Wine Tours of Napa and Wine Tours of the Napa Country without leaving the city- call for details
You’re invited to an urban tasting trip to three of San Francisco’s wine bars,
hosted by a knowledgeable resident and wine enthusiast. Sample wines by the glass, or in flights designed to showcase California’s best wine An urban, hip retreat for the wine enthusiast where the traditional and new meet. Each tour, you’ll taste a selection of great wines at San Francisco’s most dynamic, intimate and beautiful spaces.
Perfect for: Anyone interested in wine, in California’s wine industry,
and those who want to enjoy San Francisco the way residents do!
When: 5:30-8:30pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays; 4-7pm Saturdays
Cost: $120. Wine and snacks included. Gratuities are not included.
- Around the World in 80 Drinks: Napa Valley Restaurant Month (lyke2drink.blogspot.com)
- Wine Events: Week of Mar. 19 (sfwine.wordpress.com)
- Coastline Equals “D’vine” Wine (dvinewinetime.wordpress.com)
- A Celebration of Marriage at Vintners Inn in Wine Country (7×7.com)
- Can Napa Get Its Groove Back? (7×7.com)
- Merola Opera Program Announces “A Royal Affair,” Annual Benefit and Silent Auction (7×7.com)
- Cakebread Cellars Dinner at Vinifera Bistro (cellarblog.org)
- SF Room Service | Liquor, Beer & Wine Delivery in San Francisco (exploresanfrancisco.biz)
- Napa Valley Sangiovese: An Appreciation (corkdork.typepad.com)
- The Magical Media Tour: Part 1 (winebiznews.blogspot.com)
The exterior of the Mission Armory is designed to convey the impression of a heavily armored and forbidding Moorish fortress, with four octagonal towers, rough clinker brick exterior walls and narrow rectangular lancet windows. The building is constructed of a reinforced concrete frame consisting of twelve to twenty-one inch square columns. Concrete floor and roof beams span the length of the building to girders on the east-west grid lines. The exterior of the building features eight to twelve inch thick exterior load-bearing brick walls. In the Drill Court, the upper portions of the walls are thirteen inch thick unreinforced masonry.
The interior of the Mission Armory contains approximately 190,300 gross square feet of space and 160 rooms. While many of the more utilitarian spaces have simple, durable finishes, the reception stair lobbies, public/recreation rooms, and administration offices display high levels of design and finish materials, including marble, milled oak and walnut paneling. Although mostly concealed behind finish materials, the concrete frame is partially exposed in some areas, with beams and columns protruding into finished spaces.
The Basement originally housed a one hundred by sixty foot gymnasium, a natatorium (swimming pool), locker and dressing rooms, an industrial kitchen, a banquet room and the original quarters of the Naval Militia. The Basement, which extends beneath the Administration Building and the Drill Court, also contained an arsenal, company store room, boiler room, indoor rifle range, ammunition hoist, storerooms for field wagons and an elevator to haul the wagons to the vehicular entrances on Julian Avenue. However, the Basement is also the most heavily altered portion on the Mission Armory, many of the original brick and hollow clay and tile partition walls have been replaced over time with concrete masonry units. The most interesting features of the Basement are the exposed concrete frame and truss bases and Mission Creek, which runs beneath the building.
Between 1870 and 1906, Italianate and Eastlake style flats, built by firms such as The Real Estate Associates (TREA), and cottages erected by individual homesteaders went up on newly subdivided parcels of the Mission. The socio-economic level of the Mission neighborhood was generally middle-class although not as affluent as other Victorian streetcar suburbs such as the Western Addition. The 1906 Earthquake and Fire was a watershed event in the history of the neighborhood, however. This event transformed the district from a quasi-rural streetcar suburb into an industrial district populated principally by working class Irish and German immigrants.
