October 31, 2010

Photos: Halloween 2010 on 24th Street

October 29, 2010

Halloween Carnival 2010: Upper Noe Valley Rec Center

Wondering what to do with kids in costumes on Halloween before the trick-or-treating starts?

The Friends of Noe Valley Rec Center is throwing a free Halloween Carnival from 11AM - 3PM at the Rec Center this Sunday Oct. 31 (295 Day at Sanchez/30th Streets). The fair includes games, a pet parade, a children's costume parade, pumpkin carving and traveling musicians.

[NVRC: Halloween Carnival 2010]

Coming Soon: Noe Valley Smiles & Braces

If you were looking forward to a Jewish deli, Crunch Fitness or a Michelin-starred restaurant you're outta luck. The combined spaces at 3930-3934 24th St (formerly housing GNC Nutrition and Noe Valley Video) will be a dentist. For children, of course.

October 28, 2010

Approved: Parklets For 24th Street

22nd St at Bartlett

From murphstahoe:
The 24th Street Parklets were approved by ISCOTT (the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation) today! They are permitted for a 6 month trial beginning in November. At the meeting the Parklets were supported by Debra Neimann from NVA, myself, Martha's Coffee Founder Martha Monroy, Supervisor Dufty's Legislative Aide Todd David, Louis Bryan, and Supervisor Candidate Scott Wiener in the form of his proxy, Gillian Gillett.

As I mentioned before, they will be going in front of Martha's Coffee and Just for Fun. See you out there!
Just in time for winter.

[Pavement To Parks]

October 23, 2010

Harvest Fest 2010: Giants Love, Politicking, Costumes...And Goats

This year's Noe Valley Harvest Fest was more subdued than years past. It felt denser (more booths) but less ambitious (smaller stage, less entertainment), and the rainy weather certainly didn't help. The event could be summed up as a mix between catering to kids and people looking for your vote.

The costume contest was once again a hit (especially among mothers). The 2008 winner (as a geisha) won again, this time as a flamenco dancer. Second place was a mummy, third a little lion.

In politics, Scott Weiner's team was part of the zeitgeist (go Giants!):

There was no petting zoo this year, but Rafael Mandelman's crew brought...goats.

October 19, 2010

Noe Valley Now Ranked # 1 For Trick-Or-Treating

Thanks to the real estate cheerleaders VP of Marketing & Communications at Zillow for ranking Noe Valley the number one trick-or-treat destination in San Francisco. Since Zillow also ranks San Francisco as the number two city in the nation for same that makes us pretty cool. After ranking number two last year, Noe Valley has worked hard for the top spot.

How did we do it?
...the Zillow Trick-or-Treat Housing Index was calculated using four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), population density, Walk Score and local crime data from Relocation Essentials. Based on those variables, the Index represents neighborhoods that will provide the most candy, with the least walking and safety risks.
We're also thinking huge amounts of free candy provided by Noe Valley merchants might have something to do with it...

[Zillow: Best Places to Trick-or-Treat in San Francisco]
[NVSF: Noe Valley Ranked # 2 For Trick-Or-Treating]

October 15, 2010

Halloween House on Noe St

You can't see it in the photo, but this Noe St house that screams LOOK AT ME with its generator-inflated blow-up decorations also proudly displayed a "Don't Close Noe Street" sign during the plaza kerfuffle. Linger if you dare...

[NVSF: Photos: Halloween 2009]
[Photo: bats1234]

October 13, 2010

Video: J-Church Rail Replacement

Ken Murphy lives on 30th at Church and put together this 13 minute timelapse video of the last weekend's J-Church rail replacement from 18,520 images.

Also check out Streetsblog's writeup of the weekend's work. Best line: “Just as I was thinking it, a neighbor nearby noted with happiness, 'Hey, it doesn’t make noise anymore.'”

[Vimeo: Ken Murphy Via Streetsblog]
[Streetsblog: Replacing the Rails on the J-Church Line]

October 10, 2010

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.

