The Speakeasy

I went to see this last night and it is amazing:

Part of what makes The Speakeasy such a special event are the number of intricate layers revealed -- about the storyline, the set, and your experience with both -- as you go along. You buy your ticket online and await instructions on where to meet up on the appointed night. You're given passwords and strict instructions on staying mum over the course of the evening. And you're rewarded for playing along with access to a labyrinth set where secret passageways offer some of the best seats in the house.

The Speakeasy is less a straight narrative and more a choose-your-own-adventure collection of character studies of the folks who populate a San Francisco speakeasy in the 1920s. There are the mob bosses and the showgirls, the fallen heroes and the families they (tried to) leave behind. The dramatic tension here is romantic and political, it comes out through dialogue, song, and dance, and it's performed in the chair next to you one moment and behind glass the next.

Go get your tickets, seriously. It's totally worth it. I'm probably going to go again.

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recent movies

The Institute: A documentary about the Jejune Institute, a bizarre prank or sort-of alternative-reality game that ran for a few years in SF. It starts off with interviews of some befuddled participants, then a little bit with the people who were running it, and then it takes a left turn into something that seems real and at that point I lost track of whether I was watching a documentary or a complete work of fiction. I'm still not entirely sure. But it's amazing.

Captain America, Winter Soldier: It's basically a long episode of Agents of SHIELD, but I was entertained. It's not as good as The Avengers, but it exceeded my expectations. (I thought the first Captain America was pretty lousy, for reference.)

About Time: It's a time travel movie where nobody is killed and nobody tries to fix anything more complicated than "get the girl". It's the Say Anything of Groundhog Days. It's cute.

The Returned: There had been a zombie apocalypse or two, and then they developed a cure that could reverse zombification if administered early -- but you have to take it every day or you start eating brains. Then supplies start running low of the medicine and everybody betrays everybody. Pretty well done.

Young Justice: not a movie, but two seasons of a cartoon series about Justice League sidekicks. The plots is pretty solid.

I'm not gonna even list the other 35+ movies I've seen since my last post because they pretty much sucked.


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Construction Machinery Jenga

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More car subsidies, because of the Invisible Sky Fairy

SFMTA Board Repeals Sunday Parking Meters: Get ready for the return of Sunday traffic dysfunction and double parking.

Mainstream news reporters who have covered the Sunday metering issue, like columnists Phil Matier and Andrew Ross at the SF Chronicle and CBS affiliate KPIX, typically don't mention that the SFMTA found that meters cut cruising times for parking in half and increased turnover for businesses by at least 20 percent. Instead, parking meters have typically been framed as a way to collect revenue, even in the Chronicle report on today's vote. [...]

As we reported, there's no evidence to support Mayor Lee's claims that anyone besides church leaders have pushed to give away Sunday parking. Indeed, the only speakers who showed up to encourage the SFMTA Board to repeal Sunday meters were the same church leaders who campaigned against the policy in the first place. [...]

Tanev said the parking meter reversal "violates all semblance of competence in government and public process. Your own report shows that meters are beneficial to businesses and shoppers, reduce congestion and increase pedestrian safety."

"Sunday meters were passed in collaboration with many stakeholders, including the Chamber of Commerce. It is a betrayal that they are revoked without the same process applied when they passed."

"You're nobody's puppets," Tanev told the SFMTA Board. "You work for free. Be willing to be fired, do the right thing, and let the politicians take the blame if they interfere in your work."

Previously, previously, previously.

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