Noe Valley Voice October 2005

Short Takes

Footloose Fest Seeks Submissions

Footloose's Sixth Annual Women on the Way Festival, scheduled for Jan. 12 to 29, 2006, is accepting submissions through Wednesday, Oct. 5. Soloists and groups from any performing art discipline with original, completed work, 30 to 50 minutes in length, may apply. Be sure to include a professional biography, a complete description of the proposed work including total running time, and a video or script of the piece or recent work.

Applicants who cannot provide a script or video may be asked to audition. Performers accepted into the festival receive some pay, plus rehearsal space, administrative and technical support, house management, publicity, advertising, and equipment.

Applications and information about Footloose are online at For additional information, call Mary Alice Fry at 920-2224.

Who's Left on the Left?

People of all political persuasions are invited to attend a panel discussion on Wednesday, Oct. 5, which will explore the past, present, and future of "The San Francisco Democratic Party and the Local Left." The event is sponsored by the Noe Valley Democratic Club.

Bay Guardian editor Tim Redmond, former Board of Supervisors president Matt Gonzalez, professor Richard DeLeon, and Democratic Party activist Debra Walker will be on the panel. DeLeon is the author of Left Coast City: Progressive Politics in San Francisco, 1975-1991, as well as the founder of San Francisco State University's Public Research Institute.

The discussion will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street between 23rd and Elizabeth streets. For more information, e-mail Rafael Mandelman at

Mysteries and Martinis

Join the authors of the San Francisco Noir anthology at the San Francisco Mystery Bookstore on 24th Street for a meet-and-greet with martinis and appetizers co-hosted by City Lights Books. The collection showcases local literati writing about the dark side of San Francisco, including editor Peter Maravelis and contributors David Corbett, Eddie Muller, Jim Nisbet, Robert Mailer Anderson, and Kate Braverman, among others.

"Nearly everyone in the book is a San Francisco writer," says Mystery Bookstore owner Diane Kudisch. "Eddie Muller does a lot of film noir and writes about the dark ladies of film noir. He wrote two mysteries that take place in the forties in San Francisco."

Kudisch says the other contributors also are experienced mystery or noir writers. The editor and authors will sign books and chat up their fans on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m., at 4175 24th Street near Diamond Street. For more information, call the bookstore at 282-7444.

Farmers' Market Plays Fair

"Fair trade" is a term lots of merchants are bandying about, but consumers aren't always sure what it means. Come meet Fatima Ismael Espinoza, manager of an all-women fair trade coffee cooperative in Nicaragua, at the Noe Valley Farmers' Market on Saturday, Oct. 15.

She'll be there to provide information on fair trade, and local merchants may also provide free samples of fair trade coffees, according to market co-founder Vanessa Barrington. Espinoza is working in collaboration with Transfairusa, an Oakland-based non-profit that acts as a third-party certifier for fair trade products sold in the United States.

The Noe Valley Farmers' Market features both organic and conventional produce, nuts, sweets, and meats, as well as musical entertainment, and takes place every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on 24th Street between Vicksburg and Sanchez streets.

They're Baaaaaack!

On a cold, dark, and foggy night in September, under the door of the Noe Valley Voice office blew a press release from beyond, or at least from the Friends of Hoffman, an ephemeral group under the spell of the Haunted House Lady, a.k.a. Marilyn Lucas.

"For our annual Halloween haunt this year, we're planning an outdoor dining party with all of our monster friends," the mysterious flyer read. "Trick-or-treaters may drop by for a bite on Monday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m."

The exact address of the Haunted House was left blank, but children were asked to follow the breadcrumbs to the creepiest cottage on Hoffman Avenue between 24th and Elizabeth streets. "Look for a witch's brew stirring in a giant cauldron, and watch out for the haunted car--a 1967 Dodge from Dead Man's Curve."

