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Archive for the ‘Golden Gate Park’ Category


Bird babies! The Great Blue Heron Watch at Stow Lake starts Saturday

Photo by judy h

Mating season is over for the Great Blue Herons at Stow Lake, which means it’s now time for the real fun – the babies.

Every Saturday through May 16, SF Nature Education sets up a free observation deck from 10am until 12:30pm. See the nesting herons and their chicks up close and personal with spotting scopes, and SF Nature volunteers and interns will be available to provide information and answer questions about these native birds.

SF Natures also offers naturalist-led walking tours to observe the chicks and other nesting birds from various spots around Stow Lake and Strawberry Island. The tours run from 10:15am until 12noon and begin at the observation site near the boat house. The cost is $10 for adults; young adults and children are free.

Great Blue Herons began nesting at Stow Lake in 1993. To date, 162 chicks have learned to fly here. The herons court, build their nests, mate, and lay eggs between January and March. By April, one or more nests have chicks. During April and May, the parents feed chicks as the chicks gradually grow to four feet. In June, the chicks begin to branch-hop and take short flights. The chicks typically fledge at 12 weeks, around July 4th.

SF Nature will host Heron Watch on the following Saturdays in 2015: April 11, 18, 25 and May 2, 9, 16.

Sarah B.

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Nature Education

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

Outside Lands 2015 lineup announced; tickets on sale Thursday

Today, Outside Lands revealed its full lineup of artists (but not the final schedule).

Headliners at this year’s festival, its eighth, include Elton John, Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, Wilco, and Tame Impala. See the full lineup

This year’s event runs from August 7 through August 9 at several venues in Golden Gate Park. VIP and regular tickets for Outside Lands go on sale this Thursday, March 26 at 10am at SFOutsideLands.com.

Who’s going?

Sarah B.

11:24 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Live Music | 8 comments

Local links: Downtown donuts, museum tech, pedestrian hit, Spock tribute & more

Comedian and actor Adam Corolla was at the Balboa on Tuesday night for a screening of his new film, “Road Hard”. Photo by Laura Dudnick

It’s Thursday, people! Here are some local links to push you through to the weekend. :)

  • This weekend are neighborhood free days at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Residents in the zip codes 94118 and 94121 can get free admission. Visiting adults are limited to six children for free entry. Proof of residency is required.
  • A pedestrian was struck by a van while crossing Geary at 26th Avenue on Wednesday morning. “The pedestrian was unconscious but breathing after being hit in the crosswalk, Esparza said. He was taken to a hospital with what are considered life-threatening injuries,” according to the San Jose Mercury News. UPDATE: We are sad to report that the victim did not survive; more details here.
  • The de Young and Legion of Honor Museums have been beefing up their tech offerings lately. The de Young has partnered with Guidekick to be included in a new iOS mobile app that allows users to be their own tour guides of the de Young’s collections, building, and surrounding environment. The museum will also soon unveil a new app that provides visitors with a self-guided tour of the sculptures and architecture at the de Young and Legion. And finally, the de Young recently highlighted the use of a “Beam” device, which allows visitors with disabilities to remotely visit the museum using a robot.
  • Bolditalic did a nice feature on the Royal Market & Bakery on Geary, which is packed with Armenian and Russian groceries and baked goods. “Royal Market is one of the best in its class, a standing confirmed by word of mouth that travels from friends and Richmond locals.”
  • Got some good penguin sense? The Academy of Sciences is asking for the public’s help in naming two African penguin chicks that hatched in November. Members of the public can log on to www.calacademy.org/name-a-penguin to cast a vote for one of the names that have been submitted by local museums (Bert, Bufano or Ebb for the male penguin and Nori, Pina or Stella for the female). The winning names will be announced March 25.
  • Neighborhood website ob-kc.com, which is best known for its live webcam overlooking Ocean Beach (much lauded by surfers and sunset fans), is asking for donations to help cover site expenses. Drop in if you’d like to help out.
  • Artist Jay Mercado‘s iconic donut paintings are currently on display at CK Contemporary Gallery in downtown San Francisco (357 Geary). Aside from the 10th & Clement donut shop being 1 block from his California Street studio, Jay has other, more sentimental reasons for painting them. “Convenience of a subject notwithstanding, donuts are iconic. They represent a nostalgic whimsy. As a boy donuts were my reward at the last stop on my SF Chronicle paper route, a donut shop. Back then a hot cinnamon roll was my donut of choice. For me it was the king of donuts.”

