Can We Replace All of Valencia's Street Signs With THIS?

I realize this sign is located atop of some evil yuppie Everest no-no place, but just look at that sign.  Sure, if I understood anything about typography, I might throw out some learned words justifying my admiration of this piece of perfection.  But I don't, so you'll have to just settle for my guttural take on this—that the red-on-yellow italicized whimsy of Valencia embodies the laid-back-Rhea's-sando-no-hands-on-the-handlebars spirit of the street far better than some dumb white-and-black blocky sign.


Chase Bank to Open Branch on Valencia St., Neighbors Lining Up in Opposition

Following this morning's post about the view from the new condos at 299 Valencia (at 14th), we began receiving word from a few readers about a Chase Bank moving into the first floor retail space (which a job posting confirms as true).  From one such tipster:

By the way, do you know who one of the tenants will be at the god awful condo at 14th/Valencia? None other that Chase bank. Ergh. A group was trying to push back against this, but since big banks aren't currently included in formula retail law, they kinda gave up.

That group is focused around a petition created by Quinn Avery asking Chase Bank to “cease plans to build a new branch on 14th and Valencia in San Francisco.”  The petition reads:

This petition represents the residents of San Francisco who, in support of local and communal commerce, demand that plans to build a Chase Bank branch on 14th Street and Valencia cease immediately. While there are two Chase branches in the immediate vicinity (within several blocks), this plan to dominate banking in the area represents a larger dilemma in the Mission district and beyond. The branch’s planned location is 299 Valencia, a new loft residence currently under construction. The starting price of these lofts is $400,000. People of color and the poor will be further pushed out of the neighborhood by such housing units. Chase Bank funds foreclosure and purchases apartment buildings in San Francisco, evicting low-income, senior, and disabled tenants. Chase Bank pushes families out of the neighborhood, but also forecloses upon them nationwide for profit. By signing this petition against the opening of a new Chase branch on 14th and Valencia, you show your support of local San Francisco business against big business, big banks, and for-profit home foreclosure and eviction. San Francisco does not need another Chase branch, but rather more communal and locally owned and operated endeavors.

While the Occupy Wall Street sales pitch will likely fall on deaf ears in the neighborhood, the situation, yet again, raises the important question: is this the type of business we want to see on Valencia?

Valencia Merchants are understandably sensitive about corporate businesses moving onto the street, fearing their foray into the neighborhood will provoke landlords to evict local businesses in an effort to raise rents.  Never mind the fact a big Chase facade will just look horribly out of place on an otherwise good-looking stretch of Valencia.  And while American Apparel was blocked from moving onto Valencia in 2009 by way of San Francisco's anti-formula retail laws, Chase Bank faces no such threat, as the Planning Commission ruled that banks are not subjected to the legislation.

We're told that, in a last-ditch effort, neighbors have gotten together and pushed Supervisors Mar and Olague to co-sponsor an amendment that would classify “financial services” as formula retail, allowing neighbors to weigh in on Chase moving onto Valencia.  There's a hearing scheduled for April 12th at City Hall to review the issue, but the situation already looks pretty grim for the neighbors.

[Original Photo by Curbed SF]

Brazen Bandit

This monster piece recently went up on Valencia's New College Building, across from the late-night coffee bar / power outlet The Summit.  Which makes this piece especially impressive considering there's an all-hours gaggle of people in possession of three redundant Apple products that all take pictures.

My hair is a bird, and so are my clothes


This unsual piece was added to the side of K&H Liquors on the wall next to Arinell Pizza. Perhaps it's an homage to the Nic Cage “your argument is invalid” meme, but taken to the extreme with the hairbird consisting of the woman's clothes as well. Or perhaps it's a representation of the spirit who stole the ATM that was once at this very spot on the wall. No one will ever know.

Corncob Butters Up Local Lady

This has to be one of the most confusing murals I've ever seen.  Why isn't this woman wearing any pants?  What kind of self-respecting corn on the cob listens to Bakersfield nu-metal?  And most importantly, corn doesn't have arms.

Valencia Street Turns Against Apple, Facebook

Man, I feel like it was only yesterday that the neighborhood was hating on, Etown, and Bigstep, Apple was the cool alternative to Microsoft, Myspace was still a hosting company, and Zuckerberg was getting his gym shorts pulled over his head.

Valencia Gets Its First Parklet

As mentioned back in October, Freewheel Bikes petitioned the city to have a bike-themed parklet installed outside the shop on Valencia and 20th.  And they apparently succeeded! I guess they didn't get the clear to make it bike-themed with a repair area built into the parklet, but it's got hella flora and astroturf, which is a nice upgrade from the one on 22nd.  Unlike the one on 22nd, there isn't a bunch of complimentary businesses around this parklet for people to spill out of, so it'll be cool to see if this actually gets as much usage.

Another Ugly Building Headed for Valencia

I was walking past 18th and Valencia yesterday and thought to myself, “man, this street could really use another bland tall building with plastic siding!”  Then as I came to the intersection of 20th, I saw a notice for a public hearing about a new building.  Dream come true!

Okay, sarcasm aside, this is pretty much an empty lot and its only redeeming qualities is the rad Hugh Leeman wheatpaste that Dan Plasma sidebusted and some people sell cool VHS tapes there on the weekend.  And yeah, no one is going spend the cash to build something brick or Victorian that actually fits the neighborhood's aesthetic.  But still, that's some ugly shit!

(photos via SocketSite)

The Moment of Conception

Is paper on the sidewalk street art from the moment of conception, or can it still be buffed out for the first few months before it really takes its shape?