0% In San Francisco, he initially took a job at the Daily Grill, on Geary Street, by Union Square. He also printed out businesses cards and began cooking for private parties.Then one fateful day in 2011, he walked into 2301 Mission Street because he saw a sign that advertised loans to small businesses. Beyond the big television and the reception desk something caught his eye: a beautiful, empty countertop.“I saw this space and my mind just went boom!” said Caldas. “This is what I want, this is what I’m looking for!”The countertop belonged to Marco Senegal, owner of Senegalese restaurant Bissap Baobab. He contacted Marco, and after a year and a half, Marco gave it to him for free. Tags: immigrants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% En Español.With just one counter, some stools and three tables, Cholo Soy is easy to overlook. But the restaurant, on the ground floor of a building on the corner of 19th Street and Mission, is a tiny bit of Peru in the Mission — and, say food critics and foodies, a hidden treasure. Now, as it comes up on its third anniversary, proprietor Yeral Caldas is making plans to take his two famous ceviches–plus two new ones–to a second Mission locale.Originally from Chimbote, Peru, Caldas moved to San Francisco in 2005 with plans to reconnect with his daughter. But when he and her mother separated, shortly after his arrival, he found himself alone and adrift in San Francisco. His family in Peru urged him to come back. Instead, Caldas – who is in his late 30’s – decided to throw himself into the two things he’s known since childhood: business and food.Caldas’s parents separated when he was a boy, propelling him into two different worlds: during the school year he lived with his mother, who had her own businesses, and during the summer vacations he lived with his father, who owned restaurants.He hated sitting at home, he said, so he would go with his father to buy meat and work in the restaurant. “That’s why I know meats so well,” he said. Unfortunately, he was unable to secure a loan with the Opportunity Fund, who had previously given him a loan that he had already paid back.“I was infuriated!” said Caldas. Still, he cobbled together money he’d earned from working at the Daily Grill and some loans from friends, and by June 2012 he was ready to go.But there were still a few big decisions to make. First, what to call it? He considered El Chimbote, after his hometown, but eventually he chose “Cholo Soy.”“The word “cholo” is very, very common in Peru,” said Caldas. “It’s a synonym for work, effort, dedication, and honesty. It’s someone who doesn’t give up – that’s a cholo…And I am that, so I gave it that name,” he said.The next big decision to make: when to open? He liked the idea of opening it on the Fourth of July. Then he moved it to the 3rd, his birthday. Finally, he landed on July 28, Peru’s Independence Day.The problem with starting so late that that he would have to pay an entire month’s worth of rent with no income from his new enterprise. So he spent the next few weeks talking up Cholo Soy.“To every person that passed by, I would say, ‘Hey! We’re opening on the 28th! I’m going to serve ceviche!’” he said. He also went to nearby markets to spread the word.In the meantime, Caldas kept his day job. In fact, he left the Daily Grill only a year and a half after Cholo Soy opened.All his hard work over the last few years has apparently paid off. Anna Roth of SF Weekly called his ceviche the best she’s ever had, It has received equally glowing reviews from KQED Food and from Zagat.In fact, Caldas has been so successful that he’s opening a second Peruvian place – called “El Ají” – at 3015 Mission Street, between 26th and Cesar Chavez Streets.He has been working for about six months on El Ají, but he’s saving the opening for a very special date. If you’re in that area and you want some Peruvian food from Caldas, you’ll have to wait until – you guessed it – July 28th.
