October 27, 2013

Photos: Noe Valley Harvest Festival 2013

It was a stunning fall day for The Noe Valley Harvest festival. Some highlights from this year's fun:

Long lines at the jumpy tent
Costume contest: Shirley Temple, a tiny snail and Dia de Los Muertos took home the top prizes
Bubbles! Candy!
Water dunk high-five via Townsquared
Hayride horses via ms_monti
Little ones
Mask shopping
Organic pumpkin
The bulldogs in costume return via Jessefreidin
The pumpkin patch 
Scary pumpkin raffle
Even Scott Wiener dropped by...
Happy Halloween Noe Valley via ebrazill

October 26, 2013

This Week In Noe Valley: Zuckerberg's Monster Remodel, Cyclists Spooked, Tuna Hearts And Other Frights

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: pablo: "Noe knows Halloween"]

October 24, 2013

This Weekend Is The Noe Valley Harvest Festival

The 9th Annual Noe Valley Harvest Festival is this Saturday from 10-5 on 24th St between Sanchez and Church. Expect music all day on two stages, over 50 local vendors, lots of fun for kids, costume contests (for dogs, too, natch) and the ubiquitous hay ride. The Farmer's Market will be open all day. Check out the official website and also photos from past years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012.

Harvest Fest is organized and run by volunteers from the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association, the Noe Valley Association and local residents.

What: Noe Valley Harvest Festival
Where: 24th St between Sanchez and Church
When: Saturday, October 26, 10AM-5PM
Cost: Free!

October 18, 2013

Rumor: Noe's Bar Has Been Sold

Earlier this month we received a tip via email that Noe's Bar and/or Basso's has been sold:
Rumor is that Noe's (including the Basso's restaurant) on 24th & Church has changed ownership and will be closing for several weeks of renovations sometime before the end of the 2013. It will reopen under a new name. I can only assume it won't be anything like the same neighborhood bar anymore.
We can't find anything online - nothing pending on CA ABC, SF DBI, or rumored on the NVV. Admittedly, we've been too busy this month to stop in for a drink and ask some questions.

Lending credibility to the rumor is this post from last year advertising a Noe Valley pizzeria for sale. Key words include "well established for 30 years" and "not a distressed business." At the time we suspected Haystack was ready to cash out, but now we think otherwise. Turns out Wayne Basso and his family have owned and operated Noe's Bar since 1982 - exactly 30 years before a pizza restaurant in Noe Valley was posted for sale. They took over the restaurant side from Cybelle's in 2008. The listing also indicates that the owner will relocate abroad.

Today we received another tip via Twitter that the bar has been sold, and since we really don't know anything we're asking for your help.

As we're posting Twitter is responding:

What have you heard? We'd like to know more, and we'd like to hear from all parties involved if possible. Comment, or send us an email.

[NVSF: For Sale: Noe Valley Pizzeria]
[NVV: Store Trek, February 2008]
[Photo: Roberto Cosenza]

Come Celebrate 28 Years Of Phoenix Books And Meet The New Owners Of Folio Books

We posted in August that Kate Rosenberger was looking for a buyer for Phoenix Books so she could simplify her life and this week we learned who the new buyer is. More on that lower down. Phoenix Books is shutting down this Sunday, October 20th, and Kate would like to celebrate her 28 years in Noe Valley with a party. There will be pie, cake and drinks all day with live music by Octomutt from 2-5pm.

If you recall, Kate is not getting out of the book business - she will continue to operate Dog Eared, Alley Cat and Badger Books. Here are a few details from the FAQ posted at the store for those of you who have done business with Phoenix:
Can I sell/trade my books? Will it have new used books?
No, the new store will carry only new and remaindered books.

Will my credit still be valid?
Credits on a Phoenix trade slip will be valid until the end of the year.

