San Francisco, Clouds and a Banner in the Sky

One of the wonderful things about our neighborhood, the counterbalance to the forested Mount Sutro on one side, is the view-platform of Twin Peaks on the other.

The other day, someone called me. “You have to go up to see the view,”  he said. “The air is clear and the clouds are dramatic.” So I went.

Here’s what it looked like. The view was sharp and the clouds were indeed dramatic. And the scene was enlivened by a small aircraft buzzing around, trailing a large red banner. I couldn’t read it as it waved through the sky like a giant flag. But I liked the effect against the backdrop of the clouds and I took a few shots with my pocket camera.

Later, when I downloaded the pictures, I figured out what it said: The all new Camry is here.

But even without the airplane and the banner, the view was amazing.

Just another gorgeous day in gorgeous San Francisco, to remind us that some of the most scenic places in the city are only minutes from our doorstep.

(I’m sticking with our not-so-new Camry.)


Blue Angels from Forest Knolls

Neighbor Lulu Carpenter sent me a series of pictures of the Blue Angels flying by, taken from her home in Forest Knolls.

And this last picture isn’t of the Blue Angels, it’s the view from her house… but it’s so gorgeous I thought I’d publish it. Thanks for sharing these, Lulu!

ETA: And here’s one more picture, not from Lulu or Forest Knolls — it’s Sutro Tower, the fog, and the Blue Angels.

Oops. Ouch. Crash. Careful on those slopes.

A neighbor had this posted on Facebook, and I’m publishing it here with permission. It happened in our neighborhood, a few days ago. Someone lost control of their car on a slope, hit a couple of parked vehicles, and flipped over.

The sound of it was horrible – I thought it was the next door construction site dropping the giant dumpster… then I started hearing all the sirens and walked out and saw that mess…

It’s a brand-new Subaru. It still has the yellow dealer’s plates. Hope everyone’s insured.

The best part? The driver was taken to hospital — and released the next day.

[ETA: I suppose I should add, please drive carefully on our neighborhood’s steep roads, people. Whether you live here or are visiting.]

[ETA 2: The neighbor who took this picture didn’t say exactly where it was, but sent an additional pictures along.]

[ETA 3: Okay, it was on the 1st block of Devonshire (see comments).]

Here are more pictures:

This was the first car hit:

And then the Subaru “drove up” this car, and overturned.

It attracted a lot of attention, official and otherwise.

And here’s a close-up.

Night Walk with Fog and Dog

It was late for a walk last night, and the fog had wrapped our neighborhood in its soft blanket. Yet the night called me, and out I went.

It was magical. The fog softened and dispersed the light of the streetlamps. As I walked up by the forest, I could hear the rain… except it was dry where I stopped on the sidewalk. In the forest, the trees made their own rain from the fog, and it pattered onto the leaves of the understory like a heavy shower. This is the Cloud Forest effect. Under the eaves of the forest, the cloud-rain was heavy enough to flow down the street and into the gutter. Inside the forest, the undergrowth and the duff absorbed it all. (If you walk in the forest — be prepared for mud on some of the interesting trails.)

It was late enough that I shouldn’t have expected anyone to be out there. But I’d have been wrong. In 30 minutes, I encountered 4 people, all walking dogs. As I said once in a post, the dogs of Forest Knolls make us all safer. Paws on the street mean eyes on the street.

Red-tailed Hawks in Forest Knolls

Mary Allen posted these two great pictures of red-tailed hawks on our neighborhood Yahoo Group. They’re reproduced here with her permission and her notes.
These were taken from my living room windows… south facing toward Laguna Honda Hospital. They like to rest at the top of the tree on Warren at the bottom of my hill. I have my camera set up ready to go and when I happen to see them, I quickly rush to open the window and click away before they fly off.
(Taken with a Nikon D5000 200 mm lens.)

Update: Fight the SF Overlook Development, Get the T-shirt!

The steep hillside above the planned development

Readers of this blog will know that the much-opposed Crestmont Development (34 units at the end of a narrow road on a steep slope) is back with a new name, The San Francisco Overlook. It’s still 34 units, it’s still at the end of a narrow road, and the hill remains pretty steep. The Environmental Impact Report is in its final phase, and comments will soon be due.  The neighborhood coalition is geared up for the battle (pardon the pun) with t-shirts, sweatshirts and bags.

