San Francisco’s first raised bikeway coming soon to Valencia Street

As you can see, it’s basically a special bike path that exists a little higher than street level and a little lower than the sidewalk. The SF Bike Coalition reports:

The showcase bikeway is part of the Mission/Valencia Gateway project and will stretch southbound on Valencia Street from Cesar Chavez Street to Duncan Street.

[...]

Work on the project is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2015 and continue until mid-2016. When completed, the Mission Valencia Green Gateway will create an improved link between the Valencia and San José corridors, making the North to South Connecting the City route even safer and more comfortable for everyone.

Read on for more info and graphics.

Gentrification as immigration

In a piece titled “Stop Complaining About Gentrification Unless You Know What It Is,” io9 editor Annalee Newitz looks a little deeper at the topic of the day:

Gentrification is a form of immigration, though almost nobody calls it that. People who gentrify are usually new transplants to a city, changing it to suit their particular cultural needs and whims. That’s why the criticism of gentrification often sounds like a distorted version of anti-immigrant sentiment: “They have changed our neighborhoods; their shops and homes are repulsive; we no longer feel welcome here.” The difference is that the people we call immigrants are usually not rich. Gentrifiers are.

She then looks at Istanbul and Paris, and obviously San Francisco, and eventually draws this conclusion:

When different immigrant groups struggle with each other to reshape the city, gentrification is one possible outcome. There are other possible outcomes, too. City planners can manage development so that there is enough room for neighborhoods to grow without kicking anyone out. A recent study revealed that creating income-segregated neighborhoods leads to less social mobility for everyone, cementing us into a rigidly class-divided society. More than anything, we need to prevent neighborhoods from becoming divided by class.

A first step would be to revise our attitude toward immigration in cities. Instead of seeing immigrants as aliens, we should welcome their fresh perspectives, their wealth of new cultural traditions — and yes, their cash infusions. As twentieth century cities swell into twenty-first century megacities, we must make room for all our immigrant populations, rich and poor alike. The only crime is in sacrificing one to make way for the other.

The only crime. Read on for lots more data and storytelling and relevant photos.

[Photo by Andrew Sarkarati]

Anti-gentrification protest marches up Valencia and its brand-new condos

Displaying a bright “Class War 2.0″ banner, the group marched peacefully up Valencia and then turned on 22nd before stopping in front of Lolo Cevicheria for an impromptu rally.  The speaker made an interesting point regarding rent control that I had failed to previously consider.  Namely, that while families without the fortune of living in rent-controlled apartments are forced to move after their rent gets dramatically increased, people who do actually dwell in rent-controlled spots suffer from landlords who refuse to fix anything except for the most necessary (read: legally-required) repairs.

Many families are terrified of even asking their landlords to perform important maintenance within their apartments out of fear that they will notice some sort of technicality within their living space that would provide means for eviction.  Imagine dealing with that constant level of fear every day of your life, where any sort of misstep could be used against you.

Sadly, I just see this situation getting worse and worse.

Help Arizmendi fund their parklet!

It looks like Arizmendi got approval from the city to move ahead with their parklet plans on Valencia, and now they’ve started an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the project. In their words:

We, the worker-owners of Arizmendi Valencia care about providing delicious, affordable and unique baked goods to our neighborhood. As a diverse cooperative, we also value community dialogue among folks of varying backgrounds and experiences. In this spirit, we want to build a semi-circular parklet in front of our store to cultivate comfort and connection among our customers.

It also sounds like they’re planning on having the parklet host a rotating mural series, and that they’ve already received interest from neighbor and talented local artist Sirron Norris. As someone who enjoys both delicious baked goods and sunshine, I couldn’t be more excited about bringing these two things together.

Here & Far at The Roxie

Before we got a bunch of our friends together and built The Secret Alley, Noel Von Joo and I got a bunch of our friends together and spent a number of years making a strange post-zombie-apocalypse movie, When Gravity Changes. It’s about a loner who is stuck on his roof while zombies swarm beneath him, the sun has stopped rising and his only companion is a talking raccoon . . . until he finds a city of fetuses hidden in a tree. It was shot on a roof in Santa Cruz, an attic in Sacramento and a gutter on our very own Capp Street.

