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FREE LIVE MUSIC? WHAAT!?!

Stereopony at Amoeba Music at 1855 Haight Street

Another adventurous night in the Haight turned into an event filled experience. I had heard of a couple of things going on and I couldn’t quite decide which to cover so I ended up touching base at multiple places.

First off we have Amoeba Music who kicked off the week with an all ages free show featuring Japanese all-girl rock trio Stereopony.The band that originated in 2007 from Okinawa, Japan, drew in a crowd that swarmed the aisles of Amoeba’s CD racks. People found stools and steps to stand on to get a vantage over the crowd of about 70 people.

The band is currently touring and will be playing at Slim’s tomorrow night April 10 if any of you are interested in going to check that out. Be sure to follow Amoeba on twitter for more upcoming in-store events! Not only do they post what their store is currently doing but they also like to help out with anything music related. So if you are into music they are a great feed to follow.

@AmoebaSF

@amoebamusic

Oh… and as for my other experience for the night… you are just going to have to wait for it! I will post it tomorrow. Here’s a hint—though I doubt anyone will guess(unless you follow my twitter feed @GonHaight which you should because it is awesome!)—sex and cupcakes. That is all…

Goodnight!

#Haightersgonhaight

Haight Ashbury Bar Hop

Seriously, you could spend an entire day in the Haight Ashbury.  There are restaurants and coffee shops to get you fueled and caffeinated. There is an endless amount of shopping with the boutiques and clothing stores.  You can get pierced or tattooed. There are music stores, grocery stores, sporting good stores, hair salons, anything and everything!

So where do people go when they want to wind down. After long day of shopping and hanging out, there must be a place to go to grab a little food and a drink! Here is the Haight Ashbury Bar Hop! Click on the spots on the map for more detailed descriptions on each place!

Starting from Golden Gate Park and moving on down Haight, Kezar Pub, is an excellent choice for a mid-afternoon early evening bar to start off the night.  It is a sports bar with 26 beers on tap and they are famous for their wings.

Moving along, we find ourselves at Milk Bar. This bar is probably one that you would want to hit up either early in the afternoon, or late night. They have a good mix of live music and DJs performing throughout the week. They host all genres, everything from Bluegrass to dub step. Check their online calendar to see which night would be best for you to swing by.

Next on the list is Citrus Club. This place is unique in that it is a noodle house featuring dishes from different countries. So if you’re looking for a good dinner to settle your stomach and wanting to have a drink along with it, Citrus Club may be the place for you.

We follow up the bar hop with The Alembic.  This bar has such an extensive list of liquor that you just may spend your night trying to decide what to drink… But you better hurry, we are not even half way done here.

Asqew Grill is a great place for dinner.  They have burgers and skewers that cause life changing experiences during consumption. They even cater to those on diets with their special Vegan menu and Gluten Free menu. This is probably another place you would want to use as a start off to your night, get a full dinner in and a beer on tap!

Now for a cool hangout sit down spot, we have Hobson’s Choice. With an extensive menu dedicated to just Rum, it is a good thing that there is plenty of seating at this bar, even an upstairs seated section. After having a drink or two here, you will probably need to be seated for awhile.

For you dive-bar goers, you are in luck with the Gold Cane Cocktail Lounge. A pool table, good company and a bar are all you need here.

Club Deluxe is where you want to go for some live music and stand-up comedy. Jazz is the specialty here, and it is definitely a classier bar on the Haight. Check out their online calendar for up coming events.

Trax Bar is definitely unique on the street. It is a dive bar. It is somewhat of a sports bar—they do show sporting events. But what truly makes this bar one of a kind to Haight Ashbury is that it is a gay bar. Most people don’t even realize it, not even after walking in.

Last but not least we have Magnolia Pub and Brewery.  For all of you beer lovers out there, there is no better spot than a brewery. They rotate through what they are brewing every now and then so you have to stop by to check up on the menu, but they also have a listing on their site.

It’s great to have this listing of places, but which are the favorites? Let’s find out!

“Deluxe has the best Greyhounds,” says bar hopper Josh Smith.  “It’s why I go there and why I keep coming back.”

“Alembic is my favorite,” says Jessica Dega of Piper’s . “They have a really broad selection of whiskey.”

Becky Dill from Cold Steel America says that the Gold Cane is her favorite because it has that dive bar feel that all of the Haight workers enjoy. “I pretty much know everyone who works out here on Haight. After work we all hangout there,” she says.

Of course again there is Magnolia from an earlier story that we now know is a home away from home for many Upper Haighters. Which ever you choose, remember there are plenty more, so start your day off right in the Haight. Get some food and do some shopping. Watch a game at Kezar and drink a beer.  Or go and have a full noodle dinner at Citrus Club. In the end there is a place for everyone.

Day in the Park

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A shoe parlor that completes the puzzle

Piper’s Shoe Parlor adds to the ever changing Haight

Piper's Shoe Parlor opened in Aug. 2011.

