Posts Tagged ‘San Mateo’

Parkmerced Update: The “Townhomes” of Infamous “800 Summit” (“From the Low $1,000,000’s”) are the McMansions of Frisco

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Well Summit 800 has certainly been getting attention the past week.

(And I’ve commented earlier.)

So now let’s take a visit Way Down South, even souther and wester than Parkmerced, which everyone would agree is pretty far south and west already, and make the case that these condos / townhomes / whatever are the McMansions of Frisco.

So what’s a McMansion, big housing on a small lot?

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Well, you can’t get smaller lots than this, right? I mean, these places are abutting:

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And take a look at this wall, below – no windows, right? Are they going to put more condos / townhomes / whatever in later on to cover this up? I mean, nobody else has windows on the side. Anyway, this is your McMansion hallmark – such a small separation betwixt units that there’s no real use for windows on the side:

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“No City Limits” is the sign what’s mounted near the city limits, oddly. I mean this is the city limits, right?

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All right, take a look. (And I’ll add that I’m not saying these units are McMansions, I’m saying that they’re the McMansions of Frisco.)

“In U.S. suburban communities, McMansion is a pejorative term for a “mass-produced mansion”. An example of a McWord, “McMansion” associates the generic quality of these luxury homes with that of mass-produced fast food by evoking the McDonald’s restaurant chain.[1] The neologism “McMansion” seems to have been coined sometime in the early 1980s.[2] It appeared in the Los Angeles Times in 1990[3][4] and the New York Times in 1998.[5] Related terms include “Persian palace”,[6] “garage Mahal”, “starter castle”, and “Hummer house”

The term “McMansion” is generally used to denote a new, or recent, multi-story house of no clear architectural style,[8] which prizes superficial appearance, and sheer size, over quality.
Such very large, indeed expensive, but “mass produced” homes may sit on large lots: that is to say, an entire division of McMansions may be created (perhaps dozens or more at once), each on a large lot. However, in another usage “McMansion” is used pejoratively to refer to a house which replaced a smaller house, in a neighborhood of smaller houses, which seems far too large for its lot and thus crowds adjacent homes. (Indeed, such a McMansion may lack side windows due to the proximity to the boundaries – another McMansion-related cliché”


Using Photoshop to Market Blue Skies to Foreigners – Selling Summit 800 Condos/Townhomes Deep in the Fog Belt

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Well, here you go, it’s Summit 800, “from the low millions.”

It’s the talk of the town these days.

But Google “summit 800 san francisco” and all you see are highly uncharacteristic blue skies. Isn’t that odd? I mean, we’re deep in the Frisco Fog Belt down there in the lower left corner of SF County, right?

Anyway, these shots come up in the above search. Don’t these Honolulu-style cloud look familiar? Aren’t they exactly the same in both images? What are the odds of that?

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(Something’s gone wrong here!)

IDK, man. I just feel sorry for the out of towners buying these places.

Enjoy your fog, Newcomers!

Pacific Place Apts of Daly City, As Seen from Frisco – A Giant Birthday Cake – The Bridge of a Battleship

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Boy, this view is somewhat jarring:

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They call this thing a “turret?”

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I don’t know.

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(Two words, Man: Omega Man.)

All the deets

New Electronic Arts Corporate Bus “Wrap” Allows You to Meet EA’s Characters – A Family Portrait

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

First I’ve noticed this one:

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I like it better than this one, which, in any event, reminds me of the Deflate-gate cheaters…

Old White Guy, Old White Guy, Less Old White Guy: A Random Sample of SF’s Supposedly “Diverse” Golf Course in San Mateo County

Monday, July 6th, 2015

So that’s 100% white guys. (Of “course,” our n=3 here, but even so. I mean, the people who take advantage of this golfing subsidy skew white, male, older, wealthier, right? I mean, am I wrong here? Disabuse me, Gentle Reader, if necessary.)

These are the only people I’ve ever seen at the white elephant known as Sharp Park, which, oddly, is operated by San Francisco even though it’s not even located in San Francisco.

