May 30, 2009

City Confused About Parking on 24th Street

According to these signs posted all over the place parking on 24th Street, Castro and Church is about to get a little harder - maximum parking time is about to be reduced from 2 hours to 1 hour. But according the agenda posted on the SFMTA website, the opposite is true - parking time will be extended to 2 hours. So we checked out the meters - they're currently 1 hour. The change means diners at Toast and Savor won't have to feed the meter before they're even seated.

If you'd like to comment...

What: Director of Parking and Traffic public hearing
When: Friday, June 5, 2009, at 10:00AM
Where: City Hall, Room 416 (Hearing Room 4)

[SFMTA: June 5, 2009, Hearing Notice ]

May 29, 2009

MadKat Closed?

Is MadKat closed or remodeling? The neon would suggest they're sticking around...

Where Is Noe Valley *Really*?

With all the geeks/programmers/engineers/coders in San Francisco you'd think someone would have come up with a better map of San Francisco neighborhoods than realtors provide. Enter the The Neighborhood Project --they cull data from Craigslist housing posts and input on their own site to map out how people identify where they live. Call it democracy in mapping.

Check it out. If enough people help populate the map we may have to change the borders we use to cover Noe Valley.

[The Neighborhood Project (via Curbed SF)]
[SFGate: Familiar S.F. neighborhoods gain new names]
[NVSF: Fun With Maps: Where is Noe Valley?]

Crime Beat

Information is from Mission and Ingleside District San Francisco Police Station newsletters.
May 28

Robbery -- 11:50PM. 1400 block of Church St. While walking in the above area, female victim was approached from behind by two male subject wearing dark clothing and hooded sweatshirts. One subject pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded her bag. Subject took victims bag containing her computer.

May 28, 2009

SF Examiner: A Precycling Guide

Wondering how to get the Examiner to stop cluttering your doorstep? So is Rebekah:
I was hoping you could help me with a problem. I tried looking on [the Examiner's] site & the only thing I did was put myself on vacation for 7 years. What did you do to get them to stop delivery to you? It sits in front of my building for over a week until I get frustrated with it & recycle the lot.

Can you include some information about what to do if you live in a building with other people? When I wrote to them to say I was on "vacation" I didn't give them a specific apartment number hoping they would be fooled.
Here's how to get rid of it: fill out this form weekly with increasingly annoyed comments. 4-5 weeks should do it. If that doesn't work, Bevan Dufty has asked people to call or email him for help stopping the evil in a car. Assuming that all works, expect the SFE to show up every couple months anyway.

And if you live in a multi-unit building? Either get everyone to fill out the same form, or else include all apartments in the request (good luck with that). At the very least, maybe your neighbors can help clean up the mess of papers and menus....

If the SFE won't stop delivering (and you're tired of stepping over it on your way inside), here's what to do with the Examiner while you fight with the circulation desk. Never mind the old standards (clean the windows, line the birdcage, insulate your drafty Victorian) there are plenty of other uses:
Best use: put it in the blue bin. But not the bag - it's not recyclable here in SF no matter what it says. Use the bag to collect dog poop.

Have other advice or ideas? In the comments please...

[NVSF: NVDC Town Forum: SFPD, Whole Foods & More]
[NVSF: Trash: Black, Blue or Green Bin?]
[NVSF:Nob Hill Gazette On Your Doorstep?]

Prop 8 For Political Gain

Is the arrest of a District 8 supervisor candidate while protesting the CA Supreme Court's ruling on Prop 8 trivialized if it was planned?
Among those arrested Tuesday for blocking Van Ness Avenue in protest of the ruling upholding Proposition 8 were two out candidates for supervisor in 2010: Rafael Mandelman and Debra Walker.

...Mandelman, a gay man who is the first out of the gate in the race to replace termed out District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty. An attorney and member of the city's Board of Appeals, he will hold his campaign kickoff in mid-June, 18 months before voters go to the polls in November 2010 to elect Dufty's successor.
But as Matier & Ross reported:
...Protest organizers met with San Francisco police in the days leading up to the court's decision and negotiated just how the arrests would go down....The arrests also began at noon- just in time for the live TV shots for the noon news.
FWIW, Mandelman "plans to pull papers for the race next week and his campaign launch begins at 6 p.m. Monday June 15 at Blush Wine Bar on Castro Street."

[BAR: Gay, lesbian supe candidates arrested at Prop 8 protest]
[M&R: This time, Newsom plays it straight]
[NVSF: Election 2010: And So It Begins]

May 27, 2009

NVMPA: Help the Farmer's Market Help US!

The Tuesday Market Needs Promotion!

Volunteers from the Saturday market went to a great deal of effort to create the midweek, Tues night market to help add life to the merchant corridor during the week. The market is struggling and there is a lot more we can do to support. Just hanging a poster and putting a handout on your counter does a lot. Perhaps it would help if some of us stood out at the Saturday market and talked up the Tuesday evening market. Let's get behind the Farmer's Market efforts to stimulate the Noe Valley economy!

Email to get a pdf of the poster/handouts, or swing by Video Wave to pick some up!

Call with questions or suggestions. Thank you! Gwen 509-6261

May 25, 2009

Duh: Noe Valley Is Full Of Babies

It’s not your imagination: San Francisco (and especially Noe Valley) is in the midst of a baby boom, says an article today in the The San Jose Merc:
Births in the 94114 Zip code, which includes Noe Valley and the Castro, the historical center for San Francisco gay life, were about 50 percent higher in 2007 than in the mid-1990s.

Urban enclaves like Noe Valley and the Castro may sound like unlikely places for a baby boom. But they are at the vanguard of a national urban trend that, according to U.S. Census estimates, has given San Francisco its biggest brood of young children since the early 1970s.
Credit goes to creative types...:
The city has seen an influx of highly educated professionals, a "creative class," Adams said. "Like Seattle and San Francisco and the Bay Area, they care a lot about the sustainability and quality of life. That has attracted a lot of the younger, creative types who now are of childbearing age."
...and the Google bus(!):
With private commuter buses from Google and other Silicon Valley companies cruising Noe Valley to pick up tech workers each morning, Yenne says the tradition of working in a city and raising kids in the suburbs has flipped for some.
[SJM: San Francisco Sees Baby Boom]

May 24, 2009

24th St Shuffle

Locksmith Central is moving across the street to the space vacated by Ritz Camera. Smaller space, less rent.

May 23, 2009

Clay Oven: "We Serving Lunch Buffet"

Clay Oven
1689 Church @ 29th
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 11 - 2:30
Cost: $8.95
Sorry, buffet not available for delivery.

May 22, 2009

Friends Of The Urban Forest Noe Valley Tree Planting

Friends Of The Urban Forest is sponsoring a tree planting day in Noe Valley on July 11. Want a tree in front of your house or business? "It’s easy! All you have to do is send in your application forms, attend the community meeting, select your species – and get ready to water your new tree!" Note that there are TWO applications to fill out: Friends of the Urban Forest Letter of Agreement and the DPW Tree Planting Application.

What: Community meeting
When: Wednesday, June 3rd, 6:30PM
Where: Noe Valley Library, 451 Jersey St.
Why: "Trees engage & strengthen neighborhood relations" and "trees increase property value & attract customers to business."

Tree planting: July 11

For more information, contact or call FUF at 561-6890 x110.

[FUF: Application Forms]
[Google Maps: Planting Area]
[NVSF:Street Trees: Green Your Sidewalk!]

May 21, 2009

Cafe Ponte: Not For Sale

We received the following from Bruce Ponte about his cafe:
Hi, I saw your post about my Cafe being for sale. Please note that it is no longer on the market as I have decided to keep it. Unfortunately getting a realtor to get it off their web site and multiple listings has taken about 3 months and it is still there.
Good luck getting it unlisted, Bruce. Glad you're sticking around.

[NVSF: Update: Noe Valley Cafe For Sale]

May 20, 2009

Tidbits: 24th St. Is A’Changing

Riki (4037 24th St.): Under construction with a big debris box and permit in the window. And even though we’ve seen people going in and out of there, the FOR RENT sign remains. Previously.

Glare (4010 24th St.): A sign in the window says it's now an outlet store "by appointment only." Does this mean they're stuck in the lease? Previously.

The Jewelry Box (3904 24th St.): Big red FOR RENT sign in the window. Guess hijacking someone else's business isn't working out. Previously.

Cafe Ponte (751 Diamond @ 24th St): Still for sale. As is City Grill (4123 24th St.). Previously and previously. Update: Cafe Ponte no longer for sale.

