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Archive for the ‘Golden Gate Park’ Category

Jun-20-2014

Local links: Beach Chalet, Marla Bakery opens, Sushi Wako, tree planting & more


Inside the new Marla Bakery on outer Balboa

Happy Friday to everyone! Here are some local links to dance you into the weekend…

  • Marla Bakery is finally open at 3619 Balboa near 37th Avenue. The Chronicle says it “will be open as a cafe all day and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner most weeknights, and brunch weekends, along with a Sunday supper that will happen at one long table, with a prix-fixe menu and wine pairings.” Stop in and welcome them to the neighborhood!
  • Just when you thought the debate over the artificial turf fields at Beach Chalet was done… In the upcoming November election, it’s likely that voters will be faced with two dueling ballot measures. One from a group of environmentalists, neighbors and others that want to prohibit artificial turf and field lights at Beach Chalet, and another measure from the city that is designed to override the opponents’ measure. The opponents of the fields have until July 7 to get the 9,702 valid signatures they need to qualify for the ballot.
  • Friends of the Urban Forest are planning another tree planting event in the Richmond District in August. If you’re interested in planting a tree in front of your property, the deadline to apply is July 16. Get all the details here
  • A new sushi spot is open at 211 Clement Street called Sushi Wako. They remodeled a former sushi spot and expanded into the space next door, resulting in a lovely rebuild. According to their website, Wako, which means “Japanese Fragrance” was started by two chef buddies. Reviews on Yelp so far are very good with one reviewer writing, “I have a feeling this place is going to be packed once the word gets out. So shhh…keep it down.” Oops, sorry. :)
  • Into Playland history? Author James Smith, whose latest book “San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach: The Golden Years” recently came out, will be speaking at the Sunset Branch Library (1305 18th Avenue) next Tuesday, June 24 at 7pm. Smith will speak and show photos from his latest book which is an illustrated history of the much-loved park from 1940 until its closing in 1972. We’ve got the book, it’s snazzy.
  • There’s a poignant piece about a duck needing a mate at Mountain Lake Park. “But duck does not live by bread alone. Duck should not, in fact and in the natural state of things, live alone. And Musco is all alone. I am on a one-woman campaign to find him a Muscovy mate.”
5:03 am | Posted under Food, Golden Gate Park, History, Politics, Shopping | Add comments
Jun-5-2014

Frolick on the open roads at Sunday Streets on the Great Highway, June 8

This Sunday, the first of two Sunday Streets comes to the Richmond District. This Sunday, streets in Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway from Fulton all the way down to Sloat will be closed to cars – and open to frolicking.

This is a great chance to hop on your bikes, strap on your rollerskates, or just stroll through Golden Gate Park and along Ocean Beach with complete freedom. Vendors and activities will be set up along the route, including live music, exercise classes, bike lessons and tune-ups, yoga and more. See the list below for complete details.

Want to make a game out of it? Download the Sunday Streets bingo card and play along for a chance to win prizes.

Sunday Streets runs from 11am until 4pm. And be sure to save the date for our next one on July 13 which takes place in the inner Richmond along Clement and Arguello Streets.

Sarah B.

9:41 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach | 2 comments
May-20-2014

Local links: Unimpressed Bison, free summer staycations, Skee-ball suit & more

Good day, Richmond District’ers! Here are some local links to kick off your Tuesday…

  • Even the Golden Gate Park bison got a taste of the Bay to Breakers madness on Sunday when a participant leaped the fence and began taunting them in their paddock. As you can see from the video above, he got pretty close and despite previous reports, was fully clothed. The man was arrested according to this funny tweet from the Richmond District station: “@sfpdrichmond: Officers just arrested a naked man in the bison paddock in GG Park. The bison seemed unimpressed.”
  • The Richmond District Neighborhood Center has published their Summer Staycation Schedule, which includes kayaking in the bay, camping at the Presidio, an overnight at the Zoo and a Bike Day in Golden Gate Park. They’re also adding two two Craftcations to the agenda, one for families and one for older youth and adults. All programs are free but space is limited so get all the details here (PDF).
  • Now covering the Inner Richmond: New app Washio claims people spend 13 hours per month doing laundry, so they want to reduce that to “just seconds” so you can get back to having real fun. Load up their app, place an order, and they’ll come pick up your laundry or dry cleaning from your home or office, and return your clean clothes back to you within 24 hours. No word yet on whether they lose a sock every load like the rest of us.
  • Game on! Skee-ball’ers that play in a national league at the Buckshot Bar on Geary are locking horns with the makers of Skee-Ball, who allege that the league name – Brewskee Ball – is infringing on their trademark, despite giving them permission to use the name in 2005. This has prompted a Skee The People drive to raise money for legal funds to fight the company. They’ve raised $22k so far. Can’t we all just skee along? [via SFGate]
  • Star of the Sea School (345 8th Avenue) is hosting their 41st annual festival on Saturday, May 31st from 10am to 4pm. The popular festival features food, games, crafts, a bouncy house, live entertainment and the always popular Touch-A-Truck when city agencies bring their police cars, fire trucks, street cleaners and other manner of big trucks for kids to hang out on. Admission to the festival is free but there is a $7 fee for entry to the Touch-A-Truck area.
  • Do you love all manner of flora and fauna? Do you love telling other people about it? Then we have just the opportunity for you. The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park is recruiting volunteers to lead group tours and conduct school visits. The annual 7-week training session runs every Wednesday from August 6 through September 17 from 1-4pm, and costs just $60 cost. If you’re interested, contact Erika Frank, Director of Volunteers & Education, at (415) 637-4326 or efrank@sfcof.org.
  • Green Apple Books was honored at City Hall last week during Small Business Week. Oddly, the cute little girl in the photo with Supervisor Mar and Green Apple owner Pete Mulvihill is holding a RED apple… Name change coming?