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So, why would Interim Mayor Ed Lee go against the Board of Supervisors, who wanted to sell off / give away / otherwise rid ourselves of this light-skinned loxodontine from Way Down In Pacifica? Well, middle-class welfare tends to be hard to eliminate.

And then there’s this constituency:

“City management of the golf course is handicapped by a sclerotic labor contract that has some employees earning six-figure salaries* for work that pays less than half of that on most golf courses.”

Oh well. I suppose our southernmost “run-down” golf course will continue to make us a national laughingstock.

And who’s going to pay for the $20-$30 million* worth of deferred work what this ball-and-chain needs?

I don’t know.

Oh well.

*Practically everything in Frisco is “sustainable” these these days. But what about Sharp Park? And then there’s this, from our drought-addled Year of the Lord 2015:

Dan Noyes:How do you respond to this not being fixed for four years?”
Gavin Newsom’s Jogging Buddy / Political Booster / Lawyer: “Well, that’s probably not exactly accurate. There are a series of leaks in the system and we manage them as best we can.” 

50,000 gallons? That’s a Cosco Busan bunker oil spill-worth of water daily. Oh well.

County Living at SUMMIT 800: The Top Seven Reasons Why Foreigners Should NOT Buy a Condo Townhouse Near Parkmerced

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

What’s that, you’re not a foreigner? Well fine, you certainly should know what you’re doing, so move on in, with my blessings.

But I’m assuming that you’re a foreigner, you know, if you’re thinking about buying at Summit 800.

1. And you know what? The people who are selling to you are assuming you’re a foreigner as well. Look at the name, look at the marketing. You’re rich and naive, that’s what they’re telling you.

2. This is a giant warning sign:

The New Townhouses at Summit 800 Are Already Cutting Prices

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3. Yes, you’re living in San Francisco but only just inside the county line. So really, you’re sort of living in San Mateo County. This is their slogan: “City Living. No City Limits.” It took me a while to figure things out, because I didn’t see the two sentences together. What they’re saying is that you have the best of both worlds – you’re living in San Francisco, but your apartment/condo/townhouse/townhome/whatever you call it as long as you don’t call it a “house” has a lot of space and is brand-new construction and you have room for two cars and you have a lot of things that are hard to find in SF. BUT YOU’RE NOT REALLY LIVING IN SF, not really. They’re showing you images of Shanghai, but you’d be living in Chengdu.

4. Schools. Ask about schools. OMFG.

5. Weather / Climate. Hey, how’s the weather down there? Oh, foggy again today? Oh.

6. Traffic. OMFG. What they call State Highway 1, I call the 19th Avenue Parking Lot. Things are a bit better if you head south, but then why live in the far south / far west of SF? Oh, just so you can say you have a place in SF? OK, if that’s what you want.

7. What are people saying about this place? Check it. And pay close attention to what Eric has to say.

What if you gave one of these places to your kids and told them they’d only have to pay the monthly homeowner’s fees and annual property taxes, something like $2000 a month? Would your kids even want to move in? IDK. So what happened to your million-plus dollars?


Here’s What San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Gets Wrong About Our Failed Bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics

Friday, January 16th, 2015

I guess this will close out SF’s attempt to host the 2024 Olympics.

The weird thing about San Francisco’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics was that the local committee was this close to pulling off a terrific plan.

The vote was Boston 15 and San Francisco (and the other two) 0, was it not? That’s not all that close, huh? Or does he mean that the bay area’s bid was sub-terrific, like it was just one unit below being terrific? One can’t tell what the Nevius is trying to say here. San Francisco always was a long shot, right? And if SF got picked by the USOC, then it would have been a long shot to get picked by the IOC. And if the corrupt IOC had selected SF, then there was always the chance of things not working out anyway, ala the inchoate Denver 1976 Olympics. So, was this thing “close” or actually far far away? I’ll tell you, if I were the USOC, I’d tell all the boosters from all the cities how close things were and if I were the spokesmodel for SF2024, I’d tell Larry Baer how close he almost came. (“We were this close Lare-Bear!) But I’m not so I won’t. OTOH, CW Nevius got paid by the Chronicle to publish, more or less, what Nate Ballard wanted published, so here we are. “So close!”

Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you thought a temporary, pop-up $350 million Olympic stadium in the Brisbane wind tunnel was a good idea? 

The IOC doesn’t want any more images of white elephants haunting them through the decades. So, in their opinion, which is the only one that matters, pop-ups might be a good thing. As far as Brisbane vs. Oakland is concerned, how could it matter? Our hosting would have ended up costing 5, 10, 15 billion dollars more than the “official” bid, right? Isn’t that the real issue?

More on Oakland:

It would not only have been a terrific solution for the Games — better weather, easy access, waterfront views — it would have penciled out financially.

This is the same Nevius who moved to town and then a few months later determined that the failed America’s Cup would come “without a downside.” But it did come with a downside, or two or three or four, right? Moving on.

And, by the way, don’t think the United States Olympic Committee wasn’t hoping to make San Francisco work. Conventional wisdom was that Los Angeles had the facilities, Boston and Washington had the East Coast bias, but San Francisco was “the sexiest.”

Why does the Nevius use the term “conventional wisdom” here? What does he mean? Is he suggesting that this view wasn’t accurate? I don’t think so.  And what’s “East Coast bias?” Have the Summer Olympics ever been held on the East Coast of the United States ever in history? Nope. So there doesn’t seem to be too much bias there. Our Summer Olympicses have been held in the West (twice), the South and the Midwest. So WTF. Now, time zone-wise I can certainly see how advertisers worldwide would strongly prefer the EDT for live events, and that certainly was a factor favoring Boston. And I’ll say, that DC had no chance at all, as the IOC hates DC and all it stands for. And then the Nevius puts quote marks around “the sexiest?” Is this a an actual quote or is it merely the conventional wisdom? Hmmm

So what happened? Well, San Francisco happened. Or more specifically, the Bay Area, and particularly the fractious shenanigans in Oakland, made everyone nervous.

So, nothing happened, right? The USOC did its own polling and figured out that we don’t really want the Olympics here. That’s what happened. I wouldn’t describe that as San Francisco happened since this was and is a known known, right?

Every time someone touted the Bay Area as a location, someone else cued up the video of the Oakland protesters trashing a Christmas tree.

Whoa, Nelly! Is this literally true? Like “every time?” No, so who was actually doing this at all? Like, even once? Is the Nevius aware of the non-disparagement agreements that all the bid cities signed on to? Is he suggesting that somebody from the Boston bid “cued up” some video literally or is this a Nevius tone poem? I can’t tell. Not at all.

As one local Olympic insider suggested: “We are like the hot, crazy girl that everyone wants to sleep with. You never know what you’re going to get when you wake up in the morning.”

This quote is from Nate Ballard but he doesn’t want to own up to it? Weak. I’ll note that Nate Ballard isn’t quoted anywhere else in the Nevius bit. And did Larry Baer’s money go to somebody getting paid to talk about hot, crazy “girls” everybody wants to sleep with? That’s amazing. Anyway, this came from Nate Ballard – prove me wrong! I won’t disagree with the sentiment though. Yes, SF was the most “appealing” bid city, the city that the corrupt IOC would have the warmest feelings for, most likely.

Now make no mistake. It wasn’t just Oakland. Accounts of the years of debate and acrimony over the harmless Beach Chalet soccer fields in Golden Gate Park made the national news.

OK, so what are you saying here, Nevius? That spending money and effort trying to get the Olympics to come here is/was a bad idea, you know, considering? Is that what you mean to say, Nevius?

Nor was it helpful to hear that collecting enough signatures to get an initiative on the San Francisco ballot is incredibly easy.

So, CW Nevius from Walnut Creek doesn’t want the people of SF to be able to weigh in on spending 10, 15, 20 billion on an Olympic-sized boondoggle? Mmmm…

Suppose, for example, an initiative was passed that said no public money could be used for the Games.

Yep, that was what was coming, no doubt.

Would that mean no increase in funding for public transportation, which would be stressed for the Games? Or police and emergency services.

