Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Let’s See Here: A Chariot Private Shuttle Van Running Through Golden Gate Park on a National Holiday?

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Hey, are San Francisco taxicabs somewhat restricted* in Golden Gate Park? Yes, yes they are. But here comes a Chariot:

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Does Chariot take people to work in the Financh on Veterans Day? IDK. Does Chariot run charters on big holidays? Perhaps. Or maybe the driver is repositioning or traveling for maintenance. Or maybe there’s some other reason it makes sense for this driver to “cut-through” the park.

Anyway, I was surprised to see a Chariot in GGP on a national holiday…

*I think cabbies** aren’t supposed to cruise the park for pick-ups, I think that’s the rule.

**Cabbies cabbies cabbies – own it, cabbies. This term isn’t offensive at all, to most.

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.


What, No More Christmas Trees in Front of SF City Hall? – Annual Tradition Lost – A Brief History of “Holiday Trees”

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

All right, I promised a history of the giant Christmas trees of San Francisco Civic Center in front of City Hall (aka the highest classical dome in the Western Hemisphere, believe it or not.*)

Here we go, from the mid to late Aughts, complete with a Star of Bethlehem atop. A shot from my office:


You know, keeping with Christian Tradition, as they say.

Well that didn’t go down good. So, in part due to some of my photos on SFist, back when Blogging Was King, and due to complaints of City Hall / SFGov workers objecting to having Christmas sort of imposed upon where there work – look it up on SFGate, Matier and Ross were on it – bye-bye Bethlehem star and bye-bye other overt displays of Christianity in and around City Hall.

But the tree stayed, and each and every year it came back, starless of course. And it was labeled a “Holiday Tree” in case there was any worry about it being a Christmas tree. Fine


Via Steve Rhodes, who, like Visa, is Everywhere You Want To Be.

And then, oh no, the garish lights on the tree! All those colors! Well, some rich white ladies about town thought they looked tacky, so away they went.

So that left us with this:

O.K. fine. Matier & Ross also had this story, about how the new, classier, white lights for white people cost RPD five figures, but that was OK, they said, because the colored Christmas tree lights would be able to be used in Golden Gate Park on Stanyan and perhaps they’re still in use, IDK.

Except this lack of color just wasn’t jazzy enough for other certain people.

So then came this:


Via Julie Blaustein

So, the colors came out of the tree in front of City Hall and they went into City Hall itself.

And then Mayor Willie Brown wanted ever more color.

Were these changes “improvements?”

No. But that’s what they were called at the time.

Oh well…

Anyway, that takes up to 2014, when we didn’t get any giant tree at all? NEWS TO ME! Did I not notice it wasn’t there? I forget. I tend to notice new things, I don’t tend to notice things what should be there and aren’t.

A Commenter just hepped me to the ABSENCE OF GIANT TREE, and I can see these photos from last year proving her point – no tree.

Here’s her beef:

“Hello. I was online trying to find info on why there was no Christmas tree outside of SF’s city hall in 2014, and I came across your post about the lights’ history during recent years. Regardless of any decor inside of city hall, i just don’t see why the tree was not part of last Xmas. I looked around online for info about the tree going up again this December, but any info on SF lighting ceremonies did not include a city hall plaza tree. I suppose the mayor’s argument for no tree is cost cutting and that people can go inside city hall to see some festive decor or head down to Union Square to join the tourists, but I find it pretty stunning that a major city has nixed its plaza tree. If you have an answer on this subject, I’d greatly appreciate hearing it.

Thank you,


It’s a Christmas Mystery!


*No no, the dome you’re thinking about (US Capitol Building) aint actually higher, OR it (San Jose City Hall or SuperDome) aint classical, OR it (St. Peter’s Basilica or Dome des Invalides) aint in the Western Hemisphere. Sorry. Look it up!

Know Your Japantown Holidays: “Unagi Eel Day,” July 24th – It’s Hot, So Let’s Eat Fatty Seafood

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Parts of Webster and parts of Post are nice and flat, so the intersection of these streets is a kind of crossroads for lazy people who like avoiding unnecessarily arduous hill-climbing in the Western Addition. Anywho, this is where you’ll discover the Good News of Eel Day:

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I first read this as a reference to 24-7, but no, it’s just another excuse from Nijiya Market for you to buy and consume freshwater eels:

About the Ushinohi ‘Eel Day’ Custom
In modern-day Japan, most everyone eats unagi on the Doyo-no-ushi-no-hi (土用の丑の日). This year it is on July 24th, but it occurs one day between mid-July and the beginning of August. The simple explanation why is that this is the hottest time of the year and as unagi has lots of nutritional value and fat content, it gives you the umph to not wilt in the blazing, steamy summer heat.

