March 29, 2011

Noe Valley Artisan Beer Mirage

For a few brief moments today Noe Valley had a "favorite" artisan beer shop ...
...until it didn't.

Uh, right. The mystery tweeter dayandchurch set up an account (and blog) only hours before listing the address as 1763 Church St - and then disappeared. Was it real or just a Spring tease? Anyone have any info? FWIW, CA ABC shows no permit history for that address.

Oh, and if you're looking for the real favorite Noe Valley artisan beer, check out ESB Ale.

March 26, 2011

A Living Legend In Noe: Keiko Fukuda

"Keiko Fukuda is the highest ranking woman in the history of judo. She is the last living student who connects back to judo founder, Jigoro Kano. Fukuda will be 98 on April 12, 2011 and is an amazing inspiration to all."

Sensei Keiko Fukuda still teaches at the dojo she founded at the corner of Castro and 26th St in Noe Valley. Her motto: "Be gentle, kind, and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically."

[YouTube: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful]
[Wikepedia: Keiko Fukuda]

March 24, 2011

New Look For NVSF

As you can see, we've made some changes. Take a look around; let us know if something isn't working. Leave your comments below, or send us an email.

Thanks for reading!

March 22, 2011

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

This is not the first time we've had this query:
We recently renovated and moved into our new home in NV - and have been surprised with the amount of plants/parts of plants stolen from our front yard landscaping. Is this a common problem in NV? It's hard to imagine that a neighbor would feel comfortable with an arrangement in their home that they've stolen from a neighbor....

Mike on 23rd Street
Anyone have any stories to share? Advice?

Update (3/25): Nearby Dolores Heights resident Robert sent us the following:
We seem to have one or more semi professional plant thieves. They know what is valuable and resalable. They know what transplants. We have been having an ongoing discussion and documentation of this problem on the Dolores Heights Google Group for the last several years with pretty much the same ranting and gnashing of teeth. A few months back I spotted this character (who I have seen skulking about, often with plants) booking down 23rd at Church. A told him I wanted to talk about where he got the plant but he kept on rolling down the J tracks.
I know this is a city and this may not seem like the most important issue (right up there with the proliferation of nail salons), but please!

[Top Photo: Josie Soho]

March 21, 2011

Japan Disaster Hits Home In Noe Valley

The Japan tsunami/earthquake/nuclear disaster is still unfolding but plenty of local merchants are finding ways to help:

Hamano Sushi (1334 Castro @ 24th) is matching donations to relief funds - and will put your name on the wall with one of these cards pictured.

Patxi's Pizza is holding a fundraiser on April 5: "Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund established by the JCCCNC, Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, based in San Francisco. Purchases from dining, delivery, pick up, or gift cards at lunch and dinner are all included. Patxi’s is hosting these fundraisers as a part of our ongoing “52 Weeks of Giving” campaign for 2011."

Know other local groups pitching in? Please post them in the comments.

Update (3/23): Shoe Biz is hosting a benefit on March 26th - buy TOMS  Shoes and Shoe Biz will match (x2) with a donation to tsunami victims.

March 8, 2011

Upcoming Noe Valley Events

Regular readers may have noticed that we've added a calendar to the left sidebar for events in and around Noe Valley. If it proves useful, we'll work on a better (more user-friendly) calendar.

Here's what's coming:

March 12: Ladybug Gardening Group -- "The first group of spring bulbs have come to 30th Street - the second group will be blooming soon - the City has put in some pretty flowers near the tennis courts - so to keep our park nice looking we have more work and fun to do this Saturday between 9am-12 noon... If anyone on the Day Street side of the park has a 6 foot ladder we can use email me..." [Ed.--Warning: via email, SF Gov worker Teresa O'Brien thinks you'll fall off a ladder and sue: "I am wondering about the safe work practice of having volunteers on ladders."]

March 29: SFPD Mission District Community Meeting -- "We will definitely supply mouth-watering refreshments and a door prize for which I have spared no expense."

April 1: Uncorked Noe Valley -- "Sample over 20 wines, talk with the experts, nibble on tasty hors d’oeuvres, and order your favorite wines. Ticket $30 in advance at 24th Street Cheese or The Ark. $35 at the door. This is an opportunity for one last nostalgic evening at the Ministry building before it closes for renovations."

Have an event you'd like to add? Send us details.

[Photo: Glen Park News]

March 6, 2011

Closing: Cover to Cover Books

We had hoped the recent tweets weren't true, but unfortunately they are. Cover to Cover is closing its doors for good today or tomorrow. The shelves are nearly bare, most of the kids' books are gone, and it's a sad day for the staff and customers at 1307 Castro St.

