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Archive for the ‘Parks’ Category


Local links: Food news, aquatic cleanups, Mar legislates, Rockit Room & more

A menagerie at 10th & Anza. Photo by sftrajan

Happy Monday to all! Here are some local links to kick off your week…

  • Looks like the new Shabuway restaurant will be opening soon at 5120 Geary. I drove by this weekend and the exterior looked finished, the door was open but a “Closed” sign was still in the window. Last Friday they facebooked a nice shot of the restaurant’s remodeled interior. It will be the fourth opening for the Shabuway chain.

  • Congrats to Kisha Studio (210 Clement) on 4 years in business! They’ll celebrate this Saturday with a DJ, food, drinks, and raffle prizes. Stop by between 10am and 7pm to party with them.
  • After causing all kinds of ruckus this year for the neighborhood which resulted in a temporary closure, the Rockit Room bar and club on Clement appears to be turning things around. The Examiner reports that police “incidents and calls for service are virtually down to zero” and “there are no complaints from neighbors and no major incidents.” This has a lot to do with the club eliminating its reggae nights, which garnered good revenue, but also led to issues with police and neighbors. The club may be re-branding itself and launching anew in the coming months.
  • The Cliff House has some history walks coming up. Start with a continental breakfast at the Cliff House, followed by 1.5 hour walking tour of Sutro Baths and Lands End, led by John A. Martini, author, historian and retired National Park Service Ranger. August 11, September 8, October 13. $40 per person. Call 666-4006 to reserve.
  • SFWeekly reviewed new Hawaiian-themed restaurant Ono Grindz on Clement. “Ono’s focus is squarely on breakfast and lunch with a menu that mixes typical Hawaiian favorites with some mainland-influenced remixes… One word of caution: Make sure you don’t need to do anything productive after this meal.”
  • The former Y&Y Vietnamese deli team are back with “Y&Y Vietnamese Restaurant” at 914 Clement. EaterSF says there is a menu section for their “beloved banh mi”, but “now there are other options like deep fried chicken wings, spring rolls, and beer.”
  • Dim sum spot Old Shanghai (5145 Geary) closed this month. “It was the kind of place where no one spoke any English but they made a mean xiao long boa,” wrote Grubstreet.
  • Aziza (5800 Geary) hosted some VIPs last week when Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer dined with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Bauer details his 3 hour meal, mentioning her penchant for dark chocolate (“Her freezer is always stocked with chocolate ice cream, which she claims she can eat morning, noon and night.”) and her refusal of the wine pairings (“explaining that after a couple of sips she would be snoozing on the banquettes”). Get all the food porn pics and evening highlights at the Chron
  • Supervisor Mar has been busy proposing new legislation to his fellow Supes in the Board Room. Recently, he introduced legislation to ban cigarette smoking at all outdoor events in San Francisco (it’s already banned in public parks). However, smoking medicinal marijuana at these kinds of events is still ok per the proposed bill. Mar also proposed a bill that would exempt the local middle schools from paying taxes on their parking lot fundraisers that they hold in the summer months for large GGP festivals like Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.
  • It’s all gunked up… The Lily Pond in Golden Gate Park, located near the Conservatory of Flowers, has been overrun by vegetation and needs a proper cleanout. According to the Chronicle, the pond has a musty stench and the hardy species of African clawed frogs is thriving under the murky surface; one little boy called it “Jurassic Park”. The cost to clean it is estimated at $100,000, but they’re waiting on the state Department of Fish and Game to free it of frogs first.
  • Speaking of aquatic cleanouts… Mountain Lake will be undergoing remediation in the next year, beginning with dredging in August. CurbedSF reports that the Presidio Trust will be evacuating its current residents to the Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, who will “relocate them to vineyard ponds and private lakes.” The population includes sport fish, turtles, crayfish and former goldfish – koi that have grown to nearly 3 feet long. Well at least they’re moving to swankier digs up north.

Sarah B.

11:53 am | Posted under Business, Eric Mar, Food, Parks, Politics | 7 comments

New Lands End Lookout is a target for vandals

The Lands End Lookout just opened at the end of April, and already the new building – which includes exhibits and artifacts, interpretive merchandise, a café, and restrooms – is a target for vandals.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Greene of the Parks Conservancy sent an email out today detailing the latest offenses, and included photos of the damage.

“Vandals aggressively chipped out the skateboard cleats on several of the seating wall cubes in front of the Lands End Lookout this past weekend. This damage marks a new severity in destruction. Vandals also damaged the mirror in the men’s room at the Visitor Center, and destroyed a “Bus Only” sign, which marks the third time we have had to replace that sign due to vandalism,” she wrote.