0% Maybe I got a little excited last week with some talk about how tech might be slowing down and housing prices might come down with it – SocketSite says Bay Area home prices are still going strong and actually surged in December and Curbed cautiously predicts a return of climbing rents.Still, USA Today, ABC7 and the Chronicle all had stories this week about the impending (or possibly incipient) slowdown in tech and housing. Then again, BeyondChron argues that since the biggest employers in the city are mostly in healthcare, not tech, a tech slowdown doesn’t necessarily mean a crash.Crash or no, booming commercial prices partially due to generally inflated real estate values are hitting small businesses in this neighborhood pretty hard. You probably already know that the rent control that keeps many long-term residents more or less safe from the ridiculous prices does not exist for commercial renters, and prices are, well, nuts.Trouble for small businesses on Valencia Street has been widely predicted given the commercial corridor’s rents. We wrote a story on this entitled “Is Valencia Street Too Expensive for Its Own Good?” and I think it’s safe to say that the answer is a resounding yes. A short span of the street, which has already seen the closure of Viracocha and Aldea Niños and a close call for ATA, will have lost four more businesses by the end of February. Currents and DEMA announced their permanent closures, while Lost Weekend Video and Freewheel cyclery will both relocate. A few other shops have seen their rents double or almost triple and are holding on more or less for the sake of holding on, fearing that the alternative is to have no job at all. Elsewhere, business owners have told me that small businesses are also caught between sky-high rents and the threat of online sales. One even said that a person who wandered into his shop asked him point-blank if she could get the item she was looking at cheaper online.To be fair, some of the businesses shuttering are doing so out of personal preference. DEMA’s owner said she is exiting the retail business in part because it just isn’t fun anymore. Werkstatt, the motorcycle repair shop on 16th and Capp streets, closed last month. Capp Street Crap reports that its owner, Jennifer Bromme, is simply switching gears – to be a full-time mom to her two children. Her former space will now be leased by a construction company.Then there’s the mystery closures. Mission Creek Cafe shut down pretty much without fanfare, and Yo Yo Sushi has closed, though a notice in the window indicates it may simply be under new ownership.Though a baffling number of storefronts on Valencia and Mission streets remain empty for a long time after commercial tenants leave, we are seeing some revival.In the former Apartment space on 18th just off Valencia, we now have the Lexington Standard. The Chronicle spoke with its owners, who also run Aggregate Supply, about their goal to make the clothing and furniture store “less like Union Square.”On Valencia itself, next to the future One Medical building which is nearing completion, the former Black & Gold has reopened as a trifecta of pop-ups (one of which is Mission retailer Schatzi, which came out of a back room of Schauplatz, also on Valencia) more or less under the Black & Gold umbrella. The vintage-meets-new furniture and décor shop opened quietly in December.Most of the businesses whose closures we’ve heard about recently were in the 18-22 year-old range. You might remember voting for Proposition J last November – you know, the Legacy Business thing? It applies to businesses that are either 30 years old or older, OR are 20 years old and threatened with displacement. Supervisor David Campos, the arbiter of this measure, has nominated his first business for receiving funds: Precita Eyes Muralists.After nomination there are still several steps to go to determine whether the business can receive aid, but if Precita Eyes is selected it may receive an annual $500 per full-time employee, or a bonus of $4.50 a square foot for their landlord if that landlord extends the lease to ten years, from the city. All this while Precita is raising money to also help a nonprofit make good on its deal to buy the property where Precita’s mural arts studio is located.Oh yeah! And Dolores Park is reopening next week. Hopefully this glow in the dark party can survive a little rain shower. Tags: development • Developments in Development Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
0% Supervisor David Campos today joined Supervisor Jane Kim in calling for Police Chief Greg Suhr to step down over mounting citywide tensions regarding allegations of systemic racism and the misuse of force within the police department.Supervisors John Avalos and Eric Mar also called for the replacement of Chief Suhr later on Wednesday, bringing to four the number of supervisors who are calling for a new police chief.Just a week ago when the so-called Frisco Five hunger strikers addressed the Board of Supervisors after an 800-strong march to City Hall, Campos said firing the police chief would do little to advance systemic reform of the department.On Wednesday, Campos said multiple calls for the police chief’s job have turned the conversation on systemic reform into a “circus” and that such reform “is not going to be implemented by Chief Suhr because Chief Suhr has become a distraction.” Campos said he changed his position after reading preliminary findings of a review panel released on Monday, which criticized the police department for systemic problems of racial bias and arbitrary discipline. The Blue Ribbon Panel, consisting of three judges and seven law firms who volunteered their time, was assembled by District Attorney George Gascón to scrutinize police practices.“For me the Blue Ribbon Panel is a game changer,” Campos said on Wednesday. “I don’t see how [Suhr] can remain as chief of police and implement the changes needed. At a minimum there needs to be a new head of the police department.”Campos questioned Mayor Ed Lee on the preliminary findings yesterday during a Board of Supervisors meeting, asking the mayor to fund an independent unit within the District Attorney’s Office dedicated to police shootings. The mayor said he would not take a stand because he had not yet read the findings.The panel found that the department conducts “stop and frisk” searches and failed to internally review bias following the 2015 revelation that police officers were sending racist text messages.The panel also found that discipline within the department lacks transparency, hiring and promotion practices are biased, and data and use-of-force policies are antiquated.Supervisor Kim called for the police chief’s firing just hours earlier.“The reality is that as long as Chief Suhr continues to lead this department, as long as we focus on City Hall politics rather than the best interests of the city, we will be unable to truly address the very serious problems raised by this report and the very serious concerns raised by residents of San Francisco,” Kim said in a written statement.Campos said the findings were scathing.