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It's that time of year again, when the co-op members of the Noe Valley Nursery School manage to create a stunning quilt, despite the labor-intensive task of chasing after preschoolers and the constant interruptions that accompany parenting young children.
Nina Youkelson, director of the school since its inception 33 years ago, says being a part of the annual quilt raffle is a privilege and pleasure. "It gets better and better because I'm part of an ever-changing rich community of people who get together in this school because they have children between the ages of two-and-a-half and five. Devoted friendships develop that last forever, and it's a very nourishing and healthy place for everybody -- children, parents, and teachers, including me," she says.
Rather than geometric patterns or individual quilt squares sewn together, the quilt this year is a mural quilt, and its theme is peace.
"We spent hours talking about how to put the concept of peace into visual form. It was very difficult to do," says Youkelson. "The result is beautiful, and if people want to see it, it will be hanging in Cover to Cover Booksellers starting the middle of May."
Raffle tickets are on sale at the school, located within the Noe Valley Ministry at 1021 Sanchez Street. They are $10 for a dozen, $5 for six, or $1 apiece. The raffle will be held June 14 at Douglass Park. For more information call 647-2278.
Mayo, el Mes Caliente!
Rain, shine, wind, or fog, May is always a vibrant month in the Mission.
Temperatures will no doubt climb at San Francisco's Cinco de Mayo 2002 Celebration, being held Sunday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Civic Center Plaza. Three stages will feature Mexican music and dance, sounds from the American tropics, and music popular with local youth. There will be plenty of food, arts, and crafts booths as well as a children's area. Sixty classic cars will also be on display. Admission is $5; children under 5 free. For more information call 256-3005 or visit latinbayarea.com.
If you want to get into the spirit of Cinco de Mayo a bit early, Club Latino at St. Paul's Parish is holding a dinner dance on Saturday, May 4. Dinner is from 6 to 8 p.m., and dancing to the Sonido Los Reyes band is from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets for adults are $18; kids under 12 $3.50. The event is at St. Paul's Parish Center, 1690 Church Street at 29th Street. For more information call 648-7538.
If murals are your cup of tea, help celebrate the Bay Area's 12th annual Mural Awareness Month on Saturday, May 11. Precita Eyes will host a mural arts festival from 1 to 5 p.m. at Precita Park (Precita Avenue at Folsom Street). The event is free and offers live, local entertainment, demonstrations of mural art technique and materials, hands-on art projects for children, and a community "mural paint-in" for all ages. For more information, call 285-2311 or visit www.precitaeyes.org.
The 2002 Carnaval festival, entitled "New Life/Neuva Vida," will close the month in style on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27. The celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Harrison Street between 17th and 21st streets. The Carnaval parade will begin promptly at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 27, at the corner of 24th and Bryant streets. KRON-TV (Channel 4) will film the revelers as they dance up 24th Street to Mission to 14th Street. For more information call the Carnaval hotline at 920-0125.
A Holistic Health Sampler
Feeling stressed? Slightly off center? Think Reiki is a type of mushroom? Check out the Holistic Health Fair at the Noe Valley Ministry on Saturday, May 18, from 1 to 5 p.m.
This is the third such fair sponsored by Beyond the Sea, the small aromatherapy and gift shop on Castro near 24th Street.
Cary Friedman, who co-owns Beyond the Sea with his wife Johanna, says he anticipates close to two dozen booths representing a variety of natural healing disciplines. These include several different kinds of massage, aromatherapy, Chinese medicine, naturopathic medicine, energy healing, Alexander technique, Reiki, yoga, naprapathy, and chiropractic medicine.
Friedman also will stock a booth with homemade soaps, and creations by local and world artists. He hopes to have soothing live music and healthful foods as well.
"When people come to the fair, they get massaged or get mini-treatments from the various practitioners," says Friedman. "There will be raffles for many of the services. The last fair was really wonderful. It was a good place to come to relax, find out how to deal with physical and mental stress, and be in a really positive environment."
The fair is free. For more information call 285-4614 or stop in at Beyond the Sea, 1303 Castro Street. The Noe Valley Ministry is at 1021 Sanchez Street, at 23rd Street.
Put on Your Low-Heeled Sneakers
The group San Francisco City Guides provides unique neighborhood walks throughout the city during the month of May. One of the walks will take place in the heart of Noe Valley on Sunday, May 19 (10 a.m.), and another will happen just south of our border in Fairmount Heights on Sunday, May 12.
"We start at the Axford House at 25th and Noe," says Sharon Moore, guide for the Noe Valley walking tour. "It's a city landmark; the oldest part of it dates from the late 1870s, and it has a lot of land around it, which is unusual for any older corner lot in San Francisco. In the early part of the 20th century, apartment houses often replaced the houses on corner lots."
