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Oct-6-2010

4-Star offers $5 admission for neighbors to celebrate their 18th birthday

If you live in the 94121 zip code, your nearby 4-Star Theater has a special offer for you.

In honor of their 18th year in the Richmond District, the theater is offering discounted admission to neighbors that share its zip code. Show a valid photo ID with a 94121 zip code on it and you’ll be admitted to any screening for just $5.00. The discounted admission also extends to one guest.

The offer is valid for any shows, but not for special screenings and events (like the “Future of Food” event tomorrow night).

The 4-Star’s newsletter says the offer is valid only for a limited time. I’m not sure how long that actually is, but if there’s a show you’ve been meaning to see, go now with a friend and save some $$. :)

Opening this Friday at the 4-Star (trailers down below):

  • The documentray LAST TRAIN HOME directed by Lixin Fan which records the event of 130 million migrant workers traveling back to their home villages for the New Year’s holiday in China.
  • JACK GOES BOATING directed by and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. His directorial debut is based on the play of the same name by Bob Glaudini and is an unconventional romantic comedy set in the midst of working-class New York City life.
  • The experimental film HOWL which explores both the Six Gallery debut and the 1957 obscenity trial of 20th century American poet Allen Ginsberg’s noted poem, “Howl”.

Happy 18th birthday to the 4-Star!

Sarah B.


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 7:04 pm | Posted under Movies | 1 comment
Oct-6-2010

Local schools raise over $7k from HSB festival parking last weekend

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass not only brings great music to our neighborhood, but it also helped bring some needed funds to a couple of Richmond District elementary schools over the weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, Lafayette Elementary (36th & Anza) and Argonne Elementary (17th & Cabrillo) both opened up their parking lots for concertgoers to help raise funds for their schools.

A group of parents staffed the parking lots, charging $25 per car for all day parking. And the $25 was considered a donation to the school, so it was tax-deductible for the parkers. Win-win!

RichmondSFBlog reader and Lafayette parent Cath tells me that her school raised $7,000 with their parking fundraiser. “I’m guessing Argonne had similar results — we sent overflow their way, and they sent theirs to us!”

These days, what school couldn’t use the extra money? Cath tells me the $7,000 from the Lafayette fundraiser will go to help make up for the $22,000 that was recently cut from their site budget.

Sarah B.

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 1:27 pm | Posted under Schools | 4 comments
Oct-6-2010

Free SFBC Family Biking Day in Golden Gate Park, Sunday

This Sunday, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will host their 4th annual Family Biking Day in Golden Gate Park (and unlike at their recent Tour de Fat event, cops can’t ban kids from this one!).

The free event takes place from 11am until 3pm along JFK Drive at the 14th Avenue East Picnic Area (North of Stow Lake and east of the Transverse Drive overpass). Events include:

Bike Road-eo | 11am-2:30pm
A kid-size city used to educate the little ones in the ways of safe riding – helmets and loaner bikes included. All ages welcome.

Freedom From Training Wheels | 11:30am-1:30pm
A group effort to get our kids to ride on two-wheels.

Bike Scavenger Hunt | 12:30-2:00pm
A fun self-directed scavenger hunt, that will have your family riding around the car-free area of Golden Gate Park. This activity is designed for youth 8+ and parents to enjoy together.

Parents’ Mixer | 1-1:30pm
Chat with other biking parents, share stories and strategies, and learn family biking tips and tricks for your family.

Family Bike Parade | 2:30-3:00pm
What is a bike party without a bike ride? Biking families will end Family Day with a fun bike parade through the safe, car-free part of Golden Gate Park.

See the SFBC website for a complete list of events at Family Biking Day.

Sarah B.

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 1:10 pm | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Kids | 1 comment
Oct-6-2010

Touch-a-Truck bonanza at Star of the Sea School, Saturday

This Saturday, the always popular Fall Festival is taking place at the Star of the Sea School (345 8th Avenue). The highlight of the festival is their Touch-a-Truck event where vehicles from all kinds of city departments are parked on 8th Avenue for kids to explore.

From 10am until 2pm kids can explore, climb and role-play to their heart’s content on nearly 20 fire trucks, police cars, construction vehicles, buses, and more. I went last year with some friends and their kids and it was good for hours of entertainment for both boys and girls.