940 Elizabeth STREET - north side between Hoffman and Grand View Avenues; Lot 014 in Assessor's Block 2807 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2009.12.24.3858 proposing to construct a vertical addition, add a garage, and alter the front fa├žade of a single-family dwelling, located in a RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve
This 81 page PDF includes planning staff analysis, site details, letters from neighbors and architectural drawings of the proposed project.

Open: Tatataki Sushi on Church St

Now open in the old Deep Sushi space, Tataki South is a second outpost of the sustainable sushi spot of the same name on California St. The website for Tataki still hasn't been updated to announce the new space, but Tablehopper reports "The menu will continue their focus on only serving sustainable sushi, although since there is a robata grill, they now have a yakitori section they’ve added as well. There are also even more vegetarian and vegan selections."

Hours are Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, and dinner nightly starting at 5:30pm. Call ahead if you plan to go--hours are subject to change as they "gauge the needs of the neighborhood."

1740 Church St. at Day St.; 415-282-1889.

[Tablehopper: Tataki South Opens on Church Street]

Blue Skies, Blue Angels Over SF

Click image for full picture.

The biggest Fleet Week in decades is in town and the Blue Angels are flying. While you can see them buzz Noe a few times, it's worth the trip across town to see them at close range by the Bay. The airshow runs from 1-4 and the Angels fly from 3-4.

J-Church Rail Replacement Almost On Track

We spoke to workers this morning at 30th and Church who said work is going well, but that they are about a half-day behind. They expect the trains will run again by Tuesday night, but they won't finish all the paving they had hoped to before then.

They still had seven sections of track to lay/join as of 9:00am. The foundation bed and ties are in place. One person told us that the new track is stronger and that the new foundation means less vibration. They're also installing a new signal system to speed track switching and a quieter mechanism for switching tracks.

We also learned that while this project is disruptive, the project that will really make you late for work is scheduled for the end of 2011: replacement of all transit infrastructure at Church and Duboce.

[NVSF: PSA: J-Church Rail Repairs Continue In October]

Town Square: Rec & Park Site Visit

Please join me Wed, Oct 20th at 7:00PM at the Farmers' Market Parking Lot (3861 24th St) for a site visit by members of the San Francisco Park and Rec Open Space Advisory Committee (PROSAC). PROSAC members are visiting potential acquisition sites.

Following the site visit, the Noe Valley Democratic Club is hosting a forum on public education in San Francisco. The forum begins at 7:30 at St. Philip's Church.

Join the Noe Valley community for both events!

Todd David
Residents for Noe Valley Town Square
A PDF version of the flyer is here.

[NVSF: All Town Square Posts]

Volunteers Needed: Noe Valley Harvest Festival

Many shifts available between 6am and 6pm. Assist with activities such as set up, face painting, the hayride, the pumpkin patch, raffle tickets, help event organizers, and have a great time! Credit available for students.
When: Saturday, Oct 23, 10am-5pm
How: Email info@noevalleyharvestfestival.com or call Sharon Cassidy at (314)717-4242 to participate.

[Noe Valley Harvest Festival]

October 6, 2010

Noe Valley: Sun Francisco

One of the reasons we live in San Francisco: colorful architecture. Michael, an artist in Bernal Heights, walks with his daughter in the mornings and created a blog called Sun Francisco Art Houses to celebrate some of the sun-related motifs he's found, including some in Noe. Fun.

NVV Oct. 2010: 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 items we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories online until mid-month.

October 2010

This month's Voice is mostly a lightweight collection of what you'd expect: A half-page photo of trick-or-treaters from last year's Halloween on 24th St, a thinly-veiled press release from Alain Pinel Realtors (no mention of the Sue Bowie sellout), and notes on the second Town Square meeting.

