Hey there, San Francisco.
Last week, four UCSF doctors penned an “open letter” to Governor Gavin Newsom entitled, “Post-Omicron Pivot for California Public Schools.”
In it, the doctors say that school children should be allowed to “unmask” while playing outdoors and by the end of February, they should have the option of whether or not to wear a mask inside the classroom. For both teachers and students in preschools and daycares, they say unmasking should be allowed immediately.
“We are particularly concerned about the toll that our state’s policies continue to have on children and teens,” the doctors wrote, noting that Omicron was less severe than prior variants.
One of the doctors behind the letter, Dr. Jeanne Noble, told the SF Standard on Monday: “We felt it was necessary to really put this forth as we saw the Omicron cases peak and now enter their descent. We would like to get kids first in line to enjoy the benefit of peeling back Covid restrictions.”
Noble went on to say: “We don’t need to force people to take off their masks or socialize or do anything that they feel is out of their comfort zone. But I think to begin the transition towards normality, we have to stop prohibiting normal social interactions. And then the rest will follow suit.”
Are normal times on the horizon? I guess we will see.
And with that…onto some news…
Quick bits: Bite-sized news stories
😔 Antisemitic flyers were put on front doorsteps this weekend in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, which read, “Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish.” Mayor London Breed said on Tuesday that “these antisemitic acts and any scare tactics like them have no place in San Francisco.” (NBC Bay Area / SF Standard)
👀 A 40-year-old man was “stabbed repeatedly” during a bar fight last Friday at Club 26 Mix in the Mission. He died at the scene, and as of Monday, the police had made no arrests in connection to the case. (Mission Local)
Food news: News about food and drink
🍕 Cellarmaker Brewing Company, which has a taproom in SoMa and a pizzeria in the Mission, is expanding east. It plans to bring its pizza and beer to Oakland (in Blue Bottle Coffee’s original warehouse near Jack London Square) sometime in late summer. (Chronicle)
🍷 An 800-square-foot shop selling natural wine bottles and vintage glassware opened on Tuesday in the Castro. It’s called Bottle Bacchanal. As Chronicle wine critic Esther Mobley writes: “Like many wine shops nowadays, [they] will also offer wine clubs. A $50/month option offers two bottles, and a $90/month option comes with four.” (Chronicle)
🍜 Eater reporter Becky Duffett wrote this week that the “hottest date night destination in San Francisco” might just be the Stonestown Galleria. Dining options include Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, Marugame Udon, Gram Cafe & Pancakes, Mochill Donuts, and Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea. (Eater)
What else I’m reading: Links to browse at your leisure
The logical flaw at the heart of the City Attorney’s vindication of DBI director (Mission Local)
A Huge SF Drug Raid in 1977, Now Immortalized On a Plaque, Changed a Black Neighborhood Forever (Frisc)
Will climate change impact San Francisco’s famous sourdough? (Examiner)
And finally… A piece by Paolo Bicchieri
If you’ve been outside the Ferry Building lately, you might have run into Ben Bernthal, a traveling poet and the mastermind behind the Strangers’ Poet Project.
Here’s how it works: Bernthal, sitting in a small chair behind his 1960’s Hermès Rocket typewriter, asks participants for three to five words. He looks for relationships between those words, asks a follow-up question or two, and then, he crafts a poem.
People can pay what they like and can choose to have the poem sent to someone they know. Bernthal is prepared with envelopes and stamps.
The poet came to the Bay Area last summer with his wife, a traveling nurse. He credits his method to the poet Lynn Gentry, who began writing performative poetry on Haight Street back in 2009.
“I met him doing something similar in Dolores Park,” Bernthal said. “We got talking. We stayed connected, then became close friends. He got me going on it.”
Bernthal said he wants to follow the project wherever it leads–a fluid approach similar to his poetry writing style.
“Maybe like a coffee table book,” Bernthal said. “I’d also like a popup shop, with a rollout rug and tea.”
Ben writes in front of the entrance to the Ferry Building on Saturdays starting around 10 am. He also roams Valencia Street (between 17th and 19th) on Friday and Saturday evenings. On Sundays, he’s known to be at Clement Street Farmers’ Market from 10 am to 2 pm, followed by Golden Gate Park near the Conservatory of Flowers. You can also find where he’s stationed by checking his Instagram stories.
That’s all for today. But before you go, we are so very close to reaching 6,000 subscribers! If you’ve been thinking about sharing The SF Minute with a friend or family member or colleague, maybe now’s the time!
Alright, have an awesome night y’all, and see you back here tomorrow.
- Nick B.