Star of the Sea’s fall festival will also feature live entertainment, bounce houses, Tree Frog Treks, magician Magic Dan, arts and crafts, bingo, children’s games and prizes, a dunk tank, delicious food and much more.

Admission to the festival is free, but there is a $10 charge per child to access the touch-a-truck area. The festival runs on Saturday from 10am until 6pm with the trucks on site from 10am until 2pm only. For more information, call 221-8558.

Sarah B.

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 6:15 am | Posted under Events, Kids | 5 comments
Oct-5-2010

Vintage streetcars of the Richmond District

On a recent trip to the new Candlestick Park flea market, I came across some black and white photos of old San Francisco streetcars.

Special thanks to Richmond District historian John Freeman and transportation history expert Jack Tillmany who provided the history behind these transportation relics.

Do you recognize the intersections where cars 665 and 967 are pictured? Thanks to our historians and commenters, we’ve identified all of them.

So would you rather ride around in these or stick with today’s MUNI? ;)

Sarah B.


A today shot of the the intersection of 32nd Avenue & California where the streetcar was photographed.

Streetcar #665
A C California streetcar, eastbound on California at 32nd Ave. The vehicle itself is the former #265 from the Sutter line before the Market Street Railway and Muni merger in 1944.

The C was a pretty straight forward route, running from the Ferry Building along Market to Geary, west on Geary to 2nd Avenue, then north two blocks to California, terminating at 32nd and California (the carbarn was on the property at 32nd & Clement that will soon become a CVS Pharmacy and Fresh & Easy grocery).

Jack Tillmany dates the photo from 1949, probably between March and July. You’ll notice on the route sign it lists the Marine Hospital which is now the Presidio Landmark apartments inside the gate at 15th & Lake. It was originally a hospital for merchant seamen, later becoming the Public Health Hospital. All the locations listed on the sign were not direct stops, but could be reached with a short walk from the car’s stops.


A today shot of the intersection of Geary & 37th Avenue where the streetcar was photographed.
The three stacked windows in the streetcar photo are on the building in the today shot
whose windows are obscured by the tree.

Streetcar #967
The photo of car 967 as a #1 streetcar was likely also taken in 1949, sometime between March and July. Tillman guesses it is either pictured on outer Geary (it ran from 33rd Avenue to 48th Avenue) or California somewhere between Parker and Arguello.

The #1 ran from the Ferry Building, up Market to Sutter, then west to Presidio Ave. where it turned north to California St. as far as Presidio Avenue, where it went a block south to Euclid. At Arguello, the #1 went the half block to Clement, then all the way out Clement to 33rd Ave, where it turned south to Geary, and followed Geary to Pt. Lobos, then to the waiting station above Sutro Baths. It was converted to a bus line on July 3, 1949.


A today shot of the intersection of Oak and Broderick where the streetcar was photographed.

Streetcar #1671
#1671 was part of the post-quake order from the St. Louis Car Company, delivered in the Fall of 1906 and into 1907. They had a reputation as some of the smoothest running cars in the fleet. I think the one pictured is the old #20 car of the Market Street Railway Co. The photo was most likely taken in the 1920s; the car in the photo is parked outside its barn, which was Oak and Broderick.

The route from downtown started at the S.P. Depot at Third and Townsend, via Townsend, Fourth, Ellis, Hyde, O’Farrell (outbound, Ellis inbound), Divisadero, Oak (outbound, Page inbound) and ending at Stanyan/Golden Gate Park. So it never ran in the Richmond District, except for the first 10 years it ran across the park to the Richmond side.

The route started service on April 29, 1906, a little over a week after the flames were extinguished. It used to continue south along Stanyan, then turned on Lincoln Way almost to the beach, across the park to terminate at La Playa and Balboa. In 1916, they created the #7 line, which came out Haight and around the Park to the Beach, so the #20 was cut back to terminate at Stanyan.

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 6:35 am | Posted under History, Transportation | 23 comments
Oct-4-2010

“The Future of Food” + Q&A with the Director at the 4-Star, Thursday

This Thursday, the 4-Star will host a screening of “The Future of Food”, a documentary about the controversial topic of genetically engineered food. The film has been around since 2004, “widely acknowledged for its role in educating voters and the subsequent success of passing Measure H in Mendocino County, California, one of the first local initiatives in the country to ban the planting of GMO crops.”

