November 30, 2009

Tidbits: Post-Thanksgiving Roundup

Bevan Dufty wants your input on the final draft of the shuttle bus Strategic Analysis Report. In his monthly newsletter Bevan states: "This report will come for discussion and possible approval on Tuesday, December 8th at the SFCTA's Plans and Programs meeting 10:30 a.m. in room 263 of City Hall. You can testify in person or provide comments in advance to" The most succinct analysis we've seen of the report is from SF Weekly's The Snitch.

The NVMPA, too, would like your input. This time the subject is proposed parking changes. Survey here.

Friends of Billy Goat Hill wants your help cleaning, restoring and planting trees this winter. January 16 is planting day on the the Hill with SFNAP and Friends of the Urban Forest. Details here.

China Wok: Slightly improved since last inspected. Still...ick.

History underfoot: Carl Nolte provides more info on the ironworks of yore.

Finally, Susanne Madux sent us the above photo of the Hope Valley in Derbyshire, England. Why? The River Noe runs through it. Susanne would like to point out that there isn't a nails/waxing to be seen anywhere in that particular Noe valley.

[SFCTA The Role of Shuttle Services in San Francisco ]
[NVSF: Update: Shuttle Study]
Photo: RoyStone]

Barney's: Spiffing Up

Permit #200906110280:
Renovation of [existing] dining, cashier area, bathrooms, patio and entry. Work includes lighting, plumbing, minor structural work, finishes, new awnings, exterior benches.

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 are on Thursday at 1:30pm, Room 400 in City Hall.

3936-3938 24TH STREET - north side of 24th Street between Sanchez and Noe Streets, Lots 044 and 045 in Assessor’s Block 3654 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization pursuant to Planning Code Sections, 728.49 and 303, for a change of use from retail uses to a financial service establishment (DBA “Circle Bank”) The subject property is located within the 24th and Noe Valley NCD (Neighborhood Commercial District) and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions
[NVSF: Update: Circle Bank]

November 24, 2009

Crime Beat

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

November 20

Theft from Building
-- 7:00 am. 1500 blk of Church. Officers Lim and Fuentes were sent to investigate a theft. The victim told the officer that he locked his bikes on a wall rack. When the victim
returned he discovered that the bikes were missing. No suspects were observed.

Robbery with a gun -- 9:00 am. Church @ 27th Street. Officer Morgante was sent to investigate a robbery case. The victim told officers she boarded Muni and that she had her I-Phone in her hand. The
suspect stood in front of her and pulled out a revolver. The suspected took her phone and then fled in an unknown direction.
More information about the robbery on SFAppeal.

[SFAppeal: Muni Says Friday's J-Church Armed Robbery Caught On Tape, But Will We Ever See The Footage?]
[Photo: TimOfLegend]

November 21, 2009

Benefit: Barefoot Books Holiday Sale

I am a Noe Valley mom and have a small home-based business in which I sell children's books published by Barefoot Books. Barefoot Books is an independent book publisher whose books have a unique focus on celebrating art and stories that encourage enthusiasm for learning and an appreciation of the world's diversity.

On Sunday, Nov. 22nd (tomorrow), I am hosting a Barefoot Books Holiday Sale at my home from 10am to 3pm. I live at 136 Clipper Street (btw. Church & Sanchez). There will be a storytime every hour beginning at 11am and a craft station for children to color Barefoot Books activity sheets.

10% of all sales will be donated to Children's Book Project, a San Francisco non-profit organization dedicated to building literacy by putting books into the hands of children who have little or no access to them.
What: Barefoot Books Holiday Sale
When: Sunday, November 22, 10:00AM-3:00PM
Where: 136 Clipper St
Contact: Julie at
To Benefit: Children's Book Project

For Sale: Glow Day Spa

Surprise! Surprise! These places actually go out of business?
this day spa has been open only a few months, but owner/operator needs to return to the midwest. all new equipment..2 full time and 4 part time employees..manicures, pedicures, nail extensions, facials, specialized waxing, spray tan, make-up, massage, inch loss wraps, eyelash extensions..(semipermanent and temporary),,dermatological 7 days a week..(please do not ask questions of employees..they do not know of this listing) just under 5 years on lease with 5 year option
Noe Valley Glow Day spa, well-shilled in the comments of our post announcing their arrival, calls it quits. Think the lease will sell to another type of business or are we doomed?

[Listing: 4023 24th St (Zephyr), and here's the screenshot]
[NVSF: Announced: Noe Valley Glow Day Spa]

November 20, 2009

UNN Meeting Minutes: City-Wide Parking Changes

Here are minutes from last night's Upper Noe Neighbors meeting:
The latest parking meter proposals making the rounds at neighborhood groups were presented to the Upper Noe Neighbors last night at our monthly meeting. Jay Primus from the Municipal Transportation Authority and Jesse Koehler from the SF County Transportation Authority provided some background on "parking management" and what's in the works to improve parking in the city & increase revenues.

