Saturday, May 26, 2007
Birthday Blogging Tempest
In a beat-up old building on Natoma Street, behind the San Francisco Chronicle Building at 5th and Mission...
...there is a great dive bar I'd never encountered before called The Tempest with cheap drinks and a wonderful bartendress.
The occasion was an impromptu birthday party for Eve Batey (above on the left), who used to edit the SFist blogging site (click here) before she was offered actual money about six months ago to work for the Chronicle's SFGate site (click here), one of her jobs being to show them how this newfangled reader interaction thing actually works.
She's arrived at an interesting moment in the financially struggling newspaper's history, when management has just announced they will be cutting a quarter of the staff this summer. When I asked a "Chronicle" writer at the bar about the signage outside, she was withering. "The union cut its own throat during its settlement two years ago when the older, established players allowed the low-paid support staff to have their salaries cut even further, from $40,000 to $32,000 while the old players continued to make enough to pay their expensive mortgages."
Most of the guests at the party were from SFist, such as Rita Hao (above), who was the object of mayoral aide Peter Ragone's taunting before his downfall...
...along with Matt Baume (on the left), the new co-editor of SFist, who was attending with an SFWeekly dude, Brock Keeling.
Jackson West (on the right above) was SFist's first editor where he was a genius at compiling interesting posts from around San Francisco about everything under the sun. Last week, Eve hired him to do the same thing over at the "Culture Blog" at SFGate (click here), which is good news for everyone.
He not only gave "Civic Center" its first shout-out in a public forum, but he did the same for Beth Spotswood and many others.
We stumbled out of the party way later than intended, partly because the drinks were so cheap and partly because the company was so amusing, especially the Molly Ivins lookalike Gwen Knapp (above left, click here for her columns) who writes for the Sports section of the San Francisco Chronicle. Thanks for the Stella, Gwen, and check out Sharp Park in Pacifica.