In the years following the 1906 Earthquake, the San Francisco based units of the National Guard were quartered in a temporary wood frame structure on the southeastern corner of Van Ness Avenue and California Street. Two-and-a-half years later, in January 1909, Captain Herman G. Stundt, began actively lobbying Governor James Norris Gillett for funds to construct a new modern armory that would consolidate the dispersed local companies into one facility. On April 20, 1909, Governor Gillett signed a bill appropriating $420,000 for the construction of a new armory, with the caveat that the citizens of San Francisco raise $100,000 to purchase the land. As a first step in the process, Governor Gillett consolidated all four companies of the local Fifth Infantry into the 250th Coast Artillery. In spite of repeated fundraising pleas from the editor on the San Francisco Call newspaper, San Franciscans raised only $60,000 by the end of 1909. Reiterating the editorials in the Call, the director of the San Francisco Real Estate Board appealed to the patriotic sensibilities of San Franciscans. When this tactic failed, he pointed out the large number of lucrative construction contracts and local equipment and supply purchases that would result from the construction of the armory. The funds were raised.
Wollett’s designs were finalized and the contract put out to bid in August 1912. The contract was awarded to the construction firm of McLeran & Peterson. Construction began in September 1912 and proceeded steadily for a year and a half. By June 1914, the new California Armory and Arsenal was completed and occupied. Departing from many contemporary armories in cities of the Northeast and Midwest, the Mission Armory was designed within the context of California’s architectural traditions. Interchangeably labeled by Wollett as being either a Spanish or Moorish fortress, the Mission Armory made use of features and materials typical of California’s contemporary regional Mission Revival and Arts and Crafts movements, clearly departing from the Gothic or Romanesque styles popular back East. The final cost of the building was approximately a half-million dollars, including the land. When completed (minus the Drill Court) an article in the San Francisco Chronicle claimed: “San Francisco now has one of the finest armories in the United States, not only in point of cost and equipment, but in point design.”
The new California Armory and Arsenal would house then companies of the Coastal Artillery, two divisions of the Naval Militia, one Signal Corps one Engineering Corps and several other divisions of the California National Guard brought in from Oakland and San Mateo. Almost as important as its military purpose was its promised role as a social and recreation center for Guardsmen. It was believed that the multitude of amenities and activities offered would help to recruit men into the service of the California National Guard. From its completion in 1914 onward, the Mission Armory served as a social center for National Guardsmen, many of whom were recruited from San Francisco.
From 1920s through the 1940s, the Mission Armory served as San Francisco’s primary sports venue, eventually earning the nickname the Madison Square Garden of the West. For almost three decades, at least two prizefights were held in the Drill Court each week, usually on Tuesday and Friday nights. One very notable fight included a light heavyweight title fight between Young Jim Corbett III and Jackie Fields. Other notable fights that took place in the Mission Armory included matches between Mike Teague and Armand Emanuel (Teague was the World Light Heavy Weight Champion); Jackie Fields and Jack Thompson (both were welterweight champions); and Young Jim Corbett and Pete Myers in 1929.
After the Korean War, the Mission Armory slowly lost its value as a military training facility. By the 1950’s, close-order drilling was no longer a central part of the National Guard’s training regimen. World War II era technological advances in air warfare rendered coastal batteries outdated. With the 250th Coast Artillery converted into an anti-aircraft unit, there was no longer any need for the large non-firing field guns installed in the Drill Court; they were removed in 1947. After the Korean War, training at the Mission Armory became centered on classroom instruction. With a large and permanent standing Armory, the California National Guard was increasingly deployed to the sites of natural disasters and to quell riots, including the Riots of 1967 in San Francisco’s Bayview–Hunters Point district. By the late 1960s, the Mission Armory was deemed obsolete, and in 1973, the California National Guard announced its intention to move operations to a new armory at Fort Funston.
