News

Join Us For Lunch!

If you're in the East Bay today stop by and have lunch with us! We'll be at the über-hip PUBLIC MARKET in Emeryville for their Summer Design Market. We hope to see you there!

Come to the Party Tonight!

 

 

Tonight only! Come See Escama Studio at the Urban Air Market in Fern Alley, Polk Gulch.

 

In the effort of aiding neighborhood revitalization, Urban Air Market is hosting a summer night block party complete with local art, indie fashion, accessories and home décor, food trucks and live music, in partnership with the Lower Polk Art Walk.

Here's what's in store if you come....

SUSTAINABLE POP-UP OF LOCAL BRANDS: Apparel by Oaklandish, Escama Studio, SKUNFUNK USA, Synergy Organic Clothing, Indosole, Vital Hemp, and Pop Outerwear; accessories by Compass Rose Designs, Salty Fox, and Yes and Yes Designs; home and stationary by type.lites,b-spired, and Coffee and Cream Press; and more!

And of course FOOD, MUSIC, and everything else that you'd expect at a block party. See you there......

Brazilian Hip Hop

Afro Brazilian dance group, Companhia Urbana de Danca performed last night at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and it was incredible. We found out about the performance at the last minute and rushed over only to have the last tickets sold out just as we were 4 people away from the ticket window. So of course we begged and pleaded and in the end we got a standing room view off to stage left. I'm glad that we were so shameless: it's a super high energy show with sweat flying and it's a blast to watch. The performance is a mix of hip-hop, contemporary dance and Brazilian dance. Their run at the YBCA ended last night but if you're in NYC they're performing a few dates in March and April. Here is the link on their website with future dates.

Here is a glimpse of their performance from the YBCA.

 

Report: San Francisco Concludes Smart Water is Actually Stupid

The hundreds of empty water bottles rolling around on the floor of your car may soon be a thing of the past now that San Francisco's board of supervisors have approved a ban on selling single-use plastic bottles of water on city property. The legislation is a new initiative to reduce plastic waste and it follows the successful adoption of a recent ban on plastic bags. Board of Supervisor President David Chiu showed tremendous courage when he uttered the words that I've wanted to tell Jennifer Aniston for years: “I want to remind people that not long ago, our world was not addicted to plastic water bottles,” he said. “Before (the 1990s), for centuries, everybody managed to stay hydrated." To further illustrate the not-smartness of bottled water, Supervisor Chiu filled a plastic water bottle a 1/4 of the way full with oil to show how much oil is used to transport and produce a single serving bottle of water. San Franciscan's who do not drink bottled water but who regularly consume Organic Girl single serving plastic packed salad have voiced concern that the Board the of Supervisors may begin to question the smartness of single serving plastic salad packs. 

For slightly less tongue-in-cheek coverage of the single serving bottled water ban please read:

The SF Bay Guardian

Grist.org

San Francisco's Counter Culture Lives On

Escama Studio's office is tucked away on a little side street in San Francisco's South of Market district. The area has changed a bit over the past ten years and these days it's easier to find a $5.00 Dixie Cup sized cup of coffee than it is to find a hypodermic needle on the ground. That's a step in the right direction some might say.

Escama Studio in San Francisco

The news from San Francisco in this season, Spring 2014 is about evictions, displacement, and how the character of the Mission has been forever changed by the influx of techies. I am too uncool to have ever staked a claim to the Mission so I'll leave that discussion alone. But for those who are reading San Francisco's last rites do not dispair: the soul of San Francisco lives on.......in our downstairs neighbors.

Ah our downstairs neighbors..... they're nice, not noisy, they keep to themselves, we say hello and chat sometimes. Just a run-of-the-mill warehouse full of burners which in itself is not extraordinary. And yet they've always struck me as a bit of an enigma..... there's a steady parade of people coming back and forth between their two warehouses from one side of the street to the other. Doors knocking, people coming in and out -- and like a skit in a Marx Brothers movie -- it's  never the same people.  'That's some strange shit' I thought to myself and left it at that.

Only now, four years later, have I finally found out what their deal is. Ironically, I had to read about them in the New York Times . Called 'Langton Labs', they are an 'intentional community' that draws about 20 lodgers per night in their two warehouses. The visitors have been accepted through an application process -- that explains the constant parade of new faces and why the people know exactly where they're going. It's $10,000 a month to rent the two warehouses and if split among 20 monthly lodgers (or 600 short term lodgers), that comes up to some very cheap accommodations. But to say that Langton Labs is a solution to high rents in San Francisco or a cheap place for a traveler to crash and eat instant noodles is missing the point. It's a community that pulls like minded people in from all over the region/country/world. They share space, food, music, parties and they're bouncing ideas off of one another. It's a chaotic environment where nobody does the dishes but it's a great creative space for new technology --  need a high throughput 3D microscope? need to place bulk food orders online? These are just two that I've read about but who knows what else they're working on. 

At the end of 2014 this building will be blown up to make way for high rise condos. Escama Studio's office will have to move and Langton Labs will have to find another warehouse. No doubt, losing a couple warehouses won't put an end to Langton Labs. It'll become Howard Labs or Folsom Labs or 3rd Street Labs. And the Langton Labs intentional community itself? It's bound to evolve and morph into different forms just like everything else in the City.