The center is in the process of getting estimates for repairing the damage, and Greene says The National Park Service and Parks Conservancy are considering additional security measures for the building.

Greene also asked residents to be on the lookout for graffiti and vandalism, encouraging them to call the Park Service’s emergency number at 561-5656 if they witness any vandalism in progress. Non-emergency reports can be called into 561-5505.

Could this be the work of skateboarders? Vandals tore out a section of a handrail on 48th Avenue and Balboa in January. One neighbor had overheard some skateboarders complaining that it was impeding “their best jumps” ever since it had been rebuilt.

Perhaps tearing out the cleats at the Lookout was their way of thumbing their nose at anti-skateboard measures? Let’s hope not – there are plenty of other places to ride in the neighborhood.

Sarah B.

Skateboard cleats were chipped out of the wall at the Lands End Lookout

Skateboard cleats were chipped out of the wall at the Lands End Lookout

Graffiti in the men’s room at the Lands End Lookout

3:14 pm | Posted under Crime, Lands End, Parks | 24 comments

Vote for your favorite neighborhood park – it could win a big $ grant

Coca-Cola is sponsoring the third annual “America is your Park” campaign. People around the country can log on and vote for their favorite local parks. The three with the most votes win grants ranging from $25,000 up to $100,000, which can then be used to make improvements or additions.

We’re not clear how these particular parks in the Richmond District were chosen, but here are the ones that you can vote for:

Muriel Leff Mini Park (7th & Geary)
Lincoln Park (33rd Ave & Clement)
Lands End Trail
Sutro Heights Park

Golden Gate Park:
The Blue Playground/Park in Golden Gate Park (off Fulton near 10th Avenue)
Lindley Meadow
Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden
John McClaren Memorial Rhododendron Dell

There are two ways to vote: Visit the LivePositively.com/parks website and vote online. Or check in at one of the above parks using the Foursquare mobile app to give it a whopping 100 votes.

There’s also a “wildcard” $15,000 grant that will be randomly awarded to a park that ranks from 4th to 25th by the time voting ends on July 15.

Vote today – maybe one of our parks could get a nice makeover!

Sarah B.

5:16 pm | Posted under Parks | 3 comments

Groundbreaking celebration for the Cabrillo Playground renovation, Saturday

This Saturday, SF Rec & Park, SF Parks Alliance and residents will officially kick off the $4.5 million renovation of Cabrillo Playground.

On Saturday, the park will host a celebration for residents before it closes up for a year long overhaul. The renovation will include the renovation of the historic clubhouse – originally built in 1945 as a New Deal project – as well as a complete overhaul of the children’s play area, creating separate play areas for pre-school and school age children.

Work will also be done to the picnic area and sport courts, paths will be repaved, new lighting will be added, accessibility improved and new landscaping installed.

In October 2011, the City Arts Commission approved Colette Crutcher to create the public art for Cabrillo Playground. Crutcher is the artist behind the tiled sculptures at the 24th & York Mini Park, as well as the tiled steps on 16th Avenue at Moraga.

Construction begins this month, with plans to re-open the playground in June 2013. View the project fact sheet

Saturday’s celebration will include lots of fun for kids like face painting, a bouncy house, and a visit from a genuine SFFD fire truck.

To help raise funds for park programs, there will also be a cake sale, plus dahlias from Cabrillo Playground’s Dahlia Garden will also be available for purchase. Donors can also purchase name tiles that will be installed during the remodel.

The Friends of Cabrillo Playground group have a goal of raising $15,000 to cover the cost of capital improvements not covered by the SF Rec & Park budget.

Stop by Cabrillo Playground (38th & Cabrillo) on Saturday between 10am and 3pm for the celebration. The actual groundbreaking ceremony with city officials will take place at 11am.

Sarah B.

A vintage photo of the Cabrillo Playground Clubhouse, built in 1945. Courtesy of The Living New Deal

5:05 am | Posted under Parks | 5 comments

Public meeting on redesign of Mt. Lake Park playground, Thursday night

Tomorrow night, June 7, St. James Episcopal Church (4620 California) will host a public meeting about the preliminary draft design for the renovation of the playground in Mt. Lake Park.

The is the second public meeting about the design, hosted by the Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground (FMLPP). All ages are welcome to attend and give their input into the redesign of the playground.

