Monday, August 3, 2015

Today... Tuesday August 4, 2015

Today... Tuesday August 4, 2015

Jasmine /

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Just thinking about that should bring a smile to anyone's face!

Here's Mrs Field's own recipe for her famous Blue-Ribbon cookies that will melt in your mouth!

Today... In Bay Area History

1977 - International Hotel Evictions

The final residents were evicted from the International Hotel on August 4, 1977. In 1978, then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein created an International Hotel Citizens Advisory Committee, which was unable to break the deadlock between low-cost housing advocates and the property owner. The building stood empty while the fate of the site continued to be debated, but was finally demolished in 1981.

The Fall of the I-Hotel brings to life the brutal 10-year eviction struggle of the International Hotel’s tenants. In the 1950’s, the I-Hotel was the heart of Manilatown’s 10,000 people. By 1968, all that remained of Manilatown was the one block that housed the International hotel. The owner wanted to replace the hotel with a parking garage, catalyzing a movement of senior citizens, churches, labor groups and community activists to preserve the I-Hotel as low-cost housing for the elderly, and as an Asian community center. 300 baton-wielding and horse-mounted police broke through several thousand people (the “human barricade”) surrounding the building, and forcibly evicted 50 elderly tenants in the pre-dawn hours of August 4, 1977.

In 1994 the site was acquired by the Roman Catholic archdiocese of San Francisco. The air rights was later sold to Chinatown Community Development Center which planned to build a replacement low-cost residential project. In 2003, construction began on the new I-Hotel, and the building was completed on August 26, 2005. The new building contains 105 apartments of senior housing. A lottery was held to determine priority for occupancy, with the two remaining living residents of the original I-Hotel given priority. Occupancy started in October 2005, and the new building also contained a ground-floor community center and a historical display commemorating the original I-Hotel.

Today... In Bay Area Sports

Oakland Athletics vs. Baltimore Orioles   7:05pm

Final score last night - A's vs. Orioles (L) 2-9
San Francisco Giants @ Atlanta Braves   4:05pm

Final score last night - Giants @ Braves  (L) 8-9

Monday, June 1, 2015

Today in San Francisco Bay Area History - 1851

Today in San Francisco Bay Area History

June 1, 1851

source -

 By Anthony Clemente

Horse-drawn omnibuses began running between California Exchange and Mission Dolores, then later through other city routes. As the low fare transportation alternative of the day, it quickly became quite popular.

Though it ran on a designated route, there were no designated stops. If someone wanted a ride, they would simply raise their hand in the air, like when hailing a taxi, and the driver would pull over to pick them up. When it was time to get off, the passenger would pull a strap which was attached to the drivers leg.

The San Francisco Omnibus service ended its run just a few years shy of the 20th Century. A newer and better mode of transportation, the cable car, took over in popularity and comfort when it was introduced in 1878. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Free Ice Cream Cone Day 2015 | Häagen-Dazs

Free Ice Cream Cone Day 2015 | Häagen-Dazs

By Mauricio Segura
May 11, 2015

     Do you really need an excuse to get yourself a Häagen-Dazs ice cream? If you do, here's one...FREE!

In observance of "Free Ice Cream Cone Day 2015", participating Häagen-Dazs ice cream stores throughout the bay area will be giving everyone a free, yes FREE, kiddie -size cone scoop of their favorite flavor. Just visit one of their stores tomorrow May 12, 2015 between 4-8pm to get your free scoop of frozen fun.

Here is the list of the bay area Häagen-Dazs ice cream locations:

San Francisco – SF Centre, 865 Market St
Concord – Sun Valley Shopping Center, 1 Sun Valley Mall Dr, 472 A
Pleasanton – Stoneridge Mall, 1144 Stoneridge Mall Rd, #B-120
San Jose – Oakridge Mall, 925 Blossom Hill Road, Store #1744
Santa Clara – Valley Fair Mall, 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd. Suite 2458
Brentwood – 2545 Sand Creek Rd, Brentwood

Don't worry if you're reading this and you don't live in the bay area, Häagen-Dazs is giving away ice cream at all of their participating stores nationwide. To find a location near you, just follow this link - -

Make your day a little sweeter tomorrow. Enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Edible Garden at Avaya Stadium

Edible Garden at Avaya Stadium

By Mauricio Segura
May 1, 2015

The San Jose Earthquakes, along with the city of San Jose and Santa Clara County have set up a new edible garden on the grounds of the new Avaya Stadium.

The groundbreaking for this succulent venture was held on April 23rd with the planting of a cherry tree. “We are proud of our partnership with the City of San José,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “With their guidance, we have been able to make Avaya Stadium a leader in educating people about green initiatives. The garden in the 7UP Epicenter is a key piece of that and we are proud that the garden will include fruit trees that were so critical to the growth of this valley.”

Along with the cherry tree, the garden will also feature apricots and plums, with more varieties to be introduced later. The Quakes strive to be environmentally oriented as they already have innovative watering systems that allow little to no waste to be deposited into landfills.

Kerrie Romanow, director of the San José Environmental Services Department put it best, “This garden is a great way to engage fans, adults and children alike; and it reminds us that every green action that we take makes a significant impact in our community.”

Friday, April 3, 2015

Never fear, water taxi's here!

Never fear, water taxi's here!

By Mauricio Segura
September 15, 2014

Photo by Ed Rhee /

     Truth be told, walking along the San Francisco waterfront is a wonderful way to explore the sights and sounds of the city. It's lined with shops, mouth watering restaurants, and scenic vistas that provoke photographers to run around aimlessly like dogs in a fire hydrant factory.

