Pixel Vision

A master of observation: chatting with author Sean Wilsey

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“We used to call this Café High,” author Sean Wilsey says of Café International, our meeting spot, before letting out a hearty chortle. By “we” he means his late-80s classmates at the Urban School, the private prep school 10 blocks or so from the Haight and Fillmore coffee shop. By “high” I assume he’s alluding to marijuana in some form or another, but I’m too intrigued by Wilsey’s instant openness and nostalgia to probe. Despite four other high schools (he never graduated), myriad other cities (he doesn’t come back to San Francisco very often anymore), and 25 or so intervening years (he’s pushing 45), Wilsey still grasps the vibe of his native hood with the exactitude of a lifelong resident. 

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SF queer arts community mourns Arturo Galster, "drag queen's drag queen"

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To call seminal SF perfomer and alpha theater aficionado Arturo Galster merely a "drag queen" is to do his range -- from the legendary Vegas in Space movie and pitch-perfect live-sung Pasty Cline interpretations to his recent technicolor turns with the Thrillpeddlers -- a disservice. But his name will always call to mind that moment in the late '80s and early '90s when SF's drag scene unmoored itself from polite old school diva kabuki into a squall of gloriously punky, ironic camp.

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BEST OF THE BAY 2014 is coming!

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Our 40th annual Best of the Bay issue is coming Oct. 15! Voting for all Readers Poll categories will open Sept. 3 and close Sept. 24.

Bookmark this link to vote for your favorite local businesses, hot spots, people, services, and more beginning Sept. 3 -- your voice is important!

This year's theme is Dia de los Meurtos, in celebration of true Bay Area spirit. And mark your calendars for our infamous, star-studded Best of the Bay party Oct. 16. Come party with us, and spread the word!

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To boldly go...beyond the grave! This week's new movies

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A mask-wearing musician, a Star Trek alum, coming-of-age tales, a rom-com with a sci-fi twist, a rom-com with a zombie twist, and a romantic drama (rom-dram?) with a metaphysical twist are all part of the weekend movie outlook. Read on for reviews and trailers!

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American landscapes: a review of SF native Sean Wilsey's essay collection, 'More Curious'

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Midway through the introduction to More Curious (McSweeney's Books, 342 pp., $22), his recently-published collection of essays from the last 15 years, Sean Wilsey (who appears at the Booksmith Thu/21) reveals his quest to combine the styles of Thomas Pynchon and New Yorker legend Joseph Mitchell — paranoia and precision, respectively.

The introduction itself is a joyfully meta attempt at this very task. The 20-odd pages of often non-sequitorial rumination about the aforementioned authors, the triviality of the 1990s, and the first Obama election can be mistaken as “formless while still astonishingly informative” or “so intricately constructed and fact-filled that the form is too complex to be instantly identified.” The happy reality of all of Wilsey’s essays is somewhere between these two perceptions.

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Live Shots: SF Street Food Fest fills us up quickly

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The weather was gorgeous, the lines weren't too long, and the people were friendly -- and hungry -- at the sixth annual SF Street Food Festival last Saturday.

About those shorter lines, though -- that meant we had access to pretty much any food we wanted in less than 10 minutes! (Except for the ever-popular ramenburger from Nombe, the line for which stretched almost the length of a block.) Uh oh, we were faced with unlimited choices, too many for our stomachs to bear, try as we might. And we might!

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Old guys, touchy-feely teens, and rep-house picks you don't wanna miss: weekend movies!

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Outside of the multiplex this week, don't miss Midnites for Maniacs curator (and Guardian contributor) Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' very special tribute to William Lustig at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Exploitation icon Lustig will appear in person to chat about his films, and they're screening the entire Maniac Cop trilogy ... so why haven't you gotten tickets yet?

Also, check out the Turkish Film Festival, which runs August 19-21 at the Embarcadero and screens new films from Turkey for free! You can reserve seats here.

Meanwhile, Hollywood would like to remind you that age ain't nothing but a number (The Expendables 3), that feelings are important (The Giver), and that not all cops are evil (Let's Be Cops, which technically is about fake cops). Reviews, trailers, and more below!

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Tornadoes vs. turtles: this week's new movies

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Will ninja turtles or killer tornadoes reign supreme in this week's battle of the CG-heavy box office? Read on for our reviews of new movies, plus trailers!

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Eff you, gravity! Watch this skater fly over a fence at the new SoMa West skatepark

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The Guardian recently covered the unveiling of the SoMa West skatepark, a new skate spot giving a glint of hope to the city's skate scene. And despite the crowing of the fist-shakers at the Chronicle (quit that damn noise, you hooligans!), our trip to the new skatepark found folks having a grind-happy grand ol' time.Read more »

All the buzz: a report from CoffeeCon San Francisco

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Whether your caffeinated allegiances lie with Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, or a non-coffee drink, CoffeeCon San Francisco offered something to appeal to everyone’s cravings on July 26. Venturing out of Chicago for the first time, the consumer coffee festival boasted a multitude of roasters — many of them local and therefore well-acquainted with using glorious Hetch Hetchy water in the brewing process — and a wide variety of presentations to intrigue both casual coffee drinkers and connoisseurs. Plus, unlimited coffee samples!

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