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Someone tell this tree it’s still winter

A blooming tree on Funston near Lake Street

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 2:15 pm | Posted under Photos | 3 comments

Aziza owner not relying on his “star” status

As part of their Tastemakers series, 7×7 has a nice update on chef/owner Mourad Lahlou of Aziza, the Richmond District’s only restaurant to earn a Michelin Star.

Lahlou has a new show on Moroccan cooking that will air on PBS this fall. He recently spent a month in Marrakech shooting the series. He remarks that the food in Morocco has not changed in decades, but that doesn’t keep him from innovating on the many dishes. “My palette has changed. In Marrakech, I kept thinking, why do you have so much oil for this dish, or reduce this sauce so much… I really feel like we’ve made this stuff better.”

Since earning his Michelin star, Lahlou says “We get people driving 30 miles to come eat here now.” To keep Aziza fresh and on the forefront of modern cuisine, he recently hired chef de cuisine Louis Maldonado (standing, right) and pastry chef Melissa Chou (standing, left), to work with him.

Aziza is open Wednesday through Monday from 5:30 – 10pm. You can make reservations on their website.

Sarah B.

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 11:42 am | Posted under Food | Comments Off

Double features back at the Balboa

Word is that the weather this weekend will be mixed. So you might want to catch a double feature at the Balboa Theater. From today through next Thursday, you can see “Me and Orson Welles” with “The Hurt Locker”, or “The Young Victoria” with “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”, a terrific animated film that my friends have raved about. George Clooney voices a fox – hardly a stretch, right? :)

I saw Hurt Locker when it was first in theaters and it’s a nailbiter about a U.S. bomb squad operating in Iraq. One of the best films of the year that has been nominated for several awards already.

Sarah B.

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 11:20 am | Posted under Uncategorized | Comments Off

Police Blotter – January 29, 2010

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of January 29, 2010. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org or visit their website.]

After many years in police work I am convinced that the best way to keep our neighborhoods safe is by we residents watching out for one another. Neighbors need to become acquainted and work together toward the goal of making their neighborhood safer. San Francisco SAFE can assist in the organizing of neighborhood watch groups and will provide free crime prevention information.

Irina Chatsova, SFSAFE Crime Prevention Specialist, and I have agreed to focus this year on increasing the number of Neighborhood Watch Groups in the Richmond. The newest group of the year will be on my block. Any of you that have questions about Neighborhood Watch Groups can call Irina Chatsova at 553-1968 or me at the Station.

During the past week, there were 15 traffic accidents, 4 involving injuries. There were 5 citations issued for driving without a license or driving on a suspended license. There were 3 arrests for driving under the influence.

On 01/25/10 at 12:00pm officers responded to a call of a fight on the 500 block of 21st Avenue. Officers determined that the argument was verbal; however one of the parties had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for Stolen Auto.

On 01/26/10 at 12:30am officers conducted a traffic stop at 4th Avenue and Geary Boulevard. It was determined that the driver had a suspended license. While doing an inventory of the vehicle prior to it being towed, officers located narcotics in the center console. The driver admitted that the narcotics were his and asked if the officers could just “throw it away.” The 32 year old male was charged with the narcotics violation and driving with a suspended license.

On 01/23/10 at 7:15pm a victim was walking in the area of McAllister and Parsons Streets when two suspects walked towards him. As they passed each other, the suspects turned around and approached the victim from behind. One of the suspects pointed a gun at the victim and demanded his property. The victim complied and the suspects fled east on McAllister Street. The suspects were described as two males in their early 20’s, one wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, the other a black t-shirt.

On 01/27/10 at 1:45am officers responded to a call of a fire near the Boat House at Stow Lake. SFFD personnel were already on scene and had extinguished the fire. Officers spoke to a male who said that he had set a fire in a metal garbage can that belonged to him. He was cold and was trying to dry off his clothing and sleeping bag. There was no other damage and the male was released at the scene.

