Come join fiftyseven-thirtythree at SF Carnival. As one of the Bay Area’s most beloved two-day events, the free, family-friendly San Francisco Carnaval Festival showcases a diverse array of food, live music and activities for all. Revelers are invited to lose themselves among a multitude of booths offering everything from handmade jewelry and international bites to colorful face painting. Additionally, beer gardens will be available for those who wish to indulge, as well as an exciting lineup of live entertainment to be presented on three different stages.
Last night I watched my hometown baseball team, the Oakland Athletics, get shut out by their most hated rival in front of a crowd of barely 11,000 people while simultaneously reading news reports about Oakland’s basketball team, the Golden State Warriors, moving across the Bay to San Francisco. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so personally betrayed by sports.
I’m not even a Warriors fan—an uncle’s season ticket package made me root for the Portland Trail Blazers years before I moved to the Bay Area in middle school. But I am and will always be an Oakland fan, and anybody who’s ever loved a city should be able to appreciate how taking away a sports team strips away part of its soul.
At a news conference yesterday, Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber announced plans to relocate the team from its Oakland arena to a brand-new, privately funded $500 million facility at a San Francisco pier currently used for parking. The site will include restaurant and retail space and will be closer to the region’s wealth, much of which is in San Francisco and neighboring Marin County, and almost none of which is in Oakland, the perpetual underdog.
Logic suggests that moving the Warriors a measly 15 miles away shouldn’t matter to those who already support the team, especially when they always purported to represent the entire Bay Area. But the fact that Lacob considered it so important to leave Oakland, the Warriors’ home for four decades, reveals both a deep disrespect for the community that supported the team and a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of a team owner.
The usual reasons owners move teams to new cities—low attendance or a decrepit arena—don’t hold water in the Warriors’ case. The team’s coliseum is perfectly adequate, and despite losing all the time, they have the 10th-highest attendance in the league. They didn’t need to move, Lacob wanted to move.
It was obvious from his first press conference as owner that he wanted to be in the bigger, shinier city—he took questions in a hotel ballroom in downtown San Francisco, not in the Oracle Coliseum or anywhere else in the team’s actual hometown. And he was surprisingly candid yesterday when asked about the conventional wisdom that the team would attract better players and thus win more games in San Francisco than in Oakland. “That’s debatable, whether this will make the team better,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Moving the Warriors is about image, not results. Oakland is associated with crime and poverty and bad schools and police brutality; San Francisco with great restaurants and expensive real estate and yuppies and hipsters. If you were a billionaire investor and sports team owner, you’d make the same choice.
The owners’ decision is logical but not defensible. Sports teams owe a unique debt to their communities. Lacob and Gruber shouldn’t have been allowed to buy the team if they intended to betray the hometown fans as soon as they had the chance. Oakland fans didn’t buy tickets to Warriors game simply because it was so much fun to watch them get blown out every night. They made the conscious decision to invest in their hometown. Many of them assumed that buying tickets would help improve the city they love. And in exchange, they got sold out by a greedy owner.
San Francisco has plenty of crime and bad schools too, and Oakland its share of great restaurants and hipsters. A city’s image is largely a sales job, and billionaire team owners should be key salesmen. The hundreds of acres of restaurants and shops that Lacob is planning to surround the Warriors’ new home could easily have occupied the hundreds of open acres near Oracle Arena, and they would have made money—anyone who’s ever tried to eat something before a game or hang out afterward would pay quite the premium for some options.
By the time the Warriors tip off in their new home in 2017, the A’s likely will have already fled the East Bay. The Raiders may not be far behind; Los Angeles is openly trying to woo them away. It’s easy to imagine Oakland going from three sports teams to zero in the next few years, hurting a city I love in ways much more tangible than image. I still believe in Oakland. I just wish the occasional billionaire did, too.
Illustration by Art Zendarski, courtesy of the Golden State Warriors
It’s starting to get sunny outside again and we’re excited about that! Not only are we getting a little pale, but we’ve been stuck inside the warehouse working on ton’s of new projects and now we can’t wait to show you!
