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Great costume: Here’s a little fog for your Halloween

One of our friends (and readers) who is a teacher, created this costume to wear to her classroom today, complete with t-shirt from Park Life on Clement Street. And yes, that’s a Golden Gate Bridge tower sticking out of her head.

We love it! Happy Halloween everyone!

Sarah B.

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 4:15 am | Posted under Photos | 3 comments

Stolen car running red light leads to major accident at 10th Ave & Geary

Photo by jdonnellydc

At around 12:30pm on Wednesday, a major accident occurred at the intersection of Geary Boulevard and 10th Avenue. The Examiner reports that the crash was caused by a stolen car running the red light. The car was a blue, four door Honda.

At least four other cars were involved in the collision, including an upended Lexus SUV in front of the Mattress Discounters store.

All four drivers and one pedestrian were hospitalized but their condition is unknown. Police told onlookers that the street where the accident occurred would be closed for at least 4 hours.

Sarah B.

Photo by Derek

Photo by Derek

Photo by Derek

The stolen car. Photo by Derek

The stolen car. Photo by Derek

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 3:44 pm | Posted under Traffic | 10 comments

Halloween photo special: What (or whom) lies beneath the Legion of Honor?

Photo by Richard Barnes

A share from the Western Neighborhoods Project today prompted us to re-post bits of past articles in honor of Halloween.

Many of you may know that the Richmond District was once THE place to be buried in San Francisco – there were several cemeteries in the neighborhood as far east as Laurel Heights and as far west as Lincoln Park. Beginning in the early 1900s and until the 1940’s, the cemeteries were decommissioned and the remains were moved out to Colma.

Well, most of them anyway.

In 1993, while the Legion of Honor Museum underwent renovations, construction workers came across remains of an estimated 700 bodies that had been buried in City Cemetery, a burial ground for ethnic and religious minorities, indigents and members of various benevolent associations.

More from the San Francisco History website:

In the summer of 1993, during renovation and expansion of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, “about 300 corpses from the Gold Rush era—two of them still clutching rosaries, others were wearing dentures and Levis—were unearthed from what appears to be an old pauper’s graveyard. Some experts say another 11,000 bodies might lie underneath the museum grounds” according to a Los Angeles Times article (12 November 1993, A-23). The City Planner’s office has copies of the excavation activities. According to the archeaologist, there were over 700 individual coffin burials. All the remains and artifacts were turned over to the Coroner’s office (Medical Examiner).

The Medical Examiner’s office had the remains reburied at the Skylawn Cemetery in San Mateo, and the artifacts were given to the City Museum. Most of the finds were centered around the Legion of Honor’s courtyard. The archeaological firm proposed a more extensive dig, but the Museum felt it was out-of-scope of their activities, so they said no. Another interesting item was that an early resident, recalling the construction of the museum, mentioned that remains were found and put into a pit in one of the corners of the building, although she couldn’t recall which corner. So, it appears that remains are still there, somewhere.

Photographer Richard Barnes captured the eerie site and put on an exhibition “Still Rooms and Excavations” in 1997, telling SFWeekly, “It brought together all my interests: Here is the museum, archaeology, architecture, collecting…” See more photos from the exhibit on his website.

Local archaeologist Paula Frazer, who worked on the excavation, called the experience chilling and said it “was one of the spookiest archaeologist jobs I have worked on”. When the Legion was built from 1920 to 1924, the original contractors just plowed through burial sites, and plumbers laid pipes right through bodies and skeletons.

Photo by Richard Barnes

So if you feel a cold chill the next time you pass through the Legion of Honor galleries, don’t just chalk it up to the marble surround…

For more history on the cemeteries (and the neighborhood), we highly recommend the book San Francisco’s Richmond District by Lorri Ungaretti. You may also want to watch A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco’s Lost Cemeteries, a documentary by Trina Lopez which is available for rent at the SF Public Library Main Branch History Center.

Photo by Richard Barnes

Below are some interesting historical photos of the cemeteries from Lorri Ungaretti’s book. Happy Halloween everyone!

Sarah B.

An 1891 map showing the five cemeteries in the northwestern part of San Francisco.
Note the City Cemetery in the upper left corner, and the the other four on the right side
(Laurel Hill Cemetery, Odd Fellows Cemetery, Masonic Cemetery, Calvary Cemetery).
Courtesy of Richard Brandi.

A crew works to remove the bodies from Odd Fellows Cemetery, December 26, 1933.
This is now the site of Rossi Playground.

A panoramic view of Odd Fellows Cemetery. Note the Columbarium on the far right. On the very
far left edge, you can see the top of the crematorium. 1865.