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 10:20 am | Posted under Crime | Comments Off

“Modern Relics” has a new website… and a discount for you

Last fall, I stumbled upon “Modern Relics”, a unique boutique and gallery at Cabrillo near 8th Avenue. Owner Alix Blüh and her dog, Jack, greeted me warmly and showed me around the store which features old fashioned, intricate displays that mesh intriguing objects with lovely, handcrafted jewelry. Read my profile of Modern Relics here

If you can’t manage to make it to the gallery or if you prefer to do your shopping online, Modern Relics has a new website where you can shop for Alix’s handmade jewelry including bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings.

In celebration of the launch, Alix is offering visitors 10% off their purchase, either online at alixbluh.com or at the store at 771 Cabrillo. Just enter the code “launchblast10″ at checkout on the website, or mention the discount when you pop in the store.

Tell Alix and Jack that RichmondSFBlog sent ya,

Sarah B.

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 2:10 pm | Posted under Art, Business | Comments Off

Animator Yuri Norstein at the Balboa, Feb. 7

Next Sunday night, February 7, The Balboa will host acclaimed Russian animator Yuri Norstein. He’ll present three of his works: “Hedgehog in the Fog,” “Tale of Tales,” and a segment of his work in progress, Nikolai Gogol’s “Overcoat”.

Norstein (Yuriy Norshteyn) was born in Russia during his parents’ World War II evacuation. After studying at an art school and a short stint at a furniture factory, he found employment at studio Soyuzmultfilm in 1961. The first film that he participated in as an animator was Who Said “Meow”? (1962).

Norstein uses a special technique in his animation, involving multiple glass planes to give his animation a three-dimensional look. The camera is placed at the top looking down on a series of glass planes about a meter deep (one every 25-30cm). The individual glass planes can move horizontally as well as toward and away from the camera (to give the effect of a character moving closer or further away). He does not use computers in his work.

One of the films that will be shown, “Overcoat”, has an interesting backstory. Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Norstein earned many state and international awards for his work. Then, in a bitter twist of irony, he was fired from Soyuzmultfilm in 1985 for working too slowly on his latest film, a (presumably) feature-length adaptation of Gogol’s Overcoat. By that time he had been working on it with his usual small team of three people for two years… and had only finished ten minutes.

Fast forward to 2010, and Norstein is still finishing the film; his stubborn perfectionism has earned him the nickname “The Golden Snail”. He’ll show some of the yet-to-be finished film at the event. And to help fund its completion, proceeds the Balboa event will benefit Norstein’s studio in Moscow.

The duration of the screening will be about 90 minutes; doors open at 8pm with the screening starting at 8:30pm. The show is expected to sell out, so purchase advance tickets here ($25).

Watch the short documentary below about Norstein where he talks about his work and gives you a tour of his studio, where the magic happens.

Sarah B.

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 10:20 pm | Posted under Art, Movies | Comments Off

Free, bilingual tax help for Richmond residents

Tax day is a few months off but doesn’t it always seem to sneak up quick? Don’t worry, help is available!

This week, the United Way kicks off their annual free tax program, Earn It! Keep It! Save It!, with locations and events right here in the Richmond District. All of the Richmond sites will offer help in both English and Chinese.

Who’s eligible for the these free tax-filing services? All San Francisco households that earned less than $52,000 in 2009.

Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Richmond District Locations:

George Washington High School
600 32nd Ave., Building T-1 | 415.963.8633
Saturday, March 6, 10am–2pm
Walk-In Only

NECFCU—Agape Community Center
378 18th Ave. | 415.434.0738
Dates: 1/30–3/30
Tue & Thur: 6pm–8pm
By Appt. or Walk-In

Richmond Recreation Center
251 18th Ave. | 415.963.8633
Dates: 2/6, 2/20 & 2/27
Sat: 12pm–4pm
Walk-In Only

The program offers more than 180 free tax sites throughout the Bay Area from mid-January through April 15, so if you have friends of family elsewhere, be sure to let them know about this free program. Click here to find more locations

Sarah B.

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 3:45 pm | Posted under Events | 5 comments

Police Blotter – January 22, 2010

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of January 22, 2010. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org or visit their website.]

The suspect in the vicious attack and robbery on the 100 block on 9th Avenue last month remains in custody in lieu of bail that has been increased to two million dollars. The preliminary hearing is set of the week of February 1, 2010 and I will advise you of the outcome of that hearing.

