News from SF – The Quarterly Report – October/November 2023

The Quarterly Report: A brief synopsis of the news in San Francisco over the last three months.


While the world has experienced floods, droughts, earthquakes and hurricanes, the San Francisco weather pattern has been quite normal lately. We had a typical Indian Summer pattern for a while then a bit of rain. The skies are clear and we are now experiencing beautiful sunsets. In the coming week there should be off-shore winds out of the east. If you you come to San Francisco, bring a light jacket and warm hat. It does get chilly from time to time.


Senator Diane Feinstein died on September 29, 2023. Her replacement chosen by Governor Newsom is Laphonza Butler. So it goes.

Self-Driving Cars

The self-driving cars got the axe for the the time being. Too many variables. The fire trucks are concerned that they often get in the way. A tragic event happened on Market Street when a jaywalker got hit by a car then got pinned under a self-driving car. No bueno!

Self Driving Car

So the virtue of the young damsel and the driverless car must wait for another day.

“The fashion in those days, among the ladies, was to to travel around without lackeys or coachmen and to drive oneself; husbands preferred wives to be at all times alone, so as to be more certain of their virtue; which goes directly counter to the view of the moralists, who say there is no virtue in solitude.”
-From The One-Eyed Porter – Voltaire

Road Repairs, Parking Tickets, Do Not Parks Signs and Other Treacherous Endeavors

The roads are still terrible in the poor neighborhoods. The pavement on Mission Street looks like a war zone. If you are on a bicycle be careful out there.

Bike Lanes, The Great Highway and the Sunny Side of the Street

The Great Highway opened to vehicular traffic on Mondays at 6 a.m. through Fridays at 12 p.m. and opened to pedestrians and bicycles only from Fridays at 12 p.m. until Mondays at 6 a.m. On holidays, the Great Highway is closed to vehicular traffic.

It is a lot of fun to get out to the Great Highway when it is closed to cars. On the weekends it gets busy with people walking, running a riding their bikes


Sporting News

The San Francisco Giants fizzled away. The 49ers are getting a bit beat up and having trouble winning games when they do not have all of their stars on the field. A young quarterback who is getting a reality check was long overdue.

The surfing has been pretty good overall, with some large, long-period swells now showing up every few weeks. 10 feet at 20 seconds was recorded recently and people were surfing Mavericks.

Parklets, Microclimates and Where the Sun Does Shine

Not much to report. The parklet situation has stabilized. Sometimes bands play outside but more often the music is inside. Remember to tip the band


That is The Quarterly Report –October 2023.

updated: 10/31/2023 with more Great Highway photos.

Photo Gallery of SF

The Quarterly Report – October 2023

News from SF – The Quarterly Report

The Quarterly Report: A brief synopsis of the news in San Francisco over the last three months.


Often chilly and foggy with a marine layer along the coast. Air quality generally pretty good. Bring a light jacket. If you are by the ocean bring more layers.

Don Chuys
View of the “marine layer.” Coming to a neighborhood near you soon!


In a 3-to-1 vote, the commission decided to let self-driving cars expand their programs and allow them to basically operate like taxis. So now these cars can pick up passengers and charge a fare at all hours of the day. Up until now, the companies had pretty limited passenger pickup programs.
– NPR from Driverless cars can now operate like taxis in San Francisco, raising safety concerns

That the driverless cars are now taxis was inevitable as that was one of the main goals all along. New technology that ultimately was and has been driven as a money making scheme. For anyone living is San Francisco the last few years, the new ruling will probably not change things much on the roads as we have been inundated with self-driving cars for years. In the last year, we have observed them wandering up and down neighborhood streets in the middle of the night, like the ghost of some long-lost insomniac uncle, organizing his toolset after hours.

In the last year, we have observed them wandering up and down neighborhood streets in the middle of the night, like the ghost of some long-lost insomniac uncle, organizing his toolset after hours.

Many of the self-driving cars have elaborate cameras and look very sci-fi. Some have the brand of Jaguar however the two companies that run these vehicles are Cruise, which is owned by GM, and Waymo, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet. They are everywhere, mapping every nook and cranny, sometimes clogging up the streets, other times just being spooky.

“JEANINE NICHOLSON: Again, I will reiterate, it is not our job to babysit their vehicles.”
– NPR from Driverless cars can now operate like taxis in San Francisco, raising safety concerns

The Mission Local has good reporting on this topic and one can always just enjoy a famous movie quote.

Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors please, HAL. Open the pod bay doors please, HAL. Hello, HAL. Do you read me? Hello, HAL. Do you read me? Do you read me HAL? Do you read me HAL? Hello, HAL, do you read me? Hello, HAL, do your read me? Do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
Dave Bowman: What’s the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

From 2001: A Space Odyssey

Road Repairs, Parking Tickets, Do Not Parks Signs and Other Treacherous Endeavors

“If you park here they will come.” Very creative, playful and surely effective as all-caps usually gets the point across.

Many of the main roads in San Francisco are a disaster and are in need repair. A partial list of roads that need love.

Mission Street road in need of repair.
  • Mission Street by Holly Park. (we may lose small dogs in some of the potholes)
  • Mission Street south of Silver Ave.
  • Bosworth under the San Jose Ave and  the 280 Freeway.
Bosworth under the San Jose Ave and  the 280 Freeway
Bosworth under the San Jose Ave and  the 280 freeway is treacherous for bicyclists. Use are your own risk. Bring an extra chin strap.

Even though San Francisco may score “adequate” in roads passements, these ranking are meaningless when for a decade you navigate roads that are terrible. It does seem that there is often less focus on roads that get a lot of traffic and are critical intersections. Feel free to contact the editorial board of the SF Journal if you need more examples of locations where roads are in need of repair. Remember to wear a helmet on these routes and perhaps bring an extra chin strap.

Bike Lanes on Valencia Street are in Full Effect

The new bike lanes on Valencia Street are now fully functioning. Bikes now ride in the middle. Cars no longer can take lefts turns at a lot of the intersections.

New bike lanes on Valencia Street

Let’s see how this works out and always remember, whether on two or four wheels, be kind. When driving, it is probably best to simply avoid Valencia Street. One day the city may realize, parts should be 100% for pedestrians and bikes.

Sporting News

For anything relating to football and the NFL, it is best to go to the SF Gate or SF Chronicle as that seems to be the only sport on their minds. It is August and we are suppose to get excited about American football?

In San Francisco there has been a lot of excitement about the Women’s FIFA World Cup. Colombia has a team of many talented players and their fans sang the national anthem with such passion, you wanted them to win just because of the fans.  The United States played well but lost to Sweden in a knockout round. France is scoring a lot of goals. Sweden may be the team to beat.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

Very few people wear masks. Sometimes people riding public transportation will be wearing a mask.