After the California National Guard vacated the Mission Armory, the building was used sporadically over the next few years by various entries. The San Francisco Police Department established an after school boxing program for neighborhood youth but few other agencies or organizations stepped forward to claim the building for any full-time use. In 1976, George Lucas used the Drill Court to film some scenes for Star Wars but plans to convert the building into a full-time film studio never came to fruition. In 1974, a citizens group called the Mission Planning Council (MPC) set up the Mission Armory Task Force to develop a plan for the building’s reuse. The first step involved convincing the State Services Administration to declare the building surplus property and to sell it to the City. As city property, the MPC hoped to find a developer to reuse the building. They envisioned a weekly Mercado, combined with dances, concerts and sporting events, taking place in the Drill Court. The MPC hoped that this commercial component would pay for the renovation of the Administration Building on Mission Street. Additional intended use included neighborhood non-profit office space, a recreation center, a theater and a branch of City College.
The neighborhood reuse efforts came to a standstill in 1975 when the California National Guard was evicted from its new quarters at Fort Funston to make way for a new sewage treatment plant. Faced with the prospect of returning to the Mission Armory, the California National guard developed plans to demolish the building and replace it with a modern facility with ample surface parking. Mission residents, determined to prevent the building’s demolition, actively pursued landmark status for the Mission Armory. In 1978, the Mission Armory was listed in the National Register, and a year later it was designated San Francisco City Landmark #108. In 1979, the California National Guard abandoned their plans to replace the Mission Armory and decommissioned the building.
In 1980, the Mission Armory was declared surplus property by the State Services Administration and put up for sale. The Drill Court was still used occasionally by the San Francisco police Department (SFPD) for boxing matches and by the San Francisco Opera for building sets. In that same year, a team of consultants including Charles Hall Page & Associates, Sanger & Associates and others developed a reuse plan for the building. As the largest public assembly space in the City, the options seemed endless. However, the cost of rehabilitating the structure and bringing it into conformance with modern seismic and life-safety codes were too formidable for any developer. Throughout the 1980s, a series of development proposals emerged. In 1986, a private developer purchased the Mission Armory and planned to convert the building into market rate housing but abandoned his plans in the face of neighborhood opposition. Later that same year, another developer made plans to convert the Armory into a movie studio but this proposal also failed to materialize. In 1996, a taskforce, lead by City Supervisor Susan Leal recommended that the City purchase the Mission Armory, but by this point the State was already in negotiations with a private developer. In 2000, yet another proposal surfaced to convert the building into dot-com office space. When this effort collapsed in the face of intense neighborhood opposition, plans were amended to convert the Mission Armory into a server farm for computer equipment. This plan also failed to gain support, and the building remained empty until January 2007 when Armory Studios, LLC purchased the building.
In January, 2007 Armory Studios, LLC announced that it had acquired the San Francisco National Guard Armory and Arsenal located at the corner of 14th and Mission Street.
This 200,000 square foot reproduction Moorish Castle was completed in 1914 and was used as a National Guard facility until 1976. It retains original period details including wainscoting, stone staircases, sweeping corridors, cavernous access to Mission Creek,and a gigantic drill court spanning almost an acre. It served as both a barricade and safety point for officers during rioting in San Francisco in 1934. Though for most of the past 40 years, it has sat vacant, it was used by George Lucas to film the first Star Wars movie.
The Armory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and has been out of official use since this time. Previous conversion plans throughout the years were met with much community resistance for various reasons including gentrification and broader concerns relating to social and environmental impact. Armory Studios, remaining mindful of these concerns, plans to restore and renovate the Armory to its original splendor, style and beauty.
Armory Studios has leased the drill court portion of the Armory building to The Armory Community Center, LLC (TACC) for the purpose of converting the long dormant Drill Court into a thriving community center for business, educational, sporting, religious, family, entertainment and other community uses and events. The conversion process will include modernization of building systems, hazardous materials removal and a structural upgrade to meet modern seismic codes.
Spring fairs and festivals
The Bay’s got it all, from garlic to tango fests — here’s your handy guide to spring happenings
03.20.12 – 5:39 pm | Ali Lane | (0)
Trash Mash-Up is just one of the colorful crewes to hold down SF‘s Carnaval (May 26-27)
PHOTO VIA TRASH MASH-UP
SF Flower and Garden Show, San Mateo Event Center, 495 S. Delaware, San Mateo. (415) 684-7278, http://www.sfgardenshow.com. March 21-25, 10am-6pm, $15–$65, free for 16 and under. This year’s theme is “Gardens for a Green Earth,” and features a display garden demonstrating conservation practices and green design. Plant yourself here for thriving leafy greens, food, and fun in the sun.
