April 30, 2009

PSA: Wash Your Hands!

We've heard from friends that tons of people are showing up in emergency rooms around the Bay Area worried they have Swine Flu (aka Mexican flu, aka Influenza A H1N1). What to do about it? Wash your hands, cover your cough/sneeze, wash your hands, stay home from work if you're sick, wash your hands. Oh...and did we mention, wash your hands!

[CDC: H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)]

April 29, 2009


Noe Farm Report posted the above image of Andiamo Gourmet Deli. Apparently it's for sale after more than 20 years of business. Is there anywhere else in Noe Valley to get a meatball sandwich?

Noe Farm Report also visited Elizabeth Street Brewery. Neighborliness ensues.

Another Noe blogger: Sarah Roos writes Urban Miracles - "Seeking the authentic heart of the land and people we call home."

GirlBiz is returning to Bernie's this Saturday (May 2) from 10am-2pm for a Mother's Day event. Free espresso with purchase.

Finally, a reminder that the Noe Valley Farmer's Market is launching a second weekly market next Tuesday in front of the future Whole Foods from 3:00-7:00pm.

[NFR: A Neighborhood, What a Concept!]
[NVSF: Noe Valley Farmer's Market, Vol. II]
[Photo: Noe Farm Report]

April 24, 2009

Doorstep Menus: Baby Blues BBQ (NSFW?)

Mostly good reviews on Yelp, but no Health Department inspections posted (strange that they opened without an inspection). So we really have nothing to say except...what's happening on the cover of this menu?!?!

Baby Blues BBQ
3149 Mission St.

[Baby Blues BBQ]
[NVSF: Doorstep Menus]

Parking: Noe Valley As Bad As North Beach?

The Examiner has a...um...hard-hitting interview with David LaBua, author of Finding the Sweet Spot — The Insider’s Guide to Parking in San Francisco. While there is some good information on Labua's website, we're not sure that he's the go-to guy for parking in San Francisco. When asked which neighborhood has the most difficult parking he replies: "It depends on the day and the time. North Beach on a Saturday night is difficult and Noe Valley is tricky." Huh.

[SFE: David LaBua takes us inside parking in The City]
[David Labua: Official Site]

April 23, 2009

Noe In The National News

In 2002, Noe Valley was one of the nation's Best Places to Live.

More recently, local Stephen Fowler updated our national image.

Yesterday? Celebrating the 'grown up' skater crowd born of a generation of kids who took over abandoned swimming pools. Summary: a $500k remodel of a $1M house.

The overall message? In the comments, please.

[NYT: When Skaters Grow Up]

Paolo Dominici: Hit By A Boat?

Missing restaurateur may have been killed by boat

DNA testing has confirmed that a bone fragment recovered in the waters off Ali'i Drive is that of missing spearfisherman Paolo Dominici, 49, of San Francisco, according to Hawai'i County police.

Dominici, owner of Bacco Ristorante in Noe Valley, went spearfishing with a friend offshore of the Kona Makai Condominiums on the morning of April 11 and was reported missing after failing to return to shore. Fire department personnel found the bone fragment and other items belonging to the man, indicating he may have been run over by a boat.

Police said witnesses reported seeing a boat in the area where Dominici was believed to have been diving.
[HA: Missing restaurateur may have been killed by boat]
[NVSF: Bacco Owner Missing in Hawaii]

Street Cleaning: Win Some, Lose More

Remember the all-too-confusing change to the street sweeping schedule here in Noe Valley and other relatively clean neighborhoods of San Francisco meant to save the City money? It's not working out so well:
When city officials cut street sweeping in more than 20 neighborhoods in August to save cash, they knew that the change would lead to a loss in revenue from parking tickets.

They probably didn't anticipate that the city would lose four times more money than it saved - money that would have gone to the struggling Municipal Transportation Agency, which is considering cutting transit service and increasing fares to balance its budget.
Apparently we've figured out how to read the signs. But here's what we want to know after reading the Chron's article: Are they saying that street cleaning is done to generate parking ticket revenue...?

