October 30, 2009

The Campaign to Save Drewes Brothers Meats

A flurry of email, blog posts and even a Facebook page hit the net this week to save Drewes. The general tenor is that Whole Foods is sucking the life out of the 120-year-old meat purveyor at 1760 Church St.

Here's the email that apparently started the latest campaign:
For those of us who eat meat and live in Upper Noe Valley, I want to let you know about the plight of Drew's Bros Butchers. They have been decimated in the past three weeks by the opening of Whole Foods. They have had to cut back on staff hours and things are not looking good. While I am highly supportive of Whole Foods as a good addition to the neighborhood, (I really think we needed a grocery store in our neighborhood and...I am from Austin, although I am appalled at the founder's stance on healthcare), I hate to see that come at the expense of a SF institution like Drews. Did you know that they have been in SF for over a 100 years!!!?? They carry a wider variety of grass fed meets, local eggs, milk etc. Anyway, if you are a current fan of Drew's, please try to still support them, otherwise, we may lose one of the last real butchers in this city! It's cliche, but unfortunately true, "use it or lose it."
Yes, many Noe Valleyeans are concerned about this. But a quick search on the Web shows many stories about Drewes on the verge of going out of business - including this one from 1998: "Drewes Meat Market on Last Legs."

Here's the rub: If it's local, organic, etc, we're there. But we still can't get into Drewes. Maybe it's the rough service, PO Boxes, and notary public on the premises. Or maybe it's that the slightly more expensive but wonderful meats at the farmer's market are more local, more sustainable and taste better. (Can't make the farmer's market? Check out Avedano's, a short walk from Upper Noe.)

So support Drewe's and other local merchants if you believe in them (like the email says, "use it or lose it"). But we have a hard time with the idea that WF is solely responsible for Drewe's demise.

October 29, 2009

Supes Race: Harvey Milk LGBT Club Endorses Mandelman for District 8

An update to the District 8 2010 Supervisor race that could be significant: The Harvey Milk Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Democratic Club has endorsed Rafael Mandelman for district 8 (via SF Citizen).

Oh, and if it matters, Mandelman was also named one of the Hot 20 Under 40 by 7x7 magazine.

[SF Citizen: Harvey Milk Club Endorses Debra Walker, Rafael Mandelman and Michael Goldstein for 2010]
[7x7: Hot 20 Under 40]
[Photo: John Lee for

Noe Valley Ranked # 2 For Trick-Or-Treating

Elizabeth St / Castro

In a town that uses any excuse for a costume, Halloween is the king of holidays. According to sales data a complicated algorithm put together by the fine folks at Zillow "Noe Valley is THE place for hip, urban, family style trick-or-treating in San Francisco. The area’s mammoth Bugaboo stroller population is sure to come out in full force on Halloween." Or as the photographer of the above photo put it: "Noe Valley is a bit of throwback to a Halloween just for the kids!"

No kids? Grab your camera and head out anyway. Send us your best shots.

[Zillow: Trick-or-Treat Housing Index: Top 5 San Francisco Neighborhoods]
[NVSF: Photos: Halloween on 24th St (2009)]
[Photo: Texas2SF]

Photo: Follow That Bus!

October 27, 2009

Crime Beat

Information is from Mission and Ingleside District San Francisco Police Station newsletters.
October 26, 2009

Attempted Homicide
-- 8:05am. 300 blk of 27th Street Officers Martinez and LaRocca were sent to investigate a man yelling for help. When the officers arrived they were met with officers Najarro, Smethurst and Muro to assist them. The officers discovered that the victim was in the hospital and responded to interview. The victim told the officers that he was at home with the suspect who is a friend of his. The victim said that he was annoyed that the suspect’s dog was out of control. The suspect became angry and knocked the victim to the ground then hit him with an object on the head. The suspect was still at the house and was arrested. This case is still under investigation.

October 25, 2009

New 2500 Square Foot Restaurant Destined For 24th St?

We spotted new construction (with huge conveyor belt) at 4042 24th St, former home of Mi Lindo Yucatan.

Here's a cleaned up version of the permit filed with the Building Department:
Existing ground floor commercial shell to be expanded to rear property line. Existing 2nd floor residential unit to be expanded to 25% rear yard setback. Existing 3rd floor residential unit to be expanded and stepped back from 2nd floor.
With two available restaurant licenses still pending (Noe Soup never materialized and no one is providing answers for the stalled "Vietnamese fusion" restaurant at Church and 25th Streets), this soon-to-be larger restaurant space has potential. All we can find is that the architect is Tecta Associates, famous for everything from locally-owned Fresca and Pasta Pomodoro to national chains like McDonald's and Starbuck's.

We'll be watching this one.