The Future of Food is the first documentary that takes a look into what happens when food science advances and corporations are permitted to patent life. The film sheds light on a topic that is still not well understood by most people around the world, namely genetically modified foods. The topics addressed are highly relevant today as the FDA considers approving genetically modified salmon and the USDA decided to begin issuing permits to GM sugar beet producers, allowing them to plant the crop as long as they do not flower.

The film’s director, producer and writer, Deborah Koons Garcia, will be at the screening for a special Q&A after the film. The screening begins at 7pm and is being presented by the San Francisco Health & Wellness Film Group. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online in advance, or at the theater on Thursday night.

Sarah B.

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 1:15 pm | Posted under Food, Health, Movies | 3 comments
Oct-4-2010

Public meeting Tuesday night about Presidio’s Battery Caulfield Road closure

Just saw this in the Examiner. Did anyone receive notice of this meeting?

As I wrote back in August, the Presidio Trust is considering closing Battery Caulfield Road to automobile traffic. It’s the road that runs from the 15th Avenue gate up into the Presidio.

There are two proposals on the table – one would close it to all car traffic 24/7 with the exception of residents that live along BC Road, the other would close it to traffic during peak time periods (7 to 9am and 5 to 7pm, as well as on weekends).

On Tuesday night at 6:30pm, the Presidio Trust will host a public hearing at the Golden Gate Club (135 Fisher Loop in the Presidio) to discuss the proposals.

Proponents of the closure are the residents on Lake Street, who have long complained about the traffic flowing in and out of the 15th Avenue gate. However, as of October 1, all inbound traffic is now being routed through the newly re-opened 14th Avenue gate, and outbound traffic through the 15th Avenue gate.

Also weighing on the discussion is the lack of recent traffic studies, as well as the need for Battery Caulfield Road to remain open during the Doyle Drive construction, which extends into 2013.

As of my last posting on this, I was told that the The Presidio Trust is taking comments and feedback on the Battery Caulfield Road proposal until October 15. To send in your comments, email batterycaulfield@presidiotrust.gov or mail a letter to: Planning Department, Presidio Trust, 34 Graham Street, P.O. Box 29052, San Francisco, CA 94129-0052 by October 15.

Sarah B.

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 12:05 pm | Posted under Traffic | 1 comment
Oct-4-2010

Good news for health scores at Richmond District restaurants

Thanks to RichmondSFBlog reader Jim, I was alerted to a nifty new map created by Mission Local that displays scores for inspections completed in the last 12 months by the Health department of places that serve food, be it restaurants, schools or other public facilities.

You won’t find every eatery on the map that’s in the neighborhood, only those that were inspected within the last year. A food establishment can be routinely inspected, inspected due to a complaint, or due to change in ownership.

Of course I dove right into check out the eateries in 94118 and 94121. Here’s what I found out:

94118
The good news is that 85% of the 218 food service establishments inspected earned a grade of 90 to 100; 26% earned perfect scores of 100. Another 12% rated in the 80-89 range, and the final 3% – only six restaurants – earned the lowest grade of 70-79 points:

Hui Lau Shan, 5217 Geary
Dragon River Restaurant, 5045 Geary
Panda Country Kitchen, 4737 Geary
Emperor Palace, 530 Balboa
Melisa’s Chinese, 450 Balboa
Star India Restaurant, 3721 Geary

Check out more restaurant inspections for 94118

94121
Results were pretty similar further out in the avenues with 80% of inspected locations earning a grade of 90 to 100; 28% had perfect scores of 100. 16% rated in the 80-89 range, with 7 restaurants, or 4%, getting the lowest scores of 70 to 79 points:

Hunan Cafe #2, 4450 Cabrillo
Golden Chariot Bakery & Restaurant, 3308 Balboa
Mayflower Restaurant, 6253 Geary
Kirin, 6135 Geary
Golden River Restaurant, 5827 Geary
Gastronom Deli, 5801 Geary
New World Market, 5641 Geary

Check out more inspections results for 94121

More good news – no Richmond restaurants rate in the 10 worst in the city. The bottom honor goes to Louie’s Dim Sum of North Beach which earned a dismal 35. Ick – how bad does it have to be to earn THAT?

Our closest low scorers – Liverpool Lil’s at Lyon and Lombard earned a score of 55. And Oriental Seafood Restaurant in the Outer Sunset earned only a 50.

Check out the article and map at Mission Local to see more data.

Sarah B.

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 7:25 am | Posted under Food | 5 comments
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