Le Video Strikes Back: A Sequel for the Awesome Video Store


Things are looking up for Le Video. The store, which carries an estimated 80-100,000 titles and was expected to close by the end of April, is now planning to stay open. This is thanks to a successful Indiegogo campaign, a recent uptick in customer support, and the addition of Green Apple Books as a tenant.

Le Video owner and founder Catherine Tchen recently explained her plan to SF Weekly. While the store is going stay open, it won't look exactly the same.

Green Apple Books will take over the bottom floor of the building, and Le Video will move into the mezzanine upstairs. All of the films will be added to an online database that customers can search from home or at a kiosk in the store, and then pick up their movie at the counter. The upstairs area will have a smaller browsing selection than the current store, but the entire collection will still be available. Tchen promises to keep as many movies on display as possible, and is much more upbeat about Le Video's future than she was in March.

"The mezzanine space will be awesome," Tchen says. "We'll still be able to display way more movies than the average video store; at least 25,000."

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G Marks the Spot: Orgasmic Meditation Conference this Weekend in Oakland

Shutterstock/ Andrew_Popov

Need a romantic getaway this weekend where you're almost guaranteed to get some action? We got you covered.

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Do-Good Huggers Hit Downtown S.F. for HugFest 2014

Shutterstock user PathDoc
Don't Hug Me, Bro!

Whether you're a hug enthusiast or the polar opposite, we here at SF Weekly felt it was our public service to inform warn you downtowners that Market Street Plaza is to be overturned by do-good huggers, Thursday, March 20 at 11 a.m.

Action For Happiness, a movement for positive social change, sets sights on spreading joy through free hugs. The group is increasing in numbers, and -- as aforementioned -- they plan to hit Market Street Plaza, during lunch hour, in full force. Action For Happiness created Eventbrite and Facebook pages for their campaign, which they have dubbed "HugFest 2014," where you can sign up to participate, buy swag, or make donations.

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Cottages & Gardens Magazine to Debut San Francisco Edition

Cottages and Gardens Magazine

If you're into gardening and decorating and have a budget that includes buying copper trowels at Sloat, you'll be stoked to know that the upscale home and garden design magazine Cottages & Gardens is about to launch its San Francisco edition, to be called the obvious name of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens.

Set to debut in April, the magazine will cover landscaping and architecture, as well as feature recipes and educational articles.

SFC&G's articles will cover not only San Francisco, but other parts of the Bay Area as well, such as the East Bay, Silicon Valley, Marin County, and Carmel (which is Bay Area only by SFC&G's standards).

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Under Construction: 5 (Mostly) Green Alternatives to Dolores Park

Shutterstock/ holbox

San Franciscans are all too familiar with cramped spaces and obligatory shoulder-to-shoulder contact with strangers.

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The Litography Project: An Interactive and Evolving Multimedia Map of Literary S.F.

mockup of the splash screen

Why can't we explore the San Francisco Bay Area's rich literary traditions through a central hub that allows stories and multimedia projects to be sorted by people, places, events, and ideas -- with local authors being commissioned to contribute their stories?

Well, we may be able to soon. (It seems like this is something that should already exist, doesn't it?)

Everyone knows the Bay Area has one of the richest concentrations of literary interests in the world, and is able, uniquely, to host a diverse constellation of literary groups (nonprofits like Small Press Traffic, RADAR Productions, and Quiet Lightning), impressive university programs (try SFSU's digital poetry archive or UC Berkeley's Holloway Series), and underground readings and open mics. But no one has been able (or inclined) to try to bring it all together until now.

Writer and radio producer Ninna Gaensler-Debs has developed a momentous something she calls The Litography Project, an interactive literary map, that just launched a Kickstarter campaign.

Gaensler-Debs was kind enough to answer a few questions about this project:

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Mission Hero Chata Gutierrez to be Remembered: Fundraising for Mural Underway

The Chata Mural Project

The legacy of the late Chata Gutierrez, radio personality and salsa DJ on KPOO and KPFA, remains in the forefront for Mission District locals.

Gutierrez, who died after a 12-year battle with liver cancer in December 2013, was an inspiration of strength and cultural pride for Latinos and Latinas. Born and raised in the Mission District, for more than 40 years she gifted listeners of KPOO her radio show, "Con Clave", which was the winner of SF Weekly's Best Salsa Radio Show in 2000. The Chata Mural Project aims to showcase Gutierrez's cultivation of heritage through an honorary mural by Carlos Kookie Gonzalez -- and the proposed location: The Mission.

Gonzalez, who is also a Mission native, originally painted the mural as artwork for a poster used in a 2009 fundraising campaign to support the ill Gutierrez. Now Gonzalez, along with supporters of the Chata Mural Project, ask the community to support them as they plan to turn the artwork into a long lasting mural. In total, they need $25,000 for supplies and permits.

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SF Weekly Goes International, Interviews North Korean Expert

A common North Korea meme.

There's something fascinating about North Korea. A country with a government that controls almost all of the available information, ruled by a family dynasty of repressive dictators, is so foreign to western society it begs to be examined. It's kind of like a wreck on the freeway -- we just can't help but slow down and stare.

Of course, North Korea isn't something we can simply drive past. A United Nations panel recently found the country's boyish leader Kim Jong-un personally liable for crimes against humanity, and recommended that he be referred to the international criminal court. The regime has also been pursuing nuclear weapons for decades.

The Commonwealth Club of California hosts a discussion Friday about North Korea with Robert Carlin, a visiting scholar from the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation. As a primer for the event, SF Weekly caught up with Dr. Gloria Duffy, the president and CEO of the Commonwealth Club. Duffy is an expert on U.S.-North Korean relations, and a former nuclear arms treaty negotiator.

We spoke in her office.

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Your Chance to Be On Wheel of Fortune: Win Prizes and Meet Vanna White

Categories: Announcement

I'd like to solve the puzzle

Maybe you haven't watched an episode since 1995, but you still know how it goes -- spin the wheel, guess the letters, win money and prizes, watch Vanna clap for you. Repeat.

So if you've always wondered "How do you get on that show?" then this is for you.

The Wheelmobile is coming to Northern California to pick the next round of contestants, according to ABC News. And getting a spot at the wheel isn't as easy as you may believe.

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Artists Reconnect with 1906 Earthquake at "Unveiling Happening"


It's hard to click a link these days without seeing another story about San Francisco's class divide. The artists and working class are being priced out, and everyone blames the techies first and the real estate industry second. But at 55 Ninth St. downtown, a couple of artists, a few foundations, and, gasp, a developer are collaborating on a surrealist happening held in San Francisco's long tradition of public weirdness, and a grand piece of site-specific art.

From a distance, And My Room Still Rocks Like a Boat on the Sea (Caruso's Dream), looks like 13 floating pianos. From underneath, the viewer might wonder if the pianos are falling. The installation created by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn is large, impressively intricate, and deeply symbolic. It's also covered, or under construction, most of the time.

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