of nudes did nothing for me. I've got nothing against nude women (ahem) but these nude women weren't very attractive and the photography itself didn't seem really interesting. Most of the rest was awesome though.
There was also an exhibit of photographs by Gabriele Basilico called San Francisco to San Jose, which had some absolutely stunning stuff.
It's a very crisp, clear day today. Which means pretty but COLD!!!!
Brunch at Chow where the mushroom/spinach/goat-cheese omelet has now been made even more perfect with a drizzle of pesto.
Ralph Nader's choice of San Francisco lawyer and activist Matt Gonzalez as his running mate isn't likely to propel the consumer advocate to victory in his fifth presidential campaign since 1992.
But it offers Gonzalez - a former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who narrowly lost his 2003 bid to be the first Green Party mayor of a major U.S. city - a platform to try to influence the debate in the presidential race.
It's a role with some risks. Although the 42-year-old Gonzalez is a hero to the Bay Area left, many local progressives - including several of his closest allies - are backing Democrat Barack Obama for president. If Gonzalez is seen as playing a spoiler role in November, it could tarnish his image.
A Nader-Gonzalez ticket "could serve an important function in framing the issues," said Rich DeLeon, a professor emeritus at San Francisco State University and expert on local progressive politics. "But if they start campaigning in swing states like Missouri and Ohio and Florida ... there could be a real uproar about that."
Nader announced his choice at a news conference in Washington on Thursday, describing his running mate as someone who shares his "sense of justice and opposition to corporate state control over our society."
Nader, 74, said the two had bonded during a 2005 campaign against the war in Iraq in which they traveled up and down California.
"He has a great, steadfast commitment to justice," Nader told The Chronicle after the press conference. "He's shown it in his work on the Board of Supervisors, he's shown it in his work on criminal justice issues, electoral reform and his work in urban politics and urban problems."
Nader added, "He's a beautiful writer, he's an artist, he's a man for all seasons, and he's got a great political future."
In an interview, Gonzalez said he had been in discussions with Nader for weeks about the possibility of joining his independent ticket.
"Matt Gonzalez is not going to control whether or not Ralph Nader runs. He's going to run," Gonzalez said. "The question of my joining the campaign is whether or not I can have a positive impact on how the issues are discussed, which issues are discussed. That's why I picked the whole issue of election reform."
Gonzalez said he would call for changes to open the process to third-party candidates. He is pushing several ideas, including a system under which voters would rank their top choices for president - which is similar to the instant runoff system he championed for local races in San Francisco.
The first reaction by many journalists at Thursday's news conference was, "Matt who?" Gonzalez acknowledged that he was "not a familiar face to the Washington press corps."
He was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in December 2000, representing a district including Haight-Ashbury and the Western Addition, after running on a platform of left-wing opposition to then-Mayor Willie Brown. As board president in the final two years of his tenure, he was one of the nation's highest-ranking Green Party officeholders.
A Stanford Law School graduate who spent a decade in the public defender's office, he brought his bohemian reputation to City Hall, where he held monthly art shows in his office. For his final show, Gonzalez invited a graffiti artist to tag an office wall with the slogan, "Smash the State." He went into private legal practice after leaving the board in January 2005 and still exhibits his collage artwork.
His 2003 run for mayor galvanized the city's young, liberal voting bloc, and Gonzalez lost to Mayor Gavin Newsom 53 percent to 47 percent in a runoff race that earned him the respect of his opponent.
"I can say this with the kind of veracity that probably few people can say - don't underestimate Matt Gonzalez," Newsom said Thursday. The mayor described his former rival as "incredibly articulate and extraordinarily bright."
A repeat of 2000?
But Newsom, who has endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, added, "We cannot afford as a progressive community in this country, not just here in the Bay Area and Northern California, to once again support a candidate in lieu of a Democrat and watch a Republican walk into the White House."
Many Democrats have not forgiven Nader for his 2000 campaign, when he won 2.7 percent of the vote nationwide and, many party members believe, handed the election to George Bush. Nader has rejected such criticism and has said there is little difference between mainstream Democratic and Republican politicians, a view Gonzalez has indicated that he shares.
Gonzalez already has started to take jabs at the top Democratic candidates. He penned an op-ed piece this week titled, "The Obama Craze: Count Me Out." On Thursday, he criticized Obama for saying he might leave tens of thousands of troops in Iraq to fight terrorism.
As for Clinton, Gonzalez said, "She's supported a lot of bad public policy," from the North American Free Trade Agreement to her 2002 vote authorizing the use of U.S. force in Iraq.
Bay Area political observers were surprised to hear about the Nader-Gonzalez ticket. But few seemed to think the pairing would have a serious effect on the presidential contest in November.
"My guess is the Nader campaign is struggling for any type of traction," said Supervisor Chris Daly, a progressive member of the board who has endorsed Obama. "But it was great move by Nader because Matt is certainly a star ... in the national Green Party."
But Erika McDonald, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Green Party, said that after Gonzalez decided against challenging Newsom's re-election bid in November, he fell off the political radar, making him a surprising choice for Nader.
McDonald said she does not think Gonzalez's vice presidential bid will harm his future political prospects back home - whatever they might be.
"I don't think this will hurt him. It definitely raises some eyebrows," she said. "It does seem a little out of the blue. People were talking about Matt kind of fading away. ... He's been compared to the object disappearing in the rearview mirror."
Elevating the debate
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, a Green Party member who helped run Gonzalez's mayoral bid, said he believes a Nader-Gonzalez ticket "will elevate the discourse of the presidential race."
Still, Mirkarimi has endorsed Obama.
"I don't believe that Ralph Nader's candidacy will amount to having ... a negative impact as long as Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton's campaign is really well driven," Mirkarimi said.
When he ran as an independent in 2004, Nader was on the ballot in just 34 states and drew a mere 0.3 percent of the vote. But he could be a factor this year in states where vote totals are likely to be close.
DeLeon said the Nader-Gonzalez ticket could have an effect on the Democratic nominee, keeping Obama or Clinton from moving as far to the center as either might without a challenger on the left.
"I hear some right-wing commentators describe Obama as a left-wing radical. We just laugh," DeLeon said. "There's a certain function the Nader-Gonzalez ticket can play in reminding people what a real left-wing radical in the American system looks like. In that context, Obama looks more like an acceptable political centrist."
I voted for Matt Gonzalez when he ran against Gavin Newsome for mayor four years ago because Gavin was considered conservative by SF standards and was the candidate of "Big Business," while Matt was the "socialist stud."
Then Gavin got in and turned out to be totally cool, aside from the hair and the having the affair with his friend's wife, and everything.
But MATT!!!!! WHY?????????????
After the museum we went to Samovar for tea and I saw a girl with Pi, like six lines of number of it, tattooed on her arm.