Noe Valley Voice September 2008

Short Takes

Muni on the Move

City residents will have another chance to share their views on proposed changes to neighborhood Muni routes on Sept. 16, when the Transit Effectiveness Project's updated staff recommendations go before the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors.

New recommendations from the TEP are based on feedback that came out of community meetings held last spring. The proposed changes, which could go into effect as early as July 2009, are aimed at improving Muni reliability, reducing travel time, and increasing ridership citywide.

Instead of rerouting the 24-Divisadero line down 24th Street, the new recommendations propose creating an entirely new line called the 58­24th Street, which would operate along 24th between Diamond and Third streets and connect the 24th Street BART Station to the 22nd Street Caltrain Station.

The latest recommendations also propose replacing the 35-Eureka Muni bus route with van service, extending the route to the Glen Park BART Station via Diamond Heights Boulevard and Diamond Street, and eliminating service along Farnum, Moffitt, Bemis, and Addison. The new 35-Eureka would be rerouted between 21st and 24th streets to replace the 48-Quintara along Hoffman and Douglass streets. The revised 48-Quintara would take a more direct route from Portola Drive to 24th Street via Clipper and Diamond streets. That line's service on Grand View and Fountain streets would be eliminated.

Other proposed changes likely to affect neighborhood residents include extending the J-Church from Balboa Park Station to San Francisco State University, adding more frequent service during peak hours to the J-Church and 24-Divisadero lines, eliminating the 26-Valencia line in favor of improved service on Mission, and rerouting the 36-Teresita to include the 26-Valencia's current segment along Chenery Street.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008, at 2 p.m. in City Hall, Room 400.

--Lorraine Sanders

Any Excuse to Party

The Friends of Noe Valley, our civic watchdog over matters large and small, is throwing the neighborhood a so-long-to-summer bash on Sunday, Sept. 14.

The free party runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Noe Courts Park at 24th and Douglass streets. It's the fifth year Friends has put on the shindig, which tends to draw about 500 people in sunny weather and 300 or so if there's fog in the air.

What will definitely be in the air is lots of good music and food for the entire family. Playdate, a neighborhood band that plays pop rock for all ages, makes a return engagement, as does the Jakes, a blues band. Me Three, a youth band with a rock 'n' roll bent, will make its first appearance at the festivities. There'll be a jumpy tent for kids, too.

To keep up your bouncing and dancing strength, hotdogs and sausages, plus wine and soft drinks, will be available at a nominal cost.

Neighborhood activist Scott Maddux will man the barbecue grill, while two other local luminaries, Debra Niemann and Mindy Kershner, will organize the food and drink. The event chair is Andrew Keeler.

If you'd like to help cook, sell food, supervise the jumpy tent, or staff the info table, contact Friends president Richard May at

--Corrie M. Anders

Footloose Invites New Feats

Footloose Dance Company is asking for submissions to its Ninth Annual Women on the Way Festival in January 2009. Women soloists or groups from any discipline with original, completed work, 30 to 60 minutes in length, may apply. Curated shows will be held in San Francisco at Shotwell Studios in the Mission District and the Garage in the South of Market area. Preference will be given to premieres, and no works in progress will be considered.

In the past, Footloose Artistic Director Mary Alice Fry has gathered a wide range of performers, blending theater, music, comedy, and dance. Many of the artists come from the studio's artist-in-residency program, and some will get a full-length run at a San Francisco venue, Fry says.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 1. For information and an application, contact Fry at P.O. Box 885393, San Francisco, CA 94188, or e-mail ftloose@sbc Applications must include a professional biography; a complete description of the proposed work with title, total running time, and number of performers; dates available to perform from Jan. 15 to Feb. 1; and documentation of recent or proposed work.

Founded in 1972 and now sporting a 49-seat performance space on Shotwell Street, Footloose provides a home for artists of all stripes, but especially emerging and established women artists. Those chosen to perform in Women on the Way will be offered free rehearsal space.

Footloose's Shotwell Studios is located at 3252A 19th Street, between South Van Ness and Folsom. For more information call 415-920-2223.

--Heather World

Murals by Mona

Famed artist Mona Caron will celebrate the completion of her giant Farmers' Market murals on 24th Street with a Sept. 27 inauguration where she will reveal the story behind the paintings.

The Saturday installation party also will present live music by Rupa and the April Fishes, featuring Caron's friend and Noe Valley resident Rupa Marya, whose unique blend of world music has won national acclaim.

Caron's diptych is painted on walls that face each other across the Noe Valley Farmers' Market (actually, the Noe Valley Ministry parking lot) at 3871 24th Street between Church and Sanchez streets. Both frescoes feature huge illustrations of eggplants and other vegetables--their leaves and blossoms--woven into neighborhood landscapes.

Her 14-foot-by-65-foot mural on the east side of the lot shows scenes from Noe Valley in the late 1930s and a future vision of the area, while the 12-foot-by-65-foot work on the west wall illustrates contemporary views of 24th Street, from Noe Valley to the Mission.

The paintings reflect a combination of the two styles Caron has displayed throughout her San Francisco work: the botanical and urban history/futurism.

The three-hour event starts at 2 p.m., just after the Saturday farmers' market ends. In addition to Caron's presentation about the murals and Rupa's music, the ceremony will include a puppet show for the younger crowd.

