Posts Tagged ‘Strybing Arboretum’

Instead of an Orange-and-Black Hoodie Saying “Go Giants,” How About a Orange-and-Black Hoodie Saying “Grow Giants?”

Monday, June 30th, 2014

As seen at the former Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park:

Click to expand

And oh yes, rest assured that this pullover was “PRINTED IN THE HAIGHT ASHBURY.”

A mere $45…

Well, As Expected, the $7 Fee at the Strybing Arboretum is Going to Become Permanent – A Little History

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Boy there’s a lot of overhead involved with the whole process of charging people $7 to walk through the former Strybing Arboretum, it sure looks like.

Anyway, here’s a little background on how we’ve gotten to this point:

LMA-BOS-Supporter Talking Points-6-4.21.13 Budget Hearing

Arboretum Contract Critique

And here’s a post from 2010:

“Not sure how many people were at last night’s “workshop” to discuss the idea of charging admission at San Francisco Botanical Garden (aka Strybing Arboretum) in Golden Gate Park ’cause I left before it ended. But the hand-count totaled 225 souls, so let’s call that a gentleman’s 250 altogether for the crowd.

Here’s the thing - people on both sides all seem to know each other and care deeply about The Garden. This conflict seems a kind of civil war (hence the Antietam name check, yes it rhymes exactly), a family squabble. It’s plant-loving Brother against plant-loving-but-other-stuff-too Brother. Get up to speed on this dispute here.

Now, once more into the breach, dear friends.

The mise-en-scene last night. It’s Recreation and Park Commission President Jim Lazarus taking individual questions from a hostile crowd, split up unnecessarily, it turned out, into three sections. This is what the bulk of the meeting looked like. Click to expand:

But let’s start at the beginning. Below, it’s the organized neighbors! They taped up hundreds of small signs to draw attention to the meeting. Did workers from DPW spend a lot of time taking down the unofficial notices? Apparently. Were any official notices put up, like last time? Not that I could see.

Inside, the fellow on the left, (didn’t get his name, someone called him The Kid) tried to get things started, but vocal members of the crowd didn’t like the agenda that was handed out, particularly they didn’t like being split up into three groups.

The guy with the ponytail went off, and the Eli in the Yale jacket on the right pleaded for calm. Thank Gaia for Yalies:

After a couple go-arounds like that, The Kid threatened to cancel the meeting. (Arboretum staff appears to view hosting public meetings like these as doing a favor to Arboretum visitors, and truth be told, if San Francisco officials are dead-set on allowing the charging of admission, they can do it regardless of what regular Arboretum visitors want.) Here’s a ten-minute video of the action.

But after a brief huddle, redolent of a friendly car salesperson taking your low-ball offer to the Big Guy…

…out comes lawyer Jim Lazarus calling an audible to change the meeting’s format. He seemed every bit the experienced pol he is.

The new agenda that got worked out with leadership elements from the masses: an uninterupted 10-15 minute “general presentation” of the plan. “Then you can decide how much you want to beat us up after that,” said Jimbo. “You can shoot us all when it’s over.”

This Lazarus Effect resuscitated the meeting. So, let’s hear The Proposal.

The Arboretum would set up pre-fab ticket kiosks at the Main Gate and the Friend Gate (near the Japanese Tea Garden) for $65K and then hire four part-time cashiers, a manager(?), and also a part-time accountant for $148K per year. San Francisco residents would enter for free after showing some sort of ID. Those useless freeloading parasites known as Everybody Else in the World would pay $7, or $4 (students and seniors), or $2 (kids) each time they go in. They’d have the option of getting a $75 annual pass that would also allow entry at the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers – something like that.

The projected 100,000 in paid admissions would have a “blended average” of $5.50 per, resulting in a gross take of $550K. Take away $150K for expenses and you end up with an annual net of $400K, of which $100-150K would go into the Rec and Park kitty and the rest could go into whatever, like hiring more gardeners at $68K salary (plus 25% more in benefits).

The goal would be to eventually get up to a full complement of 16 gardeners, which will “never happen” without some new source of Arboretum-specific cashola.

That’s it.

“KEEP THE ARBORETUM FREE”

What about residents of neighboring counties in the Bay Area you say? It doesn’t matter, all auslanders gotta pay.

What about the rumoured $1.3 million cost of building the kiosks and other related expenses? That was just a “Cadillac proposal” dreamed up by somebody or other – the bare bones approach discussed last night would not be as nice, but it would get the job done.

This charismatic-messianic type got lots of applause for questioning the whole idea of charging anybody anything, regardless of the numbers:

Mr. Lazarus acknowledged the fear San Francisco residents have of being the next in line to be charged, the fear that admission prices would then increase after that. No promises on that front. Que sera sera.

But I’ll let the Keep the Arboretum Free people delve into these issues more. When I left, Lazarus was answering questions one by one, Phil Donahue-style.

“FREE means NO FEES, NO I.D.s”

Oh yes, the “next terrible meeting” promised by Jimbo will concern paid parking in Golden Gate Park. (Do people really plant their vehicle in the park for free and then run all over town all day? People do.)

Random observations:

The estimate of $148k annually to pay salaries for  the paid admission scheme sounds low. Way low, particularly in light of what cashiers at the Japanese Tea Garden get paid.

Park and Rec knows how to notice a public meeting but, for whatever reason, it appears to have done a bush-league job of noticing last night’s workshop.

Next up next month in June: the action will move over to City Hall and the Board of Supervisors. When will our civil war end?

