Posts Tagged ‘stow’

Crayfish: It’s What’s for Dinner in Golden Gate Park – Everybody’s Eating These Tiny Lobsters

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Here’s what I saw the other day:

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I’m supposing it’s crayfish from the bottom of Stow Lake.

Now let’s review


Sometimes crayfish look very red, like a lobster, sometimes not?


Great blue herons throw them up in the air and then catch ’em with a big thwack. THWACK:


There’s mudbug juice everywhere.

But pied-billed grebes are neater

There you go, Junior:

Eat some crawdads:

All right, stay safe, mudbugs.

Procambarus clarkii is a freshwater crayfish species, native to the Southeastern United States, but found also on other continents, where it is often an invasive pest. It is known variously as the red swamp crawfish, red swamp crayfish,Louisiana crawfish, Louisiana crayfish or mudbug.

Catching Up with the NEW Stow Lake Boat House – Photos – It’s Just the Same, Except for the “PRIVATE EVENTS”

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Well, I guess the transition to the new vendor at our Stow Lake Boat House in Golden Gate Park is fully complete, not that you could really tell. Four Yelp stars, currently.

Things were a little contentious for a while there, what with the crew from Save Stow Lake, who supported the former vendor what operated this place. Get a taste of that conflict here. (And see what became of down below – it’s kind of funny.)

Here it is, looking more like Camp Crystal than what you’d expect to see in Frisco:

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Here’s your seating area for the cafe. The worry back in the aughts was that this room was going to go upscale, become an upscale dining establishment. That didn’t happen.

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Now back in the day, the old vendor simply raised prices without telling/getting permission from Rec and Park, so today’s prices are basically the same as back in the aughts. The new Family Boat seats six, I figure.

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Le Cafe, complete with pink popcorn for sale, as was desired by the alarmist preservationists who supported the former vendor:

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Oh, this is new – room rentals

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I don’t think the Save Stow Lake people saw this coming, ’cause I don’t recall them complaining about the specter of private parties in a public park, oh well. I think it’s like $100 an hour to have a birthday party in a rented room these days. Naturally, visitors will think a bathroom is where all the people are milling about, so this sign keeps them out and points them across the street, fair ‘nough.

Now if conditions get too rough for you out on the high seas of this quite artificial “lake,” well you can always dial the snack bar and they’ll talk you home, like the air traffic controllers from Airport ’75

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So that’s your update.

Now, here’s what’s become of So who’s selling what here? IDK, but, from Japan, it’s the “Telephone Lady” who has tax tips for you:


Anyway, that’s the bizarre end to the bizarre movement to “save” Stow Lake, which of course is still with us even though these Save Stow Lake people lost, big-time.

Happy Boating!

Heron Watch Season Returns to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park – Giant Birds in Giants Nests

Monday, April 25th, 2016

What’s this? It must mean that Heron Watch 2016 is on in Frisco:

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Here’s the scene, on the other side of Stow Lake this year:

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Passersby wonder what the fuss is about, then stop to check things out:

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And here they are, some of the new babies:

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I’ll tell you, I prefered the former breeding location, near the Stow Lake Boat House – you can see one parent here, what just had barfed up / regurgitated a freshly-killed gopher. Can you see which fledgling gulped it down?


Dem boids were certainly were closer to shore back in the day, easier to see.

Anyway, on it goes. They’ll fly the coop by the end of May, most likely…

YOLO: Crush the Turtle Enjoys Life in Golden Gate Park

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

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The Harassed Hawks of Golden Gate Park are Always Getting Hassled by Smaller Birds

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Your crows, ravens, and blackbirds of  Golden Gate Park just won’t tolerate the presence of raptors.

They can’t abide.

Above the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, just yesterday:

Canon 200mm 2.8L

Above what used to be called Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park:

Canon 400mm 4.0 DO IS

Above Stow Lake:


Canon 300mm 2.8LIS + 2x extender

We’re Already Well Into May 2012, So Whatever Happened to that Long-Promised Lawsuit over the Stow Lake Boathouse?

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

I haven’t heard word one about the long-promised lawsuit what was going to overturn SFGov and re-install the old tenant as the operator.

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.”

Oh well.

Just saying.

Ah, Stow Lake:

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Oh, and the early reviews are in. And they’re pretty good, those reviews.

Leave us close this chapter of wealthy, white, real-estate-obsessed, dingbat, millionaire homeowner Preservationists vs. the Boathouse at Stow.

Public No-Shows Public Meeting Regarding the Future of the Stow Lake Boathouse – Plus, Spurious Lead Paint Issue

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I don’t know, when you have like just one member of the public show up at a meeting hosted by Rec and Park, would you call that a successful joint?

This was the scene for last Thursday night’s big PowerPoint presentation. You had people there from the new tenant and the new tenant’s Marin operation and RPD and etc.

Is this low turnout due to the fact that grand battle has already been won by the new tenant, or is it due to the fact that there was zero publicity for this particular meeting,* or maybe a combination of both reasons?

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Anyway, the latest developments at Stow are detailed here by Rachel Gordon.

And oh, the lawsuit against the City from the old tenant should have some activity soon, maybe something is scheduled for Superior Court in March 2012.

And the latest from the absurdly-named Save Stow Lake Coalition has to do with paint with lead in it, which, Gentle Reader, I’m sitting two yards from right now. And, this is true for you too, G.R. You know, ’cause paint with some amount of lead in it is everywhere. Simply everywhere. (If it turns out that this coalition is some long-running anti-NIMBY performance art project, I won’t be surprised…)

Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Enjoy your upcoming rain-free, vernal paddle-boating season, everybody…

*I don’t know, was this meeting posted on the internet anywhere at all? NTMK.

The Next Big Public Meeting for the Stow Lake Boathouse is on January 26th, But, Shhhhhh, It’s a Secret

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Here’s the word on the street:

“The Recreation and Park Department and Ortega Family Enterprises are hosting a community meeting to discuss the upcoming renovations of the Stow Lake Boathouse. The work will include creating an indoor seating area so that the building is open to the public for the first time, adding an accessible bathroom, upgrading the building systems as well as upgrading the general condition of the building.

Date: January 26, 2012
Time: 7PM
Location: Hall of Flowers (County Fair Building)”

But, am I getting punk’d here? ‘Cause I can’t find any evidence of this meeting online.

Now, I can find the Save Stow Lake insanity* webpage, right here.

And, I can find the Official Twitter for Stow Lake Boathouse LLC, right here.

But, to review, I can’t find any evidence of this meeting online.

Oh hey, look, it’s Ortega Family Enterprises’ Armand Ortega hisself, at the last big Boathouse meeting (the last one that I know of, anyway) at the Hall of Flowers.**

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Oh well.

*Uh, Ortega Family Enterprises has “boating experience” now, doesn’t it? You might want to change that. And do you want the City and County poking about buildings in your real estate empire looking for paint with lead in it? I’d bet they’d find some. Oh no! And shrillness-wise, you’re giving us a 9. How about giving us a 3 instead? All right, take two, roll film, action.

**Yes, that’s the actual color of the interior of the Hall of Flowers. I call it indescribable green.

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:

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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.

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.


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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.