“This is an indictment of the head of the police department and frankly this is an indictment of the mayor,” he said. The Board of Supervisors should take the lead in crafting police reform legislation, Campos said, because the mayor has been slow to do so.He mentioned de-escalation training, body cameras, the creation of a public advocate, and changes to use-of-force policies, but also said systemic reform would require a cultural change that, so far, has proved elusive.“The jury’s still out in terms of what it’s going to take,” Campos added, but said that the city had reached a “perfect storm” following the hunger strike of a group now known as the Frisco Five, multiple protests in their name, and the blue-ribbon panel findings, which he called “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”“This will hopefully create the political pressure needed to push the systemic reform needed,” he said.When asked specifically about the impact of the Frisco Five hunger strikers, Campos said they had played a role alongside other forces.“I think that everyone has played a role,” Campos said. “All of that has helped.”Kim urged the mayor and police commission to begin looking for Suhr’s replacement just two hours earlier on Wednesday.“Many are calling for the Chief to be fired at once. I believe we could actually do worse than Chief Suhr, which is why we must begin this process at once so we can make sure the next chief can lead our department, reform it and do so in a way that rebuilds the community trust so vital to public safety,” she wrote. Campos said he supports a national search for Suhr’s replacement but wanted it to happen quickly and hoped there would be a suitable interim chief in the meantime. “I think we need to have a national search but we need to make sure this happens quickly,” Campos added. Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
0% Tags: food • immigration Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The San Francisco Chronicle reported at the time that of the estimated 9,500 San Francisco households with at least one noncitizen, 150 per month had withdrawn from the program in March and April. The normal withdrawal rate is fewer than 60 a month. New applications to the program had decreased by 17 percent. Since then, the numbers are back down but still high – 80 non citizens requested discontinuance in May. That said, things may be looking up – applications overall have returned to normal levels and 22 percent of all applications in May came from noncitizen households.In the Mission, some 30 percent of respondents in a survey of Latino families reported incomes that put them below the federal poverty level, and 58 percent reported receiving food assistance in the last year.The reason immigrants fear receiving benefits is because some kinds of aid can designate the recipient as a “public charge” and being a public charge can be a barrier to citizenship. According to current law, receiving food stamps does not make anyone a public charge. But part of the reason behind the fear among immigrants likely stems from a draft executive order that was leaked at the end of March. The memo indicated that the administration would change the rules so people who accepted food stamps could in fact face barriers to citizenship. It also included changes that could have made immigrants who use certain benefits subject to deportation. That memo has not become law, but rumors of its existence put the community on edge and liaisons who help connect people with the help they need are scrambling to undo the damage.“When that draft came out, it was like somebody pulled the rug out from everything we thought was stable,” said Francesca Costa, who manages outreach for the SF-Marin Food Bank. “No one confirmed any of it. Unfortunately…there’s a lot of damage done already without even having signed anything.”Amy Lee, an immigration attorney who works at Jubilee Immigration Advocates on 16th Street near Dolores Street, said that in public workshops, it’s been tricky to navigate the potential rule change because it just hasn’t materialized yet. “We don’t actually talk about [the memo] at community presentations, because it’s hard to talk about something that may never happen,” she said. “We mainly talk about the fact that if you’re getting benefits for which you are eligible, you’re not gonna get deported.”Food stamps remain available to asylees, immigrant permanent residents and people with certain with special visas. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive benefits. However, citizen children of undocumented parents are eligible, even if the undocumented parent has to fill out the application form. In those cases, or when there are people with different immigration statuses in the same households, food assistance workers have also observed fear.“There’s nothing wrong with it, but there might be somebody else in the household who’s scared that by being in the system they’re elevating their risk for deportation,” said Costa. That, too, may be a fear spurred by false rumors. At the Mission Community Market at 22nd and Bartlett streets, participation in the food stamp program has been growing steadily. “[O]ur ambassadors in the community have been hearing rumors spreading that if you are an undocumented resident, and cancel your EBT benefits, you won’t be deported,” wrote Ali Pflaum, director of Strategic Planning and Community Outreach at the market.Since undocumented immigrants cannot themselves receive benefits, that rumor could affect undocumented parents of citizen children, even though their children are perfectly eligible for the assistance.Use of the program is actively encouraged. And at the Mission Community Market, $15 worth of food stamps turns into $30 worth of groceries through the market’s matching program. Anyone with questions can ask them in English or Spanish. Immigrants who can’t afford to feed their families are facing hunger rather than accepting benefits that rumors tell them could put their hopes of becoming citizens in jeopardy, according to immigration attorneys and those who work with food benefits.“We have asylum seekers who are in homeless shelters and they haven’t accessed benefits because they’re afraid it’ll affect their case,” said Ana Herrera, an immigration attorney with Dolores Street Community Services. Also, Herrera and others said that undocumented parents of children who are legal residents have stepped away from any government programs fearing that accessing them for their children will put the family in jeopardy. In May, the city’s Human Services Agency and the SF-Marin Food Bank said that eligible immigrants had begun disenrolling or had been deciding against signing up for benefits out of fear that it could affect their ability to become citizens.