[NVSF: Closing: Mi Lindo Yucatan]
[NVSF: Update: Planning Commission October 23, 2008]
[NVSF: Update: "High End Vietnamese Fusion"]

Do You Love Whole Foods?

Merchants throughout Noe Valley seem to have signed on to supporting Whole Foods. This particular photo is from a nail salon at Church and Cesar Chavez - not exactly helped by Whole Food's presence on 24th St. Can you think of another merchant that has successfully advertised in another's window? Such is the power of a strong anchor tenant.

More importantly -- does anyone know what it means to "do it with the crust on?"

October 24, 2009

Photos: Noe Valley Harvest Festival 2009

Just Another Beautiful Day in Noe Valley

Luke Skywalker: "She's a Flamingo Dancer."

Hula Hoop Mayhem

Sword Juggler and Fireballs

Street Painting

Huge amounts of foot traffic? Tuggey's closed.

The hay ride...sans hay.

October 22, 2009

UNN Meeting: Meet the 2010 District 8 Supervisor Candidates

What: Upper Noe Neighbors monthly meeting. "We'll be featuring many of the candidates for District 8 supervisor. Great opportunity for Noe Valley residents to get a head start on evaluating the candidates."
When: Tonight, Thursday the 22nd, 7:30pm
Where: Upper Noe Recreation Center, Day/Sanchez

Can't make it? With only a year left in this campaign there will likely be many more opportunities to meet Rafael Mandelman, Scott Wiener, Rebecca Prozan, Laura Spanjian and whomever else dreams of taking Bevan Dufty's seat on the Board.

Update: SF FYI net attended.

October 20, 2009

2009 Noe Valley Harvest Festival

This Saturday is the 5th Annual Noe Valley Harvest Festival and we find ourselves repeating what we wrote last year:
Posters have popped up around the neighborhood, and organizers apparently spoke to the Noe Valley Voice [Ed.--link is to current article], but the Festival website is sorely lacking (odd in such a tech savvy neighborhood). And... the poster instructs: "Please visit our website for more information." Nice idea, but with one week to go there is still almost nothing there.
So here is the information from the poster (kindly sent to us by the entertainment/parking coordinator:

When: October 24, 10am - 5pm
Where: 24th between Church and Sanchez
Cost: Free
What: "Celebrate exhibiting artists, craftspeople & non-profits which support our Noe Valley economy & community. With more than 60 different types of crafts, jewelry and artwork to choose from, support our exhibitors and get a jump on your holiday shopping!"

Schedule of Events (Main Stage):

10:00 Welcome Announcements, Emcee Michael Capozzola
10:15-11:00 The Alphabet Rockers
11:30 Kids Costume Contest
12:15-1:15 Wee the Band
1:15-1:30 Hoop the Flow (hula hoop demo)
1:30 Dog Costume Contest
2:00-3:00 Lovitt-Page Rock Band
3:15 Pie-Eating Contest sponsored by Noe Valley Bakery
3:30 Gypsy Tease Flamenco Dance [Ed.--guessing that this is the right link/artist.]
4:00-5:00 Go Van Gogh

11:00-3:00 Hayride, free for kids, departs from Walgreens

8:00pm Lost in the Fog screening in the parking lot between Le Zinc and le Shack. "Refreshments" provided by Whole Foods. Bring a blanket and chair.

Additional family-friendly entertainment includes: photo booth, juggler, dunk tank, balloon artist, face painting, caricaturist, jumpy tents, and of course ... a pumpkin patch.

[Noe Valley Harvest Festival]
[NVV: How to Raise Hay At the Oct. 24 Harvest Festival]
[NVSF: Photos: Noe Valley Harvest Festival (2008)]

October 16, 2009

The Big Rumble: What Happens To Noe When The Earth Shakes?

Liquefaction susceptibility. Red = bad.

Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake with events around the Bay Area like The Big Rumble. Many sites are collecting stories and we'd like your stories too. While Noe is entirely on bedrock, there was a whole lot of shaking going on. St. Paul's sustained near-fatal damage, and we found various reports of things knocked off shelves and neighbors helping each other. Best we can tell, Noe escaped largely unharmed.

Were you here -- what happened in Noe Valley? Please tell your story in the comments.

[ABAG: Liquefaction Susceptibility Map]

October 15, 2009

Benefit: 30th St Senior Center 30th Anniversary Auction

Yes it's late notice, but this Saturday is the 30th Anniversary of On Lok's 30th St Senior Center. Big Party and silent auction at Patio Español. Items for auction include everything from handmade paper notebooks to tickets on Southwest Airlines. Luminaries in attendance (and also auctioning their time) include Supervisors Bevan Dufty, David Campos and John Avalos; Senators Leland Yee and Mark Leno; and Capt David Lazar (SFPD, Ingleside). (If you'd like a cleaner copy of items for auction send us an email.)

