Noe Valley Voice October 2001

Short Takes

Mission Celebrates 225th


La Mission San Francisco de Asis in the Village of Chutchui, popularly known as Mission Dolores, is holding its 50th annual Mission Dolores Fiesta Oct. 5 through 7. All proceeds will benefit the school and parish, located on 16th Street between Church and Dolores streets.

"We're really happy to invite everybody from far and wide to take part in a great event," says Mission pastoral associate Sheral Marshall. "It's the 225th anniversary of the founding of Mission Dolores, and so we expect to have an especially good time."

The good time consists of three days of live entertainment, including carnival games and rides, international food booths, a mariachi band, and performances by the Overcommitments, a group of architects who sing and play Irish music (Saturday afternoon, Oct. 6). The festival will also include a family spaghetti dinner (Friday, 6 p.m.), a dinner dance (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.), and a special mariachi mass at the church's noon eucharist on Sunday, Oct. 7.

A raffle drawing on Sunday at 4 p.m. will feature such prizes as a TiVo recorder, a Play Station II video game player, dinner at Tommy Toy's, and trips for two to Hawaii and Reno. "Raffle tickets are $2," says Marshall, "and we'll have a disk jockey at the dinner dance. It's $15 per person, and that's the only thing you pay for in advance."

For general information and tickets, call 621-8203.

--Laura McHale Holland

A Swingin' Castro Street Fair


Entertainment galore has been lined up for the 28th annual Castro Street Fair on Sunday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Over 250,000 people are expected to enjoy a variety of entertainers on six stages, including those devoted to Latin, techno, country, and swing dance. Headliners include the men's bands Pansy Division and Sparrow's Point, the women's band Wild Mango, and the Bonnie Hayes Band. There will also be about 200 booths showcasing fine arts and crafts.

While the fair promises to be lots of fun, it also hopes to raise lots of money. In the last four years, the fair has donated more than $200,000 to AIDS groups, local schools, and neighborhood improvement projects such as the Pink Triangle Memorial. (The Pink Triangle houses a rose garden at the intersection of Castro, Market, and upper 17th Street, and was created to honor the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims of Hitler's concentration camps.)

"We have 22 beneficiaries this year, and a beer booth that is also run by non-profits," says Steve Gaynes, a fair organizer. "That's why we're asking for a $2 donation. One hundred percent of the gate goes to donation groups, and you'll get a sticker that's good for $1 off on every beverage you buy all day at the fair."

To his neighbors in Noe Valley, Gaynes says, "The Castro Street Fair is for the whole community. We're looking forward to seeing you."

For further details, check out

--Laura McHale Holland

NERT Needs You!


If you are like most people, you felt paralyzed following the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. One way to regain control might be to attend a series of six disaster-preparedness classes taught by the San Francisco Fire Department. By doing so, you will become a member of NERT, the city's Neighborhood Emergency Response Team.

NERT was founded after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, to enable average citizens to help out during the next big disaster. Fire officials give hands-on training in hazard mitigation, emergency first aid, search and rescue, and team organization and management. Noe Valley's NERT coordinator, Maxine Fasulis, is also on NERT's executive board.

"The NERT program has trained many volunteers in the basic skills necessary to help ourselves and our neighbors in a Level 3 citywide emergency," says Fasulis. "Until September 11, we all thought such an emergency would be an earthquake. Sadly, we now have to consider the possibility that such an emergency could take other forms. Now more than ever, all city residents, including those of us in Noe Valley, should take advantage of this wonderful training program, which is provided free."

The next training for Noe Valley, Glen Park, Mount Davidson, and Sunnyside residents will be held Oct. 11 through Nov. 15 at Glen Park Elementary School, 141 Lippard Avenue. Classes take place on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m., and usually last two to two-and-a-half hours. To register, call 558-3456 or visit the NERT web site,

--Laura McHale Holland

Duo Jazzes Up Chamber Music


Noe Valley Chamber Music's 2001­ 02 season begins Oct. 14, at 5 p.m., with a benefit concert featuring jazz masters Grant and Matheny -- New York pianist Darrell Grant and Berkeley's Dmitri Matheny on flugelhorn. Following the concert will be a champagne reception and silent auction.

"We have an extremely exciting 10th season coming up, and our opening is chamber jazz, which we've never done before. There will also be a string quartet performing with Grant and Matheny, which is a nice mix of jazz and classical music," says Karen Heather, founder of the music series.

Grant and Matheny's repertoire ranges from jazz and classical to pop standards, gospel, and folk songs. The Oct. 14 concert will feature several new pieces, as well as music from their recent tour, including "Stardust" by Hoagy Carmichael, "African Flower" by Duke Ellington, and "Songs Without Word" by Felix Mendelssohn. The duo will be joined on stage by the Del Sol String Quartet for a performance of a suite of African-American spirituals.

Tickets to the opening concert are $25, both in advance and at the door. Proceeds will be used to support the current season. Auction items include restaurant dinners, spa services, and vacation get-away packages. For tickets, call 333-9444.