Here’s where I  first described the problems with this development — with some maps showing exactly why it’s a bad idea.

This update was sent by the Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition. (It’s republished with permission and added emphasis):

SF OVERLOOK Development Threatens Our Neighborhood!

EIR in Final Phase!

Preparing for Upcoming Publication of 2nd Draft of EIRUpdate, 6-25-11

As summer has begun, we are awaiting the publication of the 2nd draft of the  Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pertaining to the SF Overlook 34-unit condominium project at the end of Crestmont Drive. Once it has been published, we will have 30 days to  express our concerns and objections regarding this oversized development which will add far too much traffic, parking congestion and density to our neighborhood.

We will notify all of our Mt.Sutro Woods and Forest Knolls neighbors when the time comes to deluge the Planning Department with letters. It will also be important that we  attend and speak at the public hearing which will be held by the Planning Commission.

With a united effort on the part of the community, we believe we can stop this project in its present form. If something must be built on this treacherous hillside, we are  fighting for a much scaled-back development of far fewer  single family homes which would address the critical issues  of safety, congestion and density at the end of this fragile cul-de-sac, and be more in character with the surrounding  neighborhood.

As a visible reflection of our resolve, we have adapted the  now familiar red and yellow “STOP SF OVERLOOK DEVELOPMENT”  poster to a line of t-shirts and sweatshirts. We have been  wearing them on our walks around the neighborhood and  several neighbors have expressed the wish to obtain these distinctive sportswear items for themselves and their family  members, to further spread the message of their objection to the proposed development.

If you are interested, the t-shirts and some other STOP SF  OVERLOOK items can be ordered here: We will also post a link on

We hope to see many neighbors at the hearing wearing these t-shirts and sweatshirts as they might send a powerful  message of neighborhood sentiment and cohesiveness!

Please display the poster in your window and urge your neighbors to also display the poster!  If you need a poster, please call 415-640-3869 or email

Seven Views of Sutro Tower

From everywhere in and around San Francisco, the Sutro TV Tower is visible; but  for our neighborhood, it’s iconic. So recently, when a friend pointed me at Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber (1910-1992), I was fascinated to discover that the tower featured in its opening pages.

“The TV tower — San Francisco’s Eiffel, you could call it — was broad-shouldered, slender-waisted, and long-legged like a beautiful and stylish woman — or demigoddess.”

He was writing back in the 1970s, when the tower was new, and literary analogies sometimes a touch sexist:

“… the TV tower stood tall, her colors fresh and gussied-up and elegant as a brand-new whore (Your pardon, Goddess).

Not everyone was so complimentary. I was looking up information on Mount Davidson when I came upon this quote:Now a giant red and white, but politically correct, pitchfork adorns the mountain named after Adolph Sutro.” —  Jacqueline Proctor, Mt, article on Madie Brown (2010)

The Chronicle weighed in: ‘”…it’s a beacon, an orientation point,” EHDD’s Marc L’Italien says of the 977-foot three-pronged communications tower completed in 1973 despite an outcry from neighborhood groups. “It’s also well-proportioned, a bit futuristic…”‘ — John King, SF Chronicle, 8 March 2011.

[Edited to Add on 18 May 2012: From Earl Martin, an original resident Midtown Terrace resident, I got this photo taken around 1957. It shows the predecessor to today’s tower – a lot slimmer than the existing one.]


Then I went to the review site, Yelp, which allows anyone to review anything from laundries to landmarks.  It had 47 reviews of the tower…

Like this one from GIR in 2007:  “Sutro Tower is also the coolest landmark in SF, a giant diabolical pacemaker in the heart of the city. It is instantly recognizable without being a common tourist attraction, defining and defiantly brazen against the sky.”

Mike S totally disagreed: “It’s a hunk of red and white metal that s*its on the SF skyline…” And Derek B expressed the same sentiment: “Painted red and white, it’s obnoxious.  Stickin’ out of the purdy twin peaks, it’s an eye sore…”

John S had mixed feelings about the tower: “On the one hand, it’s iconic and visible from a great deal of the city and the East Bay.  Its scale is also amazing.  It’s obviously very tall, but you don’t really understand just how tall it is until you’ve been up pretty close to it. On the other hand, it’s most likely carcinogenic, and it is pretty ugly. OK, I’m not sure how ugly it really is because I actually like how it looks…”


Sutro tower even has its own t-shirts, from at least two many different makers, among them United Hue; and Amos Goldbaum. Handmade earrings from Chantal de Felice  (being sold at her Etsy store). Many artists, particularly print-makers,  have found its geometric lines interesting.

And…fans even got it as tattoos.

Chris R, whose tattoo appear in this photograph on Flickr, explains: “A tribute to my dad who died back in 1990. He lived here in SF, so I’d always come to visit on weekends and such. He played around with wood block printing as a hobby, and Sutro tower was always a significant landmark for me, so the design just seemed to fit.” Chris found the image on the craft-site Etsy, but couldn’t recall the artist. Only afterward did he discover the original artist, Eric Rewitzer of 3 Fish Studio,  who was honored that his work was so memorialized. (See the comment-stream after the photograph.)


The last word goes to Fritz Leiber, from the same book: “The constellation of Orion was shouldering into his window… its nine brightest stars made an angular, tilted hourglass, challenging the smaller slenderer one made by the nineteen winking red lights of the TV tower… When he’d first seen the tower, he’d thought it worse than grotesque, but now — how strange! — it had become almost as reassuring to him as starry Orion.”

Season’s Greetings!

Here is a selection of decorations from around our neighborhood. They’re delightful, (even if not as ubiquitous as those at Midtown Terrace especially the wonderful Santa’s Court). Happy Holidays, everyone!

This is a Picture. Really.

Years ago, I saw a reproduction of a painting: The Kanchenjunga Hidden By Mist. It was a piece of truly minimalist art, a pure pearly-white canvas with not even a hint of the iconic mountain visible through it. Readers of this article may think I’m emulating that painting, only in black, not white, and as a photograph not a painting.

I hope I’m doing better than that, if only marginally. In case you miss them, I’d like to point out the red dots at the bottom left, and the white crescent at the top right.

What this is (really!), is the lunar eclipse over Sutro Tower. It was taken at 11.23 p.m. on Dec 20, 2010.

Forest Knolls Postcards

One of our neighbors, Lulu Carpenter, sent me a bunch of photographs she took on a walk around Forest Knolls. I was struck by two things. First, how much they resembled picture postcards. Any casual view seems to have a scenic quality to it.  Second,  how much the forest determines the character of our area — the look and feel and scent and sound  — especially since, unlike Cole Valley or Forest Hill, we have hardly any street trees.










November Moon Over Sutro Tower

It’s a beautiful night in San Francisco, with the air clear from the day’s rain and a full November moon. My little camera can’t deal with all that brightness, so my full moon pictures are pale discs of light. But tonight, it all came together in this view from Forest Knolls. (Of course, it’s still much lovelier than this picture.)

Evening Walk with Owl and Moon

I went for a walk around our neighborhood last evening… Forest Knolls is easy night-time walking. Good sidewalks. Bright but not oppressive lighting. A dramatic crescent moon setting over a theatrical city-lights backdrop.

And a barn owl, flying overhead. They’re very silent, so I can’t say what made me look up, but there it was, winging its way over the neighborhood. It may have been hunting, but I think it was just checking the place out.

It’s easy to tell a barn owl from a great horned owl — our other neighborhood owl —  even in the dark, even in flight. A barn owl appears white, and its head looks round. It’s sometimes called a “ghost owl.” It doesn’t have the “ears” or “horns” that a great horned owl has. It also flies more nimbly. Rodents, beware!

The picture here isn’t the owl I saw; that was moving too fast for my camera and my reflexes. It’s a public domain picture that I’ve tweaked to make it somewhat similar to that owl. I wonder if this was the same owl I saw some weeks ago on Twin Peaks.

A Season of Spiders and Pumpkins

The theme this Halloween seems to be spiders and pumpkins.

The pumpkins are a perennial favorite, of course, but the spiders? That’s new this year. Around our neighborhood, there were some bats and  ghoulies and ghosties.  And lots of giant spiders…







I’m hoping we have some kids coming round… those years I celebrate, I always end up with excess candy. (Except the year that the last callers were three teenage ghosts at 9.30, who kindly took most of the remnants. I didn’t feel guilty. At that age, they can handle it!)