Parklets, Microclimates and Where the Sun Does Shine

Parklets holding firm. The Page on Page Street has live music in the afternoons, often outside.

The sun does shine and clothes can dry on the line in San Francisco, but you must keep your eyes on the weather, direction of the winds and have your fog meter on at all times.

That is The Quarterly Report –August 2023.

Photo Gallery of SF

The Quarterly Report – August 2023

The Quarterly Report – March 2023

The Quarterly Report: A brief synopsis of the news in San Francisco over the last three months.


There has been a lot of rain this year with “atmospheric rivers” coming in off the Pacific one after another like waves.  We once called these just “storms.” Now they are “atmospheric rivers” – which I kind of like. “Hey mommy what is that thing in the sky?  Don’t worry Junior. That’s just an “atmospheric river.” In between these deluges for a few days we get brilliant blue skies and the entire city of San Francisco seems to jump into their cars to do errands and shop for food until the next “atmospheric river” hits. What is different this year is that there has been a lot of thunder and lightning. For the first twenty years that I lived in San Francisco I heard thunder one time. This winter thunder and lightning has been  a regular thing.

In late February it got so cold the Bay Area received snow at the higher elevations. For over a week Mount Diablo was a snow-capped peak and briefly the Bay Area looked a little like Seattle.


Nothing to report on the San Francisco politics front. The usual urban problems persist but instead of the libertarian right blaming Chesa Boudin they are going after the Board of Supervisors for all the city’s problems.

He says it’s all those loons on the Board of Supervisors; it certainly has nothing to do with San Francisco’s 30-year string of establishment-friendly, pro-business, moderate mayors.
– Joe Eskenazi, Michael Moritz’s strange and terrible diagnosis of San Francisco (Mission Local)

Joe Eskenazi takes issue with Mr. Moritz

One of local online papers, the Mission Local had a piece by Joe Eskenazi titled   Michael Moritz’s strange and terrible diagnosis of San Francisco by (February 28, 2023). It takes apart a guest op-ed in the New York Times by Michael Moritz,  Even Democrats Like Me Are Fed Up With San Francisco

Joe Eskenazi’s article makes many good points, but it is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel starting with the title. It should really be “Even Billionaire Democrats Like Me Are Fed Up With San Francisco.” Michael Moritz is a billionaire venture capitalist and developer and states a party affiliation as Democrat only to score political points. He is surely a bit like Rick Caruso who switched from being a Republican to a Democrat only before he decided to run for mayor of Los Angeles. Money does speak volumes, even  evidently getting space in the New York Times.

At that time, warehouses and railroad yards occupied the area now known as Mission Bay — today the area houses one of the world’s leading medical centers, mixed-use housing, the home of the Golden State Warriors and Visa’s new world headquarters.
– Michael Moritz, Even Democrats Like Me Are Fed Up With San Francisco (NYT)

If you are a San Francisco native, what they did to Mission Bay is for some a disaster and others perhaps a mixed blessing. The area looks more like Los Angeles or San Jose. An area that had some small businesses and manufacturing is now a car-centric industrial park.  Most of the businesses that occupy the ground-level shops are of the corporate variety. Furthermore, Mission Bay is one of those places where the majority of the workers drive to work and park in behemoth parking garages. The Mariposa 280 exit is a disaster and an accident waiting to happen as the morning car commute is heavy. Mission Bay is  a car centric area. No thank you Moritz. And, no one pointed out the whole thing is on landfill. Not too long ago it was a bay and wetlands and what they built on was under ten feet of water. When things start to shake, things could tumble.

National Politics Quote to Chew On

She was the one who branded Ronald Reagan the “Teflon president,” against whom bad news, like the Iran-contra scandal, did not stick. Of Vice President Dan Quayle, she said, “He thinks that Roe versus Wade are two ways to cross the Potomac.”
Patricia Schroeder – New York Times Obit

I have always been a big fan of Pat Schroeder. She was an amazing woman with a sharp wit who wrote and passed legislation that people probably take for granted. She died on March 14, 2023. There are no feminists alive today  who have humorous and biting zingers like Pat churned out.

She had to fight blatant discrimination from the start, facing questions about how, as the mother of two young children, she could function as both a mother and a lawmaker. “I have a brain and a uterus and I use both,” she responded.
Patricia Schroeder – New York Times Obit

Sporting News

As the Golden State Warriors play five-hundred basketball, the playoffs are probably down the road and then all bets are off. I do not follow basketball until crunch-time. With all the rain and snow the ski season is going to go until the end of April and beyond. There will be snow in the mountains until late June. For much of the season the issue has been too much snow with roads often closed.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

In public places like busses and libraries masks seem to be common but people are out and about and traffic is definitely back to pre-pandemic times.

Parklets, Haircuts and Where the Sun Does Shine

Some parklets seem to be staying, usually on roads like Valencia Street that are north/south. Music events are everywhere. There are many really good bands in San Francisco. Remember to tip the band!

That is The Quarterly Report –March 2023.

Photo Gallery of SF

The Quarterly Report – March 2023

The Quarterly Report – December 2022

The Quarterly Report: A brief synopsis of the news in San Francisco over the last three months. Note: this is actually a six month synopsis as the October 2022 Quarterly Report was missed due to labor issues.


The November 6, 2022  San Francisco election outcomes were all predictable as the incumbents won easily.  Brooke Jenkins won the San Francisco D.A. job.  In terms of crime, drug overdoses and homelessness, not much has changed since Jenkins became the D.A.  save for the observation that Capp Street now seems to have more prostitution and a few more homeless camps.  A good friend who works at 850 Bryant Street  says that the jail is about as full as when Chesa Boudin was in charge.  Boudin was recalled because he came to the job with long term ideas and radical solutions that did not promote incarceration for non-violent offenders. Politically that is a hard road as people want quick fixes for things were quick fixes do not exist. There are no short term solutions to homelessness.

Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi had no significant challengers and so kept their jobs.

In San Francisco, one of the tragic and strange events of the past six months was the home invasion of the Pelosi residence. Paul Pelosi eventually got clobbered in the head with a hammer. Evidently we must all be wary (or have a security detail)  as there are all kinds of deranged people out there eating up the conspiracies brewing on the internet. To a speedy recovery Mr. Pelosi.

There has to be some adult supervision on the Republican side, in order to say, ‘Enough. Enough,”
Nancy Pelosi – November 2022

Proposition I – Vehicles on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway lost and Proposition J – Recreational Use of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park passed. So confusing! This means that Golden Gate Park’s John F. Kennedy Drive will remain car-free. After all that confusion, what is sometimes lost is the actual schedule for the Great Highway.

Starting at noon on Friday and going until 6 a.m. on Monday, The Great Highway is closed to cars.

The Great Highway in SF

Vehicular Access Schedule 
Vehicular access to the Upper Great Highway is open on:

Monday – starting at 6 a. m.
Tuesday – all day
Wednesday – all day
Thursday – all day
Friday – ending at 12 noon

This schedule started on August 16, 2021 and will be in place until the Board of Supervisors considers legislation on the future of the Great Highway beyond the pandemic emergency closure. Additional information can be found on the Mayor’s Press Release.

National Politics Quote to Chew On

By the way, Liz and I are not courageous. There’s no strength in this. We’re just surrounded by cowards. And then [in] complete contrast to cowardism [sic], it looks like courage when it’s just your bare duty.”
U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger – November 2022 from

Sporting News

Argentina won the World Cup against France in double overtime and penalties. It was an amazing World Cup and a perfect activity for some battling the latest round of colds, flu or COVID 19.

The San Francisco 49ers, with a great defense, a lot of stellar skill players on offence and a poised, talented, third string rookie quarterback named Brock Purdy are on an eight game winning streak and headed to the playoffs.  This will be fun to watch as everyone loves the home team when they start winning.


Fortunately we have been getting some good storms this year. The first came in mid-November and dumped a few feet of snow on the Sierra. In December, there have been multiple weather systems come through bringing plenty of rain. Surf is definitely up at times.

End of Year Point Arena Buoy Report. 35 foot waves. Yikes!

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

While San Francisco for the last two years been a place were people wear masks out of respect the pandemic does seem to be waning. In public places like busses and libraries masks seem to be common but people are out and about and traffic is definitely back to pre-pandemic times.

Parklets, Haircuts and Where the Sun Does Shine

Some parklets seem to be staying and music events are everywhere. There are many really good bands in San Francisco. Remember to tip the band!

That is The Quarterly Report – December 2022.

Photo Gallery of SF

The Quarterly Report – December 2022

The Quarterly Report – July 2022

The Quarterly Report: A brief synopsis of the news in San Francisco over the last three months.


Chesa Boudin was recalled and Mayor Breed has appointed a new District Attorney, Brooke Jenkins who was a major figure in the recall. Of course she will be under the microscope as all San Francisco district attorneys are and we shall see how the hot seat feels after a few weeks.  Let us see if homelessness and the opioid epidemic disappears. I will hold not my breath.  These issues have always been much larger than the D.A.. Meanwhile, people with serious mental health issues scream into the streetlights and live on the street in cardboard boxes. At some point the city of San Francisco should simply address issues of public safety and health. Creating more public drinking fountains and bathrooms would be a great start.

Sometime the unhoused simply burn down what is left.

Sidewalk in San Francisco once occupied with an unhoused person.
Sidewalk in San Francisco once occupied with an unhoused person.

Sporting News

The Golden State Warriors won the 2022 NBA title. Steph Curry with his three point shooting was in the end unstoppable and the team had too much depth.  Jordon Poole’s end of quarter three point buzzer beater shots must have been a bit much for the opposing teams.


Not much to report that is out of the ordinary. The typical cold summer weather pattern is upon us with foggy and windy conditions. So far there are some fires out to the west in the foothills of the Sierra but not as bad yet as years past. We have our fingers crossed.

Driving north into San Francisco by the airport. You see the fog often climb over Twin Peaks and into the city.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

While San Francisco for the last two years been a place were people wear masks out of respect the pandemic does seem to be waning. People are out and about and traffic is almost back to pre-pandemic times.

Parklets, Haircuts and Where the Sun Does Shine

Some parklets seem to be staying and music events are picking up. There are many really good bands in San Francisco. Remember to tip the band!

That is The Quarterly Report – July 2022.

Photo Gallery of SF

The Quarterly Report – July 2022

The Quarterly Report – March 2022

The Quarterly Report: A brief synopsis of the news in San Francisco over the last three months.

Quote of the week:

“Here’s what’s important to know: To get elected, the most any donor could give me was $500. Recalls are allowed to accept unlimited donations. That’s significant, because the single biggest contributor to the recall is a committee that has given about a $1.5 million so far. We’re not dealing with a grass-roots movement. We’re dealing with a small number of wealthy individuals, many of whom are national Republican major donors, who have financial interests in the real estate industry, in the gig economy and in using the police and the criminal-justice system to force aggressive displacement and gentrification so that their real estate investments can go up. ”
(Chesa Boudin from San Francisco’s D.A. Says Angry Elites Want Him Out of Office – NY Times)

San Francisco Politics

A recent recall dumped three people (School Board President Gabriela Lopez, Commissioner Faauuga Moliga and Commissioner Alison M. Collins)  from the School Board. Mayor London Breed will appoint three replacements for a term of about nine months and then there are elections all over again.  While everyone has issues with the people that were ousted, none had broken the law and all were legally elected officials. We live in a time of great impatience. Simply remember to vote next time and do your homework on the candidates. If your candidate loses, that is called democracy. Get over it.

Next on the recall block is the San Francisco D.A. Chesa Boudin, who was elect just a few years back.

Sporting News

The professional football season came and went with the LA Rams winning the Super Bowl. Our own San Francisco 49ers who beat the Rams many times in recent years had an amazing season, even going into a frigid Lambeau Field in Green Bay and winning with some strong defense. In the end the Niners just ran out of gas.  Deebo Samuel tried to carry the entire team on his back but in the end it is always a team sport.


December saw a very large storm that dumbed ten feet of snow in the Sierra. For the entire months of January and February the skies were clear, the temperatures were above average. It was glorious weather with stunning  sunsets and beach weather but one storm does not a San Francisco winter make.  Fortunately, now in early March we are getting a little rain. Not much, but better than nothing. The surfing for January and February was off the charts with many ten foot plus days and offshore winds.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

Indoor mask mandates are mostly in effect, however things just keep opening up. In the next few months people are being asked to return to offices.

Parklets, Haircuts and Where the Sun Does Shine

Parklets seem to be staying and music events are picking up. There are many really good bands in San Francisco. Remember to tip the band!

That is The Quarterly Report – March 2022.

Photo Gallery of SF

The Quarterly Report – March 2022

The Quarterly Report – November 2021

The Quarterly Report: A brief synopsis of the news in San Francisco over the last three months.

Quote of the week:

“Anti vaccine types are like people who wear shirts of a band who have no idea what that band sounds like.”
Anonymous (from a comment on the San Francisco Chronicle)

Sporting News

As the World Series ended with the Atlanta Braves winning over the Houston Astros in six games, the professional baseball season for the San Francisco Giants ended in the playoffs against the Los Angeles Dodgers on a ninth inning check swing. There is just something so wrong, ill-suited and anti-climatic about ended your season on a check swing. The Giant’s bats went to sleep in the end and when it comes to the playoffs you need to have hot bats and catch a few breaks. I don’t write the rules. That’s just the way life works. As of today, Buster Posey announces his retirement. So ends an era for the San Francisco Giants.

About a month ago, the seasons changed and the surf season started.  We now go through a sequence of glorious sunny days, with offshore winds and head-high surf to stormy weather to out of control 25 foot days. Winter surfing has arrived. Buy a new leash.

San Francisco Politics

Because of strange election laws San Francisco is in the process of having recall elections for both the District Attorney and the School Board. Talk about a really stupid system that opens up even more ways for big money to enter into politics. Let us simply vote people out of office when their terms ends if we do not like how they are doing their job. The recalls makes for an endless election cycle that is no good for anyone save the people with deep pockets.


Luckily, in mid-October we got pummeled by a large storm. This was the equivalent of dousing a campfire with a gallon of water. While the “fire-season” did not officially end then it sure did help. After a few more subsequent storms, there is even a little snow in the mountains.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

In San  Francisco the vaccine rates are above 80%. The streets and roads are returning to their pre-pandemic madness.  We even see the Google Buses are back. What short memories we humans have.


Parklets, Haircuts and Where the Sun Does Shine

And the sun does shine now as the summer fog usually has disappeared.  Unfortunately the parklets are slowly disappearing as things return to normal. Speaking with business owners, the common complaint is that the city is difficult to deal with concerning the parklets and the cost is exorbitant. Too bad as the parklets are generally a really cool idea and makes for more spaces for musicians to perform.

And many of the “slow streets” are being opened for cars. OK everyone. Go out there and drive around, cart your kids off to the fancy schools make money and burn up this planet!!!

That is The Quarterly Report – November 2021. Be well. If you have not already got your vaccine time to get the jab. Do it for grandma. Drink plenty of water, get regular exercise and for the love of God stay away from “social media.”

Photo Gallery of SF

The Quarterly Report – July 2021

Quote of the week:

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
Lily Tomlin

The photo above is the cement factory in San Francisco.  I finally figured this out after years of just admiring the cool mural. When there is a road getting repaved the cement trucks line up like ants.


All you can say about the weather these days is “good grief!”  Most of the American West is burning up (over a 110 degrees in Portland, Oregon) and summer fires building, We recently got out of town for a weekend and headed to the Sierra and Donner Summit. The lakes are a bit warmer than usual and make for great swimming. Driving back we left the mountains at 80 degrees, drove past Sacramento were it got up to 103 then arrived in a foggy San Francisco were it was was but 55. Two hours of driving and a 50 degree change in temperature. San Francisco has been quite cold and windy this summer, with the marine layer bringing in the cold ocean air and fog.  When we get a little sun, we often go outside at the opportune times and soak up the rays.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

Since June 15th the mask mandate has been lifted in San Francisco, though in my neighborhood most people still don their masks while walking down the street. We are somewhat back to pre-pandemic activities. Unfortunately, the traffic has also picked up so the drive times have increased. What a joy it was to drive from San Francisco to your friend in Oakland and get there in 15 minutes. Now that same drive is often 45 minutes. Even the Google buses are back running their routes. Nothing lasts forever.

Google buses have returned

Parklets, Haircuts and Where the Sun Does Shine

One of the endearing changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is the rise of the parklet.  I have always enjoyed eating outside as there is something about the fresh air that makes eating more enjoyable. Even if it is bit chilly, just having the sun shining down makes the food taste better.

One of the debates in San Francisco is whether the parklets should stay.  I say “why not?”

Sporting News

It is now after the All-Star break and for some strange reason the San Francisco Giants are in first place in the National League West and Oakland A’s are just a few games back in their division.  The NBA has perhaps a few games left and the Milwaukee Bucks are up 3-2 in the finals. The Summer Olympics in Japan are a strange exercise in how not to put on an international sporting event during the pandemic. It is an exercise on how optimism can be  dangerous.

That is The Quarterly Report – July 2021. Be well. If you have not already got your vaccine time to get the jab. Do it for grandma. Drink plenty of water, get regular exercise and for the love of God stay away from “social media.” Read books.

Photo Gallery of SF

The Quarterly Report – May 2021

This SF Journal Quarterly Report for May 2021 is brought to you by Chile Lindo Empanadas. Located on 16th Street, Chile Lindo is a great place to get a taste of how the Mission District in San Francisco was before the tech invasion. Great empanadas, beer and wine and live music. See the San Francisco Live Music Calendar for times and dates.

News of Plundering

“There are two modes of invading private property; the first by which the poor plunder the rich… sudden and violent; the second, by which the rich plunder the poor, slow and legal.”
JOHN TAYLOR, An inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States (1814)


The last SF Journal Quarterly Report stated: “In San Francisco there has been a fair amount of rain in the last month. With over 200 inches of snowfall in many parts of the Sierra, for another year we can enjoy all that amazing, clean fresh water.”

We would like to update this weather report. While it is true that there was snow in the mountains, on further analysis it has been determined that we are in a drought. The big storms did not arrive and the snowpack is way down. This does not bode well for the upcoming fire season which evidently has started in May and will then run through to maybe November. All I can say is “good grief!” In a coming year we may see a drought were there is actually no rain at all. It is bound to happen.

It is May 15, 2021 and along the coast the fog is thick and the northwest winds howl. Welcome to summer in San Francisco.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

Another inaccurate prediction from the last SF Journal Quarterly Report was “I predict once Kaiser starts a vaccination program, things will move quickly. ” If your idea of getting a vaccine means driving for an hour and a half across the state, that was the Kaiser model. Kaiser completely dropped the ball if you ask me. The pandemic has laid bare how a for-profit health care system and the lack of a public heath care system and made it so battling a pandemic virus is problematic. As usual just follow the money and you will see what is really going. I got my Moderna vaccines courtesy of the San Francisco Department of Public Heath in the small parking lot behind the El Chico Produce.  Kaiser Permanente is not about public health. If it was they would have dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic differently.

The National Political Scene

Kudos to Liz Cheney for attempting to call a spade a spade and calling out the “big lie.”  Of course it comes about five years too late. While her dad Dick Cheney was a master of disinformation and treachery it is best to take individuals on their own merit.  You really have to wonder what was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. How for four years Liz Cheney played along with Donald Trumps lies.  Perhaps the cover is that there are plenty of other Republicans, surely some who embraced the Lincoln Project, who are forming perhaps another party.  Time will tell but it is fitting that it was a woman who was taken down for standing up to the wealthy white guys. For some women at least, there is no price tag for a clear conscience.

That is The Quarterly Report – February 2021. Be well. Wear a mask if you have not already got your vaccine. Drink plenty of water, get regular exercise and for the love of God stay away from “social media.” Read books.

Photo Gallery of SF

The Quarterly Report – February 2021

This SF Journal Quarterly Report once again is brought to you by Gentilly and Taqueria Guadalajara, both excellent options for take out dining in the Excelsior District of San Francisco. Taqueria Guadalajara on Mission Street and Onondaga  (4798 Mission St San Francisco) makes the best burrito in San Francisco with the added benefit that one carnitas super will feed a family of four.