The answer to this question is that it doesn’t matter as such a vote would be more than enough to scare away the corrupt IOC and why would you continue along the boondoggle path after the People voted thumbs down? I mean, what kind of monster would do that? Here’s the thing – this is the IOC:


That’s in terms that CW Nevius, that white, wizened, wine-drinking, Walnut Creekian Downton Abbey fan can appreciate. In fact, the IOC is like 10-15% royal blooded, like literally. The IOC has lots of ideas about how best to spend Other People’s Money on projects to glorify the IOC. But the IOC itself can’t afford to put on the show. That’s why it forces cities to guarantee the games with taxpayer money. There’s no way ’round this. So the IOC will not grant the Games to any city that doesn’t have a guarantee that the bill for the inevitable overruns will get sent to taxpayers. This is the Denver 1976 situation. It doesn’t take all that much to scare away the IOC.

Would we ever be able to get this together? Sure. It’s possible. The timing couldn’t have been much worse this year to put something together.

So, our bid was All About Oakland? I don’t think so. Perhaps this notion is comforting to Larry Baer, but I don’t think so. Perhaps SF bidding on the Olympics is fun, but it’s a bad idea? Perhaps?

But don’t think Boston is a slam dunk to win the international bid.

Who thinks Boston is a “slam dunk?” Where does this come from?

If anything, the anti-Olympics political forces in Boston — there’s a “No Boston Olympics” coalition — are more organized and more vociferous than the little band of naysayers here. 

Well, Nevius, the USOC did its own polling and it concluded that the political environment was worse here in SF. The reason why Boston’s citizen effort had a higher profile is that the bid in Boston had a higher profile, for whatever reason. And if a “little band” of naysayers would have had a very easy time winning its no-taxpayer-funds-for-the-Olympics vote, then they aren’t such a little band, right? Maybe SF doesn’t want to pay for the Olympics to come here – is that a possibility?

So now Nevius is rooting for Boston to lose the 2024 Olympics so that we can get the 2028 Olympics – that’s what Larry Baer and Nate Ballard are thinking?

OK fine, but I don’t think that’s going to work either.

CW Nevius should be able to do a better job than this.

Point Counterpoint on the 2024 Olympics, Since San Francisco’s Bid Will End Tomorrow, Probably

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Let’s start here:

“I truly believe this will advance our long-term interests,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said. “We believe that San Francisco’s 2024 vision of the Olympics is 100 percent aligned with our priorities as we see them today, both as a city and as a region.”

Yeah, sure, hook Ed Lee up to a lie detector and you’d see that he actually believes this statement. Except that it’s not true. Unless he thinks that the 2024 Olympics are worth $10 billion or so of cost overruns. Some would benefit from those overruns but most would not. This process of exaggerating benefits and minimizing costs is what got us in trouble with the disastrous, expensive, deadly, scandal-marred America’s Cup, which, of course, San Francisco declined to repeat.

And I can’t help but think that “2024 vision” sounds a lot like Vision Zero 2024*, another promise that hasn’t a chance in the world of coming true.

“Our mantra really is, ‘Can we host an Olympics and leave the Bay Area better off for having done that?’ ” Strandberg said. “If we can’t, you should hold us to the standard. That’s what we think about every day as we lay out our plans.”

How on Earth would we be able to hold Mr. Strandberg “accountable” post 2024, when we’ll be billions and billions over $4.5 billion? How much skin does he have in the Game? Not much, not much at all.

“It’s not relevant to include Games that were put on by sovereign states like Russia or China and compare them to how you would do something in the United States,” he said. “We’d never look at the Chinese economic system or the Russian political system and say, ‘That’s how we do it here.’ So, why would we assume that is how we would do an Olympic Games here?”

(Sovereign states? Is that some kind of insult? Not really. I wonder what phrase he’s thinking about when he says sovereign state.) In any event, the better comparisons are with London 2012, which overran by about $10 billion and Chicago 2016, which would had overrun by a similar amount. Or Greece? Can we talk about Greece? No, all right. And the reason to include Russia and China has more to do with the IOC, which has a real problem dealing with democracies.

So that’s the SJMN bit. It’s well-written, by Elliott Almond and Mark Emmons

Moving on, to SF Moderates, which used to be called Plan C, which used to be a right side of the aisle political group for gay property owners. It’s expanded its membership lately, but it’s still decidedly on the right side of SF’s political aisle. Begin:

But what if we could defy the naysayers and make it happen? Mayor Ed Lee has initiated the effort, emphasizing that the $4.5 billion price tag will come from private donors. I learned from the Miracle on Ice and from the 2010 Giants and Ashkon that you don’t stop believing just because someone says you can’t win.

So why didn’t we sign up for another America’s Cup? Perhaps the naysayers were absolutely correct? Yep.

The issue for anti-Olympics lobbyists appears to be possible cost overruns, which have averaged over 200 percent per Olympics according to a recent study. The assumption is that taxpayers will be on the hook for the extra $9 billion in average cost overruns. That’s a fair concern.

Oh OK, well, yes, that’s the “concern.”

The requirement is a guarantee of public money to cover cost overruns. There are ways to deal with that if the final bill is the sole concern.

Uh, no there’s not. Are you talking about cost overrun insurance from that Aon company? That’s never going to work. If everybody thinks the taxpayers will be on the hook for $10 billion, then the premium for such a policy would be about $10 billion, right? And if it’s not, then it has a host of exceptions and deductibles and caps and then let’s have future taxpayers pay off the bill.

But, let’s consider another view. There are private donors ready to pump in $4.5 billion into our local economy. How often does that happen? If we say no to this money, are we in a better position to reduce poverty or curb homelessness?

Yes, without the 2024 Olympics, we’ll be in a better position. Were you born yesterday?

While the anti-Olympics lobby eagerly points to the America’s Cup as proof that the Olympics will be bad for San Francisco, what about the San Francisco Giants?

But that stadium was privately financed, right? The IOC would never allow a privately-financed 2024 Olympics.

I hope it doesn’t get derailed by another just say no campaign.

No no no no no. This deal will never work out in the long run. Let’s hope San Francisco loses tomorrow.

*With an admirable goal, but it’s never going to happen. Transportation deaths are a people problem, not an infrastructure problem. Fundamentally.

Hilarious: SF Olympics Boosters Register “NoSF2024” URLs to Suppress Debate – But Opposition Simply Uses “SFNo2024” Instead

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Oh man, this is something.

So, local Olympics boosters are more or less contractually obligated to register URLs like if they want to have any hope of having a costly Sumer Olympics come to town in 2024. But they went further – they went and registered URLs that could be used by citizen opposition to having an expensive Olympics come to town.

I’ll tell you, Boston citizens use without any interference from the Boston boosters. But SF boosters registered NoSFOlympics .org and .com because they didn’t want the USOC in Colorado Springs to see the opposition.

Isn’t that sad?

Anyway, they must have registered a bunch of URLs, cause look, they also registered NoSF2024 and other names they could think of. See?


But they didn’t think to register and so that’s what the citizens ended up using.

And now guess what site all the USOC people are looking at now?

So what was the point of all this registration fooforall?

2024 Olympics Roundup: San Francisco “increasingly looking unlikely” – USOC Appears Skittish About Local Opposition

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Well, here you go:

Local opposition to San Francisco 2024 Olympic bid grows as USOC prepare to announce choice

A decision on which American city will be chosen to bid for the 2024 Olympics is set to be announced on Thursday (January 8) but it is increasingly looking unlikely that it will be San Francisco.

Bay Area activists have formed a coalition opposing a bid for the Games, which is sure to be a factor when the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is due to meet at Denver International Airport to choose a city from a shortlist which also includes Boston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. 

The SF No 2024 Olympics group, which includes SEIU Local 1021, San Francisco activist Tony Kelly, and former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly…”

And now you ask, “What about Boston – they have a bigger citizen opposition movement, right?” Maybe so, but the one that the United State Olympic Committee frets about over in Colorado Springs is San Francisco’s. Let’s get the update from last month:

“San Francisco likely is the candidate the USOC would prefer under ideal circumstances, but the city’s fractious political atmosphere, venue questions and the number of other large Bay Area municipalities that would probably need to be involved diminishes the chance for that to happen. Public opposition in San Francisco is expected to be substantial.”