The Stairways of Forest Knolls

One of the most delightful aspects of our neighborhood – besides the wonderful forest – are its romantic stairways, climbing the steep slopes of Mount Sutro and linking the roads.

What surprised me was that they all have names. They’re lanes:  Ashwood Lane; Blairwood Lane; Glenhaven Lane; and Oakhurst Lane.

Not only are these stairs a convenient short-cut linking our curving roads, they offer great views and good exercise (of which more later). Some of them – like Glenhaven Lane – are well-lit at night, others less so. They’re all steel and concrete, the effect mellowed by green-painted railings, and vegetation growing right beside and underneath the floating steps. (They don’t have risers, so rain and light can get through to the plants.)

Glenhaven Lane

The stairways are all in flights of around 100 -200 steps, though some are actually systems of several flights of stairs. The shortest stairways are Ashwood Lane, which connects Clarendon Avenue to Warren Drive, (109 steps), and Glenhaven Lane, connecting Oak Park Drive to Christopher/ Crestmont (167 steps).

The two longer stairways are Oakhurst and Blairwood. Oakhurst runs from Warren Drive to a cul-de-sac on Oak Park (162 steps) and up to Crestmont (another 193 steps) for a total of 355 steps.

Blairwood Lane  runs in three sections from Warren Drive to Oak Park (117 steps) to Christopher (another 103 steps) to Crestmont (118 steps), and totals 338 steps. (Actually, it’s almost contiguous with Ashwood, so you could almost consider them the same stairway, which would make it 447 steps.)

A Staircase View

I’m not the first to write about these stairs. In ‘Stairway Walks in San Francisco‘ by Adah Bakalinsky with Marian Gregoire, our neighborhood gets Chapter 17. (With the slightly off-putting title, Grading & Sliding, Fog & Drip. They must have been here on a foggy day…)

And our own neighbor Beverly Mack wrote “Steppin’ Up” in the Jan 2010 issue of the Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization newsletter, about the benefits of the stairs as a real-life exercise machine. Here’s the article (published with permission and edited to avoid duplication — all the step-counts above are from that article).

STEPPIN’ UP by Beverly Mack

We are fortunate to have stairways that connect our neighborhood streets as an immediate source for exercise. The advantage of having the stairs is that you do not have to drive to the gym – no gas, no traffic, and no parking problems. The stairs are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no closures because of holidays. And above all else, IT IS FREE.

So, let’s start exercising by stair climbing. Take your dog, children, grab a neighbor, or better yet start a group. Stair climbing uses your quads (front of your thighs) and buttocks. It is an intense exercise because you are carrying your body weight against gravity. It is an intense cardiovascular and leg muscle activity. And it is low impact and safe for your knees. Do not do too much too quickly, and be sure to consult your orthopedist if you have existing knee problems. There is stress to your knees coming down stairs rather than climbing up, so when you reach the top of any level, walk back down along the sidewalks of our Forest Knolls streets.

Depending on your body weight and pace, stair climbing can burn 300 calories in 30 minutes. Make sure to wear shoes with good support. Drink enough water before, during and after your workout. Think about alternating stair climbing with other activities, such as taking a walk in our great forest. Whatever you do, make sure to check with your physician.

Start slowly, wear supportive shoes, drink water, and don’t forget to stretch  before and after exercising. Above all have fun. And besides, it’s a great way to meet your neighbors.

On Sutro Tower

It sometimes happens in Yosemite. You look up at a sheer cliff, rising straight up from the valley, and realize … that small moving black speck? It’s a person up there!  The other day, looking up at Sutro Tower, I had a similar feeling. There was something small and black suspended from it, moving.

Sutro Tower, with worker

As I continued to look, I realized it was indeed a person,  riding in a basket or gondola or whatever it’s called, suspended by ropes high above the city. I’m sure he (or she) was getting slammed by the wind. But what a view!

Worker on Sutro Tower

Our Neighborhood Owls

Yes, there's a great horned owl on the branch...

Out for a walk by Sutro Forest yesterday evening, we saw our neighborhood Great Horned Owls. They live and nest in the forest, and come out around dusk. I first noticed them some years ago, and I’d heard them even before that. (If you hear a soft resonant hoot, that’s them. Most other kinds of owls don’t hoot; they screech or cry out.)

Great horned owl, not a bunch of leaves.

