Ashes to Ashes…

Posted in History with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2013 by Jenner Davis

From my personal collection -

goodashtrayOf special notice is the address printed incorrectly as  31 NO. Mission st, no doubt a mistake made by whomever took the print order, and  misread the actual address 3140 Mission. st.

Read more about the real Mission Bowling here.

???????????????????????????????Hong Kong Cocktail is now home to Ivy’s Food co, a Chinese grocery store.

???????????????????????????????As far as I know, the dead haven’t been evicted from here. YET. You never know with the real estate market these days.

Fire Walk With Me

Posted in gone forever, Grand Opening/Closing, History, introduction with tags , , , , on July 2, 2012 by Jenner Davis

This weekend, my camera and I were fortunate enough to gain entrance to 144 Taylor st., the location of the legendary Original Joe’s since 1937. Charred and skeletal, the  remains of this Tenderloin institution still speak of a storied history. In places, the sadness of loss seemed to resonate from the blackened timbers and crumbling plaster, the owner’s accounts now saddled with the burden of  the most sudden of expenses, fire.

But Original Joe’s has now re-opened on Stockton and Union, and up from the ashes of it’s former location the proverbial phoenix shall rise, as personified in this case by the theatrical artisans of Piano Fight.

They are good people. Go see their upcoming play “Duck Lake”.  I can’t tell you much more about it other than the fact that at one point in the production, a duck will be launched out of someone’s ass.  And really, do you need another reason to go?

And now without further adieu, fire damage porn!

Unactivated fire alarms.

From The Gutter With Love

Posted in gone forever with tags , , , , , on April 29, 2012 by Jenner Davis

When asked what it is I do for recreation, there were many good years I could answer truthfully

Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.”

Well, almost truthfully. You see, being from San Francisco, I never really needed a car, and so have yet to ever get a license. But I had friends with cars, and we would, on occasion, drive around in states frequently altered by the use of LSD.
But most importantly, we bowled.

It became a steady habit the minute I exited the Kabuki theater, where a friend and I had just watched The Big Lebowski for the first time. We looked at each other, and we both knew, then, what was to happen next. A block away was the now defunct Japantown Bowl, where we we spent the next several hours, as we would spend the next several years, bowling.

I’d done a little bowling before that, off and on. Most memorably at Rock & Bowl on Haight st.,where I rolled my first strike in 1993.  When they closed three years later I got my first taste of that now all-too-familiar feeling of loss. If it wasn’t for The Big Lebowski, I may have never bowled again. I sometimes wonder  if I would have been better off, but I suppose the great times and late nights I shared with so many for so long, are worth the pain of losing that which brought you together. I suppose.

We lost Rock & Bowl in 1996,  Japantown Bowl in 2000, and most recently Serrabowl, which was the last of the accessible alleys –  open 24/7, and adjacent to the Colma BART station. Not a week went by for a while, without a night or two spent at one of Serrabowl’s many lanes. Presidio Bowl still exists, at least according to legend. No one’s really sure how to get there, but they say when the moon is full, and the fog is thick, it appears. But only if you’re lost, never if you’re looking for it, and don’t even talk to me about Yerba Buena. The place is lousy with yuppies, douchebags, and their terrible children. Which brings me to the root of my relevant discontent:  Lucky Strike Lanes.

Fuck that place. I’m not going to link to them, if you want to see their website, Google it.  They have 21 locations nationwide, and a corporate chain store “upscale” image to match. Oh, and bottle service. Fucking $500 bottle service. The bowling is pretty much an afterthought at this see and be scenery. Mission Bowling Club soon followed on their heels. Just as boutique-y and expensive, with yet another foodie fetish menu, it only adds to the disappointment, and that feeling of once again being excluded from that which was yours.

I’ve gotten to know that feeling too well.

R.I.P Serrabowl.

Pound It

Posted in gone forever, nightlife with tags , , on November 14, 2011 by Jenner Davis

Flat on its back, dead in the grass, all but forgotten, but still there, nonetheless.

Life Is the Only Thing Worth Living For

Posted in gone forever, Kindred souls, Sounds of San Francisco, Who Is SF? with tags , , on November 13, 2011 by Jenner Davis

If I had my choice of what, or whom, I could grab by the tattered sleeve and pull from the grave, it would not be anything over the loss of which this blog has previously lamented.

It would be my friend Jesse Morris.

I wonder if he knew how much he would be missed, if he would have changed his mind and stayed.

The world is emptier without you, Jesse. I hope you’ve found peace.

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Posted in Bars, gone forever, nightlife, Special Places with tags , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2011 by Jenner Davis

Dear readers, I know I’ve been away for a while. And in my absence, much has changed. The beloved Eagle Tavern has closed for good, along with the Ace Cafe, both apparently falling under greed’s mighty axe. St. Mary’s pub has been sanitized to a hipster friendly sparkle, and Skip’s Tavern has been reincarnated as The Lucky Horseshoe.

If one can make a horseshoe lucky by simply stripping off the rust, shiny San Francisco should have good fortune to spare.

But I’m not so superstitious.


From The Vault – SRL Edition

Posted in Art, Grand Opening/Closing, History, San Francisco, Special Guests, Who Is SF? with tags , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2011 by Jenner Davis

On April 4th, 1992,  ground was broken for the construction of  the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with a performance by the one and only Survival Research Labs. My mom was on hand to capture it all on camera, as she was for many events like this around the city. Remember when there were artists here? I miss that…

More from The Vault will be posted as it’s unearthed, but until then, observe the mighty V-1, shown here in the midst of total burnination!


Dear god, what I would give to get five minutes alone that thing…

More pictures, (taken by different people), can be seen here, on SRL’s official website.


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