The idea is to potentially increase paid parking meter times based on supply and demand. Here are the highlights:
  • Sunday: paid parking from 11:00AM-6:00PM (vs. not paying anything presently)
  • 59% of meters: Mon-Sat: pay for parking until either 6:00PM, 9:00PM or midnight
  • 23%: Mon-Thurs until 6PM; Fri-Sat until 9PM
  • 17%: Mon-Sat until midnight (areas like the Mission, Castro)
  • 1%: Mon-Sat until 6PM (area like Bayview)
Additionally, the city would increase the number of hours you'd be able to occupy a spot. So if you're in the Mission having dinner at Maverick and you park at a meter, you can load up your meter (ideally, in the future, via credit card or phone) for four hours so you don't have to run out during dessert to pop quarters in.

UNN members expressed concern for the parking attendants who'd be working the nightshifts. And questioned whether the cost of increasing meter enforcer hours & employees will outweigh any increased revenue. Jay says that the city currently gets $30M annually in revenues, as well as $18M in citations. Changing the meter times will apparently end up bringing in $9M in additional revenue.

Any comments? UNN would love to forward them to the right people. Email us at, and we'll make sure your input is included.

Eileen Bermingham
Board, UNN
[SFCTA: On-Street Parking Management and Pricing Study]
[NVSF: UNN Meeting: Parking Around Town]

November 17, 2009

Noe Valley: Still a Little Village

With all the activity in the last few weeks/days, it's easy to forget the (happy) sleepiness of Noe at night. Some recent shots from bats1234.

Click through for the photos as bats1234 intended them to be seen.

[Flickr: bats1234]

Benefit: Centro Las Olas

From the edge of Noe Valley:
Global Village Holiday Sale and Fundraiser

Weavings, crafts, baked goods and books for sale to benefit Centro Las Olas preschool and Maya Traditions.

What: Guatemalan handcrafts and traditional hand woven huipils from Maya Traditions. Quality children’s books from Barefoot books. Homemade baked goods from Centro Las Olas families. Cash Only.

When: Saturday, November 21, 2:00 – 6:00PM

Where: Centro Las Olas Preschool
3739 26th St. (btw Dolores & Guerrero)

Why: Centro Las Olas is a non profit, play based, Spanish-language preschool. Maya Traditions is a foundation that works with Guatemalan artisans to promote their fair trade weaving and hand craft products and provides scholarships and healthcare to their families.
[Centro Las Olas]

UNN Meeting: Parking Around Town

Upper Noe Neighbors is meeting for the last time this year on Thursday. The agenda isn't specific to Noe but will likely affect Noe Valley residents as they move around the City. As UNN member Eileen Bermingham puts it:
There are a couple of parking studies underway to determine what's best for accommodating parking, transit and revenue needs in the City now and in the near future. One is particularly controversial in that it will look at extending parking meter hours in various neighborhoods. Representatives from both the Municipal and County Transportation Authorities will be present. The SFMTA will discuss their initiatives and study that includes extended meter hours; SFCTA will talk about their larger parking study.
What: Upper Noe Neighbors Meeting
Where: Upper Noe Rec Center (Day @ Sanchez).
When: Thursday Nov 19 at 7:30PM

As always, if you attend please send us minutes for posting.

[SFCTA: On-Street Parking Management and Pricing Study]

November 14, 2009

Deep Restaurant: Not Open After All

Deep Restaurant, the "modern izakaya"/sushi spot on Church @ Day is no longer open for business. The restaurant's windows are again covered in paper and a sign in the window announces the "pre-opening" period is over. The restaurant "will close to the public to prepare for our Grand Opening." Could it have something to do with the building being for sale? Another possible reason for the closing is the note mentions chef Thomas Weibull's "upcoming nuptials."

Apparently they've been closed since October 1st. As to when they'll reopen? No firm date mentioned on the note, on or on Facebook, although OpenTable shows reservations available starting December 1.

[NVSF: Deep Sushi To Become Izakaya...?]

Upper Noe Time Capsule: Lehr's German Specialities

There's been plenty of worry about Whole Foods hurting local food retailers like Drewes and Cheese Co., but that's definitely not the case at Lehr's German Specialities (yes, it's spelled that way) on Church near 28th. This old-world store is full of Bavarian treats such as pinkelwurst, braunschweiger, senf, stollen, and spaetzle. Want 20 different kinds of gummi bears or 10 varieties of salty licorice? They've got it. As one Yelper put it, "The place is a little old, but it's still got it going on!" In addition to hundreds of packaged food items, you'll also find German music, magazines, toiletries and plenty of fun kitsch. The owner is a charming German lady who has owned the shop for 35 years - and she happily reports business is as strong as ever. Most customers, she says, are out-of-towners who travel to Noe from as far as Sacramento and Fresno for their German fix.

Lehr's is apparently a vestige of the days when the blocks around that area of Noe were home to Scandinavian and German immigrants. Across the street, another popular German destination was a restaurant and deli called Speckmann's that served the local German community and anyone who wanted an authentic schnitzel from 1962-2001. (The building has since been remodeled and is now the home of Incanto.)

On a recent Saturday at Lehr's, there were half a dozen customers shopping and all looked like regulars. The store is especially festive around the holidays when it's decked out with lights and ornaments and a huge selection of European chocolates, cakes, and treats.

Lehr’s German Specialties
1581 Church St @ 28th

November 7, 2009

Opening: La Boulange--November 16

In case you missed it on Twitter, La Boulange is set to open "in 9 days." And while they won't have sidewalk seating, they'll have parking for at least 2 bicycles.

When we walked by today, the floors were done, the Frenchie patisserie cabinets were in place and it looks like they just might open on November 16th.

Update (11/16): From Twitter: "La Boulange de Noe opens Tuesday, November 17 From 4pm to 6pm... Join us for a taste and a toast to celebrate."

[NVSF: Protested: La Boulange de Noe Valley]

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 here on NVSF.

November 2009

Front page: Supervisor candidates faced off early at a forum at the Noe Valley Recreation Center on Oct. 22 – and William Hemenger of Diamond Heights has also just entered the race; Omnivore cookbook signings; Billy Goat Hill gets $50,000 for trail and habitat restoration from the Measure A Parks Bond passed by voters in 2008.

Feature: Tough times for 24th Street and upper Noe merchants continues – although the Whole Foods opening has brought some life and foot traffic back for many. Retailers hurt by Whole Foods are 24th St Cheese Co. and Drewes Meats. Whole Foods employs 100 workers--nearly 4 times as many Bell Market.

Letters: A poem to honor the passing of Noe Valley resident Bruce Sherman; a 7 paragraph tangent from the owner of Chloe's Café about working as a caterer on the set of Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze.

Op-Ed: A reader in a moss-green hemp-based hoodie ogles the faux ground beef, imitation sausage and fake chicken nuggets at Whole Foods – and decides the store is an OK addition to Noe after all.

Cost of Living in Noe: Average sales price 1.16 Million. Rents: down a little but still expensive.

Short Takes
: Noel Stroll and a hay ride return to 24th Street on Dec. 5 from 4:30 – 7:30PM, and Santa will be at Zephyr from 11-2 for more family fun. [Ed. -- for now the link to Noel Stroll on last year's post redirects to Cooks Boulevard]. Ladybug Gardeners are at the Upper Noe Rec Center on Nov. 14 at 9AM planting and trimming- volunteers welcome.

Store Trek: Curator; Green11.

Rumors: Bevan Dufty proposes "removing conditional use criteria for full-service restaurants and permit small self-service restaurants and self-service specialty food establishments with conditional use" (Ed.--Translation: more restaurants on and around 24th Street assuming it passes through lengthy planning process and endless community meetings); Noe Soup will never open-–the owners abandoned the idea when they heard Whole Foods was coming and oh, because of a "complicated vent system;" the fusion restaurant on Church Street is stalled because of the "downturn in the economy;" Bistro 24 closed and is for sale for only $198K – although it may reopen (again!?) with a different partner if a buyer isn't found; Mi Lindo Yucatan closed and the space is under construction; La Boulange will open this month; Just Awesome Games reopens in West Portal after running from high rents in Noe (old space owned by Carol and Bill Yenne); Phoenix building (owned by Sue Bowie) still for sale for $2.25 million and the Streetlight building is listed for $2.2 million.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

November 2, 2009

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 are on Thursday at 1:30pm, Room 400 in City Hall.

168 CLIPPER STREET - north side between Church and Sanchez Streets; Lot 021 in Assessor’s Block 6549 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, pursuant to Planning Code Section 317 requiring review of residential demolition, of Demolition Permit Application No. 2007.12.20.1029, proposing to demolish a one-story over basement, single-family dwelling in an RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

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

168 CLIPPER STREET - north side between Church and Sanchez Streets; Lot 021 in Assessor’s Block 6549 - Mandatory Discretionary Review, pursuant to Planning Code Section 317 requiring review of the replacement building in association with residential demolition, of Building Permit Application No. 2007.12.20.1032, to construct a three-story over garage, two-family dwelling in an RH-2 (Residential, House, Two -Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve the new building permit.

3900 22ND STREET - west side between Collingwood and Castro Streets; Lot 011 in Assessor’s Block 2770 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2009.07.14.2590, to convert a three-family structure into a two-family dwelling in an RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

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

NOTE: On October 15, 2009, following public testimony, the Commission continued the matter to November 5, 2009. Public hearing remains open.