Posts Tagged ‘Garden’

Well, As Expected, the $7 Fee at the Strybing Arboretum is Going to Become Permanent – A Little History

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Boy there’s a lot of overhead involved with the whole process of charging people $7 to walk through the former Strybing Arboretum, it sure looks like.

Anyway, here’s a little background on how we’ve gotten to this point:

LMA-BOS-Supporter Talking Points-6-4.21.13 Budget Hearing

Arboretum Contract Critique

And here’s a post from 2010:

“Not sure how many people were at last night’s “workshop” to discuss the idea of charging admission at San Francisco Botanical Garden (aka Strybing Arboretum) in Golden Gate Park ’cause I left before it ended. But the hand-count totaled 225 souls, so let’s call that a gentleman’s 250 altogether for the crowd.

Here’s the thing – people on both sides all seem to know each other and care deeply about The Garden. This conflict seems a kind of civil war (hence the Antietam name check, yes it rhymes exactly), a family squabble. It’s plant-loving Brother against plant-loving-but-other-stuff-too Brother. Get up to speed on this dispute here.

Now, once more into the breach, dear friends.

The mise-en-scene last night. It’s Recreation and Park Commission President Jim Lazarus taking individual questions from a hostile crowd, split up unnecessarily, it turned out, into three sections. This is what the bulk of the meeting looked like. Click to expand:

But let’s start at the beginning. Below, it’s the organized neighbors! They taped up hundreds of small signs to draw attention to the meeting. Did workers from DPW spend a lot of time taking down the unofficial notices? Apparently. Were any official notices put up, like last time? Not that I could see.

Inside, the fellow on the left, (didn’t get his name, someone called him The Kid) tried to get things started, but vocal members of the crowd didn’t like the agenda that was handed out, particularly they didn’t like being split up into three groups.

The guy with the ponytail went off, and the Eli in the Yale jacket on the right pleaded for calm. Thank Gaia for Yalies:

After a couple go-arounds like that, The Kid threatened to cancel the meeting. (Arboretum staff appears to view hosting public meetings like these as doing a favor to Arboretum visitors, and truth be told, if San Francisco officials are dead-set on allowing the charging of admission, they can do it regardless of what regular Arboretum visitors want.) Here’s a ten-minute video of the action.

But after a brief huddle, redolent of a friendly car salesperson taking your low-ball offer to the Big Guy…

…out comes lawyer Jim Lazarus calling an audible to change the meeting’s format. He seemed every bit the experienced pol he is.

The new agenda that got worked out with leadership elements from the masses: an uninterupted 10-15 minute “general presentation” of the plan. “Then you can decide how much you want to beat us up after that,” said Jimbo. “You can shoot us all when it’s over.”

This Lazarus Effect resuscitated the meeting. So, let’s hear The Proposal.

The Arboretum would set up pre-fab ticket kiosks at the Main Gate and the Friend Gate (near the Japanese Tea Garden) for $65K and then hire four part-time cashiers, a manager(?), and also a part-time accountant for $148K per year. San Francisco residents would enter for free after showing some sort of ID. Those useless freeloading parasites known as Everybody Else in the World would pay $7, or $4 (students and seniors), or $2 (kids) each time they go in. They’d have the option of getting a $75 annual pass that would also allow entry at the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers – something like that.

The projected 100,000 in paid admissions would have a “blended average” of $5.50 per, resulting in a gross take of $550K. Take away $150K for expenses and you end up with an annual net of $400K, of which $100-150K would go into the Rec and Park kitty and the rest could go into whatever, like hiring more gardeners at $68K salary (plus 25% more in benefits).

The goal would be to eventually get up to a full complement of 16 gardeners, which will “never happen” without some new source of Arboretum-specific cashola.

That’s it.

“KEEP THE ARBORETUM FREE”

What about residents of neighboring counties in the Bay Area you say? It doesn’t matter, all auslanders gotta pay.

What about the rumoured $1.3 million cost of building the kiosks and other related expenses? That was just a “Cadillac proposal” dreamed up by somebody or other – the bare bones approach discussed last night would not be as nice, but it would get the job done.

This charismatic-messianic type got lots of applause for questioning the whole idea of charging anybody anything, regardless of the numbers:

Mr. Lazarus acknowledged the fear San Francisco residents have of being the next in line to be charged, the fear that admission prices would then increase after that. No promises on that front. Que sera sera.

But I’ll let the Keep the Arboretum Free people delve into these issues more. When I left, Lazarus was answering questions one by one, Phil Donahue-style.

“FREE means NO FEES, NO I.D.s”

Oh yes, the “next terrible meeting” promised by Jimbo will concern paid parking in Golden Gate Park. (Do people really plant their vehicle in the park for free and then run all over town all day? People do.)

Random observations:

The estimate of $148k annually to pay salaries for  the paid admission scheme sounds low. Way low, particularly in light of what cashiers at the Japanese Tea Garden get paid.

Park and Rec knows how to notice a public meeting but, for whatever reason, it appears to have done a bush-league job of noticing last night’s workshop.

Next up next month in June: the action will move over to City Hall and the Board of Supervisors. When will our civil war end?

Public Workshop – Botanical Garden

When: May 28, 2009 – Thursday 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: County Fair Building, 9th Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, San Francisco
What: In response to the feedback received on the proposed admission program at Botanical Garden, the Rec & Park Department decided there will not be a fee for residents. The revised proposal does include a $7. fee for nonresident visitors. Public workshop is to take feedback regarding revised proposed admission fee and will be seeking topics including:
Implementation of the new fee for non-San Francisco residents.
Amenities at the Garden.
Potential new revenue sources.

To Be Continued…

Your Moment of Zen: The Stunningly Blue Bamboo of Golden Gate Park

Friday, October 12th, 2012

You can get bamboo in blue these days.

See?

go8f6640a.jpg

Blue Himalayan Bamboo, Himilayacalamu S Hookerianus in Golden Gate Park*

What will they think of next?

*They charge admission to get into the area where this bamboo is. They didn’t used to. Remember to VOTE NO on Prop B come November 2012!

MISSION JAPANESE BEER GARDEN – Tonight, 5:00 to 8:00 PM – With Street Food – Wix Lounge, 22nd Street

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Tonight, tonight, tonight:

Click to expand

All the deets.

See you there!

The Zen Gardens of Eddy Street: So This is What Ended Up Happening to That Parcel at Eddy and Scott

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

A brand-new, fenced-off, empty, manicured Zen Garden:

Click to expand

Hurray?

 

The Taciturn Raptors of Golden Gate Park

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Poor little critter.

This hawk wasn’t looking so chipper, so I told somebody at Strybing Arboretum about it and he called the “raptor rescue” people.

And then they put this animal in a box to get it to “raptor rehab,” someplace in San Mateo County.

I’m srsly, that’s what they called it.

Click to expand

Poor little critter.

Corvid vs. Raptor High Above the Now-Moribund Strybing Arboretum (San Francisco Botanical Garden) in Golden Gate Park

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

This shot of a crow hassling a red tailed hawk was taken before the boycott of San Francisco Botanical Garden, before the arrival of the paywall manned by minimum-wage workers.

Circling too close to the crow’s nest, Children’s Garden, near MLK Drive:

Click to expand

They said they’d kill the fee if it didn’t work out. It didn’t work out but I don’t think that they’ll ever kill the fee. Oh well.

On some days, the fees generated by the paywall don’t even cover the cost of paying the non-union workers minimum wage to collect the fees.

Of course our Rec and Park considers the paywall a “great success.” Oh well.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Graces the New Richardson Apartments in Hayes Valley – HUD’s $5 Million Grant

Monday, November 28th, 2011

[UPDATE: Barbara Taylor has the deets.]

[UPDATE II: And it should be noted that Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture designed the landscape for this project.]

Well here’s the news from last week:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling nearly $96 million. Twenty-seven communities and organizations will receive Community Challenge grants and 29 regional areas will receive Regional Planning grants. The goal of HUD’s Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.”

Our San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission scored $5,000,000 worth of these grants, so some feds dropped by to celebrate this afternoon.

San Francisco Mayor with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi greeting people at the brand new Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson Apartments for the formerly homeless on Fulton near Gough:

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Oh, here they are up at the Richardson’s awesome-looking rooftop garden:

Via MayorEdLee

And here’s Supervisor and MTC Commissioner David Campos. (To him, Nancy Pelosi “will always be Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”)

Remember this mural? I haven’t seen it in a while. Anyway, here’s where’s your Central Freeway used to be. Parcel G., specifically, per the Socketsite.

All the deets, after the jump

(more…)

OMG, “Playland at the Conservatory” is Totally Awesome – Annual Garden Railway Show Has Beach Ephemera

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Get all the deets right here, and here at the Richmond District Blog, and below.

This show will run through April 15, 2012.

Check it, Playland at the Beach ephemera:

All photos by Nina Sazevich – click to expand

“Take a trip down memory lane as a bygone era of seaside amusement comes to miniature life in this season’s Conservatory of Flowers garden railway exhibition

November 18, 2011 ­ – April 15, 2012

Step right up for a ride back in time as the Conservatory of Flowers presents an all new garden railway display celebrating the legendary Playland at the Beach and a bygone era of seaside amusement that was located on San Francisco’s West End. In a dazzling display landscaped with hundreds of dwarf plants, model trains and trolleys wend their way past the famed Sutro Baths, zip around a replica of the Victorian-era Cliff House and whiz through a fantastic mini version of San Francisco’s beloved Playland at the Beach. 

Playland at the Conservatory, the conservatory’s 4th Annual Garden Railway, is an entirely new layout that resurrects the heyday of San Francisco’s west end, an area that flourished as a destination for fun and thrills after a new railroad built in 1884 made travel out to the ocean affordable. A dozen San Francisco landmarks, now mostly lost to time, are recreated in miniature and set in a landscape of hundreds of dwarf plants that bring the rocky cliffs and sandy shores of the area to life. Sutro Baths, the fantastical 7-pool swimming complex built in 1896 by eccentric mayor Adolph Sutro, nestles under Sutro’s other attraction, the Cliff House, which he transformed in that same year into a 7-story Victorian chateau. 

No doubt the recreated Playland at the Beach will be the star of the garden railway. Young and old alike will marvel at the sight of Playland’s most famous attractions in miniature, all in swirling motion and bright with twinkling carnival lights, while the sounds of the arcade and even Laffing Sal’s boisterous voice transport visitors right back to the midway. Wee rollercoaster cars climb the steep tracks of the Big Dipper, Playland’s biggest thrill ride from the 1920s to the 1950s, while a mini Airplane Ride spins and spins in circles. Other attractions include the treacherous Diving Bell, the Fun House and Playland¹s famed food arcade where hungry revelers could grab an enchilada at the Hot House or a sweet at the Candy Factory. 

As in past years, these replicas are all creatively crafted in miniature from recycled and repurposed materials. Playland’s historic 1906 carousel was created from a discarded light fixture, a slide carousel and a record player. The individual cages of the Rock-O-Plane are made from old pencil sharpeners. 

The exhibit also includes real memorabilia and photographs from Playland and beyond in a fascinating display that tells the story of San Francisco’s lost ocean-front treasures. Original wool bathing suits from Sutro Baths, the toothpick amusement park made by San Quentin inmate Jack Harrington that was displayed in the museum at the Baths, a Dodger bumper car, an original Playland sign and more provide visitors with an engaging way to experience and learn about San Francisco’s past. Period arcade games offer a hands-on history lesson with a chance to get your future from Zoltar, step into a vintage 1960s photo booth or goof around in the fun house mirrors, while a special scavenger hunt spinning wheel is a great, interactive way for young children to explore the exhibit. Portions of the popular documentary “Remembering Playland” will also be showing in the gallery.”

All right, see you there!

Japanese Tea Garden Tilt-Shift, From a Time When They Really Had Free Admission Hours

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Now, I guess that they still have free admission hours still, but the amount of time is about 90% less than what they had before.

That’s part of the reason why the Tea Garden is FOR TOURISTS ONLY these days.

And oh, admission is $7 a head nowadays. (What? They have a website now? Well, imagine that. They didn’t a few years back…)

You’re going to have to click to expand to see the effect:

Old school 24mm 3.5 – bought it used, played with it, sold it

Will I ever return to this place ever again in my life?

Probably not.

OMG, It’s the FREE FARM at Eddy and Gough – Urban Gardening – Tons of Produce – Why Not Volunteer?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Get all the deets of the FREE FARM right here.

“The Free Farm is an urban farm founded in January 2010, by a constellation of non-profit organizations in San Francisco. We are located on a 1/3 acre lot on the corner of Gough and Eddy Streets on a parcel loaned to us by St. Paulus Lutheran Church. In our first year we have built a farm, grown and given away over 2,500 pounds of fresh organic produce, convened gardening and urban homesteading workshops, and hosted community, school, and religious groups. Come by on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am-2pm or the first Sunday of the month from 10am – noon, to visit the farm or lend a hand.”

Why don’t you check things out the next time you’re in the Western Addition?

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Since its creation in January 2010, the Free Farm, as become many things to many different people. 

These are some of our intentions:

-to cultivate the earth by growing fresh organic vegetables 
-to cultivate ourselves by tending to the well-being of body and mind, soul, and spirit
-to cultivate society by creating a microcosm of mutuality, simplicity, generosity, and love

How we live out our intentions:

-grow and give away food, seedlings, and garden supplies to those who are in need

-offer garden, environmental, wellness education
-facilitate diverse spiritual practices
-advocate for environmental, climate, and food justice
-practice hospitality and host community events”

See you there!