February 10, 2018

This Week in Noe Valley: Fire Box Mystery Revealed, Plum Trees Blooming and YIMBY Was Born Here

The latest news from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: Even the dentist office is cute in Noe Valley via mkcalifornia

NVV Feb 2018: 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 stories we've covered here on NVSF or other resources. Follow the NVV link at the bottom for full articles and all the ads.

February 2018

Front Page: LA-based chain pet store Healthy Spot wants to open in the old Radio Shack space - and local merchants aren't having it; local a profile of local resident and longtime Rolling Stone writer Ben Fong-Torres (a documentary about him is coming out this spring); Noe Valley's solid voter turnout could be a force in this June's special mayoral election.

Letters: A neighbor writes to remind his fellow Noe Valley residents that there is Thursday morning meditation on the Noe Valley Town Square from 8-9am.

Features: Large turnout this year for Neighborhood Emergency Response Training (NERT) after the Jan. 4 earthquake (more at sf-fire.org); the house at 79 28th St. is at the center of a housing battle that encapsulates the housing crisis and gentrification struggles of Noe Valley. A profile of Noe Valley Cyclery owner David Kline who's had a good long run since 1976 and who plans to retire in April - and Dani Sheehan Myer's struggle to make a go of it with Cliche Noe Gifts + Home before it closed in January. RIP Barbara Ann May, Fair Oaks resident, artist and community activist.

Cost of Living in Noe Valley: Real estate sales were brisker than they've been in 10 years in the last few months of 2017 including for multi-unit buildings. The average cost to buy a house here: $2.7 million.

Store Trek: Ardiana, 1781 Church St. at 30th

Rumors and Tidbits: The Noe Valley Merchants & Professionals Association (NVMPA) is presiding over a commercial corridor on 24th St. that is losing retailers (14 vacant store fronts) and mostly gaining professional services (think realtors, title companies, health offices and banks). Commercial rents range from $4,000 to $12,000. Navarette's Black Belt Academy has moved out of the old See Jane Run space and back to Church St - and the See Jane Run space needs a seismic retrofit. The Mill is moving to 18th and Hartford in the Castro on February 13. Rachel Swann, the NVMPA president and a realtor, tried to pull a fast one on her fellow merchants by converting a former retail space into a realtor office that also sold swag - more than a few retailers on 24th St. are not amused. The S.F. History Association, which held monthly meetings at St. Philips is moving to Newman Hall in Sherith Israel at California and Webster. Noe Valley Democratic Club president Todd David says he is supporting Noe Valley resident Mark Leno, not London Breed, in the upcoming mayoral election. Le Cupboard is still closed. A new Japanese restaurant called Seokyo is opening in at 1740 Church at Day St. (formerly Taku Sushi, Noe Sushi, Tataki South, Deep and Deep Sushi). Hamlet is closing and will become a Japanese eatery. Nothing is happening at Real Foods. Noe Valley is rumored to be the most popular destination in SF for Airbnb rentals. James Lick Middle School is the beneficiary of a $265,000 garden grant which will have 60 species of plants and an organic vegetable garden - it opens February 10. The Diamond Heights Shopping Center has been bought by new investors. A new group called Swing Left is signing up residents at the Farmer's Market to "take back the house in 2018."

[The Noe Valley Voice]

February 4, 2018

This Week in Noe Valley: Super Blood Moon and Mayoral Forum Gets Local

The latest news from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: Noe Valley pups via sniffsanfrancisco

December 31, 2017

This Year in Noe Valley: The Big Stories of 2017

2017 - it’s time to GTFO. Nationally, this was the year of fake news, alternative facts, covfefe, rampant tribalism and #metoo to name just a few of the things that defined our zeitgeist. In California, 2017 is was a year of record-setting rains followed by devastating firestorms. In San Francisco, it was a year of the Warriors winning (again), Mayor Lee dying abruptly and #resist. In other words, this year was exhausting. Things in Noe Valley were a little happier closer to home (hey, it’s still Noe Valley and we are soooooooo lucky to live here), but there was still a lot going on. Here were the biggest stories of 2017 in Noe Valley that preoccupied us, made us smile and that sometimes drove us crazy.