Noel at home.
[Noel in the fetus city set]

The movie will be showing as part of Here & Far, curated by Sarah Flores, at The Roxie this Wednesday night. Our movie will follow a bunch of other local shorts, Vacation (2014) Written and Directed by Tracy Brown, As Long as There is Plenty (2013) Written and Directed by Kenneth Vaughn, Chaos Directed by Natalie Eakin, Bequeath the Heart By Zack Von Joo & Million Year Check-up By Davenzane Hayes.

The show starts at 7pm and The Roxie Theater is at 3117 16th St., near Valencia. You can purchase tickets in advance here.

Valencia Still Life

El Patio is no more, but there will be Frito pie!

There was a brief period about 9 years ago when El Patio was my favorite restaurant in the Mission. It was a little off the beaten path, it was near the Knockout, the food was good, there was never a wait, and the cutesy decor almost sort of felt like Disneyland or the Secret Alley.

I guess it closed recently, and it’s gonna be replaced by the Barchili/Old Bus Tavern combo that’s been popping up at Pizzahacker on Tuesdays. I had their burger and their Frito pie and a couple of their beers a couple weeks ago, and it was all awesome, so we’re gaining something good. But I’ll always remember El Patio fondly.

Here’s a cheesy blurb I wrote about it while working as an intern for an online travel guide company in 2006:

On the outskirts of the Mission District, where Valencia dead-ends into Mission Street, lies a hidden gem. While the Taqueria Cancun outpost across the way has garnered more accolades, El Patio is an exceedingly pleasant place for a home-cooked meal. Unlike its burrito-centric neighbors, this establishment offers full sit-down service, and heaping plates of Salvadoran and Mexican specialties. Sun streams in through the windows and skylights, providing ample reason to sit around drinking imported beer (such as Suprema or Regia), enjoying the sights and sounds of the bustling intersection out front and perhaps chowing down on a few plates of pupusas or a hot lengua entree. [link]

My boss was saying the clients at Marriott were asking for some more off-the-beaten-path stuff for their San Francisco city guide. I was like, “I’ve got just the thing!”

Today’s edition of Your Constantly Changing Neighborhood

First, Hoodline has the renderings of the condos that will replace Flax Art & Design. After years of their wooden guy trying to take down Travelodge, they finally lost the battle. The new condos will pay homage to San Francisco’s rich architectural history and – oh wait, it’s just another big boxy building.

[via Hoodline]

Next, Uptown Almanac reports that after thirteen years, Therapy’s furniture store on Valencia will close at the end of this month. The landlord increased their rent from $5,700 to $10,500, so, make of that what you will. It’s hard to remain shocked at this point.

[UPDATE: Image by Google Streetview inserted to clarify that the furniture store, on the left, is closing, while the clothing store is remaining open]

From UA:

In conversation, Whelan mentioned that he was never late on rent, and that there is simply “more demand for [Valencia Street] than there is Valencia.” Whelan believes that with the average “consumer on Valencia Street [being] a hyper-affluent tech person,” a Valencia Street store “becomes a billboard to promote [a company’s] brand.” The outrageous rent paid simply becomes another line item in a company’s marketing budget.

You know, like Times Square or something. Cool. Awesome. Love it. I’m sorry, I’m trying not to be so negative. But this neighborhood is being smothered by a huge pile of money. Speaking of money, you can save some by taking advantage of Therapy’s clearance sale!

Beanies by Amos Goldbaum

For keeping warm/stylish. They’ll be for sale this weekend at the stand on Valencia Street or at Outside Lands!

[via Amos Goldbaum on Instagram]

Mission Mission happily welcomes three new contributors!

Longtime local blogger Andrew Dalton has been getting his feet wet with us the last couple weeks, mostly on the crime beat, and it’s been a welcome parade of hard news:

Impeccable work so far, Andrew!

And then this week (possibly today) you’ll meet Chris Bunting and Luke Spray from Roll Over Easy, the best morning radio show in town. They share a passion for San Francisco that is refreshing and infectious, and they’re so good at talking all about it (whether at the bar or on the radio or anywhere else). So we asked them to hop aboard, and I can’t wait to see what happens!

By way of further introduction, here are each of our 21 most recently used emoji, as of about 9:45 last night:

Be sure to look for their work here on the blog, and definitely tune into the show, every Thursday morning from 7:30-9:30 on Mission-based BFF!

(I only have a horse in there because I was telling someone about a horse-and-arugula pizza I had in Berlin one time.)