What the fuck is happening with Sunflower?

Eater SF reports:

Sunflower, the dual-entrance Vietnamese restaurant that straddles the corner of 16th and Valencia, has long been a favorite amongst Missionites for its solid renditions of classics like garlic noodles and imperial rolls, not to mention reasonable prices that have held firm despite Valencia’s increasing gentrification. But now, Sunflower is mysteriously shuttered, with only a sign on the door reading “We are closed until further notice. Sorry for the inconvenience.” A call placed to the restaurant was answered by a voicemail box with an identical message. A staffer at Sunflower’s sister location in Potrero Hill, which remains open, refused to comment on why the Mission location was closed, or when it might reopen. [link]

[Photo by Angela Rose]

Throwback Thursday: When a $6 burger was REALLY pricey

While working on yesterday’s post about the new patio seating at Monk’s Kettle, I started reminiscing about Kelly’s Burger, which was housed in the same spot about a million years ago.

When I was a dirt-poor college student in 2003, a $6 Kelly’s burger was a major once-in-a-blue-moon splurge. And they knew it: On the back of the menu it said, “Not the Cheapest – Just the Best!” Different times. (A burger at Monk’s Kettle, if you add bacon, is $18.)

Here’s the beginning of a Chowhound thread about Kelly’s, started by Chuck McCall on May 14, 2002:

I checked out Kelly’s Burgers the other day, which just opened on 16th St between Valencia and Guerrero. Their menu consists of (drumroll please) mostly hamburgers (including a Texas burger which comes with a fried egg.) They also have chilidogs and sandwiches.

There were only a couple of other people in there (noon on Saturday). The staff was friendly. It’s an order at the counter and they bring it to your seat kind of place. That tall dude who used to work Truly Med. down the block was behind the grill and apparently owns the place.

Oh yeah, that guy! As for pricing:

My total for the cheeseburger, fries and coke was $7.75.

Daaaaamn! I think you could also get a draft beer for $2 at happy hour.

Here’s a pretty good Yelp review by Eggs M.:

I ended up here on a date with the biggest piece of shit asshole you would ever want to have sex with just because he’s got nice arms and laughs a lot. Why, you might ask, do I have sex with these people on the first date anyway??!!! I don’t fucking know. I’ve been doing that since I was sixteen years old, it didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now that I’m old but still lame enough to be taken out for dates to ‘Kelly’s Burgers’. Why does everything have to be such a goddamn fucking nightmare? Should I feel humiliated when I see this guy out with his girlfriend, or just laugh it off? Fuck. Oh, the burgers were good though.

Check out the rest of the menu (via MenuPix) after the jump: (more…)

Culture Collide, a 2-day music festival on Valencia Street starring Cloud Nothings and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Culture Collide just announced its schedule, and it looks pretty awesome. Bands from all over the world, playing up and down Valencia Street, and passes are only $20. It’ll be just like Austin: if you don’t like something, you wander a couple doors down and find something else. Plus I don’t think I’ve ever seen bands from Jordan or Poland before.

Check it out:

Welcome to the new St. Luke’s

The complete rebuild of St. Luke’s on Cesar Chavez and Valencia is about to begin, and the snazzy new website has some renderings of what the new buildings will look like once they’re complete. While getting rid of St. Luke’s remarkably bland corner building is obviously a huge win, the best part is that the hospital will be able to serve more people and will actually make it through an earthquake. From the project’s website:

The Replacement Hospital at the St. Luke’s Campus, wrapped by an urban oasis, will provide 120 patient beds in a 215,000 square foot acute healthcare facility in the Mission District of San Francisco. Achieving LEED certification, the campus will champion sustainability and efficient patient treatment. The modernized campus will also be able to withstand and remain in operation after a strong earthquake. CPMC 2020 aims to transform the St. Luke’s Campus into the hospital of choice for the southern sector of San Francisco.

More pictures and some history, after the jump:

(more…)

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