More Colorful Tiled Stairs – Lincoln Park – Tony Holiday

I was delighted to learn, recently, that San Francisco now has yet another set of colorful tiled steps… its fourth. These are the Lincoln Parks stairs. It’s a marvelous way to beautify our city – and there are so many staircases to work with!

We have pictures thanks to Tony Holiday (who also reported on the previous staircase, the Arelious Walker stairs). These are republished with minor edits from his blog, Stairways are Heaven. Go there for more pictures and his full hiking route.

Clicking on any of the pictures below will show you a larger version.

Tony writes, “The Lincoln Park tiled stairway (52 steps) is now walkable. Do go see this in person. The steps are at the west dead-end of California St. at 33rd Ave. in the Outer Richmond neighborhood. They climb to the golf course and a trail that’ll take you north a couple blocks to the east trailhead for the Lands End/Coastal Trail.”

I haven’t been there yet, but it’s definitely in my plans!

Artistic New Mosaic Stairway for San Francisco – Tony Holiday

I’ve written here about the Hidden Garden tiled staircase that was completed some months ago. Before that, there was the first of its kind in San Francisco, the magnificent 16th Avenue Tiled steps, which was completed in 2005. Recently I learned, (on Facebook!) that San Francisco has a third mosaic stairway. Unlike the other two, which are quite close to our neighborhood, this is over at Innes Street, in the Bayview at Innes and Northridge.

Tony Holiday, who hikes around San Francisco and blogs at Stairways Are Heaven,  attended the opening ceremony. This account below is a summary from his blog post, New Tiled Stairway. (Go there for more – and higher-resolution – pictures of this and other walks. His account of Forest Knolls stairways is HERE.)

[Edited to add: There’s now a third colorful tiled stairway, and we’ve got photographs (Thanks, Tony!): More Colorful Tiled Stairs – Lincoln Park.]

NEW TILED STAIRWAY by Tony Holiday

There’s a new tiled stairway in San Francisco’s Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood called “Flights of Fancy.” Learned about it from the Hidden Garden Steps Website (16th Ave. tiled stairway in the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood, Inner Sunset) where there are some photos. There’s some interesting info about this latest stairway art project on SF Department of Public Work’s page.

San Francisco’s third tiled stairway is named for Dr. Arelious Walker, a pastor and author who’s known for many good deeds in the Bayview community. I quote from an Internet article:

One of the most distinguished honors a city can pay tribute to its greatest contributors is naming a street in their honor. Usually when that happens the person is deceased but in this case an exception was made and the great city of San Francisco named in his honor the street “Arelious Walker Drive” in the BayView Hunters Point and New BayView Districts. Dr. Walker is a Community Champion. His ultimate dream is to build TRUE HOPE SQUARE, a housing development with a senior citizens home, child daycare center, and a special home for those men and women that do not have any place to go when they get saved. Dr. Walker is constantly fighting to clean up the neighborhoods, keep affordable housing in every neighborhood, and to keep his dream alive so that it may come to fruition.”

987170_orig - 2  a bay view

During a Bayview “Sunday Streets” a few years ago I had a great time exploring some of the neighborhood’s stairways and Hilltop Park (with the big sundial) but had not gone quite as far east as is the new stairway. I’d heard of Innes St. in the Bayview as it runs off Third St. and is on the T-Third Metro line, so I looked up Innes on Google Maps to see if it runs through to Arelious Walker where the stairway is; it does not. At Innes near Hudson, this seemed a rather long walk from the T-Third. I was, however, able to attend the opening celebration with a friend who has a car. There’s a very nice city-and-bay-view from the top of the stairs  and plenty of other stairways in the neighborhood that snake up to and around the residences. This area is near India Basin Shoreline Park.

While here, however, I noticed that the extremely familiar #19 Polk bus (that also crawls over Potrero Hill) stops right at the foot of the stairs. So I could’ve taken this bus without long waits for a “neighborhood bus” (as in the #36 Teresita and #37 Corbett, for example).

7983072_orig - 5 foot of the stairway

Here’s some detail from the foot of the stairs.

