Posts Tagged ‘families’

Here It Is, San Francisco’s Best Christmas Tree for 2015, in an Unexpected Place – 55 Foot Tall – Straight Outta Shasta

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Just look at this thing in front of Pier 39 – it’s huge!

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And it’s 100% real, for better or worse. I heard it’s 55 feet, but officially it’s 60, perhaps due to rounding, IDK:

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I’m calling this thing an Attraction:

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Oh, but why so soon, in early November?

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This issue hadn’t occurred to me – I guess it is a bit early. (But feel free to add that to the lengthy list of things I care absolutely nothing about.)

Anyway, the Lighting Ceremonies are coming November 21-22, 2015.

See you there!

An Annual Tradition: “Union Square Ice Rink Opening Wednesday with Assemblemember David Chiu and SNOOP from The Peanuts Movie

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

The famous rink returns tomorrow:

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Bank of the West
celebrates opening with special ceremony this Wednesday

WHAT: The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Bank of the West celebrates its opening this holiday season with a special “ice-breaking” ceremony featuring Assemblymember David Chiu, SNOOPY from The Peanuts Movie and a special performance by San Francisco Tremors Synchronized Skating Teams with Special Guest Georgia Achilles.

WHO: Assemblymember David Chiu; SNOOPY from The Peanuts Movie; San Francisco Tremors Synchronized Skating Teams with Special Guest Georgia Achilles; Wendy Gutshall, Safeway’s Communications Manager, Northern California Division; Dan Osipow, Executive VP & Corporate Sponsorship Manager at Bank of the West; Karin Flood, Executive Director of the Union Square Business Improvement District; open to the public;

WHEN: (UPDATED) Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Union Square, San Francisco.

About the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink:

Since 2007, the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink has delighted children and adults with a holiday-themed ice park located in San Francisco’s Union Square. Ticket prices are $11 for regular admission and $7 for children eight years old and under. Ice skate and hockey skate rentals are $6. Ice rink hours are from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. daily. A portion of ticket proceeds benefit the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. For tickets or more information, please visit or call 415-781-2688.


OMG, It’s the Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus – A Great Show at the Cow Palace – Eight Performances Through Labor Day

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Yesterday was media night at the circus (all the deets here). So I got tickets and you now get to see these photos and my impressions – that’s how it works.

I know some people/families who are planning on going on this long three-day weekend and I know others who aren’t interested at all. Me, I’d never been to a circus, except the deconstructed “human-only circus” known as Cirque du Soleil. So here we go.

Man, the 101 South had multiple accidents near Hospital Curve during yesterday’s Evening Drive? Sure seemed that way. The alternate route to the Cow Palace (camera right) was a hilly adventure in itself.

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An actual Showman:

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Man, this is one big road show – lots and lots of performers:

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I didn’t spot one tattoo. Amazing

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What’s this, Critical Mass? Lots and lots of BMX bikes

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If you like camels, this is the event for you – lots and…

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…and lots…

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…and lots of time with double-humped camels

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Bam, your high-wire act. This is impressive:

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Seats on the right side (I don’t know what to call it – the south side?) of our Cow Palace are particularly close to the action. They’re jumping around up there. For me, this was the highlight.

I’ve only seen this kind of thing in cartoons. Boom:

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What am I looking at here, is this real life? Some surreal scenes:

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Oh, a live orchestra in the pit? Didn’t expect that.

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And, ballerinas galore:

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And on and on.

Last night was the first show – they had $15 tickets available. The next eight shows start at $20. I paid $15 for parking, which I’d recommend paying for. If you see a free spot on Geneva right out front, you might want to go for that, but unless you show up way early, you’re not going to see that. They also have a more expensive lot close in but I wouldn’t recommend that.

Have fun!

Kodomo no Hi: Children’s Day Festival Comes to Japantown May 2, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Friday, May 1st, 2015

All the deets on KO-DO-MO-NO-HEE 2015:

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Two Views of the Refurbished AAA Building – 100 Van Ness is Now Move-In Ready – Studios Start at $3090 per Month

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

That was the windup, and here’s the pitch, for our old AAA car club building / brand-new apartment building:

100 Van Ness combines elevation with elegance offering highrise living with sweeping multi-million dollar views. Our amenity filled Rooftop Terrace elevates 374 feet above ground creating panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Twin Peaks, and everything in between! This world class building is conveniently located within walking distance to public transportation, shopping, dinning, and entertainment.”

(Remember, these aren’t just million dollar views, they’re “multi-million dollar views,” whatever the Hell that means.)

(And remember, 100 Van Ness is a “world class building” – it’s all they talk about at Versailles these days, I’m sure…)

Now, why do they charge $3090 (and up!) per month for small studios? Well, so you can subsidize the rent of all your new BMR neighbors, so that people who lived in SF longer than you auslanders can pay just $1139 a month for much larger two-bedrooms. It’s the Circle of Life, or something.