Tags: bikes • transit Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% To paraphrase something Sigmund Freud may or may not have said, sometimes a bicycle is just a bicycle. In this city, that’s a good thing to keep in mind. Bicycles have become all things to all people, and two-wheeled proxies for anything and everything. San Franciscans who merely desire a cheap, efficient and healthful way to get from here to there at better-than-Muni speeds have not relished being lumped in with self-righteous cyclists who seem to think riding a bike is a political statement and a means of demonstrating moral superiority — an indicator that they are, simply, “better” people than those who do not ride. Similarly, cyclists — many of them neither white nor wealthy — have been surprised to learn that the goofy Ford GoBikes they’ve been pedaling around town, perhaps for as little as $5 a year, aren’t a potential substitute for bike ownership without the hassles of maintenance, rampant theft or dragging cycles onto crowded buses or trains but, rather, rolling gentrification. GoBikes have been defaced, vandalized and even lit ablaze. There are reasons for all this. But, again, sometimes a bicycle is just a bicycle. Or. As Jon Stewart put it, “It’s just fucking bikes, lady.” Bicycles are not gentrifying the Mission; gentrifiers are gentrifying the Mission. This has been a decades-long process, and what we’re seeing now was set into motion years before. The well-off folks paying top-dollar for apartments and condos and for whom twee, artisanal amenities are sprouting like twee, artisanal mushrooms got here without bikes, let alone Ford GoBikes. Take away the goofy, blue bicycles and these folks are not going to leave; burn the bikes and they’ll hop in a Lyft. The hostile response to GoBikes in the Mission highlights the paradox at the heart of the bike-sharing program. Decisions to keep it out of low-income areas are decried as elitist, but decisions to put it into low-income areas are decried as colonialist. The program is mandated to be revenue-neutral — i.e. it’s run by a for-profit business — and is currently operating without government money. But it is, simultaneously, billed as an extension of public transit and is mandated to serve “communities of concern” — which is not where you’d go to seek revenue. This last point is key. To truly act as a new wing of public transit and serve everyone — as public transit must — bike shares should be saturating our neighborhoods, especially poor neighborhoods. That’s how it’s worked elsewhere. But, in rejecting bike sharing as elitist, concerned neighborhoods are ensuring it will be. Complaints? Erick Arguello has a few. The president and co-founder of the Calle 24 Latino Heritage Cultural District does not appreciate clunky bicycles and their parking-spot-eradicating pods being dropped onto the Mission.He has his concerns about losing those spots in a neighborhood where gardeners or handymen drive around in pickup trucks. He wonders about the wisdom of having blue or red bikes dotting the Mission and, perhaps, sparking some manner of gang reprisal. He objects to the prominent Ford branding on the bikes, which he decries as not bike-sharing but “corporate bike rental.” He wonders who this is meant to serve in a part of town where people can buy a bike for $75. But, most of all, he doesn’t appreciate that nobody asked him about these concerns. “They never reached out to us,” he says. And that’s true. The outreach process in the Bay Area wasn’t abbreviated or skimpy. But it was far more cursory than in other parts of the country where bike-share programs are enjoying a more harmonious welcome. Kristen Jeffers has helped promote bike-sharing in several cities, including one in her hometown of Greensboro, N.C. That effort, she says, took about four years, and “brought everyone to the table: The university. Private citizens. City planners. City recreation and park officials.” John Stehlin is a lecturer in the UC Berkeley geography department researching bike-share programs. He spent a month documenting Philadelphia’s efforts. These, he said, were far more “robust” than what we saw here in San Francisco and involved a lot more boots (or wheels) on the ground and fewer websites or hashtags. This seemed to work: After expanding into lower-income black neighborhoods in Philly, African Americans went from comprising 8 percent of ridership to 19 percent. Emily Stapleton, the general manager for Ford GoBike Bay Area, confirms that “lots of outreach” was undertaken here. There was a website. There was “typically one workshop per neighborhood.” In the one at the Mission, she recalls, “15 or 20 community members were there.” So was then-Supervisor David Campos. She remembers it as a “productive discussion.” Now, it’s easy to give the GoBike people a hard time. But the city mandated that one out of five stations be sited in the aforementioned “communities of concern,” and they’ve beaten that. The city also mandated they provide a program for low-income riders that would be at least 60 percent off the yearly price of $149 — and they beat that, too. For the first year, qualifying customers can ride for five bucks cash. You don’t need a credit card; you can show up with 20 quarters (in year two, the price goes up — to five bucks a month). The prominent Ford branding is suboptimal, but Ford is the company that opted to write the $60 million check enabling bike-share outfit Motivate to run the program (Ford, for what it’s worth, is easier on the eyes than some insidious bank or gibberish-named tech company — and it’s hard to imagine folks impulse-buying a $20,000 automobile because they saw it on a goofy bike). Despite what you’ve heard, no, your path is not being tracked on the bicycles (provided you sign up on the GoBike site and not the Ford Pass site). So, the GoBike people deserve credit for all that. But one workshop in the Mission with less than two dozen attendees (and David Campos) is not a hell of a lot in the way of outreach. And when you fail to truly reach out to the community, you will find yourself at the mercy of those who anoint themselves spokespeople and gatekeepers for the community. A concerned city source categorizes the GoBike launch as “not so much outreach as notification.” This rankles people, especially people in the Mission who’ve been “notified” of an awful lot in the past decades. “The Mission District has not been on the winning side of many infrastructure improvements that, maybe, benefited the region or other neighborhoods,” explains Stehlin. In a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, he continues, it’s easy for the lifers to see any improvements as being made not for them, but those who are displacing them. That’s understandable. But, especially in this case, it can be self-defeating. Communities — and their self-anointed representatives — can leverage (if you like them) or extort (if you don’t) benefits from those hoping to drop twee shops or luxury housing in their midst. Pro-housing zealots argue that the community benefit of market-rate housing is market-rate housing. That’s a novel argument. In the case of bike-sharing, it might be true. Bike-sharing, especially when low-income people can get in for five bucks a year, may well be its own benefit. The rich folks vandals have in mind when they’re slashing and burning GoBikes have lots of options. Poor folks don’t. Sometimes a bicycle is just a bicycle. But the Mission reveals the strains of a bike-sharing program that may have been trying too hard to be all things to all people. The city determined that, because of pension and benefit costs, it would be far cheaper for a private business to run a bike-sharing program than for San Francisco workers to do it. But private businesses want to make money. Public transit, almost by definition, does not. Mandating a private business to operate with the ethos of public transit may strangle its efforts to do either. The city’s demand that bike-sharing be cost-neutral may doom it as effective transit for all. Stapleton, meanwhile, says GoBike is “doing final review with BART and the community” about putting bike pods in at the 16th and 24th Street stations — without which bike-sharing absolutely cannot succeed in the Mission. “We would like to bring those online in the next several weeks.” The BART people, she continues, “are pretty excited about those.” How will the community react? That remains a burning question. 0% Bike-sharing needs neighborhoods like the Mission if it’s going to work. Does the Mission need bike-sharing?
Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter ODC’s Pilot Program brings together emerging and mid-career Bay Area choreographers to create six new works that you can see this afternoon or tonight at ODC.We talked to two choreographers about their work and how it was developed. Molly Matutat’s Residue is based on a reoccurring dream of unease, and Nadhi Thekkek presents Reminisce, inspired by witness statements from the British India Partition of 1947. 20181201_ODC_1 from Pedro Cota on Vimeo. Email Address
Because the thing is, even judging it gently by the standards of a “bar that’s convenient to BART,” I have no idea what this place is supposed to be. I sat down, and as the bartender was making my first drink, I asked if there was an event here tonight. “Umm. I think a Spanish speakers meet-up?” she said. Okay, fair enough, but … it sure didn’t seem like one. In fact, nobody was speaking Spanish as far as I could tell. “Is that happening upstairs?”“No.”Huh. And that was it. She had to move on to other customers. A few minutes later, a DJ station was set up near the back of the bar and an MC began announcing the upcoming show, and the room was so packed and the talking so loud I could not, for the life of me, understand what it was they were promoting. My best guess was a Game of Thrones-themed burlesque show, and I was half right. It was a burlesque show of some kind — but it had clowns in fetish gear, which so far as I could tell, was not Game of Thrones-related, not even in the original books, although I admit I haven’t read them. But it took me almost a half-hour, sitting 20 feet away, to piece even that much together. It was simply impossible to know what was going on. I have never before seen a burlesque performed in a bar while ballgames continue on the TVs. I do not understand who this is supposed to appeal to. Only that it’s near BART.“What’s going on?” someone ordering a drink next to me asked the bartender. She shrugged. The bar has a haphazard nautical theme, which sorta-kinda goes along with the name “Skylark,” which, if you follow old-timey sailing culture far back enough, has a nautical connection: To “skylark” is a sailing term for playing around (hence the term “lark” for a playful act), and the bird sometimes shows up as a symbol for sailors. But … not much. The bar, however, is going all-in, with big paintings above the bar of … a kraken, endangering a tall ship? I guess so. And a mermaid lying on the ship, also being endangered (or perhaps seduced?) by the kraken? Another painting is opposite the bar, and another on the ceiling, all have similar themes. The bar has a life buoy dangling off it emblazoned with “welcome onboard” (perhaps to the kraken?) and a wreath made of tiki drink umbrellas. A miniature ship’s prow hangs on the wall above the bar’s center. Rope ladder netting stretches around the ceiling. Porthole type openings sit above the front windows. Two TVs sit on either side of the bar playing sports, and a couple of slushie machines, which create frozen boozy drinks, pulse on the left side of the bar. So is it a tiki bar? Well, maybe: There is a cocktail menu, a single laminated page decorated with another topless mermaid and a couple of seahorses, listing eight nautically named drinks. But really, cocktails are a complete afterthought here: People order beer and shots, the single bartender manning the counter does not linger over any order — she doesn’t have time — and this this is a move-it-or-lose-your-place kind of spot. And after trying two of the specialty cocktails — a Perfect Storm (Grey Goose La Poire Vodka, fresh lime, singer syrup and soda, on the rocks with muddled mint [which arrived with neither rocks nor muddled mint]) and a Sailor Swede (Appleton Estate Signature Rum, Kronan Swedish Punsch, Orgeat and fresh lemon, rocks with a twist of lemon) — my strong advice to you is not to order the specialty cocktails. Pretend that menu doesn’t exist. Keep it simple. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address Two women in their late 20s or early 30s, wearing “office”-leaning “office casual” clothes, each sporting significant arm tattoos, walked up to the bar and stood next to me, waiting to order drinks.“I feel like I used to be pretty,” one told the other.“It’s not that we’re not pretty,” her friend explained. “It’s that we’re not 25. We’re finally at the age where we’re disappearing. And it’s hard. When this started happening I’d just cut all my hair off, so I wasn’t sure: Is this because I cut my hair? Or am I getting older? But now my hair’s grown back. So … that’s what this is. Also, though, I used to wear very short skirts, and I don’t do that anymore. So I’ve changed in other ways.” The other nodded. “Me too, I guess. My signature move used to be falling out of my shirt, and I haven’t done that in a while. I don’t know why.”Her friend sighed sympathetically. “I don’t fall in love with bodies anymore. Not even my own. The only time I see anyone naked, including myself, is in the bathroom in terrible lighting.”The first one made a sound of deep understanding. “Yeah, it really is all about the lighting.”“I need to find some other way to appreciate …” she tried to sum up the entirety of everything she was less interested in now. “All that.”Another sound of deep comprehension. “I also don’t prepare as much, anymore. I don’t.”The bartender came and they ordered tequila shots and reassured each other that they are beautiful as she poured. They downed the shots, and went back to the “women’s business round table” crowd. That pretty much summed up my experience at Skylark. Large bars near BART stations are their own category. No matter what kind of bar it’s “supposed to be,” it’s really a large bar near a BART station — at least on a weekend — and pulls in a more diverse crowd than it otherwise might because convenience is the great leveler. That’s especially true of Skylark, a block up from the 16th Street Plaza. On a Friday night, the packed groups sitting around each table all looked like they were here for a different event. Table 1 was here for a biker convention; Table 2 a “women under 30” business meetup; Table 3 a student senate reunion from a Big Ten school.Those tables are the only seating options besides stools at the long bar, which were packed with other types of people, all of whom were there on their own. It was crowded, but it was almost entirely made up of guys on their phones, being anti-social in a place that was too packed, too loud, and too fast-moving to offer them any escape. Why were they here? Why, for that matter, was I?