The first festival of the season is definitely one of our favorites, 2012 Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival! The festival will take place two consecutive weekends, Saturday and Sunday, April 14-15 and April 21-22. The festival is full of great: music, dancing, food, and art! Best part, MOST of it is FREE!
The Cherry Blossom Festival takes place near and around the Japan Center on Post and Buchanan Streets, in San Francisco. Come say WHATTUP to fiftyseven-thirtythree!
RAN activists took to the streets of San Francisco last night and turned every Bank of America ATM in the city into an Automated Truth Machine.
The activists used special non-adhesive stickers designed to look exactly like BoA’s ATM interface. But instead of checking and savings accounts, these new menus offered a list of everything BoA customers’ money is being used for, including investment in coal-fired power plants, foreclosure on Americans’ homes, bankrolling of climate change, and paying for fat executive bonuses.
The stickers also encourage BoA customers to “Stop doing business with Bank of America until they start behaving responsibly” and have the URL to our new blog, which we’ve just launched along with New Bottom Line:
We’re using that blog to track all the ways BoA is bankrupting America, hence the name. We’ve received so many submissions it’s clear to us that this website was badly needed. There are lots of grievances to be aired with regard to how Bank of America is conducting its business these days, as it turns out. (Not that that’s terribly surprising.)
Check it out, and feel free to submit if you’re so inclined.
We are happy to add two more places that carry fiftyseven-thirtythree in San Francisco!
RAG, 541 Octavia Street, Hayes Valley, San Francisco
RAG proudly showcases over 120 California designed and manufactured men’s, women’s and children’s clothing/accessories and wall art, prints, notecards and home decor since December 6 2002. Designers and artists display their consigned wares on separate rack/shelf space, and work at this space to test new designs, gain visibility (through hung biography and signage) and build a clientele.
Paragraph, 1234 9th Avenue, Inner Sunset, San Francisco
Paragraph is a clothing and accessories store for men, women and kids with an emphasis on local and independent designers. You will also find a rotating selection of housewares, gifts and artwork and custom made jewelry by resident designer, V-SQRD.
So if you’re in the area, go show some love!
Republican Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann proclaimed “there is a 180 degree difference between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street” during a campaign stop in San Francisco Thursday.
The Minnesota Congresswoman, who co-founded the Tea Party Caucus in Congress last year, told a crowd of businesspeople and retirees at the Commonwealth Club that the tea party favors liberty, while Occupy Wall Street supports more government intervention, which would “bankrupt” the country.
“The Tea Party picks up its trash after a demonstration,” she added.
Bachmann also declared her affection for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, her distaste for the Postal Service, and willingness to take a strong line against the Iranian regime during a speech titled “The Revival of American Competitiveness.”
The Congresswoman, a strict social conservative, stayed away from any commentary on San Francisco’s liberal values and large gay community. Instead, she focused her opening remarks on the Bay Area’s tech industry saying San Francisco has “given much not only to this nation but for the world.”
Bachmann mentioned recently deceased Apple co-founder Steve Jobs at least five times in her speech, saying Americans should all aspire for the “Steve Jobs spirit” of innovation and focus. She then criticized the United States Postal Service for lacking Jobs’ focus on profit-making and declared that the private sector in general would do a better job than the government of delivering the mail.
She also accused the government of creating a “higher education bubble” by financing too many student loans.
In comments to reporters after the conclusion of her formal remarks, Bachmann argued that the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan should be forced to “reimbuse” America for the expenses incurred during the wars. Bachmann, who voted against U.S. military involvement in Libya, said she thought that involvement should end now that deposed leader Muammar Ghaddafi has reportedly been killed, but declared she was willing to use “absolutely everything” against Iran.
Bachmann is in town for at least two Bay Area fundraisers, a campaign spokesperson said, though she will not be meeting with any leaders of Silicon Valley tech firms during her visit.
Since June, when she polled second, behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Bachmann’s support as slipped, and her campaign has struggled to hold on to staffers and raise money. She told supporters earlier this month she would stay in the race through the New Hampshire in January.
When Bachmann visited the Bay Area last month, she optimistically declared at a fundraiser in San Rafael that “Marin County could go red.”
This time around, her local fundraising events are closed to the press
Video by Queena Kim