Does the USOC similarly cite the fractious political atmosphere or the public opposition in Boston? No, not at all.

Hey, do you know that the USOC has been conducting opinion polling of bay area residents? Yep. So the USOC knows on its own about the dangers of playing piñata with the giant hornet’s nest that is San Francisco politics.

This political risk is a bigger factor than, say, where are we going to build the big stadium, right? Right.

And you know what else the USOC is up to these days? It’s scouring the Web looking for public opposition to pop up in Frisco. So if, let’s say, a tiny local blog has a new post about, say, mounting opposition against hosting the 2024 Olympics, look who comes a running, all the way from Colorado Springs, 80903:

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So it doesn’t matter what spinmeister Nate Ballard tells anybody, the USOC has its own independent information.

And what did the USOC find just recently? They found SF No 2024 Olympics. Ouch.

And speaking of the Internet, look who’s paying Google to get at the top of your search page when you search for something like “No SF Olympics.” That’s right, it’s Larry Baer and all the other Olympics boosters:

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Is this an effective use of Larry’s money? IDK.

And speaking of wasting Larry’s money, what’s up with this?

Rumor has it San Francisco is a front-runner for the American bid.

WTF to that. Did Nate Ballard just trick Heather Knight here? I can’t tell. And what’s “a” front-runner? Like top three out of four? So, odds-wise, LA’s got the best shot, then Boston, and then SF and so only poor, poor DC isn’t a front-runner? OK fine. But IRL, SF is not the front runner and SF is not a front runner.

And hey, did you know that Olympic Dreamers, the Olympics Movementarians bought up URLs like NoSFOlympics so that the citizen opposition wouldn’t be able to use them? Yep. They did this at the end of October. But the opposition simply used instead, right? So, the dreamers end up looking like assholes and there was zero percent chance that this scheme would work. (Let’s hope the person who reg’ed the URLs for cheap didn’t send a bill to Larry for $5000 marked Opposition Suppression.)

Hey speaking of Larry Baer, his name is mud in the all-important South Bay, right? You know, where the Bay Area’s biggest city is, right? Take a look:

“Consumer tip: Do not start saving up money to buy those tickets for a 2024 Bay Area Olympics just yet. In fact, by my estimation, odds are 99-1 against the games ever happening here. Admittedly, those are unscientific odds. They are based solely on my four decades of covering the Olympic landscape. The actual odds could be much worse.”

And then, what, would San Jose residents get to vote on their participation? And Oakland too? How would we divvy up the overrun risk? It seems like an impossible task.

This just in: an artist’s conception of the dartboard in Larry Baer’s den:


Poor Chris Daly!

So, the Dream is dead. (Or if you paid Nate Ballard enough money to switch sides, he’d come up with something like, “Just like Sean Penn, SF2024 is a Dead Dream Walking.”)

And really, we shouldn’t compare our bid with those from autocracies like Russia (Sochi) or China (Beijing). I mean it would be impossible to spend more than $40 billion on the 2024 games in America. No no, the proper comparisons are with London 2012 and Chicago 2016. Let’s take a look.

London 2012, like SF 2024, had an initial bid of $4 billion something. Then it overran like a son of a bitch, something on the order of $10 billion. So, for SFGov officials to claim that the London Games ended in “surplus,” well, that’s just a fantasy. If London is the modern-practices lodestar, then would SF overrun by a similar amount?

And then Chicago. Well, the Mayor there also said he wouldn’t put taxpayers on the hook, but then he changed his mind when he finally figured out that the IOC insisted upon the taxpayers of Illinois being on the hook. Was Mayor Daley lying? That’s your call, but there was no way that the no taxpayer money commitment was ever going to happen. And then the Mayor of Chicago tried to fix things with an insurance policy from Aon? Yep. The problem with that was that the innocent taxpayers were still on the hook IRL. Oh, the policies had big deductibles and they had low caps? Well, how would that that have helped? And now, SF wants to use Aon for the same purpose? OK fine, whatevs.

All right, that’s your update.

(You know, what the Olympic Dreamers should do is make the case that it would be worth $10 billion in potential overruns to have the Olympics here. That would be the honest approach…)