Blockboard: Know Your Neighborhood

An old friend of mine who I haven’t seen in probably close to 30 years, Ian Kallen contacted me a few months ago about an iPhone app he was working on called Blockboard. It’s a type of social networking app, but more micro-social networking that helps bring together people in your neighborhood. At the time they were focusing on the Mission District because that’s where they were started, but now they’ve expanded to cover all of San Francisco and are moving on to cover other cities.

What’s nice about the app is that it’s just more than a Howdy neighbor and then you get back to browsing the web or playing some game by Zynga. People in your neighborhood can actually post about things going on that could be anything from police reports, suspected illegal activities or local street fairs and meet up parties. I can honestly say that in all my time with twitter and Facebook I’ve hooked up with some old friends and we’ve talked about the old times, etc, but I’ve only met face to face with about maybe 20 of the close to 1000 people I’ve amassed between the two.

I’m going to start checking daily with blockboard now after I received an email from my twitter friend [who I’ve yet to meet] Bre Lambert of ScoutMob. She wrote to me to remind me that Blockboard is running a contest where five neighborhoods can win $5000 by getting 500 members to sign up. That money will go to fixing up things in the area, making improvements, etc. So now I’m making my pitch to get you to join up in the Sunset. Well, since I cover all of San Francisco you all should download the app and join up actually, but I’m always a little partial to the Sunset seeing as I live here.

Checking in this morning I also found there were coupon offers for local businesses in the area that you could take advantage of through blockboard. The app also appears to aggregate relevant blog postings and articles from the web about the neighborhoods of San Francisco. I was kind of surprised that many of my articles actually had links there that I didn’t have to share with them. I wouldn’t be surprised if this article shows up there.

As I said before, I’m going to be paying more attention to this app as it looks like it has real promise for the districts of San Francisco and I hope you check it out because with your help you’ll help bring about some change within the city better than a bunch of people clogging up the Financial District chanting.

SF Weekly Web Awards

Ye Gods! My head is still pounding from Friday night. After working for years right across the street from 111 Minna I finally had an excuse to go in. I definitely would have to recommend the place for people to visit if you want to get the hipster vibe of San Francisco.

There is so much going around in my head that I want to cover I hope I get to all of it. First the hip vibe of the place. Two bars with a wide selection of liver degrading beverages to offer. On this night it was open bar on Blue Moon Beer and fair trade Quinoa produced vodka. I started with samples of the vodka and then their goji berry infused vodka. Pretty good stuff I have to say, but since I hadn’t eaten anything yet I definitely started to feel it quickly. Everyone in the place had a smartphone [usually an iPhone] in their hands the entire time.

I ran into Greg Dewar of the NJudah Chronicles and then the Blue Moon started to flow. Greg made me realize that there is a part of social media that we often leave out, that’s the part where you get away from your computer and go outside your house and actually meet the people you tweet/facebook/foursquare with. Greg knew just about every blogger of influence in San Francisco and he introduced me to them [if they were there and not home writing their blogs].

My first introduction was to the most fabulous [and tall] Beth Spotswood. I frequently read her blog at sfgate.com and I think I’ll focus more on checking it out after I’ve met her. She is bubbly and vivacious and when she walks into the room you know she’s there. You don’t have to look for her. I couldn’t even get a picture of her because she always had a crowd around her.

Then I got to meet Broke Ass Stuart. WOW, what can I say. I had never seen a picture of him but he was exactly what I expected him to look like. Rockin’ a suit and tie I had about 60 seconds before a wave of hotties crashed all over him and he was swept away. I didn’t even have a chance to remind him that I was featured as the broke ass of the week on his blog a few months ago when I was a broke ass, but he was definitely the pimp daddy of the evening. Ah I remember the days when I had that kind of mojo. I need to get out more and meet these people.

