The CrackBerry Chronicles
With Elaine Santore
Photos by Luke
February 19, 2008
Mirkarimi honors Fillmore documentary photographer
Legendary documentary photographer David Johnson was honored
Friday by District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi during Mirkarimi's
monthly art reception.
Johnson is best known for chronicling the Fillmore District during
its jazz heyday in the 40's and 50's. During this time, the Fillmore
was dotted with jazz clubs, fine restaurants, and black-owned
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi with documentary photography David Johnson.
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Johnson first visited
the Fillmore while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He returned years later to study under Ansel Adams at California
School of Fine Arts, which was later renamed San Francisco Art
Institute. Adams established the first fine art photography program
in the U.S.
Johnson wrote a letter to Adams requesting admission to the school,
but was hesitant to apply because of his race.
"Ansel wrote back to me and said, 'If you're
a photographer, you're welcome in our school,'" Johnson said.
He was Adams' first black student.
Johnson dedicated the art show to his late wife, Lucy, who died
last week. His sons, Andre, Charles, and Michael attended the
show, along with his grandchildren.
Following the reception, the party moved to 1300
on Fillmore. Johnson's photography is featured on the restaurant's
Johnson signs an enlarged photograph he took circa 1947
depicting a bustling FIllmore Street scene.
"In memory of Lucy Johnson."
Johnson signed copies of "Harlem of the West: The San Francisco
Fillmore Jazz Era" by Elizabeth Pepin and Lewis Watts, which
includes Johnson's photographs. He's the only surviving photographer
featured in in the book. Pepin and Watts curated the History Wall
inside 1300 on Fillmore.
David Johnson signs copies of "Harlem of the West: The San
Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era,"
featuring Johnson's documentary photography.
"It's such an honor to be here in the Fillmore, and have
this space here so that we can recognize the photographers who
have contributed to this community. It's an honor for me to do
this for David," 1300 on Fillmore owner Monetta White said.
1300 on Fillmore owner Monetta White, David Johnson, and Ross
White co-owns 1300 on Fillmore with her husband, Chef David Lawrence.
Mirkarimi sang Johnson's praises, noting the historical significance
of his work.
"This is not just San Francisco renowned, it's world renowned
now," Mirkarimi said.
Outtakes: Check out more event photos here.
Willie Brown talks to Charlie Rose about Obama, brings topic
back to himself
Charlie Rose interviewed
former Mayor Willie Brown February 11. As with most of Rose's
guests, the conversation shifted to the race for the Democratic
Brown claimed he wasn't endorsing any candidate for president.
He also made sure to do plenty of name-dropping.
"Part of what makes me pretty good as an analyst is that
I had five friends running for the nomination. I had [Joe] Biden,
Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, and the final two. And all of them
I had some relationship with over 40 years that would've made
it impossible for me to just select one," Brown said.
But a reliable source suggests Brown is a reluctant supporter
of Senator Hillary Clinton.
"She's in his political family," the source said, "but
deep down Brown recognizes Obama is the superior candidate."
SF Weekly printed
several excerpts from Brown's memoir, "Basic Brown: My Life
and Our Times." The book was written in collaboration with
former Examiner columnist P.J. Corkery, as told by Brown over
several breakfast meetings.
Here are CrackBerry's favorite Willie-isms regarding political
"You really shouldn't try to get through a public day
wearing just one thing. ... Sometimes, I change clothes four times
What he meant to say: "If you repeat an outfit, Gavin will
win and Jesus will cry."
"Then there's Dianne Feinstein, who also has the resources
for high fashion, but that's not her route. ... While she never
looks sloppy, she sometimes looks hit or miss, as if she were
caught between seasons."
What he meant to say: "DiFi needs to start wearing bows
again. Those bows were fierce!"
The Art of Progressive Politics
Fog City Journal traveled across town to the foggy Richmond District
February 11 to attend a San Francisco Green Party fundraiser.
The event, held at the Bazaar
Café, doubled as an art show featuring the work of
artists Heike Seefeldt
Bazaar Café owner Les Wisner (center) with cheerful employees
Sarah and Katie.
Featured artists Heike Seefeldt and Sue Vaughan
pose with Vaughan's "Underart."
Heike Seefeldt with her collages.
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Program Director Andy Thornley
described the Richmond District in political terms.
"The Richmond District is like the Wisconsin of San Francisco
because it's more progressive than you think," Thornley said.
Vicki Leidner, SFBC Program Director Andy Thornley,
and District 11 candidate John Avalos.
District 11 candidate John Avalos, District 1 candidate Eric
Mar, and District 9 candidate Mark Sanchez practiced their stump
speeches and rallied supporters.
Mark Sanchez, John Avalos, and Eric Mar.
The Ethics Commission announced
February 13 Sanchez is the first candidate to qualify for public
financing in 2008.
"I'm grateful to all the folks who have contributed to my
candidacy for supervisor and to the great team working on this
campaign," Sanchez wrote in a statement.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, District 12 candidate for Congress
and Mark Sanchez.
Sasaneh Solaimani, Karen Babbitt, Elaine Santore, Aaron,
Sue Vaughan, and Sacha Ielmorini.