December 31, 2021

This Year in Noe Valley: The Biggest Stories of 2021

When the word of the year is vaccine, you know it was a doozy. We started with an insurrection and are ending with the pandemic grinding into year three. Gah.

For a minute there we were all hopeful when vaccines arrived. And then the Delta variant surged and now Omicron is spoiling the party. As one TV writer on Twitter put it: "If I’d known the roaring 20s would be three weeks in June, I would have done more."
But here we are. There were other stories this year, including schools reconvening, Afghanistan, meme stonks, crypto, the Facebook Files and the metaverse, billionaires in space, the infrastructure deal… and SO much more. But the backbeat to all of it was the pandemic.

Yet even in the madness, Noe Valley is still a small slice of quirky sanity for those of us lucky enough to live here. 

Here’s a look back at the biggest stories of 2021 in Noe Valley: 

Streets Are for People 
Yep, Sanchez is staying slow and this year hosted tons of fun. Plus, it’s now home to an awesome blocklong street mural by artist Amos Goldbaum. We’ve also seen streateries/eatlets become more permanent like the ones in front of Noe Café, Saru, Uma Casa, NoVY, and Chloe’s. This is easily one of the best things to come out of the pandemic.

Noe Valley Is a Magnet for Cool Eateries
This year we gained a new Australian rotisserie, Mr, Digby’s, and La Lucha, a cool new café on Sanchez. Noe Café also expanded its offerings and now has taco pop-ups. In a year when most restaurants were closing, we’re lucky to have some new gems in addition to the regulars like Firefly, Eric's, Hamano and more.

Crime Is Here and It Sucks
Stray shootings, smash and grabs, hate crimes, retail theft — we had it all and it’s a bummer. After 3 break-ins this year, Gallery of Jewels (which has been here for 30 years) shuttered it’s Noe location for good. Be careful out there, be kind to each other — and consider doing what you can to help others who are less fortunate.

Everyone Wants to Live Here
Forget the headlines: People did not flee Noe Valley or the Bay Area en masse in the pandemic. If anything, the real estate market got even hotter.  

Here's to a Hopeful 2022
For those of us who remember when the biggest story was Real Foods closing (it’s now a Skin Spa) or Whole Foods opening (it’s now an Amazon warehouse) things change fast (and a lot). We’re going to miss some much-loved institutions like the Rabats and Cotton Basics, and the former owners of Just for Fun.  

But Noe Valley is still home to so many great things and we have so much to look forward to. The new Birch & Rye restaurant coming to the old Mahila/Contigo space looks great, as does the new sushi restaurant going into the former Bacco space. Slow Sanchez is an incredible gift to the neighborhood — as is the ongoing Saturday Farmer’s Market and the Noe Valley Town Square. We have world class restaurants like Saru, Al’s Place and La Ciccia and even under-the-radar great Brazilian food at Noeteca. (Be sure to support them all as we have to go back to takeout only for a bit...) We’ve had lots and lots of RAIN this December. And what other neighborhood has a library that is a work of art and a Solstice Crack?! Life is pretty great when you think about it.

Phew. We made it — 2022 is upon us. 

Happy New Year, Noe Valley. Wear your mask, stay safe and we’ll see you out there.

This blog is now a teenager at 13 years old (!), and although we don’t always have time to post weekly, it’s still a labor of love and we always appreciate your tips. Thanks for reading both here and on Twitter @NoeValleySF.

Feeling nostalgic? Here were the top stories of 20202019201820172016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012

[Photos: Moody Noe skies via ithenightowl, Slow Sanchez via danluscher, Gallery of Jewels via Gallery of Jewels, Mr. Digby's via mrdigbys, Dolores sunrise via carosain, Noe steps via sf_stairs_stares

December 11, 2021

This Week in Noe Valley: Holiday Spirit Arrives in the Wishing Tree, the Tree Twins, and Christmas on Dolores

The latest news from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs.
[Photo: The Folio SF bookstore team gets in the holiday spirit #shoplocal via foliosf]

December 5, 2021

This Week in Noe Valley: Slow Streets Considered, Winter Wonderland, Labor Shortages Hit Home

The latest news from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs.
[Photo: Fnnch salmon mural on 23rd Street via mrp1cture]