Posts Tagged ‘steal’

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!

If Your Bicycle Enters San Francisco’s Stolen Bike Ecosystem, You’re NEVER Getting It Back – Here’s Why – As Seen on 13th Street

Monday, June 1st, 2015

[UPDATE: Commenter Kyle says a couple of these factories have gotten hauled away by the SFPD – see Comments.]


So your horse has been stolen off of the mean Streets of San Francisco?  Well, you’re never ever getting it back because it’s already been chopped up into pieces and rendered at the makeshift open-air glue factory known as 13th Street:

7J7C8926 copy

Oh, what’s that, somebody stole your ride one time and you got it back the next day? Well, sure, cause your bike got stolen, but it hadn’t yet entered The System. Here’s your sausage factory, bursting at the seams:

7J7C8927 copy

Oh look, new chain link fence and barbed wire – that will stop the processing in this one particular place under the I-80

7J7C8934 copy

And look, camouflage!

7J7C8935 copy

It’s almost as if there aren’t any stolen bike parts on the sidewalk at all!

It amazes me when some say that these bikes were simply given away or abandoned. ‘Cause like just as Tsukiji has its fish market, in Tsukiji, SF has its stolen bike market / processing center, on the few short blocks under the freeway called 13th Street


Extreme Trialsing, 94117 – The Highest Form of Fixie, No Saddle Required – Dangerous Storage in the Western Addition

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

What the kids are calling a bicycle these days:

7J7C4276 copy

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream at Haight and Ashbury Doesn’t Trust Us to Not Steal Their HAIGHT and ASHBURY Signs

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

These signs are held in place by the world’s tiniest padlocks – you can see one on the right:

20150217_182621 (1) copy

That’s not too groovy, is it, man?

Clever Driver Boots Own Car to Avoid Theft on the Mean Streets of Ed Lee’s San Francisco: Presenting “The Claw”

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

And look, it’s from the people who brought us The Club, back in the 1980’s.

As seen in the projects near City Hall attached to an old Honda

Click to expand

I’ve never seen this before, Gentle Reader!

  • High visual deterrence
  • Unauthorized use deterrent
  • Self locking
  • Installs in seconds
  • Fits wheels up to 12 inches wide
  • Black vinyl dip protects wheel rim
  • 3 Laser encrypted keys
  • Plastic cover protects the lock from the elements


  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Vans
  • Trailers

Bicycle Chop Shop or Just Another Homeless Encampment: You Make The Call

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

At first I thought chop shop, but now I don’t think so. Usually when I think see one I actually do, but not this time, oh well.

Betwixt DISCOUNT BUILDER’S SUPPLY and the Duboce offramp: 

Click to expand

If you want a clear example of both a chop-shop and a non-chop shop, click here.

On It Goes…

OMG, the San Francisco Police Officers Association is Giving Away Kryptonite Bike Locks – Bicycle Theft Workshop at the Twitter Building March 13th

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Pretty much:

“1st 45 people who bring an old cable lock to SAFE Bikes event will get a new @kryptonitelock u-lock!  @SFPDBikeTheft

Check it:

But they have a few questions for you:

OK fine, but the Twitter Office isn’t all that exciting. Consider it a victory if they let you out onto the roof.

Oh and it it looks like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has nothing to do with this event, except for parking bikes out front. Mmmm.

Anyway, enjoy.

The SF Recreation and Park Department Picks a Cold December Day to Confiscate This Communal Tent in GGP

Monday, December 9th, 2013

I’ll tell you, it’s just 59 degrees up near the ceiling of my living room this chilly AM, but I think I’m getting used to our current cold snap. People who might feel differently would be those who were making this big-ass tent their home in Golden Gate Park as recently as Thursday night.

Man, that was a big-ass tent:

Click to expand

Do hippies really try to pitch tents within a couple hundred yards of the Conservatory of Flowers? Hippies do. Apparently. I guess it makes for an easy commute to Upper Haight or wherever.

Anyway, here’s the scene about an hour later, with this woman yelling, incredulous, saying, “The tent’s gone? They took the fucking tent?” And dude up the hill was all, ” I tried to stop them.”

I know that RPD staffers get irked by homeless people living in GGP but the 415 is experiencing a pretty epic cold snap these days and Golden Gate Park has the coldest places in the city, like four or five degrees colder than what gets officially reported for San Francisco.

So I think I’d probably let the hippies be until things warm up a bit, just saying.