Ritz Camera (3980 24th St): Storefront still empty. No sign of life. Previously.

Tuttimelon (3901 24th St): FroYo still "Coming Soon" and so they've turned their window into a community billboard. Previously.

Tuesday Farmer’s Market: Alive and well on 24th St. in front of the soon-to-be-Whole Foods from 3-7. We’re surprised to find how many people in the neighborhood don’t know it’s happening – spread the word. Previously.

[NVSF: Closing: More Rumors on 24th Street]

May 19, 2009

7x7 Sends A Love Letter To Noe Valley

7x7’s May 2009 issue features Noe Valley in the Neighborhoods section. We’re happy to see they ventured beyond 24th St (not to mention south of Symphony Hall). Huzzah! Among the highlights:

Toast (3991 24th St.): “All-day brekkie treats…”
Bespoke (4100 24th St.): “The real specialty…is the custom ride.”
Contigo (1320 Castro St.): “…artisanal hams and Catalan flatbreads…”
Noe Valley Recreation Center (295 Day St.): “…the swankiest park in the city.”
Successories (3932 24th St. – in back of Lisa Violetto): “…one-of-a-kind rings and pendants…”
Clay Oven (1689 Church St.): “…less slumdog, more millionaire.” [Ed.--Did they really say that?]
Mobu (1605 Church St.): “…ballet to yoga to bellydance.”

7x7 also mentions the upcoming Whole Foods, and claims no fewer than five new restaurants have sprouted in our 'hood. We count Contigo, City Grill, Basso (Yelp), the soon-to-open Noeteca… and anyone know what the other might be?

Bonus: No mention of cheap nails/waxing salons.

[Link to the article: 7x7's old-school business model means links aren't live yet]
[7x7: 7x7 Wants Your Love Letters to Noe Valley]

Open House Report: 465 Hoffman

It's too late to make the free lunch at today's open house at 465 Hoffman, but @kellyswervegirl sent this report from today's open house: "It's 12:45 pm and I just walked through the place. Stunning, ultra modern inside. Light is just lovely throughout. Yard is concrete & beach sand. Of all bizarre and random finishings to be missing, none of the bathrooms have toilet roll holders. Lots of agents there so far and presumably potential buyers on their way."

We're going to go ahead and guess that "presumably" = "hopefully people will still spend $4M to live in Noe Valley." Thanks for the report, Kelly!

[465 Hoffman - $3.9M]
[NVSF: Hot Properties: The $5M Club]

May 15, 2009

Noe Valley Sidewalk Sales

Tomorrow, May 16th, is the kickoff day for San Francisco Small Business Week and Noe Valley is celebrating. In addition to all the 24th St merchants usually open, the NVMPA has asked businesses not usually on display to showcase what they do. Says Gwen Sanderson, "There are some really fun businesses in the neighborhood: Professional scrapbooking, family history gatherers, videographers, etc. So we're all going to set up tables in front of Whole Foods & Real Foods and let people see the fun assortment." Saturday, May 16th, 10:00AM - 2:00PM.

And next weekend is the 2nd annual sidewalk sale on Church St between 24th and 30th Streets. All are encouraged to "open your garage, have fun and sell, sell, sell." Saturday, May 30, from 11:00AM - 6:00PM.

[SF Small Business Week]

May 14, 2009

Bevan Dufty Endorses His Replacement(s) On Way To Mayoral Race

Examiner: "Though the election for District 8 supervisor is more than 18 months away – and nobody has officially filed -- two potential candidates got a ringing endorsement today from Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who currently holds the seat. Dufty called out Laura Spanjian, an assistant general manager at the PUC, and Scott Wiener, a deputy city attorney..."

[SFE: Dufty picks favorites early for District 8]
[NVSF: Election 2010: And So It Begins]

May 13, 2009

Rumor: She-Bible To Take Over 1767 Church Street

Via @katikim: "Closing Noe Valley shop is actually kind of fun. Ladies getting great deals on cute stuff. So happy friends are taking over the space!" And then: "She-Bible is moving into that space! I think it'll be a great fit." Stay Tuned.

Update: It's true. More details as they're finalized. Bonus: they're Noe Valley/SF natives.


May 11, 2009

Closing: 1767 Church Street

Hot off the Twitter is news that 1767 Church St. is closing - "for real this time!" Too bad.

[Twitter: 1767 Church Street]
[NVSF: Update: Outer Church Street]

7x7 Wants Your Love Letters to Noe Valley

Some magazines are cutting their print budgets; society-loving 7x7 is getting creative and asking its humble readers (even as far afield as Noe) to help them build an entire issue:
7x7’s upcoming Neighborhoods Issue—a groundbreaking portrait of the city’s top 10 neighborhoods—will be our most exciting issue yet. Rather than write and photograph the neighborhoods from our point of view, this time, we’re going straight to the people that know the city inside and out: YOU. For this collectors’ issue, we’re asking San Franciscans to send us their telling photos or a 300-word “love letter” to their neighborhood—one that captures its heart and soul, glamour and grit.

We’ll be publishing the most compelling photos and the 10 best essays in the magazine itself. Our submission deadline is Friday, June 5. The contributors of the best write-up and photograph will win tickets to Outside Lands in August.
Other prizes include free subscriptions to the magazine and bragging rights. More details here. Have at it folks.

Update: You can follow the love here.

[7x7: This is Your San Francisco]

May 9, 2009

Farmer's Market Bounty

Homemade fava-stuffed ravioli with an olive oil and morel/fava/pea/shallot sauce. All from the Noe Valley Farmer's Market. Special bonus: new super-good olive and olive oil vendor is now there at the market three Saturdays a month.

Because Nothing Says Wine Bar Like A Neon Sign

Fattoush's Many Signs

May 7, 2009

Film Shoot: Phoenix Books

ESBAle asks: "Anyone know what is being filmed at Phoenix Books in Noe?"

Anyone? Sure doesn't look like the guaranteed-to-disappoint Trauma.

May 6, 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 at NVSF.

May 2009
  • Front page: Pritikin Mansion to become "Only in SF" museum?; Tuesday Farmer's Market; Noe Valley Quest; more parking tickets for parking...illegally (interesting tidbits: parking in a blue zone is $300, and you can print your own passive aggressive missives to leave on windshields).
  • Cost of Living in Noe: Housing market is still slow and expensive.
  • Event: Local entrepreneurs are invited to showcase their wares/services on 24th St on May 16, 10AM-2PM. More info at SF Small Business Week's website, or send an email to the NVMPA or So Tell Me More.
  • Letters: Someone is happy the evil shrine to Obama finally came down at Just For Fun; complaints about off-leash dogs; a long letter about teens behaving badly on the J-Church.
  • Obits: Bacco's Paolo Dominici.
  • Store Trek: Arara, an eco-boutique way out on San Jose and Valley across from Mitchell's. (Ed.--Is that really the only business even a little to close to Noe that opened?)
  • Rumors: The Chronicle won't reveal circulation numbers for 94114 and 94131; the Examiner states their NV circulation has gone up (read: more litter on our doorsteps); 24th St gets news racks; Bell Market's manager Enrico Fornesi will join the management team at Whole Foods when the last Bell closes this December; Peter Gabel wants to turn Real Foods into a food court and DVD movie theater; Just Awesome games reports the most popular game is...Pandemic; Bacco, Incanto and Firefly made the Chronicle's Top 100 (Ed.--Bacco didn't actually make the list); Cook's Boulevard and Global Exchange have added wedding registries.
  • Traveling Voice: It traveled to Bhutan, Java and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hope it wore sunblock.
[The Noe Valley Voice]

J-Church: Still The Worst

It's old news, but the J-Church is once again the "worst performer" of the Muni light rail. Even though it has the lowest ridership, apparently it spends the most time interacting with other traffic. Average speed on the route: a crawling 11mph. Percent on time: a mere 64.9%.

Bevan Dufty is again introducing legislation requesting the City Controller to audit the J. For their part, Muni plans to use Federal stimulus money to fix rail cars and train operators. Muni spokesperson Kristen Holland also said the MTA will adjust the schedule this fall -- presumably to reflect the reality of late cars and therefore improve their "on-time" rating.

[SFE: J-Church line called worst performer in City]
[SFGate: Pilot project will try to ensure J-Church line runs on time]
[Photo: 30Sanchez]

May 5, 2009

Photo: Tuesday's Noe Valley Farmer's Market

Kids and strollers? Check.
Blue sky? Check.
Accordian-playing-orange-hair chick? Check.
Vendors? Check.

Today's kickoff of the Tuesday market included Happy Boy Farm, Twin Girls Farm, Malik Ranch, Tomatero Farm, Sukhi's Indian Food and Hidden Star Orchards.

Update: More (and better) photos at Cooks Boulevard.

[NVSF: Noe Valley Farmer's Market, Vol. II]

May 4, 2009

Maybe This Is Why Properties in Noe Aren’t Selling

Yes, property values in Noe Valley have declined as much as 20 percent in the last year and the housing market in Noe is slower than in 2008. But is it us or do Noe realtors and sellers seem a little complacent after the boom years? We found scenes like this in a 4 block area:

3917 26th St.

Here's an idea: when you represent a seller of a property that has already been featured as an example of a tough market, perhaps you shouldn't block the sidewalk with your flashy Jaguar every week. It sends a bad message about how in touch you are – and means a real buyer has to work that much harder to get in and see the place.

348 Duncan / 1432 Sanchez

Tumbleweeds don’t exactly send the message that this is a hot property – or even one that’s been well-maintained. How about cleaning up the sidewalk so buyers can at least read the sign?

369 Duncan St

Talk about cutting a house’s curb appeal. The trash in front of this house has been there for weeks. We’d expect someone who really wanted to see this property move to at least clean up the old newspapers and spend a couple minutes weeding.

Update: The Front Steps posted some data to show that even our 'down' market justifies cleaning up the property - the median sales price is still over $1.1M.

[NVV: State of the Housing Market: Slow]
[InsideSFRE: Noe Valley Searches for Buyers]
[TFS: Noe Valley Is Not Immune]
[Zillow: Noe home prices]

May 1, 2009

Closed Forever?

Ritz Camera on 24th St says goodbye: "Please come again!"

[NVSF: Closing: Ritz Camera]

10th Anniversary: Noe Valley Pet Company

"10 YEARS, STILL WAGGING! Join us for champagne in celebration of our pet store. Dogs welcome - treats for all!"

What: 10 Year Anniversary Party
When: Saturday May 2, 11 am - 6 pm
Where: Noe Valley Pet Company, 1451 Church St @ Cesar Chavez
Bonus: Free champagne and dog biscuits

[Official Site: Noe Valley Pet Co]

24-Divisadero Forges New Route

With the MTA planning to raise Muni fares from $1.50 to $2.00 and eliminate routes in July, we thought it time to post this contribution from reader Alexis:
Two Saturday nights ago, I checked out "San Francisco" at the Castro. We hopped on the 24-Divisadero to come back over the hill to Noe and 29th. We're heading south on Castro, took the left onto 26th, then instead of a right onto Noe, the bus went STRAIGHT as if to continue east on 26th Street! The bus stopped suddenly and we decided to just hoof it up the hill to avoid the drama that would surely ensue.

From the outside of the bus, we noticed that the rod was actually broken (not the usual popped-off-the-wire routine). I had to snap a shot with my camera (hence the fuzziness) looking north on Noe from Cesar Chavez so the rest of my family would believe me; I started taking the 24 in the sixth grade and have never seen such a thing!
No word on if actual route changes will affect Noe Valley.

[SFGate: Muni plans to raise fares 50 cents in July]

Noe Valley Quest

It's May, and that must mean it's time for...Noe Valley Quest -- a business-sponsored scavenger hunt/trivia game sort of thing. The contest runs all month, with prizes valued $50-$250 to be awarded at the end of June. Check out the official rules on the website, in the upcoming Noe Valley Voice or at sponsor locations. The official game piece is downloadable here [PDF]

Some sample questions:
  • A trapezoid is inside an octagon inside the playround inside _____ Park.
  • It is the sum of where the Noe meets the Valley: a. 2850 b. 2300 c. 1950
  • Once a local quarry, now a park, you'll find a mosaic that faces the rising sun. Tabulate the corners to total: a. 17 b.28 c. 9

So Tell Me More Family Histories
Cooks Boulevard
Neon Monster
Wink SF
Small Frys
Ladybug Ladybug
Cover To Cover Booksellers (Yelp)
The Noe Valley Voice
Omnivore Books on Food
Purple Iris Healing Center
Just Awesome! The Board Game Store
Video Wave of Noe Valley

[Official Site: Noe Valley Quest]