The Art of Aging Gracefully Resource Fair, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California, SF. (415) 292-1200, http://www.jccsf.org. March 22, 9:30am-2:45pm, free. Treat yourself kindly with presentations by UCSF Medical Center professionals on healthy living, sample classes, health screenings, massages, giveaways and raffles.
California’s Artisan Cheese Festival, Sheraton Sonoma County, 745 Sherwood, Petaluma. (707) 283-2888, http://www.artisancheesefestival.com. March 23-25, $20–$135. Finally, a weekend given over to the celebration of cultures: semi-soft, blue, goat, and cave-aged. More than a dozen award-winning cheesemakers will provide hors d’oeuvres and educational seminars.
15th Annual Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting, Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, Buchanan and Marina, SF. (800) 467-0163, http://www.rhonerangers.org. March 24-25, $45–$185. The largest American Rhone wine event in the country, with over 2,000 attendees tasting 500 of the best Rhones from its 100 US member wineries.
Whiskies of the World Expo, Hornblower Yacht, Pier 3, SF. (408) 225-0446, http://www.whiskiesoftheworld.com. March 31, 6pm-9pm, $120–$150. The expo attracts over 1400 guests intent on sampling spirits on a yacht and meeting important personages from this fine whiskey world of ours.
Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair, SF County Fair Building’s Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, SF. (415) 431-8355, bayareaanarchistbookfair.wordpress.com. March 31-April 1, free. This political book fair brings together radical booksellers, distributors, independent presses, and political groups from around the world.
Monterey Jazz Festival‘s Next Generation Festival Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza, Monterey. (831) 373-3366, http://www.montereyjazzfestival.org. March 30-April 1, free. 1200 student-musicians from schools located everywhere from California to Japan compete for the chance to perform at the big-daddy Monterey Jazz Festival. Free to the public, come to cheer on the 47 California ensembles who will be playing, or pick an away team favorite.
Argentine Tango Festival, San Francisco Airport Marriot Hotel, 1800 Old Bayshore Highway, Burlingame. http://www.argentinetangousa.com. April 5-8, $157–$357. Grip that rose tightly with your molars — it’s time to take the chance to dance in one of 28 workshops, with a live tango orchestra, and tango DJs. The USA Tango championship is also taking place here.
Salsa Festival, The Westin Market Street, 50 Third St., SF. (415) 974-6400. http://www.sfsalsafestival.com. April 5-7, $75–$125. Three nights of world-class performances, dancing, competition and workshops with top salsa instructors.
www.sresproductions.com/union_street_easter. April 8, 10am-5pm, parade at 2pm, free. A family festival with kids rides and games, a petting zoo, and music.
45th Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, Japan Center, Post and Buchanan, SF. (415) 567-4573, www.sfjapantown.org. April 14-15 and 21-22, parade April 22, free. Spotlighting the rich heritage and traditional customs of California’s Japanese-Americans. Costumed performers, taiko drums, martial arts, and koto music bring the East out West.
Bay One Acts Festival, Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma, SF. www.bayoneacts.org. April 22 — May 12, 2012, $25–$45 at the door or online. Showcasing the best of SF indie theater, with new works by Bay Area playwrights.
Earth Day, Civic Center Plaza, SF. (415) 571-9895, www.earthdaysf.org. April 22, free. A landmark day for the “Greenest City in North America,” featuring an eco-village, organic chef demos, a holistic health zone, and live music.
Wedding and Celebration Show, Parc 55 Wyndham, 55 Cyril Magnin, SF. (925) 594-2969,www.bayareaweddingfairs.com. April 28, 10:00am-5:00pm. Exhibitors in a “Boutique Mall” display every style of product and service a bride may need to help plan his or her wedding.