The Odd Fellows Crematorium building can be seen in the background. Remains were then inurned
in the Columbarium nearby. Courtesy of Glenn Koch.

In the early years of San Francisco, there was little greenery or trees, so it was not unusual for residents
to flock to the cemeteries for recreation. This photo shows a Memorial Day celebration at
Laurel Hill Cemetery in 1909.

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 12:17 pm | Posted under History, Museums | 11 comments

Thousands come out for first Sunday Streets in the Richmond District

Temperatures were chilly and the sun was nowhere to be found. But that wasn’t enough to deter thousands of hearty Richmond District residents from coming out for the first Sunday Streets in the neighborhood.

Beginning Sunday morning, Clement Street between Arguello and Funston, and Arguello between Clement and Fulton were closed off to cars and parking. The regular Sunday Farmer’s Market was doubled to run 4 blocks, and dozens of businesses and organizations came out to set up along the Sunday Streets route. Check out the video above for highlights from the day (photos also available on Flickr).

Along the way we came upon zumba enthusiasts, lots of bicyclists, live bands, dogs galore, merchants set up outside their businesses, a cotton candy maker, a pack of alpacas, a woman spewing bubbles out the back of her bike seat, a very well-dressed Alice in Wonderland rabbit, kids getting a driver’s view from a DPW street sweeping truck, wee children learning to ride a bike, Sea Scouts teaching people how to tie knots, lots of Bluegrass, and much more.

It was great to have Sunday Streets in the neighborhood. We think the route could be consolidated to just Clement Street as things were pretty spread out. Perhaps run it on Clement and on Arguello just between Geary and Clement…

What did you think of Sunday Streets? Leave a comment to let us know! Sunday Streets also has an official survey for the event. Take it and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a messenger bag from Rickshaw Bagworks and Sunday Streets T-shirts. Survey closes Thursday November 7.

Sarah B.

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 7:16 am | Posted under Community, Photos, Video | 19 comments

Police Blotter – October 25, 2013 | Seafood robbery

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of October 25, 2013. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

Officers from Richmond Station did a great job apprehending a total of 4 subjects in connection with stolen vehicles and auto burglaries this week. The men and women of Richmond Station are briefed daily regarding crime trends and when we partner with the community this leads to great arrests. It is an example of how our team work paid off. With Halloween approaching officers will be out patrolling to make sure that everyone has a safe and happy Halloween. Please bring your trick or treaters to Richmond Station for a spooktacular treat.

Our next Community meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 6pm. It will be in the Community Room, here at Richmond Station, 461 6th Ave.

On 10/21/13 at 4:15am, officers were traveling west on Fulton St, preparing to stop a vehicle for a mechanical violation. Upon running the license plate in the computer, the vehicle came back stolen. Officers called for another unit and stopped the vehicle on the 800 block of 36th Ave. There were 3 occupants and as the vehicle came to a stop, the driver climbed over the driver’s seat into the rear passenger seat. Officers ordered the occupants out one at a time and took them into custody. The occupants were in possession of burglary tools, (shaved keys, flashlight, metal file, etc) and were also on probation. The registered owner of the vehicle was contacted and came to the scene. Several items in the car did not belong to him, including a telescope and a vacuum. The three occupants, a 43yr old male, a 52yr old male and a 50 year old female were charged with stolen auto, possession of burglary tools and probation violations.

On 10/21/13 at 4:48am, officers responded to a call of a male breaking into a vehicle at 42nd Ave and Geary. The caller described the suspect and officers located the male at a nearby bus stop. When asked why he was being detained, they informed him that he was seen breaking into a car. The suspect replied, “Ok man, you got me. I took the CD case and a car charger.” He neglected to tell the officers about the stereo face plate which was also recovered and identified by the registered owner. The 28 year old male was charged with burglary and possession of stolen property.

On 10/22/13, at 5:55pm, plainclothes officers observed a male walking along Fulton St at 39th Ave, peering into the windows of parked vehicles. The male then walked north on 41st Ave, continuing to look into cars. The suspect was eventually detained on the 700 block of 41st Ave. He informed the officers that he was on parole. He was also a sex registrant who was out of compliance by not registering within the required time frame. Officers contacted the parole agent who informed them that the male should also be wearing a GPS equipped tracking unit to his ankle. The suspect was not currently wearing one. The 31 year old male was charged with a parole violation, possession of burglary tools and narcotic paraphernalia.

