Posts Tagged ‘october’

Yelp Fraud: New Stow Lake Boathouse a Huge Success in Golden Gate Park, But Old Regime Just Can’t Let Go

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

[UPDATE: Bagdad by the Bay just looked into things.]

Well, everything’s going great at your new and improved yet-pretty-much-the-same-except-for-the-food Stow Lake Boathouse in Golden Gate Park.

Here’s what it looks like these days:

Click to expand

Just check the Yelp for early reviews. They’re almost all highly positive.*

But what’s this? Some “brother” from Oakland, “Les. L,” is not happy, not one bit! He’s the only Yelper giving a less than positive review.

I’ll allege that Les is not some youngish dude from Oakland, but rather a wealthy, white, preservationist-minded, NIMBY-mentalitied, real-estate-obsessed, highly-opinionated woman of a certain age who lives in the West Bay.

Let’s check it out her one-star report:

“What happened to the cool local people that worked there?”

Um, this is an improbable start to a Yelp review. Gee, maybe they busy themselves with sock puppetry on Yelp these days, just like you, “Les L?”

“Everyone we saw was white, which is weird for SF. We drove over from the East Bay to rent boats with my 2 kids and my mom.”

Oh what’s that, Les? There’s not enough flava for you over here in the West Bay? That’s funny? Did you know that all the people behind the old boat house and the Save the Boat House Coalition are white, or pretty much? What were you expecting?

“The kids couldn’t reach the pedals in the boat we rented. How’s that? It’s for kids, right?”

The old boats, the ones sold off for $500, maybe they were inappropriate for adults? Maybe the kids can just come along for the ride? A paddleboat is a paddleboat, pretty much.

“After a unhappy boatride, my mom tripped on the crappy stairs in front of the boathouse. She was bleeding, the kids were crying, and no one bothered to help us.”

What were you unhappy about, Les? That Bruce lost his lease? It happens. Or you were unhappy because there were too many Whities about?

“An old man sitting on a bench helped us and said the boathouse was just taken over by a New Mexico chain. We won’t be back.”

More improbability. Oh well.

Oddly, Les L., straight outta Oak-Town, also has a big beef with Chicago Title Co. in lily-white Campbell, CA, the wealthiest(?) part of the South Bay.

And, oddly, “his” dentist, with whom “he” also has a big beef, is clear all the way in the burbs of the West Bay.

On It Goes…

*Perhaps too positive. “Ashley c.” is a another one of those Yelp fraudsters, it would appear.

Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake Struck UC Berkeley at 2:41 PM, October 20th 2011 – 3.8 Aftershock at 8:16 PM

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

[Or rather, make that a 4.0 on the Richter, final answer. That was for the afternoon earthquake. This evening's aftershock at 8:16 PM was a 3.8.]

People in the West Bay could definitely feel this this one today, the one centered beneath UC Berkeley.

It felt like a succession of sharp bumps for a few seconds and then there was some generalized shaking – perhaps it all lasted about six seconds.

The Did You Feel It Map:

The initial estimate was a 4.2:

Magnitude 4.2
Date-Time
  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 21:41:04 UTC
  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 02:41:04 PM at epicenter
Location 37.864°N, 122.249°W
Depth 9.8 km (6.1 miles)
Region SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 2 km (2 miles) ESE (112°) from Berkeley, CA
  • 5 km (3 miles) NE (47°) from Emeryville, CA
  • 5 km (3 miles) NNW (341°) from Piedmont, CA
  • 8 km (5 miles) NNW (346°) from Oakland, CA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 90, Dmin=2 km, Rmss=0.18 sec, Gp= 22°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=3
Source
Event ID nc71667366

Stow Lake Boathouse Update: Open for Business – New Paint, Slow Pace, Room for Old People – Photos

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Well, lots of things are pretty much the same these days at the Stow Lake Boathouse, which was reopened by the new tenant on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011.

See? 

Click to expand

Check the new photo gallery – it’s quite complete.

But, here’s something new. It’s a sign in honor of boathouse founder Mr. Cal Tilden & the McLellan* Family, 1946-2011:

(Quite civil to post this sign, if you ask me.)

