"After 30 years at the helm of her thriving family business, Miuccia Prada remains the most powerful woman in fashion."
Posted on Out.com May 1, 2010
By Tim Blanks
Miuccia Prada ticks my boxes. Cerebral, sensual, paradoxical, iconoclastic, hedonistic, and a dozen more -als and -stics could scarcely begin to explain my fascination with this woman and her work. In the 30 years since she took over the family business, she has steadily built an organization that offers a way to think, a way to be, as much as a way to dress. You can read her collections like you'd read a book. Sometimes there's enlightenment, sometimes bewilderment. But there's never boredom. "I want to introduce intelligence in my work, that's for sure," she says. "If you introduce even a little intelligence or a little criticism or a way of seeing things, that is important. I do that because I put all my ideas in my work."
Those ideas often run counter to perceived wisdom. For instance, when we met in Paris recently, she was insisting, "I'm against design like crazy, for a few years, actually. I hate the idea of useless design, just to make things more beautiful without any sense." It was a point she returned to several times in the course of our conversation. When she described technology as "an instrument like any other," rather than an end in itself, she added, "I always search for a reason for something. What's the sense of it? OK, it's beautiful, but who cares?
(Washington) Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical Wednesday about keeping secret the names of people who signed a petition to repeal Washington state's gay rights law, suggesting citizens cannot always hide behind anonymity if they want to be heard.
Opponents of gay rights want the court to keep the names private to avoid intimidation by the other side. But several justices questioned whether allowing petitioners to stay anonymous might imperil other vital open records like voter registration and lists of donors to political candidates.
"The fact is that running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage," Justice Antonin Scalia said. "And the First Amendment does not protect you from criticism or even nasty phone calls when you exercise your political rights to legislate, or to take part in the legislative process."
The case, which will be decided by the court before the end of the summer, could draw a new line between voters' desire for openness in government and the right to political speech unfettered by fear of intimidation.
Opponents of the law that expanded the rights of gay couples mounted a petition drive that succeeded in getting a referendum on the "everything-but-marriage" law on last year's ballot. But voters narrowly backed the law that grants registered domestic partners the same legal rights as married couples.
While the campaign was under way, gay rights supporters sought access to the petitions under Washington's open records law. Protect Marriage Washington, the group that organized opposition to the law, objected; saying its members would be harassed if their names were made public.
"No person should suffer harassment for participating in our political system, and the First Amendment protects citizens from intimidation resulting from compelled disclosure of their identity and beliefs and their private associations," lawyer James Bopp Jr. said.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to keep the names secret, but the Supreme Court stepped in and blocked release of the names before the vote. The justices later intervened in another case in which gay rights opponents complained about potential harassment. The court's conservative majority prevented broadcast of the trial on California's ban on same-sex marriage.
Bopp said people who signed the petition faced the prospect of harassment. Scalia called that "touchy-feely, oh-so sensitive."
"You know, you can't run a democracy this way, with everybody being afraid of having his political positions known," Scalia said.
"I'm sorry, Justice Scalia, but the campaign manager of this initiative had his family sleep in his living room because of the threats," Bopp replied.
Scalia said threats should be moved against vigorously. "But just because there can be criminal activity doesn't mean that you have to eliminate a procedure that is otherwise perfectly reasonable."
Washington Attorney General Robert M. McKenna denied there was evidence of violence or threats against petition signers.
If there was proof of violence, the petition signers could ask for a preliminary injunction, McKenna said. "Such situations should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to evaluate the reasonable probability of threats, harassments, and reprisals," he said.
Making the petition names public also helps the state fight fraud, McKenna said. And "it's also about finding plain old mistakes which the state, the secretary of state, or auditor has missed."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that while Project Marriage Washington says it wants to keep the petition names anonymous, organizers of petitions often make the names public themselves by selling the names to other organizations and using them for fundraising.
"So that would be the end of a person's privacy," she said.
Chief Justice John Roberts compared signing a petition to voting, saying a person's vote might be chilled if it was revealed which candidate they voted for. McKenna argued that chill would be no more significant than it is for having campaign contributions or voter registration disclosed.
