Noe Valley Voice February 2013

Short Takes

By Heather World

Write-In Authors Sought

Neighborhood authors—of ’zines, coffee-table books, novels, and more—are invited to participate in the Friends of Noe Valley’s first Authors Festival Saturday, March 23, at St. Philip Parish, 725 Diamond St. The first 25 authors to register will each pay $20 to rent a table.

Writers who live or work in Noe Valley are automatically eligible. Those who live in Glen Park, Bernal Heights, the Mission, the Castro, Twin Peaks, and Diamond Heights can also sign up on a first-come, first-booked basis.

Authors will handle their own book sales, but for those who prefer, debit- and credit-card sales can be done by the event’s bookseller, Bird & Beckett Books, for a split of the proceeds.

Three authors will read on stage, take questions, and sign books: Alvin Orloff (Why Aren’t You Smiling?), Jon Sindell (The Mighty Roman), and Frances Payne (They Make Us Dangerous).

The event will cap WordWeek, the neighborhood’s eight-day literary festival, which starts Saturday, March 16. Readings are staged at neighborhood venues and will include an LGBT literature night, a children’s book event, and a spoken-word open mic.

Get an application at wordweeknoevalley@gmail.comFor more information, visit


Indie Film Fest Turns 15

Celebrate the San Francisco Independent Film Festival’s ÁFiesta Quin­cea–era! Feb. 7 to 21 at the Brava and Roxie theaters.

Known as IndieFest, the two-week-long showcase of Bay Area independent films and digital programs will feature love stories, horror stories, sci-fi, mock-umentaries, and experimental work by local artists.

The week opens at Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St., with The We and The I by Michel Gondry. The film depicts the group dynamics of teenagers on their last day of school. The screening will be followed by a Quinceanera-themed party, with a live deejay, a performance by Ghost Town Gospel, an open bar, and birthday cake.

The festival closes at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., with a screening of Joe Swanberg’s All the Light in the Sky. The film stars Jane Adams as an aging actress whose professional future is uncertain.

In between will be 43 programs, 100 screenings, and eight parties.

This year’s new films include Dias de Gracia, by Everado Gout, a crime drama set in Mexico City against a backdrop of three televised Soccer World Cups.

In Funeral Kings by Matt and Kevin McManus, two 14-year-old altar boys who routinely ditch school under the guise of serving at funerals land themselves in trouble after being entrusted with a stash of booze, porn, fireworks, and firearms.

IndieFest always includes a lot of parties—even before the festival starts. On Feb. 3, Roxie Theater will host “Super Bowl: Men in Tights.” The big game is complemented by local comedic sports commentators and skits.

The Mission B.A.G. (Bad Art Gallery), 518 Valencia St., will host four free after-parties, where film lovers can browse thrift-store art, join game shows, and enjoy deejay music. Organizers have also added two Valentine’s Day sing-alongs to complement event favorites like the Roller Disco Costume Party and the Big Lebowski party.

Regular film tickets cost $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Festival passes cost $170 for a full pass, which allows the holder to jump the line for any screening or party.

Full festival information can be found at


Castro Set for a Closeup

City planners are designing a Castro Street makeover for the crowded swath between Market and 19th streets that will likely include wider sidewalks, street trees, and safer pedestrian crossings, among other amenities.

Tourists, residents, naked people, two Muni buses, a subway, and a streetcar share this end of the famous historical district, which is characterized by narrow sidewalks and busy intersections.

A framework for the changes already exists. In 2008, the neighborhood’s business association, the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District, produced a Neighborhood Beautification and Safety Plan based on community input. The San Francisco Planning Department has an Upper Market Community Plan.

Both of these plans cover areas much larger than that addressed in the new Castro Street Design Plan, but some of their ideas will form a foundation for the changes to the two-block stretch, said Nick Perry, an urban designer for the Planning Department’s City Design Group. “We want to do more than widen the sidewalks,” he said. “The design needs to reflect a cohesive identity that’s faithful to the vibrancy and character of the Castro.”

The improvements will mostly be paid using money from the city’s Road Repaving and Streets Safety Bond, passed in November 2011. The first workshop soliciting public input was held Jan. 23. Perry said another large workshop will be held in late February, though the date hadn’t been confirmed.

The final conceptual design is expected to be ready by spring 2013. The earliest that construction could start would be early 2014, he said. To be kept informed of the project’s progress, sign up at Choose “Project Updates: Castro Street Design Project” under the “Sign me up for:” tab.


Odd Mondays in February

Poets and peace mark Odd Mondays this month. The eclectic, free salon will host Rabbi Michael Lerner on Feb. 11. Lerner, publisher of Tikkun Magazine and rabbi of a Jewish congregation once based at the Noe Valley Ministry, will give a talk about Middle-East relations titled “Projections and Hope for 2013—Embracing Israel/Palestine.”

On Feb. 25, Bernal Heights poets Mary De Nardo and Nina Youkelson and others will read from their work. Youkelson was director of the Noe Valley Co-op Nursery School for more than 35 years.

All Odd Mondays take place at 6:30 p.m. at Phoenix Books, 3957 24th St. Each evening is preceded by a no-host supper at 5 p.m. at Haystack Pizza, 3881 24th St. For more information, visit


Garden Tour Wants Your Garden

The Friends of Noe Valley’s garden tour committee is looking for gardens to highlight in its annual tour de Noe.

Qualifying gardens can be any size and shape, can be located in the front, back, or side of the house, can contain vegetables, flowers, fruit, or rocks, and can be owner-designed and maintained or done professionally. Owners can choose to stay for the tour or leave; volunteers will staff the entrance.

There are only two restrictions: Gardens must be within Noe Valley, the area bordered by 30th, 21st, and Guerrero streets, and Grand View/Diamond Heights Boulevard. Also, the garden must be able to be accessed without walking through the home.

“If it’s interesting or just knockout gorgeous, the committee would love to visit and consider it for the tour,” said Richard May, one of the organizers.

This year’s Garden Tour will happen Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds benefit neighborhood beautification projects.

To nominate a garden, leave your contact information at The committee will contact you for an appointment.


Get Ready for Disaster

The San Francisco Fire Department will offer free disaster preparedness training Feb. 5 to March 12 on Tuesday evenings at Rooftop Elementary School, 443 Burnett St. at Corbett.

Sessions will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and will include training in disaster medicine, light search and rescue, and more. The program culminates in an evening of practice on real “victims”—volunteers painted with blood and feigning distress.

Participants must attend all six sessions to receive a certificate making them part of the city’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team.

To register or get more information, visit or call 415-970-2024.


Dolores Park Renovation

The Recreation and Park Department will update the construction schedule and describe the progress on the Dolores Park Renovation at an open house Feb. 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A question-and-answer session will follow.

The ADA-compliant renovation includes new athletic courts, restroom buildings, irrigation and drainage, picnic areas, and a new operations building beneath the basketball court, within the two-block-long park at Dolores and 18th streets. The multi-use field and dog play areas are being improved as well.

There have been some minor changes to the approved plans as a result of the environmental review process, and those will also be explained, said Jake Gilchrist, project manager.

The department plans to release the final planning documents in late February or early March, and construction is set to begin in fall 2013. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2014.

The meeting location had not been determined by press time. For information about the meeting or the project, please visit can also contact Gilchrist at 415-581-2561