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Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category


Local links: 38L-ove, new “Spicy Legend”, ladies join the Urination & more

The 38L. By Lucia Garcia. Click to enlarge.

Here’s hoping that you’re not having a Manic Monday. But in case you are, here are some local links to get you through…

  • Local designer Lucia Garcia sent us the above poster, for which she says “Just wanted to share a project I created, a poster showing the road section and landmarks for Muni 38L route.” Thanks Lucia – we love it (along with this graphic of the Outer Richmond)!

    In other MUNI-related news, there is a new iPhone app called MuniStops that not only shows you the data on upcoming MUNI buses, but also estimates your walking time from your current location to bus stop of choice. ‘Tis free.

  • And in the “we can never get enough neighborhood love” department, now you can get your very own Neighborhood Love Patch. Iron on the heart on the Richmond District (or other fave ‘hood) and then attach the patch to whatever you want – $7. The same online store also has a Neighborhoods by the Zodiac Poster but for some reason, the Richmond District was not worthy of being on it. Boo. So we’ll ask you – which Zodiac sign are we?
  • Listen up, upcoming lady attendees of Outside Lands! If the porta-potties at outdoor festivals get you down, look no further than the Stand Up, described as “your first disposable, biodegradable, clutch-purse-fittable, pocket-slippable peeing accessory.” Different packs range from $6 to $16. Now you can pee like the boys! Hooray…?
  • The former Pho Garden restaurant (2109 Clement), known for its nausea-inducing Pho Challenge has been replaced by a new spot called Spicy Legend. We haven’t been by yet so we’re not sure if it’s open; nothing on Yelp yet. UPDATE: Reader Jon C. reports that they’re now open daily, 11-3:30 and 4:30 to 10pm, and that “it looks like they’re specializing in Szechuan dishes”.
  • The skee-ball league known as Brewskee-Ball got a feature in the Chronicle recently. “Three nights a week, a total of 32 teams with names like the Lionel Richskees and the Skeemosexuals compete against each other at the Buckshot.” Hopefully this positive publicity for the game will help in their lawsuit with the makers of Skee-Ball.
  • We’re guessing this Subaru driver was more than surprised to find their front nose under a 38 Geary bus last Thursday at 45th Avenue and Point Lobos. The photo was tweeted by @bonanos who said “no injuries apparent”.

5:15 am | Posted under Art, Food, Muni, Recreation | 13 comments

NRDC grades the health of our beach waters; Baker Beach ranks lowest

The Natural Resources Defense Council released their annual report this week, entitled “Testing the Waters 2014: A Guide To Water Quality At Vacation Beaches”. In it, they detail water quality conditions at beaches in 30 states along the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes, using water samples taken in 2013.

We took a look at our nearby beaches – Baker Beach, China Beach, and Ocean Beach – to see how they ranked.

The key indicator that the report looks at is the Beach Action Value (BAV) safety threshold, and what percent of samples from a given beach exceed the threshold due to higher than acceptable levels of bacteria.

Ocean Beach offers the cleanest waters, with 0% of samples exceeding the BAV safety threshold. China Beach is just slightly behind with 2% of samples exceeding the BAV.

Baker Beach has the most alarming statistics, with numbers as high as 28% of samples exceeding the BAV threshold, specifically those taken from the Lobos Creek dumpout near the lower parking lot of Baker Beach. Two other spots at Baker Beach came in much lower at 3% and 7%.

According to the NRDC, “the largest known contributor to beach closings or health advisory days has historically been stormwater pollution. Untreated sewage spills and overflows are also frequently to blame.”

Baker Beach is no stranger to low ratings. In 2011, Heal the Bay listed Baker on its “Beach Bummer” list, which ranked the most polluted shorelines in the state. Lobos Creek empties onto Baker Beach which apparently creates opportunity for bacteria to congregate. That portion of Baker Beach is on the list for an official cleanup effort, but research and recommendations won’t be completed until 2019.

Year over year, our beaches fared about the same. The NRDC changed their methodology a bit but click here if you want to see a synopsis of their findings in 2013.

Sarah B.

5:13 am | Posted under Recreation | 13 comments

New Yoga Tree on 6th Ave opens Friday; first weekend of classes free

On Friday, Yoga Tree’s ninth studio will open at 182 6th Avenue, just off California Street.

The studio will offer over 25 classes per week of Vinyasa, Hatha, Pre and Postnatal yoga starting on Friday, December 27th.

