By Chris Roberts
By Joe Eskenazi
By Albert Samaha
By Mike Billings
By Rachel Swan
By Erin Sherbert
By Joe Eskenazi
By Albert Samaha
I worked under Warren Hinckle during his brief (though not brief enough) editorship of Francis Coppola's City of San Francisco in 1975, and would point out a couple of minor errors in Jack Boulware's chronology ("Hinckle, Hinckle, Little Star," Feb. 14). Warren did not "devise" the magazine with Francis; it was already up and running, under the editorship of Michael Parrish. (And in that incarnation it was the successor to the estimable but on the whole less ambitious City magazine, founded in 1973, in which Coppola was an investor.) Parrish and most of his editorial staff above the level of copy editor or researcher were let go after issue No. 4, whereupon Warren came in, holding the door open for a motley collection of North Beach habituŽs and politicos, notably the self-styled Trotskyite Stephen Schwartz (now writing obits for the Chronicle), about whose contribution the less said the better.
While Francis worked on Apocalypse Now far from San Francisco, Hinckle and company wrought havoc on the staff and, ultimately, the entire endeavor. Warren, who referred to subeditors and other anonymous laborers on his behalf as "pigfuckers" within their hearing, was at that time disorderly, irresponsible, and utterly without charm -- far and away the least admirable character I have encountered in a long publishing career. (To put that statement in context, be aware that I spent a couple of subsequent years working for Larry Flynt.) If he was in fact a genius of some sort at that point in his career, the impact was utterly lost on those of us obliged to clean up his messes. As a copy editor pulling repeated all-nighters waiting for Warren to file his copy long past deadline, I yanked him off my share of barstools unassisted by the lackey whom Boulware claims Coppola assigned that unappetizing chore.
Having subsequently occupied positions of equivalent authority at other publications, I have used my memories of Warren to guide my actions: Whatever he would have done in a given situation, be it one requiring editorial decision-making or simple human interaction, I am careful to do the opposite.
I can't believe the weak arguments against the China Basin ballpark ("Take Me Out to the Rock Show?" Shafer, Feb. 7). In 1989, all I heard was "Let them pay for it." Well, they are and you still pick it apart. Other parts of the country are building new parks with various tax bond measures. The Giants are privately underwriting the project. There will be no sweetheart deals, land giveaways, or hidden costs! As far as the gridlock fears, this park will be one of the most public-transit-accessible facilities anywhere. Not to mention the jobs and tax revenue it will generate.
Gosh, what new ballpark scandal will SF Weekly uncover next ("Take Me Out to the Rock Show?")? First you say that the Giants don't know how to run their business, and now we're shocked by the possibility of live musical entertainment, and perhaps another (the horror!) brewpub. Hell no, we can't have that in San Francisco, whose simple, down-to-earth citizens frown on too much fun, preferring instead to cocoon in front of a nice warm PBS special.
The scare tactics in Shafer's article emulate the mouth-foamers among the anti-baseball crowd. Whether it's his Rolling Stones-at-the-ballpark fantasy or the picture of sports- and beer-sodden nonresidents descending on that suddenly genteel, hoity-toity neighborhood, we're led to believe that it's all gonna be a holocaust.
Well, I may just be an old-fashioned optimist, but I'm confident that there are enough levelheaded San Franciscans who will see what a boon the ballpark will be to the city as a whole and, yes, to South Beach in particular! The tiny handful of whiners down there may possibly wake up one morning and realize that they moved into a vibrant, growing urban environment, not their personal Club Med neighborhood, and they'll either be grateful to the forward-looking citizens who revitalized our rotting waterfront, or else they'll be grumpy Shaferheads and move out.
No Marx Brother
Greg Plagiartaud's "Laboring Under a Misconception" (Letters, Feb. 7) is as phony as a three-dollar bill bearing Marx's (Groucho's) face. His pseudo-intellectual babble about class struggle and Theatre Concrete's shortcomings is hardly that of a "disinterested" reader philosophizing atop a proletarian soapbox. Plagiartaud is a poet-and-playwright wannabe who traipses through life cleverly disguised as a Haight Street hipster lurking in the shadows of his own mediocrity.
The trendoidy article ("The Laborer-Saving Device," Bay View, Jan. 24) that Plagiartaud was purportedly commenting upon also kept readers in the dark. Paul D. Kretkowski apparently never got past Go-Boy's and Humper's infectiously humorous facades to grasp the underlying horror of their charred skeletal corpora. With their ever-growing robotic red-light district, [Frank] Garvey and crew are unleashing some of the most provocative guerrilla theater in the city. And since Kretkowski's piece annoyingly omitted an address or phone number, people can check out Theatre Concrete for themselves: 550 Natoma, S.F.; 621-4068.
In the Name of Fair Play
In "What's in a Name?" (Eat, Feb. 7), the restaurant I work in, 2223 Market, was reviewed. I realize that the food section may be of less importance than the "harder" news, but I think I have some valid criticisms/suggestions.
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