On 10/22/13 at 11:15pm, a male in his vehicle was traveling west on Geary, preparing to make a left turn onto 26th Ave. At some point while making this turn the driver ran into the building located on the south/west corner of 26th and Geary, driving through the front door and front window. The driver stated that he needed to swerve to avoid a car that had cut him off. The driver, a 25yr old male, who was over twice the legal limit, was charged with driving under the influence.

On 10/23/13 at 10:45pm, the suspect was driving, while intoxicated, westbound on Geary towards 9th Ave. The driver hit a parked vehicle, completely tearing off the victim’s rear bumper. The suspect’s vehicle had a wheel come off with the suspension arm still attached and continued north on 9th Ave. As the driver was approaching Lake St, he hit two parked vehicles on 9th before finally coming to a stop. The 23yr old male was charged with hit and run and driving under the influence.

On 10/20/13, between 12:40am and 6am on the 5800 block of Geary, the suspect cut a padlock to the rear door of a business. The suspect took wine, live crabs, live lobsters, marinated fish and coins from the register.

On 10/20/13 at 2am the victim was walking east on Turk St, near Willard North. She was approached by four black males, two of which pushed her into a bush. As the victim was screaming for help, one of the two took her iPhone from her hand and they all ran to a nearby dark colored 4 door sedan. The victim reported this incident two days later.

Between 10/20/13, 6pm and 10/22/13, 6:45am on the 100 block of 9th Ave, a suspect entered a garage of a flat and took two bikes. There were no signs of forced entry.

Between 10/22/13, 6:30pm and 10/23/13, 7:20am on the 300 block of Sea Cliff, a suspect entered a home under construction via an unlocked window. The suspect took numerous tools.

Between 10/22/13, 10pm and 10/23/13, 6am on the 6100 block of Geary, a suspect entered a business by prying open the front door. Once inside, the suspect pried open the door to the office but at this time, there appears to be no loss.

On 10/23/13 at 12:45am, a resident of an upper flat on the 2900 block of Clay St. heard the sounds of glass breaking. He went to investigate and found that the glass on the front door was smashed in. The motorcycle helmet that had been sitting on the interior steps was now missing.

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 6:55 pm | Posted under Crime | 1 comment

Video: History of the Steinhart Aquarium

The Steinhart Aquarium, now part of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, turned 90 this year. This is a cool video about how it came to be and the people that helped grow it along the way. Love the story about the manatee!

Sarah B.

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 5:07 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Museums | 1 comment

Sunday Streets, expanded Farmer’s Market comes to Clement Street – Oct. 27

This Sunday is like prom night for Clement Street with two big events taking place – Sunday Streets and a one-time-only expanded Farmer’s Market.

Sunday Streets is a city-wide program that moves from neighborhood to neighborhood, closing off streets to traffic to allow residents to walk, ride and generally frolic along the route. To date, the closest one to our neighborhood has been along the Great Highway.

This week’s Sunday Streets will include the closure of nearly two miles of the Richmond District, running from Fulton down Arguello to Clement Street, and from the first block of Clement Street all the way out to Funston Avenue.

Along the Sunday Streets route, you’ll find merchants, live music and neighborhood organizations offering fun activities. The Clement Street Merchants are hosting a Halloween costume parade (meet at The Mysterious Rack, 12 Clement Street at 2pm), and the Richmond District YMCA will be out all day offering parachute games and an obstacle course, and will also host 10 minute Zumba classes between 12 to 2pm.

Sports Basement will be setting up on Arguello to do free minor bike repairs, and if you don’t have a bike, Parkwide will be at Arguello and McAllister offering free bike rentals for one hour. Also be on the lookout for Balboa Street’s Purusha Yoga, bike riding demos at SanFranCyclo, and salsa lessons from Neck of the Woods.

Pets are welcome along the Sunday Streets route but not in the Clement Street Farmer’s Market (Clement Street from Arguello to 5th Avenue).

Check the Sunday Streets schedule for the full list of activities & their locations.

Accompanying the special Sunday Streets will be an expanded Clement Street Farmer’s Market, which will run from Arguello all the way to 5th Avenue from 9am until 2pm. So bring extra reusable bags because there will be a lot more vendors to shop, which means more great produce, organic goodness, baked treats and more.

The Sunday Streets route will be closed to traffic from 11am until 4pm but also to any parking along the route. Cars that are parked along the route (both sides of the street) will be towed if not moved prior to 7am on Sunday morning. Tow areas include:

  • Clement Street from Arguello Boulevard to Funston Avenue
  • Arguello Boulevard from Fulton Street to Clement Street
  • 3rd Avenue (first three spaces north and south of Clement on the east side)

If you have questions about the event or need to arrange vehicle access during the event times, contact sundaystreets@liveablecity.org or (415) 344-0489 x2.

