May 31, 2010

Thanks for the Litter, Sierra Club

May 28, 2010

Noe Valley Pavement to Parks Community Meeting, Round 2

Via Bevan Dufty's June Newsletter:
Noe Valley Pavement to Parks Community Meeting

On Wednesday, June 23rd at 6:30 pm at St Philip's school, we will hold the second community meeting on the Pavement to Parks proposal for Noe and 24th streets.

I will be joined by Andres Power and David Alumbaugh of the San Francisco Planning Department and a Traffic Engineer from the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA).

A spirited community workshop was held on April 8th to discuss a temporary trial closure of Noe Street at 24th Street. The meeting was well attended by those for and against a temporary trial closure. Participants also suggested a number other ideas for improving the public realm along 24th Street that are being pursued.

Since April, Planning/DPT have conducted traffic studies and new data as well as greater details on how the trial would be evaluated and assessed will be presented.
What: Noe Valley Pavement to Parks Community #2
When: Wednesday, June 23rd, 6:30 pm
Where: St. Philip School, 665 Elizabeth Street @ Diamond

May 27, 2010

Elizabeth Street Brewery Snags Best Microbrewery Without Selling A Single Beer

Via ESB's blog: "That’s right folks, our little homebrewpub in our basement managed to snag Best Microbrewery of 2010 in SF Weekly. A true honor for us considering we’re not selling any beer yet."

[SFW: Best Microbrewery 2010]

May 14, 2010

Happy Ending: Lost Cat Found

Curious what happens to the cats and dogs (and snakes) posted as missing? We sure are! This is the first time we can recall seeing an update. Most people just leave the "Lost Pet" signs up until they rot off, leaving the rest of us to wonder what happened. This Jersey Street resident gave the neighborhood a bit more:
Dear Noe Valley Residents:

In case you were ever wondering, we live in a very special place. Thank you all for your well wishes and calls about Nyles. A neighbor contacted me last night and he has returned safely home. Thanks again for all your support! I feel fortunate to live in such a wonderful community. Enjoy the sunshine!

Noe Valley Plaza: No News Is No News

We just received the latest update from Andres Power. Short version:
  • Nothing has been decided vis-a-vis a plaza on Noe Street.
  • The SF Planning Department doesn't know how to please the "broadest possible cross section of the Noe Valley community" so the next community meeting has been pushed back to sometime in June.
  • "...temporary trial closure of Noe Street" appears five times.
  • Likely upshot: no new public spaces--plaza or parklet--will be installed before the rains return.
Full text:
Dear Noe Valley Neighbors:

As you recall, we held a community workshop on April 8th to discuss with the Noe Valley neighborhood for the first time possible improvements to the neighborhood’s public realm, including the idea of a temporary trial closure of Noe Street at 24th Street. Those who attended expressed heartfelt concerns both for and against the idea of a temporary trial closure of Noe Street. Participants also suggested a number of other ideas for thinking anew about improving the public realm along 24th Street. We respect the views of all who have expressed them, and appreciate the participation of all.

Many at the community workshop expressed very enthusiastic support for a temporary trial closure of Noe Street. But just as many others expressed strong concern and even opposition to the idea. We committed at the workshop to consider all views, to conduct a few studies, to bring us all back together to discuss what we heard, to explore new ideas and suggestions that came from the workshop, and to talk about some possible options for moving forward that would be acceptable to the broadest possible cross section of the Noe Valley community.

Even exploring the idea of a temporary trial closure of Noe Street has been very disturbing to some in the community, when its purpose was to test an idea that would bring the community together. Especially in the face of this sensitivity, we want to reiterate our commitment to taking a reasoned and tempered approach to seeing if there can be consensus behind the idea of a temporary trial closure of Noe Street or some other street in the neighborhood. Based on the comments we heard at the workshop, we also believe t it would be prudent to explore the idea of installing test “parklets” – the temporary repurposing of a few on-street parking spaces – in one or more locations along 24th Street.

We’d like to discuss and explore these ideas at our next community workshop, which we now propose be held in early to mid June. We’ll let you know when the date for that community workshop has been set.

Again, we respect and appreciate the views of all, and look forward to earnest discussions about ways of improving Noe Valley for everyone. We thank you for your patience as we explore community interests and concerns about the best way to move forward.


Andres Power
SF Planning Department

Noe Valley Plaza: Petitions

Those in favor of a plaza at 24th and Noe have launched an online petition.

We're aware of a paper version for those against, but haven't seen anything online. If one exists, please send us the link.