San Francisco International Beer Festival, Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, SF.www.sfbeerfest.com. April 28, 7pm-10pm, $65. The price of admission gets you a bottomless taster mug for hundreds of craft beers, which you can pair with a side of food from local restaurants.
Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, Half Moon Bay Airport, 9850 Cabrillo Highway North, Half Moon Bay. www.miramarevents.com/dreammachines. April 28-29, 9am-4pm, $20 for adults, kids under 10 free. The annual celebration of mechanical ingenuity, an outdoor museum featuring 2,000 driving, flying and working machines from the past 200 years.
San Francisco International Arts Festival Various venues. (415) 399-9554, www.sfiaf.org. May 2-20, prices vary. Celebrate the arts, both local and international, at this multimedia extravaganza.
Cinco de Mayo Festival, Dolores Park, Dolores and 19th St, SF. www.sfcincodemayo.com. May 5, 10am-6pm, free. Enjoy live performances by San Francisco Bay Area artists, including mariachis, dancers, salsa ensembles, food and crafts booths. Big party.
A La Carte and Art, Castro St. between Church and Evelyn, Mountain View. May 5-6, 10am-6pm, free. With vendors selling handmade crafts, micro-brewed beers, fresh foods, a farmers market, and even a fun zone for kids, there’s little you won’t find at this all-in-one fun fair.
Young at Art Festival, De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, SF. (415) 695-2441.www.youngatartsf.com. May 12-20, regular museum hours, $11. An eight-day celebration of student creativity in visual, literary, media, and performing arts.
This article is courtesy of and continues at Spring fairs and festivals | SF Bay Guardian.
Tag, You’re It: How Do You Decide Between Art & Vandalism?
posted by jared schwartz // monday mar 19, 2012, 7:30 am
A reader recently informed us that someone has been tagging and re-tagging the side of the building that faces a parking lot on the northwest corner of Gough and Grove.
Someone associated with the apartment has been painting over the taggings and can be seen doing it multiple times a week.
We weren’t able to speak with that person, but when we visited the parking lot, we found this:
wall facing parking lot
And when we turned to the right and walked a few paces, we saw the word “Red” on another wall:
Yet in the short distance between these two spaces, in an alcove that can’t even be seen from the sidewalk, we found these designs spray-painted along two adjacent walls:
Our guess is most people think the first two examples of tagging serve no purpose except to destroy property, but the third photo is a toss-up.
While it’s on a wall that surrounds the same property from Photo #1 (and we’re unsure as to whether permission was granted to do it), it feels planned, carefully created and visually appealing.
When it comes to graffiti, many of us have differing opinions on what we consider art and what we consider vandalism. With multiple forms of graffiti (anything drawn or painted on a wall in a public space) and tagging (scribing one’s name, initials or catchphrase) found throughout our neighborhood, where do we draw the line? When do we repaint and when do we keep it?
We walked around the neighborhood and paid attention to all the random graffiti and taggings we found. For example, soon as we exited the parking lot and turned right on Grove, we saw this face hidden in a small gap between apartments:
greetings on grove
When we walked up Laguna and turned left on Linden, we saw this design along the wall of Momi Toby’s:
Then we came across a few other designs with additions to them, including the mural on Page Street that has recently been tagged by “Leo Dime”:
“Leo Dime” also made their presence known back on Linden, just down the block from Blue Bottle:
Tagging graffiti takes this debate to another level. While the original design may or may not have been commissioned (not just above, but in any example), these taggings feel like a destruction of artwork since they ruined something that took a long time to create.
We’ve shown you a lot of examples, yet there are still plenty we didn’t capture. Do you have any favorites, or do you think everything that comes from spray paint only devalues the neighborhood? How do you decide what destroys property and what gives the neighborhood character?
The great unknown
- The great unknown (cgi.sfbg.com)
- Economy Rebounding Big Time In S.F., Says S.F. Business Org (sfist.com)
- SFist Tonight, 3/15: History Of AIDS Activism Photography (sfist.com)
- Stage Listings (cgi.sfbg.com)
- The food (truck) fight heats up – San Francisco Bay Guardian (sfbg.com)
The Beats Go On In San Francisco Museum
Jerry Cimino digs those beatnik poets: Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and — oh, man — Jack Kerouac. When he read Kerouac’s “On the Road,” the spirit of adventure and honesty “really spoke to me,” Cimino said. “They were writers and musicians and artists who were following their passion.”
