Archive for August, 2008

Sunday Streets San Francisco a Huge Success

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Today’s Sunday Streets was just like Critical Mass, but with more hula hoops and less vitriol. It’s already being called a “sunny success.”

Here’s how it looked towards the ballpark on the Embarcadero. On a normal Sunday, this area would be filled with cars:

The Presidio Trust brought an ersatz hiking trail to the Ferry Building area:

All aboard the double dutch bus:

The whole thing was a Thriller:

And what better way to end the morning but running the bases as if you were a Giants ballplayer. The line was long for this activity:

See you out there in two weeks on September 14th!

Activities are ongoing from 9 AM – 1 PM and occurring on both dates unless otherwise indicated. Each location will have information tables, water, first aid supplies, and restrooms. # denotes activities appropriate for young children.

Chinatown: Portsmouth Square

sponsored by Self-Help for the Elderly

Alleyway Tours (9/14) 10:30-11:30; 12-1
Chinese cultural crafts
Cultural performances 9:30-12:30
DJ and Breakdancing 11-1
# Moon Bounce jumpy house

Info and Resource Tables:
Bone marrow registry (8/31)
organ donation information (9/14)
Smoking cessation
Chinatown economic action plan

Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation will offer free & secure bike parking; $5 all day parking for cars with three or more people who arrive between 7-10am

Ferry Park
sponsored by Sports Basement and YogaForce

Adult Yoga 9:15 -10:30; 10:30-11:45;
# PoeTREE Playshop 11:30
Peace Walks 9:30
# Yoga for Kids 10:30-11:15

Justin Herman Plaza





















# Introduction to lacrosse on JHP field
# Soccer drills on JHP field
# Wheelchair activities next to Fountain
Boomercize® 9-9:25 10-10:25 11-11:25
Aerobic Bootcamp 9:30-10 10:30-11 11:30-12
Thriller Dance 12-12:20
Flashdance 12:30-1










Ferry Plaza

Sunday Streets Main Information Table
Volunteer and Media Check-In
Resource Fair
First Aid Booth
*Bike Rentals (includes helmet)
Let’s Be Healthy walking group (9/14) 9:.30
Trex in the City – to Fisherman’s Wharf 12:00

Ferry Building: Free Valet Bike Parking & Live Music

South Beach Park
sponsored by Impala Racing Team (8/31) and
The SOMA 2008 Block Party (9/14)

Activities for 8/31:
# Healthy activities for kids
# Hula hoop contest Every 15 minutes
# 50 yard activity dash Every 30 minutes
# Rope jumping contests Every 30 minutes
# Running drills Every 30 minutesSports physical therapy consultations
Sun salutes Every 30 minutes
# Various lawn activities

Activities for 9/14:
Activities by the SOMA 2008 Block Party at South Beach
Park/Pier 40 Having Fun and Building Community.

City Kayak – reduced packages available at

AT & T Ballpark
sponsored by the San Francisco Giants

Come in and run bases on 8/31 from 10-12. Enter at McCovey Cove

China Basin
sponsored by Cheryl Burke Dance and Rhythm and Motion/ODC

# Youth group activities located on t-ball field

Dance classes for 8/31:
Lindy in the Park 9-9:30
Tribal Belly Dance 9:30-0
Double Dutch 10-10:30
Dance Workout 10:30-11
Afro-Columbian 11-11:30
Salsa 11:30-12
East Coast Swing 12-12:30
Dance Workout 12:30-1

Dance classes for 9/14:
Flamenco 9-9:30
Chinese Classical Dance 9:30-0
Double Dutch 10-10:30
Samba 10:30-11
Dance Workout 11-11:30
Cardio Latin Dance with Cheryl Burke 11:30-12
Salsa 12-12:30
Dance Workout 12:30-1

Take a trip on Lovely Martha to Fisherman’s Wharf. Hourly rides start at 10, departing from Pier 52, SF’s only public boat launch. (9/14)

Illinois Street
sponsored by the SF Bicycle Coalition

First Aid Booth
Adult bike education
Bicycle repair/bike tune-ups
*Bicycle rentals (includes helmet)
# Bicycle rodeo
# Freedom from Training Wheels
Helmet fittings
Tours of Historic Pier 70 Every 30 minutes

*Bike & Roll Rental information required: Valid ID (driver’s license or passport) and credit card. Must be 18 years or older unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Bike rentals are free for 1 hour; a $10 per half hour late charge applies.

