The city has been threatening to build a combination skate and dog park behind Zeitgeist for the better half of forever, and now it looks like it's finally happening. Yesterday, the Board of Supervisors approved Jane Kim's resolution to pay the park's $10,000/month rent for the next 20 years, clearing the final bureaucratic hurdle to building the park.
Here's how the final proposal for the forthcoming (and unfortunately named) SoMa West Skate Park and Dog Play Area:
Located at the corner of Duboce and Stevenson in Downtown San Francisco, the soon to be constructed SoMa Skate Plaza embodies the culmination of over two years of planning and coordination between the local skate community, Civic and State Government agencies and members of our international consulting team. The plaza offers an expansive combination of features inspired by local spots such as Channel Street, 3 up 3 down, and the iconic Justin Herman Plaza - resulting in unique world class urban skate destination with an unmistakable San Francisco feel.
And here's how Bryan Hornbeck of the SF Skateboarding Assocaition described the park to The Examiner:
The park will have banked ledges, stairs, rails and rolling ramps that skateboarders of all skills can use. Unlike the other four skate parks in The City, the new site will be well-lit and have supervision and rules against BMX riders using the equipment.
Now with the land secure, the dog and skateboard park (and, hopefully, a dog on skateboard park) could break ground as soon as this summer, which the opening date scheduled for March 2014.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
We've heard little positive about Yaron Milgrom over the years. To say the owner of Local: Mission Eatery, Local's Corner, and the forthcoming Local Mission Market is controversial would be putting it lightly: we've heard him called nearly every foul epithet in the book. Many businesses along 24th seem to see his restaurants as a unwelcome intrusion--a Trojan Horse of wealth and whiteness set to spoil the Latino vibe of the corridor. The vitriol is of such acidity that when he once set out to build a parklet on 24th, he was shut down almost instantaneously, many feeling it was a plot to make street safe for his clientele.
The criticism always seemed a bit overblown--like people were just wound-up and took their energy out on him. The few, brief times we've interacted with him and his businesses, nothing ever seemed amiss. And plenty of other like-businesses, from Wise Sons and Pig & Pie, seem to get a pass from neighbors.
However, the recent experience of longtime Mission resident and community leader Sandra Cuadra tells a different story:
In the midst of the Cesar Chavez Day celebration on April 20, Cuadra and her family of 5 approached Local’s Corner restaurant at 23rd and Bryant streets expecting to be seated with ease. However, they were denied service by a waiter at the establishment who told the family that he was unable to accommodate them without further explanation.
Shocked and disheartened, Cuadra wrote a formal report to District 9 Supervisor David Campos, who confirmed via email that he is taking the matter seriously, and has since sent the report to the Human Right’s Charter for further investigation.
Cuadra emailed over 50 community members about the experience, writing, "we did not want to think that we were turned away because we are all Latino but there was no reason why we were turned away."
That email resulted in an explosion of outrage, "frustrations about gentrification," and stories of similar encounters of discrimination. According to Cuadra, "the emails that were sent around show me that these types of incidents keep happening."
Milgrom met with Cuadra and her family, assuring her they were not denied service because of racial discrimination. However, no reason for the refused service has been publicly stated.
Early Saturday morning, a two alarm fire consumed We Be Sushi, Thai House 530, and other neighboring apartments on 16th and Valencia. A building neighbor, Jeff, filled us in on what happened:
There was a HUGE fire right behind my place this morning. Three stories, two buildings went up and are totaled on Valencia. My whole place smells like burnt wood, but is fine.
We Be Sushi is torched, looks like Thai House 530 is okay. Also, looks like Blondie's is (unfortunately) okay as well.
Jeff emailed us again a few hours later with a further update:
Thai House: not okay. My buddy there just took me though and I saw all the damage. They're going to be closed for months, if not forever because of water damage. Looks like firefighters contained it to those two buildings though.
No more details appear to be available at this time. We'll update if we hear more.
We've long felt the city needed to ease up the restrictions in the 1996 Mission District liquor license moratorium--making it easier for grocery stores and markets to remain viable in the neighborhood--and legislation introduced by Supervisors Scott Wiener and David Campos is going to do just that. The Chronicle has the scoop:
Wiener and Campos try to address a number of problems in their measure, which they planned to introduce at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.
Neighborhood stores under 5,000 square feet would be allowed to sell beer and wine, as long as it doesn't take up more than 15 percent of the floor space. It would also allow businesses to close for up to 120 days for repairs and upgrades without surrendering their liquor licenses. The current 30-day limit discourages business owners from making improvements to their establishments, the supervisors said.
It also will require the Planning Commission's approval for a full-service restaurant to move into a former retail space. The new rule, which is used in North Beach and other commercial areas of the city, recognizes the need for businesses that serve the community, as well as visitors.
The 1996 law was created in part to combat the proliferation of corner stores that were blamed for public drunkenness and neighborhood violence. However, the unanticipated drawback of the law is that nearly two decades later, neighborhood residents cannot buy a six pack at their corner grocer despite "tourists and well-heeled visitors [being able to get] a drink at any of the pricey restaurants in the area." The new legislation aims to change that.
We've already heard that Valencia Whole Foods would stay open later if allowed to see booze, and the forthcoming Local Mission Market has previously declared the vitality of alcohol sales to their market's success, it is hard to imagine much controversy around the proposed changes. But with the changes to the restaurant openings in retail spaces process (sacred cow!), who really knows.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
Is this a joke? An ingenious way to earn rent? The future of #swag? Either way, this acceptably-priced $80 tank top has quite the marketing pitch:
The rent is too high. You're too educated to ignore that you're part of the problem, but you're not about to move to Mountain View. Find solace in this high fashion accessory. Admit your Privilege, find release.
Given the photo looks like it was taken on some beat kitchen table, this is probably for real. So why don't you email your credit card information to some unverified gmail address? Coachella is only 11 months away...
Update: The folks behind Rent Raiser tell us the tanks are not American Apparel, but in fact "100% Vietnamese Sweatshop brand." Be advised.
Previously on Uptown Almanac
I'm not totally sure how the artist's statement behind this decapitated baby head whirligig would read, but I imagine its purpose is to make small children cry and make big children (me) laugh. Regardless, it's the most refreshing piece of street art this blogger has seen in Clarion Alley in quite some time.
Here's a moving picture Instagram of it in action: