Before I cleaned up my act, the most time I spent in the Tenderloin was walking into, and stumbling out of, Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, the neighborhood’s drag-themed dive bar. Although I’ve survived a couple of physical altercations on these infamously colorful streets, living here has also been a bit of a pipe dream. The gorgeous historic apartment buildings, the unrestrained joie de vivre, close proximity to Union Square, public transit at a whim—it all comes together for a highly intoxicating siren song. But now, the TL is cleaning up its act, too. Apparently, others see my vision, and they’re moving in fast. Does San Francisco need another Divisa-lencia?
Last weekend, among the frenzy of tourists, athletes and fisherman, we found a fashion stylist, model and photographer at Crissy Field. Freelance photographer, Stephen Sun, was busy setting up the shoot, while ex-SF and now Sacramento-based hair and wardrobe stylist, Noelle Lynne, dressed JE Model, Keilina Jones in hot pink hot pants and a towering pair of Michael Antonio wedges.
Like a good man, affordable vintage minus the musty dusties is hard to find. Luckily for those of us with a penchant for both the style and the price tags of decades past, a MobShopUnderground sale drops into town on Thursday for one day only. On the racks, expect a mixture of dresses, sweaters, sweater vests and other assorted vintage items from the 1950’s to the 1990’s priced from $25-$45, as well as designer apparel from Whitley Kros, Suh-Than and Streets Ahead belts for $10-$65. Rounding out the selection is a collection of vintage sunglasses from names such as Ray-Ban, American Optical and Persol on offer for $10-$150.
Just don’t call it a pop-up shop.
For Randy Shaw's big dreams of the Tenderloin becoming a tourist destination to come true, it's going to take more than evoking memories from times long passed and eating delicious banh mi. But one thing the Tenderloin definitely has going for itself is art, and the CBD Gallery's "Woman Hood: Work by Tenderloin Women Artists" is no exception. Featuring crafts, painting, and photography by women of the Tenderloin community, the show's curators hope to provide public exposure to the neighborhood's many unknown female artists and foster a greater sense of community within the troubled 'loin. The show will be open noon - 3, Fridays and Saturdays, through May 29 at CBD Gallery (134 Golden Gate Avenue).
G-d bless this guy, Shaw. Randy Shaw. A San Francisco housing advocate with a very ambitious plan to, um, exploit the grittiness of the Tenderloin in an attempt to transform the neighborhood into—get ready for it—a tourist destination. You heard me right: a tourist destination. Shaw's strategy—reported on today in the New York Times—includes building a new $3 million museum of TL history (to be housed in the Cadillac on Eddy & Leavenworth, a Single Room Occupany hotel where Jerry Garcia once laid his weary head) and designing a walking tour of the district's many other historic SROs.
Add one more to the list of so-called Tenderloin revitalization projects that have sprung up over the last month in the city’s most flavorful neighborhood. Art in Storefronts, a pilot program initiated by Mayor Gavin Newsom, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), launches today. In partnership with neighborhood-based economic development organizations and curated by Triple Base, local artists will showcase their work in 11 original window installations and two murals.