The More You Know…

Mandatory Christmas Merriment, Nob Hill

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Yes, you vill celebrate Weihnachten the way ve tell you to, yah?

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Put one of these on your balcony, or else…

President Barack Obama Replaced by Elderly White Man on Rec and Park’s Official Holiday Train

Friday, December 12th, 2014

When President Barack Obama was a more popular,* he made the grade in Golden Gate Park:

It was a thing.

But now, he’s been replaced. As seen in December 2014:

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Oh well.

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Actually, I was surprised to see both Obama and Father Christmas on official gov’mint display in Golden Gate Park.

Who will be honored next year…?

*I remember this at Civic Center. The “Hillary People” had some unkind things to say, but it was a real big deal, a memorable event

The Train was Already Full, But Area Cyclist Manages to Squeeze in Anyway

Friday, December 5th, 2014

As seen on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park during RPD’s 85th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event:

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The Evolution of Color in the Lights of Civic Center’s Christmas Tree and City Hall – This is How SFGov “Works”

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

This is how the Christmas Holiday Tree in front of San Francisco City Hall was lit at night back in the aughts:


Via Steve Rhodes, who, like Visa, is Everywhere You Want To Be.

Do you see a problem? All those gaudy lights in the tree offended certain rich white ladies of San Francisco! They felt all that colour was “not appropriate.” So they imposed their values on the RPD, as they are wont to do, and RPD spent five figures to correct the “problem.”

So that left us with this:

O.K. fine.

Except this lack of color just wasn’t jazzy enough for other certain people.

So then came this:


Via Julie Blaustein

And now Mayor Willie Brown wants ever more color.

So, the colors came out of the tree in front of City Hall and they went into City Hall itself.

Were these changes “improvements?”

No. But that’s what they were called at the time.

Oh well…

MLK Day FREE at MoAD in SoMA – San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora – January 20, 2014

Monday, January 13th, 2014

All the deets:

“MLK Day Celebrations at Museum of the African Diaspora Jan. 20

Free Admission for All to Day of Art, Exhibits, Performances & Programs

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Celebrate the dream that unites us as one at San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora ( on Monday, January 20. This is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a national day of observance. To honor the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s life and bring people together, MoAD is offering free admission to the museum and all of its exhibits, performances and programs for the entire day.

“This year, I am remembering the struggle to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a federal day of remembrance. I especially remember signing the mighty petition for Congress to pass the law,” said Linda Harrison, Executive Director of MoAD. MLK Day was first observed in 1986.

Normally, MoAD is closed on Monday and Tuesday. But this special Monday, the museum has put together a program that includes film, photography, poetry and musical performances that celebrate the lasting greatness of King. His life and achievements will be honored through art projects and the collaborative efforts of the community. MoAD MLK Day activities will run from 11am to 5pm on January 20, thanks to a generous donation by Lennar Urban.

MLK Day celebrations start on the sidewalk with Jamie Treacy’s chalk art from 1-3pm. On the second floor is a film screening and discussion on Brooklyn’s Castle from 11:30am to 1:30pm. It then moves to spoken word and poetry performances from 2-3pm by Young, Gifted and Talented from Oakland. Freedom stories will be shared by the Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement through poetry, photos and music from 3:30-4:30pm.

On the third floor, an art project will take place from 11am to 4pm with a scavenger hunt at 11am to 5pm. Films about King, his life, struggle and successes, will be shown in the Wells Fargo Heritage Center from 11am to 4pm.

About MoAD

Since 2005, the Museum of the African Diaspora showcases the history, art and cultural richness that resulted from the dispersal of Africans throughout the world, with innovative and engaging exhibitions, education and public programs. As a nonprofit organization, the museum’s operations and programs are supported by grants and contributions from public and private sources.”

Haight Street Whole Foods Offers Tiny “Charlie Brown-Ass” Christmas Trees for Sale – “Elf Trees” They’re Called

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

I believe the quote proffered by a passerby / loiterer was “sorry Charlie Brown-ass Christmas trees.”

At first I thought they were $30, but now I see that they’re just $20, which is fair enough, I suppose.*

Click to expand

They sell bigger Christmas trees as well.

Hey, will WF’s tree sale cut down on sales at longstanding tree lots?

Oh yes.

Anyway, Merry Christmas!

*Maybe I’ll buy one, we’ll see.