Apologies to the many readers who have written in complaining about the tardiness of this Quarterly Report. There were so many distractions: the pandemic, the unruly mob, incited by Donald Trump, storming the capital,  the inaugurations of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and the amazing run-off election in Georgia. One thing is certain with all the craziness on the national political scene is that it has made for a lot of new words into the public discourse, my favorite of which is  sedition. Sedition is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary  as “incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.”  Evidently, with the acquittal of Donald Trump on February 13, 2021,  forty-three Republican United States Senators seem to not understand the meaning of sedition.


In San Francisco there has been a fair amount of rain in the last month. With over 200 inches of snowfall in many parts of the Sierra, for another year we can enjoy all that amazing, clean fresh water.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

In San Francisco they are rolling out COVID-19 vaccines to many front-line workers and people over sixty-five. Places like the City College parking lot and the Moscone Center are being used for the vaccine roll out.  I predict once Kaiser starts a vaccination program, things will move quickly. The pandemic has laid bare how a for-profit health care system and the lack of a public heath care system and made it so battling a pandemic virus is problematic. As usual just follow the money and you will see what is really going.

Willie Brown Retires from the Chronicle

One of the interesting op-ed writers for the last decade in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle was from the former California Speaker of the House and former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown. Love him or hate him, Willie seemed to always have the inside scoop on what was going down in the world of politics. He always seemed to be someone who could figure out a way to either solve a problem of get out of a sticky spot. Willie Brown retired from his post at the Chronicle in January 2021. We will miss his man-on-the-street,  reporting the sage advice of cab drivers and homeless people on his many daily excursions. How will we ever know what is going on?

Sporting News

For the citizens of San Francisco there are many street closures to facilitate places to be outside and exercise. People are out and about, running, biking and skating. I predict that there are more kids that have learned how to ride a bike in the last nine months than in the last five years as you see them out on the Great Highway enjoying the 4 mile stretch of flat, open road with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

In January there was an epic run of huge swell that made it so Mavericks in Half Moon Bay was breaking for weeks. To get a sense of what this means you only have to watch a few videos of Peter Mel taking off on these massive waves.

That is The Quarterly Report – February 2021. Be well. Wear a mask. Drink plenty of water, get regular exercise and for the love of God stay away from “social media.” Read books.

The Quarterly Report – October 2020

This SF Journal Quarterly Report is brought to you by Gentilly and Taqueria Guadalajara, both excellent options for take out dining in the Excelsior District of San Francisco.

I am a little concerned about the concept of a Quarterly Report as the world is moving far to fast.  Since the last Quarterly Report, entire cities in California have been burned to the ground, we discovered Donald Trump paid just $750 in Federal Income Taxes for two years while pretending to be president and while getting exceptional health care on the people’s dime, and the baseball season came and went like a beer fart that thankfully did not even register on the air quality meter.  But a plan is a plan, and here is The Quarterly Report – October 2020.


Whether or not you “believe” in climate change or not, California during September 2020 was literally on fire, with massive fires up and down the state. There were fires in Boulder Creek close to Santa Cruz, in the Sierra and north in wine country.  After some freakish dry lightening strikes in September, there were so many fires going on at the same time that you simply  lost track. For many days San Francisco was dark with smoke and the air quality was at dangerous levels across the state.  One Tuesday morning we woke up to a day where the sun never rose. The sky was an eerie orange. We were told the sky was similar to what it would be like if you survived a nuclear explosion – a nuclear winter.

11 am in San Francisco - September 2020
11 AM  in San Francisco – September 2020

While the expression that people “believe” in climate change (like it was some sort of religious epiphany)  always has seemed odd, all I know is that this is “the new normal.”  The climate is changing in more ways than we can even measure. The survival of the human species is quite dire.

Early October was fortunately a bit cooler with a lot of marine-layer and fog along the coast, but starting around October 7th we have entered our “Indian Summer” period with warm days and light winds. Many people are heading to the beach to cool off, swim and surf. This is the best time of year in Northern California.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

In San Francisco we are doing pretty well in terms of containing the virus. People wear masks and practice social distancing in creative ways. Restaurants have adapted and there are many new “parklets” outside of establishments where people can eat.  A few places are hiring bands to play as well. Even though all the public schools are doing online classes, people are getting out and the hum of freeway is about back to normal.

Presidential Politics

Most everyone in San Francisco seems to be holding their breath hoping that the Biden-Harris ticket wins come November. It is shocking that so many people in the United States of America support Donald Trump as he has always seemed a dangerous fraud from the start. Let us hope that this nightmare ends and in the least we can have some civility in the national discourse. Then there is all the actual work to be done – climate change, racial justice,  education equity, the state department. The list is long. Where to start?

Sporting News

The Oakland A’s made it to the playoffs in this shortened season but lost in the second round. Someone mentioned that there are professional football games being played but that is all I know on that front. It sounds like a really bad idea as football tends to be a sport where bodily fluids are exchanged on a regular basis.


For the citizens of San Francisco there are many street closures to facilitate places to be outside and exercise. People are out and about, running, biking and skating. I predict that there are more kids that have learned how to ride a bike in the last nine months than in the last five years as you see them out on the Great Highway enjoying the 4 mile stretch of flat, open road with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.


That is The Quarterly Report – October 2020. Be well. Wear a mask. Drink plenty of water, get regular exercise and for the love of God stay away from “social media.” Read books.

The Quarterly Report – July 2020

The motto of this fine publication is “Slow News that Doesn’t Break.” While you may be able to learn the latest tidbits and disjointed morsels and turds from places like Twitter and Facebook, at the San Francisco Journal you get “Slow News that Doesn’t Break.” I ventured onto Twitter the other day to promote a piece of writing and was a bit disgusted with the whole ethos of the place.  Grown adults shouting at each other like carnival barkers, writing incoherent phases like some deranged, mentally ill  person outside your window in the middle of the night howling at the streetlight.

The San Francisco Journal Quarterly Report comes out four times a year, and  tries to give an overview of the state of things in San Francisco. No need to be a news junkie around here.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

The shelter in place order started on March 16th. On July 1, we will have been sheltering in place for 107 days. People are starting to get out and about and as of June 15, we are in Phase 2b which means a few things are open. It is still pretty much shut down mode.

Black Lives Matter Demonstrations

Since the disturbing murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, there have been many demonstrations all around the Bay Area. On June 3rd we went to a large demonstration against police brutality at Mission High. Great speakers. Great group of demonstrators. After the speeches we marched West on 17th Street up to the Castro, took a right on Castro Street then down 15th Street. We left the entourage when we got to Valencia Street. Not reported by the big news outlets is that when the demonstration ended at 650 Bryant, the City Jail and Court House a rather large papermache head of Donald Trump was set on fire in the middle of the street. The police simply stood and watched. What was interesting is that throughout most of the march and especially at Dolores Park there were no signs of police. No one was hurt. No violence erupted. Very calm and peaceful with everyone wearing masks.

