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Two Richmond District banks robbed last weekend

Three banks in San Francisco were robbed last weekend according to Bay City News, two of them located in the Richmond District.

On Friday, a Wells Fargo Bank on the 800 block of La Playa was robbed just before 7pm. A man entered the bank, gave a demand note to a teller, and opened his jacket to display a gun, according to police.

“The teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash to the suspect, who then fled. Police said the suspect was described as an Asian man between 30 and 35 years old who is about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs roughly 130 pounds. He was wearing a coat, blue button-up shirt, khaki pants and blue baseball hat with purple writing at the time of the robbery, according to San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza,” wrote Bay City News.

On Saturday, another Wells Fargo bank on Geary near Arguello was robbed around 5:35pm.

“Police said a suspect entered the bank, gave a note to a teller and simulated a handgun in his jacket pocket. The teller handed over cash and the suspect fled the scene. The suspect was described as an Asian man between 30 and 35 years old who is roughly 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. He was wearing a blue shirt, khaki pants and white tennis shoes with dark soles at the time of the crime,” wrote Bay City News.

Police are reviewing surveillance footage from each bank, but have not yet found evidence to indicate that the three robberies are related.

The third robbery occurred on Saturday around 11:30am at a Citibank on Van Ness Avenue.

Sarah B.

[via Bay City News]

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 10:50 am | Posted under Crime | 7 comments

“Inner Richmond Microhood” event on Clement Street, Thursday night

This Thursday night beginning at 6pm, Bold Italic is putting on their annual Inner Richmond Microhood event along the early blocks of Clement Street.

This is the fourth year for the event, which showcases businesses along Clement Street leading up to the holiday season. Shoppers can enjoy great deals at various stores, as well as festivities, food and drink, live music, and the chance to connect with neighbors.

Participating businesses run from Clement Street at Arguello all the way up to 6th Avenue. Here’s what you’ll find along the way:

Green Apple Books will be serving Fort Point Beer, featuring live music from Everyone is Dirty, and hosting author Elizabeth Dutton.

Park Life will serving drinks, snacks, and raffling off free art work.

Pretty Please Bakeshop
will be serving complimentary spiked and regular eggnog, offering 25% off all bakery items, and taking 10% off all holiday orders placed that night.

Burma Superstar will be hosting a raffle every 15 minutes to win prizes such as tee shirts, tote bags, and gift cards. Dine-in customers will have the chance to beat them in a game of Rock Paper Scissors and win a round of drinks for their table (the Burma Cooler for 21+ and Ginger Lemonades for all ages; one participant per party).

540 Club will be offering drink promotions on specialty craft beers by New Belgium: $3 pints of Accumulation White IPA, $6 Salted Chocolate Stout (from the Lips of Faith series), and $2 bottles of Snapshot Wheat Beer.

Also featuring great deals, discounts, and surprises from April in Paris, Bitter End, BSTAR, Covet, Eats, Foggy Notion, Kinship Salon & Barber, Kisha Studio, Save My Seat, Seedstore, Story, The Mysterious Rack, The Plough and Stars, Toy Boat Dessert Cafe, and more!

So come out between 6pm and 9pm to check it out!

Sarah B.

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 8:30 am | Posted under Events, Shopping | Add comments

Keith Haring sculpture relocated to front of de Young as part of new exhibition

Photo by @deyoungmuseum

Keith Haring’s Untitled (Three Dancing Figures) sculpture was relocated from Third and Howard Streets to the front lawn of the de Young Museum recently in honor of the new exhibition Keith Haring: The Political Line. Museum staff snapped this pic of the statue engulfed in the thick fog on Monday morning.

The exhibition, which runs through February 15, 2015, features ” more than 130 works of art including large scale paintings (on tarpaulins and canvases), sculptures and a number of the artist’s subway drawings, among other works. The exhibition will create a narrative that explores the artist’s responses to nuclear disarmament, racial inequality, the excesses of capitalism, environmental degradation and others issues of deep personal concern to the artist.”

