San Francisco

Peter Liu, Boxcar Theater

Do you smell something funny in the air? It must be that time of year again—time for SF Sketchfest, the comedy festival that mixes national headliners, local favorites and the best up-and-coming groups for a month of sketch, improv, stand-up and alternative comedy. Besides comedic characters, this week the Bay Area offers multiple chances to boogie down with international groovers, comic artists, and a hip-hop dance party that also gives back to the community.

All week long we've been playing you this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

This auditory guessing game is part of our new project, Audiograph, a crowd-sourced collaborative radio project mapping the sonic signature of each of the Bay Area’s nine counties. By using the sounds of voices, nature, industry, and music, Audiograph tells the story of where you live, and the people who live there with you.

Artist's Rendering of Smartspace Unit Courtesy of Panoramic Interests

We already know San Francisco’s housing market is tight and competition is fierce. A new city regulation hopes to make some more room in the housing market. Soon, current and aspiring San Franciscans will be able to live in “micro-apartments,” just 220 square feet each. City Supervisor Scott Wiener wrote the legislation making these hutches habitable. He talked about them with Crosscurrents Executive Editor, Ben Trefny.

Turnstyle News: The making of an empty San Francisco

Oct 22, 2012

A new, eerily gorgeous empty city video features a San Francisco without cars, pets, or people.

But equally as entertaining for video production nerd types is the “making of” video Ching created, describing his technique.

Patricia Hemphill was very young when it dawned on her that she had a big dream for her future, but it wasn’t very well-received by her teacher at the time, Ms. Hart. Hemphill shares the story in this interview with her mother, Anniece Hemphill at the San Francisco StoryCorps booth in the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Pomo Afro Homos? Yes, "post-modern African American homosexuals," the groundbreaking black queer performance troupe from the 90's is back! Marilyn Pittman talks with Brian Freeman, one of the founders of the group that made history in San Francisco during the AIDS crisis of the early 90's. He's reprising their signature show, "Fierce Love," with updated material and new performers at The New Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco October 17-28.

UK Department for International Development

At a time when Americans are increasingly preoccupied with our own upcoming elections, some of San Francisco’s expatriates recently had a chance to hear from a political fighter of their own.  Burmese opposition leader and Nobel prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi visited San Francisco at the end of last week.  

Political movements don't have to be shaped by politicians.  In fact, one of the most dynamic movements to shape the way we see our streets started with a group of bicycle riders in San Francisco who simply wanted to be seen.

It's a gathering that's come to be known as "Critical Mass."  Tomorrow night, hundreds, if not thousands, of cyclists from around the world will come together to take over the city's streets and celebrate the event's 20th anniversary.

Photographer Richard Morgenstein has lived in Pacific Heights since the late 1990s. Before that, he lived in Manhattan and enjoyed it. In many ways, Morgenstein is still very New York. He doesn’t have a car. He relies on public transportation to tote his camera bags around. But the new construction soaring above a growing San Francisco doesn’t really make him nostalgic for his former hometown. Rather, he’s inclined to give a Bronx cheer.

Really Free Market Site

When you're low on cash, there are a couple of ways to shop for clothes, shoes, or anything else you may need.  You can probably find some good deals online at Freecycle or Craigslist or maybe you'll sift through the goods at your favorite second hand store.

Here, in  San Francisco, you can go to the monthly Really Really Free Market. It's a swap meet but without the price tags. As part of our series on Sharing Economy, KALW's Steven Short takes us there, in this piece from our archives. 

Listen to the full story above.


When Emily McGranachan was a child, her mothers decided to end their long-term relationship. McGranachan sat down with San Francisco StoryCorps to explain what it is like for a child when two parents of the same-sex split up, and how having a legally married status comes with the additional privilege of the ability for a legal divorce.

Flickr user Sterneck

Joseph Luna woke up this morning in a sleeping bag under the Harrison Street on-ramp to Highway 101. He sleeps here when he needs to get out of the rain.

Luna does not sleep past eight because he'll get rousted by police. His sleeping spot is near a five-way intersection, in back of a city tow lot. In his morning routine, he will get up, stack the cardboard and shove his stuff into a big black duffel bag, the only bag he owns.

Maybe you've just seen The Bourne Legacy and have nagging feeling that you're being watched at all times. Maybe you related a little too much to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So if you see low-flying helicopters crisscrossing the skies this week, you might think the government is after you, or that the aliens have finally arrived. But the more likely explanation is that you've caught a glimpse of the federal effort to measure "naturally occurring background radiation."

City Visions talks with Rec and Parks' General Manager about the department's budget initiatives for next year, the $195 million parks improvement bond proposed for this fall's ballot, and what all of this could mean for your favorite neighborhood park.

The voices of San Francisco Pride

Jun 25, 2012

This past weekend, San Francisco’s streets were filled with pride. Thousands of people participated in the 42nd annual event, celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and culture. The youth producers of OutLoud radio were there, talking to participants about what Pride means to them. They bring us this audio postcard.  

Angel: Hello, my name is Angel and I am here with OutLoud Radio and we are at Delores Park. And I am here with…

Jose the Gay: …Jose the Gay. I am 24 years old.

Angel: And he is from…

Photo courtesy of Flickr user KayVee.INC

On June 5th, San Franciscans will be voting on many things, one of which has to do with their trash.

Since the 1930s, the company Recology has been taking care of The City’s trash and recycling, with no competition. This year, proponents of Proposition A want to change that by opening up the city's trash collection and processing services to a competitive bidding process. Other companies – even out of state ones – would have the chance to bid for the job.

A magnitude 2.4 earthquake struck near the intersection of Ygnacio Valley and Oak Grove roads in Walnut Creek just before 9am this morning. The "microquake" did not apparently result in any major property damange or injuries...

If your business or nonprofit is ready to make an important contribution to San Francisco’s future, consider hosting a student intern this summer.

San Francisco public high school students pursuing in careers in finance, information technology, biotech, hospitality, law, and health science  are looking for summer internship opportunities.  They're motivated and ready for real-world work experience.   

The President cashes in at Bay Area ATM

Feb 17, 2012
Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

There were two sides to the story of President Obama’s appearance at a San Francisco fundraiser Thursday night. One happened inside the Masonic Center on Nob Hill. The other took place immediately outside.

Flaming Faggotry: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, editor of the new queer anti-assimilationist anthology "Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform," is back for another "delicious conversation" on Out in the Bay. This time, he -- oops, I mean she -- brings Harris Kornstein, aka ice-skating drag queen Lil Miss Hot Mess, one of his/her San Francisco-based contributors with her/ him.