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Appetite: 2012's top new restaurants brought surprise tastes, culinary depth

This Week's Paper

YEAR IN MUSIC 2012: local rock, indie, hip-hop, nightlife, more. Plus: top new restaurants, same-sex cases, Japanese brands, Central Park Five, "Woyzeck." Read the online version here, or flip though the digital edition here.

From the Blogs

Meet your weiner: Sammy Davis reps the Bay in national dachshund races

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December 27th, friends. That is the day that Sammy Davis competes for our honor. Read more »

No surprise: Your garbage rates are going up 23 percent

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As expected, Recology sent in its application for a rate increase Dec. 11, and most residential customers will see a hike of 23.5 percent, or about $6.50 a month. The hikes will be more complicated for commercial operations and apartment buildings, depending largely on how much waste those outfits can divert into recycling or compost.

The proposal would change the way rates are charged: Residential customers, who now pay a fee for the black cans holding landfill-bound garbage, will start paying a monthly $5 fee overall and $2 for compost and recycling.Read more »

W. Kamau Bell plays the Fillmore, but doesn't hold back for the home crowd

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A word of advice to the person who shouted, “who’s your favorite clothing designer?,” at W. Kamau Bell during his December 9th show at the Fillmore: a guy who wears a "Legalize Arizona" t-shirt during a night he considers one of the biggest moments of his career probably doesn’t give a shit about fashion. (Initially befuddled by the question, Bell eventually responded "Dickies.") In addition, to the person who asked Bell whether or not he thought was a whore for being on TV, if he is a one ... well you paid for your ticket to the show, right?

Glad we could get that out of the way first. Read more »

RAW is tonight! Guardian readers get in FREE!

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Tonight is the final RAW of the season and also the largest, packed with art, music, vendors and tons of shopping!

As a thank you to our readers for supporting RAW, they will be extending their guestlist to all Guardian readers for the show! Email your full name to sfbgpromos@ sfbg.com with “RAW” in the subject for instructions. The event is tonight so act fast! Read more »

Local blogs fumble story of sex worker activist named legislative aide

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We were thrilled to bits at the Guardian when St. James Infirmary's longtime program director and former Harvey Milk Club president Stephany Joy Ashley was named Supervisor David Campos' new legislative aide. Ashley was a speaker on our "Feminism in the Bay Area Today" panel discussion and worked on a number of political campaigns, from John Avalos' bid for mayor to Rafael Mandleman's 2010 run for District 8 supervisor. 

However, local blogs read her primarily as a former stripper. "Lusty Activist is the New Campos Aide," read Misson Loc@l's headline. "David Campos' New Aide Is a Former Lusty Lady Dancer," read the headline on SFist. Way to focus on the important stuff, guys. Read more »

San Francisco, Third World country

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The model is pretty well established, and has proven exceptionally lucrative  for big US corporations like Bechtel and big US banks -- and has been an utter disaster for dozens of developing countries: US banks loan money to countries that need infrastructure development -- and that money comes right back to US corporations that charge phenomenal prices to build roads, dams, mining operations, whatever, with a nice cut off the top to whatever powerful people need to be bribed (all tax-deductable, of course). Read more »

Joe Bulgo: The neglected hero of Pearl Harbor

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This is the incredible story of the neglected hero of Pearl Harbor.

His name is Joe Bulgo and he lived across the street from our family for years on 14th Avenue in the West Portal area. I knew him as a neighbor, and our daughter and son played with his two daughters. His wife Val for decades has sold and still sells fine jewelry in a downtown department store. Daughter Linda played the star Snow White for years in Beach Blanket Babylon and now has her own show in Las Vegas. Daughter Dianne is the catering director at the St. Francis Hotel.  And our families shared a wonderful domestic helper, Rose Zelalich.

But neither our family nor any of his neighbors had any idea of his Pearl Harbor heroism until his daughter Linda gave me a copy of a story on Joe in the December issue of the 1990 Readers Digest. Read more »

Art Basel diary: Why some people never enter a gallery

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“My favorite part about Basel is that I haven’t seen a single piece of art,” the 20-something gentleman said through giggles, pleased with himself. His statement was indicative of a simple fact regarding the last week in Miami: a lot of people came during Art Basel not to cruise the 20-plus art fairs, but to party.