SAINTS have won their last five meetings with Wakefield, with the Wildcats’ last win against the coming 33-32 at Belle Vue on August 12 2012.St Helens have also won their last five home meetings between the two sides.2015 Meeting:Wakefield 16, St Helens 20 (SLR4, 6/3/15)Super League Summary:St Helens won 29Wakefield won 7Highs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 64-16 (H, 2005) (Widest margin: 60-4, H, 2005)Wakefield highest score: 41-22 (H, 2004) (also widest margin)Career Milestones:Jon Wilkin needs three tries to reach a career century of touchdowns. His total of 97 has been scored as follows: 8 for Hull KR (2000-2002), 88 for St Helens (2003-2015) and 1 for England (2004-2005, 2008-2009 & 2011-2012). Wilkin also made 6 non-scoring appearances for Great Britain (2006-2007).Consecutive Appearances:Catalans Dragons’ Zeb Taia has the longest run of consecutive appearances amongst Super League players, with 46. Taia last missed a Dragons game on August 30 2013 – a 20-12 defeat against Leeds at Headingley. His streak then started on September 7 2013 – a 14-12 defeat against Warrington at Stade Gilbert Brutus.1 Zeb Taia (Catalans Dragons) 462 Mose Masoe (St Helens) 423 Danny Washbrook (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 344 Elliott Whitehead (Catalans Dragons) 305 = Ian Henderson (Catalans Dragons), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) 27First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 = Tom Lineham (Hull FC), Jordan Turner (St Helens), Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors) 10 Dominic Manfredi (Wigan Warriors) 105 = Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers), Ken Sio (Hull Kingston Rovers) 97 = Aaron Murphy (Huddersfield Giants), Tommy Makinson (St Helens) 89 = Albert Kelly (Hull Kingston Rovers), Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos), Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos), Ben Jones-Bishop (Salford Red Devils), Chris Riley (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Anthony Gelling (Wigan Warriors) 7Goals:1 = Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 393 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 344 = Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons), Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 306 = Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 298 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 279 Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 2510 Travis Burns (St Helens) 24Goals Percentage:1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 86.66 (39/45)2 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 84.61 (11/13)3 Travis Burns (St Helens) 80.00 (24/30)4 = Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) (39/52), Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons) 75.00 (30/40)6 Thomas Bosc (Catalans Dragons) 73.33 (11/15)7 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 72.97 (27/37)8 Tommy Makinson (St Helens) 72.72 (8/11)9 Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) 72.50 (29/40)10 = Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) (30/42), Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) (25/35), Gareth O’Brien (Warrington Wolves) 71.42 (10/14)Points:1 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 942 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 883 = Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 775 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 746 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 717 Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) 708 Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons) 659 Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 6210 = Travis Burns (St Helens), Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings) 52
A SAINTLY welcome to our sponsors for Friday’s match with Wigan:MATCH SPONSORS – Willow StarcomAt Willow Starcom they understand the importance of an effective IT Infrastructure to a modern business.With more than 20 years’ experience of delivering innovative IT Services and Solutions they have seen a lot of changes and challenges in this fastest moving of industries.Their knowledge and expertise is available to you in a wide range of products and services to ensure that you get the best from your investment in IT.Contact Willow Starcom at email@example.com or log on to www.willowstarcom.co.ukMATCH BALL SPONSORS – Tudor North West Tudor North West are a locally based group that specialise in everything from heating and air conditioning to electrical and plumbing.Quality is a major part of their service and as such they have processes and procedures within