As debates about SF’s housing crisis and high-density zoning rage on, let’s take a look back at how one viciously contentious development was approved in the early ‘60s.

Twin Peaks is, in some ways, like a small mountain town dropped right in the middle of San Francisco — the city’s equivalent of a flyover state (a tunnelunder state?). It’s basically nonexistent in online culture writing, because there’s no action up here. No storied music venues. No overhyped foodie spots. No upstart tech companies burning through VC cash, salacious hubris-and-downfall sagas in the opening chapters.

In the broad sense, “Twin Peaks” is comprised of three smaller neighborhoods circling the mountain: Clarendon Heights to the north, Midtown Terrace to the west, and Twin Peaks proper to the east (which some…

Meet SF’s First-Wave Feminist Housing Mogul

Grace & Jackson Perego (then ages 38 & 10) in 1923. Passport photo from the National Archives.


Helen Grace Greenwood Yager stands up, cradling her three-month-old son Jackson. She’s 28, her patrician features brushed with the haze of new parenthood. She raises her right hand and swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help her god. It’s 1913.

The whole mess comes spilling out, splashing into the Chronicle the next day.¹ She was 17 when she married William in their home state of Kansas, and they traveled west in the dawn of the new century. William ran a construction firm, while Helen Grace helped with building sales. …

Occasional dispatches from beyond the clouds

View from Twin Peaks, looking northwest down Market Street

If I cue up my favorite mixtape and hit Play when I exit my apartment, the first song is still bopping when I reach the meandering path that winds its way up to the top of Twin Peaks. Half-split wooden posts bolted into the dirt, a staircase rising skyward. I’ve made this climb almost every day since I moved up here last summer.

In the golden-hour haze of sunset and smog, the city drifts out pastel and immaculate, like a 1970s daydream. On crystal-blue weekends, crowds of tourists arrive and solemnly unfurl their selfie sticks on the peak of Eureka…

“Early Summer”, 1951, Shochiku Eiga / Criterion

She became a film icon during the most chaotic years in Japan’s modern history. And then she walked away.

A Story About Singapore’s Urban Development in Six Parts

Around lunchtime on any given weekday, the crowds of sharply-dressed office workers come cascading in waves from the shimmering towers of Singapore’s Central Business District. A good portion of these waves flow naturally to a low, octagonal tile-roofed building; a dwarf among the surrounding giants.

But if you flow along with them, your perspective will begin to shift. …

Album Review: Lust For Life

There are certain artists who prefer to work iteratively. The revered Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu (1903–1963) comes to mind. Lana Del Rey’s new album falls squarely into this iterative category, and it is essentially indistinguishable from her previous releases in its aesthetics and general construction. From a critical perspective, this is by no means a slight: in Ozu’s oeuvre, the narrowing to a limited palette of filmmaking techniques and the constant revisiting of similar plots led to a body of films unparalleled in their focus, idiosyncratic consistency, and emotional acuity.

One of the things I appreciate about Lana Del Rey…

Millionaire. Activist. Romantic. SOE Operative.

Note: Chinese names are written surname-first in this article. Locations are referred to by their English names from the period (e.g. Bombay, Ceylon, etc).

Singapore in the 1930s was — as it had been for centuries — a bustling port city. Situated at the southern tip of the Malayan peninsula, its wide, placid waterways connect the Indian Ocean and the China Seas, allowing for easy access to trade routes over the entire region. Merchants from throughout Southeast Asia have been stopping here to exchange goods since at least the 1300s.

The arrival of the British colonists in 1819 attracted an…

A conceptual work, two short essays, and a sidequest.


Corpus Companion is a system for creating a complete Companion body of work, based on the parameters of an Original body of work.

Background and Procedure

The American band Nirvana was active from 1987 until Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994. I will use its body of work as the example for Corpus Companion’s working procedure, as it is well-known, well-documented, and “complete” (ie no additional material will be created).

Nirvana’s Audio / Visual discography includes:

3 Studio albums 3 Live albums 4 Compilation albums [mostly preexisting material] 3 Box sets [mostly preexisting material] 2 EPs 11 Retail singles 8 Promotional singles 3 Splits

Facebook’s recent Truth Kerfuffle has generated 10,000 articles and counting. I’ve noticed quite a few authors — Zuckerberg included — using the word misinformation where disinformation would be the more appropriate term. Here are the definitions (via Wiktionary):

Misinformation: Information that is incorrect.

Disinformation: The dissemination of intentionally false information to deliberately confuse or mislead.

That’s all I got. Thanks!

Devin Smith

Musician, Bookseller at Green Apple, Blog editor at (Occasional nonfiction writer.)

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