Putting Football Behind Us

Update: Giants Home Opener is Only 41 Days Away

It’s late February and the city of San Francisco is still doing its best to forget about Richard Sherman, so let’s turn our attention to brighter matters: Spring training kicks off in three whole hours, and then it’s just 41 days until Giants home opener.  And back at AT&T Park, the grounds crew is busy turning the field into monster truck course prepping the field for action.

Sure, 2013 was a bit of a disappointment, but we’re looking forward to a long season of fog-induced hypothermia and radioactive nachos in the park.

[Photo: T. Shane Gilman]

Long Awaited SoMa West "Skate and Dog Park" Breaks Ground

After years of delays, the Department of Public Works finally broke ground on the meh-ly named “SoMa West Skate and Dog Park” a couple weeks back.  It's being built below the Central Freeway behind Zeitgeist and we're only going to have to wait until May for it to open.

From the Department of Public Works announcement:

The dog park will feature play areas for large and small dogs, water fountains for the canines and their human companions, synthetic turf, an automatic irrigation system, seating and landscaping. Additionally, there will be lighting improvements and a path that runs through the park from Stevenson Street to Valencia Street.

New Line Skateparks, one of the world's leading design and construction firms specializing in skateparks, designed the SoMa West skatepark. The plan reflects iconic San Francisco skate spots, with a special nod to Justin Herman Plaza. The Arts Commission commissioned San Francisco artist Jovi Schnell to paint a mural at the site. The artwork is inspired by the long-ago shuttered Woodward Gardens amusement park, which was located nearby.

The skate park and dog play area are part of a larger package of SoMa West improvements. The first project focused extensively on making the residential alleyways in the area safer and more beautiful. Plans also are in the works to revitalize McCoppin Hub Plaza, located at McCoppin and Valencia streets.

Of course, anyone who has even watched a dog shit itself in terror at the sight of a skater knows this setup will make for some real interesting “user conflicts.”  (But still, this is a huge upgrade from an underused parking lot.)

You can see more plans of the park in our previous coverage.

Jumping the Fence at Potrero del Sol

At Toad & Salmon's 9th Annual Chili Bowl last weekend—which we unfortunately missed because we weren't paying attention—Demarcus James hopped La Raza Skatepark's fence after eating it twice. Rad.

(And if you want to see a bunch of other fish-eyed footage from the competition, Thrasher has some solid coverage.)

[Video by JJ San]

New 24th Street Pizzeria to Feature Two Bocce Ball Courts and Also Pizza

The perennial failure of a pizza place on 24th and Bartlett will be reborn in the coming weeks as “Rustic,” a beer garden and bocce ball court that also doubles as a self-described “artisan” pizzeria (and slice shop open until 3am on weekends).  Tablehopper has the news:

The space is divided into three areas: the front room, which has limited seating and a counter, will be for to-go orders and slices. Then, in the back, there’s a small dining room that opens out onto a large patio that seats 40 people. They’ll be installing two bocce ball courts back there in the coming days, plus umbrellas and heat lamps. The patio is also protected by the wind, which is a great bonus in this town. The patio backs up to a major construction project at 24th St. and Mission, but once the project is done they’ll be able to enlarge the patio further.

With Tecate cans at $4 and drafts ranging between $5-6, this place is certainly on the pricer end of Mission beer gardens, but it does come with the privilege of throwing balls into dirt.  Besides, this stands to be the only late-night slice shop in the lower half of the Mission, so praise them for that.


Skating on a Pepperoni Pizza

As Papa John Franklin once said, “Pizza is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”  We can only imagine someone has said the same about gratuitously lo-fi skate videos.  And now, we have both together in all their grease and static-laden glory, courtesy of Henry Gunderson and his new Slicer skateboard:

[via Fecal Face]

Plans Unveiled for Urban Putt, The Mission's Forthcoming Mini Golf Course

After preemptively apologizing for looking to bring an indoor mini golf course to the Mission, Urban Putt owner Steve Fox is moving forward with his project to do just that.  And ahead of tomorrow's Planning Commission hearing, which will decide the future of the project, Fox submitted his plans for the conversion of an abandoned mortuary on 22nd and South Van Ness into the neighborhood's latest alcoholic playland:

[Steve Fox] proposes to establish a restaurant and miniature golf course (d.b.a. Urban Putt) with extended hours of operation of 6:00a.m. to 12:00a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 6:00a.m. to 2:00a.m. Friday and Saturday. The approximately 2,100 square foot miniature golf course would be located only on the ground floor. The restaurant would occupy a portion of the ground floor and the entire smaller second floor, and would use the basement for storage, totaling approximately 7,400 square feet. However, that 7,400 square feet includes bathrooms for both the restaurant and miniature golf patrons, a large amount of circulation space, and approximately 2,200 square feet of storage in the basement.

The proposed use is an independent business that is not a Formula Retail use. The proposed operation is anticipated to employ 55 people; 7 of those employees will be salaried and 48 will be hourly.

With a 6am opening time, it seems Urban Putt is aiming to unseat Clooney's as home to the most strung-out afterparty in the area—a lofty goal, if we do say so.

Of course, with industry backing from the likes of Trick Dog, Mission Bowling Club, and a “well-known restaurant group” prepping kitschy classic California comfort food, it seems doubtful many will be able to swing the cost of teeing off (including this blogger, who lives just a few doors down the once hooker-lined street).  But as we said before, we remain nevertheless stoked to see a local bar doing something rad and unique in the neighborhood.

Below, some additional designs:

Argh, the incorporated a drum circle into this.

The main hall/

Capacity for 375 people!

[h/t Socket Site]

Long Proposed Skatepark and Dogpark Behind Zeitgeist Is Moving Forward

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.

"Crazy Legs Howard" And Other Assorted Drawings From the Oakland Coliseum

Michael Morgan's “Sketchball” comic is only a few games into the A's season, but the results thus far as been promising.  Here's what he had to say about the portrait above:

If there is one thing that fans on both sides of the Bay can agree on, it’s that Crazy Legs Howard is the best concessioner in the world!

No doubt. (And if you haven't seen Crazy Legs dance at a Giants/A's/SF Bulls game before, behold the glory of a 69-year-old rad dude working the crowd:)