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One that got away: A Frank Lloyd Wright house in Sea Cliff

We got the most recent newsletter from the Western Neighborhoods Project which had a fascinating tidbit in it.

Back in the 1940’s, the Morris family was in talks with architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design their new Sea Cliff home at 830 El Camino del Mar.

The house was never built, but a contemporary artist created the rendering above to show what the house would have looked like, complete with a modern version of a light house that overlooks the ocean. Wright designed a couple of versions of the house.

The Morris family didn’t end up building the house, but they did commission Wright to build his only work in San Francisco – the V.C. Morris Gift Shop at 140 Maiden Lane (photo). The space is now home to the Xanadu Gallery. More Bay Area Frank Lloyd Wright architecture

The house that was eventually built at 830 El Camino del Mar is still spectacular with unbeatable views. It was last listed about 5 years ago for just under $10 million.

Sarah B.

A drawing of the house. Courtesy of Wright Chat

A different design for the Sea Cliff house. Courtesy of Brett Drager

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 5:05 am | Posted under Real Estate | 5 comments

Finally: Face-slapping massage business goes under

The strangest (legal) business in the neighborhood – Tata Face Slapping Massage – has finally shuttered their storefront on the corner of 14th Avenue and Geary.

The business offered “face slapping massages” that were “100% chemical free” and wait for it…cost $350 for a 15 minute session. Yup you read that right – hundreds to get your face worked over (or a bargain $1,000 for 4 sessions).

The treatments purported to “make you look like a celebrity, face slapping to look younger, and face slapping to charm your significant other”.

The business garnered national media attention for its odd-ball treatments and even odder owners, who looked and moved a lot like Power Rangers. Watch the video below to see for yourself.

The Tata Massage storefront also won awards, at least in our book, for the gaudiest storefront in the neighborhood that (coincidence?) prevented prying eyes from seeing what was on actually going on inside.

Turns out there probably wasn’t much of anything happening in there, as the face slappers closed their doors after a longer-than-expected 2 year run. But if you still want to get hustled beautified through slapping, you can find Tata and her ancient ways online.

Word on the street is that the Geary Dance Center just down the block may be interested in the space.

Sarah B.

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 4:10 am | Posted under Business | 21 comments

Photo: Moon over the Outer Richmond

November 6, 2014. Photo by @ob_kc

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 1:05 pm | Posted under Photos | 1 comment

Police Blotter – November 21, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of November 21, 2014. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpdrichmondstation@sfgov.org.]

Our next community meeting is December 16th, 2014 at 6:00 PM. Location: Richmond Station Community Room (Location Subject to Change)

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(Regarding some of the incidents in the weekly newsletter. We are not always able to give a full or complete account of what has occurred. We do not want to furnish information about ongoing investigations which may be prejudicial or interfere. We do our best to give a general overview of incidents within the district.)

On November 14, 2014 at 12:38 AM, Officers Rotschi and Liu were on patrol in the area of Clement and 18th Ave. when they saw a vehicle stopped at the intersection with no headlights activated. The officers completed a U-turn and started to follow the vehicle, at no time did the driver activate his lights prior to stop. When they asked the driver about driving with no headlights he replied “they come on automatically.” The driver told the officers that he was coming from a local bar and had only consumed a couple of drinks. The officers did notice a strong smell of alcohol and initiated a DUI investigation. The investigation resulted in the driver being booked at County jail for DUI and other various charges.

On 13 November 2014, at 10:54 PM, Officers Mitchinson and Cranna responded to a report of a fight with weapons on 35th Ave.. The officers contacted the suspect in this incident at the front gate which was locked and secured. The officers explained the reason for their response to the house and requested see the other person involved to check on their well-being. The suspect refused entry to the officers but with the help of the fire Department they gained entry. They contacted the suspect again who was holding onto a large dog by the collar. The officers were able to secure the dog and detain suspect. The officers found the victim who stated he had been “tased” multiple times by the suspect. The victim also alleged that the suspect suffered from paranoia as a result of smoking methamphetamine. The officers were able to seize a stun gun at the scene and suspect was booked in County jail for multiple violations.

On November 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM, Sgt. Williams was on patrol in the area of Spruce and Euclid observed a vehicle failed to stop at the limits line of an intersection with four-way stop. Officer Lai and Officer Tanaka responded to assist the sergeant and it was later discovered the driver was driving on a suspended license. The driver was cited for multiple violations at the scene.

November 16, 2014 at 10:08 PM, Officers Mariano, Cranna and Mitchinson responded to the Safeway on the playa Street regarding an altercation between two males. When the officers arrived at the scene they were able to identify one male due to multiple previous contacts. With the help of the management staff at the Safeway, the officers were able to review video regarding this incident. The victim male in this incident refused to press charges on the other party. While conducting a records check on both individuals the officers determined there was an active arrest warrant for the suspect in this incident. The suspect was transported to County jail and booked without further incident.

On November 14, 2014 at 11:07 PM, Officers Finigan and Mariano were on foot patrol at the Music Concourse stage in Golden Gate Park. They observed a male sleeping on the stage in violation of the San Francisco Park Code. They contacted the male regarding the violation and a criminal records check revealed that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The male was arrested and transported to County jail without further incident.

On November 14, 2014 at 11:00 PM, Officer Gordon was on patrol in the area of 25th and Geary Boulevard when he observed a vehicle driving erratically. Officer Gordon stopped the vehicle and contacted to driver. A records check revealed that the driver had a suspended license. The driver was cited for multiple violations.

