Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Closed, But Still Awesome" - Snapshots Of San Francisco

We walked my grandson to his pre-school this morning along with a foldable shopping cart full of toys and other young child related items and put them into this bin of things being collected for kids who had to flee from the Santa Rosa and other Northern California fires.

And as someone who has a soft spot for good, clever graffiti, I had to take a picture of this sign inside a bus.

Lombardi Sports closed after 66 years in business.  This 2014  SFGate article discusses legacy businesses, like Lombardi Sports, that are giving way to more lucrative uses of the properties, like high rise condos.  But a 2016 SF Chronicle article says  Lombardi will become a Whole Foods store, not  high rise condos.

This hydrant begged my camera to take its picture.  I've no more to say about it.

I was taken by Cheese Plus' closed sign.  A delivery guy came with a dolly full of stuff, but the front door was locked.  It was not quite 10am, but a guy inside opened it and let the man in.

I told him I liked the sign.  He introduced himself as Joe and showed me the other side of the sign:  "Come In, We're AWESOME."

Here's Joe, below.  There's a little outdoor cafe on the side and he pointed out that the coffee was all from Equator Coffee, a coffee company that pays its farmers above market wages and, bingo, the name had a meaning beyond a ring around the center of the globe.

But I'm always a bit skeptical of business folks making claims to being super fair to their third world suppliers, so I looked up Equator Coffee.  The website is long on abstract philosophy and short on specifics of how they actually carry out their ideas.  That doesn't mean they aren't a great, conscientious company.  There just isn't much hard information there. For example, from Equator's website:
"Equator’s philosophy on coffee is built from a question: how do we create value from our perch in the coffee supply chain, standing at the intersection between local and distant coffee communities? It is this question that continues to frame our narrative as we strive to grow a business that values the stakeholders in both communities with respect for the people, the process, and the product. Equator believes that quality underlies economic and environmental sustainability, and this is the pillar of our approach. We support environmentally sound certifications, as well as practices that produce the highest quality coffee while securing a dignified life for those who produce it.  
It is no surprise that the relationships we have nurtured through the years remain at the heart of our coffee program. Brooke and Helen routinely pay quality incentives to farmers, support farming community initiatives, and provide micro-loan credits—all to ensure Equator has a consistent supply of quality coffee. Only with those practices in place can Equator’s dedicated and experienced team here in Marin transform the farmers’ efforts into a quality cup of coffee so that you can enjoy the results of all their hard work."  [emphasis added]

 I was vaguely aware of games where people become part of the performance, but only just barely.  But I wanted to find out more about this one, particularly the claim of Best Escape Room Nationwide.    I found Escape Room Tips' website which had a page titled "8 Best Escape Rooms in San Francisco:"

Real Escape Room, or this one on Polk St, Escape From the Jail, wasn't listed.

For those of you still scratching your heads out there, Room Escape Artist explains what these are all about.  Here's their  beginning:
"What’s a Room Escape?
18 june 2015 by david spira, posted in player tips
You get locked in a room with a bunch of people. The room is a puzzle that you solve by resolving the smaller puzzles that are contained within it.
These things go by a lot of names (room escapes, escape games, exit games, locked room games, adventure rooms). Whatever you call them, they’re all referencing the same general concept.
Wait… Locked in?
Yeah… Usually you are locked in the room, and your goal is to find the key to get back out.
Some states or municipalities have laws that prevent the company from physically locking you in, games in those locations have to get a bit creative."

The other day I discussed anger in the US and how we have an economic system that puts most people under unreasonable amounts of stress.  But we blame the person who has the stress, instead of questioning what it is about our system that causes the stress.  So I was ready to see this poster in that context.

Again, in a country where so many people are affected by stress, why is Sam to blame here for his heart's problems?  Rather it's the system that puts so many under great pressure.  And even if heart and cholesterol medications prevent lots of heart attacks, that takes away (thankfully) one of the worst consequences of that pressure, but not the cause.

Art takes all forms here in San Francisco.

And finally, my son pointed out this self-driving car.  I wouldn't have known, especially since there was someone in the driver's seat.  It does have interesting protrusions on the roof.

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