3263449_orig - 6 foot of the stairs

5273362_orig - 7 climbing upClimbing up…

5899206_orig - 8 - 87 stepsAnd further up…

9134398_orig - 9 midstepsMiddle steps…

5057015_orig - 10 it turns hereIt turns here.

7434113_orig - 12 go see this in person

Go see this in person!

9795413_orig -13 nearing the topNearing the top here…

408210_orig - 14 San Franciscos 3rd tiled stairwayA closer look at the designs…

5984512_orig - 19 stairway from across the streetHere’s what it looks like from the foot of the staircase.

I was able to get a shot of the gorgeous (and delicious) cake before it was cut.

630030_orig 3 cake

Before the ribbon was cut, attendees were treated to some bongo playing and several short intros to — and speeches by — people who helped make this artwork possible. The plaque is at the foot of the stairs, attributing “Flights of Fancy” to artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher. (SFAC = San Francisco Arts Commission.)

274436_orig - 4 artists

“The artists were inspired by decorative patterns drawn from various cultures: Adinkra cloth from Ghana, Native American painted potter; Central American textiles; Japanese and Indonesian fabrics; Middle Eastern tile patterns and paisley designs from India.”

Beautiful Hidden Garden Steps Mosaic

Three years ago, reporting on a meeting I attended, I mentioned the Hidden Garden Steps project. The other day, a friend told me it was done, and of course I wanted to see it. So off we went.

It starts at Lawton and 16th, next to a painted bench, and connects to Kirkham.  Here’s the first flight up, with a snail…

hidden garden steps 1Goes up to a golden California poppy …

hidden garden steps 2…(and notice that many of the flowers have names of donors on them?)

hidden garden steps 3More flowers, a dragon fly, and ferns…

hidden garden steps 4

hidden garden steps 5And lots more names!

If you want to see each flight of steps in more detail – and even read the names on them – there’s a website with photographs HERE.

And there are views – including one of my favorites, the beautiful Sutro Forest.

sutro forest and UCSF

Vandalized Art on the Fence

A few days ago, I posted a photo of a painting someone had mounted on their fence. And soon after, neighbor Nola sent a message on Facebook saying that by the time I posted the photo here, the original picture had been vandalized. Today, I went to have a look – and sure enough, someone had scrawled glasses and a Hitlerian mustache and forelock on it in runny paint.

vandalized art on fence -forest knolls san francisco

I’m sad. Why would someone do this? (Unless it was the artist himself doing a Marcel DuChamp tribute.)

Here’s the original:

art on fence - forest knolls san francisco

Art on the Fence

The other night, going for a walk, I was intrigued to see this picture on a neighbor’s fence. Since it was dark, my photos didn’t come out well, with a splotchy white reflection from the flash. But a couple of days ago, I actually made it during the day.

painting on fence - forest knolls san franciscoIt’s a rather dramatic painting, with something deleted and the artist’s signature: Richard Vejmola, dated 1/8/14. Wonder who the baby is?

Thanks, whoever put it up – It’s a quirky addition to our beautiful neighborhood.

art on fence - forest knolls san francisco

West Portal Arts Fair – 6 April 2014

west portal art festivalI went back to the West Portal Arts Fair yesterday afternoon. It was sunny and windy, nice for a stroll to admire all the interesting things the artists and crafters had brought. I got a bunch of photographs – used here with permission from the stall-holders. If you’re interested – go today. It ends at 4 p.m., and after that it’s gone until next year.

I tried getting a list of all the stall-holders and what they were selling, but I couldn’t find the organizer. People kept telling me he was on the other side of the road… which was rather like “jam tomorrow.” Next year, maybe I’ll try email.

Meanwhile, here’s a bunch of the stalls that I stopped at. (I ended the trip with a shoulder bag with froggy yogis, and a small welded-scrap owl.)

SOME OF THE STALLS

This glowing art glass caught my eye – it reminded me of the Dale Chihuly exhibition of a few years ago.
1 art glass

Across the road, this stall was selling colorful switchplates and small salt-and-pepper sets.

