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GGP tree lighting Thursday; Santa at Angelina’s Cafe on December 12

The holidays are upon us and we have two special events coming up in the neighborhood.

First up is the 84th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park (Stanyan and Fell) this Thursday. The festivities begin at 4pm, with the tree lighting taking place just after dusk. The celebration will include a train ride, live entertainment, and a special visit from Santa!

The following week on Thursday December 12, Angelina’s Cafe will host Santa Claus from 2:30pm until 4:30pm. Stop by for a pic with the jolly fellow and to decorate cookies. Plus a magic show from Professor Salamini at 3:30pm.

Angelina’s is also collecting new, unwrapped toys for the SFFD Toy Program, so if you’re headed to the Santa event, bring a toy to donate.

Sarah B.

The Batkid Express train below the tree in McLaren Park. Photo by @melissahandley

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 5:03 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | Comments Off

It’s #GivingTuesday. Here’s a list of neighborhood organizations that need help

It’s #GivingTuesday across the internet today. Why not give to one of our neighborhood organizations? Here are a few – feel free to leave more in comments and we’ll add them to the list!

Sarah B.

Western Neighborhoods Project
Dedicated to preserving the history of the west side of San Francisco
Donate here

Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground
Raising money for a new playground at Mountain Lake Park, breaking ground in 2014.
Donate here

Richmond District Neighborhood Center
Providing free and low-cost services to children, adults and seniors in the Richmond District.
Donate here

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 2:01 pm | Posted under Events | Comments Off

Benefit screening of newest “Lost Landscapes” at Internet Archive, December 18

A bit from the screening of Lost Landscapes 4. Don’t miss the footage at 3:30!

For eight years running, archivist Rick Prelinger has presented his annual collection of old San Francisco film and home movie clips as part of “Lost Landscapes”, “bringing together both familiar and unseen archival film clips showing San Francisco as it was and is no more.” This year’s show at the Castro has already sold out.

But on December 18, the Internet Archive at Clement Street near Funston will host an additional screening, with proceeds benefiting the Archive whose scanning center burned in a fire last month.

Many of Prelinger’s archival films were scanned and converted to digital at the Internet Archive for previous Lost Landscapes, and funds raised at the Dec. 18 screening will help replace the specialized equipment that was lost.

This year’s Lost Landscapes includes newly-discovered images of Playland and Sutro Baths; the waterfront; families living and playing in their neighborhoods; detail-rich streetscapes of the late 1960s; the 1968 San Francisco State strike; Army and family life in the Presidio; buses, planes, trolleys and trains; a selected reprise of greatest hits from years 1-7; and much, much more.

Prelinger’s screenings never include a soundtrack – he relies on the audience for that. “As usual, the viewers make the soundtrack — audience members are asked to identify places and events, ask questions, share their thoughts, and create an unruly interactive symphony of speculation about the city we’ve lost and the city we’d like to live in.”

The screening takes place on December 18 at the Internet Archive (300 Funston Avenue) with a reception at 6pm, followed by the film at 7:30pm. Tickets are available online and start at $25.

If you love San Francisco history and have a penchant for time travel, you don’t want to miss it.

Sarah B.

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 5:10 am | Posted under Events, History | 1 comment

Local links: Stolen bikes, Anzfer on Clement, new eateries, NEMS clinic & more

At a SFPD evidence site, about 800 stolen and recovered bicycles are stored. Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

Hard to believe that it’s already December! Here are some local links to take you into the final stretch of 2013…

  • A lot of you have read about stolen bike after stolen bike in the weekly police blotter. Ever wondered what happens to them all? The Chronicle paid a visit to a SFPD warehouse, where nearly 800 “mountain bikes, road bikes, rusted clunkers, fat-tired cruisers, fancy carbon fiber, and new and old frames of every color” sit gathering dust. The challenge? Reconnecting the recovered bikes with their owners. If you’ve had a bike stolen, visit the Park Station website, tweet to @sfpdbiketheft, or call 553-0123 to report a stolen bike.
  • The woodworkers Anzfer Farms have opened up a temporary store at 248 Clement Street for the holidays. Stop by on December 7 between 2 and 8pm for a little celebration featuring shopping (furniture and other home accessories), snacks and drinks.
  • The Bold Italic recently went on a very scientific pork bun adventure, tasting and rating the brown pockets of meaty joy at nine different dim sum restaurants in the Inner Richmond, hoping to identify the best one. “After charting out all the nuances of each bun, we had a hard time defining what “best” meant. While we all shared similar rankings for our top three favorites (Clement Restaurant, Wing Sing, and Cherry Blossom), there wasn’t one clear winner.” Nevertheless, their detailed research and photography is definitely worth the read!
  • If you say something egregious about your employer or job on Facebook, could you be fired for it? Two Richmond Village Beacon employees found out the answer to that is yes, and that not every social media post by disgruntled employees is protected by the National Labor Relations Act. A judge ruled that their profanity-laced Facebook posts went too far.
  • A new Japanese and Korean izakaya called Joo Mak has taken over the Sushi Tani space on Geary near Funston. According to their Facebook page, Chefs/Owners Tony Chong and Sam Sohn “always envisioned a place where people could come together and experience authentic street food from Korea and Japan.” They’re open daily from 5pm until 2pm, but closed on Tuesdays. Yelp reviews are very positive so far, and one wrote that “they still use Tani’s menu for the Japanese rolls.”
  • A new sushi place called Yoi opened up in the former Drunken Sushi on Clement and 24th Avenue. The name means “good, pleasing, skilled”, and according to their website, they’re offering sushi, ramen and robatayaki (skewers slow-grilled over hot charcoal). They’re open daily from 5pm until 12midnight, and from Thursday through Saturday, stay open late until 2am. Yelp reviews are mixed so far.
  • North East Medical Services (NEMS) recently celebrated the opening of their new clinic on Clement Street near 12th Avenue. The building was donated to NEMS by Hong Kong entrepreneur Dr. Tihua Koo and his wife, Mrs. Dorothy Shaofen Vee Koo. NEMS is the largest non-profit, federally-qualified community health center in San Francisco, providing health care to over 57,000 patients annually. They have 8 locations in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
  • The OBB recently profiled the owner of Fredy’s Deli out on La Playa near the beach. After a medical struggle that caused him to close for several months this year, he’s decided to sell after 28 years. A former employee, David Nottage, is re-opening the business as Kawika’s Ocean Beach Deli. Nottage plans to close briefly in January for a renovation, and will keep selling many of the favorites that Fredy’s customers like so much.
  • Zephyr Cafe at 3643 Balboa has been renamed to La Promenade Cafe. Ownership changed back in June, but it sounds like they just got around to changing the awning. “We have completely renovated the café with new wooden floors and mural paintings depicting French café scenes which gives it its charm.” One Yelp reviewer reports that a lot of the clutter is gone and all the chairs now match. :)

Photo by @bonanos

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 5:15 am | Posted under Art, Business, Crime, Food | 5 comments

Photos: Snowy with a chance of reindeer at the Academy of Sciences

Photo by Derek

The California Academy of Sciences was laying preparations today for their holiday exhibit “‘Tis the Season for Science” in Golden Gate Park.

Kids enjoyed the fake snow that was spread out on the Academy’s front entry and reindeers Yukon and Willow were introduced to their home for the next several weeks. Apparently, Willow “is full of energy and has recently taken to pushing Yukon around”.

It’s the fourth year for the Academy’s annual exhibit which focuses on reindeer and their unique adaptations. Reindeer migrate up to 3,000 miles per year, their antlers are comprised of some of the fastest growing bone, and they see the world in ultraviolet, enabling them to find food even when it’s buried beneath the snow.

Other highlights of the festive exhibit include indoor snow flurries, a giant Snowman Theater screening the kid-friendly documentary Roaming with Reindeer, and daily penguin shows at 11:30am.

‘Tis The Season for Science officially opens tomorrow and runs through January 5.

Sarah B.

Photo by @calacademy

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 6:12 pm | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Museums | Comments Off

Video: Profile of an Ocean Beach sand artist


It’s time for the Stanford v. Cal Big Game, played at 7th & Lake in 1902, 1903

Tomorrow is the 116th Big Game between Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley (“Cal”), one of the greatest and longest running rivalries in college football. This year’s game will be at Stanford and every year, the venue alternates between campuses.

But 111 years ago, things were a little different. The Big Game venue had hopped around the Bay Area since the rivalry first started in 1892. Neither school had a field that could accommodate the thousands of students, alumni and football fans that came to watch, so the first thirteen Big Games were played in San Francisco.

The last two to be played in San Francisco, in 1902 and 1903, took place right here in the Richmond District.

In October 1902, the athletic directors from each school announced they had decided upon a site for that year’s game. It was to be at a site described as “sandy” which is exactly what the neighborhood sits on – tons and tons of sand. Back in 1902, the Richmond District was not richly populated and a lot, bound by Lake Street, 7th Avenue, California Street, and 8th Avenue, was chosen to be the home of the new Richmond Grounds stadium.

Preparations were rushed and carpenters built fences, bleacher seats and grandstand coverings, and horse-drawn wagons brought in load after of clay and loam to put on the sandy surface of the field.

Things were going swimmingly until Richmond District residents living near the new stadium started to panic, fearing that the new venue would attract the wrong element to their quiet neighborhood. Two weeks before the game, residents went before the Streets Committee of the Board of Supervisors to make their objections known.

After a rowdy hearing, probably much like the recent Beach Chalet hearings, a compromise was reached. The schools would only be allowed to play three additional games at Richmond Grounds, and the stadium would have to be removed by January 1904. With that settled, the 1902 Big Game could proceed.

Three days before the game, the Daily Californian described the new field:

    The new football grounds near the Marine Hospital at San Francisco are the most picturesquely situated that were ever selected for the big Varsity game. They are at Seventh Avenue and California Street, about midway between the Presidio Golf Club house and the Marine Hospital, and are very close to the Maria Kip Orphanage.

    There are splendid great grand stands for seating 13,500 people. The whole east side of the field is one great towering gently sloping hillside of substantial benches under cover, and the entire west side of the field will have similar seats without cover for the college rooters.

A story in the Chronicle mentioned the ticket prices – $2.50, $2.00, $1.50, or $1.00 – but said anyone without the means would be able to sit up on the hillside abutting the Presidio Golf Course and get an excellent view. Perhaps a forefather to Cal’s now infamous Tightwad Hill?

Keep in mind this stadium went up quickly and would not have rivaled what we’re used to seeing college football played on today.

    The fans would not have seen a grass field, but a mixture of clay, sand and loam. The field sloped slightly downhill toward the north goal. Coupled with the day’s prevailing wind from the south, the team defending the south goal had an offensive and a defensive advantage. [Outsidelands.org]

The 1902 game kicked off at 3pm and ended in a shutout, with Cal defeating Stanford 16-0. The game included a field goal (only the second in Big Game history), and a 90 yard punt return for a touchdown.

Revenue from the game totaled $23,000, covering the land lease and the cost of construction of the facility, and netting each team almost $9,000. Local newspaper The Call later estimated that 2,000 people watched the game from outside the field.

The seating chart for the 1902 Big Game at Richmond Grounds. Courtesy of outsidelands.org

Though the schools had permission to play three more games in the Richmond Grounds, it would only be used twice more. First for the freshmen teams to square off in October, 1903 where Stanford emerged with a 12-0 victory before 5,000 spectators.

The final use for the Richmond Grounds was for the 1903 Big Game that November. Demand for tickets was high as it was shaping up to be the last time that the game would take place in San Francisco.

Residents anticipated big crowds, and requested more police presence, claiming some tightwads from the year before had damaged their houses and trees while trying to see the game.

Kickoff was at 3pm, but fans began filling the Richmond Grounds as early as 10am. With 15 minutes to go in the game, the score was tied 6-6. Stanford attempted a field goal from Cal’s 36-yard line, but it fell short. Final score: 6-6

Traditionally, the winning team’s supporters rush the field after a Big Game, but the crowd in 1903 didn’t know what to do with a tie. Eventually, BOTH team’s fans rushed the field and each school’s brass bands burst into life.