their system and mode of operations that will ensure they can deliver and maintain a quality service and enhance the belief of being a quality business.Contact Tudor Northwest on 01942 236 592 or log on to www.tudornorthwest.co.ukPROGRAMME SPONSOR – 2kleen2kleen are a supplier of St.Helens R.F.C. and specialise in providing high quality cleaning products for all commercial, industrial and domestic cleaning requirements.John Hodkinson can be contacted on 0845 338 1706, 07805 797 632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.2kleen.comCORPORATE SPONSOR – AJ GallagherAs part of one of the world’s largest insurance brokerage and risk management companies, which employs more than 19,000 people worldwide, they benefit from significant international reach and a global network that can offer client service capabilities in more than 140 countries.Wherever and whenever there is risk they are there for their clients. They are a business without barriers – working together to create solutions that drive value and competitive advantage.Whether you are an individual, small business or international conglomerate, their people, technical expertise and their global reach deliver first-class coverage, risk management advice and placement expertise.To understand more about Arthur J Gallagher contact Gary Brabander on 0151 702 7721 or log on to www.ajg.comTHIS WEEK’S FEATURED PLAYER SPONSORS – IPM Plumbing and ElectricalSponsors of Mose Masoe, IPM Plumbing & Electrical is a family owned plumbers merchants with more than 37 years of experience of servicing St Helens and the surrounding areas.They sell bathroom suites, showers, central heating systems, boilers and all plumbing fittings to the general public, DIY enthusiasts & the trade.A wide range of bathrooms can be ordered through them – there are just too many brands to list – just ask them what they can do!IPM Plumbing & Electrical Ltd, Unit 6 Park Court, Sherdley Business Park, Sullivans Way, St Helens, WA9 5GZ email@example.com or log on to www.ipmplumbing.co.uk
It came almost a year to the day that Saints were thumped by the Tigers at the same stage of the tournament.But there was no chance of a repeat as Barba and his teammates ran in six tries to book their spot in Sunday’s draw.Saints weathered long periods of Castleford pressure in the first half before turning defence into attack and catching their hosts twice with length of the field efforts.In the 17th minute, Barba snaffled up a bouncing ball on his own line and offloaded to Regan Grace who duly went the distance.And, on the half hour mark, the full back did the same, picking up a loose ball and racing away to fire Saints further ahead.Saints were good value for their 12-0 half time lead and that gap was increased early in the second.And it came as Cas misjudged the kick off to give Saints a repeat set.The Tigers defended the first chance but once it came back and Dom Peyroux had sidestepped his way to the line, they were powerless to stop Barba notching his second.The ball was swept left to the full back who then bamboozled two defenders and put down under pressure.If Saints thought that was job done they then got a timely reminder in the 50th minute as Jake Trueman showed great feet to arc his way past the defence.But just two minutes later Barba found Ryan Morgan on a great line and the advantage and momentum was restored.Cas scored again on the hour mark as good hands saw Greg Minkin get over in the corner, but again, like last time, within a blink of an eye Saints were back on top.Theo Fages had done the damage with a fantastic break before Richardson took on the line, threw an outrageous dummy, and ghosted over.And Ben Barba then produced a magical mazy run to notch up his hat-trick.A special try from a special talent.Saints pressed for more in the closing stages but a stray pass was picked off by Mike McMeeken as the hooter sounded.It did nothing to dampen Saints’ day though and they are in the hat for the next round.Match Summary:Tigers: Tries: Trueman, Minkin, McMeeken Goals: Ellis (3 from 3)Saints: Tries: Grace, Barba (3), Morgan, Richardson, Goals: Richardson (6 from 7)Penalties Awarded: Tigers: 6 Saints: 5HT: 0-16 FT: 18-36REF: James ChildATT: 5,342Teams:Tigers: 4. Michael Shenton; 2. Greg Minikin, 3. Jake Webster, 16. Joe Wardle, 24. Jy Hitchcox; 6. Jamie Ellis, 9. Paul McShane; 32. Liam Watts, 13. Adam Milner, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Mike McMeeken, 17. Alex Foster. Subs: 8. Junior Moors, 10. Grant Millington, 18. Matt Cook, 21. Jake Trueman.Saints: 23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin. Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles.