Category Archives: I Love SF

Love It or Leave It, SF Weekly

Twin Peaks, San Francisco, photo by Ron Kurti

The carpetbaggers over at Village Voice Media, aka, the SF Weekly, have launched an anti-SF hit piece that completely misses the point of San Francisco and why people choose to live here.

Now, like my old buddy, Mat, I hate things about SF – including much of what is covered in this piece. That makes my headline pretty much meaningless – at least I admit that, which is more than the Weekly would do about the one atop the article we’re discussing here. More after the jump…
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UCSF Saving the Lives of Pregnant Women in Developing Countries

Patient treatment room in a Zambian gynecologic emergency ward

A friend just left San Francisco for her second “tour of duty” in Zambia, working for UCSF’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, which develops a low-tech first-aid device for hemorrhaging pregnant women called LifeWraps. I was impressed and horrified by her efforts combating the high frequency of death and disability around childbirth. More after the jump…
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26 Nixed

24-899 from 1943

24-907 from 1943

It’s bad enough that the elimination of the 26-Valencia will wreak havoc on my personal life. But it turns out that the line I often stumble upon to get home has been running since 18-fucking-92 (shown above in its 1943 variation).

Back then, it was a trolley that ran from Steuart St. near the Ferry Building all the way down to the cemeteries in Colma. Shit, if that still ran, I could take it to Target!

The final insult is that, apparently, electric streetcars themselves were largely built in San Francisco as a way to develop the Sunnyside area – my homeland – for its real estate. And this is how I’m repaid – with forced late-night pedestrianism and wallet-thinning cab rides.

Ticket Giveaway: ‘Lost Landscapes of San Francisco’ Screening

A ride up Market Street, San Francisco, circa 1905

The Long Now foundation has generously offered Spots Unknown readers two free tickets to Rick Prelinger’s upcoming presentation of previously-unseen archival footage of a lost San Francisco. It happens on Friday, December 4th at the Herbst Theatre. If you’re in town then, and want to go, read on…
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Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve

Skyline view from Sutro Forest

At first I was a little ashamed that I’d never been in the forest on Mount Sutro, officially known as the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve, even after living in the city for almost 14 years. But, after asking around, I discovered most of my long-time-resident friends haven’t been there either. So now it’s their turn to feel ashamed. (More after the jump.)
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PlantSF Offering Free Eco-Friendly Sidewalk Landscaping

PlantSF Offering Free Eco-Friendly Sidewalk Landscaping

Heard the jackhammers lately?

The city is forcing property owners to rip up and replace the busted sidewalk squares that front their buildings. But they don’t have to be replaced with the same old, boring slabs. The sidewalk in front of your residence could look more like these.

DPW’s Bureau of Urban Forestry issues low-cost permits allowing property owners to convert a portion of their sidewalk into an attractive landscaped area.

Even better, this recently came across the @SpotsUnknown Twitter feed:


In the Sunset District sidewalk gardens can not only make our streetscapes beautiful but also help recharge the aquifer and reduce sewer overflow contamination of the ocean.

Plant*SF and the San Francisco Parks Trust are offering the free installation of a demonstration sidewalk landscaping garden in the Sunset District using native and drought tolerant plants and permeable pavers. Corner properties are especially encouraged to apply.

To have a property be considered to receive free sidewalk landscaping, interested parties should email their contact information and property address to by 5pm December 10, 2009. See for examples of sidewalk gardens.

Funding for this project comes from the City of San Francisco Community Challenge Grant Program (CCG) with sponsorship from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Outside of the Sunset District, there is a robust community of city eco-nerds who will help you design and install a sustainable sidewalk garden no matter where in the city you live. Start at the Plant*SF and Nature In The City websites.

Statistical Fibs Will Not Make Pedestrians Safer

Pedestrian on StreetsBlog

Is it true that pedestrians die in San Francisco at a 70% higher rate than the national average?

I saw this claim come across my Twitter feed today from Walk San Francisco, the local pedestrian advocacy organization, and it immediately got my attention. It didn’t smell quite right to me. More after the jump…
Continue reading Statistical Fibs Will Not Make Pedestrians Safer

I Hate It, I Love It, I’m Never Leaving

Mat Honan by

Local writer and long-time resident Mat Honan has written an immensely quote-worthy piece about why he moved here and never left. Here’s a snip:

I hate this place. It stinks and it’s dirty and there’s piss everywhere and needles and garbage and yesterday when I went for a run in the park I had to traverse a trail that had been completely covered in used toilet paper. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint here, just down the street from my apartment. San Francisco is expensive, and I’ll never be able to afford to buy a home. The city government is corrupt, there’s nowhere to park, the people are all fucking crazy, and don’t even get me started about MUNI.

I’m never leaving, motherfuckers.

Read the whole thing here. Visit Mat’s website, and follow him on Twitter.