January 1, 2014

This Year In Noe Valley: The Big Stories Of 2013

Nationally 2013 was the year of NSA spying, twerking, and the Harlem Shake among other things. Bay Area residents will also remember it as the year of BART strikes, Bat Kid and The Stick closing. But it was also the year of the selfie, which longtime Noe Valley resident and linguist Geoffrey Nunberg picked as his word of the year.

In that spirit, here's a selfie of Noe Valley for 2013 - a snapshot of the stories that preoccupied us, delighted us and sometimes drove us crazy in our little village this year:

Changes and Rebirth on 24th and Church Streets
Lots of businesses opened and closed around Noe this year, including some very old ones on 24th St. The Noe Valley Deli was reborn as Griddlefresh. The second When Modern Was space turned into a Candy Bar. The 28-year-old Phoenix bookstore became Folio Books. Sway closed. Bliss Bar burned and remains closed. Bay Castle Cleaners vacated. LOLA left for the avenues and is now a nail salon with a stereo store next door. Caskhouse opened. Happy Donuts got a new sign. Swatdee will become an Indian restaurant. Over on Church Street, Dermalounge departed and was replaced with La Tira wax studio, La Ciccia added La Nebbia, and the mystery restaurant remains a mystery.

Real Estate Anxiety Escalates
With the Twitter IPO and home sales averaging above $1.5 million, the biggest thing on many peoples' minds was OMGWTF?! And will I ever be able to buy/move/rent/live here again? The answer from the Magic 8 Ball: Reply hazy try again, Cannot predict now and Ask again later.

The Google Bus Wars Rage On
What started as just an irritation for some Noe Valley residents has turned into a full-blown clash of the classes and an emblem for many of why Silicon Valley techno riche startup culture is ruining SF. This could get worse before it gets better.

Crime Is A Worry
Noe Valley might feel like a little village sometimes but we had plenty of big crime to worry about this year including a brutal beating, armed robbery, a hatchet attack, phone grabbing, a high-speed police chase, lots of theft like this, the return of the package thief and a bomb threat. Put your phone away, lock your doors and keep your eyes open, folks.

The Town Square Is Happening
The Noe Valley Farmer's Market turned 10 this year – and to ensure it will be around for another 100+ years, a group of Noe residents convinced the city to buy the Ministry parking lot and turn it into a green space and permanent home for the NV Farmer's Market. Woot!

What's Ahead in 2014
2013 is over but there's also a lot to look forward to in 2014. The greening and repaving of Cesar Chavez will be done soon which should make the commute along that corridor easier. Noe residents have been wishing for better things than the blighted Real Foods storefront – and in 2014 we may get that wish. Scott Wiener and Carol Yenne went to Utah and met with Nutraceutical Corp, and learned that the company plans to demolish the Real Foods building next year and construct an unspecified replacement that won't include one of their own stores. Also ahead: Noe's Bar will become a neighborhood restaurant and local hangout called Horner's Corner by the time the Super Bowl arrives. And the year will end with a District 8 supervisor race. Now we just need some rain.

Here's to a safe, fun and prosperous 2014. Happy New Year, Noe Valley!


Carol said...

Dani at Cliche Noe and her husband just produced a small calendar with old Noe Valley pictures on it. Stop by her store and ask about it if you like great historic shots of Noe Valley