One of them was perched in the fork of a big eucalyptus tree, looking out at the landscape, waiting for dark and hunting time. As we stopped to watch the watcher, its mate arrived, landed on a higher branch, and looked around with interest. As long as we chattered, they ignored us, but when we whistled softly, they bobbed their heads and turned to look at us.

No one had a camera, so these indistinct images are from a cell phone.

It was amazing, to see these splendid birds so near home. “I’ve never seen owls so close up before,” said my companion. We felt very lucky indeed.

Mount Sutro Cloud Forest Hike

It’s been a foggy summer, and here in the Fog Belt, it’s been like living inside a cloud.

It’s the perfect time, if you like mysterious ethereal forests, for a walk in our neighborhood Cloud Forest. On a foggy day, it may be the most beautiful place in all of San Francisco .

So for those who haven’t done it before… here’s my personal guide to the forest.

There are several ways to approach the forest from our neighborhood, but I’ll divide them into the Adventurous and the Easy. On foggy days, you could describe them as Wet and Dry. Generally, there’ll be few people on either set of routes (though maybe a few more on the Easy ones).

If you double-click on the map above, you get a larger one that can be printed out. (There’s also a Sutro Forest trail map as a PDF file at Pease Press Cartography.)


The two routes that lead directly from Forest Knolls are what I call adventurous, for two reasons.

First, access is very steep, especially for the first part of it. It involves scrambling up a trail. It’s not inaccessible by any means – I’ve been up there with neighbors in their sixties. But … it’s not a walk in the park. Also, it’s easier going up than coming down it, so you might plan a route that returns by a less steep path.

Second, on foggy days, it leads into the deepest Cloud Forest. This is actually my favorite part, but it’s Wet. The ground can get very slushy indeed, and I often return with much mud on my shoes and jeans.  Sometimes, the narrowest trails can become boggy.

The first route starts with a few steps opposite 365 Crestmont. On the map, it’s the West Ridge Trail. It’s narrow and you may need to go carefully, moving back blackberry stems as you go. (And be aware there may be poison oak around.)

The second is the access to the South Ridge, opposite 101 Christopher, between the lamp-post and the chain-link fence (fenced radar site) hidden among the bushes. It may even be a little steeper.

There’s also another access point on Crestmont, about halfway between these two, but I think that’s maybe unofficial. It seemed to have more poison oak, too. And finally, I have sometimes scrambled up the Gash left by the SFPUC’s water-pipe replacement (on Christopher) but I don’t recommend it because it’s very steep.  It brings you to the Aldea campus.


The “dry” routes, which are still lovely but don’t feel as wild, start out in the Aldea Student Housing. If you want to drive up, you can sometimes find parking on Clarendon Avenue next to the campus. There’s no public parking on the campus itself.

Here again, there are two options.

1)  If you go uphill on Johnstone and then along  Behr, you will come to a chain blocking vehicle access. That’s the Nike Road, and it’s wide and paved. If you follow it to the top (this is a pretty short route) , you will find the Native Garden, officially the Rotary Meadow. It’s about 3 acres of shrubs, (which are green this time of the year) and grass (which is brown). It has  wide gravel paths, and is surrounded by the forest. You can investigate some paths with an easy out if it becomes too steep or slushy.

2)  The second option is the Fairy Gates trail, which starts on Johnstone, right in front of the Chancellor’s House. (That’s the very elegant house opposite the lower intersection of Johnstone and Behr. Do stop to notice the stand of redwoods right there…) This trail is pretty dry, not too steep, and quite broad except where it goes between two rocks (the “Fairy Gates”). It used to be more wooded in feeling, but some trees have been removed on either side and it’s now very open except at the beginning. It offers views of the forest in the ravine below, and has nasturtiums blooming along parts of it. It ends on the road through the forest, Medical Center Way. Though that is open to traffic, it has sidewalks. Also, not much traffic goes that way, especially not now when the bottom end is closed for construction. [ETA: It’s reopened. Watch out for cars, but there’s still not much traffic.]

If you feel like checking out the forest a bit more, the bottom part of the Historic Trail is also relatively dry, though if you follow it to the top it takes you back into the clouds. The Edgewood Trail will take you down  into the Edgewood neighborhood. It’s steep but not very muddy. This area has some huge trees and interesting terrain.