[Sign the Petition: Noe Valley Says YES!]

May 12, 2010

Noe Valley Plaza: NVMPA Unanimous In Support

In a letter to the Editor of the Noe Valley Voice ostensibly to be printed next month the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association unanimously endorses a full plaza at 24th and Noe Streets:
Today, the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association has gone on record of supporting the proposed trial of the Noe Valley Plaza.

The vote taken was one hundred percent in favor of the proposed trial.

Enclosed find a certified copy of the Resolution presented and approved. Please, publish this letter and the enclosed Resolution in their entirety.

We are whole heartily in support of the proposal and believe that once a trial is underway the community will be in favor, including those adjacent as well; that a neighborhood center where neighborhood activities can be conducted and presented will benefit the entire community; and that the Noe Valley Plaza will be a model for future urban design and the corner stone of the Mayor's Pavement to Park program.

The Noe Valley Plaza is beneficial to our community, our neighbors, our customers and our fellow merchants.

Thank you,

Robert T. Roddick
Noe Valley Merchant and
Professionals Association.

A Nonprofit Corporation
P.O. Box 460574
San Francisco, CA 94146


WHEREAS the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association believes that the Noe Valley Plaza would serve the community as a whole by providing an open space to be used as a neighborhood center;

WHEREAS the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association believes that the location at the South side of Noe Street at 24th Street is the ideal location for such a community center because it is the center of the 24th Street Commercial Corridor and has the recommendation of the San Francisco Planning Department;

WHEREAS the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association believes that the installation of the Noe Valley Plaza will boost business along the 24th Street Commercial Corridor which has been confirmed by past studies. One such study was reported in the San Francisco's Chronicle Parade, "...outdoor seating areas boost foot traffic by 20%, leading to 10% more retail sales. Local property values also increase by 7%. In San Francisco four new plazas will be open this summer."

WHEREAS the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association believes that the installation of the Noe Valley Plaza will add to the community, making Noe Valley a destination location for tourists and visitors;

WHEREAS the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association believes that once the trial installation of the plaza is established that the community as a whole will find it beneficial and prefer that it become permanent; and

WHEREAS the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association believes that with the proper study that the trial will afford a well designed plan balancing the needs of the pedestrians, drivers, customs and merchants; and

WHEREAS the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association believes that the Noe Valley Plaza is on the cutting edge of urban design for better living and will be an inspiration for other neighborhoods. This summer San Francisco is opening four new plazas;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association goes on record of supporting the installation of the temporary plaza on the Southside of Noe Street at 24th Street on a trial basis to determine the benefits and the detriments in accordance with the Mayor's Pavement to Parks program.


Thanks to a reader for passing this on.

May 7, 2010

Crime Beat: Stolen 2003 Acura RSX

Hello Fellow Noe Valleyers,

Last night, 06 May, at around 9:20 p.m., someone entered our three-floor apartment building on 29th Street between Dolores and Church Streets. They went into our garage, while we were home, took two bikes, and stole our car, closing the automatic garage door behind them. We heard the tires squeal as they pulled out of the garage, and ran downstairs to see what was going on. We discovered an empty garage, and our car speeding west on 29th toward Church Street.

The car is a black, 2003 Acura RSX with a California Arts Council vanity license plate, "F6X." There's a picture of the license plate attached. Our frustration is compounded by the fact that the night before, 05 May, the building was broken into, and two of my neighbors' bikes were stolen. I want to get the story out to as many of our Noe neighbors as possible so that we can look out for each other.

In the meantime, if you see this car around, please send me a message on Twitter: @F6x or give me a call at 650.605.3696. Until then, please take care of yourselves, and keep an eye out for each other; we're Noe Valley, after all.



May 6, 2010

French Tulip Redux

That was quick. A reader writes that as of today the French Tulip at 3903 24th St. has reopened under new management:
The French Tulip is open again! A nice man was in the store today setting up. He says it will still be called French Tulip - it will carry just flowers, not soaps and other items. The prices seemed pretty good, and the flowers are beautiful.
[NVSF: Closed: French Tulip]

May 5, 2010

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 notable highlights from the latest issue. Links are to items we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories until the middle of the month.

May 2010

Front Page
NVV is now in living color. The front page features color photos of an NV resident schlepping the Voice to Venice - and a close-up of a hummingbird on 25th St. Articles start on page 13.

Letters: A 3 paragraph plea to support the proposed Noe Plaza ("We will soon have a chance to try a bold experiment..."); a 9 paragraph critique of the plan ("Why weren't the most direct affected residents...properly notified?" and "The waste of taxpayer money on whimsical ideas... has to stop."); plus 4 more letters up and down the spectrum for and against the plaza/parklet.

