By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
By Joe Eskenazi
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
Behind the Waterfront
Dog Bites, occasionally given to wandering open-mouthed around the city, has been wondering what, exactly, is going on with the Waterfront Restaurant. The place has been looking as though it's set to open any minute now for months, and -- unless we are imagining this, which is always entirely possible -- was even at one point draped in a banner reading, "GRAND RE-OPENING."
It turns out restaurant owners Al and Cheryl Falchi are involved in a vicious lien fight, which started when the Mayor's Office of Community Development granted the Falchis a $3.2 million low-interest loan for renovation of the restaurant (including an upscale upstairs addition).
The money began running out last summer, though, and by the end of the year, the Falchis were accusing contractors the Fine Line Group Inc. of shoddy workmanship. Fine Line filed a lien against the Waterfront for $700,000. In retaliation, the Falchis launched a lawsuit against Fine Line, which, in turn, is suing the Falchis and the city.
Still with us? Meanwhile, port officials, in a burst of bureaucratic efficiency, threatened the Waterfront with eviction, citing the lien, which is in violation of the restaurant's lease.
It's probably purely happenstance that the nearly 25-year-old restaurant is sitting in one of San Francisco's most coveted locations: Pier 7, smack in the center of the soon-to-be-redeveloped Embarcadero. And that other would-be restaurant operators were, um, salivating at the prospect of its lease becoming available.
I regularly read Jon Carroll's column and enjoy it immensely. I used to read your column, which I enjoyed sort of marginally, until you got on this kick of trashing Jon Carroll's column. Now, I roll my eyes and turn the page.
Marginal enjoyment of Dog Bites! Well, it's something, anyway, in this jaded town.
We will not be summarizing the work of Mr. Carroll's replacements this week, though not out of deference to Mr. Duart. It's more that we think Carroll's vacation should be our vacation. Instead we quote a letter we received from someone who signs him/herself only "B.E.":
I am a gruntled reader of both Jon Carroll and Dog Bites. How can this be? By squaring the circle. I like Jon's wit and style, and I like your deconstruction of same. And I like your wit, derivative though it is, and I suspect Jon is not annoyed by the attention and that the love/hate thing is going on with you, and let's all go to the beach. Too bad about the poison oak. Don't you have that plant up in Laplandia? Ha ha.
Yes, let's all go to the beach. Us especially. Ha ha.
We Read Jon Katz, So You Don't Have To
Critic-at-Large Jon Katz has left what's left of HotWired to pursue other interests, ending his tenure there with a column that said, among other things:
"I loved being part of this weird revolution and can't help feeling sharp pangs at seeing the magazine I wrote for being gobbled up by Conde Nast slickies" (read: people who arrive at work before noon).
This, naturally, prompted a whole bunch of maudlin e-mail postings -- with headers like "Bye bye, sniff sniff" -- from Katz fans nostalgic for the good old days of 1996.
"20 years from now, when I look back on whatever slice of webby mayhem that we've spun ourselves by then, I'll remember hotwired as it was and think of the FLAVOR of Jon Katz. All of the technoadvice will be a faded blur in the face of time, but your words are timeless. Thanks for your soul," wrote one Katz devotee.
At this point Dog Bites broke down weeping -- oh, God, why does everything have to change? -- and very nearly had to rush home to our cherished collection of old Wired magazines, which serve as a kind of security blanket in times like these.
"I'm sad, Jon," continued the admirer. "Sad for hotwired as it enters its new realm without you to add color. Sad for the state of web journalism ...."
Eventually, we pulled ourselves together over a cup of coffee -- even the coffee was better back then! -- but it will be a long, long time before things are really OK again.
We Listen to Amos Brown, So You Don't Have To
Dog Bites' favorite San Francisco city supervisor, Amos Brown, has never been known for brevity. In fact, even those accustomed to the endless caring, sharing, supporting, empowering, and building of communities with which our city politicians occupy themselves are secretly in awe of Brown's filibustering abilities.
And at a recent meeting of the Democratic Party Central Committee, SFWeekly contributor Peter Byrne's tape recorder revealed why when someone asked Brown about his efforts toward the revitalization of Visitacion Valley:
"Well I have supported first of all public meetings to bring the community together in order that the community can acquire ownership of whatever is to be done out there. I've also supported -- bilingual offices there, and I've gotten the support of the Police Department for a center to be located there that will enable the community to have community-based policing to ... with the safety issues out there.