This newsletter often contains information about financial elder abuse. Many of the incidents reported to Richmond Station involves the loss of a lifetime of savings. I want to share with you that studies suggest that for each report that government agencies receive at least four incidents go unreported. Moreover, while most of the reports that Richmond Station receives involve “cons” and lottery schemes by strangers, national data suggest that these types of crimes account for less than five percent of the total number of annual reports financial elder abuse. The same study noted that “trusted professionals”, family and care givers combined accounted for 55% of the cases.

If you suspect financial elder abuse please notify the police immediately by calling 553.0123. You can also share your concerns by leaving a message on the Richmond Station Anonymous Tip line by calling 415.668.7387.

During the past week, there were 18 traffic accidents, 4 involving injuries. There were 5 citations issued for driving without a license or driving on a suspended license. There were 3 arrests for driving under the influence.

On 01/16/10 at 3:28am plainclothes officers observed two males walking in the area of 8th Avenue and Geary Boulevard. The subjects committed traffic violation and were detained by the officers. It was determined that one of the males had an outstanding parole violation warrant for burglary. He is also a suspect in several auto burglaries in a neighboring district.

On 01/19/10 at 2:15pm plainclothes officers were in the area of Middle Drive and MLK Drive inside Golden Gate Park due to auto burglaries and bicycle thefts that occur in the area. Officers observed the suspect walk through the park and peer in windows of parked cars. The suspect also made several rounds to the bike racks near the Academy of Sciences and the DeYoung Museum. They observed him for 45 minutes before it started to rain extremely hard and the suspect left the park. The officers detained the male who had an outstanding warrant and was in possession of numerous burglary tools. The 52-year-old male was charged accordingly.

On 01/20/10 at 8:55pm a plainclothes officer was behind a vehicle that was traveling north on Divisadero near Geary. The driver of the suspect vehicle committed several traffic violations and the officer asked the dispatcher to run the license plate. Dispatch informed the officer that the vehicle was stolen. The marked police unit initiated a traffic stop at Washington and Broderick Streets and the driver stopped the car and ran from the scene. A foot chased ensued and the suspect was taken into custody on the 2800 block of California Street. The driver, a 17 year old
male who is on probation out of San Mateo County, was charged with stolen auto and resisting arrest.

Between 01/17/10 at 9:00pm and 01/19/10 at 9:00am on the 3500 block of Sacramento Street a suspect entered into a building by unknown means. Once inside the building entry was made into two offices and tools and other items were taken.

Between 01/18/10 at 4:15pm and 01/22/10 at 8:00pm on the 500 block of Arguello a suspect entered an apartment and took a laptop. The tenant may have left a door unlocked.

On 01/19/10 at 9:56am two suspects entered a business on the 3200 block of Geary with their faces covered. One of the suspects grabbed a victim by the throat and when the victim screamed the two suspects ran downstairs and took two televisions before fleeing north on Spruce Street. The suspects were described as two males wearing dark clothing.

On 01/19/10 between 6:40pm and 9:50pm on the 300 block of 2nd Avenue a suspect entered a business by breaking a window. Once inside the suspect took computer equipment.

On 01/18/10 at 10:45pm a victim was on a westbound 38 Geary MUNI bus holding his I-phone in his hand. The suspect, who was sitting behind the victim, asked the victim for the time. The victim then got off the bus at Geary & Baker Streets and the suspect followed him. As the victim was waiting to cross the street the suspect told the victim to give him his I-phone. When the victim said no, the suspect grabbed it out of his hand and fled north on Baker Street. The suspect was described as a male in his late teens with a shaved head and a black hooded sweatshirt.

On 01/20/10 between 6:45am and 9:00pm on the 800 block of 47th Avenue a suspect entered an apartment and took a laptop and camera. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 01/20/10 on the 200 block of Willard North between 9:35am and 1:30pm a suspect entered an apartment by prying the front door. The suspect took laptops, cameras and jewelry.

Between 01/21/10 5:00pm and 01/22/10 at 5:30pm on the 2100 block of Broderick Street a suspect forced entry into the office of an apartment complex and took numerous keys.

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 9:58 am | Posted under Crime | Comments Off