America’s Cup blowing wind into San Francisco’s sails

The signing of development agreements for the 34th America’s Cup on Friday morning confirmed plans to move forward with construction. Mayor Ed Lee celebrated with America’s Cup leaders at Pier 27 that will soon be home to a new spectator amphitheater.

All the preparations are already set in place for the America’s Cup. So what does this new deal mean? The city already has significant plans as to what they will do in preparation for the cup. One of the new ideas that was included in the agreement was the building of a “village” at Pier 27 for the spectators. There would be a new amphitheater that could hold up to 10,000 people along with Pier 27 being the starting line for all the races. It would not be completed until next February just in time for the Louis Vuitton Cup in July 2013. The new “village” would be a worldwide platform that showcases the beauty, innovation and commitment to the city as the renovations will improve the piers and bring needed restoration to the piers.

America’s Cup

This will be the first time San Francisco has ever hosted the America’s Cup. Hundreds of thousands of visitors will come to the city to see the races. Along with the tourists from around the world trying to catch a glimpse of the yachts there will be many Bay Area locals coming to the city.

The 34th America’s Cup will be hitting the Bay Area this August with eight teams from around the world. The featured teams come from Italy, Sweden, South Korea, China, New Zealand, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The races taking place in late August will be part of the World Series 2012-2013. The America’s Cup is broken into three different stages: the World Series, the Louis Vuitton Cup and last but not least the main event of the America’s Cup Match Finals. The World Series being the first stage will give spectators a taste of the regatta competition.

[Below is a map of where the “Village” will be located in downtown SF]

City Planning

The San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development have put together an information packet for the public about the America’s Cup plans. The packet, called the “People Plan”, is updated every few months or so with new information. It details all the projects the city is dealing with to make the America’s Cup run smoothly.

One of the major problems will be public transportation and it’s efficiency. With the multiple factors of transit operating costs, crosswalk work and bicycle parking there are endless things to perfect to be able to handle the large crowds. Will the city be ready for the Cup this August?

“Yes! We are anxious to test all of our plans in August and look forward to seeing the boats racing on the Bay for the first time,” said Communications Director of the 34th America’s Cup Jane Sullivan. “The City has been planning for more than a year, especially around environmental impacts and transportation.”

The overall strategy of the city is to increase the frequency of all public transportation options like BART, MUNI and CalTrain. They want to use existing routes to reduce confusion and create a familiarity with locals and visitors.

Another key strategy needed to reduce confusion will be proper signage. In order to make the city visitor friendly they are relying on maps, public information and signs to direct the crowds and make the areas easily accessible from any of the city’s transit options.

The Clipper Card may increase in use since the city is planning on promoting the service to offer an easier regional-to-local fare card that can be used on any main transit provider.

The “People Plan” is available at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development website owed.org.

Poll information collected from 50 locals in Nob & Russian Hill.

Local Business

In preparation for the America’s Cup big businesses like luxury hotels the Fairmont and the Huntington Hotel each have a different plan of action in mind.

The Fairmont is known for its luxurious destination hotels on almost every continent. This international hotel won an award for the “Best in the World” from Condé Nast Traveler magazine in 2011. “We’re going to rely on our international customer base and our reputation,” explained Public Relations Manager Melissa Farrar of Fairmont’s San Francisco location. “Our expectations are high and we are looking forward to the coming months and what the America’s Cup has to offer our business.”

“We don’t have specific plans to court America’s Cup business as of yet,” said Public Relations Manager Kellie Samson of the Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill Spa. With the event only three months away there is still time to set up a strategy to attract customers and tourists.

For smaller businesses and local shops the tourism is set to bring in a rush of new customers and some extra income. Since the event will be taken place on the waterfront there is an expected surge of business benefiting the northern waterfront districts of Russian Hill, North Beach, Marina and South of Market (SoMa).

“I’m not expecting too much,” said Manager of Polk & Green Produce Market Fady Abed of the America’s Cup expectations. “It’s a big event and it will bring in a lot of business. I just don’t know how much of it will hit my family’s store.”

“For a new business like mine in the popular Russian Hill I have high hopes!” New San Francisco business owner Karen Gioia expects something bigger. Successful in Berkeley’s pizza scene Gioia Pizzeria opened just in time for the busy summer months. “It’s a great time to be in the city with the America’s Cup coming. I’m looking forward to the next year in San Francisco.”

Whether the Cup is bringing in millions of dollars or spreading the word about competitive sailing it is sure to set up the large stage for a spectacular event. San Francisco is a perfect city to bring the ocean mist to thousands of faces and provide the waves and wind for the competing sailors. The stage is set for the America’s Cup and the city is working hard everyday to bring the preparations necessary for completion. The city has not felt such a large rush since the Giants won the World Series in 2010. Will you be ready for the Cup?

Poll information collected from 50 locals in Nob & Russian Hill.

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Calendar of Events: May

Wondering what events are going on in the area for the month of May? Here are 5 options you have to choose from!

