Access report: Sparky’s, Chow, Sugarlump

phare de la baleine

Originally uploaded by bourget_82

Cranky disabled person report on San Francisco stuff! Warning!

Accessibility for Sugarlump on 24th St. is fantabulous. No stairs, low counter, couches, tables you can wheel up to, and a big bathroom with grab bars and with its door not blocked by junk or narrow passageways. A+ on their access! It is a nice neighborhood to wheel around in. The only criticism I have is that some of the curb cuts are not well maintained. They are steep and have enormous potholes.

The LGBT Center is great. A+ for wide corridors everywhere, very accessible bathrooms, big signs set high up near the ceiling so that people low to the ground can navigate. I like hanging out in the 3DB Cafe there, the only problem is I run into too many people I know and don’t get any work done!

Philz Coffee on 4th and Berry is another A+. I’m loving anywhere that has big spaces. It’s like the wide open prairie, don’t fence me in. There is something great about that section of town, the smooth sidewalks, the tall buildings and bridges, that had me high as a kite. That plus coffee meant that I hung out on the sidewalk outside Philz popping wheelies and spinning around at high speed. A good place to skateboard too, I bet. The wireless, breezy open feeling, interesting coffee, good music, and nice people didn’t hurt.


The Liberties pub at around 23rd and Guererro was pretty decent. Some of the pub was accessible and some wasn’t. You go around the side of the building to get in without steps. Their fish and chips was great and they have ridiculous-looking fancy drinks that I’ll have to go back and try! B for okay but not great access, a bit crowded for power chairs for example. But okay for me.

Osha on 2nd gets an A-.. They whisked a chair away so I could wheel up to a table, without making a big production out of it or appearing to be all flustered. Some places, you would not believe how all the waiters in a restaurant can stop what they’re doing and gather round and act concerned, in order to move one chair! That is very annoying! Osha was nice about it. Points off though for the disabled bathroom being back through a corridor that was partially blocked and also the bathroom being kind of gross which surprised me for a restaurant with such aesthetic sensibilities.

I went to Chow the other night and would be inconvenient but not impossible to get to the back seating area. I would have had to ask a couple of people to move their chairs while I went by. The thought of this seemed to throw the waiters into total confusion. They could not even answer me coherently and I was kind of pissed off. I give them a C just for acting all bewildered and inconvenienced.

Sparky’s was even worse, it was completely inaccessible with stairs just to get into the building. I hobbled up. Sparky’s gets an F for access.

The streets right around Church and Market are okay to navigate, but I had to concentrate on popping my front wheels over the Muni tracks! It seems awfully easy to get hung up, though, especially for a person in a power chair.

I have a further cranky-person note, that people in restaurants who have to choose between bumping into a seated able person and bumping into my wheelchair always seem to choose the wheelchair to bump into and jostle. It goes against any idea of politeness I could imagine and yet it always happens. Maybe they figure I can’t feel anything in my robotic extensions and so it is okay to kick my wheels and lean on my handlebars. It’s not okay… bump into someone else next time!

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