Amanda Bartlett
Amanda Bartlett
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I went to the hidden farm in the middle of San Francisco

I went to the hidden farm in the middle of San Francisco

When Henry Cortez arrives at his job each morning, he’s greeted by a cacophony of bleats, honks and quacks.One by one, he releases each animal from their individual pens, and a lively menagerie of goats, rabbits, chickens, sheep, pigs, ducks and geese emerges. Even two cats – Bandit and Smoky – slink around the grounds, occasionally approaching Cortez for attention as he prepares the feed and stalls for the day.For the past decade, Cortez has tended to the Laguna Honda therapeutic farm and garden, a hidden gem in the heart of San Francisco that is home to 30 animals in addition to colorful...

Apr 9
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California's parks and beaches are flooded with crowds again

California's parks and beaches are flooded with crowds again

As the weather grows warmer and vaccination rates steadily increase, beaches and other popular attractions throughout California are once again experiencing packed crowds — some of the largest they’ve seen in over a year.Over the weekend, thousands of people descended upon tourist hotspots such as the Santa Monica Pier, the Venice Beach Boardwalk and Old Town Pasadena to celebrate spring break and relish in visiting with friends in person. However, local health experts have expressed concerned about the lack of masks worn by the crowds, as well as the sheer number of out-of-towners flooding...

Apr 4
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Balboa Theater announces reopening date, return of Godzillafest

Balboa Theater announces reopening date, return of Godzillafest

Following an uneasy year of darkened screens, empty seats and competition with streaming platforms, the first of San Francisco’s independent local theaters is finally gearing up to reopen to the public again. On Friday, May 14, the in the Outer Richmond will welcome patrons to its two-screen cinema for the first time in over a year, the theater announced.And greeting you in the lobby might be a person inside a Godzilla suit.Owner and operator Adam Bergeron plans to kick off the theater’s newly announced programming with the return of its cult favorite monster showdown Godzillafest — a...

Apr 2
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'Just blown away': Previously undiscovered draft of 'Howl' found

'Just blown away': Previously undiscovered draft of 'Howl' found

A previously unknown early draft of Allen Ginsberg’s groundbreaking work “Howl and Other Poems” has been discovered.Greatly contrasting from published versions of the famous collection of poetry, the carbon typescript was uncovered in the papers of art benefactor Annie Ruff, and includes page seven as it was originally written on Ginsberg’s own typewriter, lacking corrections. The 11-page draft was later authenticated by rare book dealer and Beats specialist Brian Cassidy, offering a rare glimpse into Ginsberg’s creative process as he crafted the poem that would greatly influence the...

Mar 28
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San Francisco's oldest theater has seen it all

San Francisco's oldest theater has seen it all

At the corner of Newcomb Avenue and Third Street in San Francisco, a 133-year-old theater stands tall in spite of its tumultuous history.  For decades, the has buzzed with activity, hosting theatrical performances, music and dance classes as well as a variety of community programming.  Today, the gold lettering embossed on front of the building’s historic entryway still bears its original name – South San Francisco Opera House – surrounded by antique filigree, but it’s unusually quiet, save for the occasional clang-clang of a Muni train passing by. There’s no show on this brisk, sunny...

Mar 25
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'Mrs. Doubtfire' director comes clean about R-rated version of film

'Mrs. Doubtfire' director comes clean about R-rated version of film

What would a rated R version of “Mrs. Doubtfire” look like?The internet pleaded for an answer late last week when a addressed knack for improvisation, particularly as he filmed scenes for the iconic role, which allegedly resulted in so many takes that numerous cuts of the 1993 film now exist in PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 forms, never to be seen by the public. The memorable San Francisco-set comedy follows Williams as a divorcee who attempts to regain the trust of his ex-wife (Sally Field) and stay in touch with the children he's lost custody of by disguising himself as an elderly...

Mar 21
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'We spent thousands': Now, the Church of 8 Wheels to close again

'We spent thousands': Now, the Church of 8 Wheels to close again

If you were planning to boogie down to the Church of 8 Wheels this weekend, don’t lace up those skates just yet.Just four days after its highly anticipated reopening — but was delayed until last weekend — the abandoned-church-turned-roller-disco venue was forced to close its doors to the public once again.“We thought we took care of every safety precaution,” David Miles Jr. wrote to SFGATE in an email, noting that he had taken extensive measures to limit the venue’s capacity to 30 skaters per session – 10% of its usual intake in the 6,000-square-foot rink — in addition to cutting down those...

Mar 17
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'I was crying all week': Cliff House relics salvaged at auction

'I was crying all week': Cliff House relics salvaged at auction

The circumstances couldn’t have been less ideal, but a San Francisco historian, an art conservator and a gallery owner still had a big reason to celebrate.The wind howled and rain drizzled over their heads on Sunday evening as they stood outside of the shuttered Cliff House, clinking together glasses of champagne in recognition of their recent victory. It was a toast to not only the 60 or so relics they had successfully salvaged from the restaurant at last week’s auction, but also the assurance that the artifacts were in good hands and would be preserved for future generations of San...

Mar 16
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H.E.R. scores Oscar nomination and Grammy in the same week

H.E.R. scores Oscar nomination and Grammy in the same week

On Sunday evening, R&B singer-songwriter H.E.R. secured one of the most prestigious titles the Grammy Awards have to offer.As the 23-year-old artist from Vallejo took the stage with co-writer Tiara Thomas to accept the Song of the Year award for her 2020 single “I Can’t Breathe,” she reflected on a tumultuous summer that inspired them to pen the poignant protest song and the unexpected way it came to life.“We wrote this song over FaceTime,” said H.E.R., gesturing toward Thomas. “And I didn’t imagine that my fear and that my pain would turn into impact, and it would possibly turn into...

Mar 15
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Muni steals the show in new trailer for SF-set Marvel film

Muni steals the show in new trailer for SF-set Marvel film

Much to the delight of Marvel and Muni fans alike, the first teaser trailer for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has dropped — and on the birthday of its star Simu Liu, no less.The latest addition to the Marvel cinematic universe began production in San Francisco last year under the title “Steamboat” and was forced to temporarily halt filming because of the pandemic. The project resumed , surprising a number of Lower Nob Hill residents when second unit stunt scenes entailing a careening Muni bus were filmed along California Street, among other locations.The trailer itself pulls...

Apr 19
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