1) Lower Polk Art Walk & Food Truck Party
When: Thursday May 3rd
Where: Lower Polk Gulch
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE

The Lower Polk Art Walk is hosted every 1st thursday of the month at Polk & Larkin between Geary and Bush. The Art Walk opens art galleries to the public. The 8 galleries included are Shooting Gallery, White Walls, Nine Four One, The Popular Workshop, Space Gallery, LOPO Gallery, Alliance Francaise and Larkin St. Youth Gallery. Many other neighborhood murals will also be featured. There is a designated area for the food trucks and will continue until 10 p.m. For more information check out the Lower Polk Art Walk’s Facebook page. click here.

2) Taiwanese American Cultural Festival
When: Saturday May 12th
Where: Union Square/Powell & Geary St.
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE

 

Crime Updates for April

An update on the local crimes in the districts of Nob & Russian Hill.

CRIME MAP STATS

There were 167 crimes reported to the Crimemapping.com site. Of the crimes the most common one committed was disturbing the peace with 49 reports. Weekends are when the crime was most committed with 15 recorded on Saturdays and 11 on Sundays. Heavy drinking is most likely the cause of the disturbing the peace crimes. Here are the top 10 crimes reported between April 1st through the 30th. Be sure to check out the website for more information around your area.

April 2012 statistics

There are also quarterly reports called CompSTATs available from the SF police official website offering more statistics for every district. The newest one available is from March 11th to April 7th.

Don’t forget there are community meetings held at the police stations! For Russian Hill area please refer to the Northern District. For the Nob Hill area refer to the Central District.

Northern District meets every 2nd Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Northern District. For next month the meeting will be held on May 10th.

Central District meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at 660 Lombard St. The next meeting will be May 16th.

More information is available at the websites listed on the right side under Community Resources.

Happy May : )

Free BART event today!

BART Blue Sky Festival & Carnival

Cost: Free
When: Thursday April 19, 2012
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Justin Herman Plaza
1 Market Street, San Francisco

The 2nd annual BART Blue Sky Festival is taking place this week in preparation for Earth Day this weekend. The event will have live music by the Venusians, free healthy and organics food samples and carnival games by Sustainable Living Roadshow Conscious Carnival. There will be eco-exhibits with information for everyone from sponsors Cal Trans, PG&E, SF Dept. of Evnironment and many more. Giveaways are available.

Want free money? You can  win a free $6 BART ticket by filling out the BART Blue Sky Passport. All you need to do it fill it up with stamps from six festival exhibitors. Only the first 5,000 people who turn in their filled passport will receive a ticket. You can also enter a drawing to win a folding bike!

This event is an outside event and will be cancelled if it rains. For more information check out the BART event page, click here.

Want a sneak peek at the America’s Cup?

As all the excitement builds for the 34th America’s Cup to come to San Francisco in 2013 there is little known as to what it has to offer. Competitive sailing is an international sport as the America’s Cup is said to be the third most-viewed sporting event in the world along side the Olympics and World Cup soccer. The race is set to bring in an estimated $1 billion in revenue to San Francisco bringing in tourism and creating local jobs. Although many people do not realize how big the America’s Cup is  I have provided a little info about the upcoming event. The America’s Cup consists of 3 main stages: the America’s Cup World Series, The Louis Vuitton Cup and the America’s Cup Finals. The America’s Cup World Series 2011-2012 is taking place right now where they are currently sailing in Naples, Italy. You can watch live on Youtube at www.youtube.com/americascup. There are also a lot of videos of past races and athlete spotlights. Be sure to check them out! The race will continue on to Venice, Italy and Newport, Rhode Island in the coming months. San Francisco will get their sneak peek in August this summer. The Louis Vuitton Cup is set to begin July 4-September 1, 2013 while the America’s Cup Match Finals is set to be held September 7-22, 2013 in San Francisco. For more information about the America’s Cup check out their website for live updates and results. Upcoming Dates: America’s Cup World Series 2011-2012 Venice, Italy May 15-20, 2012 Newport, Rhode Island  June 26-July 1, 2012 America’s Cup World Series 2012-2013 San Francisco, California August 21-26, 2012 San Francisco, California October 4-7, 2012 *FLEET WEEK Venice, Italy April 16-21, 2013 Naples, Italy May 14-19, 2013

Are you ready for Earth Day?

With the world slowly becoming more conscious of our affect on the environment Earth Day is gaining momentum! From limitations on natural resources to blackout days to conserve energy consumers are doing their part to make small changes. This year’s Earth Day should be no different! The city of San Francisco is all about environmental issues that will reduce our carbon footprint from recycling/composting, air pollution regulation and water maintenance.

Going Green is the way to GO!
This year’s Earth Day date is Sunday April 22, 2012.

Here are a few ideas of FREE events to help you get started for Earth Day!

1) Planting a tree! What’s better than adding fresh air and a little green to a populated city? Sponsored by the Russian Hill Neighbors the people at Friends of the Urban Forest works with communities to plant trees with the help of volunteers and youth involvement. Their mission is to promote a healthier urban forest in San Francisco and create a larger green infrastructure. By including the community and teaching them about tree care and and planting they are spreading the  word about tree advocacy and the environment.