Nature Is Wild
In 2017 Noe Valleyeons spotted coyotes in the hood (including a dead one at Douglass park) and a wayward mountain lion was captured and relocated. We also had some pretty insane rain, heatwaves (115+ degrees reported, but more likely only 106) and lots of spare-the-air fallout from the NorCal and SoCal fires including spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The high point this year for natural phenomenon was the super cool eclipse. Just a little reminder that we’re just all just animals on a hot rock, folks. (Photo via hugitosf) 

Monster Homes and the Ensuing Eviction Backlash
In case you missed it, it’s waaay expensive to live here. The new high mark was the record-setting T-House sold for $12.5 million (for reference, it sold for a record-setting $6.1 million in 2011). Many other $5 and $6 million dollar homes sold for all cash this year. And megahomes are still being built. The dark side of all this: David Talbot posited that the real estate madness in SF is killing off the elderly, including Carl Jensen on 26th Street. However, a Noe Valley woman was the first to beat an Ellis Act eviction in San Francisco - perhaps a sign that evicting the elderly is finally uncool.

Endings, Beginnings and Coming Soon
Lots and lots of retail stores and restaurants closed this year and previously empty storefronts remained empty. Among the departures this year were Good News, Cliché Noe, Pasta Gina, Green11, Bom Dia, Radio Shack, Caskhouse (which is soon turning into a new burger joint)  and Cardio-Tone’s 24th St location. La Nebbia on Church closed but thankfully has been replaced by Ardiana pizzeria. Uma Casa replaced Incanto/Porcellino to rave reviews. Urban Remedy and LeCupboard opened as bougie TV dinner spots - with LeCupboard closing again in November. Overall, restaurants dominated the new business scene, with little pop-ups (like Rafe Mandelman’s campaign headquarters) and realtor offices filling in the rest. The oldest butcher shop in the West continued the tradition with the opening of Baron’s Quality Meats, in the old Drewe’s Meats space on Church. Also of note, Amazon ate Whole Foods this year, so we’ll see what that brings for our local grocery scene. Sadly, there are still around 15 empty storefronts and counting on 24th Street. But on a more upbeat note, the J Church turned 100 this year, Firefly turned 24, and Dorian D. Clair Clock Repair turned 30.

Real Foods Could Become Real Housing (Someday)
In August we got the good news that 14 years on, the Real Foods building has new owners who plan to sell it for housing. Of course, it still has to sell, there’s no clear path forward and it could take years for construction to start. But hey, at least it’s not locked down by the former absentee owners, Neutraceutical Corp. Here’s hoping it’s unblighted in our lifetime.

The Google Bus Is Here to Stay
Never mind that they’re too big for our little streets and very noisy (and this Noe Valley guy notwithstanding), San Francisco voted to make the tech commuter buses permanent. Get used to it. (Photo via photo_by_bill)

People Behaving Badly
Noe Valley was also home to some shenanigans this year like a massive meth bust (whaaa?!) and a racist White Supremacy note from a neighbor (no, it wasn’t on Nextdoor). Noe Valley was also ground zero for package thieves and car break-ins this year, judging from the volume of neighborhood police reports. One woman was so fed up with the package thief situation she wrapped her cat’s dirty kitty litter in boxes for the thieves to get back at them and made the national news for it (it’s come to this?!). The Raspberry of the Year for bad behavior, however, goes to Getzwell Pediatrics which covered up the historic Star Bakery sign with its own eyesore logo. Not cool. (Photo via @peephole) 

New and Notable 
This year we also saw some new stuff in Noe Valley - including duck art installations, lots of GoFord Bike stations and a regular pop-up sauna in the Noe Valley Town Square. Speaking of the Town Square, the space also hosted dozens of events this year including the amazing weekly Farmer’s Market, equinox drumming, dancing, movie nights, political rallies and more. Pretty amazing to see the space come to life so quickly. (Photo via leftcoastsauna)

Phew. We made it. Happy New Year, Noe Valley! Here's to a safe, fun and prosperous 2018.

Yearning for simpler times? Here were the top stories of 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

(Top photo via sam.a.miller)