Sarah B.

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 5:05 am | Posted under Art, Golden Gate Park, Museums | Add comments

“Underwater Gardens” exhibit at Conservatory of Flowers; opens Nov. 13

Lao Chan Fei. Photo courtesy of the 2013 Aquatic Gardeners Association International Aquascaping Contest

Most of the plants we enjoy are above ground, but what about the many species that live underwater? A new exhibition opens this week at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park that puts these special hydrophytes on full display.

The Art of Underwater Gardening lets visitors dive into the dazzling world of aquatic plants and the international garden design trend called aquascaping, the art of creating underwater landscapes with plants, stones and wood. These submerged gardens built in large aquariums can mimic everything from primeval forests to verdant valleys as they become sublime works of underwater abstract art.

Aquascaping began with the Dutch in the 1930s but got a huge amount of attention in the 1990s when Japanese aquarist and photographer Takashi Amano introduced the world to his “nature aquarium” style. Amano made use of the Zen aesthetic practice of rock and plant arrangement to create minimal, but gorgeous works of living art. This triggered a huge amount of interest in the hobby and led to the establishment of dozens of international aquascaping associations and huge contests that attract hundreds of entries from around the world each year.
Check out these amazing entries from IAPLC

The Conservatory’s exhibition will feature a dozen tanks ranging from 4 to 6 feet long, set into the walls of a partially enclosed cavern-like setting that gives visitors the feeling of being down in a sinkhole. Nine of the tanks take their inspiration from Africa, Asia and South America, making use of native plants, rock, hardwood and fish to evoke the natural landscape of these tropical places. Three additional tanks are being created by local aquarium experts from San Francisco’s Ocean Treasures and will highlight the more abstract, artistic possibilities of aquascape design.

Timucin Sagel, photo courtesy of the 2013 Aquatic Gardeners Association International Aquascaping Contest

Aquascapes are a fine balance between form and function. An aquascape is an ecosystem in which every living and non-living item contributes not only to the overall beauty of the aquarium, but also to the chemical and biological balance that allows the plants and any animals to live. Consideration must be given to lighting, carbon dioxide levels, filtration, algae control, fertilization and more. Plants and fish work together to process waste and aerate the water. Rocks and gravel provide shelter for beneficial bacteria that reduce toxicity from waste. Even the position of the wood and rock affects the health of the tank by allowing or impeding the flow of water.

The Art of Underwater Gardening opens to the public on November 13, 2014 and runs until April 12, 2015. Entry to the exhibition is included in regular admission to the Conservatory.

Sarah B.

Aqua Forest Aquarium

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 5:02 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | Add comments

Sand artist Andres Amador featured in new Afrikaans music video

Local sand artist Andres Amador, known for the intricate designs that he etches into the sands of Ocean Beach, is featured in a new Afrikaans language music video from an artist named Rozanne Gewaar.

Gewaar moved to California and began researching beaches for the video shoot when she came across Amador’s work.

“It took a while to come together because he was traveling and has to work when the tides and sand consistency is right,” Gewaar told us.

In the video for “Klein Gode” (Small Gods), which was shot at Fort Funston, Stoman walks among the cliffs and trails above the beach as Amador works on a large design in the setting sun.

Gewaar wrote the song and says it’s “part love song, but also speaks to the creative process and ambitions”.

In an online interview, Amador said though he normally works alone, he enjoyed this collaboration.

“I love that it’s Afrikaans. I love that I don’t know the words, I don’t understand or know the language but the sounds are so beautiful that I really appreciate it,” Amador said.

Sarah B.

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 5:12 am | Posted under Art | Add comments

Laughing Sal, Mergatroid, LouSeal & Doggie Diner were riding Muni…

By @danbransfield

Local artist Dan Bransfield tweeted out this fun illustration yesterday of some San Francisco icons gabbing away on a Muni bus.

All of them on their way to work, no doubt ;)

Sarah B.

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 10:30 am | Posted under Art | 4 comments

Artist open studios in the Richmond District, November 8 & 9

Big Leaves by Jay Mercado

This Saturday and Sunday, artists across the Richmond District will open their studios as part of ArtSpan’s SF Open Studios event.

Stop by any of the locations on the map below between 11am and 6pm on either Saturday or Sunday to meet the artist and see their work (scroll down in the map window to see the list of artists as well).

We have artists in the neighborhood that create in a variety of mediums including painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media.

Artist Jay Mercado, known in the neighborhood for his donut paintings and other American icons often hanging in his studio window on the corner of 10th and California, is celebrating the 20th anniversary in his studio space.

“When I realized my art studio has been up and running in the same location since 1994, I was semi-mind-boggled. Twenty years? I’ve changed. My art has changed. San Francisco has changed. And I’m still here,” he wrote in an email inviting people to his studio during the weekend event.

Arion Press just inside the Presidio gate at 14th Avenue will also be open for the event.

This weekend’s Open Studios also include the neighborhoods Fort Mason, Marina, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, North Beach, Hayes Valley, NOPA, Haight, Buena Vista, The Presidio, Sunset, West Portal, Oceanview. Check out all the artists participating across this city this weekend.

Sarah B.

View Open Studios – Richmond District | Nov. 8 & 9 in a full screen map

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 4:12 am | Posted under Art, Events | Add comments

Police Blotter: November 6, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of November 6, 2014. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpdrichmondstation@sfgov.org.]

We wish to invite you to our next Community Meeting at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. The meeting will be held at the Richmond/Senator Milton Marks Branch Library located at 351 9th Ave.

On 10/30/2014 at 10:30 am, Officer Eddie Wu was enjoying his day off on Clement St. When Officer Wu is on duty he walks a foot beat on Clement St., and knows all the residents and the merchants. A merchant approached Officer Wu, regarding a possible person involved in the Chinese Blessing Scams. Officer Wu contacted the person with the help of another Officer. The man provided the Officers with a false ID and was in possession of Chinese fortune telling tools. Through Officer Wu’s dedication and hard work, another scam artist is off the street. Great work Officer Wu!

On 10/30/2014 at approximately 11:05 am at the Buffalo Paddock, two people enjoying Golden Gate Park were approached by an unknown male suspect. The suspect then quickly grabbed one of the victim’s backpacks. When the victim attempted to get their backpack back, the suspect brandished a gun and fled in an unknown direction. The investigation continues…

On 10/30/2014 at 3:00 pm, an Officer on patrol in the area of El Camino Del Mar, observed a vehicle fail to stop at a posted stop sign. The Officer initiated a traffic stop, cited the driver for failure to stop at a posted stop sign and driving with an expired California driver’s license.

On 10/31/2014 at 4:52 am, Officers responded to McAllister St., regarding a robbery. Homeowners were startled awake by their front door handle moving and the sound of glass shattering. They looked out the window and noticed a man fleeing with their Halloween skeleton! When the homeowner approached the suspect, the suspect quickly brandished a knife. Officers arrived on scene and located the suspect. A computer check of the suspect revealed the suspect was on probation for burglary and had a no bail warrant. An arrest search of the suspect revealed he was in possession of burglary tools and suspected methamphetamine. The suspect was later booked at County Jail… Looks like he went trick or treating at the wrong house…

On 10/31/2014 at approximately 7:32 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of California and Maple St., observed a vehicle driving with expired tabs. The Officers conducted a traffic stop which resulted in the driver being cited for expired registration and driving on an expired license.

On 10/31/2014 at 9:10 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Divisadero and Geary Blvd., observed a vehicle driving with prohibited blue front lights. The Officers conducted a traffic stop which resulted in the driver also being cited for driving without a valid California driver’s license.