[SFGate: Street-sweeper reductions costing Muni money]
[NVSF: Dirtier Streets, Confusion to Ensue]

April 21, 2009

Agenda: Upper Noe Neighbors--Pritikin Mansion

Pritikin Mansion on Chenery St. Our neighborhood estate happens to be the largest private estate in San Francisco Bob Pritikin would like to turn it into the Only in San Francisco Museum. Come hear about the proposal that would require a conditional use permit from the Planning Dept.

San Francisco General Plan--Housing and Recreation/Open Space Elements: the Planning Department will discuss how the General Plan will affect Noe Valley.
What: Upper Noe Neighbors monthly meeting
When: Thursday, April 23, 7:30 pm
Where: Upper Noe Rec Center, 295 Day St.

Overheard On Twitter

Loves Los Angeles, stuck in San Francisco, can't find parking for evening errands. Boo hoo. Park a block away.

Photo: Hot Noe Valley Nights

It's a great night for a iced venti double-decaf-nonfat-frappa-mochachino at the Starbuck's on 24th St. Too bad there's no FroYo at the other end of the block.

Thanks for the photo, Bats.

[Flickr: bats1234]
[NVSF: bats1234]
[NVSF: Tuttimelon: What Gives?]

April 18, 2009

Noe Valley Farmer's Market, Vol. II

Beginning Tuesday, May 5, the Noe Valley Farmer's Market will set up in front of the future Whole Foods from 3:00-7:00PM. The regular Saturday farmer's market will continue.

Noe Valley Farmer's Market II
Where: 3950 24th Street
When: Every Tuesday 3:00 - 7:00PM, starting May 5

Oh and by the way, that's the same day Whole Foods runs shuttles to the Potrero Hill store from 9:30 to 1:00PM.

[NVSF: Whole Foods: Senior Shuttle]

April 16, 2009

This Week At The Farmer's Market: Worms

I will be lugging part of Willi (my earthworms), along with pots with some of my favorite edibles to the Noe Valley Farmer's Market on April 18th. I will be teaching children about worm composting, how to plant and about good bugs. They will all leave with a small container (eco-friendly dixie cup) with a freshly planted strawberry.
[City Dirt: April 18th, Noe Valley Farmer's Market]
[Photo: National Resource Conservation Service]

New Voices: A Noe Food Blog

Perhaps because Sam has been in the kitchen since she was a little girl, she's "happiest when eating, cooking, talking or thinking about food." She emphasizes seasonal and local, but she's admitted to betraying the Noe Valley Farmer's Market and hoofing it to Alemany for the bargains. Her blog has great recipes (see: Mandarin-Thyme Cocktail and Star Anise Pots de Crème). And it shows you can eat/cook well in a 3rd floor apartment without garden access or a fancy kitchen.

April 15, 2009

Noe Valley Celebrates The Book

From Friends of Noe Valley:

"April is a special time to celebrate reading and our local independent bookstores. Each venue has planned an interesting event to bring neighbors together with the joy of books. All events are free."

Friday, April 17th, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m
The San Francisco Mystery Bookstore
Local authors Cara Black and Lisa Lutz share their latest adventures
4175 24th Street between Castro/Diamond

Sunday, April 19th, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
The Noe Valley Sally Brunn Branch Library
Share a Story--Middle schoolers will share some favorites with younger children in this drop in reading fest
451 Jersey St. between Castro and Diamond

Thursday, April 23, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Cover to Cover Booksellers
Date Night at the Bookstore--20% off purchases for couples, complimentary wine and cheese
1307 Castro at 24th

Friday, April 24, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Phoenix Books
Gardening in SF with author Alex Hatch,author of Cracks in the Asphalt
3850 24th Street at Vicksburg

Saturday, April 25, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Omnivore Books
Cookbook signing with Gerald Hirigoyen, author of Pintxos
3885A Cesar Chavez Street at Church

"Co-sponsored by Friends of Noe Valley, your local independent booksellers and branch public library."

[Friends of Noe Valley]
[NVSF: Noe Valley Library Wins Preservation Award]

April 14, 2009

3mph? Yeah Right

Weather Underground is usually pretty good at getting the hyper-local weather right here in Noe Valley. They've got the wind wrong by about 40mph this afternoon. Hang on to your hat.

[NVSF: Weather in Noe]

People Are Pigs

The full story of the mess (and clean up) in Dolores Park over at Mission Mission.

[MM: Crappy Easter]
[NVSF: Easter a la Dolores Park]

Bacco Owner Missing in Hawaii

SF restaurant owner missing in Hawaii
John King, Chronicle Staff Writer

(04-13) 21:22 PDT San Francisco -- The owner of a popular Noe Valley restaurant is missing in Hawaii, where he entered the ocean on a spear-fishing expedition and never returned.

Paolo Dominici of San Francisco was reported missing on Saturday in the waters off a condominium cluster in Kailua-Kona, where he was vacationing with his wife and daughter.

Dominici and a friend went into the calm waters together but became separated. Search teams have since recovered the mask, snorkel and a portion of Dominici's swim gear, but there has been no sighting of Dominici himself.

"We terminated the search today pending any new leads or developments," Reuben Chun, a battalion chief for the fire department on the big island, said Monday evening. "We don't have a comprehensive picture of what might have happened to him."

The Sunset District resident is the owner of Bacco Ristorante on Diamond Street in Noe Valley, a neighborhood fixture since it opened in 1993. Bacco made the Chronicle's list of Top 100 Restaurants in 2004; last year, on KQED's "Check, Please!," Dominici spoke proudly of making all Bacco's pasta and bread in-house.

The trip to Hawaii has been an annual ritual for Dominici and his family: "He loves the sea, the ocean, spear fishing," said Luca Zanet, a waiter at the restaurant since 1995. Zanet described his longtime employer and friend as "soft-mannered, a very nice person ... Everybody likes him."
Update: The family has called off the search.

[SFGate: SF restaurant owner missing in Hawaii]
[SFGate: Noe Valley grieves for missing restaurateur]

April 13, 2009

Crime Beat

Information is from Mission and Ingleside District San Francisco Police Station newsletters.
April 2

Aided Case -- 1200 hours. Area of 4178 26th Street. Officers responded to a call regarding a well being check. The reporting party had advised dispatch he hadn’t heard from the victim for approximately one day. He was concerned because the victim had some known health concerns. Upon arrival, the officers entered the apartment and found the victim lying on the floor. Officers immediately began rendering aid and called for an ambulance. The officers determined that the victim fell and he was transported to the hospital by paramedics.

April 5

Robbery With Gun -- 0630 hours. Area of 4019 23rd Street. Officers responded to a robbery in which the victim was hit from behind with a hard metal object. After falling to the ground the victim said he was held at gun point by a second suspect. Personal property was taken and
no suspects were apprehended.

Stolen Vehicle, Marijuana Offense -- 1617 hours. Area of 818 Sanchez Street. Officers observed an individual sitting in a vehicle with a license plate attached to it that was listed as being stolen. The officers confirmed with dispatch that the plate was stolen and approached the individual. The individual was unable to provide accurate identification of ownership. Officers ran the vehicle’s VIN number and determined the vehicle was stolen too. The suspect was arrested. Officers conducted a tow inventory searchof the vehicle and recovered narcotics, burglary tools, a plastic replica handgun, and credit cards. After determining the arrestee was on Felony probation with a search condition, officers responded to his home and conducted a probation search. The search revealed numerous drivers licenses and miscellaneous ID cards with various names. Officers also found a box of checks and false ID cards with the arrestee’s name. Officers were able to contact five of the victims and successfully notified them of finding their stolen property.
Finally, we received this note last week and have been trying to confirm what happened. Can't confirm, but it sounds a lot like the second item above. Regardless, it's a good reminder to be careful.
At 6:30 am while on his way to Bernie's, one of our 23rd Street neighbors (between Castro and Noe) was attacked. 2 Latino males hit him over the back of the head with a crowbar and stole his laptop. They were later caught. Jeremy is still at the hospital and expected to recover. Stay alert, look around if you go out alone.

April 12, 2009

View From The Edge: Easter a la Dolores Park

Trying to get a photo of the pealing of the bells at St Paul's or St Philips is a silly endeavor. And the parade of Sunday Best at Martha & Bros only created a longer wait for coffee. So...off to Dolores Park. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence had a birthday--"30 years of spreading joy and raising heck." With events like the Hunky Jesus Contest and performances by Beach Blanket Babylon how could we miss? As katiehenry put it, "Today I saw: two sheep, 1 donkey, 2 naked ladies, multiple naked men, naked men dressed as Easter Bunnies...typical Sunday in Dolores park."

Ganja Jesus/Mary

April 11, 2009

The Happy Chickens of Tomatero Farm

"Our eggs are so fresh they could have been produced less than 24 hours from when you purchase them!" Indeed, today's eggs from Tomatero Farm were collected between 4/6 and 4/10. Are they worth the $7/dozen? Probably not if you're making French Toast for your 3 year old. But if you fry them up for yourself, serve with bacon/ham from Prather Ranch and some toast from Bennett Valley Bakery then they're worth it. All in all a nice breakfast from the Noe Valley Farmer's Market.

[Tomatero Farm]

April 7, 2009

Closing: Ritz Camera

From Robbie:
Within a few weeks Noe Valley & 24th Street will be losing another business This time the victim of the economic recession is Ritz Camera Located at 3980 24th Street. When I saw the equipment wrapped up and boxes in the window I had to stop in and see what was happening. The store worker informed me that the company was liquidating their inventory--closing approximately 400 stores. The signs will be going up in a few days. They were told they will remain open for about 6 more weeks while the liquidation process starts.
Good catch, Robbie! Let's see how long before "closing 400 stores" is picked up by the MSM.

Update: Turns out the Chronicle had an item on this today: "Right now, most everything is 10 percent off at his store on 24th Street. The liquidation sale is expected to last three to four weeks - at which point, [Glen] Stroud says, he expects to be staring unemployment in the face."

[SFgate: The Bottom Line]
[NVSF: All posts labeled closing]

Nob Hill Gazette On Your Doorstep?

A reader wonders:
Several months ago the Nob Hill Gazette started delivering to Noe Valley. I see the papers, wrapped in plastic, strewn all over the sidewalks. To me it's clear that most of us don't care to read the paper and they just deliver it to increase their circulation numbers. I've asked them a number of times to at least stop delivering to me, but that doesn't seem to work. I'm tired of the mess and dealing with a newspaper that I never asked to receive. Today I emailed them once again, and CCed Bevan Dufty.

The same could actually be said of the Examiner, but at least they stopped delivery to my home when I asked. [Ed.--this editor had to ask 4 times.]

Am I crazy? Is this bothering anyone else?
Haven't noticed it around here, but we'll take your word for it. The NHG describes itself as having "a controlled circulation of 80,000 copies every month" that "caters to an audience upscale in taste and lifestyle." Then why is it piling on Noe doorsteps?
Readers are young and old, male and female, savvy and sophisticated. They have discretionary income to spend on homes, cars, clothes, jewelry, furniture, art, travel, and related luxury items. Even more important, they care about the community, and make time to support and sponsor cultural, philanthropic and charitable events — all year ’round.
Maybe. But apparently Noe neighbors don't want to read it.

[Nob Hill Gazette]

April 6, 2009

These News Racks Are Sprouting Up Everywhere

First noticed last week in a couple places, these racks are now all over the 24th St corridor. Watch where you're going--it'll be more dangerous than usual to text and walk for a while. And since they'll likely make a good baby-changing table you probably shouldn't put your coffee on them.

[NVSF: 24th Street: Now With Less Clutter]

Tick ... Tick ... Tick ...

Update: Shuttle Bus Study

Wondering what happened at the shuttle bus meeting a couple weeks ago? We weren't able to attend, and so asked for minutes/ impressions from readers. Here's one person's take on the meeting:
The goal of our Upper Noe Neighbors meeting on April 23rd was to inform our members that the San Francisco Transportation Authority is in the process of a four-month study on the use of shuttle buses in San Francisco. After this study is complete, it will be presented before the Board of Supervisors and other government figures. Part of the study involves collecting input from various neighborhood groups.

Our meeting was particularly productive in that it attracted a variety of opinions & individuals. There were the shuttle-using tech workers, who rely on such transportation to get to and from their jobs outside San Francisco. There were also the residents who feel they are impacted negatively by the buses and their related noise and overwhelming presence.

However, the bottom line was that everyone agreed that an environmental impact report should ultimately be performed on the shuttle bus use. As more and more companies offer this shuttle service to their employees as a benefit, the buses will most likely proliferate over time. What is truly their environmental impact? The buses cut down on car use, but are they hazardous to the roads, and do they emit environmentally unfriendly emissions?

We will be staying in touch with Margaret Cortes, who is heading up the study. Will keep everyone posted on next steps.

Board Member, Upper Noe Neighbors
Thanks, Eileen!

[NVSF: Shuttle Buses: Useful or Menace?]

This Week At The Planning Commission

A weekly look at Noe Valley projects in front of the Planning Commission. Information is provided by the Planning Commission, and taken from its published agenda. All hearings begin at 1:30pm, Room 400 in City Hall.

1629 DOLORES STREET - east side between 29th and Day Streets, Lot 015 in Assessor’s Block 6634 - Mandatory Discretionary Review pursuant to Planning Code Section 317, of Building Permit Application No. 2007.01.08.1172, proposing the demolition of a one-story, single-family dwelling, located in the RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) Zoning District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the demolition.

1629 DOLORES STREET - east side between 29th and Day Streets, Lot 015 in Assessor’s Block 6634 - Mandatory Discretionary Review pursuant to Planning Code Section 317, of Building Permit Application No 2007.01.08.1168, proposing the construction of a new three-story-over-garage, three-family dwelling, located in the RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) Zoning District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the project as proposed.

April 5, 2009

Food Bites: Two Noe Valley Restaurants Make The Top 100

The Chronicle released its Top 100 Restaurants of 2009 today. Whatever you think of Michael Bauer and his choices (Betelnut...?), we were happy to see two Noe Valley restaurants made the list: Incanto and Firefly. Further afield but still walkable picks in the Mission were Beretta, Foreign Cinema, Dosa, Range, and Delfina. Notably missing was the excellent La Ciccia on 30th and Church. Contigo, which opened in February, was too new to be considered for this year.

If you went to the Farmer’s Market this Saturday you may have noticed that nut vendors Malik Ranch had no pistachios for sale. According to the family that runs the stand, they grow their own pistachios and have them processed at a center in Northern California that was unaffected by reported salmonella outbreaks. As a precaution they’ve returned all the pistachios to the processor to be destroyed. A new batch should be available at the market by late April or early May. What to do with pistachios you've already bought? That's up to you.

Noeteca: now opening mid-May. Details as we get them.

[SFGate: Map of Top 100 restaurants in SF]
[NVSF: Noeteca]

April 3, 2009

Crime Report: Scavengers

In addition to detailing recent armed robberies, burglaries and drug arrests in the Mission in his weekly newsletter, Mission Station Captain Stephen Tacchini addressed the problem of recycling scavengers:
Over the past few weeks I have received complaints from residents in the district regarding noise, littering, and suspicious persons with pickup trucks, carts, and gargage bags related to the removal of recyclable goods from containers. Upon checking with representatives of Sunset Scavenger, I have come to learn this is a significant and costly problem city wide. Who suffers from the loss of this significant material? You--the neighborhood residents.

The dumping of the recycle bins by unauthorized persons is evident by the debris, broken glass, liquid, and papers they leave on the street, creating a public safety hazard and exacerbated litter problem. This results in the Department of Public Works having to come out to clean up the mess, at a cost borne by taxpayers.

Officers from Mission Station will be working towards reducing the types of complaints related to this problem and assistance from the public will be very helpful. In the spirit of community policing I request citizens who observe persons removing recyclable goods from containers on the street, by other than Department of Public Works or Sunset Scavenger personnel to report their observations to SFRecycling.com. This will provide information as to where, when and by whom, using what type of vehicle this activity is being conducted. Your assistance will help us to identify the persons responsible and we can proceed from there to abate the associated problems neighborhoods are experiencing.

It is important to recycle and be as energy and environmentally efficient as possible. It is also important to maintain clean and safe streets while working towards reducing the amount of garbage going into land fills. Reducing the incidence of the theft of recyclable goods will result in fewer noise complaints, cleaner / safer streets, and potentially lower service charges.
Timely, because since a San Francisco Judge "ordered a dozen of the city's most prolific recycling scavengers to stop looting bottles, cans and cardboard from curbside bins" last month they seem to be out in stronger force.

[SFRecycling: Report Form]
[NVSF: Recycling Theft = $469,000]
[SFGate: Judge orders scavengers to stop raiding trash]

April 2, 2009

NVV: We Read It So You Don't Have To

The Noe Valley Voice is published ten times a year and has been a neighborhood fixture since 1977. Here are highlights from the latest issue. Links are to stories we've covered.

April 2009
  • Front page: Cesar Chavez redesign; local artists turn art into cancer therapy; profile of Pollen Princesses; Book Week starts April 20th with local authors' readings.
  • Cost of Living in Noe: slow market, slightly cheaper; rents down a little from last year (same as every month recently). The average single family home price in Noe Valley is still $1.5M.
  • Letters: more on the evil priest; unleashed evil dogs; the evil Whole Foods better serve the community.
  • Obits: E'nam Fatima Abu-nie, wife of Shufat Market's owner.
  • Store Trek: Contigo (including a menu from March 22); Brown & Co Noe Valley (local realtor Pete Brannigan).
  • Rumors: No one answered all NV history quiz questions correctly; Streetlight Records' landlords wanted $12k a month; restaurant for sale; Glare re-opened; Noeteca opening "by end of April;" rolling brownout fears once again "threatening" firehouse budgets; Elizabeth Street Brewery wasn't expecting the Inquisition.
  • Traveling Voice: Rio de Janeiro and the Philippines. Whee.
  • Back Page: April Fool's Day headlines (delivered on April 2nd).
[The Noe Valley Voice]

Lowe's On Bayshore Is Old News

The Chronicle published a story today that says Lowe's is negotiating to take over the old Goodman's location on Bayshore Blvd that Home Depot abandoned. Why is this news? We covered the same Chronicle story last September. If the negotiations continue at this pace, Colma will be our destination for big-box home improvement right up until all of us need a plot of our down there.

[NVSF: Lowe's plans to come to Bayshore Boulevard]
[NVSF: Further Afield: Bayshore]

24th Street: Now With Less Clutter

Reader Tom sent the above photo from outside Noe Valley's Holey Bagel: "Just saw these on 24th." These racks have been planned City-wide since at least 2007 and some think they'll actually bring in more revenue for the City (but you have to fill the racks to make money). DPW says they "reduce the amount of sidewalk clutter associated with free standing news racks." So why are they bolted down next to free standing racks....?

[DPW: News Rack Program]

New Life On 24th St

From a reader:
New trees planted at the Noe parking lot between Le Zinc and Radio Shack to replace the old eucalyptus trees today. I chatted with the guy planting the trees – he said they are Japanese flowering cherry trees. They have flower blossoms (pink) in the spring, but no edible fruit. Appropriately, they’re going in during the Cherry Blossom festivals around the world and are just starting to bloom now. They’re cute!
Cute or not, they were planted a lot quicker than we expected.

[NVSF: Appeal? Lost. Budget? Intact. Trees? Gone.]
[SF Cherry Blossom Festival]