Dog Bites

Sure, We'll Show You Around
Tourist season is upon us and the streets are filling with blond Midwestern women wearing jeans, polo shirts, and white Keds, accompanied by camera-toting men in pastel outfits. So Dog Bites was intrigued to hear of Travel & Leisure's new photo contest, open only to actual San Francisco residents.

T&L is begging us to tip tourists to the kind of stuff they would ordinarily skip in favor of the Disney Store and the Hard Rock Cafe. "Perhaps it is a secret place that you show off only to special visitors," hints Richard Fairfield, head of Travel & Leisure's online division.

What, like a parking spot?
The whole contest -- big prize: dinner for two at "one of the newest hot spots in town!" -- seems to us to violate San Francisco's prime directive. After all, we were under the impression that the city had been set up so that tourists and natives could go about their business separately. Isn't that why the cable cars run between Fisherman's Wharf and Union Square?

-- Laurel Wellman

The Usual Suspects
It is with regret that Dog Bites must officially disqualify rock band Psycho Betty from the Weekly's Best of San Francisco Readers' Poll. The ballot-box stuffing has become too brazen for us to ignore, especially since many of the votes have come from places like L.A., and are frequently mailed in batches, filled out in identical handwriting, and completed by people only too obviously unfamiliar with San Francisco, or illiterate, or both. Like the voter who, apart from believing that the best deli sandwiches are to be found at Lucky, cited as best local scandal the "Cannibus Club."

Finally, Psycho Betty themselves sent us their publicity package, part of which we reproduce here. Kate Bush: Phone your office.

-- Laurel Wellman

The Empire Calls Back
There's nothing like huddling around a blazing conspiracy theory to keep San Franciscans warm on a foggy night. Which may be why the very existence of SF Weekly is such a perennial source of disgruntlement to some of our loyal readers.

Or at least to reader Paul Mendelowitz, who writes regularly to complain of our "out-of-town large corporation pseudo-alternative owners."

Now, although the reclusive head of the New Times empire is, of course, a charter member of the Tri-Lateral Commission, that doesn't in any way influence our position on, well, anything. For instance, although Dog Bites was last week ordered, by black-clad operatives of indistinct nationality, to write about the marketing of vanilla-scented candles, you'll notice that we maintained a tongue-in-cheek tone throughout that particular item. And that is only one of the many subtle ways we stick it to the Man.

Mr. Mendelowitz, whose latest epistle terms all SF Weekly employees "stupid," later admitted that we "have very clever writers." But, he said, that's not really the point: The point is that no matter what we do, our ownership makes us bad, bad, bad.

We telephoned Mr. Mendelowitz to ask why he hates us so much. Clearly uncomfortable, he downplayed his role as a Weekly-baiter.

"You get people writing in every week with that whole New Times shtick," he told us. "And, you know, I'm just one of those people. I'm not saying anything particularly original."

Thanks, Paul. Write anytime.
-- Laurel Wellman

Gasp! Another Evil Corporate Empire
Round up the troops, gather the signatures, dip the paintbrushes ... the Inner Sunset vigilantes are fighting yet another evil corporate chain encroachment into their sanctum.

Rite Aid Drugs, the Harrisburg, Penn.-based retail chain that recently acquired Thrifty Payless Drugs Inc., is planning a new store at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Lincoln. Seasonally home to the Delancey Street Christmas Tree Lot, the location is just down the block from the site of the last great neighborhood battle -- Burger King. The fast food restaurant continues to grill patties defiantly underneath a sign urging people to boycott it.

Rite Aid's move is part of a West Coast expansion said to include 10 new stores in San Francisco. Although the corporation has $11.9 billion in annual revenues and nearly 4,000 stores nationwide, Dog Bites can't help but wonder if Rite Aid has done any homework whatsoever on its new neighbors. The Inner Sunset folks successfully kept Blockbuster Video from moving in a few years ago. The North Beach Chamber of Commerce is vigorously fighting a proposed Rite Aid near Washington Square. And all of this brings to mind another battle involving Rite Aid's predecessor, Thrifty Drug, which burned to the ground before it was completed in the Haight a decade ago.

-- L.D.

Dog Bites welcomes tips, especially those pertaining to disgruntlement. Write to Dog Bites, c/o SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94107, or e-mail dogbites@sfweekly.com.

 
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