Noe Valley Voice October 1999

Short Takes

Exhibit on Castro Police Sweep


A decade has passed since the night of Oct. 6, 1989, when 200 San Francisco police officers swept through the Castro and broke up a peaceful march by gay and lesbian activists protesting the federal government's neglect of people with AIDS.

Officers declared the area an illegal assembly and violently cleared at least seven blocks of all pedestrians and protesters. Three years of legal proceedings followed. In the end, only one police officer was disciplined, but the city paid out $250,000 to settle lawsuits brought by victims.

To mark the 10-year anniversary, an exhibit titled "Police Riot '89: Remember the Castro Sweep" will be on display from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30 at A Different Light Bookstore, 489 Castro St. It will open with a reception and reunion of Castro Sweep survivors on Friday, Oct. 1, starting at 7:30 p.m.

The exhibit, organized by the Castro Sweep Project, will feature photographs by Rick Gerharter and Marc Geller, graphics by Boy with Arms Akimbo, and artifacts from the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.

A web site is also being developed in conjunction with the display. Organizers invite witnesses of the Sweep to recount their memories and post them on the site. For details, visit SFPDRiot/sweep.html or send e-mail to

Flea Market Is a Block Party


The Noe Valley Ministry will host its annual Flea Market & Super Sale on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. "Come join the fun," says Carol Maerzke, organizer of the church fundraiser.

Festivities will include a gourmet luncheon (served from 11:30 to 2), an all-day bake sale, and "plenty of bargains on clothes, furniture, and knickknacks," she says. Again this year, the flea market will take up both floors of the Ministry and have special sections for books and toys. It also will spill outside.

Maerzke explains that in past years people who live near the Ministry often held simultaneous garage sales. "This has worked out surprisingly well for everyone -- after all, the more the merrier," she says. "So this year we're suggesting that all of our neighbors on Sanchez between 23rd and Elizabeth put out those items they've long thought of getting rid of and make this even more of a block event."

She also invites residents to donate items to the church by bringing them by the week before the sale. Or you can call 282-2317 and arrange for a pickup on Friday, Oct. 8, from 2 to 9 p.m. (That's also the best time to drop things off.)

The Noe Valley Ministry is the gothic Victorian church -- a member of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. -- located at 1021 Sanchez St.

Nervous About Kindergarten?


If you have a child entering kindergarten next fall ('00!), you may have begun the process of choosing the right school for him or her to attend. And if you're like most Noe Valley parents, you are slightly daunted by the fact that it's a "process," even if you want a public school.

Then there's the question of which school -- alternative or neighborhood? And if test scores aren't the best way to judge a school, what else do you use?

Well, this game may not be as hard to play as you think. You will be better informed about San Francisco's public schools after attending a workshop on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Harvey Milk Elementary School, 19th and Diamond streets in the Castro, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Margaret Wells from the San Francisco Unified School District and Lee Ann Slaton, director of Parents Place, will give tips on the best strategies touse to land a spot in the school of your choice. You will also have a chance to meet parents whose children already attend public schools.

The event is sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of Parents for Public Schools, a national organization that builds excellent public schools and communities by mobilizing parents who reflect a diverse culture. Childcare will be provided.

For more information, call 415-642-6260. Or if you have access to the Internet, click on www.parents4publicschools. com.

Join the Fiesta on Bernal Hill


The Bernal neighborhood next door to Noe Valley and the Mission plans to reach new heights with its Fiesta on the Hill on Sunday, Oct. 10. The street fair, now in its 11th year, will be held on Cortland Avenue (between Bennington and Ellsworth) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Organized by the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center and a team of 60 volunteers, the event will include such homespun activities as a pumpkin patch, a petting zoo, and face painting. Food booths will be stocked with gourmet treats, including Southern barbecue and Thai and Filipino snacks.

Bands for a variety of musical tastes will perform throughout the day. So far, festival organizers have booked salsa band Los Compas, Latin rockers Mystique, the jazz ensemble Johnny Serrano, and a Celtic rock band called Annwn.