Last year, more than 300 kids went through the Hoffman Haunted House, and we think they all survived. (After all, the Haunted House Lady, 285-6265, is the founder of the "fun and safe" Halloween tradition in Noe Valley.)

For more information, dig up a Ouija board.

Make the Rec Center Shine

Pitch in to keep a neighborhood park pretty by joining neighbors and helpers from the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department for a cleanup day at Upper Noe Recreation Center, at Day and Sanchez streets.

"The project was prompted by somewhat disgusted parents," admits event organizer and Friends of Upper Noe Recreation Center member Karen O'Connell Mackey. She thinks the rec center needs spit and polish on a regular basis. "We hope to get a commitment out of this from Rec and Park to have a better maintenance schedule, even if it involves volunteers."

For this month's project, volunteers are needed to help with cleaning up the rec center's indoor floor, clearing out broken or outdated toys, raking the sand outside, and removing graffiti.

If you'd like to participate but can't make the date, Mackey says she would welcome donations of water, juice, or snacks for the work crew, estimated at 40 to 50 people. Gloves, garbage bags, and other tools will be provided. The event takes place on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

To sign up for cleaning or refreshments, e-mail Mackey at k.mackey@

Living the Lesbian Dream

Find out everything you've wanted to know but were afraid to ask about money, insurance, and sex, at a series of events for lesbians planning their golden years, at the Women's Building, 3543 18th Street near Valencia. All events in the series take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

According to spokeswoman Betty Sullivan, the series will provide information specifically geared for lesbians, and "will address our need for what we call in the healthcare context 'comfortable care.'" But don't think only retired folks are welcome. "My sense is that the series will be beneficial for lesbians who are already retired, but also for those in early- or mid-career years who are thinking ahead and planning for the future," Sullivan says.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, a panel of insurance experts presents "Insuring My Future: What Insurance Coverage Do I Need?" Later in the month, financial coach Claire Lachance leads "Creating My Path to Financial Well-Being," an interactive workshop on building prosperity, on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Tickets are $12 each.

The finale for the series will be "Hot! Sparking and Sustaining Your Sexuality," a presentation by sex educator, erotic entertainer, and co-founder of the Center for Sexuality and Culture Dr. Carol Queen. Tickets are $40 for this event, which takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

To order tickets, call 431-1180, ext. 7, or visit and use the "other" donation amount to enter prices for the tickets you wish to buy.

African Children's Choir Performs

The Watoto Children's Choir, a group of Ugandan children orphaned by AIDS and war, will present a concert of gospel, traditional African rhythm, and ethnic dance at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore Street at Jackson Street.

According to Noe Valley resident Joe Beyer, who is a member of the church, this performance is part of the choir's world fundraising tour. The 16 performers in the group are being housed by Calvary families during their stay in San Francisco.

Admission is free; donations are encouraged and will be used towards the work of the Watoto Children's Ministries, which works to help some of the 1.7 million Ugandan children orphaned by war and AIDS. For more information about the concert, call 346-3832.

City Guides' Scavenger Hunt

Nope, San Francisco City Guides isn't some big company making a pot of money squiring tourists around San Francisco. Rather, the non-profit, which is affiliated with the San Francisco Public Library, offers free walking tours 52 weeks a year to residents and tourists alike who want to learn about the history, architecture, legend, and lore of the city. The Urban Scavenger Hunt, coming up on Sunday, Oct. 16, is the annual fundraiser that allows S.F. City Guides to continue its work.

Teams of participants will enjoy a four-hour street theater event combining an exploration of the haunts of the (original) 49ers, interactions with characters from the city's past, and riddles about San Francisco's past and present. The event starts at Theatre 39 on Pier 39 at 12:30 p.m., and ends in the same place at 5 p.m. Check-in is at 11 a.m., and participants can form their own teams or join one at the event. The tax-deductible registration is $40 per person. More details are online at

A Shadowy Production

Longtime Noe Valley resident Larry Reed has been busy in his Chattanooga Street studio preparing for the latest offering of ShadowLight Productions, a contemporary shadow theater that integrates traditional Balinese shadow theater techniques with American theater and film styles.

