May. 15, 2020
Everything is still up in the air, but it won’t be forever. We are now in week nine of sheltering in place in the Bay Area, and it’s almost beginning to feel like a new normal. The COVID-19 crisis continues to require self sacrifice, and while Mayor Breed has outlined steps towards a return to the previous normal, all signs point toward a long tail of social disruption. As we ride out these coming months separately, yet together, we wanted to pop back in to share what we’ve been watching, reading, working on, and supporting.
Directed by Matt Wolf, 2020 [not rated]
In 1991, a group of scientists quarantined themselves in a closed-loop, self-sustaining ecosystem – the Biosphere 2. Intended to test the ability of humans to exist in harmony with artificial recreations of the Earth’s biomes, Biosphere 2 began to face issues as systems failed and human divisions rose. Matt Wolf’s documentary captures the project through contemporary interviews with its participants and original footage from inside the compound, weaving together a story of hope, control, and ultimately, failure.
The Natural Experiment
A new episode of 99% Invisible explores how the COVID-19 shutdown is creating research opportunities of completely unexpected dimensions. From silent oceans and clear skies to naturally occurring boredom, scientists and city governments have new windows into a range of concerns. The final segment looks at the City of Oakland’s bold decision to close 74 miles of city streets—to give residents more room to get outside while staying six-feet apart. The overarching question is whether things will ever be the same.
PROXY >IN BETWEEN< v001
Here’s a new playlist, curated by PROXY founder Douglas Burnham, for you to enjoy while social distancing.
HOW THE CORONAVIRUS CAN CHANGE FOOD JOURNALISM
In her recent recent dispatch, the Chronicle’s restaurant critic – and 2020 James Beard award nominee! – Soleil Ho covered the positive changes in food writing during the COVID-19 crisis, and what she would like to see going forward. She notes that the Chronicle’s coverage has included more frugal home cooking recipes, more conversations with restaurant wage workers, and more thorough explorations of the business of restaurants. Plus, she offers some great local takeout recommendations! Sign up for her weekly newsletter here.
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC FOREVER
Just five artists have had a Top-40 single in each of the last four decades, according to Billboard: Madonna, Michael Jackson, U2, Kenny G, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. The song-spoofer was profiled in the New York Times Magazine last month in a piece that tracks his nearly four decade career that has at different times drawn from – and defined – American pop culture. Working in a medium that is inherently fleeting, Yankovic has kept himself relevant for longer than many of the bands that he has parodied – while making space for the goofy among us along the way.
NOW HUNTERS POINT
We wanted to share an update on our COVID-19 response at NOW Hunters Point, our project in Bayview Hunters Point sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric. Since April 23, we have given away more than 770 grocery bags full of produce and 200 children’s books to families in need. These Family Food events are made possible by the generous support of The SF Market, which is providing free produce to many community organizations with help from the City’s Soda Tax Fund. We’ll be back with more Family Food Giveaways at NOW Hunters Point each Thursday at least through May 21.
We’re stronger together during these challenging times, and we can help those in need even while staying in.
SF + MARIN FOOD BANK
The San Francisco + Marin Food Bank continues to provide our vulnerable neighbors with the food they need. They are matching all donations through May 31st, so consider donating and doubling your impact.
Food Runners is a San Francisco based organization dedicated to alleviating hunger and ending food waste by connecting food donations – from businesses as well as households – with community serving organizations. With your help, they can continue to provide 20,000 meals to San Franciscans every week.
INDEPENDENT MUSIC VENUES
Independent music venues in San Francisco are shuttered due to the crisis, pitching their staff into unemployment with no clear end in sight. These folks are stewards of San Francisco’s vibrant concert culture and the spaces that are necessary for community vitality. Consider donating to Staff Relief Funds for the Rickshaw Stop, the Great American Music Hall, Noise Pop Industries, or the Chapel.
HAYES VALLEY HELP
Are you looking to lend a hand to a neighborhood resident in need? The Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association has an email account to match volunteers with those needing assistance. Please reach out to email@example.com to get involved.
As always we welcome your feedback and ideas. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.