Public Workshop – Botanical Garden

When: May 28, 2009 – Thursday 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: County Fair Building, 9th Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, San Francisco
What: In response to the feedback received on the proposed admission program at Botanical Garden, the Rec & Park Department decided there will not be a fee for residents. The revised proposal does include a $7. fee for nonresident visitors. Public workshop is to take feedback regarding revised proposed admission fee and will be seeking topics including:
Implementation of the new fee for non-San Francisco residents.
Amenities at the Garden.
Potential new revenue sources.

To Be Continued…

Bicycle Parking at the Main Entrance of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens to Move to the Back of the Bus, Way Off to the Side

Monday, April 8th, 2013

I’ll tell you, I haven’t toured Strybing Arboretum since they threw up the paywall a few years back, kind of a boycott thing.

But I remember the bicycle parking area right out front of the Main Entrance near 9th and Lincoln, you know, right where it belonged.

Well, things are changing.

In another “improvement” from the RPD, the bike parking area is a moving all the way over, as seen in the top right of this image:

Here you go, a big-ass pdf:

12 10-04_DD package Gateway Improvements

On It Goes…

The Rare Anthony Green Herons of Golden Gate Park

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Via David Cruz:

“A common species on earth however rare for Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Joseph Mailliard listed it as a rarity during the summers at Golden Gate Park in his book “The Birds of Golden Gate Park” published in 1930. At the time it was referred to as an “Anthony Green Heron” p.24.”

Here’s a shot from the former Strybing Arboretum eight years ago, when there were a few about.

(That was from before paywall went up at Strybing Arboretum. The Board of Supervisors said that they would revisit the issue of charging for admission at the “San Francisco Botanical Garden” if things didn’t work out and, actually, things didn’t work out, but I don’t think anybody’s going to seriously reconsider the pay gates.* Oh well. So, I’m never going back there. Oh well.)

*Uh RPD, do you want ideas about what to do instead of blindly following whatever the Botanical Society tells you to do? Oh, not really? OK. Uh, RPD, don’t you know that everybody knows that you were lying about the projected attendance figures in the post-paywall era? You do? Good. But the attendance figures are much lower than what you were actually expecting, right? And what you were actually expecting was a lot lower than what you said you were expecting, right? And you’re cool with that, and you had no other options at all, RPD, so this is the greatest thing ever, right? OK fine.

 

Hilarious: Tiny Free Speech Zone for Paywalled Botanical Garden Arboretum Protest – Plus Ghost of Helene Strybing

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

I’ll tell you, I don’t want to know if this free speech zone outside of Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park is real or fake or something inbetwixt.

Cause it doesn’t matter – this thing is too funny for words.

As seen over the weekend:

And here’s the ghost of forgotten Helene Strybing:

Keep her in mind when you’re thinking about donating money, you know, a “legacy gift” or whatnot, to the Rec and Park….

Gorgeous Cactus: The Cacti of Golden Gate Park are Blooming – Reds, Oranges, Yellows, Pinks…

Friday, July 8th, 2011

See?

From what they used to call the Mexican Garden in what they used to call Strybing Arboretum, which, for seven decades and up until just last year, used to have free admission:

Click to expand

Impressions, Strybing: There’s a Riot of Color Going On in Golden Gate Park These Days, For Those Who Break the Boycott

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

This is what you can see inside Strybing Arboretum this time of year:

Click to expand

And outside, what you’ll see are a bunch of tourists debating the merits of paying $28 or whatever to enter the gates. Usually, they walk off dejectedly.

Oh well.

Take a Look at Strybing Arboretum (aka San Francisco Botanical Garden) After the Admissions Boycott

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Why does our Strybing Arboretum (aka San Francisco Botanical Garden) need to become “world-class?”

Nobody’s ever explained that one to me. But that’s the rationale for charging admission these days (after six decades of free admission.)

Now, why isn’t our Strybing Arboretum called Strybing Arboretum anymore?

So it can become “world-class.” (Apparently, naming an arboretum after the woman who gave the money to start things up is considered provincial Back East. Plus Founder Helene Strybing made the mistake of becoming old and dying so nobody gives a ROMEO ALPHA about her anymore.)

Anyway, they started charging admission so the place turned into a ghost town, a “museum of plants and trees.”

Click to expand

Oh well.

They said if things didn’t work out, they’d stop charging admission.

They said.

Check Out the New Ticket Booths for Strybing Arboretum – Would You Want to Work in This Box for $11 Per Hour?

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Here are your deets for the new ticket booths at the San Francisco Botanical Garden:

59K for kiosks

And here’s your bill:

And here’s what they look like. Yes, there’s a bathroom in there:

Click to expand

Myself, I haven’t been back into Strybing (except to poke my head in to see how few people are there) since they started charging admission.

Maybe I’ll visit again when they stop charging…

But these booths need hawkers, you know, just like the strip clubs in North Beach. Why don’t you sign up?

You’ll need sales skills of course. Check out the job posting below.

BTW, your pay as a  “Garden Ambassador” will be $9.92 below minimum wage (aka nothing) and your commission will be zero (0) percent. (Can you imagine what hawkers would do on slow days if they got paid a commish of one dollar per entry ticket? OMG,

“Description

Greet visitors at the North Gate of the Botanical Garden and encourage them to visit this outstanding garden. Many visitors approach the admissions kiosk and don’t know about the amazing garden that lies just beyond the gates.

Skills

  • Public Speaking, Sales

Requirements

Willingness to approach the public. Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively. Sincere desire to share basic knowledge about the Garden. Genuine love and appreciation for the SF Botanical Garden.”

Remembering Strybing Arboretum Before They Started Charging $7 Per, Before the Boycott: Blue Bamboo

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Blue bamboo (Himalayan Blue Bamboo, Himalayacalamus hookerianus) is totally blue, who knew?

Click to expand

Maybe it will still be there when the paywall comes down in a couple years at the now-emptied Strybing.

I’m going back someday
Come what may
To blue bamboo