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Archive for the ‘Golden Gate Park’ Category

Dec-4-2014

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 | 29 comments
Dec-3-2014

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
Nov-20-2014

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
Nov-11-2014

Keith Haring sculpture relocated to front of de Young as part of new exhibition


Photo by @deyoungmuseum

Keith Haring’s Untitled (Three Dancing Figures) sculpture was relocated from Third and Howard Streets to the front lawn of the de Young Museum recently in honor of the new exhibition Keith Haring: The Political Line. Museum staff snapped this pic of the statue engulfed in the thick fog on Monday morning.

The exhibition, which runs through February 15, 2015, features ” more than 130 works of art including large scale paintings (on tarpaulins and canvases), sculptures and a number of the artist’s subway drawings, among other works. The exhibition will create a narrative that explores the artist’s responses to nuclear disarmament, racial inequality, the excesses of capitalism, environmental degradation and others issues of deep personal concern to the artist.”

Sarah B.

5:05 am | Posted under Art, Golden Gate Park, Museums | Add comments
Nov-11-2014

“Underwater Gardens” exhibit at Conservatory of Flowers; opens Nov. 13


Lao Chan Fei. Photo courtesy of the 2013 Aquatic Gardeners Association International Aquascaping Contest

Most of the plants we enjoy are above ground, but what about the many species that live underwater? A new exhibition opens this week at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park that puts these special hydrophytes on full display.

The Art of Underwater Gardening lets visitors dive into the dazzling world of aquatic plants and the international garden design trend called aquascaping, the art of creating underwater landscapes with plants, stones and wood. These submerged gardens built in large aquariums can mimic everything from primeval forests to verdant valleys as they become sublime works of underwater abstract art.

Aquascaping began with the Dutch in the 1930s but got a huge amount of attention in the 1990s when Japanese aquarist and photographer Takashi Amano introduced the world to his “nature aquarium” style. Amano made use of the Zen aesthetic practice of rock and plant arrangement to create minimal, but gorgeous works of living art. This triggered a huge amount of interest in the hobby and led to the establishment of dozens of international aquascaping associations and huge contests that attract hundreds of entries from around the world each year.
Check out these amazing entries from IAPLC

The Conservatory’s exhibition will feature a dozen tanks ranging from 4 to 6 feet long, set into the walls of a partially enclosed cavern-like setting that gives visitors the feeling of being down in a sinkhole. Nine of the tanks take their inspiration from Africa, Asia and South America, making use of native plants, rock, hardwood and fish to evoke the natural landscape of these tropical places. Three additional tanks are being created by local aquarium experts from San Francisco’s Ocean Treasures and will highlight the more abstract, artistic possibilities of aquascape design.


Timucin Sagel, photo courtesy of the 2013 Aquatic Gardeners Association International Aquascaping Contest

Aquascapes are a fine balance between form and function. An aquascape is an ecosystem in which every living and non-living item contributes not only to the overall beauty of the aquarium, but also to the chemical and biological balance that allows the plants and any animals to live. Consideration must be given to lighting, carbon dioxide levels, filtration, algae control, fertilization and more. Plants and fish work together to process waste and aerate the water. Rocks and gravel provide shelter for beneficial bacteria that reduce toxicity from waste. Even the position of the wood and rock affects the health of the tank by allowing or impeding the flow of water.

The Art of Underwater Gardening opens to the public on November 13, 2014 and runs until April 12, 2015. Entry to the exhibition is included in regular admission to the Conservatory.

Sarah B.


Aqua Forest Aquarium

5:02 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | Add comments
Nov-3-2014

Vote Yes on Proposition I tomorrow

We don’t get very political here on the blog, but every now and then, an issue comes up that hits home to me personally.

I’ve written before about my support for the new soccer fields at Beach Chalet. As a high school student, I grew up playing soccer on those fields. Even back then, they were our least favorite place to play as a team because they were torn up, full of gopher holes, and murder on the ankles. Not to mention any kind of inclement weather closed them down, and one field – even to this day – is always out of use.

Today, the fields and surrounding area are in the exact same condition that they were nearly 25 years ago. The restrooms are tired and dilapidated (and not ADA compliant), the fields are constantly in need of attention, one field is always out of use, and the surrounding bushes and trails are considered dangerous.

The Beach Chalet soccer field renovation project is long overdue. The improvements that Proposition I calls for include replacing the fields with artificial turf, adding lights for night play, renovating the restrooms, adding a small playground next to the fields, and building low-profile spectator seating. In short, the ingredients for a top-notch soccer complex that will serve kids and adults alike for years to come.

The project has been through a myriad of reviews and approvals at every level. The opposing Proposition H on the ballot, which you should vote NO on if you want these new fields, is the last ditch effort of some residents who just can’t face the fact that it’s time for progress at Beach Chalet. Soccer is a growing sport- why should more and more teams have to leave the city to find good fields to play on?

Beach Chalet has always been a soccer field complex – it’s time to make it better.

A yes on Proposition I means more time for soccer – it’s as simple as that. The proposed improvements would bring all four fields into use year-round and provide expanded hours into the early evening. Currently, the Beach Chalet fields can host 4,738 hours of annual play. The proposed renovations would double the hours of play to 9,582 each year for both soccer and lacrosse players.

