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Mar-17-2010

E-waste drop-off this Saturday at Ocean Beach

Time to gather up all those old electronics that are gathering dust…

This Saturday, March 20, sfcleancity.com will host a free electronic recycling drop-off at Ocean Beach. Drop off free of charge any of the following items:

– TVs and monitors
– Computers and laptops
– Scanners and printers
– Cell phones
– Fax machines
– Ethernet cables
– Telephones and telephone systems
– VCRs, DVD players
– All networking equipment (e.g. routers)

Note that no appliances or microwaves will be accepted.

Drop off your e-waste between 9am and 2pm on Saturday at the Ocean Beach parking lot across from the Beach Chalet restaurant near Fulton. You must have a valid California driver’s license or ID card.

If you miss this Saturday’s event, there will be another e-waste drop-off available on Saturday, March 27 at Lake Merced. More info here.

Sarah B.

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 6:19 pm | Posted under Green | Comments Off
Mar-16-2010

“Remembering Playland” premieres to a sold out Balboa Theater

Tonight was the theatrical premiere of the new documentary, “Remembering Playland”, which looks back on the Playland At The Beach amusement park that sat on Ocean Beach from 1921 to 1972.

The Balboa Theater was packed; only the 9:15pm show on Wednesday still has tickets available (buy tickets). In the crowd were Playland attendees that had been interviewed for the documentary, which is full of great stories about the park best known by locals for its Fun House and cackling matron, Laffing Sal.

Many of those interviewed for the film are part of Playland-not-at-the-Beach, a “museum of fun” in El Cerrito, CA that was created to preserve and recreate the history of Playland. PNATB was also in the lobby displaying memorabilia from the park.

To top off a great night, the It’s It ice cream crew was on hand passing out free sandwiches to moviegoers. The original It’s It was created and sold exclusively at Playland for over four decades.

I came home with a DVD in hand ($15) so rest assured they’ll be available via mail order very soon.

Sarah B.


The crowd hits the lobby after the 7pm show


The It’s It truck parked outside the Balboa Theater


A replica of the Laffing Sal animated statue from Playland


A commemorative Playland poster


Handing out free It’s It ice cream sandwiches to moviegoers


Memorabilia on display from Playland-Not-At-The-Beach


Old Playland At The Beach tickets

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 9:15 pm | Posted under History | 5 comments
Mar-16-2010

Alexandria Theater is now on the vacant building list

On the heels of today’s Examiner story, the Examiner updates us with news that the Department of Building Inspection visited the Alexandria property today and posted two notices.

The first notice alerts owners that they must register the Alexandria as a vacant building with the city. According to city law, this requires paying a $765 fee and continued maintenance to keep it in secure and good condition. The second notice was a violation for a broken window on the premises.

“The inspection did not confirm any of the exemptions provided in the (vacant building ordinance),” DBI spokesman William Strawn told the Examiner.

Kudos to SFAppeal and the Examiner for continuing to fan the flames on this issue.

Now, let’s hope the owners, who are rumored to live abroad, actually receive and act on these notices in a timely manner.

Sarah B.

Related stories:
Shuttered Alexandria Theater evades upkeep [SF Examiner]
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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 3:43 pm | Posted under Real Estate | 3 comments
Mar-16-2010

Indy visits the Richmond District

The California Academy of Sciences has a new exhibition coming up entitled “Extreme Mammals: the Biggest, Smallest, and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time”. The exhibition runs April 3 through September 12 and showcases some of our most intriguing evolutionary relatives, from the speedy to the sloth-like, the towering to the tiny, even the venomous and the armor-clad.

One towering figure in the show is “Indy”, short for Indricotherium, which is the largest land mammal ever discovered weighing in at 20 tons, or roughly the equivalent of 3 adult elephants. Since Indy arrived in the city, he (she?) has been making his way around to the various sights and in honor of that, the Academy is holding a fun Photoshop contest.

Of course I had to make sure that Indy visits some Richmond District sites; what better way for him to learn where he can venture to after the Academy closes?

If you want to contribute to Indy’s tour of San Francisco, click here to download a Photoshop file that lets you add Indy into your own images. Then post your photos on Flickr and tag them “indytourssf” and the Academy will include them in the Indy slideshow on the exhibition page.

Sarah B.


Fore! Indy takes in a few holes at the Lincoln Park Golf Course


Jonesing for his morning caffeine, Indy stops in at the Blue Danube on Clement


Indy takes in the view at Land’s End with a couple of friends


Indy takes a dip at Ocean Beach


Indy heads to Angelina’s for an Italian soda and turkey sandwich


Indy nibbles on some flowers at the Conservatory in Golden Gate Park

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 3:25 pm | Posted under Museums, Photos | 1 comment
Mar-16-2010

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
Mar-16-2010

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
Mar-16-2010

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
Mar-15-2010

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
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