With the Vietnam war in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s it took the six-o-clock news and reporters embedded with the troops taking shocking images of innocent villages been napalmed and bombed to rouse the public to protest. War atrocities surely still go on but they have been hidden from our view.  What is not hidden from our view, and what people document by video on their phones on a daily basis is police killing black people. This, at least for now, the government cannot censor.

June 3, 2020 Police Brutality Protest outside of Mission High

Photos of San Francisco During the Pandemic

For the past 100 days I have often ventured out on bicycle and ride 20 miles or so around the city. Sometimes I take “The Wiggle,” other times I explore other parts of the city. I have been taking photos along the way.

With restaurants closed they will often board board up their windows. Many places then go the extra mile and create art. Here are some of my favorites.

Some photos of biking and San Francisco during the last 100 days.

Sporting News

No NBA, MLB and other professional sports at this time. There are some rumblings that the MLB will start up in July but time will tell. People are getting out more it seems – hiking parks, cycling and surfing (even though it is not surf season) are very popular.


June is the beginning of the foggy season in San Francisco. The temperatures usually are from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. We get strong northwest winds with higher pressure over the ocean and lower pressure over land in the central valley. This brings about increasingly persistent west to northwest winds during the spring months that go until the Indian Summer of September. It is always reassuring when this weather pattern returns, even though after months of fog and winds it gets pretty relentless. Of course the quote often used to describe San Francisco in the summer is thought to be one by Mark Twain: “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” However, another that seems more in keeping with our times is:

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
– Mark Twain

The Quarterly Report – April 2020

COVID-19 and the Coronavirus

It is no surprise that the San Francisco Journal The Quarterly Report – April 2020, leads with the global Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. This is “slow news that doesn’t break,”  and this pandemic will be around for a while. In San Francisco the self-isolation order started around Monday, March 16. Those who are employed in the world of the internet have a huge advantage over those that work in close distances to people. Being able to get paid to work from home is a privilege.

While we have not had to lay off any of the staff at the San Francisco Journal, the toilet paper ran out a few days ago so we are using facial tissue in all bathrooms at the main facility.  Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Besides that, it has been rather pleasant with mild temperatures and incredible sunsets for days on end.

Some of the things that I have noticed as everything slows down.

  • The city is quieter. All that white noise bouncing around the concrete jungle is less.
  • Fewer planes overhead. The sky is clear of that traffic.
  • Families are going out for walks together.
  • Neighbors are getting to know each other from afar.
  • No street cleaning tickets and the street cleaning trucks seem to be mostly in the barn.

7 Things to do while self-isolating

The only way to approach self-isolation, if you have a roof over your head and plenty of food  is to look at it as an opportunity not a setback.  You will no longer be in a hurry to run out the door to get to that work, social engagements or jury duty. Instead, it is possible to think of all the things you would do if you had three months with no commitments. Here are a few ideas:

  1. If you have a musical instrument in the house, learn how to play it. Maybe it is your clarinet that you tried out in middle school that is deep in you closet. Maybe it is a harmonic in the drawer of your desk. There are many online resources. Hire a local musician to teach you via video-conferencing.
  2. Fix something in your house. I was able to refurbish a bathroom scale that we picked up out of the trash ten years ago. Some sand paper and a can for white spray paint did the job. What is great about this scale is that it is always at least five pounds less than the actual weight. This will come in handy.
  3. Read a book. What a strange idea.
  4. Take up long distance running. Indeed running is something you can do during a pandemic like this. Start with a few miles and build up to twenty or thirty miles per day.
  5. Study any cookbooks you have around and make a dish out of stuff you have left around the house. Great way to get rid of food that you may have never eaten anyway.
  6. Listen to some music buried deep in a closet in your house. Could be the radio,  old cassette tapes, a CD or perhaps some vinyl albums. Listen from start to finish. Do nothing else.
  7. Clean out your dresser and go through your sock drawer. (OK. Now I am getting desperate. )

Photos from March 2020, Before Self-Isolation

Redwood City put on some Fat Tuesday events. Great celebration. Also some photos of Los Compas at El Rio.

Technologies from science fiction books, television shows and movies in the 1960s and 70s – ones that came to fruition and ones that did not

It is interesting that during this pandemic we have the crutch of digital technology. Some of these concepts seemed unbelievable fifty years ago. Many will never become a reality. Here is a list of future technological notions  from popular culture fifty years ago and whether they came to fruition.

  • Get Smart’s mobile phone in his shoe –  While our cellphones are not in our shoes this has happened.
  • Video conferencing with aliens such as Klingons. – While my relatives are not Klingons sometimes their behavior on ZOOM conferences seems alien.
  • Beaming people from a spaceship thousands of miles down to the planet like they did on Star Trek. – Has not happened. I do not have confidence that this will ever happen. We are struggling with high-speed rail, beaming people. Not going to happen.
  • Telling a speaker what music to play and having them choose music. – I remember Jean-Luc Picard requesting music on Star Trek by asking some listening device to play him Bach or something. This is now a reality if you are into having some creepy corporation listening on everything you say.
  • Individual tiny airplanes that are used for commuting as in the Jetsons – This has not happened though there are now a lot of new transportation devices popping up. Electric bicycles, electric scooters and skateboards. A personal flying contraption. Actually not a very good idea to begin with.


When the social-distancing  began in San Francisco a few weeks back, the weather became calm and tranquil, sort of like how it gets during Indian summers in the late fall. For a while people flocked to the beaches and did their social distancing in the sand and waves. The surf at Ocean Beach was very good and lovely with a week of very small yet clean surf.  It is now raining which is always welcome this time of year.

The Sierra mountains had a very dry February and a little snow in March. By the end of March a good storm showed up that dropped about 40 inches of snow above 6000 feet. Unfortunately around that time the resorts had to close because of the pandemic. Not sure it would even be a good idea to do backcountry at this point.

Sporting News

All sports are called off until further notice. Go for a bike ride or a run.

The Quarterly Report – January 2020

It is pretty much the same old story in San Francisco since the last Quarterly Report. Always good to look both ways when crossing roads in this town, even when the street is a one-way. Chesa Boudin did win the election for District Attorney and did lay off a few attorneys which got some people all wound up. Kimberley Guilfoyle , the former wife of Governor Gavin Newsom had an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle titled San Francisco’s dangerous new DA . The title pretty much sums up the article.

For criminals, actions should have consequences. That will also be true in 2020 at the ballot box when voters are provided a choice between protecting law and order or protecting criminals. Kimberly Guilfoyle – senior adviser to Donald J. Trump for President Inc.

