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The Summit's Blog

chronicles of starting an art bar / cafe in san francisco

Tag Archives: concept

I can think of few things more excruciating than bus rides, waiting rooms, or lunching solo without something to read. I spend a lot of time in transit, and between destinations I find myself stuck in the Mission with 20 minutes to spare, or at the 33 MUNI stop watching the estimated arrival time waver from 18 minutes to 63 minutes. 99% of the time I have a book in my purse, but I have collected hours upon hours reading and then rereading The Guardian and The SF Weekly. Most weeks I can relate to you in great detail what Paul Reidinger thought of the udon at Izakaya Sozei or Dan Savage has to say about maple syrup fetishes.

I love to read. Growing up I probably spent more time with books than I did with other children. My mom would take me to the library once a week and I would bring home as many books as I could carry. I was partial to fantasy and sci-fi (Roald Dahl, Ray Bradbury, Philip Pulman…), and I spent most of my childhood waiting for a doorway to appear in my closet.

I'm borderline obsessed with Ray Bradbury. The Illustrated Man remains one of my favorite books.

When I would run through my library books I moved on to my parent’s – a mix of non-fiction and classic literature. As a teenager I became obsessed with Twee Pop, Riot Grrl, and DIY culture. I was rabidly addicted to Livejournal, wrote terrible poetry, and pieced together equally terrible zines. More than anything in the entire world I wanted to move to San Francisco, work in a cafe, and date a boy in a band.

The term "zine" (from "fanzine") covers a wide range of self-printed, small circulation publications featuring text & images.

Slumberland, Sarah, & K Records were probably the biggest influences on the person I am today. All these labels have strong ties to the zine culture that emerged in the 80s.

Kathleen Hanna - Poster girl for the Riot Grrrl movement, which was ignited by the publication of several feminist zines.

Fast-forward to today and I live in San Francisco, work in a cafe… and have pretty much given up on dating boys in bands. It’s been a wild ride getting here. I went from couch surfing in Oakland to traveling the country by Greyhound, finally ending up here in San Francisco about four years ago. I started off as a hostess at a now defunct Top 100 restaurant (any guesses?), moved on to become a party promoter, fell into a social media consulting position for a clothing boutique, and have ended up at The Summit, where my job title is “Literary Curator.”

In '09 The Guardian named me of one of San Francisco's "Scene Makers" in the Nightlife Industry. I think the scene at The Summit will involve more reading & less dancing.

In the last couple of years that I spent falling into jobs and scenes and hangovers, I’d sometimes forget that for most of my life, books were my best friends. For me, running the literary program at The Summit is like peeling away all sorts of strange identities that I’ve adopted in the last few years and finally getting to do what I love to do best, nerd out over books.

Me in '06 - platinum & probably plastered. These days I'm usually holding a cup of Blue Bottle.

I’ve spent the last few months watching The Summit come together. The space keeps filling up with tables, espresso machines, and couches, and more importantly, with people and ideas. My job went from stocking a simple magazine rack, to outlining a literary program that will focus on zines, graphic novels, and other independently published work. Along with compiling a library of zines, I’ve been hunting down magazine back issues and vintage design manuals, and playing with the idea that a collection of literature can be curated much the same way one curates a collection of visual art in a gallery.

I left Zine Fest last weekend with lots of awesome readables that will soon be featured in The Summit Library.

Just scored this back issue of Fortune Magazine. Who knew Steve Jobs was such a babe?

As excited as I am about my position at The Summit, I’m also a little scared. I read constantly, but the volume of books, magazines, zines, and comic books out there is astounding. I cannot and will not claim to be the authority on any literary scene, but I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with people who know more than myself. I hope that I can make The Summit a welcoming place for readers and writers, and I feel incredibly fortunate to work someplace where I’ll always have something interesting to read.




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while flipping thru the previews of “Restaurant Success by the Numbers: A Money-Guy’s Guide to Opening the Next Hot Spot,”  i ran into the idea of the 3 triple bottom line. 3bl or tbl expands on the idea that it’s not just about profits, it’s also about people and the plant. in planning for the summit, i’ve always had the profits and my people and the people i want to reach-out to in mind, but rarely the planet. maybe it’s because it’s some subconcious backlash to living in sf, or because my roommate is the trash / compost nazi

check the guidelines b4 you chuck 😦

–but often times i think green = going out of my way + spend more money.

then while scanning thru the book preview i learned how the author teamed up with bay localize to install a rooftop garden on his restaurant’s roof to grow veggies and insulate his building to reduce costs. greed green is good. i wanted to do this back in the poleng days, but alas i got poleng’d. i hope this time around i’ll have the bandwidth and determination to see it thru.

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the sfweekly and hoodscope have wondered, “is the summit… poleng 2.0? will it carry on it’s tradition of nitelife and filipino food?”

if there were to be a poleng 2.0 it would be here:

the nxt poleng should be at the fort bonifacio, manila, philippines


in the p.i. i would take the concept further and add a small boutique hotel and luxurious day-spa like this one here:

r & d time for the nxt poleng


i got inspired 2 years ago in guatemala. i was alone, traveling, and getting lost like i always do and 1 week into my trip i stayed at la lancha, george lucas family lodge:

wow… im completely going on a tangent! but it’s all a true story. so ya basically, the summit is not poleng 2.0. it’s something completely new!

poleng was the natural extension of my lifestyle 5 years ago. i was a night-life entrepreneur. i threw parties to finance trips around the world (and pay rent), i woke-up odd hours, and i handled my freelance web 1.0 gigs at night. as my 20’s drew to a close, i knew i had to change and capitalize on this momentum.

fast forward 5 years later. i’m in my mid-30’s and my interest in food has surpassed my desire to stake a claim in the night life. i still believe that mass gatherings can spark creativity, but over the years i’ve learned that you can ignite that flame with food, good company, tea, art, and most recently the perks of coffee

the summit is a completely new concept. stay tuned and i’ll reveal more as i go along.

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