The Upper Haight is a galleria of shops, bars, restaurants and cafes competing in a constantly changing market. A new endeavor—by way of shoes—steps its way up establishing prominence in the neighborhood.

Piper’s Shoe Parlor at 1682 Haight St., dreamt up by brother and sister Justin and Jessica Dega, opened in Aug. 2011. Their shop is a thought-out showcasing of unique footwear revitalizing the soul of the Haight Ashbury shopping experience, according to nearby businesses.

“I think we need more stores like them on the street,” says Lisa Beach, buyer at Aqua Surf Shop. “It’s a refreshing store to have… It’s a good presence.”

Beach explains that the shop adds diversity to the street. Although there are many stores focused on shoes, she says that Piper’s is  a “good move for Haight,” because it is a step towards retail growth in the neighborhood.

Shop owners Justin and Jessica Dega doing product inventory after receiving a shipment.

Justin says that their product is what makes them stand out from similar stores.

“I think we dig a little deeper than some stores,” says Justin. He explains that they look for “unestablished brands,” because they are “willing to grow” as Piper’s itself grows.

Jessica agrees by saying that what makes the store work is the fact that they build a partnership with the companies that they work with.

“It’s actually really nice to work with other companies that are small,” says Jessica. “They understand where you are coming from and they want you to succeed.”

The store has received a warm welcoming thus far and they are glad to be a part of the Haight Ashbury, especially since their location happened by chance.

“It fell into our lap,” says Jessica.  She says that they were in the “right place at the right time,” and that they are “happy to be in this location.”

Jessica Dega rearranges shoes on the display shelf.

“As of now this is where I want to be,” adds Justin. “It’s an established retail area.”

Maurice Lee, manager of Wasteland agrees that there is no better place for Piper’s than Haight Street.

“I like when shops open up, rounding out Haight Street,” says Lee. “It’s not another ‘head-shop’ so that is awesome!”

Piper’s is still within its first year and Justin and Jessica are in the process of learning their business with hopes for great growth.

“I think a lot is changing on Haight Street right now,” says Jessica. “The fact that this is a new endeavor for both of us and since it’s ours, we want it to work.”

She says that within the next five years they plan to expand to different locations, maybe even different cities and states.

“Really we are just trying to keep and learn where we stand,” says Justin. He explains how eventually they will have a responsibility in contributing to making the street “thrive” by participating in merchants associations, fund raisers and events.

As for now they are putting their passions and experience to the test. The store sells everything from hats, bags, coats and jewelry, but of course their main focus is on the shoes.

“We definitely like to put a lot of effort into finding things that are cool and have good design that maybe people don’t know about,” says Jessica.

“We can finally put everything into it,” says Justin. “We are definitely passionate about shoes… what drives us is our love to find something new.”

Phone: 415-553-6884

Address: 1682 Haight Street

Business Hours:  Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 11 a.m to 8 p.m.

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Before the Fall book release at The Red Vic

Orna Ross, author of the novel Before the Fall.

The Red Victorian Bed and Breakfast Peaceful World Center at 1665 Haight St., played host to the e-book release celebration of Orna Ross‘ new novel, Before the Fall, on Tuesday night.

A group of about 15 gathered to participate in the event that was highlighted with readings from the new novel.  Along with Ross, was a three-piece-Irish-folk group that provided a musical breath in-between readings.

People came from all over to take part in the book release, a few even were fellow Ireland-ers, but all were writers and peace-lovers who joined.

The new release, Before the Fall, has a great deal to do with the civil war in Ireland, and the framework is loosely based on Ross’ own observations growing up there.

“I was brought up in Ireland in the 1960’s and 70’s and the civil war quite simply was not spoken about,” Ross said, addressing her audience.  “We learned history in school.  It jumped straight from our glorious Republican operating of 1916 to the Eucharistic  congress of 1932.”

She then continues to relate the book to her own reality.

“The story is told through the life a young woman,” she said.  “She grows up in a village knowing that it is divided in two, but never really having that explained to her.  She just sort of grows into it like its the air she breathes.”

Through research she finds that the war had torn friends and families apart, fighting on opposing sides and again relates her own experiences.

“I knew that my father’s uncle had been killed in that war and shot by his best friend…  and I was absolutely fascinated by that.  How on earth could it get to a situation that you would wind up shooting your best friend?” she said to the audience.

Remaining audience members wait in line for an autograph and a chance to meet with author Orna Ross.

Ross continued on with more excerpts from her story.  She closed the night with a poem entitled The Writers Calland the night was played out with one last song from the band.

Orna Ross has had a long going relationship with The Red Victorian and the staff, in particularly Sami Sunchild, the owner of the establishment.

“I have returned many times, alone and with my family,” Ross said.  Her relationship with the bed and breakfast peace center has been going on for more than 15 years, and throughout that time, she has worked on numerous writings within its walls.