To Catch and To Gather — Filipino Communal Dinners Pop Up Across the Nation

  The idea to do a cross-country, fifty state tour in fifty-two weeks all started three years ago in the dead of winter. Yana Gilbuena was living in a loft in Redhook, Brooklyn. She suddenly had a craving for arroz caldo, a traditional Filipino ginger-spiced chicken porridge. But getting her fix for a typical Filipino dish wasn’t going to be easy because there wasn’t anyone in the city who made it. “I was getting frustrated at the fact that this is New York City and why can't I have my...

Seeking Human Touch — A Look into the Business of Professional Cuddling

  In one corner of the room sits a couch that’s big enough for two, but if more space is desired that can be easily arranged with Yoni Alkan. His studio is soothing, with green plants and beams of light pouring in through the windows overlooking the Richmond District. Now relax, because Alkan’s embrace is here. Through cuddling, Alkan has noticed a concern — it wasn’t just about good times for people, but being touched was transformative for them. With a background in human sexuality and conflict resolution, Alkan knows...

Hold Back The Tears — How Masculinity Keeps Men from Seeking Psychological Help

Thirty-year-old Jose Valenzuela runs his fingers through his scruffy beard as his eyes pierce through teardrop prescription glasses and out the living room window. His unblinking stare isn’t directed at anything outside but into his memory. A melancholic expression takes over his face as he recalls, “I’ve only seen my dad cry two times in my life.” Looking back on his formative years, Valenzuela has come to accept and even admire his dad for trying to shield him from the strains of life. However, he also reaped the consequences of...

The Line Between Free and Hate Speech

Yen Avery, a San Francisco native, poses for a self-portrait that she hopes will portray a positive image of Palestinian culture.   When Yen saw the advertisement pass by her on the side of a San Francisco bus, she felt anger and disgust. The red block letters spelling out “Palestinian Authority Teaches Children to Hate” and “End all U.S. aid to the P.A.” were layered onto three pictures of Palestinian children in gruesome situations. To Yen, the purpose was seemingly to provoke, and that consequent emotion resounded in her. The...

But Where Are The Women? — Representation of Queer and Trans Women in the Bay Area

  Sitting on the back patio of Toad Hall, a gay bar in the Castro District, Jillian Salazar ignores the crowd of men who glance with raised eyebrows at the only two women in the bar. She explains that the Castro has always been a place that catered to queer men, not queer women. “I chose this spot because whenever my gay, guy friends want to go out, a lot of times in the Castro, I’m like ‘All right, well I’m going to carve out a space for myself then.’”...

Authentic Coverage — Filmmakers Address The Underrepresented Asian-American Narrative In Popular Media

Reaa Puri edits footage from her narrative short film "Cycles of Lune" in a film lab at University of California, Berkeley. Puri is both a documentary and narrative filmmaker in her last semester of studying film at UC Berkeley. Steven Ho // Xpress Magazine   On October 3, Fox News’s The O’Reilly Factor aired a “Watters’ World!” segment about the presidential candidates’ emphasis on China in the first 2016 presidential debate. The reporter, Jesse Watters, went to New York City’s Chinatown to ask people for whom they were voting. In...

Threads For Therapy — Mom Channels Her Love For Shopping To Provide For Her Family

It’s a sunny Wednesday afternoon in the Sunset District where a breeze enters through the bright ruby door of Hunter’s Threads on Taraval Street between 31st and 32nd Avenue. In the store, Michelle Huang Scott rests on a stool as a man comes in with a mountain of bags containing used children’s clothing and toys. Without hesitation, she jumps out of her seat and helps him bring them in. Huang Scott and her husband, Jody Scott are the parents of Hunter, a three-year-old blond boy with hypotonia. Hypotonia is a...

There’s Weed On Your Breath — Marijuana Breath Analyzers Debut With The Prospect of Recreational Legalization

 Across the way from a barbed-wired fence on Jessie Street sits a large, metal door like any other. On the other side of that door is a room flooded with light, color, and most importantly, plants. An array of different shades of green fill the room, but it’s not the succulents hanging from the ceiling in a trendy, San Francisco kind of way. These plants, or “flowers,” are neatly lined up behind a counter, carefully labeled in glass jars that are organized by their strain, reading “Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid.”...

Pushing Vegan — The Vegan And Skateboarding Communities Intersect

Thirty-five-year-old Kerry Weber wakes up at six in the morning to commute to work at a tech campus in the South Bay. Weber is a lab engineer who skateboards any chance he can get, whether that be at his workplace or after hours when the parking lots are empty. On the weekends he prefers to skate in the early mornings, to avoid younger teens who just lounge around skate spots. After his skate sesh at Berkeley Skate Park, he proceeds to brunch at Oakland’s vegan cafes, Hella Vegan Eats or...

Choosing Freedom — A Story About Overcoming A Life Sentence

  At first, transitioning had its difficulties for Curtis Penn, a San Francisco State University student. He’d turn the shower on and commence the activity fully clothed, water seeping through his shirt layers. His feet were adorned with shower shoes — a familiar comfort of separating his skin from whatever pathogens lay hidden in a dirty floor. The shower was clean that day, but memories of prison grime were still fresh. Even with this new-found personal space, Penn was still not comfortable enough to proceed without old habits. Before washing...

Under Pressure — How Access To Mental Health Resources Affect Academic Success

  As Amanda Campbell walks through campus, she calculates if there is enough time to grab a bite to eat after her third class of the day and some time before her eight-hour work shift. Whilst juggling her schedule, she remembers that she still needs to run an errand and finish an assignment, all the while managing her time for her commute from San Francisco to Dublin. Campbell, a full-time fine art major at San Francisco State University, is so often preoccupied with thought, that she is unable to enjoy...

Wearing The White Hat — Hackers Seek Certification To ‘Go Legit’

 The sound of rapid typing fills a dark apartment, illuminated only by a dim computer monitor. Elliot Alderson gazes at a command prompt on his screen with strings of code consuming all of his attention. His goal is shutting down one of the biggest conglomerates in the world as he hacks his way into Evil Corp, relinquishing the common people of debt. This scene appears frequently on the award-winning television series, Mr. Robot, and is the most recent media portrayal of a contemporary hacker. Around holiday time of 2013, Target...