2 colorful switchplates

This one had such cute kiddy clothes, it made me wish I’d someone to buy them for. Unusually, it had some neat stuff for little boys as well, with dinosaurs and sharks and pirates.

3 kiddy clothes for boys and girls

This was unusual – photographs printed on slate (yes, the rock) and then mounted in slate frames. If I had any wall space left, I’d probably have got one … some pieces were really beautiful. The slate gave them a texture and a solidity one doesn’t associate with photographs.

4 photos printed on slate and framed in slate frames

Quirky fridge magnets, earrings, and what looked like Christmas decorations here:
5 cute fridge magnets and earrings

These bags were simple, and beautifully made. But what made them special was the whimsical fabrics the artist chose. (I got a bag with froggy yogis on it – frogs in yoga poses.)

6 bags handmade with fun fabrics

Comfortable clothes that still have an artisanal look attracted quite a few visitors.

7 clothes for women

A few artists let me photograph their work. (Some others didn’t want their work photographed, I guess because people sometimes rip them off by making cheaper copies.)

8 paintings

Figurines dressed as old men accompanied by furry animals, made of real fur – this stall seemed like it was planning ahead for winter and maybe Christmas.

9 furry figures

I’d seen welded scrap sculptures before, but this lot from Metal Souls were unusual – it had Dr Who themed stuff like the Tardis and Daleks, Star Wars figures like Darth Vader, a few dragons, and a whole menagerie of animals from alligators to owls.

10 welded metal daleks darth vader and more

The San Francisco-themed photographs here showed scenes familiar to us San Franciscans.

11 fine photography

Organic cosmetics, with none of the strange-sounding additives of commercial brands.

12 organic cosmetics

The bold jewelry designs here were quite elegant.

13 robert wuncie silversmith

Each of these salt-cellars and pots was hand-made.

14 handmade ceramics

Ramos Designs had really pretty sparkly and unusual necklaces and earrings.

15 sparkly unique necklaces and earrings

This man was explaining an odd-looking piece of furniture – the bed desk. It’s like a little book-holder, and can lock into various positions so it can become an easel, a snack tray, or a lap-top table. It folds flat. There’s a great little brochure that explains its versatility – or you could visit the Fair and get a demo.

16 multipupose bed-desk

The silver jewelry in this case was very pretty and delicate.

17 delicate silver jewelry

And the last stall I photographed: wooden toys. They were beautifully made.

18 wooden toys

Of course, that’s not all the stalls, even if I include the ones I saw yesterday. Some people didn’t want their work photographed, and I didn’t manage to get to all of the stalls anyway. (If anyone wants to send me more photos, I’d be happy to run them.)

This Weekend: West Portal Arts Fair (April 4-6, 2014)

west portal art festivalI was at West Portal today, meeting friends for lunch. The weather was pleasantly sunny after overnight rain, and I was delighted to see the West Portal Arts Fair had arrived. Both sides of the street were lined with stalls set up by crafters and artists. I recognized some from previous years, but others were new.

By the time we’d finished lunch (and made a detour to West Portal Books), the sun was gone. Nevertheless, I stopped at a few stalls, buying ear rings for a gift, a beautiful handmade wooden spatula from the same stall where I bought a coffee scoop last year, and yearned after some wonderful Zapotec rugs and handmade marquetry mirrors with naturalistic designs. One of them had a great blue heron, another had cherry blossoms, and yet another had mother-of-pearl inlaid in the wood, representing glass windows. A stall I didn’t recall from last year had adorable clothes for kids, I’m guessing mostly for little girls. And the White Rose Boutique had a Festival special – and an eye-catching display of hats that apparently made your feet happy…

By this time, a drizzle had started up, and the vendors were covering or packing up their stalls. I decided to go back tomorrow; the forecast is for better weather.

In other West Portal news: The Squat and Gobble restaurant, which had burned out in October 2012, is back! We ate there the other night. They have a broader range of offerings now, and the food is predictably decent. The new decor, though, is quite bland – nothing like the rotating art they used to have initially, and the mural that replaced it.

new squat and gobble restaurant west portal san francisco