5:04 am | Posted under Business, Golden Gate Park, Schools | 2 comments
May-2-2014

Local Links: Romo pitches school, Aziza 2.0, plant sale, Saturday events & more


Sergio Romo speaks to students at Lafayette Elementary. Photo by Juan Pardo / SF Examiner

Here are some local updates to start your weekend. Have a good one!

  • Reminder: This Saturday the SF Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park will host its 47th annual plant sale from 10am until 2pm, featuring over 20,000 plants. This year’s theme is drought tolerance hundreds of beautiful natives, succulents, and plants perfect for SF’s many micro-climates are for sale. The event also serves as a fundraiser for the garden.
  • If pampering is more up your alley, head to outer Balboa on Saturday for an open house at Elevation Pilates and Sweet Cheeks Skincare. Sweet Cheeks will be offering free Hand Treatments demoing all of the latest and greatest skincare technology, selling some skin care items at 50% off, and selling a Mother’s Day Gift Certificate that include a free gift with purchase. Elevation Pilates will be offering free classes, special pricing on class packages, and hosting an art show. The open house runs from 11am until 3pm at 3425 Balboa Street.
  • The community garden at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center is going strong. Some students from Katherine Delmar Burke School paid a visit recently to plant some kale for the community.


Burke’s students plant kale in the community garden at the RDNC. Photo by Kinder Musings.

  • Giants pitcher Sergio Romo was at Lafayette School (4545 Anza) on Tuesday to talk to students about the importance of education. It was Romo’s fourth visit for such an event, put on by Washington High School’s Athletes in Math Succeed program, in which high school students and professional athletes cheer on students to succeed in school. “It’s more personal to me,” Romo said of visiting the school, where he high-fived kids and signed their baseball paraphernalia. “I can relate to this program.” (SF Examiner)
  • The Chronicle reported this week that Aziza owner and cookbook author Mourad Lahlou is moving ahead with a second, downtown restaurant in the former Pacific Telephone Building (140 New Montgomery). He’s looking to open the Moroccan-themed, 6,000 sq. ft. restaurant in late 2014/early 2015. No word yet on Aziza’s future.
  • A writer at SF Weekly lamented over the forgotten era of the Tiki Bar when he journeyed out to Trad’r Sam’s on Geary, one of the first in the city. After hearing Warren G. coming from the jukebox and listening to patrons order chilled vodka shots instead of Tiki-themed rum drinks, he concluded that Trad’r Sam’s is “now just another bar”.
12:15 pm | Posted under Business, Community, Golden Gate Park, Green, Schools | 7 comments
Apr-25-2014

Saturdays are for Blue Herons in GGP & Science programs at Mt. Lake

A couple of nature programs came into our inbox recently…

GREAT BLUE HERONS AT STOW LAKE
We’re currently in the midst of the Great Blue Heron Watch at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. Great Blue Herons have been nesting at Stow Lake since 1993, and it’s a great opportunity to come out and watch them with their chicks.

San Francisco Nature Education is in their 22nd year of leading Heron Watch walks every Saturday through May 17th. Naturalists and interns are also stationed at an observation site with spotting scopes, ready to offer spectacular views into the Great Blue Heron nests and answer questions.

Every Saturday, the free observation site is open from 10am until 1pm. Walks run from 10:30am until 12noon and allow you to observe chicks and other nesting birds from various spots around the Lake and Strawberry Island with a naturalist. The ticket price for the walk is $10, children are free. Meet at the observation site for the tour.

SCIENCE SATURDAYS AT MOUNTAIN LAKE PARK
On the second Saturday of every month from May 10 until October 11, 2014, the Presidio Trust is sponsoring Science Saturdays, where scientists talk about topics relating to Mountain Lake and its ecological restoration. Hear researchers from a variety of disciplines talk on topics ranging from Archaeology to Zooplankton.