Sponsoring organizations: Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association, San Jose/Guerrero, North West Bernal Alliance, Dolores Triangle Neighborhood Association, Treat 1000, Lower 24th Street Merchants & Neighbors Association, Fair Oaks Community Coalition, Upper Noe Neighbors, Noe Valley Merchants Association, Glen Park Neighborhood Assn, Open House.

Call or email Marianne Hampton if you want to bid on any of these items. Auction runs from 5-8:30 Saturday night 10/17/09. You can call Marianne to check on your bid at any time: (415) 601-7845 or marianne.hampton@gmail.com.

October 12, 2009

Blue Church: Demolished

The developer may not start construction for 9-10 months (according to the Voice), but they're not risking losing the project to appeal after such a lengthy battle for permits.

Update: A couple reader-submitted photos from just before the Blue Church was only a hole in the ground.

Photo: S Yao

Photo: K Wallace

[NVSF: Blue church: Slated For Demo]

Now You Can Smell Like Noe Valley For Only $4.25

"Fresh and invigorating like San Francisco's chilly fog, Noe Valley is a bracing 'guy' scent that also works for women."

[Etsy: Savor Soap]

October 8, 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.

October 2009

Front page: Volunteer gardeners restore Sally Brunn Library planters; Man who died mysteriously along Muni tracks identified as NV resident Bill Nelson (death still a mystery); Harvest Fest coming Oct. 24; NV neighbors take care of their own after 27th St fire; Halloween is coming; Local filmmaker Peter Esmonde debuts his first feature-length film, Trimpin: The Sound of Invention; St. Paul's steeple repair.

Letters: A 5 paragraph gripe about Whole Foods nixing the curbside CRV recycling ("I now have to pay carfare to cart my bottles and cans down to Market Street... It's inconvenient"); a rebuke to people who feed carnivorous birds like crows and ravens - either by hand or with open garbage cans; a heartfelt thank you to generous neighbors from the Moresco family (a fire broke out in their 27th St home while they were on vacation in Spain).

Op-Ed: 24th St Whole Foods opens. No ruckus ensues.

Features: Interviews with neighbors of Guerrero Park at San Jose; Blue Church on Church eviction done but due to "weak economic conditions" the developer won't start construction for 9-10 months.

Cost of Living in Noe
: 7 single-family homes sold in August with an average price of 1.26 Million. Rent: Yup, still expensive.

Short Takes: Look for "drive by" Trolley Dancing (!) on the J Church on Oct. 16 and 17 and dance performances in Dolores Park - details at epiphanydance.org; Dogtoberfest returns at Upper Douglass Park on Oct. 24 - get the full scoop at fuddp.org; Noe Valley Chamber Music series starts Oct. 25 - details and calendar at nvcm.org; Cupcake tasting for couples at Cooks Boulevard on Nov. 1; Open Studios hits Noe Valley this weekend. (Ed--No word on last month's Noe Valley Association survey results.)

Store Trek
: Bubbles and Shampoo, Loft 1513 (wearable art/clothing store, 1513 Church @ 27th).

Traveling Voice
: Sightings in Moab, French Polynesia and at Buckingham Palace.

Rumors: The mystery store is revealed: Star Magic, a pop-up reincarnation of a 1979 NV store called Gift of the Magi, is moving into the Simply Chic space for 3 months. The store will sell "contemporary items relating to ecology," natural clothing, and gift items; Harry Aleo lionized by the WSJ; Noeteca opens; Riki and GNC spaces still empty - the only interested parties so far are a yoga studio, a gym and a nail salon...; Streetlight building still for sale; Old Republic Title Company opens; Stephen "worst man of the year" Fowler is leaving Noe; Twitter CEO Evan Williams moves to Noe; La Boulange opening in Nov.; Mi Lindo Yucatan closed; Real Foods is still blight; dance studio opens in old Andiamo space (Ed--The sign in the window says "Pixie Hall Studios: Art Classes for Children"); Just Awesome Games disappears; Psychic feud on 24th St.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

Photo: Water Water Everywhere

The scene at yesterday's water main break at 24th and Diamond as shot by reader Daniel Sams. All cleaned up now, but the SFPUC may have to tear up that intersection for repairs.

[SFAppeal: Noe Valley Water Main Break May Cause Street Closure]

October 6, 2009

SFPD Mission Station to Noe: Quit Bugging Us

We got this note from a member of the NVMPA:
Subject: Stop hassling the police!

I love that Noe Valleyans are so vocal and involved; but sometimes, we are a bit high maintenance as a result. At last week's merchant meeting, our beat officer, Lorraine, asked us to help. She (and Capt. Tacchini) is getting it from both sides on the strawberry vendors. Complaints to remove them and complaints about hassling them. There have been some homicides recently and an increase in crime. The strawberry vendors are a city wide issue and a solution has not been found. The fruit is purportedly out of Salinas, as far as anyone knows it is not stolen. The sellers are usually temporary workers. There are issues with permitting etc; but this is not something our local police can actually solve right now.