Cover to Cover has had it's share of closing scares before. During the dot com bust in June 2003, when the store was at 24th St. near Church (where Shoe Biz is today), a sign in the window read: "Now sadly, regretfully, we have to inform you that soon we will be closing our doors and saying goodbye to the neighborhood that has been so nurturing for so many years.... Times change, and you move on." The neighborhood rallied with a grassroots fund-raising campaign and the bookstore was saved, relocating to the current Castro St. spot. The Noe Valley Voice chronicles some of the bookstore's other moves and owners dating back to it's first incarnation in 1976 on Clement St.

Alas, this time it looks like Cover to Cover may be closing for good. Sad to see it go.

[Cover to Cover Booksellers]

Coming Soon: Patxi's Walk-up Pizza Window

A sign in Patxi's on 24th St. announces that the pizzeria will be in front of the planning commission this week for permission to add a walk-up pizza window.

Patxi's already sells pizza by the slice every day from 11-4 and has been using the front as a walk-up window - but the planning commission wants it on the record. The pizzeria is set to go through a formal hearing (and hopefully quick approval) at City Hall this Thursday March 10.

Update (3/9): The Planning Commission analysis is here (PDF). "Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions."

Patxi's, 4042 24th St.

March 5, 2011

Gluten-Free Bliss Bakery Coming to Noe – Someday

Earlier this week we saw rumors/reports that Noe Valley would soon be home to Bliss Bakery – a gluten-free specialty bakery at 1414 Castro Street (at Jersey). That building is currently home to FIMA Photography, Calliope dance studio and Spring Street Pilates – so what gives?

Bliss Bakery didn't respond to our emails earlier this week but word from a gluten-free reader who asked around is that Bliss is headed for Noe in September (after canceling plans for an Ashbury Heights location earlier this year) and will take over the FIMA Photography space. FIMA, for it's part, hasn't announced any such departure...

In the meantime, Bliss owner Maria Balme is also looking for other spaces in Noe with lots of foot traffic with the goal of moving in sooner.

No word on whether Bliss will be doing most of their baking onsite (which would require a conditional use permit) or bringing in their wheat-free cupcakes, flax bread and savory galletes from their main Santa Rosa store.

[Photo: Bliss Bakery]

NVV March 2011: 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.

March 2011

Front Page: An interview trying to rehabilitate the infamous "worst husband in the world" Stephen Fowler who traded his Noe home for one in Eureka Valley after the Wife Swap incident - and is now considering writing a book; local Noe resident Mike Underhill heads the team trying the government's case again BP in the aftermath of the Gulf Oil spill; the story behind the "blue bottle tree" on 30th at Sanchez.

Photo: Members of Bethany United Methodist Church return to their property on Clipper at Sanchez to celebrate the start of the remodeling. The work should be done by Christmas 2011.

Features: Upper Noe Rec Center sandbox is beloved by kids - and cats (Funniest line: "Pretty much almost every day where parents come up to me and say, 'My child was sitting in the sandbox and rubbed poop all over themselves.'"); Town square concept drawings; profile of the Beatles-loving Tamasei Sushi owners on 24th Street.

Cost of Living in Noe: Zephyr reports just 3 houses and 2 condos changed hands in Noe in January.

Short Takes: Noe Valley Democratic Club meets March 16 at 7:30 PM at St. Philip's at 725 Diamond - speakers will include District 8 Supe Scott Wiener who will have updates about the new Mollie Stone's on 18th Street, Trader Joe's coming to the Castro, and the proposed Noe Valley Town Square. Also lots of food happenings at Omnivore Books this Spring.

Store Trek: LOLA women's clothing store; Little Music Makers (30th at Sanchez).

Rumors: Two Birds women's clothing boutique opens, Noe Smiles & Braces still coming soon, and Russo Music also still coming soon; several other store fronts still vacant and asking hefty monthly rent (former Mop Salon: $3,000, old J&J corner market: $5750, ex-Urban Cellars: $4500); Garage Store on Sanchez at 24th changed it's name to Decor Galore to avoid the confusion of it being an (ahem) garage store; Star Magic changed it's name to Cosmic Wizard; Mollie Stone's set to open in the Castro on March 9; Noe Valley Ministry converts parking lot on 24th Street to monthly spots to raise money (says Luke Aguilera, co-owner of the company that runs the lot for the Ministry, "...we expect we have roughly eight more months before the Ministry sells the lot, [which I guess will be] to the city). [Ed note: That's quite an edit to the quote!]

[The Noe Valley Voice]