For years, Cimino, 51, worked in the computer industry and quietly built up a collection of Beat memorabilia. Finally, he decided to devote himself full time to his passion. “I wanted to do something that would really change people’s lives, and I think the spirit of the Beats can do that,” he said.
This month he opened the Beat Museum in San Francisco, which he calls “the cultural epicenter of the Beat Generation.” The museum features Cimino’s collection of photos, letters and first editions. The grand opening coincided with the arrival at the San Francisco Public Library of Kerouac’s manuscript for “On the Road” — a 120-foot-long scroll the author taped together so he wouldn’t have to interrupt his flow by shoving new sheets of paper into his typewriter. Hundreds of people have already passed through the Beat Museum, and locals are adding more to the collection.
The message, Cimino says, is simply this: “You can follow your passions later in life, too. Do what you want to do.”
- Exclusive Interview: Walter Salles and the Beat Museum Keep the Spirit of the Beats Alive (justgarrett.com)
- Jerry Cimino: ‘On the Road’ Movie Trailer Promises an Adaptation Worthy of Kerouac (huffingtonpost.com)
- ’49 Hudson, Garrett and Al Hinkle Come to the Beat Museum! (justgarrett.com)
SF Room Service delivers Food, Liquor, Beer and Wine right to your doorstep. We are located at 900 Irving Street, and deliver within the city limits of San Francisco. We accept cash and credit cards via this website. Minimum order is $25, please have small bills handy if you plan to pay in cash.
Run with locals…
One of the newest trends for the health conscious traveler is seeing the sights while on a run. Join our enthusiastic and experienced guides for a run on the best running trails that San Francisco has to offer. Our city runs meld the urban landscape with the natural beauty of he parks and coastal trails. The phenomenal ocean and bay views and sweeping vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge are enhanced by the dramatic hilly terrain.
Come with us and explore the natural beauty of this 1,000 acre urban park. With unique landscape and man-made sites at nearly every turn, the possibilities are endless to create a running tour route of any
Golden Gate Promenade
This may be the most beautiful urban run in the world. Covering six miles along the SF Bay you will experience a scenic shoreline promenade before ascending to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
Do you enjoy running hills? On this tour, we’ll conquer 5 hills each over 500 ft., highlighted by the nearly 1,000 ft. summit of Twin Peaks. You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the City, the Golden Gate Bridge, the SF Bay, and beyond!
Art in Nature
San Francisco is the perfect city for running, incomparable scenery, varied terrain and mild temperatures. Take one of our scheduled runs or let us lead you on a custom run.
Personalized running tours are available by request. Let us custom design an ideal run for you and your group. You can determine the distance, neighborhoods, terrain, scenery or levels of difficulty to meet your interests and goals.
When the SF fog lifts, the recently restored Cliff House comes into view. Overlooking the ruins of Sutro Baths, you will enjoy stunning views of Ocean Beach, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands.
We offer more than just running tours. Are you in San Francisco for business or pleasure yet still need to get in a training run for an upcoming event. Our seasoned running staff can step in as your guide, coach, training partner or personal trainer to work with you during your stay in an unfamiliar city, or to explore the wonderful city you call home. We’ll eliminate the guesswork and show you the best locations to run.
- Great Rainy Day Bike Rides Around The City (7×7.com)
- Welcome to San Francisco (apartmentguide.com)
- Golden Gate Bridge Cyclists Forced To Share Again (sfist.com)
- SFgate.comEarly Golden Gate Bridge sketches’ flight of fancy (sfgate.com)
- SF Scenic Running Tours- (San Francisco) (exploresanfrancisco.biz)
- Confessions Of A San Francisco Parent: ‘I Love SF’ (sfist.com)
- SF Scenic Running Tours