Will there be a sale?
No, the used books are going to the other stores.
The new owners will also be at the party and will be familiar to many: Paula and John Foley were partners at the Castro St location of Cover to Cover Books from 2003-2005. We contacted Paula for a few more details:
At one point you were involved with Cover to Cover. What have you been doing since it closed?
I left Cover to Cover in 2005, and have spent much of the time since working at a couple of other great Bay Area independents - Book Passage and The Booksmith. I managed the Book Passage store at the Ferry Building for a number of years, and also did all sorts of back office jobs at their main store in Marin.

What made you want to open a bookstore of your own?
When I was growing up my grandfather owned a small restaurant. It was a wonderful place with a lot of regulars and a warm staff who made everyone feel at home. It’s still my ideal of a small, neighborhood business and I hope I can follow his example. It’s always a privilege to further people’s reading lives, and being able to do that in a neighborhood setting is really special. In a neighborhood like Noe Valley, even more so.

Folio is a great play on your name, and has great book related meaning. Is there a story of how you chose the name?
When we were searching for a name, I made a long list of book-related words and read them aloud to my husband. He has a theater background, so “folio” immediately brought Shakespeare’s First Folio to mind. I liked how it refers to physical books and the making of books, and also that it comes from the Latin word for leaf. We were so focused on the meaning of the word that it took me a bit to realize that it was also basically our name. I felt a little self-conscious about that, and at first I couldn’t say “Hi, I’m Paula Foley from Folio Books” without cracking up. But now I’m having fun with it – it’s a built-in way not to take things too seriously.

In a nutshell, what’s the focus of the shop? What types of books will you be featuring? Bestsellers, fiction, travel or …?
We’ll search for great choices across a wide variety of subjects and genres, and we’ll be putting a lot of emphasis on the children’s section. We’ll also feature small, focused collections – maybe around a particular small publisher, or tied to something going on in the city, or just because, and those will change out often to keep things fresh.

Do have plans for events at the store?
Yes, definitely. Everything from author nights with Noe Valley characters like Peter Gabel and Bill Yenne, to authors on national tour, to fun things like spelling bees and word-game nights. We also hope to participate in Litquake, One City One Book, that sort of thing. We’ll have events for kids as well.

Why did you decide not to carry used books?
My goal is to have a financially healthy bookstore that will serve the neighborhood for a long time. I can best accomplish that with a “new” bookstore. As different as a used bookstore and a new bookstore can be for a customer, they are even more different to run, with very different business models and economic realities.

How do you plan to be involved in the community?
First and foremost, I hope we’ll serve as a “third place”, one that helps anchor the community and cultural life of the neighborhood. We want to be a place where you get into a conversation about books with a neighbor you haven’t yet met, or run into your friends. Beyond that, we hope to partner with groups and organizations with fund-raising nights, special events, and other ways to help them in their efforts. Schools and literacy are obvious areas of common interest, but I also have an interest in elder issues and trying to help people continue to have meaningful reading lives as they age.

Bernie’s, Philz, Starbucks or Martha’s?

Folio Books plans to open the first week of November. Stay tuned.

Folio Books
3957 24th St

[NVSF: For Sale: Phoenix Books]

October 17, 2013

Firefly Restaurant Is Turning 20

The homey, charming, best-fried-chicken-in-SF restaurant Firefly is turning 20 on November 3 and owners Brad and Veva are throwing a birthday dinner from the past to celebrate:
During the week of Wednesday, October 30 to Tuesday, November 5th, we will honor our humble beginnings with a menu featuring some of our greatest hits from our first few weeks.  And then, on our actual Birthday Sunday, November 3rd, we will feature our greatest hits menu with the special addition of Brad at the stoves, Veva at the door and former line cook Brian Moran swingin' some of the most amazing Brazilian jazz guitar you've ever heard. To top it off, on Nov 3, our menu will have original prices as well.  That's right!  $6.50 for Shrimp and Sea Scallop Potstickers!  Sound too good to be true? Well, kind of. Seating will be limited, so we want to make sure the people dining with us on Nov 3 have a special connection to Firefly.
More here if you want to email the owners your Firefly memories and land a reservation on November 3.