Read more »

Art Basel diary: SCOPE-ing, Context-ualizing, and a quick dip in Fountain

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Last week, Miami was swept up in Hurricane Art Basel and goddammit if we weren't there to cover the thing. Check out Caitlin Donohue's past posts on the scene in South Beach, and the rundown on Wynwood and Art Asia. Here's her take on SCOPE, Context, and Fountain

SCOPE: This fair focuses on contemporary art, and always has some mind-blowing, large-scale stand-outs (check out my run-down from last year.) I even ran into my old friend, rhinestone hamburger -- who was joined by his friends this time around, rhinestone can of Spam, rhinestone bagel sandwich, and more. America! Read more »

Lee ducks tough questions about Alvarez and diversifying SF's economy

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For a career bureaucrat who was appointed mayor supposedly as a sort of straight-shooting un-politician, Mayor Ed Lee today once again demonstrated a real talent for addressing tough questions with a whole lot of words that don’t seem to say much at all. First came his non-responsive answers during Question Time at the Board of Supervisors meeting, followed by the hollow filibuster with reporters asking about the Housing Authority scandal as he briskly walked back to his office.Read more »

Healthy school food delayed by bid protest

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A proposal to bring fresh, healthy, locally produced food to San Francisco school kids ran into a roadblock when the losing bidder on the deal filed a protest, forcing the School Board to delay acton on the contract.Read more »

Snap Sounds: Scott Walker

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SCOTT WALKER
BISH BOSCH
(4AD)

When pop crooner Scott Walker plunged into the abyss on 1995’s Tilt, he initiated one of the most radical transformations in the history of recorded music, rejecting the tuneful chamber pop of his '60s-’70s output for a pitch-black sludge of musique concrète, avant-classical, and industrial art-rock. Walker hasn't looked back since, doubling down with 2005’s The Drift, and now Bish Bosch: an album as erratic, scary, unhinged, darkly hilarious, and wildly imaginative as any in recent memory. Read more »

Appetite: 10 best spirits launched in 2012

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Each year holds a range of interesting spirits released from around the globe. As the craft spirit industry continues to explode, there were many exciting newcomers this year. Here are some of the best of what's crossed my desk in 2012.

FORD's GIN ($27)The 86 Company is a new venture from spirits and cocktail world stars Simon Ford (former International Brand Ambassador for Plymouth Gin), Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric (owners of New York's Employees Only bar, authors of Speakeasy). Just last month, they released Caña Brava Rum (a Panama rum, aged 3 years), Aylesbury Duck Vodka, and Ford's Gin. It's the gin I've been mixing with at home in every kind of cocktail from a basic gin and tonic to complex Ramos Gin Fizz.

Read more »

Art Basel diary: The other side of the causeway, street art, Art Asia

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Read part one of Caitlin Donohue's Art Basel diary: South Beach here

It would be a mistake to characterize the Art-Basel-that's-not-in-South-Beach parts of Miami as containing more DIY/indie/anti-consumerist detritus than Art Deco land during the arty wheeling and dealing that occured last week (transactions worth, the Miami New Times helpfully noted, approximately the GDP of Guyana.)

Not-South-Beach, after all, included the Design District, where my camera memorably died for the last time during our Florida adventure as I was photographing an exhibit entitled "Architecture For Dogs."  Read more »

Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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Call it the influence of witch house on the folk scene, or don't –  those involved would probably hate that. But it does feel like there have been more and more “darkly spiritual acoustic-folk” acts of late, in the vein of Chelsea Wolfe and Father John Misty (albeit, on opposite ends of the spectrum), and in particular, King Dude, who returns to the Bay for a set of Oakland shows this weekend. There'll also be live sets this week by Lavender Diamond, less moody but certainly as spiritual and folk-infused, and the legendary, if snappier Mountain Goats.

Unrelated, but also performing in the Bay these next few days: Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers, Overwhelming Colorfast, and the Chuckleberries; Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls with her boo, Brandon from the Crocodiles; Wooden Shjips, Liturgy, and Barn Owl, at the same show. Plus, it's Chanukah, and the Subterranean Arthouse is celebrating with Yiddish bands and live klezmer. I hope for your sake you get some latkes this holiday season, my first batch was oily, crispy, and vegan – perfect. Read more »