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Music man

An accordion player in front of Moscow and Tbilisi Bakery Store, 5540 Geary. Any requests? Photo by Seth Rosenblatt.

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 12:37 pm | Posted under Photos | 2 comments

The Cliff House Sky Tram

Will wonders never cease? Once again outsidelands.org delights me with another fascinating glimpse into what used to be in the Richmond District. This time it’s the Cliff House Sky Tram which ran from May 1955 until 1961. The photo below was taken by Erma Zimmerman July 1956. More photos of the sky tram here and here.

Here’s more information on the Sky Tram from outsidelands.org:

The Sky Tram opened on May 3, 1955. Up to 25 passengers, paying a quarter each, had a slow ride from just below the Cliff House across the Sutro Baths basin to a Point Lobos promontory that had been outfitted with a two manmade waterfalls. This was not a roller-coaster, but a very slow sight-seeing glide on a couple of steel cables a few hundred feet above the ground. The whole trip took four minutes and you had to walk back.

Fog, wind, and perhaps general boredom shut down the Sky Tram in 1961. For many years the former Cliff House Sky Tram “station” served as a Golden Gate National Recreation Area visitor’s center. That building was torn down during the 2000 renovation of the Cliff House.

And check out the video below of the sky tram, shot by Ron Biagini in 1960 (courtesy of outsidelands.org). The video includes footage of the installed double waterfall and broken windows of the Sutro Baths building.

Outsidelands.org is a website belonging to the Western Neighborhoods Project, which is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to preserve and share the history and culture of the neighborhoods in western San Francisco. Become a member today to support their efforts – you get a quarterly newsletter, special guided history walks, and other great historical information.

Sarah B.

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 8:56 am | Posted under History, Photos, Video | 9 comments

Circus Arts workshop for kids, March 20

This Saturday, the Richmond District branch of the SF Public Libary will hold a special Circus Arts Workshop for kids age 5 and older.

Introduce your kids to circus juggling, tumbling, hula hoops, trampoline and more. Clowns are encouraged to attend. :)

The workshop is free and runs from 3-4pm at the library, 351 9th Avenue.

Sarah B.

Photo by Kelly Sims

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 6:41 am | Posted under Events, Kids | Comments Off

Examiner: Shuttered Alexandria Theater evades upkeep

Today’s Examiner contains another article on the Alexandria Theater. If you’ve been following developments here on the blog, you know that there has been lots of chatter and updates recently on plans for the property which has been unoccupied since 2005.

There isn’t too much new information in the Examiner article, but it does include quotes from concerned neighbors such as Yevgeniya Lapa, an employee of the Europa Plus market across the street. “They use it like a restroom. It’s dirty.” Another neighbor calls it an eyesore.

The article also reports that the Department of Building Inspection plans to visit the theater this week “to make certain the property has good reason to not be called vacant or abandoned, spokesman Bill Strawn said.”

As the story’s headline alludes to, the theater has evaded current blight laws due to the two storefronts that occupy part of the property on the Geary side. In addition, the YMCA rents some parking spaces in the back parking lot. It is this activity that has prevented the building from being classified as abandoned, which would make it subject stiff fines for not keeping up the property.

Read the full story at sfexaminer.com

Sarah B.

Related stories:
More on the Alexandria Theater development from Supervisor Mar
New plans revealed for the Alexandria; possible supper club
More details on plans for the Alexandria
What to do with the Alexandria Theater?

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 10:36 pm | Posted under Real Estate | 1 comment

John Campbell’s Irish Bakery expanding to Pac Heights

I wasn’t able to snap a pic while driving by it this weekend, but John Cambell’s Irish Bakery will be opening a new location in Pacific Heights on the corner of Fillmore and Filbert. They already have a location here in the Richmond at 5625 Geary near 21st Avenue.

Known for their Belfast Bap sandwiches and to-die for scones, the bakery should fit in well with neighboring Real Foods and the many coffee shops along Fillmore.

Here’s hoping their new location has the same luck of the Irish!

Sarah B.

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 6:57 pm | Posted under Food | 2 comments

Monsters invade the 4-Star this Thursday

Thrillville is back with their next installment of B-movie and cult classics. This Thursday, prepare for the invasion a monstrous double feature: Monsturd and Retardead, “two of the sickest movies I’ve ever shown” according to Thrillville’s founder, Will the Thrill.

Monsturd is about an escaped con that turns into a rampaging, giant piece of, er, feces. This is the thriller that does for toilets what Psycho did for showers.

Retardead is about an attack by hordes of mentally and physically challenged flesh-eating zombies, from the demented minds of Bay Area filmmakers Rick Popko, Dan West and artist Ken Dashner, who will appear in person at the screening to explain themselves.

Also on the bill is Meshugga Beach Party (Traditional Jewish folk songs… Instrumental Surf Music… WHO KNEW?), because Will says, “I needed the silliest band I could think of for this gig, one that was also kickass musically, and they fit the bill like nobody else I know.”

So come on out to the 4-Star Theater this Thursday night for all the wacky, sick monsters you can handle. Show starts at 7:30, tickets are $10.

Sarah B.

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 6:31 pm | Posted under Events, Movies | 1 comment

Police Blotter – March 12, 2010

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of March 12, 2010. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

The Police community forum met on March 9, 2010. There will be no meeting this week and our next meeting is scheduled April 20, 2010.

The Community Advisory Board will meet as scheduled on March 18, 2010 at 6:45 at the station.

During the past week, there were 27 traffic accidents, 3 involving injuries. There were 3 arrests for driving under the influence.

On 03/05/10 at 2:36pm officers were called to the area of Golden Gate Park near 10th Avenue and Fulton. The caller stated that there was a person with a gun in the area. As officers approached they saw the two suspects, each with guns. Officers ordered them to drop their weapons and both complied. Officers examined the weapons and determined that they were air soft pistols. The two suspects, a 22 year old male and a 38 year old female were charged with being in possession of BB guns.

On 03/06/10 at 12:13am officers were called to the hospital on the 3700 block of California Street on a report of a man with a gun. Officers located the suspect in the hospital’s waiting room. The suspect had his back towards the officers as they approached. Officers ordered the suspect to show his hands but he refused to comply. As the suspect stood up he put his hand in his pants pocket and the officers grabbed his arm. Officers detained the 25-year-old male and discovered a loaded 9mm handgun in his pants leg. He was charged with being in possession of a loaded firearm and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

On 03/04/10 between 9:30am and 5:00pm on the 500 block of 27th Avenue a suspect entered an apartment and took a laptop, cameras and an I-pod. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 03/05/10 at 7:45am a victim was walking in the area of 38th Avenue and Anza when he was suddenly approached by the two male suspects. Both of the suspects were holding knives and demanded the victim’s property. One of the suspects removed the victim’s backpack and began to go through it and the second suspect went through the victim’s pockets. The suspects took
the victims wallet and cash and fled east on Geary Boulevard. The suspects were described as males, 20-30 years of age, one wearing a black and white bandana on his face and the other a red and black bandana.

Between 03/05/10 at 3:00pm and 03/06/10 at 9:45am on the 1500 block of Lake Street a suspect entered a garage and took two bicycles and camping equipment. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 03/07/10 between 11:45am and 7:30pm on the 100 block of 12th Avenue a suspect gained entry a residence and took and laptop, watch and printer. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 03/08/10 at 4:00pm a suspect entered a business on the 5800 block of Geary and asked to look at some jewelry. After looking at several pieces, the suspect stated he wasn’t sure if he had enough money and left the store. About twenty minutes later he returned and asked to see the items he had viewed earlier. The items were placed on the counter and the suspect swooped them up and ran out of the store. He was described as a male in his 20’s wearing a black leather jacket and blue jeans. The estimated loss is over $10,000.

On 03/10/10 between 1:15am and 2:45am on the 4700 block of Geary a suspect gained entry into a room by removing the screen and climbing in an unlocked window. The suspect took cash and medication from the room, while the victim was asleep nearby.

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 2:26 pm | Posted under Crime | Comments Off

Muriel Leff Park volunteer workday, March 20th

Volunteer for a park cleanup this Saturday from 9am -12pm at the Muriel Leff Mini Park on 7th Avenue between Geary and Anza. The park needs some general sprucing up including light gardening and sweeping.

Come out for the full three hours or drop by and offer whatever time you can. Click here to register for the workday or contact Matt Silva at msilva@sfnpc.org or 621-3260 for more information.

The park also has a new website located at murielleffpark.weebly.com. If you’re interested in keeping up with other park events, you can sign up for updates on the site.

Sarah B.

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 9:48 am | Posted under Recreation, Volunteer | Comments Off