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Archive for the ‘Golden Gate Park’ Category


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 | 7 comments

Celebrate Easter at Eggstravaganza in Golden Gate Park, Saturday

Photo courtesy of SF Rec & Park

This Saturday is the annual Eggstravaganza in Golden Gate Park, sponsored by the SF Recreations & Parks department.

The festival runs from 11am until 3pm at Sharon Meadow and features egg hunts, carnival rides, games, live entertainment, kids activities and a barbecue competition between Rec and Park, SFPD and SFFD.

Admission is $8 per person, and bike valet parking will be available.

Happy Easter!

Sarah B.

This is from 2012, but it gives you a good idea of the fun stuff at Eggstravaganza:

5:02 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | 3 comments

Kanye West, Tom Petty, Killers to headline Outside Lands 2014

The 2014 lineup for Outside Lands features L to R: Kanye West, Tom Petty and the Killers.

This morning, Another Planet Entertainment finally announced the much-anticipated lineup for the 2014 Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park, which takes place August 8-10.

Rumors had been circulating about possible headliners like Bruce Springsteen (new album out! he needs west coast dates!), D’Angelo (who had to cancel last year’s appearance), the Avett Brothers (who last played OSL in 2008) and even hat-wearing Pharell. But alas, none of them are in the final lineup, though this year’s list is nothing to sneeze at and contains the usual assortment of rock, electronic, funk and indie artists.

Headlining the 2014 festival is hip-hop artist Mr. Kim Kardashian aka Yeezus Kanye West, rock legends Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Las Vegas rockers The Killers.

Secondary headliners include thrift-shop specialists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Arctic Monkeys, EDM favorite Tiesto, Death Cab for Cutie and Flaming Lips.

70 bands in all will perform during the 3-day festival, which takes place in several areas of Golden Gate Park including the Polo Fields, Hellman Hollow and Lindley Meadow. Last year’s festival drew 65,000 concertgoers per day.

Organizers have not released the festival schedule yet, so we don’t know who plays on which day yet. But that’s intentional as they’re trying to sell 3-day passes.

Outside Lands 2014 3-day passes go on sale this Thursday at 10am via Ticketmaster. Prices are $255 – $275 for regular passes, $595 for VIP which includes exclusive access to viewing areas, access to the Polo Lounge, special restroom facilities and other goodies.

Single day tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Who’s in?!

Sarah B.

6:46 pm | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Live Music | 11 comments

Local links: MUNIhack, Bubble tea wars, hot wings, greenbates & more

Photo by Bolditalic

Farewell Friday, hello weekend! Here are some local links to ease you into it…

  • #MUNIhack – Nope, you’re not seeing things. That is a Prius with trolley poles on its roof so it can run off the power from MUNI lines. Bolditalic got’s the story about the car’s creator, an outer Richmond District resident named Jon. “You know it, dude! 150 miles of free energy courtesy of Mr. MTA!”
  • #Springblooms – The Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park is hosting a Spring Bloom sale this Saturday from 10am to 1pm. Featuring many varieties of Grevillea, Abutilon and the garden’s native Ceanothus, Iris and assorted annual native wildflower starts.
  • #HotWings – Wings fans will be finding their way to Hot Sauce and Panko (1545 Clement) soon after a nice review in the Chronicle. “But it would be a shame not to make Hot Sauce and Panko part of the weekly routine. With a dozen varieties of the handheld chicken pieces at any given time, not to mention a couple of seriously decadent sandwiches, this place is worth a visit.”
  • #GreenBates – The SF Dept of Energy is hosting a Energy Upgrade California workshop at the Anza branch library on Saturday, April 12 from 2-3pm. Learn how to increase your home’s energy efficiency with energy upgrades such as sealing air leaks or installing insulation, a new furnace, or energy efficient window – moves that could yield you $1,000 to $4,500 in rebates. A neighborhood resident will there to talk about his experience in the program.
  • #BubbleTeaWars – Share Tea recently opened on Geary near 18th Avenue in what used to be the Samila Thai restaurant space. They have two other locations in Berkeley and San Mateo. The 5336 Geary location is open Sunday – Thursday from 12noon to 9pm, and until 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights. We may have a bubble tea war on our hands – InfiniTea is just across the street.
11:17 am | Posted under Food, Golden Gate Park, Green, Muni | 11 comments

Stop and smell the flowers at the 30th annual Bouquets to Arts at the de Young

Monday night was the opening gala for the 30th annual Bouquets to Arts exhibition at the de Young Musuem, in which floral designers from the Bay Area create their own interpretations of works in the de Young’s permanent collection.

The annual exhibition is celebrating its 30th year, and every time we go, we’re reminded how beautiful the flowers are, and also how remarkable the de Young’s collection is.

The exhibition is open daily through Sunday from 9:30am until 5:15pm, but the earlier in the week you can get there, the fresher the flowers. ;) Bonus: Museum members have extended viewing hours on Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6pm to 8pm.

Sarah B.

5:04 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Museums | 1 comment

Photo: Magnificent magnolias at the Botanical Gardens. Don’t miss them!

Magnolias are in bloom at the SF Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. Get there before March 1 to see them!

Sarah B.

8:37 pm | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Photos | Add comments

It’s all about the blooming magnolias at GGP’s Botanical Gardens

Photo by James Gaither

While the rest of the country is bundled up, we’re enjoying record high temps and blooming magnolia trees at the SF Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park.

Mid-January through mid-March is the best time of year to see the magnolia trees in bloom, and the gardens have a few events to showcase the magnificent flowers.