Moore, who has been a City Guide since 1983 and has done the Noe Valley walk for the past nine years, varies the walk, depending on the interests of participants. "Sometimes people want to focus on the architecture, sometimes on history. And, of course, there are a few haunted houses along the way with their stories and rumors," she says.
Moore does not do the Fairmount Hill walk, which starts at 10 a.m. at the Glen Park Library, 653 Chenery Street, but she strongly endorses it. "It is mostly Edwardian homes which are just a little bit newer than Noe Valley's Victorian row houses. There are beautiful views and quite a few interesting front gardens," she says.
Other walks in May include the Excelsior Stroll, Glen Park Neighborhood, Mission Murals, Mission Dolores Neighborhood, Murals in the Multi-Ethnic Mission, Diego Rivera Mural, and a Sutro Forest Hike. No reservations are necessary, and all walks are free -- though donations are accepted with thanks.
Walks last from an hour and a half to two hours. For a complete list of walk descriptions, dates, and locations, visit www .sfcityguides.org. If you need further information, call City Guides at 557-4266.
Show Me the Budget
Supervisor Mark Leno has invited all residents of District 8 (that's our district) to a town hall meeting Tuesday, May 7, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Everett Middle School. The purpose of the meeting is to gather input on the city budget for 200203.
"I believe it is crucial to hear from my constituents in order to identify my priorities for the upcoming budget," says Leno. "This is a great way for residents to educate themselves about the budget process and get involved in how it is crafted."
Representatives of city departments, including the Budget Analyst's Office, Controller, and Treasurer, will also attend the meeting to gather input and answer budget-related questions. Supervisors for the city's other 10 districts will hold meetings in their districts as well.
Everett School is on Church Street between 16th and 17th streets. For further information, contact Bob Hartnagel in Supervisor Leno's office at 554-7734.
The Fairest Fair in the Land
The 27th annual Fair Oaks Street Fair and Rummage Sale is all set for Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Unofficially the fair will last longer, weather permitting.)
The popular street fair offers five blocks along tree-lined Fair Oaks Street (one block beyond Dolores Street from 21st to 26th streets) full of bargain clothes, toys, furniture, books, and more. It also will host a variety of food and game booths, including a kids' booth in the 100 block of Fair Oaks Street staffed by teens from Jamestown Community Center.
Participating neighbors donate $10 each toward putting on the fair. Any leftover proceeds are donated to Jamestown, an after-school youth program operating at Cesar Chavez Elementary and Horace Mann Middle School. Many participants also donate the proceeds from their rummage sales to Jamestown. In fact, Pam Coxson, one of the fair's coordinators, says some neighbors have made extra donations in advance.
"Jamestown, like all non-profits, has had a difficult fundraising year," Coxson explains. "We have a potluck every year before the fair to make sure somebody is putting in ads and someone is responsible for each block, stuff like that. We put out the word this year at the potluck that Jamestown was falling a little short on fundraising for their summer programs, and checks started coming in. So, with the fair and the donations, we'll be raising thousands of dollars for Jamestown."
To learn more about the fair, call Coxson at 648-4977.
An Afternoon of Open Gardens
If hidden gardens capture your imagination, and you need a break from our city's ubiquitous concrete, the San Francisco Secret Garden Tour may be the place to point your feet on Saturday, May 18, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Self-paced, with easy slopes and few stairs, the tour features private gardens in a compact section of the Presidio Heights/ Presidio Terrace neighborhood. Amid the flowers and foliage there will also be music and light refreshments. Several professional landscape designers will be on hand to answer questions.
The tour is a fundraiser for the Victorian Alliance of San Francisco, a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of significant buildings in San Francisco. Tickets are $20 and can be ordered in advance by calling 826-1437 or sending a check payable to and addressed to the Victorian Alliance of San Francisco, 4272 25th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. Tickets can also be purchased on May 18 at the corner of Jackson and Maple streets, where the tour starts.
It Takes a Vigil
The 2002 AIDS Candlelight Vigil will begin at Market and Castro streets at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. Marchers will proceed down Market Street to the Civic Center, where the evening will conclude on the steps of the San Francisco Public Library with a short program of speeches, remembrances, art displays, and music.
Begun in San Francisco and New York in 1983, the vigil was the world's first public demonstration of solidarity for AIDS victims. It is now part of what is called the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Organizers expect more than 1,500 cities, towns, and villages throughout the world to observe the event this year.
Marchers are encouraged to bring their own candles and a few extras to share. Donations to help defray costs for sign-language interpreters, printing, postage, candles, a trolley car for the disabled, and other related expenses will be welcomed at the event and are tax-deductible.
For more information call 331-1500, ext. AIDS (2437), or visit www.AIDS CandlelightVigil.org.