Tuesday, January 28, 2014


The new year has begun, and new businesses have opened in my neighborhood, while others will open soon.
First up is Smith, located at the corner of Polk and Clay. It's the first clothing store on Polk Street in many years to open that sells new men and women’s clothing instead of second-hand.

Another new opening is the 1760 Restaurant located at – where else? – 1760
 Polk (now there's a true san francisco name).

It's also painted black, which, according to a January 21, 2014 article in the SF Chronicle, is the new trendy color. (click here to read the article):
Another new opening is Cabin, located right next door at 1750 Polk

as well as Looksie Optometry, at 1314 Polk Street between Bush and Pine.

Not open yet, but soon to be, are the Live Fit Gym Wellness Center, on Polk between Sacramento and Clay and

 Songbird Studios and Niall David Photography, located on Pine between Polk and Larkin.

I wish them all the best. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


There are a number of good murals and wall artwork in my neighborhood.

One I like a lot is on the corner of Polk & Post Streets.

I like it because it’s raw and visceral and speaks of pain and anguish, emotions rarely expressed n in public art. It's best seen in the morning sun.

I haven’t been able to find out the name of the artist who did this. He or she has done other wall art in the neighborhood, so if anyone knows who this is, please send a comment, so I can amend this blog post.

Another mural I like is this one by the Precita Eyes UYA Program at the corner of Hemlock Alley and Larkin Street.

It was painted in 2009 by the UYA Program of Precita Eyes Muralists, a San Francisco group that has been painting murals in the City for over 10 years. For more information about them, click here:  http://precitaeyes.org/


Saturday, January 11, 2014


2014 begins with a number of long-time neighborhood businesses closing.

Larkin between Pine & California Streets
One of these is Ideal Auto Rebuilders, Inc. Family owned since 1954 by Alfredo A. and Jorge R. Fernadez, and have been in their current location for over 20 years.

      I asked one of the brothers, a big, gruff burly man, if rising rents had anything to do with their closing. 
     He laughed. ‘Nah. I’ve been doing this for over 40 years, since I was 28 years old,' he said with a smile. 'That’s long enough.‘

     Another long-time business that's closing after many years is Naomi's Pottery 

Polk between Washington & Jackson
as is, Studio right next door, an art gallery for local artists.

One closing that's surprised a lot of people is the Big Apple Discount Center after 32 years.

Big Apple Discount on Polk & Clay

I talked with some of the clerks why the store was closing. ‘Too much competition,’ said one, while another cited rising minimum wage and Obamacare – the owners can’t afford to provide health insurance to their employees under the new law.

I'm going to miss the Big Apple. But what I'm especially going to miss

is that great mural of theirs on Clay Street.

Every time I see it, it always makes me smile.

Monday, January 6, 2014


I’ve lived in the same san francisco neighborhood – middle polk street starting from geary & polk in the south 

to jackson & polk in the north for the last 35 years. 

This is the intersection of california & polk streets. It pretty much in the center of the neighborhood.

There are homeless people in my neighborhood

but they don’t seem to be as big a problem as elsewhere in the City.

Personally, I think it’s because there are at least 8 SROs in the neighborhood.

You can say what you want about the SROs and the people who live in them, but if those 8 SROs were to vanish overnight, there’d probably be at least 250 people, probably more, living and sleeping in the doorways and sidewalks of Polk Street the next morning.

Polk Street has gone from being predominantly gay in the 70s and early 80s to being predominantly one of the most expensive areas of the CIty to live in. Available apartments start at $3K or more per month, and you need at least 3 months rent (1st, last, deposit) up front, so it costs about $10K to move in to my neighborhood.

So, as new tech money flows into the neighborhood, a lot is changing

Nara Sushi, Polk between California & Sacramento Streets
while a lot remain the same.

The Buy-Sell-Loan pawn shop on Sutter between Polk & Larkin Streets
That's pretty much it for this blog.I’ll be writing about the changes I see in my neighborhood, and other subjects as well, in future blogs.