Oh, and even tho this building be old, there’s no rent control, having to do with the date on the Occupancy Permit. So maybe you’ll get a $1000 a month rent increase after you first year’s lease is up, who knows.

Anyway, the refurbishment looks pretty much done these days. The current view from the south:

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And from the north, with City Hall, with the highest classical dome in the Western Hemisphere (yes, classical, highest, Western, if those are the parameters, SF wins the contest) in the foreground:

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And where’s the closest gro sto? IDK. One supposes the “ghetto Safeway” at Church and Market, but I’m not sure.

Objecting to the Following Dozen Words and Phrases Used to Announce the Seven-Figure Renovation of the Panhandle Playground

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Here it is, on the Hoodline:

long-suffering playground [IRL, it’s an extremely popular playground. Its current Yelp rating is 4.5 stars, which is the very definition of almost perfect, right? And hey look, what about the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Yelp rating – it’s much lower, it’s actually just 2.5 stars, right? Is RPD “failing?” Should we simply fire everybody and start over? Hey, why don’t we start using objective measurements, like asking the playground’s existing customers what they think? Is that too radical a notion?]

finally [This “framing” assumes 100% of what the millionaire-run Parks Alliance nonprofit says is accurate]

Victim to time [Well sure, you could replace this or that at this location, but what’s so wrong with it? What makes it a useless tear-down?]

frequent wear and tear [Because it’s popular? We’re going to change it because it’s popular and it gets used?]

grown-up play [Turns out it was sixth-graders who busted the slide, per the word on the street]

the playground pales in comparison to other high-tech kids’ play areas in the city. [What on Earth could  make a playground “high tech?” Like, “sure this playground is great, but I feel it doesn’t employ the most recent application of science?” Like, who says that? IRL, it’s perfectly fine.]

“failing playgrounds” [But the Panhandle Playground isn’t “failing,” right? Ask all the people who use it and try to find one person who would give it a letter grade of “F“]

“low household income” [Is this area a low household income area? WTF to that. In fact, the 94117 is an extremely high household income place, right? It’s off the charts, actually, nationally speaking. And even locally, it’s anything but a low household income area.]

low Parks Alliance Report Card grades and rankings. [Oh, here we go, here’s the problem. What’s the PARC and why does it matter?]

“an early holiday gift to District 5.” [London Breed is thinking “CHRISTMAS” but she says holidays – good for her. But who’s paying for this gift? Oh, we are? So it’s not really a gift, is it, London Claus?]

high-tech play matting [I have no fucking idea what this means. Currently, the joint is basically a giant sand box. Is this a bad thing? One supposes that some think so, but one doesn’t know.]

What would you like to see improved upon in our small neighborhood playground? [Keeping it the same, except for maintenance, which, if it’s lacking, then whose fault is that? Cough RPD, cough]

Wouldn’t it be ironic, dontcha think, if the Yelp ratings of the Panhandle Playground go down after we spend all those millions of dollars on this simple, functional playground?

We’ll see.

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Ask People Who Use the Golden Gate Park Panhandle Playground to See If It’s Really “Failing”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Per this bit on SocketSite, SFGov thinks it has 50 “failing” playgrounds. Does that means that all of them get an “F” grade, that they’re all basically worthless?

For instance, let’s take a look at the Panhandle Playground. It has 4.5 Yelp stars. Isn’t that a pretty high rating for a “failing” anything?

If you polled people who actually use the place, the grade you’d come up with is “A,” or possibly “A-,” something in that area.

I think what SFGov / RPD / all those people with clipboards from that big non-profit what’s run by the wealthy, white and wizened actually mean is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t brand-new. What they mean is that it hasn’t kept up with the latest trends in playgroundom the past decade or so due to the fact that it hasn’t been replaced the past decade.

In other words, what they’re saying is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t “world-class.”

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, there were more than 2.5 pieces of litter per square meter or whatever on the day that you dropped by with your clipboards? OK, so don’t you mean that the RPD is failing then?

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, you’re concerned about the health effects of “x.” You know, I don’t think you want to go there, Parks Alliance. Cause then you’d have to look at the other stuff RPD is doing lately, like, say, the Beach Chalet soccer fields. Now I’ll tell you, I’m 90%+ sure that all the things people are worried about with the new artificial turf aren’t going to turn out to be a problem, but that’s not an absolutely assurance. You could say the same for whatever it is that makes you say that four dozen playgrounds in SF are “failing.”

You know, I could take my clipboard and go up to somebody’s 2004 Honda Accord with low miles and I could say, “Oh, no sat nav – minus five points. And oh, dirty windshield – minus three points. And oh…” And then I could put the car on my list of “failing” commuter vehicles, even though the person who drives it every day M-F thinks it’s a great ride and even though it passes its smog test every year or two and even though it starts up every time without fail. Who, oh who will appoint me chairman of the “Failing Hondas Task Force?”

(Oh hey, you know what RPD is disappointed about? It’s bummed out that the Maude Flanderses and the Reverend Lovejoy’s Wifes of the 94117 haven’t formed something like the Friends of the Panhandle Playground to raise $800k or so to give to RPD, you know, the way things worked with Presidio Heights and Mountain Lake. Oh well. Sorry RPD.)

In any event, a big bag of money fell from the sky and SFGov is going to spend it the way it wants. IMO, SFGov spends too much time focusing on the aesthetic concerns of millionaires who appoint themselves to the boards of the non-profits they create.


So, go for it, send a reporter over to the Panhandle to check things out, to see why SFGov wants to spend months and months tearing out a perfectly good playground, to see why SFGov wants to scrap a Honda Accord with low miles, and a dirty windshield…

Free Kool-Aid, after the jump, drink up, it’s free, well, not really, but you’re going to end up paying for it anyway, so might as well.


The Time to Buy Tickets for San Francisco Ballet’s Family Performances of The Nutcracker is Now – Best for Ages 5-11

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Here are all the deets from our San Francisco Ballet about five special Family Performances of The Nutcracker


Family Performance 2012 (© Carson Lancaster)

“For five performances only, the first 500 children (under the age of 12) to arrive receive a special gift and everyone enjoys complimentary beverages and treats at intermission. For 30 minutes only, starting one hour prior to curtain, Nutcracker characters are available for photos, so arrive early and bring your camera!*

Family Performance Dates

*Family Performances are popular! Lines for entrance to the Opera House and for photos form quickly, so arrive early. Children’s gifts are handed out at the doors on a first come/first served basis, starting one hour prior to curtain. So that our dancers aren’t late for the performance, photo lines must be stopped 30 minutes prior to curtain.”

See you there!

Our Long Parochial Nightmare is Over: The Vandalized Slides at Panhandle Playground 94117 have been Replaced by RPD

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Well the slides at the Panhandle Playground have been replaced after three months of absence.

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1. Perhaps the RPD spokesmodel meant that the entire slide complex was being repaired, as opposed to the $2000 plastic slide itself. I don’t think it would have made sense to repair the slide itself, due to liability issues for starters. This is a brand-new slide, one that’s similar enough to the original.

2. So some wealthy, non-profit people came by with clipboards to say that this particular playground currently earns a “D” grade? Well, OK fine, but if you talk to the people who actually use the place, they, more or less, give it an “A” grade, you know, except for the slide that wasn’t there all summer long. Mmmmm… What’s up with that?

3. Supervisor London Breed’s office was unresponsive to the email contact sent by a group of concerned parents, apparently. So she gets an “F,” or an Incomplete perhaps. (I’ve worked at two similar offices, with about ten or one hundred times as many constituents, and if the elected in charge found out about something like this then there’d be a 20-minute yell-fest and/or a passive aggressive note sent to a (lower-case “s”) supervisor to “fix this.”) So, obvs, a “communication issue” occurred, I just don’t know how common this is with her office.

4. RPD has a policy to not repair anything in a playground if it’s due to be revamped in the next two years? That’s my understanding. Does that mean that this playground won’t get revamped anytime soon? That’s my understanding. Why’s that? Read on, Gentle Reader.

5. What RPD really wants is area parents to get together to raise something on the order of [bites right pinkie finger] one million dollars, you know, the way they do things in rich areas of SF, like Sea Cliff (ala the new Mountain Lake) and Presidio Heights. Only then will RPD put your playground at the top of the fix-it list? OK fine. The funny thing is that most of the money that gets used to refurbish existing playgrounds is paid for by the non-rich, from some bond. But all this doesn’t matter for the playground at hand, because:

6. The slide vandalized in May 2014 has been replaced in September 2014 and the users are now satisfied. No $5,000,000 modernization from the RPD is needed, frankly. [Oh what’s that, RPD – this old-school playground costs you a lot of coin to maintain? Well, then why don’t you fix it up, RPD, you know, using the money we give you?]

And that’s the end of this story.

Remembering Mayor Gavin Newsom: “Please Stay in San Francisco and Don’t Move to Marin!

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014


“Assessing the demographic in the room, the mayor then made a request of these parents who, while able to afford private school, are also potentially able to help support the city’s public schools: ‘Please stay in San Francisco and don’t move to Marin!‘”


Gavin, Jennifer Newsom moving from S.F. to Marin