Features: A family portrait of Noe Valley resident Charles Bonilla who was murdered on April 8 outside his apartment on 28th near Sanchez. The murder is still unsolved.

- Noe Valley Ministry is exploring selling its parking lot on 24th (between Vicksburg and Sanchez) to the city to create a town square in Noe. This would not replace the controversial Noe Street plaza, says Bevan Dufty. The space may qualify for city open space funds - but private funds could get the job done faster, and move through city planning more easily.

- Mail carrier Daniel Price retires from the NV post office this June - after 40 years on the job.

- Recap of the plaza plan, proposed traffic studies, and the April 8 community meeting.

Cost of Living in Noe: $3 million home sold in March - the most expensive Noe property to turn over in 2 years; rents are still an ouch.

Crime Beat: A PSA from the SFPD to watch for pickpockets and iPhone/iPod thieves on and around Muni. "Immediately report any robbery by calling 911."

Store Trek
: Noe Valley Homeopathy (1199 Sanchez @ 25th St.)

: The restaurant ban on 24th is lifted; Pasta Pomodoro changes hands, not the menu; lots of love for Omnivore Books' foodie events including a recent visit from Alice Waters; Joseph Andrade Floral will take over the old Artsake space; a women's clothing store called Sway will take over the old Streetlight Records space; Cooks Boulevard is closed (rent for the space is purportedly $6200/month); Lisa Violetto is closed; French Tulip is closed; the old When Modern Was space on Church St. will become a hair salon; and across the street a new retail store selling body products called Heliotrope will take over the former Green Twig space. Up at 816 Diamond, Kangaroos Play and Activity Center, a preschool, takes over where Just Awesome Games lived (and abruptly disappeared); Circle Bank is opening this month; Alain Pinel Realtors is taking over the old Phoenix Books space.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

May 3, 2010

Closed: French Tulip

We noticed that the doors to French Tulip have remained closed for some time - so we dropped a note to the owner. Sadly, the picturesque flower, linen and savon boutique is now closed for good. Here's what the owner writes:
Due to dwindling sales and factors beyond our control we were forced to close the doors in early April and have since dissolved the business. This was not something that was easy for us to do after owning the shop for the past 8 years and working there for nearly 6 more. It was with heavy hearts and even heavier financial debt that we were forced to close.

It is difficult to be small business owners in today's economy, many changes we've watched over the past 14 years have surprised and shocked us. We'd like to remind everyone that in order to keep local shops open your business is crucial. While it is too late for us, there are several other Noe Valley businesses on the brink of closure. Rather than save $5 at the grocery store or large retail outlet consider shopping with small local merchants. They need you now more than ever.

-Laetitia Phelps
Sorry to see French Tulip go.

May 1, 2010

Tidbits: What's Up on 24th Street?

Don't Block Noe Stakeout The guy with a clipboard at the corner of Noe and 24th today was not your usual member of the clipboard brigade. It was a local resident collecting signatures for the "Don't Block Noe" plaza protest. We saw quite a few people stop to talk - and more than a few signed too. For the record, it was sunny all up and down Noe St. and there were dozens of pedestrians and strollers - a perfect day to sit outside and enjoy the neighborhood.

New Mystery Store
Hint The space that used to hold Artsake appears to have rented. The windows are papered over and a simple sign in the window reads:
    • Heighten Your Senses
    • Surround Yourself with Beauty
    • Surrender to Fragrance
    • Impress Your Date
    • Treat Yourself
    • Learn Something New
Hmmm... sounds like a cross between an upscale spa/lifecoach office crossed with Aveda. Union Street, here we come.

Streetlight Records Space
Rented? The storefront is papered over and the for rent sign is down. Could it be that the former Streetlight space has finally rented for $12,000 a month? Please let it not be another realtor office or title company...

Lisa Violetto: Last Day May 3
The store is nearly empty and closed this weekend. A sign in the window says the store will be open one last time on Monday May 3 for last-minute shopping and good byes.

Update: Old Phoenix Books Space Rises Those hoping for a restaurant, cafe or other useful neighborhood service in the charming old Phoenix Books space will be disappointed with this one - the corner spot will soon become the new office of Alain Pinel realtors, "the preeminent purveyor of luxury homes in the San Francisco Bay Area." Maybe that's not surprising since the owner of the building is realtor Sue Bowie (at one point the building was reportedly for sale for $2.5 million).