     Time goes by fast, and although it's only a two mile walk from Pier 39 to the Ferry Building, most people end up taking cross street excursions to the Embarcadero Center for example, and before you know it, you may have walked 5 - 10 miles between point A and point B.

     That's the moment when you're standing in the shadow of the Ferry Building with the realization that you now have to walk all the way back. Of course, people who are fit and walk around all the time won't mind the approximate 25-minute trek, but non-walkers, the elderly, and especially parents with young children, will find the task as appealing as standing in line for a ride at a third rate theme park.

from facebook page
   Since March, the San Francisco Water Taxi has been operating a boat known as "Lil Taxi" from three points along the waterfront. Operating daily from 10:30am to 5:00pm, you can hop on for a ride between Pier 1 1/2 next to the Ferry Building and the Hyde Street Pier at Fisherman's Wharf. During Giants home day games, they will also provide service down to Pier 40.

     There's nothing better than to explore the San Francisco waterfront from both sides, right? And now you can! Tickets are cash only with adults paying just $10, youth 6-12 $5, and children under 5 ride for free. Round trip service is included.

     So remember the Lil Taxi next time you want to give your feet a rest and enjoy a ride along one of the most scenic waterfronts in the world.

For more information -


Wednesday, March 25, 2015


The Amazing Race - San Francisco Style
By Mauricio Segura
March 25, 2015

Ok, it's not exactly the amazing race, but it's as close as many of us will get to actually competing in it. There is no million dollar prize when you reach the end, but you will have an blast running around the city by the bay trying to beat your family and friends to the finish line.

A few years ago, Christie Walker Bos was bored. Her job takes her traveling around to many exciting cities, but she often found herself trying to find fun things to do in her downtime. City tours were often boring as she didn't just want to sit and be talked to, she wanted to be out and about. As a huge fan of the TV reality show, "The Amazing Race", Christie got the idea to incorporate something similar that would allow exploring while learning about the city, and still have fun in the process. Thus, Urban Adventure Quest was born.

Now in over 30 cities and museums, Urban Adventure Quest allows individuals and teams to compete against each other by utilizing their smart phones or other mobile devices to solve clues, complete challenges, and work together to unravel secrets as you're touring around the city.

The San Francisco version begins at the Yerba Buena Gardens and ends at the Hyde Street Pier. The roughly 2-mile course will take approximately 4 hours to compete as you traverse your way through Union Square, The Cable Car Museum, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf and more. Aside from walking, you'll also be riding the cable car.

The cost for this adventure is only $49 per team (no more than 5 people per team), so a large group can make this a super fun way to spend a day in San Francisco. At the end of the course, you can compare scores (yes, you rack up points along the way) between those you competed with, as well as those who have done the race before you.

The Urban Adventure Quest can be done 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset. Discounts are available for corporate events, parties, schools, and the military.

For more information, please visit the Urban Adventure Quest website -

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Al Capone: The Alcatraz Romantic?

Al Capone: The Alcatraz Romantic?

By Mauricio Segura
August 6, 2014

source - courtesy of Madame Tussauds San Francisco
reposted at -
     That's a painting of the infamous crime boss Al "Scarface" Capone during his internment in Alcatraz. Unlike his time served in Philadelphia's Eastern Penitentiary where he was treated as a celebrity with perks, Alcatraz proved to be the complete opposite. However, due to good behavior, he was allowed some leisure time on occasion.

     As depicted in the painting, Big Al played a mean banjo. He was a huge fan of music and the arts, and indulged in them whenever possible. When not behind bars, he often attended the Opera and Symphonic performances around Chicago. 

      His love for jazz far surpassed his other little hobbies like extortion and murder. In fact, legendary jazz pianist Fats Waller once played the entire duration of Al's three-day-long 27th birthday party. Now, it's true that Fats was abducted at gun point and actually forced to play for Capone, but he was paid handsomely for his troubles and returned safely to the same street corner he was nabbed him from.

     While in Alcatraz, Capone and some other inmates formed a prison band named the Rock Islanders where they performed the popular tunes of the day, as well as a few originals. That said, romantic is not the first word that comes to mind in association with Al Capone, but the truth of the matter was he spent a lot of his free time writing poetry and love songs. Who knew that the man who is best remembered for orchestrating one of the most heinous gangland murder hits (The St. Valentine's Day Massacre) in mob history, was truly a romantic softy!

     Here are the lyrics to one of his surviving "hits" written while in Alcatraz...

Madonna Mia,
You’re the bloom of the roses,
You’re the charm that reposes,
In the heart of a song.

Madonna Mia,
With your true love to guide me,
Let whatever betide me,
I will never go wrong.

There’s only one moon above,
One golden sun,
There’s only one that I love,
You are the one.

     Ok, so it wouldn't be much of a hit today, I don't even think his contemporaries like Sinatra, Crosby, or Como would have touched it. But then again, The Beach Boys recorded a song penned by Charles Manson once, so anything would have been possible.The song was recorded in 2009 by members of the Al Capone Fan Club (yes, it really exists), and if you ever come across it, it's really not that bad a tune. The original sheet music was given as a gift by Capone to a priest who visited him every week, and was sold at auction just a couple of years ago for $65,000!

     So now you know, Al Capone had a human side. Wonder what would have happened if fate had taken him down a different road. Imagine that?