  • So sad to hear of Leonard Nimoy’s passing recently. In tribute, the Balboa Theater will be screening two of Spock’s best films next Wednesday beginning at 7pm: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

11:02 am | Posted under Art, Golden Gate Park, Movies, Museums | 12 comments

Local links: Burmese Kitchen back, Red Lantern to open, GWHS’ views & more

Sunset at Ocean Beach, 1/26/15. Photo by @ob-kc

Happy Tuesday, everyone! While the east coast is getting the lion’s share of harsh weather, enjoy last night’s sunset above – and these local links:

  • Hoodline has a new article on the coyotes of Golden Gate Park with some nice photos. “Coyote-watchers are encouraged to visit the western end of Golden Gate park at dusk and in the early morning hours. They’re also frequently spotted near North Lake, Ocean Beach, Presidio Golf Course and Land’s End near dawn.”
  • It was curtains for Burmese Kitchen but they have found a new home in the neighborhood in the old To Hyang space (3815 Geary near 2nd Avenue). “Though not strictly vegetarian, Burmese Kitchen prominently bills itself as vegetarian-friendly and even has a decent amount of vegan options, with most dishes priced between $6.95-9.50. Hours will be daily from 5-10 p.m., with weekend lunch hours to be announced soon.” [Bold Italic]
  • In other food news, a new Asian fusion / sushi restaurant called Red Lantern is getting ready to open at Geary and 22nd Avenue. They’re finishing their build-out according to their Facebook page but no opening date or hints as to the menu yet. Thanks to @cassfung for the tip.
  • Not surprisingly, one online publication named the George Washington High School football stadium as one of the top 10 in the country thanks to its amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The field is also “accented by a beautiful 2,500 square foot frieze with panels that depict both ancient and modern sports in the Olympics. Quotations from Plato and other philosophers are also displayed.”
  • You might notice some painting and tiling happening on the front of the Busvan buildings on Clement Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues. The improvements aren’t for a new tenant, according to owner Michael B. “We felt that we needed to repaint them to keep them fresh and attractive for our current tenants. The added benefit of retaining their pleasantness is that doing so helps improve the overall look of the Clement portion of the inner Richmond, which is both a business value for Busvan and a personal value for our family,” Michael told us. The project also includes uncovering and restoring some of the original, cobalt blue and black facade tiles that are upwards of 90 years old. Looking good, Busvan!

9:53 am | Posted under Business, Food, Golden Gate Park, Schools, Wildlife | 16 comments

48 years ago: Human Be-In at the Polo Fields

48 years ago yesterday, on January 14, 1967, the historic Human Be-In took place at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park.

The event, officially titled the “A Gathering of Tribes”, was organized to protest the bourgeois mentality of the older generations and, specifically, a California law passed the year before making LSD illegal.

At the time, San Francisco’s hippie counter-culture was fast growing and the event was a precursor to the city’s “Summer of Love”, epicentered in the nearby Haight Ashbury.

The one-day event drew an estimated 30,000 people to the Polo Fields, and featured appearances by the Grateful Dead, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Dick Gregory and Owsley “Bear” Stanley handing out acid to the crowd (who was also the sound engineer for The Grateful Dead).

The Human Be-In garnered national media attention, and firmly planted the hippie movement into America’s consciousness (and San Francisco as its home base). The gathering served as a prototype for many 1960s counter culture celebrations.

In 2004, Dino posted his memories of the event to outsidelands.org.

