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Two Dates in Noe Valley History
By Erin O'Briant
From cows to computer programmers, all sorts of creatures have called Noe Valley home over the years. November is the perfect time to learn more about the neighborhood's past, as the Friends of Noe Valley, East & West of Castro Street Improvement Club, and Noe ValleySally Brunn Library team up to host two events celebrating Noe Valley History Month.
Beginning Saturday, Nov. 6, the library will showcase a selection of historical photos collected and archived by lifelong Douglass Street resident Paul Kantus, who is also president of the East & West Club. Some of the photos have been displayed before, but Kantus says he hasn't shown them all. "I'll try to find new ones people haven't seen yet," he says with a chuckle.
From 1 to 5 p.m. that day, neighbors are invited to stop in for refreshments and a screening of historic Noe Valley films. Kantus will show a video of an oral history by a woman who was 17 years old during the 1906 earthquake and who lived in Noe Valley for most of her life. He'll also screen a film about the Market Street railway that includes Noe Valley footage.
Carol Small, acting manager and children's librarian at the branch, adds that the "Bubble Lady," Rebecca Nile, will provide a program at 3 p.m. for children. "She does a presentation on soap bubbles that's very interesting and entertaining," Small notes. All are welcome to view the exhibit any time the library is open. The photos will remain on display through the end of November.
The Friends of Noe Valley is in on the next celebration, on Tuesday, Nov. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the same location, 451 Jersey Street. The group is hosting a combination History Month party and book reception to celebrate the release of San Francisco's Noe Valley, a new book about the neighborhood's history written by local writer Bill Yenne. The author will be on hand to sign copies, which his publisher plans to make available for sale at the event. "We figured we should have a little party to celebrate," says co-organizer and Friends board member Cynthia Hogan.
Several local restaurants, including Bacco, Incanto, Le Zinc, Miss Millie's, and Pasta Pomodoro, are chipping in to provide appetizers, and local florist Indigo V is donating flowers.
Babysitters will be available, so feel free to bring the kids (call 206-0601 to give Hogan a heads-up).
The evening may also include a wine-tasting, says Hogan. Noe Valleyans are all invited to come sample the wares of local restaurants and learn a bit more about the history of the 'hood.
This 1941 photo, reprinted from St. Philip's Diamond Jubilee, shows the St. Philip's School Traffic Patrol marching down 24th Street to herald a local cleanup campaign. The book will be exhibited along with other memorabilia during History Month at the Noe Valley Library on Jersey Street. Photo courtesy Bill Yenne and the Noe Valley Archives