These types of artificial turf soccer fields are not new to San Francisco, and have been in use for several years. There’s no good reason why they shouldn’t be a part of Golden Gate Park, and help expand recreation options for our residents.

I’ll be voting Yes on I tomorrow. I hope you’ll join me in doing so.

Sarah B.


A conceptual, overhead rendering of the four renovated fields at Beach Chalet


An overhead view showing the renovated parking, playground and seating area.


The proposed 18-inch raised walkway featuring built-in spectator
benches runs across the center of the fields.

10:49 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park | 95 comments
Oct-21-2014

It’s a monster mash! 2014 Halloween events in the Richmond District

There’s no shortage of Halloween events in the neighborhood this year! So put on those costumes and get out there to grab your share of ghoulish fun. Happy Halloween to all!

YMCA HALLOWEEN PARTY – Friday, October 24 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Richmond District YMCA, 360 18th Avenue
The Richmond District YMCA will have bounce houses, healthier s’mores, arts and crafts, pumpkin carving, a photo booth, and more. Admission is $5 per child 2 and over, chaperones and children under 2 are free.

SUPERNATURAL HALLOWEEN PARTY – Friday, October 24 | 5pm – 9pm
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park
Have yourself a ghoulishly great time trick-or-treating your way through the Academy at night, among spooky skulls and spine-tingling specimens. Trick-or-Treating, Dancing, Face Painting, Magic Shows, Scientists and Specimens, Live Animal Shows, Giant Pumpkin Carving, Crafts, a Photo Booth and more. Tickets start at $30 for children. More info

CLEMENT STREET KIDS’ COSTUME PARADE – Sunday, October 26 | 11am
Clement Street Farmer’s Market (3rd Avenue & Clement)
Stop by the Clement Farmer’s Market on Sunday for the Kids Costume Parade. Meet at the musical acts section near 3rd & Clement for a singalong, then parade over to Toy Boat Dessert Cafe for free scoops of ice cream! Sponsored by the Clement St. Merchants Association.

THE MANY HAUNTS OF THE RICHMOND DISTRICT NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER – Sunday, October 26
12:30pm – 3pm | 741 30th Avenue
Children and families are invited to come in costume and explore the Richmond District Neighborhood Center, transformed into a haunted wonderland complete with a Haunted Room, Dr Funnybone Laboratory, Ghosts and Globins Hangout, and Madame Katrinka, Fortune Teller. There’s also arts and crafts, costume contest, bake sales, games and prizes. Costume contest at 2:30pm.

HALLOWEEN BIKE TO WORK WITH SUPERVISOR MAR – October 31 | 8am
Meet at the Velo Rouge Cage on Arguello near Fulton to bike to work with Supervisor Mar (costumes optional). More info and RSVP available on Facebook.

CLEMENT STREET TRICK OR TREAT – October 31 | 2-6pm
Look for the special Halloween stencils outside the stores of participating merchants. Then pop inside if you dare for a trick or a treat! Sponsored by the Clement St. Merchants Association.

22ND & CALIFORNIA HAUNTED HOUSE – October 31 | 6pm – 9pm
Don’t miss this neighborhood tradition when the basement of Appel & Dietrich market is transformed into a haunted house. Start your adventure with a slide ride that descends you into the depths of scary! This year’s theme is “The L.A.B.” so be prepared for some interesting experiments. Free admission, all ages welcome but be prepared for a long line!

HEARTBAKER HAUNTED HOUSE – October 31 | 6pm – 9pm
Enjoy holiday fun watching your little ones making their way down haunted hallway and discovering a witch preparing her magic potion in a boiling caldron! Of course the night is not complete without treats. Heartbaker will provide free treats and refreshments at the end. Find out more

SPOOKY SAN FRANCISCO SCREENING AT THE BALBOA THEATER – October 31 | 7pm
Get a ticket to the spookiest show in the neighborhood. The Western Neighborhoods Project presents a special screening of Trina Lopez’ documentary “A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco’s Lost Cemeteries” along with short films and other surprises. Tickets are available online – $10 for general admission, $7.50 for seniors and children.

“DIA DE SKEETER” FREE SCREENPRINTING PARTY – November 1 | 8pm
Stop by Anthem Screen Printing at 6138 Geary and get a special “Dia de Skeeter” screen print on a t-shirt (Skeeter is the store’s mascot). Bring libations, a costume, and friends! If you’d like to print your own shirt make sure to bring one or you can purchase a blank for $10. They will have a few Anthem designs on the press and a special design chosen by Facebook followers from their Dia De Skeeter album. RSVP on Facebook

4:54 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | 5 comments
Oct-20-2014

Photos: Cock-a-doodle do! Roosters living in Golden Gate Park

Neighbors living near the west end of Golden Gate Park have been hearing an unusual sound in the mornings – crowing roosters.

Readers tell us that two roosters have been living in the park for the past couple of months near a lake. How they took up residence in the park is a mystery. Perhaps they escaped a home coop or were abandoned there?

Even more mysterious is how they’re surviving, considering the coyotes and raccoons that wander Golden Gate Park.

A reader snapped these pics of the handsome devils. Cock-a-doodle-doo!

Sarah B.

4:30 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Wildlife | 5 comments
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