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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

Dick Meister: We all need a higher minimum wage

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By Dick Meister

Bay Guardian columnist Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED/TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com.

Election's over, the good guy won, so what now for working people? Labor's wish list for our re-elected president and the new Congress is long, but certainly the most basic item is raising the pay of our poorest workers by raising the minimum wage.

 About four million workers have been living in poverty or near-poverty at the current minimum of $7.25 an hour – $15,000 a year at most before taxes and other deductions. And that's assuming the workers manage to find full time, year-round jobs.

There's been no lack of congressional bills to raise the minimum since it was last raised in 2007, the latest introduced this year by two Democrats, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Rep. George Miller of California.  Their bill would increase the rate to $9.80 an hour by 2014, index the rate to rise automatically with any rise in the cost of living after that, and set the rate for tipped workers at 70 percent of the minimum. Read more »

The fallout from Twitter continues

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San Francisco has never been able to do big-scale economic redevelopment without displacement of existing residents and businesses, and the "revitalization" of mid-Market is turning out to be another case in point. Rents are going up all over the neighborhood (as well as other parts of Market Street) as the second tech boom roars into San Francisco. And now it's having an impact on a community-based theater-development plan -- and potentially on even the more established theaters in the area.Read more »

Damn, that's crazy: Frankie Quinones' TV debut on Nickelodeon

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See video

W. Kamau Bell's recent success notwithstanding, when it comes to Bay comics, we love Frankie Quinones as our stand-up ambassador. His shows -- including a packed-to-the-brim gig a few we attended months ago in the cozy basement space of Bossa Nova -- are where you want to go to watch the grown-and-sexy of the Bay Area crack. Up.Read more »

Is the tax revolt over?

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The most optimistic piece I've read on the results of the November election is on Calitics, where Robert Cruikshank argues that the tax revolt that started with Prop. 13 in 1978 is finally over.Read more »

Celebrate National Toy Store Day at some of our fave local shoppes

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There’s perhaps nothing in your life that will ever get you as excited as when you a youngster with a toy trip trip on your schedule. Not even the Giants winning the World Series twice in three years or scoring free VIP tickets to Outside Lands can come close to eliciting that brain-paralyzing gush of euphoria and innocent bliss.Read more »

Rupa and the April Fishes re-'BUILD'

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See video

The ethereal San Francisco global fusion band released this video for the title track of its new album, BUILD, last week. Tonight (Fri/9) it plays an album release show at the Great American Music Hall. Read more »

School board incumbent victories could undermine UESF

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San Franciscans this week saw the end result of long-running teacher union attacks on the re-election campaign of three SFUSD school board incumbents -- Sandra Fewer, Jill Wynns and Rachel Norton -- who were all reelected.Read more »

Presidents, secret agents, and true stories galore: new movies!

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The election is over and, thank Zeus, good defeated evil. So you can stop making snarky Romney gifs and turn your attentions to more important matters — like seeing Lincoln (yeah, he was a Republican, but as Spielberg's movie makes abundantly clear, Democrats were actually the bigger assholes back in the day). Or, you could see what ol' James Bond is up to in his 4785th film, Skyfall (just kidding — it's his 23rd, so Godzilla still has him beat). Reviews for both below the jump.

Elsewhere, DocFest opens tonight and runs through Nov. 21; check out my take on this year's programming (spoiler alert: lots o' good stuff) here; and read Dennis Harvey's review of a very strange movie starring a very strangely coiffed Sean Penn, This Must Be the Place.

And ... as if that would be everything going on in San Francisco's film scene this week? Are you new in town? There's also the San Francisco Film Society's local showcase Cinema By the Bay (my overview here) and New Italian Cinema programs; the always-popular (and now 10th annual!) San Francisco Transgender Film Festival; and Marc Huestis' multi-film tribute to the late, great Natalie Wood at the Castro.

PLUS more short takes, including the good word on Ursula Meier's acclaimed Sister, below. Read more »

What the fuck, Chuck: No, Ed Lee is not God

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So who were the big winners in the election? You could argue Ron Conway; you could argue surprise D5 winner London Breed. But to say it was all about Ed Lee?

Actually, no.Read more »

The comic formally known as 'The Iron Chink'

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It's a symbol of the atrocities suffered by Chinese Americans on this continent: a lumbering machine that stripped thousands of their livelihood and was even named for the epithet used against them, the Iron Chink.

For Escape To Gold Mountain graphic novelist and community activist David H.T. Wong, who will read from the book at a Sun/11 event in Berkeley's Eastwind Books, the 1903 invention of the mechanized fish gutting machine that stole cannery jobs from Asian immigrants -- who already had to fight racism to find jobs at all -- made the perfect title for his historical graphic novel. 

But, and perhaps this is a sign of the historical progression that Wong converted into panels for us in his graphic novel, things just don't get named the c-word anymore.  Read more »

Election makes the Board of Supervisors tougher to predict

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I'm still a bit too bleary-eyed for serious political analysis on D5 or other races today, but I'll offer a few of my own post-election observations and those that politicos Alex Clemens and David Latterman delivered during their usual political wrap-up at the SPUR office this afternoon, noting how this election has altered local political dynamics.Read more »

D5 candidates and other Election Night photos

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Photographer Tim Daw joined me on an Election Night trek through the San Francisco Democratic Party headquarters, five election night parties in the highly contested 5th supervisorial district, and an election party at Brick & Mortar. He came up with some great images, which illustrate my two Election Night posts. Enjoy.

Kitty Pryde on Riff Raff, candy, and going viral

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What exactly does it mean to be a pop star these days? Does it mean you have masses of eager (young) fans, breathless feature articles, and a healthy growing buzz on so-called tastemaker sites? Can you do it without a major label, without a proper album, without really touring? Seems like the answer for now is...maybe. It's a world we're all just beginning to crack open. One thing I know for sure, Florida teen rapper Kitty Pryde wouldn't have blown up quite like this before the web.

She made her mark on Youtube, with casual, adorable bedroom rap track and video “Okay Cupid,” along with an ode to a certain youthful pop star (“Justin Bieber”). There's been plenty of speculation about Pryde. If she's actually a teenager. If she's “in on the joke.” If she'll sign to a major label and crush it. These questions are sort of beside the point. So far, her output has been cheerful, weird, fun, and uniquely telling of young life in America in 2012. Or, as the New York Times put it in its CMJ rundown, Pryde “offered cute, comedic expositions of unrequited crushes.” Read more »

Election got you all hot and bothered? For you, the week in SF sex

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Yesterday morning I dug up my Obama mix, the CD that I made at this time four years ago when I was a wide-eyed political organizer and played for my team of adroit, grandmotherly union member-canvassers. Gah, my dislike for Will.i.am is well-known but this song gets me every time. Which is why I found myself on Election Day 2012 wearing a Moveon.org Obama T-shirt I donated $5 for, all abuzz with Obamastalgia. It's like a drug, this resurgance of a younger, less jaded president -- even if it's only for the time it takes for all that confetti maelstrom to settle to the stage. 

If similar feelings of Oval Office lust have got you all hot and bothered (or just immensely bothered, in the case of some of the California races BOO LA'S PROP B BOO PROP 35), here's a week full of sex events to help you blow off some steam, SF style.

Read more »

Demos control Sacramento. Completely.

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The sleeper in this election is the apparent supermajority for the Democrats in both houses of the Legislature. This is huge news, if it holds; for the first time since the passage of Prop. 13 in 1978, which mandated a two-thirds vote to raise taxes, it's actually possible to govern and set fiscal policy without the no-taxes-ever-no-way Republicans being obstructionist.Read more »