But the real (only?) reason to pick up this month's issue is on pages 11-12. The District 8 supes candidates answer some questions about where they stand on key issues this election. Worth a look before you vote.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

Notes: Town Square Meeting #2

September 26th's town square meeting included a summary of progress so far, a presentation of concepts by CMG Landscape Architecture, and another round of table discussions for how best to use the space should the money become available to purchase the farmer's market parking lot from Noe Valley Ministry. Here's a summary of the table discussions:
1. Flexibility and simplicity were consistently recommended.
2. Groups generally agreed that a fence and gate were not amenable to the program or atmosphere of the town square. Security should be addressed during the design process with visibility, lighting, and park rules.
3. Groups were mixed on need for restrooms and a stage. There was general consensus on the need for storage with the understanding that it not be oversized.
4. There was consensus on the idea that the town square should be designed for adults and children alike. There were consistent suggestions for informal play and seating features that could be sculptural and appealing to adults as well as children. Groups also identified flexible play such as hop scotch or other activities with movable and storable equipment as a good approach.
5. There was consensus on a need for a buffer and/or sound barrier along the back edge of the site, along with the idea of shifting seating and garden areas to the edges.
6. Many groups suggested water features as a way to add atmosphere and ‘white sound’ to the space.
Complete notes from the meeting are on noevalleytownsquare.com. The PDF of the presentation given by CMG is here.

October 3, 2010

Interview: Friends of Noe Valley Board of Directors Member Erin Rice

Newly-elected member of Friends of Noe Valley's Board of Directors Erin Rice offered us an interview and we jumped at the chance.

"Founded in 1971, Friends of Noe Valley actively supports neighborhood improvement projects and gives Noe Valley residents a strong collective voice in matters that affect our community." The group works with the NV Merchant's Association and is focused on revitalizing 24th street, improving public space, and organizing neighborhood events.

Tell us a bit about you.

I've lived in Noe Valley for two years, on Church and 23rd, and am the assistant manager of Firefly. I'm a recent graduate from SFSU in Urban Studies and Planning where I focused on sustainability, transportation and civic engagement.

Why did you run for the FoNV board? What do you hope to accomplish?

I'm in love with Noe Valley, but I feel that we are lacking a sense of community empowerment. Neighborhood associations are one of the best ways to inspire local participation and I think that if we are organized, we can quickly make large strides. The bottom line is that I'd like to get more Noe Valley residents interested and involved in the decision making process.

The biggest battle in Noe this year has been the use of public space. What's your take on the recent plaza/parklet controversy and the upcoming town square?

This was the biggest indicator for me that we're lacking reasonable public discourse in Noe Valley. We all definitely learned that any neighborhood changes need to be thoroughly discussed first, I just hope that now we'll have more civilized forums in which to do that. Parklets are a great compromise, and I look forward to them clearing up some of our pedestrian bottlenecks.

Using the parking lot for a town square is a fantastic idea that came out of this dialog, but an expensive one. If the Neighborhood Parks Council decides to allocate the $3 million or so needed to buy the land, I will be excited to continue the planning process for our new public space.

FoNV hasn't updated its website since 2006 and information about what FoNV does is hard to find. What do you hope FoNV tackles in the next 12-24 months and what should we expect to see the group get done?

It feels like FoNV is actually discouraging participation with that ancient website, and one of the new board members specifically mentioned their goal to revamp it (to much applause). That's a top priority, and it will be a good exercise in visioning and organization. I think membership outreach and much more regular meetings should be the next steps.

Longer term, I'd like to see more community events, coordination with the NVA and NVMPA to promote local shopping (maybe a local currency like Bernal Bucks?), a discussion around emergency preparedness and resiliency, and maybe someday a large community garden, if we can ever find any open land.

Corporate shuttle buses … good or bad for the neighborhood?

Mostly good. It's definitely better than all of those people driving down the peninsula, but it's a shame they can't rely on Caltrain. I welcome companies providing a convenient, cleaner form of transportation for their employees and our residents. Although I'm not ok with people driving here, parking, and then catching these buses, I believe that the new parking restrictions, brought on democratically by our citizens, have already discouraged that.

Bernie's, Martha's or Starbucks?


Anything else you want people to know?

I believe that every resident should have a voice and be involved in what happens in our neighborhood. With this in mind, consensus is ideal, but not always realistic. A simple majority is good enough for me and I'll be the first to suggest that we put it to a vote, no matter what the issue is. Otherwise, we'll never get anything done.

