Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Blight" on Hayes from the Harding Theater?

The debate over the future of the Harding Theater is heating up again, and there are still some pretty sharp divides between the property owner and some folks in the community. At the Planning Commission last week, the owner presented a new design that conserves the theater (but not all of the backstage).

One neighbor protested against the "blight" from leaving the theater abandoned. I decided to check it out and decide for myself. Here are a few shots from Hayes Street (showing the "fly loft" that would be eliminated and where the eight units of housing would go). With grafitti on not just one but three signs, and the chain link fence, and the hulking Clear Channel billboard, I have to agree that the owner's not taking care of the property.

Then there's the pile of black trash bags and a dusty black truck with flat tires.

Yet no matter how neglected the property, it's still going to be difficult to bring the Harding Theater back to life. Too bad, since performing groups need more mid-sized stages, and the Western Addition is poorly served (notwithstanding the recent renovation of the African-American Arts and Cultural Complex).

The bright spot for my visit was finding that the corner (Hayes @ Divis) has been cleared of a low-hanging Clear Channel billboard (recently wheatpasted by "uppity bike commuters").
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Presidio Parkway underway

The impending transformation of Doyle Drive into the Presidio Parkway has generated a fair amount of local press. Earth-moving and tree-cutting began this month. Starting in early 2010 and lasting for a year, a detour will affect the traffic shown in the center of this picture, where the small, green railing is visible: the direct connection from northbound Hwy 1 to eastbound Doyle Drive. That connection is to be closed, and motorists wanting to make that connection will leave Hwy 1 closer to the bridge and circle around in that area to get back onto Doyle Drive southbound. Marin motorists and Golden Gate Bridge officials are freaking out. This is a $1 billion dollar CalTrans project, and Ghilotti Brothers received a contract for work during the first phase.
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Big trees, small people

Watching these workers in the Presidio yesterday reminds me just how small we are next to a 100+ foot tall tree. In the top picture, a worker hangs from a rope attached to a crane and cuts limbs from a monterey cypress just east of the stables. Below, you'll need to click to enlarge to see another worker, who apparently carried his climbing and cutting gear up this enormous eucalyptus just west of 101/south of Doyle Drive.
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Steven's Creek & Mountain View bike trip

Great weather last week for our bike trip. We took Caltrain to Mountain View and then rode on Steven's Creek trail to the Bay shore trails.
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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Goodbye to neighborhood palm

This big palm tree will be gone soon, apparently, so that the (future?) residents of this Broderick Street house will have off-street parking.
I wonder, does a palm like that go on the market or does it go straight into the chipper?
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