Indeed! Let’s protect law and order! Criminals such as Donald Trump should be prosecuted according to the letter of the law starting with the United States Constitution. If this were the case, Trump will be in jail very soon.

What Guilfoyle leaves out of the article is Chesa Boudin’s fight to turn around the chronic incarceration of “people of color.”  Chesa Boudin’s swearing in ceremony evidently was amazing in that people of all walks of life attended and the speeches were superb.

One of the topics that Guilfoyle noted in her op-ed was “Boudin seeks to end the prosecution of what he deems “quality of life crimes,” including public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, and blocking a sidewalk.” This is an absurd comment. San Francisco presently does not prosecute these crimes anyway – public camping and urination is not new to these parts and I have never seen these prosecuted save for one time when the police did a clearing of an entire tent city under Interstate 280.


Fortunately the rain arrived before Thanksgiving which helped to put out the forest fires. It has continued to rain and the Sierra snow-pack is about normal. There is plenty of very good skiing in the mountains. The surf has often been very good but quite big for weeks on end.

Sporting News

Being a fair-weather fan, I must say it pretty difficult not to be drawn into the NFL post season games when the home team is winning.  The San Francisco 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl after dominating both the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers in the playoffs. They play the Kansas City Chiefs on February 2nd.

We took in the 49er – Vikings game from a bar called “Old 40” at Donner Ski Ranch. In attendance were a variety of folk – families, retired folk and ski bums. One fine ski bum insisted that my beer was always filled with his pitcher that he often tasked me with guarding the pitcher whenever he left to relieve himself. It is always fun to enjoy a game with strangers when the home team wins.

The Club and Arts Scene

There are still a lot of places in San Francisco to hear live music, however another venue will be closing. The club Amnesia on Valencia Street is calling it quits. The rent is too high. It is an unsustainable business model. And so it goes.

The Quarterly Report – October 2019

As the news cycle gets even shorter and shorter but justice and real change seem to take longer and longer,  and identity politics rules the day, here is your “slow news” report. In actuality, most news today is simply distraction and entertainment controlled by fewer and fewer very wealthy players. That people use social media as a news source is unfortunate and simply a “school for scandal. ” When high ranking officials actually go to jail that is news. When large icebergs fall off a  Greenland glacier that is news. When PG&E shuts off power to 300,000 people that is news. Otherwise, it all seems to be conjecture and a circus.


“I get the news I need on the weather report”
– Paul Simon – The Only Living Boy In New York

Late September and early October the Indian Summer snuck up on us folks in San Francisco. It is that magical time before the winter rains when the days are still long enough to surf either before work or after work.  The light is often golden and there is a peacefulness in the air. It is reassuring with all the uncertainty in the world that the seasons go on unchanged.

The first weekend of October is the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate park. There was not too much bluegrass  as Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs are all under ground and the booking committee seems to turn a deaf ear on the local young pickers – why A.J Lee and Blue Summit, Front Country never get a spot is just strange. Instead of bluegrass there was a lot of rock and roll, folk, Alabama soul and even some Americana jazz. An all-woman mariachi band from New York played as well. All together I saw 17 shows and will give a run down in a future post.


“Make sure you have the record player on.”
– Joe Biden ( at a Democratic Party Debate)

There is little to report on the political front. That Joe Biden is into turntables and record players was news to me. I agree completely with Joe. Get off your cellphone and your selfies and check out the whole vinyl experience. It will slow you down a bit and definitely improve your mental health.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill making it so presidential candidates will be required to submit the last five years of their taxes in order to appear on the state primary ballot. The Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act requires a candidate for president or California governor to file copies of their Internal Revenue Service filings for the most recent five years at least 98 days ahead of the primary election. Sounds like a good idea. Why would someone running for  the highest office in the land have any financial matters to hide. If they need to hide stuff, they probably should not run for office. The bill was immediately held up in court by the Trump lawyers.

On Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 there will be an election in San Francisco. One of the seats is for District Attorney. The San Francisco Journal is endorsing  Chesa Boudin for District Attorney 2019. Chesa Boudin parents (dad, still in jail) were in The Weather Underground, the radical political group in the early 70’s. Chesa is a very smart guy who is a good speaker, well read and knows what he is talking about and qualified to be District Attorney. He has lived the criminal justice system his entire life visiting his parents in prison.  Some of his major ideas is getting rid of cash bail. I met Chesa at a house party and was very impressed. Hope he gets the gig. Vote November 5th – Chesa Boudin for District Attorney.

Chesa Boudin’s Platform


There is only cryin’ in baseball
– Paul Lyons

In the San Francisco Bay Area the baseball season ended abruptly when the Oakland A’s choked in a one game playoff against the Tampa Devil Rays. For the Oakland A’s the last twenty years this seems to be the standard procedure. Play very well in the regular season. Win almost 100 games. Go to the playoffs. Lose in the first round.

The San Francisco Giants, by the All-Star break, never had a chance. Their manager Bruce Bochy who won three World Series with the team retired to a standing ovation.

I do not follow American football so you will have to ask someone else about that stuff. Grown men running into each other smashing each others skulls seems like a fool’s errand.

Sporting News

The biking is fantastic. The surfing is starting to come together. For the last two weeks, there has been a very small swell in the water and the winds have been light, especially in the morning.  A larger swell is due by the end of next week.

That is the The Quarterly Report – October 2019.

The San Francisco Quarterly Report – March 2019


Since the last report there has been extreme weather. Late in 2018 a fire season began that was massive. Whole neighborhoods in Santa Rosa burned to the ground. The city of Paradise in the Sierra foothills burned to the ground. There were massive fires in southern California and all up and down the coast. In San Francisco the smoke was so thick you had to wear a mask to breath outside. From San Francisco, Oakland was not visible.

Then on Thanksgiving Day the rains came and it was a gift from the heavens. Since then the rain and storm dump on the Sierra. Snow-pack is at 150% of normal. For people who like to hike up to the tops of mountains and ski down – that activity will be available until the end of June. We are just now beginning to dry out.


Governor Jerry Brown has retired and been replaced with the former mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom. Jerry Brown has been a great public servant, and we will miss his generally good judgement, candid sense of humor, honesty and fiscal skills – why Republicans get the moniker of being fiscal conservatives when they always drive federal and state governments in to debt is strange.  Jerry leaves Governor with money in the bank. We know that with Gavin, at least we now have a Governor with way better hair but certainly less brains. Let us pray that Gavin uses good judgement. We know he has no sense of humor.

Sporting News

I do not pay attention of professional sports so this is about the local sports. The skiing is fantastic, there is plenty of snow. Biking is off the charts when you can hit a clear day after a rain, 50 degree weather. Great light.  Light winds. The surfing is off the charts with many head-high and overhead days with off-shore winds and long period swells.