Justice John Paul Stevens, listening to his final arguments before retiring later this summer, said there might be a public interest in seeing the names on a referendum petition to "identify people who have a particular point of view on a public issue."
"And if you have the other point of view, don't you have an interest in finding out who you would like to convince to change their minds?" Stevens said.
But Justice Samuel Alito questioned McKenna on whether his office was willing to give out the home address of its lawyers so people could show up and have "uncomfortable conversations" with them about issues in which they disagree.
"We could not release it because they can come to the office and have uncomfortable conversations with them, which I can personally attest happens with some regularity," McKenna said to laughter in the courtroom.
The Associated Press is among 22 news organizations and media trade associations that filed a brief in the case supporting public disclosure of the documents.
In a drama unfolding inside Room 504 of California's Northern District Court, former patrol officer Lori Dutra's lawyers are making their case against four female officers, who Dutra says harassed and defamed her because of her sexuality.
Dutra, 33, alleges she suffered reverse discrimination at the Mission District Police Station at the hands of Sergeant Marta McDowell, retired Sergeant Kimberly Reynolds, Sergeant Lynn Reilly, and retired Sergeant Carri Lucas–all but the latter identify as lesbians.
Dutra has also filed suit against the City and County of San Francisco for allowing the discrimination to take place.
"This is a case about discrimination," Phyllis Andelin, Dutra's lawyer said in her opening statement on Monday. "Dutra is the minority within the majority."
By "majority," Andelin referred to the assertion that many gay and lesbian officers ask to be assigned to the Mission Station because it serves the Castro area.
"There is a family-type feeling there," said Dutra in testimony all day Tuesday. "The diversity in the district and the type of work that was to be done in the district attracted gay and lesbian officers."
Dutra, who worked in the Mission for five years, said "non-lesbian women were treated differently," and tended to leave the station.
Dutra, who dated both men and women, said she became the object of harassment by some of the female officers at the station after she began a committed relationship with a man in March of 2007. She is now on maternity leave, but plans to return to work at the Police Academy.
"I was so excited about [the relationship], I wanted to show my friend Marta McDowell his picture," testified Dutra. "I did, and she said 'he looks like a wetback.'"
During a break in the opening arguments on Monday, Efrian Arellano, Dutra's fiancé, said, "They work in a Latino area and they're profiling people. They represent the city, and this is not a good sign."
In the defense's opening statement, Attorney Lisa Berkowitz denied that her clients made any such remarks.
Dutra, Andelin argued, befriended many of the lesbian officers during her time at Mission Station and was an active San Francisco Police Officers' Pride Alliance member, yet maintained she never considered herself to be a lesbian—although her co-workers may have.
"She dated men, and she may have dated women. So what?" Andelin said in an interview outside of the courtroom. In her opening argument she said, "Her sexual orientation has nothing to do with her job performance."
Dutra received consistently positive performance evaluations by her superiors, including McDowell. That changed in March of 2008.
That month, McDowell and two other defendants wrote memos accusing her of being "too emotional" to perform her duties as a police officer.
The memos were sent up the chain of command in the SFPD, leading to Dutra's removal from her assignment at the Mission Station. She was temporarily transferred, allegedly without an initial explanation, to the Behavioral Science Unit on Treasure Island.
"I considered these memos to be an invasion of my privacy," Dutra testified Tuesday. "It's not anybody's business in the chain of command—who I didn't tell myself—to know who I'm sleeping with."
The memos accused Dutra of addiction and gambling problems, as well as having an "addiction to drama" that the authors believed influenced her work at the station.
"They were simply documenting what they saw and sending it up the chain of command," argued Berkowitz in her opening statement. "They thought the problem was serious enough that they had to act."
Dutra said that the memos affected her pending promotion. The memos, she said, bypassed SFPD's standard disciplinary procedures, meant to reprimand officers before a problem becomes acute, because they passed up the chain of command without Dutra's knowledge.
"The sergeants listed facts and objected behavior," argued Berkowitz. "They did not reveal any info that Dutra didn't share with them."
"There is no evidence in this case that the memorandum has affected her ability to get promoted," added Berkowitz.
Witness accounts and evidence will be presented for the duration of the trial, which is expected to continue for several weeks.
