Mission Playground

Protest Planned to Battle City's Soccer Field Policies

Following on the heels of last Thursday’s video depicting Dropbox and Airbnb employees attempting to kick a group of children off the Mission Playground soccer field, a protest has been planned by the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club challenging the city sanctioned system by which the tech employees reserved the field.

Scheduled to take place this Thursday at 9:00 AM on the steps of City Hall, the protest organizers state the following goals:

1) We demand an immediate end to the privatization of Mission Playground and for all public access be restored
2) We demand that all privatized use for adults of Mission Playground and other youth-used recreation spaces throughout the city undergo community review planned by the neighborhood
3) We demand that community customs and park traditions be followed and supported by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.
4) We demand full-time San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department staff for Mission Playground.

The youth of our city should not have to pay to use our public parks. Their health cannot afford it. Their safety cannot bare it. The relationships and community built from free play is what will help bring our City together. Join us and speak for the youth of San Francisco! Let’s keep our parks accessible to the elderly, disabled, poor and working-class.

The protest organizers seem focused not on the extreme sense of entitlement demonstrated by the Dropbox/Airbnb employees (some of which have apologized for their actions), but rather on the paid reservation system put in place by the Recreation & Parks Department, which fostered the conflict shown in the video. This is a good thing, as protesting the tech community is clearly a losing battle. And there is actually a chance that the city will take a look at their parks policies, which allow for the use of public space to be restricted to only those that can afford to pay for it. 

Things That Go Hump In The Night

The Mission Now Has an Erotic Haunted House

Falling squarely into the category of things we didn’t know we needed, but now we’re pretty sure are essential to the character of the city, everyone’s favorite porn palace has announced the opening of “the world’s first erotic haunted house.”

Hell in the Armory is being described as “a BDSM-inspired, immersive theater/haunted house experience through the basement sets of the world’s largest porn studio.” A press release (surprisingly light on “immersive theater” puns) from Kink goes into more detail:

“We know that many people find Kink’s films scary, so we wanted to have a little fun with that,” said Andrew Harvill, the producer of the event. “The Armory building itself is actually haunted, so setting up a real haunted house tour using our dungeons and sets was a natural fit. It’s both terrifying and, depending on your kink, arousing.” […]

To create the world’s first erotic haunted house, the porn company partnered with legendary San Francisco’s Vau de Vire Society, a subcultural circus with an eye for the extreme.

Hell in the Armory runs until November 1st, and the kind folks at Kink helpfully mention that “parental guidance is strongly suggested.”

Not Coming Soon

Prankster Promises Noe Valley Hooters

Posted on the exterior of the now closed Bliss Bar, this unassuming public notice promises a little excitement for sleepy Noe Valley in the form of cheap chicken with a side of objectification. 

But the families of Stroller Valley can breathe a sigh of relief, as this is clearly a joke. If the proposed (amazing) business name of “Neighborhooters” is not enough of a giveaway, the corporate name of Hooters is actually “Hooters of America, LLC” and not “Hooters, LLC” (as pointed out by others).

[Photo: ErosResmini]


Bros Attempt to Kick Kids Off Mission Soccer Field

In what has to be the most literal analogy possible for gentrification in the Mission, a video from two weeks ago depicts a conflict over who has the right to play on the soccer field at Mission Playground (located off Valencia between 19th and 20th). In the video, a group of adults attempt to kick a bunch of young people playing a pick-up game off the field because said adults had previously paid for the time slot via an experiment with new mobile app technology (or something).

The following exchange seems to sum up the disagreement best:

Guy Already Playing on Field: You don’t understand— this field has never been booked. How long have you been in the neighborhood?
Bro: Over a year!
GAPOF: Oh, over a year?
Off Camera Guy in Dropbox Tee-Shirt: Who gives a shit? Who cares about the neighborhood?

Update: It has come to our attention that the field was not rented via the SF Pickup Soccer mobile app. Instead, the group of adults seem to have rented the field directly with the Rec & Park Department (and paid $27 to do so).

There has been quite a bit of debate as to whether the adults’ actions were justified because they legally rented the field. It’s clear the Rec & Park’s relatively recent policy of allowing Mission Playground to be rented out is deeply controversial, and might not have been made in the best interest of the community. Making public spaces quasi-private by charging usage fees is always going to restrict lower income resident’s access to parks—especially children’s. People should question the Parks Department judgment in making this policy.

But the policy is besides the point. Having the proper paperwork does not excuse shitty behavior. Once a group adults threatened to call the police on youths playing soccer, they’ve lost.