    Out of their seats, over the rails and onto the field poured a bell-ringing, pennant-waving, horn-blowing, cheering mob. As the shadows lengthened across the Richmond Grounds, two separate bodies of celebrants gathered behind the respective bands. Forming themselves into enormous lines, they serpentined over the field, leaving the final footprints on the field of the Richmond Grounds. [outsidelands.org]

No more games were ever played on the Richmond Grounds and its dismantling began shortly after the 1903 Big Game, since it was due to be removed by January 1904. And so ended the collegiate football history of the Richmond District.

Good luck to both teams tomorrow!

Sarah B.

The content for this post came from a well-researched article entitled The Richmond Grounds and the Big Games of 1902 & 1903 by Angus Macfarlane, who was a Sunset District resident and Cal alum.

Where the Richmond Grounds was built in 1902, bound by Lake Street, 7th Avenue, California Street and 8th Avenue.

Courtesy of “San Francisco’s Richmond District” by Lorri Ungaretti

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 8:24 pm | Posted under History, Sports | 7 comments

Police Blotter – November 22, 2013

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of November 22, 2013. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

This week I would like to highlight the great work of our night shift officers, Alvaro Schor, Anna Alexander and Tyler Dove who made a great arrest. They responded to the burglary in progress mentioned below where the offender had a gun. Thanks to the quick actions of our night time team a serious crime was thwarted and a gun was taken off the street. Tis the season for shopping, shipping, and going out of town. Criminals take note of signs that no one is home, when packages are on the front steps, when there are no lights on…. The best tactic to avoid being a victim of a burglary is to make your home undesirable by making it to difficult to break into. Take a few minutes before you leave to check your locks, install a dead bolt, make sure lighting is in working order and put lights on a timer. Dogs are also a great deterrent as they draw attention to unwelcome visitors.

We will not be having a community meeting in December. We will see you again after the New Year.

On 11/14/13 at 2:50pm, the 65 year old victim was walking east on Clement towards 17th Ave. The suspect was walking west toward her. He stopped in front of her and put his bag on the ground and said “How the f**k are you doing?” To be polite the victim replied, “Good! How are you?” The suspect then charged at the victim and shoved her with both hands into the door of a parked car. The right side of the victim’s face hit the door and the victim fell to the ground. The victim stayed on the ground to avoid being attacked again and the suspect said, “I don’t have any ID, I am not from this country.” The suspect was detained by officers at 21st and Clement St. An ambulance was called for the victim and the victim was treated at the scene. The 44 year old male was charged with aggravated assault and elder abuse.

On 11/15/13 at 4:55am, officers were called to the 2300 block of Golden Gate Ave to assist a USF Public Safety officer who had an auto burglar detained. The suspect had been seen leaning into a window of a parked vehicle by a witness who flagged down the Public Safety officer and pointed out the suspect. When the officer went to detain the suspect, he continued to walk, went in between two parked cars, ducked down and came out the other side. The officer detained the male and found a backpack in between the parked cars that came out of the vehicle he was seen leaning into. The 56 year old male who had an outstanding warrant for burglary, was charged with burglary, possession of stolen property and a probation violation.

On 11/18/13 at 2:15am, officers were responded to a call of a male with a gun on the 4600 block of Geary Bl. The caller stated that the male had been asleep in a bar and walked out, appearing completely wasted. The male then threw up outside and then got into his vehicle. The caller and his friend tried to convince the male not to drive off. The suspect swore at them, pulled a handgun from under the seat and placed it in the center console. The caller left but stayed close by to speak to the officers. When the officers arrived the suspect was asleep in the vehicle with the engine running. They awoke the suspect and got him outside the car. The gun was located, unloaded in the center console. The magazine to the firearm was also in the console. The 28 year old male was charged with being in possession of the firearm and being drunk in public.

On 11/13/13 at 4:15pm a robbery occurred at Anza and Arguello. The victim had her phone grabbed out of her hand. During the investigation a suspect was identified and on 11/19/13 officers located the suspect. The 15yr old male was charged with robbery.