Caron is still accepting donations to help match a $65,000 challenge grant that financed the murals. For more information, visit her website at

--Corrie M. Anders

Dogtoberfest Rolls In

Decked out, dexterous, or docile, Douglass Park dogs will strut their stuff on Saturday, Oct. 4, at the second Dogtoberfest, a fundraiser organized by Friends of Upper Douglass Dog Park.

Last year about 200 dogs pranced through the park in costumes ranging from Paris Hilton to dinosaurs. Like last year, this year's dogs can compete in trick, obedience, and agility contests in addition to two costume contests. Certified trainer Amy Kott from the San Francisco SPCA will have brochures, training program schedules, doggie handouts, and "sensation" harnesses for display and sale.

This year organizers added a silent auction to its prize drawing, says steering committee member Denise Spielman. Plus, local merchants donated goods and gift certificates. Spielman is still gathering donations, but she already has a year's membership to the de Young Museum and certificates from neighborhood merchants, from Firefly to Critter Fritters. Nomad Rugs donated to the group's silent auction, and Spielman expects a case or two of wine to be offered, too.

The money raised will pay for park improvements, most immediately finishing the enclosure for the gated entrance and exit. Only one year old and 127 members strong, Friends of Upper Douglass Dog Park raised $3,000 last year, says Spielman. Coupled with a $5,000 grant from San Francisco Beautiful, the money paid for a dog (and human) water fountain.

Dogtoberfest happens Saturday, Oct. 4, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., at Upper Douglass Park at 27th and Douglass streets. For further information, visit the group's website at

--Heather World

Hoppa Hoopla

For three continuous days this month, the aroma of gyros, loukanico sausage, baklava pastries, and other Greek delicacies will permeate the grounds of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, a Mission District church within biking distance of Noe Valley.

The occasion is the annual "Taste of Greece" festival, where guests can fill their plates with traditional Greek food such as moussaka (eggplant casserole), souvlaki (grilled meats on skewers), spanikopita (spinach pie), and piadakie (lamb chops).

It's the 39th year the church has sponsored the event, billed as the only Greek festival in San Francisco.

"Some people say it's the best Greek food in Northern California," says church spokeswoman Susan McLaughlin. "And they give you nice portions, too."

The festival also will offer Greek wine tastings, Greek music for listening or dancing, and a number of cultural exhibits--at various venues throughout the cathedral complex. Attended parking will be available.

The festival, which has played to sellout crowds the last two years, costs $5 to enter. However, to get free passes, visit the church's website at and click on "Greek Food Festival 08."

You can join the festivities on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sunday, Sept. 28, from 2 to 9 p.m. Annunciation Cathedral, which considers this event its main fundraiser of the year, is located at 245 Valencia Street between 14th and Duboce.

To get more information, call the cathedral at 415-864-8000 or visit the website.

--Corrie M. Anders

Music in the Stacks

Bird & Beckett Books & Records continues its two music series in September, offering free wine, jazz, and performances Sunday afternoons and Friday evenings in its Glen Park Village store.

Owner Eric Whittington began hosting regular performances in 2002, calling them "Jazz in the Bookshop." He recently added Sunday shows under the title "Which Way West?", which span a wider range of art. This month, WWW will span the globe, with rustic acoustical Americana and a singer from Pakistan.

Whittington added the Sunday shows around the time he started a non-profit corporation to help fund the music.

"We needed room for other jazz acts and other music," he says. "Also, it seemed like a Sunday afternoon thing was nice to do."

The Friday night shows feature jazz bands like Don Prell's SeaBop Ensemble, which will play Sept. 5 and 19. One Which Way West will feature Bill Santiago performing standup and snippets from his upcoming Brava Theater show, "The Funny of (Latin) Dance," on Sept. 14. All events are free and open to the public, though donations to pay musicians are encouraged.

The bookstore also hosts book club meetings and readings. This month's readings include poets Diane di Prima and Maria Mazziotti Gillan. Books to be discussed include The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klein, on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.

The store--at 653 Chenery Street, where the Glen Park Library used to be--is wheelchair-accessible, and children are welcome. Friday performances run from 5:30 to 8 p.m.; Sunday shows are 4:30 to 6 p.m. Other events can be found online at, or call Whittington at 415-586-3733.

Bird & Beckett is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

--Heather World

Volunteer or Go to School

Tutoring young people and watching them blossom can be especially rewarding. If you have the time and inclination, RSVP is looking for volunteers to take part in one-on-one reading with elementary school children, help student gardeners, and read to preschoolers.

RSVP of San Francisco and Alameda Counties is an organization that helps men and women 55 and older discover meaningful community-service opportunities. The intergenerational programs let you volunteer in your own neighborhood.

For more information, call 415-474-7787 or visit

Meanwhile, if you have five more years under your belt, you are invited to join the organization Sixty Plus at San Francisco State University. Members meet on campus twice a month to hear speakers on the arts, politics, history, and current events. The group also gets together for theater and symphony events (at discount rates), and "if members register with Elder College on campus, they can take as many courses as they like for $55 a semester," notes Richard Lewis, a spokesperson for Sixty Plus.

Lewis welcomes "anyone with a youthful mind" who is 60 or older to come try out a meeting. The fee for yearly membership is $75. For an additional fee, you can get a student ID card giving you access to the university library and other facilities at either the Stonestown or the downtown campus.

To receive a membership application, contact Eileen Ward at the Sixty Plus office, 415-566-9357.

--Corrie M. Anders