There was Tom Prete of Ocean Beach Bulletin and Woody LaBounty of the Western Neighborhoods Project who I’ve know for a while. I was a bit honored when Woody referred to me and the local bloggers of the Sunset as his media reps. These are two blogs that people with an interest in the Sunset District and the Old San Francisco should definitely check out. I was sorry that I didn’t get a chance to meet Breanna Lambert of ScoutMob since we tweet back and forth with each other frequently, but it was probably an in/out for her since ScoutMob had their own party going on in the Haight.

Now let’s talk about the food. Inside there was The Heartbaker offering up some yummy desserts and luckily I got to them when it was early and I was their first customer. I tried one of their carmel brownies with sea salt. Now I’ve seen sea salt as an addition to chocolate, but I haven’t had a chance to try it. I have to say, it’s not weird. It’s great. I started to feel like one of the judges on Chopped while I was talking with them about how you’re first hit with the chocolate then the carmel slides onto your tongue adding sweetness to balance the tart of the dark chocolate followed by a salty burst at the end. Just as a side note, I have to say that seeing a group of pretty girls with lots of tattoos that could cook was a real treat. 15 years ago pretty girls with tattoos that I knew couldn’t make a cup of coffee.

Outside was where the real action was. The Bacon Bacon food truck was working the alley and they were a big attraction. Bacon, Bacon and more Bacon. Once again, they had Bacon dipped in chocolate, dredged in toffee. It was very, very good, but I could barely taste the bacon with all the great chocolate that was on it. Just so you all know Bacon should always be capitalized. That is not poor grammar on my part.

The only downside of the evening was the DJ. Not that the music was bad, but I decided to pull out my decibel meter to check and I can give the rating at Motorhead loud. It was definitely past 120db’s which isn’t very good for your hearing in the long term. Plus you pretty much had to scream to talk with anyone or go outside.

All in all it was a fun evening that warranted not just one photo, but a gallery all to itself. I would have taken more pics, but after I started meeting people I had to stop for a bit.

[ad#AdBrite]

I’ve been nominated for the SF Weekly Web Awards!

Yes, yesterday I received an email from SF Weekly’s web editor Jake Swearingen informing me that I have been nominated by them for the Best Local Politics Blogger. I wasn’t really surprised because even though I like to write about all things San Francisco, when it comes to local politics I do like point my finger at the good and bad. I’m not sure what it was that earned me this honor, but I will gladly accept the challenge to see how I pan out.

It could have been all my talk dispelling the myths that the local and state politicians have been putting out about AB376 some of whom weren’t aware that sharkskin suits are made of out cloth and sharkskin wallets are made out of patterned cow hide. I am very against fishing for sharks period because of their place on the food chain that will change the food pyramid of the seas. When some of the people have said, why not ban all shark fishing and not just the fins? I totally agree. Sharks are full of mercury and are listed as a fish not to eat. You can barely find it anywhere in the first place even though Fiona Ma did a google search that I did as well and found that you aren’t finding much shark available for sale in the US, period and I talked about that here.

Maybe it’s the head scratching of politics such as the replanting of the Sunset Boulevard medians with golf course grass that is actually higher maintenance than was mentioned and needs to be trimmed regularly or it gets as unsightly as it is today. Much of it is starting to turn brown and it’s growing over 8″ in many parts of the small section of Sunset boulevard that received it.

Or maybe it’s when I talk about some of the good guys in San Francisco, like my article the other day on Mayoral Candidate John Avalos. As I’ve said before, he’s a good guy that makes you feel like you’re talking to a person, not a person with an agenda.

Well enough of the why’s and wherefores. I’ve been nominated and now it’s up to all of you to vote. I suppose it could be the fact that I’ve lived in San Francisco for over 48 years [which is all my life] and I’ve seen the way the politics have gone over the years that might have got me there. I believe you can vote daily if you like not just once. So you could click on the picture up above that will take you to the site to cast your vote for me, or if you don’t like clicking on pictures for some strange reason you can click on this: http://polls.sfweekly.com/polls/san/webawards11/index.php

[ad#AdBrite]