The first weekend of classes is free to all students, December 27-29. We haven’t been able to find a class schedule online yet, but keep an eye on the website for more information.

The space was formerly home to Brighton Beach Antiques but has been vacant for many years. The interior has been remodeled and features a small reception area and a single workout room, which looks like it will accommodate about 20 people per class.

Yoga Tree offers a variety of rates and packages, ranging from an introductory offer of $20 for 3 classes, 10 and 20 class packs, up to a monthly pass (31 classes max) for $190. Classes can be taken at any of their 9 locations in the Bay Area. You can also just drop-in for a class; rates range from $12 to $18.

Classes can be booked online in advance.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Yoga Tree!

Sarah B.

UPDATE: Yoga Tree confirmed that it is only the first weekend of classes that will be free, December 27-29.

5:02 am | Posted under Business, Recreation | 1 comment

Local links: govt shutdown ills, new dance studio, Elmo in prison, Calder’s Big Crinkly & more

Photo by

Happy Friday to everyone! Here are some local links to take you into what we hope is a great weekend. – Sarah B.

  • How is the #govtshutdown affecting the Richmond District? Aside from places like Baker Beach and Lands End being “closed” (well at least their parking lots are…), the legendary Cliff House, which is a National Park Service concessionaire, was ordered to close. They did, but then re-opened in defiance, only to be re-ordered to close on Tuesday night. And in other killjoy news, the annual LEAP Sandcastle Contest on Ocean Beach was postponed because their permit for Ocean Beach was deemed invalid during the shutdown.
  • The new “puzzle-like” condos (6 units total) on the corner of California and 4th Avenue were featured in the October issue of San Francisco Magazine. The architect Owen Kennerly referred to the former smog station lot as a sort of “no man’s land” that challenged him. “The real question, then, Kennerly says, was “How bold do you get?” The eventual answer: pretty damn bold. “We stepped up to that threshold and went beyond it,” he says.”
  • Up for an urban adventure/scavenger hunt? Get Lost is hosting the Land’s End Street Scramble on Monday, November 11 (Veteran’s Day). Visit checkpoints in any order, and answer a simple question to prove you were there. Those who score the most are the winners! You can race for 90 minutes or 3 hours, and all levels are welcome.
  • New Century Hair Design at 6209 Geary near 26th Avenue is closing their doors after 20+ years in business. Reader Steve tells us that the business, owned by two local women, is closing down because the landlord won’t renew their lease. “Big loss for the neighborhood and the hundreds of regular clients that have been going their for years,” Steve wrote. They’ll close at the end of October.
  • There’s a new children’s dance studio in the neighborhood – Ms. Marian’s Dance Garden located at 5841 Geary (above Thom’s Natural Foods). Ms. Marian offers performance oriented classes for boys & girls age 3-18 years, at all levels. Ms. Marian recently left the Richmond District YMCA, where she created the Children’s Dance Program and led it for 12 years.
  • Remember the angry guy in an Elmo suit that was causing a ruckus at Rossi Park last year? He was recently sentenced to a year in a New York prison after pleading guilty to attempted grand larceny and misdemeanor stalking in a plot to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts.
  • While SFMOMA is closed, the de Young is displaying Alexander Calder’s Big Crinkly sculpture/mobile in their garden. Watch it being installed in the video below. In other cross-museum news, the Legion of Honor will host a Matisse from SFMOMA exhibition starting November 9, featuring 23 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from SFMOMA’s Matisse collection, alongside four paintings and drawings from the Fine Arts Museums’ holdings, and two works from private local collections.

5:12 am | Posted under Business, Crime, Kids, Ocean Beach, Politics, Recreation | 4 comments

Local links: 5L, an art cave, Mysterious Rack opens, farmer’s mkt updates, Halloween hats, Sunday Streets & more

The Mysterious Rack’s second store at 12 Clement Street

Happy hump day Richmond District! Here are some local links to keep you humming.

