stuart]

A broke ass in our ranks: SFBG Culture Editor Caitlin Donohue honored by Broke Ass Stuart for her insolvency


We here at the Guardian pride ourselves on being populist. That means documenting the latest in the people’s protests, and generally being a resources for students, artists, families, anyone in that good old 99 percent. But it’s not 100 percent for your benefit, dear readers. SF’s not a cheap city to live in. Case in point: Culture Editor Caitlin Donohue’s been chosen as Broke Ass Stuart’s Broke Ass of the Week.

Kudos, Donohue. Now the whole Internets is aware that you beg quarters off of us for beer.

And thanks for the shout-out. We quote:

I dig working there because it’s locally owned and I am no longer the weirdest person at the office.

In response to Stuart’s questionaire (the same queries are posed to each week’s Broke Ass) she also covers her favorite dive bar, favorite cheap meal, best thing she ever dropped serious cash on, and what she does when she’s hungover. 

5 Things: August 26, 2011


>>WATER WORKS Everyone’s abuzz about Ali Farzat, the Syrian cartoonist whose hands were broken after creating wildly popular illustrated works critiquing the government. The assault on Farzat is a reminder that art has the power to change minds and lives — an idea that US artists with Estria Miyashiro’s Water Writes mural series were fully with when they teamed up with young people to create eight environmental justice-themed murals at water purification sites in eight days in Gaza. The beleaguered city was the project’s fifth stop — including already-completed Phillipines and Hawaii walls, the Water Writes project will go to 10 worldwide cities in total.

>>BABY BANKROLL Back in June, Tim Redmond looked at the reasons for why families stay in San Francisco. His isn’t the only clan that is sticking in the city: Broke Ass Stuart just launched a new column called Mommy No Bucks that’ll be looking at how all us broke asses (with children!!) make it work in the concrete jungle. 

Not til you’re 21, honey. 

>>CHEESE IT! With all the experimental mixologists in San Francisco and our very own grilled cheese food truck, Toasty Melts, you’d think we’d be the first to come up with this: the grilled cheese martini. The Internet has been aglow in gooey praise/disgust the past few days over this concoction, which can be ordered at Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro in Seattle and the Cellar at Beecher’s in New York – both owned by Kurt Beecher Dammeier. It consists of grilled cheese sandwich-infused vodka (“six piping hot sandwiches in 10 gallons of vodka”), fresh tomatoes, basil, and tomato juice. Sounds like vomit central.

>>WINING DOWN We went to check out the public premiere of Wine From Here, a documentary on California’s nascent natural wine culture. Natural wine, we say? Yeah, the definition’s under a fair amount of debate — never more evident than at the filmmaker Q&A after last night’s screening at the Victoria Theatre. The crowd quibbled over things like the use of oak barrels (shouldn’t the fragrant wood be considered an additive since it alters vino’s flavor profile?), labeling moratoriums, and relative price points of wine grown with and without the addition of foreign yeasts, dyes, and government-approved chemicals. Hopefully the differences of opinion were smoothed over at the screening’s after-party at natural wine-friendly Heart, where the profiled vignerons’ bottles were on the menu, including pours from Coturri Winery and Berkeley’s Edmund St. John.

>>BLAST-OFF TO THE WEEKEND When the aliens come for us, we hope they have noodle faces like the claymates in the new Hopie Spitshard and Del the Funky Homosapien video for Hopie’s single “Space Case,” shot outside Beauty Bar and around the Yay. And we hope they transmorgrify our faces with the same fly colorblock eyeshadow as Bay Area MC Hopie’s. And we hope that the ray of light doesn’t come for us today — we wanna catch Spitshard’s show at 111 Minna tonight, part of a fundraiser for Alameda’s Bohol Circle Filipino community center. 


Lit: Still Broke Ass after all these years


By Justin Juul

Broke Ass Stuart is a travel writer, an SF cult hero, and one of the luckiest sunzabitches you will ever meet. Not only does he get paid to travel the world and write, but he also gets to do it as himself. Most travel writers have to water their stories down for those crappy airplane magazines or they just write thousands of fact-of-the-matter-reviews designed for hurried tourists. But not Stuart. He doesn’t have to do any of that shit.


His first book, Broke Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco, which he originally published himself as a zine, helped him carve a niche as a new voice in an industry overpopulated by impersonal clones. Since releasing his first book, Stuart has gone on to write a second SF edition and he recently spent ten months in New York doing research for his newest book, Broke Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in New York City. Sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it? Well, apparently travel writing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. After four years of writing Broke Ass Stuart books and doing odd jobs for Lonely Planet, Stuart’s life is in shambles. He’s homeless, disoriented, and still broke-as-fuck.

The Guardian caught up with Stuart recently to remind him that his job is awesome and that other financially challenged writers (ahem) would kill to be in his position.

SFBG: So what’s up with your New York book? Did you make tons of money off it?
Stuart: No dude. Let me tell you, writing books is not the way to wealth and fame. I blew through my New York advance pretty quick and wound up waiting tables the whole time I was there. The book’s not coming out till November so I won’t be getting any royalties for a long time. I can’t even think about that money, really. I mean, I’ve been waiting tables for nine years.

SFBG: Shit. Yeah. So have I actually.
Stuart: It’s like a fuckin’ bad habit. It’s such a weird subculture, you know? Like people in the restaurant fucking each other, tons of drugs. And then you get out at night and you’re all revved up from dealing with assholes all night…

SFBG: So you take all your tips and go blow it another bar.
Stuart: Exactly. It’s definitely, uh, special.