The intersection of Market and Castro is finally getting a much needed facelift. I mean really, it's about time. After all, the plaza has been closed to thru-traffic for almost a year now and finally the space now has new concrete bench/planter boxes. A few trees have been planted and we hope there are more to come most notably is stout fan palm. It's totally cute. I mean there is something about a palm tree in the middle of a cement jungle that just says, "I'm in a cool neighborhood."
The construction thus far is off to a great start and we are excited to see this space become a great place to relax, enjoy the sun, sip coffee, and people watch. It should also prove to be an excellent place to pick up on cute boys, but you didn't hear that from me. I'm taken.
While the benches have yet to be installed city planners assure me, (after a really long wait on over the phone) that they will be installed shortly. Also, the plaza is having its one year birthday soon. While the plaza isn't completely done planners are saying that they are still working toward a final design. What that final design will be is still up in the air.
Bustling and bursting with life the Castro Farmer's market has returned for its second season even better than before every Wednesday from 4-8pm. Now featuring live music and an even greater traffic level it is an exciting time for the neighborhood. With an always fresh seasonal bounty of fruits, vegetables, meats, and more the Castro Street Farmers Market cannot be missed.
While the market boasts the expected vegetable and fruit assortments; what's truly special about this market are the stands that offer the less common farmers market attire such as goat cheese stuffed raviolis, tender cuts of meat, salted nuts, dried goods, warm breads and so much more.
Perusing the stands while engaging the knowledgeable vendors is a pleasurable and educational experience. The vendors are all too happy to answer any questions you may have while explaining the ways of their goods. Want a little history of those farm fresh eggs? Ask, and you will get a story. While chatting with the local vendors be sure to partake of the gamete of free samples. Some personal favorites include the organic sorbets, and fresh cheeses. Be sure to check out these must see vendors:
Shelly's Garden: Fresh eggs and fragrant herbs.
Calolea Olive Oil: Wonderful olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
Happy Boy: A variety of seasonal organic vegetables.
City Bees: Sweet local honey.
Pick-a-peck Pickles: Crunchy pickles and other veggies.
Scream Sorbet: Fresh and fruity handmade sorbets.
You may come hungry and leave full; a true indicator that you have visited a note worthy Farmers Market!
Also, don't forget to visit some of the local restaurants and cafes nearby. After making your produce purchases head Café Flore located at the end of Noe Street directly on the corner. It is a great place to grab a coffee and catch up with friends. In fact, have them meet you there. Flore now has a liquor license so if coffee isn't for you can sip your way to merriment while watching the hustle and bustle of the market parade.
Be sure to make it to opening day this Wednesday April 7th. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will be making an appearance to offer blessings while cutting a ribbon with Supervisor Bevan Dufty. You can also enter a raffle to win a bag of fresh produce!
Some of the fresh seasonal produce will include:
Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, English peas, green onions, hothouse tomatoes, kale, potatoes, radishes, snow peas, spinach.
Good food and great service: What more could you ask for? Well, Chow doesn't just offer good food; they have a diverse menu for everyone. Or, if you're like me, you can have a different dish every day of the week.
They call it comfort food, but the menu features American, Asian, Italian, Latin, and Mediterranean dishes, to name a few. Don't worry; the chefs haven't spread themselves too thin: Each dish is prepared to perfection. Chow is my go-to spot when I have friends in SF who want to experience the Castro, and I always tell them "Order whatever you want, everything here is good." I've never had a friend or guest leave Chow disappointed. With a kid's menu and lots of vegetarian options, Chow is right for everyone.
I don't know who hires their employees here, but the staff is all extremely friendly, no matter how busy the restaurant is. (Maybe because it's always busy?) Don't be surprised if you walk by the bar and get three or four hellos on the way in, and goodbyes on the way out. The servers know the menu well and are always happy to offer suggestions and guide you to your best selection. The entire staff functions as a team; it's easy to get great service when you feel like everyone in the restaurant is happy to help you.
The dining room is long and there are plenty of great tables. If it's not too windy, I prefer sitting by the window; as we all know, the Castro has the potential for some great people-watching. If the weather is behaving, I always walk to the back and try to find a table at the patio.
