July 4th in the City

San Francisco FireworksLooking toward the Alcatraz side of the San Francisco Bay is the best place in the country to spend the evening of July 4th.  Sure, other towns have music and fireworks and food, but this City has magic.  Try for Coit Tower or one of the footbridges into Pier 39, early, because there will be crowds. Happy crowds.  Dancing and singing crowds.   If you’re able-bodied, park near Fort Mason or even in one of the garages near Union Square and walk to your favorite high ground for viewing.  Roads get closed, buses and cable cars get full after the fireworks, so you’ll need to be able to walk some blocks to a taxi stand or back to your car or just stay with the street party at Fisherman’s Wharf a little later.

Oh yeah, and if you want to eat out during that weekend, make your reservations today.

Fantasy SF Driving

YouTube has a thrilling video of a race car driver doing his thing on miraculously empty streets of San Francisco.  If this is your fantasy, probably I’ve seen you early mornings in my neighborhood when I’m trying to walk to BART.  You’re the car that gets airborne coming over the hill, which looks like great fun for you, although maybe I’d like to remind you that my street is actually a neighborhood.  People live here.  We actually use the crosswalks.  I’m just sayin.

Live the ultimate urban driving fantasy from the safety of YouTube video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuDN2bCIyus

Rebuilt Landmark

Don’t you wish your landmark birthday could arrive with taxpayer-provided reconstructive surgery, a gigantic party and a world-class light show?  Forget about it, unless you’re the San Francisco Bay Bridge, of course.  The many-setbacks-public-works-boondoggle project is drawing to a close, with an Opening Ceremony scheduled for Labor Day and the regular 26,000 commuter bridge traffic due to commence at 5am Tuesday. 

But whew, it was a narrow escape for the Lucky Bridge Troll, rescued by ironworker James Sturgeon from the old section of the bridge and ready for its new home on the replacement section.  Too bad the Troll wasn’t in charge of heat-treating those already failing bridge bolts, right?  Ah well.

For both of you who haven’t heard the troll lore, read about it on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_Bridge_Troll

The parts of the Bridge work not completed in China have been memorialized in stunning photographs on display this month at SF City Hall and at the Havey Milk Photo Center.  Photographer Joe Blum gives us views of local workers to make us proud.

San Francisco City Hall, ground floor
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA  94102
Free and open to the public.

Watch construction of the Bay Bridge live at ABC video: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/livenow?id=9222623





Bridge Closure

SF Bay BridgeAll you SF commuters to/from the East Bay, y’all have heard that the Bay Bridge is closing, right?  All the rest of you, stay off the other bridges – or better yet, stay home.  It be nutty out there!  Usual 26,000 commuters/day will be searching for alternative routes and feeling grumpy, grumpy, grumpy.  In spite of added all-night transit service for the Labor Day weekend, even BART lines will be interrupted for part of the Labor Day Weekend.

Bay Bridge Closure:  8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3

For the latest Bay Bridge updates, see http://baybridgeinfo.org/

BART will provide 24-hour service over the Labor Day weekend: http://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2013/news20130815.aspx

For commuter services, see http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=resources/traffic&id=9209201

BART meeting tonight

Hear ye, hear ye, San Francisco BART commuters, tonight is your only chance to contribute to a proposed new law aiming to make the ride safer and cleaner.

Wednesday, February 13th • 6:30 pm
San Francisco Department of Public Health
101 Grove Street, Room 300, San Francisco, CA
(2 blocks from the Civic Center/UN Plaza BART Station)

Among many measures, the new law would allow officials to ban (only for a number of days) anybody who urinates in public three times.  Ponder this:  Why three times?  Is there something magic about that number of smelly offenses?  Do people who urinate only twice in a BART elevator with fellow commuters have larger bladders, and therefore should get a pass?  Just wondering.



MLKIt looks like Yerba Buena is the place to celebrate Martin Luther King Day in San Francisco with free events for the whole family, 10:00-6:00.  (Hey Washington, and it’s a good day for a presidential inauguration, too!)  Lots of fun stuff, including a parade, but do be careful out there if you’re trying to drive or take transit in that neighborhood this morning.

See events for Monday, January 21.


Wheelz SF openingAnybody try Wheelz yet?  It’s a San Francisco car share program.  You can sign-up as a car owner or “renter” – both sides covered by an insurance policy, their website says:

“Wheelz offers a new solution to two old problems: the inconvenience and cost of owning a car, and the inconvenience and cost of not owning a car. We’re a car sharing platform that connects people who want to put their cars to work with people who want to rent them.”