Last year, more than 10,000 neighbors and visitors turned out for the fair, according to Shella Brenner of the Neighborhood Center. "People really appreciate the Fiesta because it is an alcohol-free event, and its focus is on the family," she says. "Families like the nice, safe environment we provide for kids."

Fair-goers also enjoy the down-home atmosphere. "There is no entrance fee, and we try to keep vendor fees lower than other street fairs to encourage artists and mom-and-pop enterprises to participate. We try to keep prices at our booths low, too. For instance, face painting is only $1 per child, so if you have a few kids, they can all participate at an affordable level."

For more details on the Fiesta, contact the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center at 415-206-2140.

Garden Benefit for AIDS Fund


More than 150 people are expected to attend the second annual AIDS benefit luncheon sponsored by the Parker House Guest House and Gardens. The event will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Parker House bed-and-breakfast inn, located at 520 Church St. between 17th and 18th streets.

"We always pick the second Saturday of October since it is the best weekend of the year for people to be outside and enjoy the gardens," says Bill Boeddiker, co-owner of Parker House. "Great food, live entertainment, and a terrific beneficiary should make this our most successful fundraising event ever."

Supervisor Mark Leno and the 2223 Restaurant on Market Street are also co-hosting the afternoon, which is expected to raise $15,000 for the San Francisco AIDS Emergency Fund, a nonprofit organization that assists low-income and homeless people living with HIV.

"The funds raised from this event will help a large number of our clients with their emergency rent, phone, and utility needs," says Clark Sealy of the Fund.

The benefit will kick off with a buffet prepared and donated by 2223. Desserts will be provided by Montage Restaurant. During the luncheon, guests will be entertained with classical music from the Sara Knutson Quartet and standup comedy by Marilyn Pittman, who has performed at Josie's Cabaret and appeared in the film EdTV.

In addition, attendees will receive free gifts and the chance to win door prizes. Tickets are $75 per person, and, notes Boeddiker, "One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the AIDS Emergency Fund."

For reservations, call the Parker House Guest House at 415-621-3222.

Artists Open Studio Doors


Here's your chance to discover the emerging artists for the 21st century. During each weekend in October, more than 700 local artists -- some just starting out and some established -- will open their studios to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. as part of the 24th annual San Francisco Open Studios.

This year, 55,000 people are expected to attend Open Studios and purchase more than $1.1 million in art, including painting, sculpture, photography, prints, jewelry, drawings, and wearable art. They'll visit all types of studios around San Francisco -- from converted warehouse buildings and shipyards to living rooms and modern live-work spaces.

Throughout the month, the SomARTS Gallery, at 934 Brannan St., will display one piece of artwork from each participating artist, creating a "visual directory" of the show. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. An opening reception will be held Friday, Oct. 1, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

During the weekend of Oct. 2 ­ 3, studios will be open in the Richmond, Sunset, North Beach, Russian Hill, Pacific Heights, the Haight, Western Addition, Hayes Valley, Marina, and Fort Mason.

The following weekend, Oct. 9 ­ 10, will be Noe Valley's turn (as well as the Castro, Mission, Bernal Heights, and Mount Davidson). Among the artists opening their doors in Noe Valley are Sherrod Blankner, Andre Castello, Robert Dunahay, Karen Gellert, Marge and William Hanson, Michael Marko-witz, Linda Saytes, Eric Scheib, Susan Sternau, and Jenny and Henry Sultan.

Sherrod Blankner provided the Voice with a map showing the six artists closest to 24th and Noe streets. "Food and drink are often a part of the shows," she says, "so come by and have some cheese and talk to the artists."

On Oct. 16 ­ 17, artists in Potrero Hill, South of Market, Civic Center, and the Bayview will be featured. And on the last weekend, Oct. 23 ­ 24, the Hunters Point Shipyard artists will open their doors.

S.F. Open Studios '99 is sponsored by the nonprofit group ArtSpan. Free maps are available at bookstores and coffeehouses around the Bay Area. For information, click on www. or call ArtSpan at 415-861-9838.

This month's Short Takes were written by Kathy Dalle-Molle and Heidi Anderson.