It wouldn't be a proper review without a couple negatives, so I have to say that the lack of soda fountain (and free refills) is always a minus in my book. The coconut cream pie is a long-time favorite, but only available sporadically, which is another disappointment. Almost everyone on the staff has an amazing attitude, except for one of the hosts. I think he just sticks out because everyone else has such stellar customer service skills.
Here are some of my favorites, as you can see I have enough favorites to have a different Chow experience every day of the week:
Local Lamb Burger, feta, cucumber, mint & tomato
Sustainable Fish Tacos
Rose's Old-Fashioned Spaghetti with Meatball(s)
Thai-Style Noodles with Steak & Chicken, peanuts, spicy lime-chili-garlic broth
If you live in the Castro and you haven't been to Chow, well, then you must be a crazy person and you should get your ass in there right now! If you're visiting the Castro and want a casual, delicious meal that's central to everything, then definitely give Chow a try. I'll probably see you there.
Posted on Bay Area Reporter
July 12, 2010
By Matt Baume
A crowd gathered at Market and Castro streets for the "Red Saturday" rally during which speakers, including Paul Henderson from the district attorney's office at right, urged the LGBT community to get involved in fighting crime.
Responding to several violent incidents that occurred during Pride weekend, local leaders and police this week appealed to the LGBT community for help in combating crime.
San Francisco Civic Center
San Francisco CA, 94114
(415) 503-0630 www.sfpride.com
San Francisco Pride attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade.
The theme for 2010 is "Forty and Fabulous" and the event will be held over the weekend of June 26 and 27, 2010. With over 200 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, and more than a dozen community-run stages and venues, the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade is one of the largest gatherings of LGBT people and allies in the nation. The two-day celebration is free and open to all.
We're out and about! MyCastro.com has officially launched. Now, for the first time ever, you can join your local Castro Community by using this web portal as your one stop location to connect, read pertinent news, and gather information. If you have never been to the Castro before than feel free to research places to see, shop, dine, drink and more. We have the most comprehensive business and restaurant listing in the world specifically for the Castro and its community.
If You are a local then check out our monthly spotlight featuring business's, restaurants, events, and news occurring right here in your back yard. Better yet, get involved. Sign-up for FREE to post and leave comments about your experiences here in the Castro. After all, no one's opinion matters more than your own right?
After you have given your two cents be sure to connect with other MyCastro.com members by chatting, and exchanging emails right through the website with your own personal profile and pictures. The fun doesn't stop there! Check back monthly as we will be updating the site the first day of each month with continued news and information that you want to know! It is at that time that we will be giving away prizes to registered users. We will be giving prizes based on all sorts of categories including everything from the best review, funniest experience, and most horrible comment. Prizes range from gift certificates to your favorite coffee shop to weekend getaways. So, check back often and get involved. It's fun and free. Besides, you might even win something and that is totally worth it!
But, don't forget we want to hear from you! If you have news worthy information or want to contribute to our calendar of events then shoot us over an email. MyCastro.com is your site, built for you, by you!
Lastly, and most importantly, THANK YOU! We are happy to be here for the community and are looking forward to serving you well. Thanks to our donors, advertisers, and community for making MyCastro.com possible. We couldn't do it without you and we couldn't be more excited to serve you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
2123 Market St. @ Church St.
San Francisco 415-552-8740
CROSSROADS - May 1, 2010
With an abundance of fanciful fashions Crossroads Trading Co. Is an absolute must when looking for a great INEXPENSIVE outfit. Crossroads is located at the epicenter of diverging traffic on Market and Church. This Castro location (they have 4 SF locations,) is easy to get to from wherever you are in the city. You can catch the MUNI, hop on an assortment of bus lines, or if you are feeling nostalgic ride the F line with ease.
What sets Crossroads apart from every other consignment store in San Francisco? It's simple, at Crossroads you are able to bring in clothes that you no longer want and sell them for cash or use as store credit. You have to be selective however as the buyer wont simply take your tattered Nike tee and hand you cash. The key to ensuring that you make some cash is making sure that your clothes are clean, without wear, and are in season. Be sure to check with the Crossroads you will be bringing your clothes into by calling ahead and inquiring about what the buyers are looking for.