Filthiest Spot in San Francisco?

So thinks the photographer, Troy Holden.

From the Flickr set:

After years of deterioration and absence of modern operational systems, the [Fleishacker] pool did not meet health and safety standards and closed in 1971. Consideration was given to refurbishing and reopening the historic landmark, but usage studies showed low interest, and the high annual operating costs could not be offset with the expected revenue. In 1999, the San Francisco Zoological Society was granted ownership of the pool house, and it is not known what might become of it. The swimming pool itself was filled with rocks and gravel, with the space now serving as a parking lot for the zoo.

Police Scanner: Car-to-Foot Chase

The TV show Cops is great and all, but there is a special excitement to hearing and imagining the action as it’s communicated between officers and the dispatcher.

This chase, which happened yesterday, goes through the Upper Haight as the perp blows a tire, then proceeds on foot through Golden Gate Park, and is finally tackled and apprehended.

Has Anyone Seen the Twin Peaks Coyote?

Coyote on Twin Peaks, San Francisco, photo by Janet Kessler

I guess I’ve been a little behind in the city’s coyote news. I know of its presence in the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, Glen Park, and Bernal Hill, sometimes with lethal consequences. But until my girlfriend gave me a small self-printed booklet from (of course) Dog Eared Books, I was unaware that there was a coyote on Twin Peaks.

Aside from the author’s account, I’ve been unable to find any mention of this urban canine carnivore. Have you seen it? Can you point to any online resources about it? I hope it has fared better than some of the others.

And, if you get a chance, don’t miss the KQED special, “Wild at Heart,” about SF’s urban wildlife. Here’s a trailer from a derivative DVD:

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.)
Continue reading Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve

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.

Submitted: Pet Cemetery in the Presidio

DSC_8654, originally uploaded by zimmix.

Christopher says:

There’s a great little pet cemetery in the Presidio @ McDowell and Crissy Field Avenues. It would be great if more people knew and cared about this little treasure.

UPDATE: Sadly, it looks as if this spot has been largely ruined, as commenters have pointed out:
Continue reading Submitted: Pet Cemetery in the Presidio

Lobos Creek & Mountain Lake


Fed by the same aquifer, but not directly connected, these bodies of water are special parts of the San Francisco watershed near the Presidio.

More after the jump…
Continue reading Lobos Creek & Mountain Lake

Indian Occupation of Alcatraz 40th Anniversary


Although the Miwoks were convinced it was an island of evil spirits, barren and guano-coated, it’s still pretty badass to think that a group led by Mohawk Richard Oakes tried to reclaim Alcatraz in 1969. They took a boat into the bay, jumped onto The Rock, and claimed it by right of discovery, declaring:

The choice now lies with the leaders of the American government – to use violence upon us as before to remove us from our Great Spirit’s land, or to institute a real change in its dealing with the American Indian. We do not fear your threat to charge us with crimes on our land. We and all other oppressed peoples would welcome spectacle of proof before the world of your title by genocide.

Celebrities like Marlon Brando and Jane Fonda joined the cause and a colony was founded, but it sank toward defeat when Oakes’ 13-year old stepdaughter Yvonne fell to her death.

CounterPULSE will host a talk to commemorate this bold act of defiance by the “Red Power” movement, on Wed., Nov. 11, 7:30pm. It’s free.

Dolores Park: Refugee Camp

Tam Tran is awesome.
Tam Tran is awesome.

Today I took advantage of the fantastic free walking tour organization, SF City Guides. It’s officially a part of the Public Library (the guides are all volunteers) and has an interesting history of its own. I decided to take as my inaugural tour one that covers my neighborhood.

More details and photos after the jump…
Continue reading Dolores Park: Refugee Camp

The Attempted Homicide of a Sanctuary

Photo by David Erickson

UPDATE 4/14/2010: Via Matt Baume, from StreetsBlog:

The PUC … proposes to terminate the creek in a manufactured wetland at the western end of Islais Creek Channel. The area is currently an asphalt lot just down the street from the headquarters of Mythbusters, used occasionally to store vehicles.

This would be a fantastic and appropriate honor for this spot. (And there is still more than just asphalt here!)

Once upon a time in 2001, there was a tiny plot of shoreline, Muwekma Ohlone Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, named after the native people who once populated the San Francisco peninsula. Guerrilla gardeners had, for years, nurtured this vestige of unlikely marshland amidst the industrial zone near Hunters Point.

More after the jump…
Continue reading The Attempted Homicide of a Sanctuary