Get more deets via Aaron Sankin - here’s Huffington Post San Francisco going long-form on this issue: Stow Lake Boathouse Fight: A Battle For the Soul Of Golden Gate Park. Or there’s this here, if you want to click through the lengthy history over the prior months and years…

Le mise-en-scene:

If anything, the pace of life is even slower than that of the era of the prior tenant. Nobody’s hurried at all. And there’s more room, more benches for “old people” to lollygag about.

And here’s your new Boathouse Dog, which is from a better supplier and which is being sold at a cheaper price:

Yes, pink popcorn from Wright’s:

All the players:

And what’s this, new paint, finally, after all these years? These guys started working on Wednesday:

So there you have it.

*Yes, that’s a rapping raven, a confabulating corvid at the end of the first video, calling for a boycott of the boathouse.

Presenting Your Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe “Restoration Time” Menu: $3.25 Hot Dogs, $6.95 Sustainable Tuna Salads

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

At long last, it’s here. It’s the interim menu for our Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe.

Is this menu too foo-foo yuppie for you? Is $3.25* too much for a Let’s Be Frank grass-fed beef** hot dog?

As always, You Make The Call: 

Click to expand

*Well, I’ll tell you, that’s cheaper than what the former tenant was charging. Here’s some more from the clinically-absurd SaveStowLake.org crowd:

“Seniors will no longer be able to gather freely at the boathouse. Prices will be more than doubled on all food items. Middle class and low-income families will be driven out of this spot that is designed to be for all…not just the wealthy.”

I’ll tell you, everything that the Save Stow Lake people have predicted has turned out to be shrill, alarmist bullcrap. JMO.

** These snappy dogs are loaded with flavor, not junk! Using premium cuts from cattle raised on pasture in California (naturally high in healthy Omega 3 fatty acids!) and organic spices, we’ve crafted a delicious dog that’s lower in fat, calories and sodium than conventional franks. No nitrites, nitrates, hormones, or antibiotics, ever.”

It’s Official: The Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe Will Open Wednesday – And Here are the New Boats

Monday, October 10th, 2011

[UPDATE: Rachel Gordon has the deets of Opening Day right here.]

I don’t know, if I had an expired lease with the City and County of San Francisco and they asked me to leave by a certain date, I think I’d leave by that date. But the former tenant at the Stow Lake Boathouse doesn’t roll that way, so he kept on running the place, overstaying his lease, defending an eviction action through the drier $pring and $ummery tourism months. The result is that the new tenant is taking over in Autumn, in the rain. O.K., did that help San Francisco? No.

Also, the old tenant charged $25 per hour for paddleboats and $20 for rowboats until he got caught, even though the contracted rate was for $20 and $15 per hour. O.K., did that help San Francisco? No.

Oh, and the workers for the former tenants left little surprises for the new tenants haha. O.K., did that help San Francisco? No.

Oh, and the trial pitting the former tenant against all of us is skedded for March 2012.

Moving on…

Your new Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe will open on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011, rain or shine, boats and food. It’s official ‘n stuff.

Meet your new fleet:

1. Electric boat – lead-acid type batteries, like from Your Father’s Oldsmobile;

2. Paddleboat – Captain and First Officer/Stoker facing forward with two passengers facing rearward;

3. Rowboat

Click to expand

And actually, the forecast is for Cloudless Skies on Wednesday, so you’ll be richly rewarded if you skip out of work to see the soft opening.

See you there!

Three Hour Tour: See Homer’s Odyssey Performed on 120-Year-Old Schooner – It’s “The Odyssey on Alma”

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Well, this is different:

“This fall, in partnership with San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, We Players shares episodes of the classic sea story The Odyssey aboard the park’s 1891 scow schooner Alma. On eleven autumn afternoons, from September 17 to November 18, Alma’s broad, sturdy deck will evoke Odysseus’ sleek black triremes, and help tell the unlucky sailor’s tale of travel, exploration, and homecoming.

Each performance will take place during a three-hour sail on San Francisco Bay, as the cast and crew weave real-time line handling with Homer’s stirring account of weary seafarers striking sail for home. Audience seating is limited to 40 per performance, and tickets are available in advance only. Join our mailing list to be informed when reservations open, and when additional tickets are released.”

Writer Lily Janiak took the tour – here’s her impression.

It goes a little something like this:

PERFORMANCE DATES:

Friday, October 28
Saturday, October 29
Friday, November 4
Saturday, November 5
Sunday, November 6 (reserved for special guests of SF Maritime Association)
Friday, November 11
Saturday, November 12
Friday, November 18

All right, see you there, matey!

Brace Yourselves: Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann is Speaking at the Commonwealth Club October 20th

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Michele Bachman is coming, Michele Bachman is coming to our Commonwealth Club!

Get your tickets now if you want to go – this will be another sellout crowd at the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum.

SPEAKER: Michele Bachmann, U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota Congresswoman
TITLE: The Revival of American Competitiveness
DATE: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011
TIME: 11 a.m. Check-in, 12 noon program
PLACE: SF Club Office, 595 Market St. 2nd Floor
PRICE: $25 standard, $15 members, $10 students (with valid ID). Premium (priority seating in first few rows) $45 standard, $30 members To buy tickets call 415/597-6705 or register at www.commonwealthclub.org

All the deets:

“Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will present her views on pro-business economic policies that will allow private sector businesses to compete in the global market while addressing the need for job-skill retraining, innovation, comprehensive tax reform and reduction of regulations that threaten jobs. She will also share her thoughts on how to revive America’s competitive edge and restore the United States to the top of global competitiveness. Bachmann says she is running for president “to bring a new voice to the White House -­ a voice of constitutional conservatism, limited government, and a safe and secure America.”

In July 2010, Bachmann – an unwavering champion of Tea Party values including the call for lower taxes, renewed focus on the Constitution and the need to shrink the size of government – founded the Tea Party Caucus in the United States Congress. In 2006, Bachmann became the first Republican woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota. She says government has grown exponentially, with Obamacare being the most recent example of its uninhibited growth. She says government should make the kind of serious spending decisions that she says many families and small businesses have been forced to make. She champions free markets and believes in the vitality of the family as the first unit of government. She is also a defender of the unborn and stands for religious liberties.
Bachmann currently sits on the Financial Services Committee (FSC) and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Serving on the Intelligence Committee, she has consistently advocated peace through strength to ensure America’s national security.

Prior to serving in the U.S. Congress, Bachmann was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 2000 where she championed the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Before that, she spent five years as a federal tax litigation attorney, working on both civil and criminal cases. She also led the charge on education issues in Minnesota where she recognized the need for quality schools and subsequently started a charter school for at-­‐risk kids there.

Bachmann received her J.D. at the O.W. Coburn School of Law at Oral Roberts University and an L.L.M. in Tax Law at the College of William and Mary. She received her B.A. from Winona State University. She and her husband Marcus, to whom she has been married over thirty years, live with their five children in Stillwater, Minn. They own a small business mental health care practice that employs nearly 50 people. In addition, the Bachmann family has opened their home to 23 foster children, which has inspired Bachmann to become one of Congress’ leading advocates for foster and adopted children, earning her bipartisan praise for her efforts.”

Rain Delay: Our New Stow Lake Boathouse and Cafe Won’t Be Opening This Week – How About Next Week?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Well, it seems that rain has delayed the planned quick fixes to our historic Stow Lake Boathouse, so don’t expect it to open by the promised October 6th deadline. The place is a ghost town right now.

Oh, and there were a few unanticipated electrical issues in the kitchen too.

Oh, and a little while back there was a hole in the Stow Lake levy that cropped up right near the boathouse during the long-planned repaving job for, among other places, the Stow Lake area and a good section of JFK.

Oh, and the swan boats, well, you’re going to have start a petition to get those any time soon. But they’ll have plenty of regular, non-avian-themed paddle boats.

In any event, work proceeds. Get all the deets on the new and official website.

Click to expand

And if you want to rent a bike in Golden Gate Park, you’ll need to go to the new vendor:

ParkWide Activities LLC

You’ll find them operating behind the bandshell in the Music Concourse betwixt our de Young Museum and California Academy of Sciences.

Their Grand Opening will be next week but they’re open for business now, even during these rainy days.