“Yes, I attended the first Human Be In at the Polo Fields in 1967. I was 15 and it was more of a hugh consciousness raising event which announced to the world that the hip/peace movement was here and growing while the times were about to be a changin’. I saw Allen Ginsburg and Timothy Leary and some barely dressed ladies while folk rock and poetry went Psychedelic. I was amazed and it changed my life. I would not be the same person today without that experience.”

Were you at the Human Be-In in 1967? Leave a comment to let us know.

Peace and love,

Sarah B.

Photo courtesy of The Allen Ginsberg Project

11:50 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, History, Video | 11 comments

Local links: Purple Skunk closing, BART to the beach?, MAFIA online, reclaimed furniture & more

Reindeer are back at the Academy of Sciences for the holidays. Photo by @calacademy

  • Lizzie, the owner of Purple Skunk Skateboard Shop at 6037 Geary wrote us to say they are closing their doors after the Christmas holidays. “After 21 years the Purple Skunk doors will be closing. Christmas week is our last retail hoorah. It’s time to retire, but on a good note. We will miss ALL of our customers that we have been serving throughout the years. We will always remember our little groms that got their first skateboard here.” The business is for sale so if you’re interested, contact the shop for more details. We’ll miss you Purple Skunk!
  • BART to the Beach? Don’t get too excited, but BART is “investigating” service expansions over the next decade that would include a second transbay tube and a new line out to the western part of the city. You can download the proposal here, which was presented to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board committee recently.
  • Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto. The Examiner reports that “Next spring, Washington High School in the Richmond is poised to produce one of approximately 3,000 teams to compete in an international robotics competition after students recently created the school’s first robotics club.” The 60 students who have already signed up will be broken into teams of four to focus on different aspects, including building the robot, developing its software, calculating the business and handling public relations. The program was supported by a $20,000 grant from Facebook.
  • Izakaya Ju-Ku on the corner of 19th Avenue and Clement closed a couple of weeks ago. That’s a nice corner spot but has always been challenging for restaurants. We’ll have to see what opens there next…
  • Arion Press, just inside the 14th Avenue Presidio gate, is hosting a free, holiday open house this Saturday from 11am until 6pm. Go on a tour, check out their gallery, and experience the historic bookmaking and letterpress workshop. See where their books are made, including their historic printing presses, 100-year-old machinery, and one of the largest collections of metal type in North America. Free tours of the typefoundry, press room, and book bindery take place at 12noon and 2pm.
  • Two Richmond District residents have started a new furniture business using reclaimed materials. “We started out small but then we quickly realized we have a love for working with reclaimed materials. We have now begun expanding our collection in hopes of sharing it with the community. We’re starting small with a few select pieces but will be expanding in the coming months.” You can check out their products on Etsy – we like that bathtub shelf!
  • Remember MAFIA Bags, a new business that set up a manufacuturing space in the Richmond District, making bags and accessories from recycled sails? Their online store is now up, just in time for the holidays.
4:30 am | Posted under Business, Food, Golden Gate Park, Museums, Schools, Shopping | 30 comments

Golden Gate Park’s 85th annual tree lighting at McLaren Lodge, Thursday night

Photo by Richard Tamayo

This Thursday night from 4pm until 8pm, Rec & Park is hosting a special holiday celebration featuring carnival rides, cookie factory, arts and crafts for kids, a visit from Santa, and live entertainment.

During the event, they’ll officially light up the giant Monterey Cypress in front of McLaren Lodge. The lighting will take place between 6pm and 6:15pm (Santa will be there starting at 5:15pm). McLaren Lodge is located at 501 Stanyan Street at Fell, just inside the park.

Event attendees are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to SFPD’s Operation Dream holiday toy drive. Donations can also be dropped off at the Rec & Park office in McLaren Lodge during normal business hours.

The tree lighting tradition began in 1929 when John McLaren, the grandfather of Golden Gate Park and San Francisco’s first park superintendent, began a holiday tradition of lighting trees along a mile-long stretch of Fell Street that ended in front of McLaren Lodge, his home at the time.

Sarah B.

Photo by Pistols Drawn

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

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