Called "A Gathering of Gamelans" and co-produced with the renowned Balinese group Gamelan Sekar Jaya, it is a two-week performance series running Thursdays through Sundays, Oct. 13 through 23, at Cowell Theatre in Fort Mason Center (Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard).

Dating back to the 13th-century Javanese kingdom of Majapahit, gamelan music is a form that employs bronze gongs, chimes, drums, flutes, bowed and plucked string instruments, and sometimes singers. In shadow theater, actors, puppeteers, and dancers cast shadows on a screen, creating a dream-like moving picture.

The Fort Mason series, much like a festival, will feature more than 70 local and international musicians and performers, and will showcase the music, dance, and shadow theater of Java, Bali, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand. A highlight will be the premiere of A (Balinese) Tempest, a reinvention of the classic Shakespeare play, running Oct. 19 to 23, at 8 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sunday).

Tickets are $15 to $20 and are available through the Fort Mason box office at 345-7575. For more information, contact ShadowLight Productions at 648-4461 or visit

Writing a Novel?

You can join an exciting lineup of experienced novelists on Sunday, Oct. 16, from 5 to 8 p.m., in a seminar and panel discussion on writing and publishing a novel hosted by 826 Valencia Writing Center. Not only will participants discuss the joys and pains of writing novels, they'll also address contacting agents, working with magazines and publishing houses, and other publishing issues.

Panelists include Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli and The Path of Minor Planets; Bharati Mukherjee, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award­winning The Middleman and Other Stories, as well as numerous other novels; Michelle Richmond, author of Dream of the Blue Room and the forthcoming Ocean Beach; and Rabih Alameddine, author of Koolaids and I, the Divine. Stephen Elliott, author of Happy Baby and A Life Without Consequences, will moderate.

Admission is $100. Proceeds from the seminar will go toward programming for kids and young adults at 826 Valencia.

To sign up, go to or visit the storefront at 826 Valencia Street near 19th Street. Questions? E-mail

Poll Workers Needed

Do your civic duty and earn some cash, too. The San Francisco Department of Elections is taking poll worker applications for the Tuesday, Nov. 8, state election. The department is offering stipends of $112 for clerk positions and $155 for inspector positions.

Applicants must be United States citizens, age 18 or older, and registered to vote in California. San Francisco high school students age 16 or older with a grade-point average of 2.5 or better may also apply. People who aren't citizens of the U.S. are encouraged to apply to work as translators.

For more information, visit www.sfgov .org/election or call 554-4395.

Tour of Painted Ladies

If you've ever wanted to step inside the homes on "Postcard Row," also known as the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square, you'll have a chance on Sunday, Oct. 16, between 1 and 5 p.m. The Victorians are part of the 2005 house tour and fundraiser sponsored by Victorian Alliance of San Francisco.

Also in the tour will be restored residences on Grove Street and in Hayes Valley, and a Gothic Revival church. All structures in the tour were built between 1871 and 1895. Architectural styles include Queen Anne, San Francisco Stick, Italianate, and a smattering of Second Empire and Classic Revival.

Tickets are available during the tour for $25 ($20 students or seniors) at 824 Grove Street near Fillmore, where the tour will begin. The tour covers a relatively compact but significantly sloping area, so comfortable shoes are highly recommended. A van will also be available.

Proceeds support the Victorian Alliance, a nonprofit, volunteer organization devoted to the appreciation and preservation of significant architecture in San Francisco. The primary beneficiary of this year's tour will be restoration of the "Granite Lady," San Francisco's old U.S. Mint building. For further details, see or call 668-5502.

This month's Short Takes were written by Erin O'Briant and Laura McHale Holland. All phone numbers are in the 415 area code.