On 11/20/13 at 10:45pm on the 500 block of Spruce St, officers responded to a call of someone trying to break into a residence. The caller stated they heard someone in their garage. The first two officers arrived and saw that there was a broken window to a side door on the right side of the home. The garage door began to open and officers could see two pairs of feet standing near the front of the garage. When the officers told the person to exit, the garage door quickly closed. As additional units were responding to assist, the officers could hear banging and running from within the garage. As one officer went to the rear, the other covered the garage door. As a third officer arrived and was with the officer at front, the garage door opened. The two suspects were standing inside, with the male suspect holding a firearm pointed up in the air. The officers ordered the male to drop the gun and he eventually complied. The two suspects were detained. The suspects entered the garage by prying open the window. The two suspects, a 43 year old male and a 23 year old female, who are both on felony probation, where charged with burglary, possession of loaded firearm, possession of burglary tools and a parole violation.

On 11/16/13 at 7:45pm, the victim was walking on Cabrillo towards 44th Ave. Two suspects came from behind and pushed her to the ground and took her purse. One suspect was a black male, the other a black female and they fled in a newer model white sedan. The victim could recall no further information.

On 11/17/13 at 12pm, a surfer parked his vehicle in a parking lot on the Great Highway near Fulton St. He placed his keys on the tire well of his car. When he returned his keys were gone. He looked in his car and saw that the keys were now lying on the passenger seat. With another hidden key he unlocked his car and saw the suspect had taken wallet, cash and cell phone.

On 11/17/13, between 2pm and 8pm on the 500 block of Spruce St, a suspect gained entry by breaking a window and entering a lower unit. The suspect took jewelry, cash and handbags.

Between 11/18/13, 5pm and 11/20/13, 9pm on the 2700 block of Balboa, a suspect entered a garage and took a bike. There were no signs of forced entry.

Between 11/19/13, 11:30am and 11/20/13, 7:30am on the 600 block of 28th Ave, a suspect entered a garage by unknown means and took two bikes.

Between 11/19/13, 4pm and 11/20/13, 7:30am on the 3500 block of Jackson St, a suspect entered a home under construction and took numerous tools. It is unclear as to how the suspect made entry.

On 11/20/13 between 7:45am and 9:20pm on the 700 block of 29th Ave, a suspect forced open a side door into an apartment building. The suspect gained entry into one of the apartments by prying open the door and took jewelry and a laptop.

On 11/20/13 at 8:25pm, on the 1400 block of Balboa a passerby heard a loud bang and when she looked towards the source, she saw that the tradesman door was off its hinges and the suspect was standing in the doorway. She went to another neighbor’s home and told him to call 911. They continued to watch the movement of the suspect and saw two eventually run to a parked vehicle and drive off. When officers arrived on scene moments later, the homeowner stated that she was upstairs sitting in a back room when she heard a loud bang. She yelled out thinking a family member caused this noise. She then looked towards a bedroom door and saw the suspect standing in the hallway of the home. The suspect then took off and ran out the front door. The neighbor was able to provide a description of the vehicle which officers saw at 4th and Anza St, but due to the high rate of speed and the recklessness of the suspect’s driving, the officers lost sight of the vehicle. The suspects were described as two black males, one 20-25yrs, the other 30-40yrs. The vehicle was a newer model Dodge, silver in color. There was no loss.

On 11/21/13, between 11am and 1:45pm, on the 700 block of 23rd Ave, a suspect tried to enter two different homes on the block by prying open the front door of the homes. The suspect was unsuccessful in both attempts.

On 11/21/13 at 7:20pm, the victim was walking west on the 200 block of Anza St. She noticed the suspects walking towards her and the first suspect grabbed her purse while the second knocked her to the ground. The suspects then ran north on Wood St and got into an older model sedan, possibly and Audi. The victim sustained minor injuries. The suspects were a black male, 20-25yrs, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants. The second suspect was Hispanic, 25yrs, wearing a tan jacket.

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 5:05 pm | Posted under Crime | Comments Off