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Know Your BART Stations

January 9, 2017

We’ve all been there. You’re not totally paying attention. BART slows and the panic grows, OMG WHAT STATION IS THIS.

Luckily, we at the BJCoPAtTC (Burrito Justice Center of Paying Attention to Tile Colors) are here for you. Thanks to our recent MacArthur Genius Grant, we are developing a series of rhymes to overcome the lack of meaningful BART station signage and help you identify stations by the color of tiles and styles of concrete and/or rock that you see outside your dirty BART window. Leave suggestions in the comments (especially for the East Bay)!

Arcs wide & narrow? Its EmbARCadero!

(thanks Dan!)

Montgomery and Powell, I throw in the towel

Montgomery and Powell both have those bumpy white tiles, which are awesome but don’t totally help here. 

Montgomery has a purple stripe but it’s so dark it doesn’t really look purple. Powell’s stripe is orange — good luck rhyming that.
Purple and bompy, you’re at Montgomery

Orange makes you howl, get off at Powell

Yeah, needs work. 

Blue & Green, You’re at 16


Yellow & Brown, Burritos Abound

Special action shot!

Rocky & Stark, You’re at Glen Park

Concrete Below-a, You’re at Balboa

(also, a set of alternate names for kids)

Bike to Books is 3!

August 22, 2016
Sunday, October 9, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Bikes to Books Three-year Anniversary Bicycle Ride! (co-presented by LitQuake)
Join urban mappers and literary enthusiasts Burrito Justice and Nicole Gluckstern for the three-year anniversary of their Bikes to Books project. Combining San Francisco history, art, literature, cycling, and urban exploration, “Bikes to Books” began as an homage to the 1988 street-naming project spearheaded by City Lights founder and former San Francisco Poet Laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in which twelve San Francisco streets were renamed for famous artists and authors who had once made San Francisco their home.
bikes to books map crop
The resulting seven-mile tour is a diverting and unique way to celebrate both the literary and the adventurous spirit of San Francisco. Learn about the authors and neighborhoods that made San Francisco a known literary hub, from South Park to North Beach, Jack London to Jack Kerouac. 
Bring bikes with gears, snacks, and enthusiasm. This is an urban ride of moderate difficulty, recommended for riders sixteen years of age and older.
Meet at 12:45 p.m. at Jack London Street (at South Park in San Francisco)
Ride will commence at 1:00 p.m. sharp
Ride will end at approximately 4:00 p.m. in North Beach, outside City Lights Books

SF Coastline

June 4, 2016

Hey look I made a map!

sf coastal strip

Click on the animated version NOW

The D3 code and GeoJSON is here. It is based on Noah Veltman’s example of the California coast. Thanks Noah!

I generated the borders of contiguous San Francisco (man we have a lot of islands) via the shapefile from SFgov and a lot of clicking in QGIS. (It included piers that no longer exist!)

Here’s the rotated version.

sf coastal strip vertical

Cordova Pintura

June 3, 2016

If you know anything about the Mission you know this picture. 

For decade(s) I have wondered why this painting was in El Farolito. When I learned about how al pastor was actually made, it made more sense. But still, a mystery was afoot. 

I was just in El Royal Cuckoo having a beer after work when the proprietor Deb (who also ran the greatly missed Way Out Cafe) brought the “taqueria paintings” up. “You will know them, I guarantee you.” She then showed me this site and my immediate reaction  was wtf WTF WTF

“He moved here (the Mission) in the ’60’s, and I remember him talking about it being very difficult to be here. He was a janitor but he had some relatives who helped him with a place to stay. One time I went to look for him, he had a studio at Valencia and 14th, in a parking lot, underground, just a little corner with all these cars in there. He had all his paint cans, and I said, “Hey Cordova, how can you paint in this place?” And he said, “It’s all right. In the morning everybody takes their cars and goes to work. By 11:00 am it is empty.” That was his studio. So at night he would go around to all the bars and see people.”

I am glad to have learned about Cordova. Wish I had sooner. 

Ancient Artifacts

January 8, 2016

 I can totally fix this just need a pencil  

La Lenguarama

December 20, 2015


Books! Maps! Benders! Wed, Dec 16th!

December 7, 2015

It’s that time of year again! We will be at Bender’s on Wednesday Dec 16th from 7-9 to talk and beer and even sell a few Bikes to Books maps and posters if you’re so interested. See you there!

UPDATE: we also welcome the people of #geobeers!

bikes to books poster crop

bikes to books timeline crop

Sutro Tower, Home Edition

October 20, 2015

How many times have you said to yourself, “I love Sutro Tower, but I wish I could have one in my living room.”

Well, now you are in luck! Behold, a second human-sized Sutro Tower coat rack joins the fray!

And this one is a SYSTEM!


(I am pretty sure this GIF is bait but hey, Sutro.)

Anyway, head on over to Kickstarter and make a little bit of Sutro yours. Your coats and your heart will thank you.

BFF Music War! TK vs Olu

October 13, 2015

A battle for the ages! TK and Olu, friends for 15 years, made lists of their top twenty songs EVER and had them fight on my show. The format: TK played a song, and Olu played one in response. Then Olu played a song, and TK played a song in response. 13 rounds! And you on Twitter chose the winners!

Seriously though just listen to this one, probably the best show I have done and will ever do. All downhill from here.

UPDATE: TK lists his and Olu’s top 20 songs.

Here are the links to the song pairs for reference — if you haven’t listened to it yet, don’t read ahead, just go with the flow, and then click on the link to vote. A timeless battle!

And the Twitter chatter was epic. Here’s the Storify of the tweets I could find. (Let me know if I missed any.)

Bikes to Books: Autumn is Coming

September 28, 2015

It’s that time of year! Join us at 1 PM on Saturday, October 24th to ride the city and make new friends while learning some history and then have a couple of beers. Rally at South Park for the biannual Bikes to Books tour and enjoy a robust 7.1 mile tour of San Francisco.

bikes to books poster crop

The ride is free, and maps will be for sale at the end of the ride (both the original folded double-sided version and the even larger flat poster version with over 863 square inches of history!

bikes to books timeline crop