The meeting runs from 6:30pm until 8:30pm. If you’re unable to make it, you can also provide your input via an online survey. FMLPP also has a Facebook page.

Sarah B.

6:25 pm | Posted under Events, Parks | 7 comments

Fulton Playground renovation moving along; Clubhouse put back in place

Photo by SFDPW

Fulton Playground closed in November 2011 to undergo a $4.2 million renovation that will include a completely new playground, resurfacing of the basketball and tennis courts, and upgrades to the park’s Clubhouse. The park will also showcase a unique, kinetic sculpture from artist Moto Ohtake.

Yesterday, SFDPW shared these photos of the playground’s historic Clubhouse being put back into place, on top of a brand new foundation.

We’re still several months away from the playground re-opening, which according to the project website will be in early 2013.

Sarah B.

Photo by SFDPW

Photo by SFDPW

3:17 pm | Posted under Parks | 1 comment

Volunteer to help clean up the neighborhood or Mt. Lake Park, May 19

Next Saturday there are two volunteer opportunities for those looking to give back to the neighborhood. Both of these events are suitable for the whole family to chip in and help.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is hosting a Community Clean Team event in the Richmond District from 9am until 12noon. Volunteers of all ages can help out with cleaning and greening the neighborhood including landscaping, painting over graffiti, cleaning tree basins, weeding, picking up litter, etc.

This is a great chance to get your whole family involved in helping take care of the neighborhood. The event kicks off at George Washington High School at 9am (600 32nd Ave at Cabrillo). Lunch will be served to volunteers at the end. To participate, be sure to sign up by emailing dpw@sfdpw.org or calling 641-2600.

Also on Saturday, as part of a city-wide “Love Your Parks Day”, the Friends of Mountain Lake Park and SF Parks Alliance are hosting a clean-up event and nature walk at Mountain Lake Park (Lake Street at 12th Avenue) from 10am until 1pm. Help with new plantings and cleaning the beach, followed by a “kid-friendly nature walk to learn about the lake’s history, habitat and resident critters.”

Volunteers will receive a free “Love Your Parks” t-shirt and lunch afterwards. Register online in advance to participate.

Sarah B.

10:06 am | Posted under Kids, Parks, Volunteer | 1 comment

Local links: Plant sale, OL tunes, tree tour, Foggy Notion, Danube photo show

Photo by Max Spring

Happy Wednesday to all! Here’s some local links to make Friday get here even sooner…

  • 7×7 is already warming up for Outside Lands 2012 with a Rdio playlist featuring songs from the festival’s bands “to get you psyched!” Tune in here
  • The new Cajun House restaurant on 5th Avenue near Clement we told you about earlier this week will open up tomorrow, May 3.
  • This Saturday is the 45th Annual Plant Sale at the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park from 10am until 2pm. “Choose from over 4,000 different kinds of plants that thrive in the Bay Area’s frost-free fog belt – many plants not found at other regional plant sales or commercial nurseries.” Special to the sale this time around: unique, hard-to-find edible plants.
  • Do meatballs make your heart sing? 7×7 loves the Lion’s Head meatballs at Shanghai House (3641 Balboa), calling them “impossibly moist” when they arrive in their hot clay pot with bamboo and mushrooms.
  • This one’s for you, tree-huggers: On June 3, Naomi LeBeau of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy will lead a walking tour of the trees of Lands End and Sutro Heights Park. RSVP to Sarah Campbell at sarah@fuf.net.
  • Speaking of Sutro Heights Park… Check out the Architecture Spotlight: Sutro Heights Park over at UntappedSF. Creator Adolph Sutro tried to “recreate a European garden, dotted with statues, planters, and fountains.” Cool photos too.
  • SFStation paid a visit to the new Foggy Notion boutique and gallery on 6th Avenue, where owner and artist Alissa Anderson offers handmade, organic and environmentally conscious products made by her, as well as other designers and artists. “Alissa is gracious and charming, and a visit to her store is essentially a warm welcome into a working artist’s studio. It’s worth a visit to this little nook of creativity.”
  • Next time you’re near the Blue Danube Cafe on Clement, pop in to see a new photo exhibit by Spanish photographer Jose Ángel González. His New Life for Old Frames exhibition is his first in SF, and features his photos encased on old frames that he recovered from thrift stores and garage sales. “I can’t imagine a higher honor for a photograph than to be able to reside in a space destined to preserve treasured memories.”

Sarah B.

10:30 am | Posted under Food, Golden Gate Park, Green, Ocean Beach, Parks | 3 comments