Bon courage, SLBH and ParkWide.

Stow Lake Boathouse and Café to Reopen by October 6 – New Website, Blog, Twitter Account, Manifesto

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Well, per the people at the Stow Lake Boathouse, the joint will reopen soon:

“We will reopen operations with food service and boat rentals no later than October 6th.”

Here’s how it looks today, with a fresh layer of asphalt:

Click to expand

Here’s the Twitter and the Facebook and the blog.

And here’s the manifesto:

“A trip to Golden Gate Park isn’t complete without a sojourn to Stow Lake Boathouse. Join us for a relaxing boat ride that will transport you to an idyllic retreat in the heart of San Francisco. Share time with friends and family at our nostalgic boathouse café. Invite the peace of nature to your day with an excursion to one of America’s most visited city parks.

We are very excited about our proposed vision for the Stow Lake Boathouse and Café. Our highly sustainable new caféimprovements to the boathouse itself, and our new and improved fleet of boats offer a number of benefits to the City and visitors to Golden Gate Park.

Stow Lake is a valuable part of San Francisco’s heritage and it needs to stay that way. It should remain a venue for grassroots and other volunteer organizations, while becoming a place where future generations can learn firsthand about the variety and complexity of nature. Stow Lake is also home to many plant and animal species. It hosts so many natural wonders, that it’s hard to believe such a marvelous ecosystem exists so close to downtown San Francisco.

We pledge to be outstanding stewards of Stow Lake, and to work with our community partners in order to further the awareness and appreciation of this beautiful microenvironment. By establishing meaningful partnerships with local groups, we plan to continue and curate the legacy of Stow Lake for the San Franciscans of today as well as tomorrow. We are dedicated to meeting and exceeding existing stewardship standards in order to preserve and protect the richness of these plant and animal species, as this community has done in the past.”

OK then.

But at least 36 people on Gaia’a Green Earth don’t approve of the new tenant:

It’s not over yet! The civil lawsuit begins March 2012 and will expose the truth about all the many laws that Rec & Park broke in order to bring in an out-of-state chain, with no boating experience to take over this historic boating recreation site.”

March 2012, huh? Sounds like a long ways off at this point.

Anyway, bon courage, new Stow Lake Boathouse and Café.

ZOMG, October 16th, 2011 is Yerba Buena Family Day – Free Admission to SFMOMA – Thanks Target!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

October 16th, 2011 will be on a Sunday so I’ll prolly be breakin’ in the malls, breakin’ on the streets, natchbut you, you’ve got kids, so you should head down to SoMA for Yerba Buena Family Day 2011.

It’s:

“…San Francisco’s biggest daylong family block party with free admission, special art activities and free performances for children and families at the following venues within 1 or 2 blocks of each other in the Yerba Buena arts district at 3rd Street and Mission Street in downtown San Francisco.”

That means that Target will pick up the tab when you visit the SFMOMA, the Jew Mu, the MoAD and the Children’s Creativity Museum.

Hurray! (Hey Target, why are you taking so long to open down there in Metreon? Or for that matter, Geary and Masonic. C’mon, wiki wiki.)

 All right, see you and your fam there!

All the deets:

SFMOMA

  • Be inspired by the exhibition Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective
  • Sketch, scribble, and squiggle your way through the wonderful world
    of drawing

Contemporary Jewish Museum

  • Marvel at Harry Houdini’s famous escape acts in the exhibition Houdini: Art and Magic
  • Thrill to a live performance by The Magic of Chin-Chin

Museum of the African Diaspora

  • Tour the exhibition COLLECTED: Stories of Acquisition and Reclamation
  • Make a memory box to take home, participate in a drumming workshop,
    and more

Children's Creativity Museum

  • Be among the first to experience the Museum’s freshly redesigned exhibits including the new Imagination Lab
  • Create clay animations, music videos, digital art, and more
  • Ride the historic carousel for free

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

  • From hula dancers to taiko drummers, enjoy live performances on the
    Esplanade Stage in the Gardens from 11 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Delight in the clowning of Unique Derique and the grooves of the
    Venezuelan Music Project on the Children’s Stage near the Children’s
    Creativity Museum from 12 – 3 PM