On 10/31/2014 at 11:15 pm, Officers responded to the Sutro Heights area, regarding a fight between roommates. The roommate that was injured told the Officers the suspect fled the house. While the Officers were still on scene, another roommate told them the suspect just walked past the front door. The Officers stopped the suspect and a computer check revealed he had a felony warrant out of Monterey Co. The suspect was later booked on his warrant and the battery of his roommate.

On 11/01/2014 at approximately 1:30 pm, Officers were patrolling the area of Fort Miley near Lands End Lookout. The Officers observed a male in a camper passed out in the driver’s seat. The male appeared very pale and looked as though he wasn’t breathing. The Officers conducted a well-being check on the male, by tapping on the window. When the male woke up he told Officers he must have fallen asleep while watching a movie. A computer check on the California driver’s license provided by the driver revealed he was currently on probation and had a search condition. A search of the camper revealed a quantity of suspected Marijuana in clear zip lock bags and a digital weighing scale. The male was later booked for transporting and possession for sales.

On 11/02/2014 at 1:15 am, an Officer was in the area of Funston and Fulton St. when he observed a vehicle traveling 20 MPH over the 35 MPH speed limit. The Officer initiated an enforcement stop on the vehicle. When the Officer contacted the driver, he observed that the driver appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. The Officer conducted a battery of field tests, which the driver did not complete satisfactorily. Based on the Officer’s observations and investigation, the driver was booked at County Jail for driving under the influence of Narcotics. Thanks to Ofc. Yee, one more impaired is off the street.

On 11/02/2014 at 8:10 am, Officers responded to the Safeway located on 7th Ave., regarding a shop lifting incident. The Officers met with the manager of the store who told them the suspects fled in a vehicle with the stolen loot. An Officer put out the description of the suspects to the other responding units. Officers located two people that matched the description of the suspects on the corner of 7th Ave. and Geary Blvd. One suspect was positively identified as being involved in the shop lifting incident. A computer check of the suspect revealed he was on active probation and had a search condition. Officers conducted a search of the suspect and located several burglary tools. The male suspect was later booked at County Jail for burglary and possession of burglary tools.

On 11/03/2014 at 3:30 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of John F. Kennedy Dr. and Conservatory Dr., observed a male riding a bicycle traveling against traffic, in violation of the California Vehicle Code. The Officers stopped the male and a computer check revealed he had an outstanding $30,000.00 warrant. An arrest search of the male revealed he was in possession of drug paraphernalia, suspected methamphetamine and several burglary tools. The male was later booked into County Jail. Another great arrest by Officer Ison and Officer Goold!

On 11/04/2014 at 11:45 am, Officers on patrol in the area of Geary and Arguello observed a vehicle that failed to yield to two pedestrians in the crosswalk. The officers initiated a traffic stop which resulted in the driver also being cited for driving without a valid California driver’s license.

On 11/04/2014 at 5:30 pm, Officers responded to a call of a possible bicycle theft on the 700 block of Cabrillo St. When the Officers arrived they found the male suspect using a torch to melt a bicycle lock. The male was unable to prove the bicycle he was attempting to free was actually his property. Not to mention he was operating a flammable device without taking reasonable precautions, and he was less than 5 ft. away from several parked vehicles! The male suspect was in violation of several Health and Safety sections. An arrest search was performed and suspected methamphetamine was located on the suspect. The male was later booked at County Jail on several violations. Great job Officer Finigan and Officer Lok!

On 11/04/2014 at 2:06 am, Officers were patrolling the area of Parker St., and observed a male with a flashlight looking into vehicles. The Officers are familiar with this area of the Richmond District and know at times it can get hit hard with vehicle break-ins. The Officers contacted the male and he quickly attempted to leave the area. As the male’s van door was sliding open, a baggie, in plain view was on the floor of the van near the door. Trained in narcotics recognition, the Officers immediately recognized this as suspected methamphetamine. The male was later booked into County Jail. A big thank you to Ofc. Anderson and Ofc. Rotschi for their hard work.

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 2:37 pm | Posted under Crime | Add comments