Bayview Hunters Point

sponsored by the Bayview Opera House and
Joe Lee Rec Center

Bayview Opera House Activities:
Bicycle tune-up corral
Chinese food demonstration
# Double Dutch
# Sports clinics: golf, tennis
# Roller skating (9/14)

Opera House Stage:
Yoga (8/31) 10-10:30
Martial Arts (8/31)11-11:30 Swing dance lessons 11:30-1
Tai Chi and Wushu (9/14) 10-11

Info and Resource Tables:
Health screenings (Asthma 9/14 only)
Environmental display (9/14)
Violence Prevention
Learning and educational outreach
Heart healthy food demo (9/14)

Joe Lee Rec Center
Basketball, Ping Pong, Workout room
# Moon Bounce

*Bayview YMCA:
Boxing, Aerobics, Fitness Room

*Walking tours to the YMCA from Opera house


Can You Ride Your Bike on California Freeways? Yes, You Can!

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Now, we’re not talking about temporarily closing down a freeway to cars on Father’s Day like they did in Pasadena a while back, to the horror of Rob Anderson.

And we’re not talking about an illegal bicycle romp in traffic the way the Crimanimalz do it on the 405.

We’re talking about you legally riding your bike on the right side of some of California’s 4000 miles of freeway.

Well, according to the California Department of Transportation, maker of melty orange and blue cupcakes, si, se puede! Yes, you can ride your bike on about 1000 miles of California freeway.

Click to expand

For proof, check out this white sign in Marin County on the 101 South. You see? It says “BICYCLES MUST EXIT” so that means, assuming you didn’t ignore any “Bicycles Prohibited” sign, it’s all good for you to be on this stretch of freeway. Q.E.D. Res Ipsa Loquitur.

Here’s the CalTrans version:

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

And here’s the Vehicle Code:

21960.  (a) The Department of Transportation and local authorities,
by order, ordinance, or resolution, with respect to freeways,
expressways, or designated portions thereof under their respective
jurisdictions, to which vehicle access is completely or partially
controlled, may prohibit or restrict the use of the freeways,
expressways, or any portion thereof by pedestrians, bicycles or other
nonmotorized traffic or by any person operating a motor-driven
cycle, motorized bicycle, or motorized scooter.  A prohibition or
restriction pertaining to bicycles, motor-driven cycles, or motorized
scooters shall be deemed to include motorized bicycles; and no
person may operate a motorized bicycle wherever that prohibition or
restriction is in force.  Notwithstanding any provisions of any
order, ordinance, or resolution to the contrary, the driver or
passengers of a disabled vehicle stopped on a freeway or expressway
may walk to the nearest exit, in either direction, on that side of
the freeway or expressway upon which the vehicle is disabled, from
which telephone or motor vehicle repair services are available.
   (b) The prohibitory regulation authorized by subdivision (a) shall
be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are
erected upon any freeway or expressway and the approaches thereto.
If any portion of a county freeway or expressway is contained within
the limits of a city within the county, the county may erect signs on
that portion as required under this subdivision if the ordinance has
been approved by the city pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section
1730 of the Streets and Highways Code.
   (c) No ordinance or resolution of local authorities shall apply to
any state highway until the proposed ordinance or resolution has
been presented to, and approved in writing by, the Department of
   (d) An ordinance or resolution adopted under this section on or
after January 1, 2005, to prohibit pedestrian access to a county
freeway or expressway shall not be effective unless it is supported
by a finding by the local authority that the freeway or expressway
does not have pedestrian facilities and pedestrian use would pose a
safety risk to the pedestrian.

See you out there. Stay safe!

Introducing the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex in Berkeley

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Now, your first reaction might be: “When did Tom Bates die?” But no, he’s alive and well. Apparently, it’s kosher to name an RSC after a living person even though America is not a totalitarian country. Who knew?  

Over in the West Bay, the Mayor of Berkeley is perhaps best known for an “irrational act of election fatigue.” In other words, “stealing” free newspapers (at UC Berkeley!) and then lying about it for a month or so back in 2002:  

“The Daily Cal, which called for Bates to resign, criticized him not only for taking the paper from kiosks on Sproul Plaza, home of the Free Speech Movement, but also for lying to a Daily Cal reporter by saying he didn’t do it.”   