  • A second location of the Mysterious Rack vintage clothing store is opening at 12 Clement Street this weekend (original location is at 3423 Balboa at 35th Ave). The store will host a grand opening party this Friday at 8pm, so stop in to check out their new digs. Both locations also offer alterations and tailoring services.
  • The new 5 Fulton Limited service pilot will begin at the end of October according to a recent progress report from the SFMTA (Sec. 2.2.2). The 5L would run during peak commute hours in the morning and evenings, Monday through Friday, and would make all stops from Ocean Beach to 6th Avenue, and then limited stops until from 6th Avenue until it reaches Van Ness Avenue. More info from a previous story.
  • Parking for the Clement St. Farmer’s Market just got a little easier, thanks to Roosevelt Middle School who will offer $5 parking in their school lot every Sunday from 8:30am until 3:30pm. Drive into the lot from Palm Ave. between Euclid and Geary, and you can access the farmer’s market on foot via the school’s Arguello gate. And for those of you wondering, the Farmer’s Market has been approved to continue every Sunday from 9am until 2pm until November 24, 2013 with a hearing for a further extension on October 24.
  • Need a great hat for your Halloween costume or looking for a great hat to BUILD your costume around? Check out the annual hat sale at Paul’s Hat Works at 6128 Geary, where you can pick up a vintage or costume hat for $1 – $80. They’re open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am until 6pm.
  • Got your dancing shoes on? Stop by Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church (417 31st Avenue) on the 3rd Friday of every month at 7pm for a family folk dance night. The fee is a sliding scale $5-$10 per family, and no experience is necessary. Dances are taught by an elementary school dance teacher.
  • Mark your calendars for our next Sunday Streets on October 27 which for the FIRST time will take place on Clement Street between Arguello and Funston (and on Arguello from Fulton to Clement; view map). Also during Sunday Streets, the Farmer’s Market will expand from 2 blocks to 4. The entire route will be closed off to cars to maximize care-free frolicking.
  • There’s a new “art cave” in the neighborhood (translation: garage converted into an impromptu art gallery). The Cabrillo Art Cave will have art and artisanal crafts for sale, and will be an opportunity for visitors to meet some local artists. They’ll be open this Friday through Sunday in conjunction with Hardly Strictly, so stop by 925 Cabrillo (between 10th and 11th Avenues) between 11am and 5pm to check it out. Not sure on hours after this weekend, but their website says “We open for nice weather and Events.”

The Cabrillo Art Cave, open on nice days at 925 Cabrillo

9:15 am | Posted under Art, Business, Events, Recreation | 1 comment

Try your hand at lawn bowling! Open House in Golden Gate Park, Oct. 5

You’ve probably seen them when you’ve driven through the Golden Gate Park – adults dressed in pristine white clothes, hurling small, dense balls across smooth lawns. Some in v-neck sweaters with sharp-looking hats.

Wasn’t there a part of you that was just itching to join in?

Well here’s your chance! On Saturday, the San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club is hosting an open house at the club on Bowling Green Drive in Golden Gate Park. Stop by to learn how the game is played and try it for yourself.

The free open house runs from 10am until 4pm and takes place at the Lawn Bowling Club in Golden Gate Park (directions). Be sure to wear flat-soled shoes!

If Saturday doesn’t work for you, they also offer free lessons every Wednesday at 12noon (weather permitting).

Sarah B.

5:16 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Recreation, Sports | Comments Off on Try your hand at lawn bowling! Open House in Golden Gate Park, Oct. 5

Ahoy mateys! Cabrillo Playground re-opening celebration is this Saturday

Photo by Friends of Cabrillo Playground

Cabrillo Playground has been closed since last September for remodeling, but this Saturday, it will re-open to the public with a grand celebration.

Stop by on Saturday from 12noon until 3pm to check out the renovated playground, located on 38th Avenue between Cabrillo and Fulton. The theme for the celebration is pirates, so dig out that shoulder parrot and wooden leg, and brush up on your pirate-speak.

The $4.5 million Cabrillo Playground project includes 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.

All of the sports courts – 1 tennis court and 1 1/2 basketball courts – have also been resurfaced in colorful materials.

Work was also done to the picnic area, paths were repaved, new lighting has been added, accessibility improved and new landscaping installed.

The seating walls in the new playground also feature donor recognition tiles, which the Friends of Cabrillo Playground spearheaded as a way to raise additional funds for the renovations.

Some of the funds went to purchase a Henge concrete ping pong table. At Saturday’s celebration, they’ll be hosting a Berlin-style ping pong demonstration.

Rec & Park will also have a climbing wall on site for the celebration along with other planned activities for kids, plus there will be live music and food.

It’s great to have another renovated playground in the neighborhood! Next up is Mountain Lake Park Playground, which is due for a $3.15 million renovation beginning in March 2015.

Sarah B.