On Saturday January 18, take the Magnificent Magnolia Tour which includes a tour of the collection in the company of a magnolia expert. The tour runs from 1pm until 3:30pm, and admission is $20, $10 for members. Purchase tickets online in advance. Additional tours will be offered on February 15, March 8, and March 9.

The following Saturday, January 25, the Botanical Garden will host a Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration, featuring lion dancers, lively folk dances, tai chi performances with dazzling sword forms, children’s activities and more. It’s a great chance to see all of the gardens and take in the magnolias. The celebration is free and the full schedule (9am – 3pm) is online.

If you can’t make an organized tour to check out the magnolias, the Botanical Garden also offers a self-guided tour. Pick up a free Magnolia Highlights map at the ticket kiosks.

There are also free docent tours of the magnolias every Saturday, January 18 – March 15, at 2pm, departing from the North Gate.

The Botanical Garden’s magnolia collection includes 51 species and 33 cultivars, including many prized examples from Asia. The collection began in 1939 with Eric Walther, who planted the very first magnolia in the Garden and continued to introduce species and cultivars throughout his tenure as the first Director.

One of the most famous species he planted was the cup and saucer magnolia or Magnolia campbellii, the first of its kind to bloom in the United States in 1940, attracting huge crowds of excited and curious visitors who stood in long lines to see the magnificent large pink blossoms of this lovely magnolia that still stands in the Garden today.

C’est Magnifique!

Sarah B.

Photo by

Photo by
P Gonzales

4:41 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | 1 comment

Top 10 Richmond District stories of 2013

It’s time to take a trip down memory lane and check out the most popular stories from this past year. From faery doors to farmer’s markets to sinkholes to human remains – our readers have a wide range of interests! It’s been our pleasure to cover it all.

Thanks for coming along for the ride in 2013! We can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store…

Sarah B.

The original miniature faery door installed near the concourse in Golden Gate Park, filled with offerings from visitors. Photos by Erica Reh

1. The Mysterious Mini-Door in Golden Gate Park
This delightful story captured the hearts and imagination of readers not only in the neighborhood, but around the world. The story was full of whimsy, wishes and even shady politics when Rec & Park decided to remove the door without even serving the faeries an eviction notice. Undeterred, the father and son team behind its creation fashioned another bureaucrat-approved door that they installed in another spot in the park. The faeries even answer their mail from time to time…

2. De Place restaurant on Geary closes after only three weeks
After licking the wounds of Video Cafe closing, neighbors eagerly awaited the new restaurant that would open on the corner of 21st and Geary. It was under construction for months and when it finally opened with the underwhelming name of “De Place”, it sported tv screens, fountains, ample seating and a giant crawfish statue that greeted diners at the door. But after just three weeks, a sign on the door said they were closed, with the vague explanation of “we are not able to enlist the staffs than can assist us with our operation”. Things that make you go hmm.

3. Clement Street Farmer’s Market makes it debut
It took several years to come together but the Richmond District finally made it onto the Farmer’s Market map, debuting the Sunday market on Clement Street between 2nd and 4th Avenues on June 23. The market was an instant hit with shoppers and vendors, and has been approved to run weekly through June of 2014 (and will likely be extended after that).

4. Large HUGE sinkole opens up on Lake and 2nd Avenue
This story brought us one of our best photo ops of the year… Around 5:30pm on a weekday afternoon in May, the road gave way to a huge sinkhole on Lake Street and bungled up traffic for several hours, even attracting news helicopters overhead. The rupture of a 19 inch sewer drain was responsible for the fiasco.

5. Fresh & Easy to close all stores; what will happen to the Richmond District location?
In April, Fresh & Easy’s parent company, Tesco, announced they were planning to close all of the nearly 200 stores in the chain. The Richmond District location on 32nd Avenue and Clement hadn’t even been open two years. In September, we got the news that billionaire investor Ron Burkle was buying the Fresh & Easy chain and that only 50 of the stores would be shuttered – and the Richmon District location is not one of them. Phew!

6. Shooting at 29th & Geary
Thankfully, we don’t see a lot of violent crime in the neighborhood, so when gunshots rang out at 7pm on a Sunday night on Geary near 29th Avenue, it sent a ripple through the neighborhood. A few eyewitnesses left their comments about what happened, and to date, we haven’t heard any news of an arrest of more information about the crime.

7. Bicycle lane on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park cause for concern
We reprinted an article from the Richmond Review (because we agreed with it) about the new, questionable configuration of the bike lanes on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park. Like most cycling stories, this set off a debate in the comments, which had both bikers and non-bikers taking both sides of the arguments. SFMTA, what say you?

8. What (or whom?) lies beneath the Legion of Honor?
Readers seemed to enjoy our Halloween photo special of human remains underneath the Legion of Honor Museum. They were discovered during the 1993 renovation and were photographed extensively by Richard Barnes. And yes, they’re still there.

Photo by Richard Barnes

9. Neighborhood’s first traffic circle installed at 23rd & Anza
Heads were being scratched after this roundabout was installed in January. It’s the only one in the Richmond District and it’s unusual/non-standard because it has stop signs on all sides, making it more decorative than calming. So it was hardly surprising when KRON TV’s Stanley Roberts provided video proof of how badly people navigated the circle. SFMTA is supposedly planning more for the neighborhood, ugh.

10. Haig’s Delicacies closing after 57 years
We do love our businesses here in the Richmond District, so many readers were saddened when Haig’s on Clement Street announced they were closing their doors after a half century. Beloved for the selection of spices and hard to find foods, commenters lamented the loss. A new spot (Local’s Cafe?) is under construction in the space, and it’s from one of the owners of Chomp & Swig. We’ll keep you posted.

4:30 am | Posted under Business, Crime, Golden Gate Park, Traffic | 1 comment