3. [ETA June 2011:  There is a new trail now from Stanyan (just above 17th) that climbs up to Medical Center Way. Of course, you can also take it in the opposite direction. Though it’s a climb, it’s quite broad and easy to hike. Its bottom end starts with a wooden staircase between two houses; the top end connects to Medical Center Way.]


These are many other trails, of course.  Exploring the whole mountain probably wouldn’t take more than 3-4 hours. The rule of thumb is that in areas where the forest canopy is open and the undergrowth thinned, the trails tend to be dry (and sometimes slippery with dust and dry leaves). Where it’s closed, and the undergrowth remains, it’s usually damp or wet (and sometimes slippery with mud). Dress warm on foggy days, and expect it to be quite cool even on warmer ones. I always wear long sleeves, jeans, socks and walking shoes I can get muddy. (It also helps in case of poison oak… haven’t been hit by it yet, in all the time I’ve wandered around in there.) There’s a checklist here.

Despite all these warnings, this is a pretty accessible forest. To me, it’s completely worth it to be among those tall trees, their tops in the gray mist while inside the forest it’s fresh and green in the dimness. Birds don’t sing much in the fog, but there’ll be the odd tweet or rustle. Sounds get muffled. Usually, there are few people around. It’s the wild part of the woods. If it’s twilight, you might hear or see the Great Horned Owls.  For those who enjoy a little walk on the wild side, one of the best features of Forest Knolls is the forest.

The Crestmont Project

As many neighbors will know, there’s an ongoing proposal to build 34 new units of housing at the end of Crestmont. The City is currently conducting an Environmental Impact Review (EIR), and Dr Sam Sobol (of the Crestmont- Mt Sutro Neighborhood Preservation Coalition) tells us the draft EIR is expected to be completed in September or October 2010.  A large group of neighbors opposes it, and the Coalition’s website (click on the Stop sign to access it) details who to write to. That website also has more detailed information about the project and related issues. And photographs.


The project would extend Crestmont after a hairpin bend where the cul-de-sac ends now, and build along the lower edge of the resulting 20-foot road. This may impinge on land currently owned by a neighborhood association.

What’s the problem with the project?

This Google Map demonstrates some of the issues with the project. This is one of the steepest areas of the mountain. (The map already shows this road, complete with hairpin bend, even though it currently doesn’t exist – it’s a narrow mud trail. )

The hills are not only steep, they are not very stable. There’s a history of rock-slides, including the destruction of a home, fortunately unoccupied at the time.

The houses above where the planned project would go already rest on high stilts of steel or concrete. Residents fear that construction activities could weaken the hillside, putting the whole group of houses above it – and all the people in them – at risk during an earthquake.

(Click here for photographs of the site from the website of the Coalition.)


  • Increased traffic and increased accident risk on a narrow and winding road. “…Drastically increased traffic density of Crestmont Drive, a roadway so narrow beyond the uphill bulkhead that two cars are unable to pass when cars are parked, as they always are, on either side of the street..”
  • Risk to children playing on the street (since Crestmont Drive homes lack yards).
  • Limited access for fire and emergency vehicles. The street below the hairpin bend would be a dead end and only smaller vehicles could turn there.
  • Too little parking. The plan allows for 1.5 parking spaces per 3 and 4 bedroom unit. Since this the terrain limits access to public transport,  each household will probably need 2-3 cars, especially if the condos are rented as shared housing.
  • The wind usually blows uphill from the west. It would carry noise,  and fumes from cars, fireplaces, barbeques, up to the homes above. It also heightens the fire risk. If a fire started in a downhill building,  the wind could carry cinders uphill and ignite the all-wooden homes above, while also setting brushfires in surrounding areas.
  • Four large high density buildings and a total of 34 condos would change character of this neighborhood of single family homes and duplexes,  and have a negative impact on home values.
  • The existing trail functions as a neighborhood park and open space, accessible even to those who cannot climb the steep hillside of Mt Sutro to get to the mountain trails. This is one of the few pristine areas that has never been built on.

…and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas, to all who celebrate it!  And Happy New Year, everyone.

Today I received a charming message, anchored by a fractured candy-cane: The kids from the Japanese Bi-lingual Bi-cultural Program at Clarendon Elementary thanking their neighbors and giving them greetings of the season.

Over the last few days, I took some photographs of some of the decorated houses around our neighborhood. Here’s a selection.