I suggest that we all discuss it among ourselves and maybe we'll come upon a solution. As far as I have heard, it hasn't caused any real problems for anyone.

Can you put the word out to lighten up on our busy captain on this issue? Thank you!
You heard her, people! Lighten up on the fruit dudes (so the cops can focus on the clipboard brigade and people turning left out of the Whole Foods parking lot).

To be fair, Captain Tacchini showed up at the NVDC meeting in February and asked about community concerns - at that time the biggest issues seemed to be stopping the Examiner delivery and perpendicular parking for Smart cars. But he also asked community members to report things of concern like break-ins and theft.

So...where does that leave us with the recent rash of break-ins? The above-mentioned homicides? Best we can tell they're outside Lorraine's beat. And if we as a neighborhood agree to stop "bothering" the police with petty requests maybe they'd have time to put out a newsletter more than once a month. The Ingleside station (which deals with an equal bunch of badness) still puts out daily notices to keep the community informed.

[NVSF: Late Night Musings: What's Up With The Fruit Guys?]
[NVSF: Crime Beat: Reader Inquiries]

Closed: Bistro 24

Bistro 24 closes after just 3 months. Stefano Coppola need more time for Lupa? Again?

[ESF: Three Months Later, Bistro 24 Is the Short-Lived Bistro 24]
[NVSF: Another Noe Valley Restaurant/Cafe For Sale]
[NVSF: Announced: Bistro 24]

October 5, 2009

Just Awesome Games Disappears Without A Clue

Well that was quick! Just Awesome Games apparently pulled up stakes and vacated the premises at 816 Diamond St. We received this email from reader BP yesterday: "Just curious if you know what happened to them. Their store is cleaned out and a small sign on the door says 'moving to new location'. They have barely been there a year and seemed to be doing well."

And then tonight KM asks: "Their store is empty -- did they close? Move?"

Anyone able to fill in the blanks? Are the moving? Closed? We've sent emails to people in the know but haven't heard.

All of this is surprising given their track record of successful fundraising, 1 year anniversary and sponsorship of Noe Valley Quest. Anyone know where they may have landed? Should we count our $25 donation/loan as forfeit? That $7500 loan is so far only 3% repaid.

[NVSF: In The News: Just Awesome The Board Game Store]

Carrotmob at Bernies

From Rebecca Prozan:
San Francisco’s third Carrotmob at Bernie’s!
3966 24th St · Between Noe & Sanchez
Sunday, October 18, 11am–2pm
Support energy efficiency and conservation while promoting a Noe Valley business owner. Bernie’s is a certified green business already a certified member of the Green Cafe Network and has pledged over 40% of sales during the October 18 event to go even greener.
Carrotmob encourages businesses to compete to see who will do the most good for the environment, and then rewards the business with a mob of consumers.
Check our progress on http://sf.carrotmob.org.
If you would like to volunteer at the event, please email carrotmob@rebeccaprozan.com
Can anyone point us to a list of "certified green" businesses?

Update (10/7): Correction and clarification above from promoter. Here's more info on the Green Cafe Network.

October 2, 2009

Cartwheels At Noeteca

An anonymous commenter:
They are open! They are finally open! And the food was great! Be sure to try the chocolate toffee pudding! Your taste buds will do cartwheels!

October 1, 2009

Noe Valley Continues To Attract New Money

All that hubbub about Twitter CEO Evan Williams selling his pad in SoMa? Turns out he's not leaving SF--he's moving to Noe Valley:
The couple...[is moving] into a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house with a Victorian-style exterior façade in Noe Valley.
[CNN: Twitter CEO Evan Williams' penthouse for sale]

Rant: Clipboard Brigade On 24th St

This email from a reader (to remain anonymous):
I am incredibly liberal. And I am a do-gooder. I plant trees, volunteer my time, donate my money, and generally do what I can for causes that I back.

But I have to tell you. I absolutely hate the people who stand on the corner of 24th and Noe. They drive me nuts. I try to be cordial. But it's hard. I live on 24th and Noe and work on 24th as well. Which means I pass these people 4-5 times a day. I'm sick of being solicited for passing prop 8, caring about a woman's right to chose and saving the whales. I support all these things, but I'm sick of being solicited.
Agreed!! Take your clipboards to communities that don't already back your cause. Or is it just about money and not votes? (Staff at EQ/CA replied to this tweet last month that they come to NV because we contribute the most money. Tweet since removed.)

So how do you react to them? Smile and say "sorry" like you would to any panhandler? Cross the street to avoid them? Give them time/money? Our favorite tactic is to act like they don't exist.