Surf in Norther California – 2019

San Francisco Construction Boom

A few photos of San Francisco and the changing skyline. Building all over town is extensive. The new Warriors stadium is looking like it is on schedule. Warehouses are being torn down. Condos are being built in record time.

Below are the new buildings around 3rd Street. The Warriors new stadium is almost done. UCSF has an entire campus. Kaiser and a lot of medical, pharmaceutical and biotech companies abound. Not a single corner store anywhere in sight but massive concrete parking garages for all the wealthy professionals driving in from Marin and Walnut Creek.

The Quarterly Report – September 2018

As the news-cycle screams forward with ever-more velocity, here is your San Francisco quarterly report – a condensed look at all the really important things going on around San Francisco over the last three months. Perhaps this sounds presumptuous, but I think as a species we often have a difficulty slowing down and observing and taking note of what is going on around us and documenting these events and changes.

San Francisco elected London Breed as new mayor. She is the first African-American woman to be mayor. So far so good, but her election was one were the progressive side of the San Francisco Democratic party was left eating their lunch. As often the case, some pretty clever politicking ruled the day as Ron Conway surely pulled some switches with some big cash and clever strategies. Often in politics if there is no news that is good news and people are simply doing their jobs but you never know. It will be interesting to see how long the big open smile on London’s face will keep smiling. City politics always gets controversial in San Francisco but things are pretty much the status-quo. Homelessness everywhere. The Tenderloin full of junkies and shopping carts for storage and portable closets. Skyscrapers leaning evermore one direction and lots of cranes all over the place building condos and stadiums.  The Golden State Warriors stadium is being built in record time. Seemingly two feet above sea level and that place will have a shelf-life of twenty years or until the next iceberg melts.

The usual op-ed writers dig into familiar positions. The latest is Tim Redmond bashing Heather Knight.  I think that what really needs to happen is for BART executives to draw straws to get the job of cleaning the 16th Street BART station for a year . That would get people a bit more focused at the top and they could make a reality TV show about the whole thing and make millions. They could call it “Strange Smells” or “Altered States of Vomit.”

The fire season was pretty much on fire this summer. There were so many fires you kind of lost track. I am wondering if the next time I go up to Lake County there will be any trees left at all. I am sure there are still burns going on now as it has not rained yet. A few months ago, in San Francisco you would wake up in the morning to white ash dust sprinkled lightly all over your car. This is getting so common now that you hardly think twice about it.

We are heading into our Indian Summer weather but so far the North West winds have continued to blow and we have had just a few warm days. It really is anyone’s guess what kind of rain we get this year. I have always been of the mind that our water supply comes down to five really good storms that last about three days each and dump all that snow up in the Sierra. This happened in January 2017 but last year was pretty dry overall. Mother nature does always bat last even though we think we are omnipotent, she always has her way in the end.

Speaking of batting, while the San Francisco Giants are almost in last place the ever-scrappy Oakland A’s are looking to be heading to some sort of playoff birth. I have not followed them this year but, being the fair-weather fan I am, will watch and root for them down the stretch. Barry Zito do you still have that curve ball?

Tech Industry and Google Buses
Here they are. A gaggle of Google buses. In the mornings they leave. In the evenings they return, pushing there way back into the city. Raising the rents and making it impossible for people not on the same pay-scale to live San Francisco. I hear this sort of tech-commuting is happening in other cities as well.

Here is a gallery of Google buses for those who are interested on what they look like up close. What is interesting is that they have no advertising on the sides. Sort of ironic as most the people in the buses are in the end working to market and sell something. You would think they would have the imagination to leverage the situation but then again perhaps they prefer to try to be incognito. Pretty sneaky.

Sunsets are Beginning
One of the things that keeps people living in this golden state are the sunsets. The fog is starting to push back and we are starting to get those great autumn golden colors and magical light with its sharp, crisp shadows. Hopefully by the next report I can talk about all the great rain storms we will be getting.

Until then.

News from San Francisco – Quarterly Report

The Weather

While the rest of the country is experiencing some pretty strange weather with the Hurricanes in the south and the cold in the north, here in San Francisco we have had two weeks of heat. While the heat records were broken in early September, the heat has not really subsided. Presently it is pretty muggy out there and as I write this I hear thunder and see lighting, both pretty infrequent in San Francisco on the coast.

Two weekends ago, starting September 1, the temperature rose to over 105 degrees and set all-time heat records for San Francisco and fortunately the waves at the coast were only about 3 feet high. The beach was packed and little kids were jumping and playing in the waves. Probably a weekend they will never forget. You could surf without a wetsuit and many went out simply for a swim in the ocean just to cool down. Try that in January my friends.


Construction and More Construction

While the tearing down of warehouses and the building of modern luxury condos continues at an alarming rate, everyone is simply trying to figure out how long it will take to finish the top of the Salesforce tower. This tower looms large and is visible from all over the city, but the top, last tip is taking forever to complete. What are they debating? Circumcised or uncircumcised? All glass or steel plates? Flags or no flags? Whatever happens no-doubt Mark Benioff will be up there peering down upon the hospital named after him and the rest of the city and thinking up new ways to leverage all the customer data he has in the vaults.

The Old-time San Francisco Does Exist

Contrary to many old salts, the old bohemian edge does still exist, you just have to know where to look. Most of the techies are oblivious to some of the amazing music talent in this town. You simply have to know where to go. Apologies to those looking for advice on the matter, as I like the places just as crowded as they already are – filled with old friends.

News from San Francisco

People are making some sick money around here! I was walking down the street in SOMA and all these hundred and thousand dollar bills came flying out of  this Audi sports car and they just keep driving.

— Anonymous conversation overheard on the streets of San Francisco – 2017

The tents with the homeless surviving inside sort of move around and play musical chairs with the freeway on-ramps. That has not changed in the last 5 years. The road repair in San Francisco sometimes means that the streets start talking another language, especially when riding a bike.

What road repair can do to messages..

The season has turned from spring to  summer.  The fog is beginning to roll in and we head to the coast only at opportune times. Morning low tide is the best in the summer. If you land in San Francisco at SFO and head north up Interstate 101 in the afternoon, during summer the fog will dance with hills like two tango dancers. An amazing sight. Gives you hope that the house is not completely burning down. If the heat becomes unbearable out there on the plains, you can cool down here on the coast. Like winter in the Midwest a time to watch the weather report and nourish the few sunny days. By July 4th the fireworks will as usual be obscured by the fog.

Below are some photos from March and April 2017…

  • The parking lots are falling into the ocean. This is from March when the waves were better.
  • Two pickers at Sunday Streets on Valencia
  • People are making some much money around here, I was walking down the street and all these thousand dollar bills came flying out of Audi sports car.
  • Radio Havana on Valencia
  • Looking down Ocean