The free programs run from 2pm until 3pm and meet at the lake’s edge just below the playground (entrance at 12th Avenue and Lake Street). The schedule of talks is as follows:

May 10: Reintroducing Submerged Aquatic Vegetation to Mountain Lake and the greater Bay Area
Kathy Boyer, Associate Professor of Biology, San Francisco State University

June 14: Native Fish: Restoring the Three-spined Stickleback to Mountain Lake
Darren Fong, Aquatic Ecologist, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

July 12: The History and Archaeology of Mountain Lake
Kari Jones, Archaeologist, Presidio Trust

August 9: Reintroducing the Western Pond Turtle to Mountain Lake
Nick Geist, Professor of Biology, Sonoma State University

September 13: Soils of Mountain Lake
Stephen Andrews, Soil Scientist and Lecturer, UC Berkeley

October 11: Butterflies of Mountain Lake and beyond
Liam O’Brien, Lepidopterist

5:05 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Parks, Wildlife | Add comments
Apr-24-2014

Stolen copper pipe blocks traffic on Fulton Wednesday morning


Crews clean up spilled copper pipe at Fulton and 30th Avenue on Wednesday morning. Photo by Jill B.

Around 5:25am on Wednesday morning, a contractor’s truck was stolen in the outer Richmond, with the thieves eying the copper pipe that was on board.

As they made their getaway, some of the pipe rolled off the truck and into the roadway near Fulton and 30th Avenue.

In the melee, the truck drove into the nearby meadow and crashed into a picnic table. So much for a quiet getaway.

Reader Jill B. says that around 6am, a morning dog walker “noticed a line of thick cable running along the right lane for a length of Fulton, turning and blocking 30th into the park.”

The city was summoned, and crews spent two hours cleaning up the spilled pipe. The pipe stretched nearly half a block and was so heavy, that the cleanup crew had to cut it into smaller sections to load it and move it.

Thanks to Jill B. and Elizabeth S. for the reports.

Sarah B.

10:09 am | Posted under Crime, Golden Gate Park | 2 comments
Apr-22-2014

Photo: Out for a swim with the folks


Stow Lake, April 21, 2014. Photo by Tina Verdoia

10:43 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Photos, Wildlife | 2 comments
Apr-18-2014

Looking back at the 1906 earthquake in the Richmond District


A crumbling house at 11th Avenue and California in 1906. Courtesy Bancroft Library

It was 108 years ago today at 5:12am when a massive earthquake struck San Francisco, killing an estimated 3,000 people and destroying nearly 80% of the city. Between 227,000 and 300,000 people were left homeless out of a population of about 410,000. [Wikipedia]

Here in the Richmond District, there was only a small population. People had just started moving to the “Outside Lands” in the 1880s, and much of the neighborhood was still covered in sand dunes.

The unpopulated landscape of the Richmond District proved to be ideal for refugee camps. Camp 25, dotted with hundreds of what would become known as “earthquake shacks”, spanned what is now Park Presidio Boulevard.

Golden Gate Park was the setting for many refugee camps where displaced residents lived in canvas tents. Many of the camps were still in existence long after the quake, with the final one closing in June 1908.

Every year on April 18th, San Francisco commemorates the 1906 earthquake with a ceremony at Lotta’s Fountain, located at the intersection of Market Street, where Geary and Kearny Streets connect. The cast iron fountain served as a meeting point during the earthquake and fire aftermath.

Another commemoration will take place at 20th and Church Streets at 5:40am when a hydrant, that was crucial to fighting the fires in 1906, is re-painted gold.

City celebrations are usually attended by remaining survivors from the 1906 quake, but there are only two left.

One of them, Bill de Monte, celebrated his 108th birthday in January. He won’t be at the ceremony this morning, but he did tape a video message that will be shown.

Sarah B.

Most of the photos in this post are from the Bancroft Library’s stellar online collection of photos of San Francisco post-earthquake. The site includes an interactive map that lets you explore the archives by neighborhood.


Camp 25 located along what is now Park Presidio Boulevard. Courtesy Bancroft Library.


Kids in Camp 25, one year after the earthquake. 2,400 shacks still remained. Courtesy Bancroft Library.


A crumbling depot building at Geary and Arguello. Today it is OfficeMax. Courtesy Bancroft Library.


The north tower gate of Sutro Heights Park. Courtesy Bancroft Library.


The Martha Kip orphanage at 520 Lake near 7th Avenue. Courtesy Bancroft Library.


One of the refugee encampments in Golden Gate Park. Courtesy Bancroft Library.


Refugees line up for food or supplies in a Golden Gate Park camp. Courtesy Bancroft Library.


The Sweeny Observatory atop Strawberry Hill lay in ruins after the quake. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

5:12 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, History | 8 comments
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