Archive for the ‘Downtown’ Category

Whose rocket sculpture is more awesome?

Seattle (left) and San Francisco (right) dedicated new rocket sculptures in public parks this summer. Which do you prefer?

Hey, it’s an election

times_squareIt’s election day! Who knew? In San Francisco, the only interesting thing on the ballot is Prop. D., the proposal to put giant Times Square-type advertising signs on Market Street in order to “enliven” it.

Are they kidding? Apparently not. Here are some arguments in favor and a Chronicle editorial against. And here is the whole list of issues and candidates running, including City Atty. Dennis Herrera (unopposed).

Go to the SF Dept of Elections for results tonight.

Flickr photo of Times Square by Scott Beale at Laughing Squid.

Ranting About Biking In the City and BART

bikin on BART

Regarding BART:
> A bike-friendly BART car is in the works (haven’t seen one for myself yet, though)
> Why exactly can’t we take bikes on escalators? Whoever made that rule- have they ever carried their bike up 100 steps, each day?

My least favorite moments on my work commute – because if I can’t rant here, where can I rant?!
– Hipster girl who sped past me at a stoplight as I was starting off, nearly hitting me. On a fixie.
– Cars that race in front of you on a green light, so you have to fall in behind them, then they screech to a halt at the next red, while you cycle up past them. Why do cars race to the next light? I’ll never understand.
– Those big black limo-van things hog the lane and swerve into the bike lane. Each one of them.
– Pedestrians who step into the street while checking traffic. Check traffic, then step into the street! Key intersections: Embarcadero & Market, and Bay & Embarcadero, Sansome & California. Also, I ahve to say pedestrians are so focused on cars they miss cyclists.

On a good note:
– Buses and shuttles have been very courteous to me, on my routes (EmeryGoRound, the 10-Townsend).
– It’s been gorgeous out in the morning and afternoon
– Cycling in SF is so fast- everything is so close together
– It feels like there’s been more people out on bikes, doing errands and stuff. Bike racks seem really full
– Most bars/restaurants/public places I’ve been at, if I ask if they have a place for bikes, they usually do! It’s this neat kind of underground chivalry.

Time Lapse of Bridge Being Built

Who knows how to post YouTubes on Metblogs (tips welcome), but here is a time lapse of the bridge being built!

Bay Bridge Closure: stop the panic

Yesterday afternoon, you’d think all roads were going to be closed the way people were sheer panicking at the thought of the”clusterf**k”. I don’t know these folks, all I know is they live in SF and work in the East Bay, and the thought of public transit for one day, before a major vacation, has them freaking out. I think our reliance on the car, in the Bay Area, for commuting, is too great.

after work ride

the Palace
Photos from a ride last night, enjoying a foggy, windy day in the Marina but calmer and sunny close to downtown. It’s a new perk to commuting- meet up with a friend, fit in a few miles of riding, and get dinner. The wind and fog were moving so fast, at one point, up Polk at Bay, I could see the fog travelling low to the ground.

The fog rolls in

Mason St. Garden

Mason garden
Sorry for left alignment, can’t figure out that aspect of this site :)

The neighborhood of North Beach has created a garden, from Columbus Ave to Lombard St. It’s cool. The few times I’ve walked by there’s been folks enjoying it. A woman reading a book, a guy eating his lunch, school kids sitting and eating. I heard that this was a “put it in, see if it works” experiment, between the library and the parking lot (“the triangle”) that is under development. City officials were involved, and as you can see there are new trees, greenery, stumps for sitting, etc.

The posted rules include an ominous “no food preparation that involves a health department permit” and oddly “no amplified music” but otherwise it’s a true neighborhood, scrappy endeavor.

I for one thought that right turn from Columbus, onto Mason, was one of the most dangerous corners in the city. I’ve seen a pedestrian get clipped, and always thought it was a matter of time before something really bad happened. It’s downhill for cars, after the traffic jam of downtown North Beach, so they’re racing through it. For pedestrians, it’s an uphill slog that takes a while, and the library entrance is within a few feet meaning there’s kids streaming out of there all times of day.

Biking to Work: Day 3

Little snapshot of life blogpost here. I’m commuting to the East Bay, via bike, from North Beach.

Day 1: Notice the sign on Embarcadero turnstile, “no bikes during commuter hours, 7-9AM” (It’s 10AM). Started this long discussion on FriendFeed. I’m sweaty and exhausted at work, and it’s worst going home- where every staircase is uphill (a quirk of going from an underground station to an overground one).

Day 2: Instead of biking up Embarcadero- which is wind tunnel every which hour or way or day- tack up the streets on the East side of Telegraph Hill. Less wind, a little more distance. I run into an old friend on BART, and I realize the social aspect of public transit cannot be overrated.

Day 3: It all goes by in a blur. It’s faster and becoming rote. I’m not as tired, it’s easier, and I start noticing the signs of approaching fall- ripening fruit on trees, the earlier darkness, and realize it’s great to be outside so much, each day, but still be able to get everything done work-wise and after-work-wise.

Back into the car Monday for the BART strike.

Marketers at play in the city

giant_laptopIncoming! The parachutists landing along the bayfront from Marina Green to the Ferry Building between noon and 3:00 today are part of a promotion for T-Mobile’s new phones.

And Radio Shack, which is going to try to re-brand itself as “The Shack” (good luck with that!), will put up “giant laptops” in San Francisco’s Justin Hermann Plaza and New York’s Times Square and invite C-list celebrities to lead audiences in both locales in bi-coastal games. The picture at left is an artist’s rendering of what the event is supposed to look like; click on the photo to be taken to the large, very creepy-looking and unintentionally hilarious hi-res version of what they imagine the event will look like, complete with multiple images of the same computer-generated peeps standing in the same pose at several places in the image.

The “giant laptops” are really just screens and cameras set up to beam SF’s image to NY and vice-versa; unfortunately the keyboards are not functional, a spokesperson told me. The “laptops” will be set up from Thursday to Saturday.

Best travel blog entry about SF evar

Old Ship Saloon Highway 101 Kearny Post Sutter HSBC House of Nanking flowering blossom tea Muni 30 Stockton 9x AT&T Park Angelina’s 22 Avenue and California fog son mist fog Stanford ELMI McCovey Marichal Mays Cepeda Portsmouth Square Ghirardelli Square Mechanics Institute Library Post Giants Winn Eugenio Velez Bay Bridge Adobe Saint Gregory’s of Nyssa Sara Miles Federal Reserve Bank Powell & Hyde Powell & Mason Van Ness Third & King Chronicle beach siren artichoke hearts salmon Golden Gate 1 Marin Vista Point yes yes yes Saint Francis!

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