Firefly 4288 24th Street

[Photo credit: Bay Area Bites]

October 11, 2013

Announced: Be Yoga

The Corner of Clipper and Sanchez will host a new yoga studio beginning October 22nd. Be Yoga is opening its fourth outlet, the "first of several SF locations" with a celebration including free yoga on the 26th. Details on the Be Yoga Noe Valley blog.

Clipper Corner dog grooming vacated last month when the owner retired.

Be Yoga
1250 Sanchez St

Closed: Dermalounge

We received a tip via Twitter that Dermalounge abruptly closed up shop at 1301 Church St. The notice posted on the states "Dermalounge has suspended operations as of October 5, 2013. Thank you for your support over the years." It directs inquiries to the mailing address for its other location in Burlingame - also closed. We attempted to contact the owner via phone and email without success. Dermalounge's website and Twitter have been pulled down.

We weren't the only ones surprised by the closure. Reviews on Yelp express anger that Dermalounge would close without contacting customers about future appointments, credits due or even to cancel an invite-only event at the vacated Burlingame location.

Dermalounge had been here since 2006 when it took over the space from Nourish Skin Care Center.

October 3, 2013

NVV Oct 2013: 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 outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories online until the middle of the month.

October 2013

Front Page: Noe's bar is hosting an Animal Care and Control fundraiser on Oct. 19; Harvest Fest is coming on Oct. 26; Real Foods is still closed (this is year 10).

Letters: Shannon on Duncan Street is not a fan of the many pigeons (aka flying rats) in the neighborhood; RIP Kathleen Dwyer, the "Bird Lady of Noe Valley."

Features and Short Takes: The Noe Valley Association is meeting for input on how to make 24th St safer for pedestrians on Oct 30 at 7pm in the Sally Brunn Library community room; several blocks in Noe will be under road construction to upgrade the water main - get details at sfwater.org/construction.

Cost of Living in Noe: Thirteen homes sold in Noe Valley this August and all for more than $1.35 million. The most expensive home that sold cost $5 million - and the average price of a home here is now $2.5 million. The average rent for a 1 bedroom? $2,761.

Store Trek: Griddle Fresh (4007 24th St)

Rumors: Todd David reports that The Noe Valley Town Square improvements should happen after the first of the year - in the meantime, the Square still needs to raise $300,000 more to reach the final improvement goal; Google and Genentech workers have pledged the most to the Square so far, but other companies have also kicked in with matching programs including Survey Monkey, Chevron, Apple, Disney, Salesforce, the Gap, Tibco, VMWare and nVidia; over 500 residents have pitched in. Millionaire NIMBYs are protesting their neighbors plans to improve or expand their houses. Noe Valley's red-hot real estate market makes news after the Twitter IPO was announced. A CardioTone pop-up opens in the old Bay Cleaners spot; the former Lola spot on Castro at 24th St. will soon be occupied by Nail Chic which is moving in from next door - the old Nail Chic space will become Tone of Music Audio, a high-end home entertainment components store that currently operates out of a living room on Jersey St.; Elisa's Health Spa has been taken over by the Huynh family which operates Crystal Island Massage in Oakland's Chinatown; When Modern Was owners Dona Taylor and Alison Porter are converting When Modern Was II into Buttons, an old-fashioned candy store. Douglass St resident Janet Kessler has created a YouTube video to raise awareness about coyotes in the city.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

October 2, 2013

Is This Your Lost Cat on Vicksburg?

A concerned neighbor and good Samaritan emailed us this item:
We found an injured grayish/brownish male tabby cat on the sidewalk in front of our house on Vicksburg Street (something was wrong with his back legs, he couldn't walk). A neighbor brought him to Animal Care, where he is being cared for.   

The phone number at Animal Care is 554.6364 and his ID number at the shelter is A345506.  He does not have a chip. He seems like a really sweet cat.
Help get the word out and let's get this kitty home!