10:18 am | Posted under Events, Kids, Recreation | 3 comments

Richmond District winners in SFWeekly’s “Best of San Francisco 2013″ poll

The view at Lands End

We’re cross-eyed after reviewing the dozens of awards that SFWeekly handed out this week in their annual “Best of San Francisco” poll. Below are the local winners in the roundup – yay for the Richmond District!

Best Aquarium Turned Dance Floor: California Academy of Sciences
Every Thursday evening the museum converts into a makeshift discotheque, using its various rooms to host DJs pulled from the city’s best parties. Venture downstairs to Steinhart Aquarium, and, on select nights, you can dance next to a stunning variety of tropical fish. More

Best Funhouse: Buckshot (3848 Geary)
This bar and game room out in the Inner Richmond puts a whole new twist on the term “drinking games.” Forget the college classics like flip cup, beer pong or kings when you’re putting back the booze. Instead, travel back further into your childhood and play a slew of arcade games, including hipster favorite Big Buck Hunter. More

Skee ball at the Buckshot. Photo by Joey the Cat

Best Feat of Culinary Strength: The Challenge at Pho Garden (2109 Clement)
we’re probably not the best candidates to take The Challenge at Pho Garden, wherein contestants must eat 2 pounds of rice noodles, 2 pounds of combination beef and tripe, and 4 quarts of broth in less than an hour. More

Blogger Madison tries her luck with the Pho Challenge

Best Place to Get Lost: Mile Rock Beach
…with a little more effort on the Lands End hike – over 100 stairs, to be precise – it’s possible to find a place where on a foggy day not even Marin County across the water can be seen from a stretch of sand tucked in between cliffs west of the Golden Gate. More

Best Housing Metaphor: Golden Gate Park’s Tiny Door-in-a-Tree
Whether art project or public statement or another sad escapee from UCSF’s Super-Intelligent Squirrel Development Lab, the door attracted national attention before it got filled with trash, at which point the city intervened, citing (as always) some permitting thing. More

The mini door at the base of a tree in Golden Gate Park. Photos by Erica Reh

Best Amateur Historian: Woody LaBounty
The self-described “Big History Guy” — he is 6-foot-5 — is the executive director of the Western Neighborhoods Project and the keeper of the mesmerizing OutsideLands.org. If ever there were a more surefire way for a history-minded San Franciscan to blow an afternoon perusing amazing old photos and reading insightful essays than visiting this site, we haven’t found it yet.

Best Place for a Mani/Pedi: Aqua Spa (14 Clement)
Before your toes hit the water, the friendly staff offers you tea, puts a warm wrap around your shoulders, and turns on the massage chair. There’s an endless supply of tabloid magazines, but there’s a good chance you’ll never get to that Brangelina story, because they do foot and hand massages that are so relaxing it’s hard to concentrate on celebrity gossip. More

Best Place to Take Small Kids on a Bike Ride:
Ocean Beach Promenade

…there’s no better place, day-in and day-out to pedal along with the wee ones than the flat, forgiving terrain of the Ocean Beach promenade. More

Best Hike to Ruins of an Astronomical Observatory: Summit of Strawberry Hill, Golden Gate Park
You won’t find strawberries atop Strawberry Hill anymore. Nor will you find the Sweeny Observatory, a grand, castle-like structure erected in 1891. Sepia-toned photos reveal a wondrous, circular structure sprouting atop the hill and reflected in Stow Lake. More

The Sweeny Observatory atop Strawberry Hill lay in ruins after the quake of 1906. Photo courtesy of calisphere

Best Marathon Sporting Development Battle: Beach Chalet Soccer Fields
After five years of wrangling and approval by four city agencies, the state’s Coastal Commission finally approved proposed Astroturf fields under 60-foot light towers on the far west of Golden Gate Park. It was a long and odd road; a city document actually argued that the turf-and-lights plan was best because the area had fallen prey to “undesirable uses such as camping and sexual activity.” Turf opponents claimed that artificial grass conflicted with the natural state of a park created atop rolling sand dunes. Barring legal redress, the turf and lights are coming. Whether the camping and sex go away remains to be seen.

Reader’s Poll Winners
Best Museum: De Young
Best Music Festival: Hardy Strictly Bluegrass
Best Hike: Land’s End
Best Park: Golden Gate Park

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

5:08 am | Posted under Business, Food, Golden Gate Park, Museums, Ocean Beach, Parks, Recreation | 7 comments