Click to enlarge

How wude! Anywho, let’s let bygones be bygones.

When you pass by the TBRSC, the first thing you’ll notice are all the shiny, silvery things fluttering in the wind. They keep the geese away, or at least that’s the idea. These days of course, even the New York Times knows about the East Bay’s huge goose problem.  

But some are calling this place a Goose Haven, as Canada Geese don’t seem to mind the silvery all that much. Maybe the streamers attract the geese?

They’re ranting and raving about this over in the East Bay. Oh well.

Attend Camp Obama and Become a Deputy Field Organizer

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

It won’t be as sweet as Cupcake Camp, or as informative as WordCamp, or as high tech as Apple Camp, but Obama Camp is coming back to California. Why not sign up and become a Deputy Field Organizer?

1. Attend a two-day Camp Obama training.
2. Make at least two weekend trips to Nevada between September 12 and October 26, leaving on a Friday (to arrive no later than 9 a.m. Saturday) and returning on Sunday.
3. Travel to Nevada for the GOTV period, arriving October 31st and staying through Election Day November.

Check it out, via Barack Obama’s photostream. Click to enlarge:

Camp Obama in San Francisco is September 20th through 21st.

If you can qualify…

An Arresting Image Accompanies a Protest in San Francisco

Friday, August 29th, 2008

With the California state budget stalemate dragging on for two months, helped along by those who signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” suicide pact, about 40 protesters showed up at the State Building in San Francisco’s Civic Center to object to any further cuts to education.

Rallies and protests regarding the budget are par for the course these days, but check out this sign from yesterday. Depicting Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ripping babies in half might be going too far, but this poster is simply arresting so give it points for that.   

Click to enlarge:

A Pocket Gopher in Golden Gate Park Gets Evicted by a Heron

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

This hungry Great Blue Heron  waited around for a few minutes before plucking a pocket gopher from a hole in a meadow in Golden Gate Park.

It’s the circle of life. Poor little feller.

Click to expand.

So, Is the Outside Lands Music Festival Coming Back in 2009?

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Was the recent, successful Outside Lands music festival a transcendent musical experience, chaotic logistical nightmare, or a little bit of both?

Despite some discord, things went the way you would have expected. The kids that came up from Stanford University liked it and the solons of Sacramento thought the whole deal was worth the trip.  

Even though thousands of people snuck in, Parks and Rec made more money than anticipated. This paves the way for more concerts in Golden Gate Park. See you there!

These young lovers skated down to the festival. Will they be able to come back next year?  


Civic Center Tableau Mort: Concrete and Clay and General Decay

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

This area near Golden Gate and Van Ness can’t really be called the Tenderloin, as you can see City Hall’s duomo is quite close by.

So, you have an abandoned lot that’s been unused for donkey’s years, an abandoned Trader Vic’s, an abandoned Quizno’s, an abandoned California State Building (sadly still windmill-free and dormant since being attacked in 1991), and an architectural McDonald’s with an abandoned second floor. There used to be bushes on this lot, but they’re all gone now.

Some California poppies are the only sign of life you can see here. Sort of a bleak area…

Clique pour la pleine horreur:

The Windmill is Here! Now at Slow Food Nation 08.

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Right now it’s just blowing in the wind, but pretty soon this newly-installed windmill will earn its keep at San Francisco’s Slow Food Nation ’08.

Finally, here it is!

“Welcome Pavilions – Jensen Architects
The entryway to Slow Food Nation, the Welcome Pavilions at Fort Mason and Civic Center Plaza will be visible from near and far. Serving as a beacon and a billboard, each Welcome Center will be housed in a re-claimed shipping container painted Slow Food Nation signature orange and topped by a full size, galvanized steel windmill.”

The Victory Garden is coming along nicely and even the skeptics might be getting on board.

See you there!

Bruce Wolfe Kicks Off Campaign for S.F. College Board

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

This was the scene last night when Bruce Wolfe began campaigning for Community College Board at a fundraiser on Divisidero Street.

Bruce Wolfe with supporter Frank Rizzo from the Sierra Club in the background:

Read some Howls from the Wolfe” here on his official website.

It looks like he’s off to a good start.