Bike Thieving

Cyclists Are Being Attacked By Bike Thieves on the Panhandle

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is calling for an increased police presence in the Panhandle after a series of attacks on cyclists:

In the last two weeks, three people have recently been attacked while biking through the Panhandle. According to the reports, the victims were all hit with a bottle or blunt object, and the assailants either stole or attempted to steal their bikes.

Though attacks like this are very rare, this string of three assaults on one of our busiest bikeways is very concerning. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has called  on the SF Police Department to step up enforcement to help ensure the safety of the huge number of people who bike through this area. We have reached out to Captain Vaswani to immediately step up enforcement along the Panhandle at night.

Basically, people are always trying to steal bikes in this city. Whether locked outside, stored in a garage, or with you physically sitting on it— keep an eye out. 

[Photo: BIKE NOPA]

Bad News

Pedestrian and Cyclist Hit by Car on 15th and Valencia

At roughly 4:40 PM today a car struck both a pedestrian and cyclist on the corner of 15th and Valencia. This is the second accident involving an automobile striking a pedestrian along Valencia this week, with Streetsblog reporting a hit-and-run that took place this past Sunday. In that incident, the driver kept going despite the victim being carried on the roof:

A drunk driver who hit a man crossing the street at Valencia Street and Duboce Avenue Sunday continued to drive with the victim hanging head-first inside the sunroof, according to a witness who saw the vehicle stop outside his home on Market at Guerrero Streets.

We will update this post as more information comes in.

Fun Times

Dr. Teeth Gobbles Up Neighboring Bar

Fans of getting wasted and playing cornhole rejoiced yesterday, as news broke that the owners of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem had taken over the recently vacated restaurant next door (and its attendant liquor license) and will be opening up a new spot tentatively called “The Buffalo Club.”

Eater reported on what the expansion means for the Mission:

Yup, that’s right, the bro-bar kings (also of Bullitt, Tonic, Lightning Tavern, Soda Popinski, Wild Hare, and the now-shuttered Royal Tug Yacht Club and Rebel) are increasing their foothold in the Mission. Their takeover of Assaf’s roomy, two-story restaurant space, with a tentative moniker of The Buffalo Club, is intended to complement both Dr. Teeth and the neighborhood; it comes with a prized full liquor license. […]

Given their 7/8 track record of successful bars and the continuing popularity of their current formula (wings, sliders, cheap beer, Fernet and Fireball on tap), it seems that we could soon be seeing a lot more of this type of establishment (and its patrons) in the Mission.

It has to be noted that the proposed name for the new establishment, “The Buffalo Club,” is an odd choice for a spot that will without a doubt be responsible for hoards of Marina bros flocking to the Mission. But I guess it does fit nicely into the long history of artisan white people reclaiming the buffalo.

[Photo: Art And Entertain Me]

Good News

Little Baobab Slated to Reopen By End of Year

In a bit of welcomed news, Capp Street Crap is reporting that everyone’s favorite Senegalese restaurant, Little Baobab, is slated to reopen by the end of the year. The restaurant, located on 19th Street between Mission and Capp, has been closed since May of last year when a fire knocked it out of commission.

For the past three months, crews have been working to fix up the damaged space at 3376 19th St., between Mission and Capp streets. Owner Marco Senghor said he’s planning to reinvent Little Baobab as a Senegalese fast food restaurant serving wraps, crepes, popsicles and fresh juice.

In business since the late 1990s, Little Baobab has been shuttered since May 10, 2013, when a fire broke out in its kitchen area. The cause was never determined. […]

Because of the fire, Senghor now has to make the space ADA compliant. His goal is reopen the restaurant in the next two months or so. He’s also applying for a permit for outdoor seating.

Fingers crossed that the renovations continue smoothly, and that the outdoor seating permits come through.

[Photo: El Tecolote]

It's Still Too Damn High

Still High Rent Begins Falling in the Mission

While it comes as no surprise that rents across San Francisco continued to increase this past September, the Mission and Bernal Heights were two notable exceptions to the trend.

Curbed reports:

The Mission, which seems to always feature in conversations about about gentrification and high rents, has since January actually seen its median one-bedroom rent fall by $300, to $2,500, which is lower even [than] its August 2013 rate of $2,725. This is one of the only neighborhoods that has seen a price drop, although nearby Bernal Heights has also lowered from $3,070 in January to $2,650, just above last year’s $2,525.

It is important to note that it’s unclear if this is an actual sustained downward trend or just a quick moment of relief. As Curbed and Zumper’s data points out, rents increased in the Mission at least through this past January before falling in recent months.