Dream: 2.14.14

Author: Russell

Eating at a restaurant with E.

Cash only and I don’t have enough, though I have a large bag full of play money, Chinese funeral money, etc.

I dig in the bag looking for enough to pay.

The restaurant has toilet problems so the waitress says I can help fix the toilet to make up the difference I owe.

While eating a tempeh appetizer, a man begins to talk to E. in another room.

ED shows up and then they all walk away.

I eat my tempeh quickly, just as my beet sandwich arrives. Trying to leave I stuff my bag behind a door and eat the sandwich as I walk in the direction they headed.

I see a large wooden deck, and, walking on to it, I see a huge rolling water park beyond the deck.

When was there a water park in San Francisco?

I look into the crowds and cannot find E, ED, and the man that led them away.

I start walking around to look for them and get turned around. Lost. Confused.

I get my phone out to try to call E., and it doesn’t work. I then forget E.’s name, and begin to cray.

I decide to leave the water park and only walk around in circles. Down ramps that lead nowhere. Down steps that lead to private dressing areas and private baths. Up ramps that lead to large bodies of water (I’m wearing my PJs so cannot swim away).

At an open lawn, I’m totally disoriented. I see a worker and ask her how to get out of the park. She looks at me with anime eyes and speaks gibberish.

Two co-workers walk up and have the same distant look. One of them speaks gibberish too.

“I see that you’re no help.”

I turn around to leave and one of the workers walks over to me.

She points over to a crowded area of the park.

“Do you see that whit Buddha Statue?”

Dreams: 11.1.13

Author: Russell

There’s a last minute film festival in San Francisco, Berlin, and Sofia. All the brass bands and amazing films will be in Sofia. Berlin will have great parties too. San Francisco will show animated films with icing. They will mostly be about recovery. One film is about algae bread and how it is helping to feed the homeless and hungry. It is animated by putting icing on bread.


Buying a new car – a truck – in a big field. The people running the lot don’t have keys so I keep calling the person who does. It’s getting late and I still can’t get in to the truck. MC and his brothers are on the property. MC doesn’t leave his truck because of his dogs. There are beautiful trails on the property. The field only recently got the car lot. Land is being cut back above one trail. Other familiar faces work at the car lot.

Dream: 1.10.13

Author: Russell

Drunks in Safeway by Golden Gate Bridge

blocking the exit

some really drunk, with a limitless credit card

playing an Atari 2600 on the flower counter

while talking about graffiti

The SFPD break up their party.

I speak with a policewoman as she tries to cuff a large woman.

The police haul the drunks away, leaving only graffiti on the floor at the entrance to Safeway.

Near the bridge, I hear people , and some of them walk by and give me a box that contains a recording.

They ask me to put it on a website, and they begin to illegally climb up the bridge.

I follow them a bit and then back off, realizing I’m still wearing my PJs.

I go down and pass a Golden Gate Transit worker, staring at a camera monitor.

I wander away from the bridge along a trail, passing a fisherman eating a sandwich while sitting in his boat.

I approach a huge elevator, go inside, and run into a friend.

We talk about porn, and other people join in.

I look out the lift and see an amazing view of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The ride ends so I exit with groceries and bags of stuff. I rebag it all and see:

a pistol, an Atari 2600 game cartridge, and three bags.

I strike up a conversation with a cool woman.


SFWeekly Best Of

 Best Way to see the Mission Before it’s Annexed to Google – 2013

Scout for Street Art Walking Tour


Russell Howze describes his tour as a “three hour zigzag through the Mission District.” For fans of street art, or anyone curious about the changing city, it’s a zigzag worth taking. Howze has been chronicling the stencils, tags, murals and graffiti that decorate San Francisco for 15 years, and is the author of the street art tome Stencil Nation. His tour explores alleys that will be new to residents and tourists alike, and keeps an eye on the shifting cultural tides of the neighborhood. “Urban landscapes are always changing,” Howze said, pointing out that while many of the tech workers moving into the Mission appreciate street art, they also bring security cameras and fences.

2013 SF Weekly Best Of Winner....

2013 SF Weekly Best Of Winner….

Hands in mud

Author: Russell

I feel the realness of an earth unfolding

Steam rises into bright white sky

And sweat beads and drips down my back -

off my nose.

The hands stuck, sinking

Getting closer to the moist dust of the universe

The muck of the mess we’ve left behind.

But, with eyes closed,

I can only see your caring face.

Shin deep you pull me up

and out of soggy life’s bottom

Hands freed, I hold you

touching neck and waist

beads of steam reflect off your wild hair

wind blows away and away and away

And together with wishes

Hoping for an end of the epoch of mud

the clouds float over uncaring.

There may be rain at some point,

smiling. stained. breathing.

And wondered where the rats,

the ones with antenna in their ears,

I wondered where the rats were.

Then walk on down to Pepe’s Opera,

mesmerized by the burning idols,

and I jumped through the fire -

Jumped through the wall of fire.

And then stood on the counter

staring at the orphaned mountain,

burning light night sky,

flames dancing through trees.

Motions past and touches present

Hand firmly on your hip

feeling the dreams

of gas cans and siphon hoses.

Tasting bitterness and heat,

remembering your hair,

touching my cheek,

and I touched your hair.

Thinking again of slices

shifting in where rats take calls

and only finding rattled bones

once overgrown by kudzu.

An Obituary for CELLspace

Author: Russell

Written by Devin Holt (I pitched in with info, editing, and whatnot)

CELLspace, community arts center, closed its doors at the end of 2012.

During the late 90s and early aughts, there was no better place to see the Mission District’s artistic, multicultural vibe than CELLspace. San Francisco prankster Chicken John was known to decorate the 10,000 square foot warehouse as a Las Vegas casino; the Flaming Lotus Girls created their first large scale fire installations in the CELLspace Metal Shop, and during Carnaval, the space would burst at the seams from the ritual drumming, colorful rattling costumes and sheer number of teenagers involved in groups like Loco Bloco and Danza Azteca.

Michael Sturtz was so impressed by CELLspace that he named his industrial arts school, The Crucible, after their art gallery.

“The name was inspired by the Crucible Steel Gallery, which was the CELLspace gallery at the time,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

In the Facebook worlds, posting all this stuff is instant, and friends find things and post them. I take the trouble to pull things off of there for the Stencil Archive, my own archives, etc. and then maybe, just maybe, post it on here. I forget that some friends don’t do Facebook! And I have to remind myself that this blog belongs to me, as opposed to a multi-billion dollar corporation that is currently dot com booming the Bay Area. This site is also a great, long archive of my life here in San Francisco.

So back in late January, Regan Ha-Ha Tamanui stopped over on his way back to New Zealand and Australia. He’d been traveling the world for a year, but got stuck in Berlin for eight months. How unlucky. I got him four walls here in SF, and he took my photo after a day of wandering around the Tenderloin looking at street art. He cut a stencil portrait out of that photo, as well as the photo he took of my friend Monica that evening in Hayes Valley.

Icy and Sot, expats from Iran who now live in Brooklyn (leave Iran to have a street art show, go back to Iran and get arrested for satanism) were driving through. They all took my tour and I got them two walls to paint on. Regan collaborated with them. Icy and Sot came back to SF for an art show at a Noise Pop concert. I missed it (always seem to miss the good art shows!).

Here are photos from early Feb, with the stencil portraits thrown in.

Stupid, Again

Author: Russell

Spring time. Cherry blossoms. Nuns in drag. Giants baseball. And St. Stupids Day.

April 1 is always a day to look forward to. Yelling “Jump! Jump! Jump!” up to workers gawking out their windows is worth the bus fare down to join the First Church of the Last Laugh at Justin Herman Plaza. While infill condos continue to rake the skyline across the city (i.e., Dot Com 2.0), some things thankfully never change. Here’s a snap of me at the XXXV St. Stupid’s Day Parade (by Hanna Quevedo for the SFWeekly).

While I’m posting photos, here’s a portrait of me that Garry Bowden took for his Souls of San Francisco project

Sat., March 23, come on out to Kezar Triangle (in Golden Gate Park) while Chris Benfield and I (aka Lay it on Thick) play with dirt. Gopher dirt!

4pm to 8pm

Where is Kezar Triangle? Just down from the Circus Center: http://goo.gl/maps/cN3Un

Sponsored in part by the Friends of Kezar Triangle


UnEarth-things uses gopher diggings (the loose piles of soil left from gopher town tunneling) to make iconic, recognizable images that resonate with the history of Kezar Triange, what it is now, and what it may become. The basic concept is to work with what the gophers give us, using a “connect the dots” approach with their upward offerings. Like a sketch book, the images’s positioning, size, and motifs are brought about organically, creating a nurturing, nourishing interspecies collaboration.

A Mermaid Visits

Author: Russell

i had a dream this morning

a mermaid swam to me out of sunrise colors

and caressed my body

she kissed my lips

delicate like a light sea breeze

a string of blue clouds fell across my eyes

and the mermaid swam away

only to come back

more embraces and more kisses

her hands pressed and squeezed

her nose smelled

remembering my scent

the curves of my body

i rolled over into floating white sheeted pools

and like the sunrise colors

the wavy haired vision

disappeared in the waking morning