Posts Tagged ‘gardens’

SFGov Embraces the Term UNITY As If We Were North Korea – HANC Recycling —> “CommUNITY Gardens?” – And “Unity Plaza?”

Thursday, August 20th, 2015


Is this a joke?

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Gentle Reader, check out this recent bit from Calvin Welch in Tim Redmond’s 48 Hills to see how much UNITY there was in getting rid of the recycling center.

So that’s STRIKE ONE.

And what of this, also in the news yesterday:

“Unity Plaza” brings “communities and city leaders together under one roof.” The Unity Plaza, named through a partnership with the community…

So it’ll be something like, “Meet me at Unity Plaza, where San Franciscans and our City Family are as One, Comrade.” (And then Comrade Two will be all, “Oh, you mean Balboa BART? C U THERE, All Hail Our Dear Leader.”)

And there’s your STRIKE TWO.


Let me tell you, if your political faction has 55%-60% of the electorate, then that’s like the OPPOSITE of UNITY, in’nt?


These “Rain Gardens” on Fell Street are Now Complete – Will They Make You Like the SFPUC More?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

IDK, maybe they will.

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Of course, this design is the “beautiful” version. (What would an ugly rain garden look like, one wonders.)

And look, the “natural” weeds have already been carefully planted. Is our PUC going to water these weeds, you know, during the months and months when we don’t get any rain at all, to keep them green and “beautiful?” We’ll see.

(BTW, if you label the PUC the PUC, at least a few employees / contractors / interns / somebody who has access to the PUC’s email system just might hector you about instead calling the PUC “SF Water,” or SF Water Power Sewer. Let’s hope our SFPUC isn’t paying its employees $114 an hour on the side to email about how “confused” I am with my belief that the SFPUC can, at least sometimes, be rightfully be called the SFPUC.)

But, Gentle Reader, the well-paid PUC outreach people say that you can take a “tour” of these rain gutters if you want. Email at

Here They Are, Our Brand-New “Beautiful. Functional. Rain Gardens” on Fell – Like Parklets, But for Weeds, Not People

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

[UPDATE: Our PUC writes in tell about how I’m confusing them with the CAPUC, the same way, one supposes that Mssrs. Matier and Ross got “confused” when calling them the PUC here. But take their tour if you want – see Comments.]

Remember the revival of “Victory Gardens?” I do. It peaked in 2009. But the new thang in urban gardening is upon us.

As seen on Fell, looking inbound:

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(Oh, and the microfences already indicate that no bike parking is allowed. So what’s the PUC going to do? Ticket your ride? Cut off your lock and impound your bike?)

On Fell, looking outbound:

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And look, clobblestones!

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Are these real cobblestones? One can’t tell. Should they be? One doesn’t know.

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All right, that was the windup, and now here’s the pitch, from the SFPUC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PG&E:

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Are these realtor-backed parklets “beautiful?” I don’t think so. Will they “improve safety?” I don’t see how. And actually, spending tax and fee payer money on “streetscape” “beauty” instead of safety is the opposite of  “improving safety,” PUC. Oh, and PUC, if you ever want to talk about how best to “manage” California’s water resources for the benefit of all Californians, look me up, cause you’re doing it wrong…

All the deets:

Oak Street and Fell Street Pedestrian and Bike Safety Project

Picture of Bulbout Area

Learn More About the Project

Check out SFMTA’s project website to learn more!

Improving Traffic Safety and Enhancing Stormwater Collection

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is teaming up with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) on the Oak Street and Fell Street Pedestrian and Bike Safety Project to integrate stormwater management with their traffic calming project.

In response to strong public feedback for more greenery and planting for the project, we’ve added rain gardens to the bulbouts along Oak and Fell Streets. A rain garden is a stormwater management technique which infiltrates stormwater into the soil, diverting water from going into the sewer. This addition to the project will benefit community members; not only will the project make residents and travelers safer, the rain gardens will add beauty and character to the intersections. Our partnership with the SFMTA will extend the improvements already underway. While the addition of green infrastructure will not result in any additional parking losses beyond what was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in May 2012, four of the bulbouts will be larger than initially proposed. Originally scheduled for construction in late 2013, the project is slated to begin construction in early summer 2014.


For construction inquiries, please contact:

Dadisi Najib – SFDPW

Luis Montoya – SFMTA

Ari Frink – SFPUC

For more project information, visit SFMTA’s site here.

The 2007 “Stanyan Street Commons,” a Community Garden near USF, is Now Lost to History

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Back in the late aughts Victory Gardens were all over the place, remember? Let’s look back to that time in aught-seven when “guerrilla gardeners” took over the land in front of some lady’s apartment complex at Fulton and Stanyan and just started gardening.

It was beautiful vandalism, man. The venture had lots of support from the City and NGOs, that’s for sure. But things didn’t work out.

Here’s how it looked back in 2007…

Via IndyBay, image reversed for your pleasure

…and here’s how it looked in the summer of 2010, during what should have been the start of harvest, harvest time. Weepin’ time, reapin’ time, harvest, harvest time:

And now the transformation is complete. Here’s the scene in 2014 – the former garden is now a fully-paved parking lot:

And now you know the rest of the story…

Photo: California Quail of Golden Gate Park Out on a Date

Friday, March 29th, 2013



This Giant Public Notice Outside of Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park Means What, Exactly?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

I think it means they want to build a new greenhouse and some offices, but they don’t want to put in the concomitant parking spaces.

I think.

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I haven’t kept track of things there since they put up the paywall. (Do they still charge $7 per capita and pay the workers minimum wage? Something like that.)

Some people want to be alone with their plants at what used to be a free public garden, so that’s fine.

Oh well.

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.

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Poor little critter.

808 State: Oahu’s “Hitachi Tree” Certainly is Worth a Look the Next Time You Visit Hawaii

Monday, February 13th, 2012

This monkeypod in Honolulu’s five-star Yelp-rated Moanalua Gardens is quite an “exceptional tree,” don’t you think?

As it looked when I was there, on a slow day:

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Check it out, next time you visit The Islands:

“The Hitachi tree, a large monkeypod tree with a distinctive umbrella-shaped canopy, grows in the middle of a grassy area in the middle of the park. The tree is registered as an exceptional tree by the City and County of Honolulu and cannot be removed or destroyed without city council approval.Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi, Ltd. has used the tree as a corporate symbol since 1973. An agreement between the Damon Estate and Hitachi gave Hitachi exclusive worldwide rights to use the tree’s image for promotional purposes in exchange for annual payments of US$20,000.”

OMG, the Rare California Valley Quail of Golden Gate Park are Still Around in 2012, as This Photo From David Cruz Shows

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012


Via Natures Lantern – click to expand

Now myself, I haven’t seen quail since 2009, but I’ve not really had a chance since I’m boycotting the Strybing Arboretum these days owing to the toll booths they installed based upon impossibly optimistic attendance projections.

But anyway, it’s nice to see that these critters are still around in 2012…