NVSF welcomes the opportunity to interview any and all community leaders. Please contact us if interested.

October 1, 2010

The Color Project on Duncan Street

Kate of Duncan St is a design student at California College of the Arts (CCA) and wrote us about her latest project -- which sounds very charming:
I am working on a site specific design problem, which happens to be the block I live on. The block is very quiet-no parties, no chatty neighbors, no teenagers, no games on the sidewalk, and no one hangs out on their front steps for any extended periods. All the paint colors fall within a very small palate of beige, off-beige, yellow beige, and a little cream here and there. I am working on an installation of temporary color to encourage a little more engagement and community on our block. Our neighborhood is safe, and our street has plenty of potential- wide sidewalks, big front stoops, kids, and friendly grad students. For the past three weeks I have installed color flags on the street- this week I have made color pendants, which are currently hanging from trees, across sidewalks, scaffolding and from windows. My hope is, with a little playfulness, these flags might inspire more fun on our street.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of the color project, or responding with the right kind of "engagement." The flags have been stolen, the neighbors have complained... you get the picture. She blogs about the project here, here, and here. If you want to help or learn more, you can drop her an email at the address shown on the flyer image (click to enlarge). Our just give her some encouragement in the comments.

[Mi Piace Kate Design]

Elizabeth Street Brewery: Free Beer Gets Famous

What's better than free beer? Famous free beer! One of Noe Valley's best-kept secrets is not quite so secret anymore. Elizabeth Street Brewery was picked as the Microbrewery of the Year by SF Weekly in May - and the latest issue of San Francisco Magazine also gives it a rave. Of particular interest to fans:
Brewer-Hay realizes that the time for his brewery to become a real business is drawing nigh. “We’ve taken this so far that it seems inevitable,” he says. After flying to watch a series of Giants games in St. Louis, Missouri, in late August, he gave himself a week to return to San Francisco by rail. “I wasn’t allowed to come home until I finished the business plan,” he says, having spent 62 hours on a train to get back. Now, with that document in hand, Brewer-Hay has started to see his dream take shape.
Here's hoping the City allows a new Conditional Use permit for Noe Valley's first brew pub. Congrats, ESB!

[SFM: Free beer]
[NVSF: Elizabeth Street Brewery Snags Best Microbrewery Without Selling A Single Beer]
[NVSF: Update: Planning Commission Allows More Restaurants In Noe Valley]

PSA: J-Church Rail Repairs Continue In October

Via Upper Noe Neighbors:
SFMTA to Complete Rail Improvement Project on Church and 30th Streets in October

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates Muni, will finish the Rail Improvement Project at the intersection of Church Street at 30th Street during three weekends in October 2010:

Weekend of October 8 (Columbus Day Weekend): 8:00pm Friday continuously until 4:00am the following Tuesday

Weekends of October 15 and 22: 8:00pm Friday continuously until 4:00am the following Monday
  • This schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions.
  • During the October 8 weekend construction, Muni will provide bus shuttles for the J Church Line between Church and Market streets and Balboa Park BART Station.
  • During construction on the weekends of October 15 and 22, regular J Line rail service will be operated.
  • Local business will remain open during construction.
Construction Impacts:
  • 24-hour construction from Friday night to the morning of first workday of the following week.
  • Rail work will require some street closures around the intersection. Police officers will be on site directing traffic.
  • Local access will be provided most of the time; however, access may be delayed by construction work or equipment in the construction zones.
  • Some street parking will not be available in or near construction sites.
  • We will take precautions, in accordance with City codes, to keep noise and dust to a minimum.
Thank you for your continued patience and support as we work to renew your Muni system.

For more information and updates on the Rail Improvement Project, please visit www.sfmta.com/rail or call 311.

Janet L. Martinsen
Local Government Affairs Liaison
SFMTA | Municipal Transportation Agency
1 So. Van Ness, 7th Floor
415-701-4693w; 415-701-4737f