The lineup for the rest of the Sunday-afternoon concert season includes "four-hands" piano by Betty Woo and Ursula Wang (Nov. 18), Christmas music from the Three Americas (Dec. 9), a tribute to Jelly D'Ananyi by violinist Terrie Baune and pianist Deborah Clasquin (Jan. 20), the piano quartet Chamber Ensemble of the Pacific (Feb. 10), Musica Pacifica Baroque Ensemble (March 17), Nagano-Reiss-Hersh Piano Trio (April 21), and the Cypress String Quartet (May 19).

Except for the opening, all concerts begin at 4 p.m., and tickets are $12; $8 for students and seniors. The concerts take place in the upstairs sanctuary at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street near 23rd. For more details, visit the web site

--Laura McHale Holland

Jenkins Premieres New Work


The esteemed Margaret Jenkins Dance Company will begin its 28th season with the world premiere of Jenkins' newest work, "May I Now (18 Questions in the Space of an Answer)." Performances will be held Friday, Oct. 19, through Saturday, Oct. 27, at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida Street at 17th Street.

"'May I Now' is a work for those drawn to the pleasures of pure movement executed by superb modern dancers," says Jenkins, the company's founder and artistic director. She adds that the piece is staged in nine episodes of varying length, and breaks away from the traditional proscenium format by putting audiences on opposite sides of the set.

Both Jenkins and her artistic collaborator in "May I Now," poet Michael Palmer, have lived in Noe Valley since the 1970s. Jenkins is also an artistic consultant to U.C. Extension, which has refurbished a gymnasium for use by the local dance community.

Jenkins says some of the questions she explores in her latest work are about communication. "What is that silent conversation in the space between bodies -- that elaborate, sometimes comic sequence of yes and no, maybe, never, of course, forget it, and someday? Who's speaking, who's listening, and what's the language?" her piece tries to ask.

Tickets for opening night are $35 and include a post-performance reception. Otherwise, tickets are $20 and $25 and can be purchased through Theater Artaud at 621-7797, or at All shows start at 8 p.m.

--Laura McHale Holland

St. Paul's Dances for Retrofit


St. Paul's Church will hold its fourth annual "Retro" Dinner Dance and Silent Auction, starting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the United Irish Cultural Center on 45th Avenue, near Sloat Boulevard.

The event, St. Paul's largest fundraiser of the year, typically raises between $30,000 and $40,000, according to event coordinator Katy O'Shea. All funds go toward retiring the $1.4 million debt that still remains from the $3.4 million church retrofit project, completed last December.

Over the last month, O'Shea and parish members have been hard at work soliciting donations for the auction, which kicks off the Oct. 20 event. Solicitations have been sent out to Noe Valley, Glen Park, and Mission area merchants. "Merchants have been so generous and wonderful over the years," says O'Shea. "With the economy more shaky this year, we're just hoping they'll be able to donate again."

So far, donations from parishioners include a week at a hideaway in Sonoma, trips to Las Vegas and Disneyland, and tickets to Giants and 49er games. Several restaurants have contributed gift certificates for dinners, and Mayor Willie Brown has donated one of his fedoras for the auction. O'Shea says the mayor also has promised to stop by the dance.

An always popular item at the annual auction is dinner for eight prepared by St. Paul's pastor Mario Farana and visiting priest Tony Mancuso and served at the church's Valley Street rectory.

Tickets to the Retro Dinner Dance, which includes a choice of prime rib, salmon, or vegetarian fare for dinner, cost $60 per person.

"People can purchase tickets up until the date of the event," says O'Shea, "and donate items to the auction as well. Last year, we had people dropping off hand-crocheted baby blankets and Waterford holiday ornaments up until the last minute."

For more information, contact O'Shea at St. Paul's Rectory at 648-7538.

-- Kathy Dalle-Molle

A Peek Inside Local Victorians


On Sunday, Oct. 21, from 1 to 5 p.m., the Victorian Alliance of San Francisco will present its annual house tour of 19th-century Italianate, Stick, and Queen Anne homes in the Liberty-Hill Historic District. Dubbed San Francisco's "first suburb" by history buffs, Liberty-Hill stretches roughly from 20th to 22nd streets and from Fair Oaks to Lexington.

"One thing that people enjoy about the tour is being able to see how a Victorian can be adapted to contemporary life," says Donald Beilke, an Alliance member since 1975. "You have the best of both worlds. You have the antique and history, but you can't live in a museum. So you also have the contemporary life, and it's a wonderful blend."

The tour begins at Guerrero and Liberty streets. It is self-paced, and features homes in a compact area with easy slopes and relatively few stairs to climb. One stop on the tour is the McMullen Mansion, a landmark home on Guerrero Street. Another is the boyhood home of "Sunny" Jim Rolph, a former San Francisco mayor and California governor. Restoration artisans will be on hand to offer advice. Also included will be light refreshments, door prizes, and a Victorian-themed boutique.

Advance tickets are $20; $15 for seniors and students. The day of the tour they are $25 and $20.

The tour is a major fundraiser to help the Alliance preserve architecturally significant buildings in San Francisco. Send checks to the Victorian Alliance, 4272 25th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. For more information, call 826-1437 or visit

--Laura McHale Holland