November 15, 2014 at 4:58 PM, Officers Mariano and Finigan responded to the area Music Concourse Drive in Golden Gate Park. Officer Mariano had an arrest warrant a subject who was well known to him from prior contacts. Both officers were able to arrest the suspect without incident and transported him to County jail for booking.

November 16 at 12:20 AM, Officer Yee was on patrol in the area of Park Presidio and Lake Street when he observed a vehicle with no front license plate. The officer initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver. The driver of the vehicle was unable to produce a valid California license when requested by the officer. The driver was cited for driving with no license issued and the multitude of other violations.

On November 16, 2014 12:30 AM, Officer Yee officer responded to a request from officer Faynshteyn for assistance. Officer Faynshteyn had stopped the vehicle for driving with no headlights activated. Officer Faynshteyn could smell an odor of alcohol coming from vehicle. Both officers initiated a DUI investigation which resulted in the driver being booked at County jail.

On November 17, 2014 at 5:55 AM, Officer Wilberg responded to the area of Fulton and eighth Avenue on arrival at the scene he was flagged down by a white female who was holding her cell phone and crying. Officers Kawaguchi and Campbell also responded to assist. The victim stated while waiting for a Muni bus she was approached by a man holding a silver knife in his right hand. The suspect told the victim to “give me everything you have!” while grabbing the victim’s purse. The suspect fled to a waiting vehicle at the corner of 8th Avenue and Fulton. There were no injuries during this incident. While conducting his investigation into this incident the officer was approached by another victim was also robbed in the same area at the same time. This victim was also waiting for the Muni bus, but during the incident she was struck in the face by the suspect. This victim was transported to the hospital for further treatment. The investigation to both these incidents continues…

On November 17, 2014 at 6:24:00 PM, Officers Wong and Lai responded to the 400 block of Balboa regarding a male causing an altercation at a restaurant. They contacted the reporting party in this incident who told him that the male had left prior to their arrival. The reporting parity was able to point out the suspect sitting at a bus stop further down the block. The officers made contact with the suspect and the computer query revealed an outstanding $100,000 warrant. The male was transported and booked at County jail without further incident.

Of November 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM, Officers Ison and Goold were on patrol in the area of Fulton and 20th Ave. they observed a vehicle with a covered license plate and initiated a traffic stop. The officers contacted the driver and the computer check revealed that the driver had a suspended license. The driver was cited for the above violations including driving on suspended license.

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 6:37 pm | Posted under Crime | 4 comments

Golden Gate Park: The toast of TV

Our very own Golden Gate Park has been in the tv spotlight recently, popping up as a puzzle on Wheel of Fortune, and showing up in a future episode of The Mindy Project. Star Mindy Kaling posted photos of her with cast and crew at the Golden Gate Bridge, on the carousel in Golden Gate Park (below) and other city landmarks.

Medium fast times at Merry Go Round High #themindyproject #sanfrancisco

A photo posted by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

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 4:15 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Photos | Add comments

Photo: Just a wee bit of fabric and sewing sundries

It’s not a new business, but shop Wee Scotty is new to the Richmond District. Located on Clement near 7th Avenue, the shop has “taught numerous children to sew, helped countless brides look their best on their wedding day, and designed clothing and prototyped for many local and national brands.”

Welcome Wee Scotty!

Sarah B.

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 10:27 am | Posted under Business | Add comments

Daguerreotypes of SF by Binh Danh: What is new is old again

By Binh Danh

San Francisco artist Binh Danh specializes in daguerreotypes, and his latest show, “This Then, Is San Francisco,” is now open at the Haines Gallery (49 Geary).

The daguerreotype process was one of the earliest forms of photography and was in wide use only from the early 1840s to the late 1850s. The process involves printing the image captured in the camera onto a silver plate, and images appear in reverse because they are viewed from the side of the metal that faced the camera lens.

In addition to some nice pieces of the Cliff House and Sutro Baths, the 47-piece exhibition also features shots of downtown, the Legion of Honor, the Transamerica building, the de Young Museum, City Hall and the Mission. View the gallery here

Binh Danh is also known for his invention of the chlorophyll printing process, in which photographic images appear embedded in leaves through the action of photosynthesis (more on that in the video below).

The Haines Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 10:30AM – 5:30PM, and Saturday 10:30AM – 5:00PM. Danh’s daguerreotypes will be on display until December 20.

Sarah B.

By Binh Danh

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 4:30 am | Posted under Art | 2 comments

European Foods demolished to make way for new condos & retail

A rendering of the new development coming to 3038 Clement

Always-on-top-of-it development blog Socketsite posted an update yesterday on the condominium project at 3038 Clement Street near 32nd Avenue.

As they reported back in November 2012, the property that the market sat on was being considered for a six-unit condominium development.

Fast forward two years and the market is no more. Bulldozers put the final touches on the demolition, and permits have been pulled to make way for the building which includes three two-bedroom units and three three-bedroom units.

The building will be 40 feet tall and includes parking for ten bikes and six cars over a smaller ground-floor retail space. No word yet on what will occupy the retail space.

The permit issued for the project puts the construction costs at $2,500,449. The new address for the condos will be 3032-3038 Clement Street.

Remarkably, the gas/service station on the corner next to the new condo development continues to stand, and has not yielded to what we imagine are regular “Will you sell?” inquiries from developers.

Sarah B.

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 5:02 am | Posted under Business, Real Estate | 16 comments