If you have to drive to Sunday Streets (or want to invite friends from other neighborhoods to come visit!), Roosevelt Middle School will provide parking for $5 per car. They will have their schoolyard available for parking from 8:30am – 3:30pm; enter on Palm Avenue between Euclid and Geary. Note: They open their lot every Sunday for parking during the Farmer’s Market.

Enjoy your streets this Sunday!

Sarah B.

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 4:45 am | Posted under Events | 9 comments

Trick or treat? 2013 Halloween events in the Richmond District

The haunted night is nearly upon us, and there’s no shortage of spooky events taking place in the neighborhood. Have a safe, fun and ghoulish Halloween!

Alamo School’s Halloween Carnival | October 25, 2pm – 4:30pm
250 23rd Avenue
Enjoy food, games and prizes at the 33rd annual Alamo festival. Costume parade starts a little earlier at 1:40pm. The event is open to Alamo families, friends and neighbors.

Richmond District YMCA Superhero Halloween Festival | October 25, 5:30pm – 8pm
360 18th Avenue
Bounce Houses, Games, Pumpkin Carving & Decorating, S’mores, Photo Booth, Art Activities, and much more. Cost is $5 per child 2 and over, children under 2 and adults are free, and $5 per pumpkin (optional).

Scary Story Night at the Bazaar Cafe | October 26, 7pm
5927 California Street
For many years radio journalist/playwright Peter Finch and his wife Alice hosted a Scary Story Party at their San Francisco home. In 2011 they brought it to the Bazaar Cafe. Everyone is invited to show up and share a story, song, or performance piece, as long as it is original, and it’s not too long (3-10 minutes). Costumes are optional. All are welcome, even if they don’t bring a story.

A Monster Bash @ Caffe del Sole | October 26, 5pm – 11pm
4342 California Street
Stop by the caffe to celebrate Halloween with a creepy chic theme. Birra and sangria all night long, live music from 5-7pm, and grooves from DJ Moreno from 7pm – 11pm. Costume optional and NO COVER CHARGE– just support the caffe and the musicians.

Anthem Halloween Printing Party | October 26, 8pm – 12midnight
6138 Geary Blvd
That brisk fall night of ghouls and booze is upon us, and we here at Anthem have to tell you – you’re too old to trick-or-treat. So come down to the shop for a Halloween Print Party – sponsored by Legit Lager. All ages and valid ID for drinks. Bring your own shirts to print, or buy a blank for $5 at the party.

Kid’s Costume Party at Sunday Streets | October 27, 2pm
Meet up at The Mysterious Rack (12 Clement Street) for a Halloween Edition of the popular Children’s Music Hour with “Dimestore Dandy”. Then, we’ll depart around 3pm to parade over to Toy Boat, where participating kids (tickets will be handed out at the sing-a-long) will enjoy a delicious scoop on the house!

The Many Haunts of the Richmond District Neighborhood Center | October 27, 12-3pm
741 30th Avenue
A free Halloween event at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center for families featuring a haunted house, costume contest, games, arts & crafts, tricks and treats, and a bake sale.

Old Timey Halloween Horrors Double Feature @ the Balboa Theater | October 29 & 30
3630 Balboa Street
Grab a seat for a spooky double feature! On Tuesday, 10/29 watch Nosferatu & The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, or catch Golem & Bob Wilkins’ Creature Features on Wednesday night. The spookiness begins at 7:30pm each night, and tickets are $10 per person (purchase online or at the Balboa box office).



22nd & California Haunted House | October 31, 6pm – 9pm
Don’t miss this neighborhood tradition when the basement of Appel & Dietrich market is transformed into a haunted house. Start your adventure with a slide ride that descends you into the depths of scary! This year’s theme is time travel, so be on the lookout for ghouls from past, present and future. Free admission, all ages welcome.

Clement Street Trick or Treating| 2pm – 6pm
Stroll Clement Street between between Arguello and Park Presidio and spot the signs on the sidewalk for merchants with treats! Sponsored by the Clement Street Merchants Association.

“Trunk or Treat” at Zion Lutheran School | 6pm -7:30pm
495 9th Avenue
Zion families will park their cars in the school parking lot and fill their trunks with candy for kids to enjoy! Free and open to the public.

Heartbaker’s Haunted House | 6pm – 8pm
Heartbaker, 1408 Clement
Enjoy holiday fun watching your little ones making their way down haunted hallway and discovering a witch preparing her magic potion in a boiling cauldren! Of course the night is not complete without treats. Heartbaker will provide free treats and refreshments at the end.

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 5:10 am | Posted under Events, Kids | 6 comments