For information about organizing a planting in Russian Hill or Nob Hill contact Doug Lybeck at dougly@fuf.net! There are also planting forms you can download and fill out, please send them to:

Friends of the Urban Forest
Presidio of San Francisco
1007 General Kennedy Ave Ste 1
San Francisco, CA 94129
Phone (415) 561-6890
Fax (415) 561-6899

4 trees have been planted in Nob Hill/Chinatown of the planned 25 trees!

For more information check out the FUF website and see how you can take part in this wonderful project! Also check out their annual report.

2) Get involved with Earth Day San Francisco 2012! Come join Earth Day SF for their annual event at Civic Center Plaza in Downtown. It is a FREE eco-event open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be 3 stages of live music, workshops available and speakers/artists that will provide free information. Get ready to celebrate with the “Greenest City in North America” and enjoy a beautiful day in the city while learning how to improve your green sustainability. You can also volunteer at the event! Fill out an online application at the website by this Sunday April 8th. For general questions please contact Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Deem at volunteer@earthdaysf.org.

More information or a schedule available at Earth Day SF website.

3) If you’re feeling in the mood for a sarcastic rally then come join the iMatter Rally to Support Global Warming! The rally will meet at the Justin Herman Plaza at 10:30 a.m. and march onto the UN Plaza and join the Earth Day SF’s activities. There will be a Sing Out, a youth poetry slam and a flash mob to create attention on how important the effects of climate change.

Make posters and come join this rally on Sunday April 22nd! Although this is a youth rally it is open to the public and is all ages. The more the merrier!

Please RSVP at Earth Day Rally or check out the iMatter Movement website for more information!

*All this information is provided from the featured websites.

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You can also check out the San Francisco Environment website for ideas to reduce your waste. Or check out the official Earth Day website for events as the date nears! Hopefully we all can make a small difference that can significantly make an impact in the neighborhood!

Feel free to share  your ideas or plans for Earth Day! Go Green!

Top 10 things to see in Nob & Russian Hill!

San Francisco is known for it’s tourists that come from around the world to see the beautiful California city and it never fails to deliver! In the districts of Russian and Nob Hill there are famous places to visit as well as breathtaking views of the Bay and Alcatraz. Here is an easy, and mostly FREE,  guide for the top 10 must see things in Russian and Nob Hill! Enjoy!

1)    Lombard Street [Cost: Free] – The world’s most “crookedest” street Lombard attracts hundreds of crowds yearly. It’s one of the many attractions of San Francisco. Cars must enter only from Hyde Street as it is a one way street.

2)    Macondray Lane [Cost: Free] – Cobble stoned pathway that offers a small hidden garden like feel with views of Alcatraz and the Bay. Located about mid-block on Jones St. between Union & Green St.

3)    Cable Cars [Cost: $6 one-way fare] – Great for visiting the famous Lombard Street you can exit at Hyde & Lombard St. which will leave you at the top of the hill and you are free to roam the area. They sometimes stop and let you get off for quick photos. Also easy access to other streets in the area. More info available at the SF Municipal Transportation Agency website.

4)    Cable Car Museum [Cost: Free Admission] – Enjoy a little history lesson about the Cable Cars in San Francisco. Admission is free so you can’t go wrong! Located at 1201 Mason Street. More info at the Cable Car Museum website.

5)    Grace Cathedral [Cost: Free] – Completed in 1964, Grace Cathedral was built after the 1906 earthquake when the land was donated by the railroad banking baron Charles Crocker. Located at 1100 California Street directly across from Huntington Park. More info at Grace Cathedral website.

6)    Huntington Park & Fountain of Tortoises [Cost: Free] – Huntington Park is one of the many parks in Nob Hill yet the background of Grace Cathedral across the street and the passing cable car add charm to this small park. Gets lit up during the holidays. More info at Nob Hill Association website.

7)    Swenson’s [Cost: $$] – Whether you’re ready for some dinner on the restaurant side or your sweet tooth is calling you can head to the parlour and order up some ice cream! Located at 1999 Hyde Street this Swensen’s is the original store in the famous chain. Ice cream prices vary from $5-15. Be sure to check out additional information at Swensen’s website.

8)    Polk Street [Cost: Free] – Not exactly free since you’ll be spending some money on this street and using your time. Time is money right? Be sure to shop for all your needs and go home yet also get ready to go out late at night for the hottest bars on the weekends! You can also drink during the week but the crowd is more alive on the weekends. Be ready for some excitement and fun plus everyone loves window shopping!

9)    Filbert Street [Cost: Free] – Running parallel to Lombard Street this street has a known title of being the “steepest” street in San Francisco. With a 31.5% grade this street is sure to catch your breathe and make you work for it! Then again the views are also sure to take your breathe away. Win-win? Think so!

10) Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium [Cost: $$$] – Located at 1111 California Street the Masonic Auditorium is conveniently located in the city as the perfect venue to host events, meetings, trade shows or live events. Admission varies on the type of events so tickets can cost some money ranging from $35-100. More information available at the Masonic Auditorium website.

Color codes for the Google Map:
Attraction – Pink
Transportation – Teal
Landmark – Yellow
Restaurant/Café/Bar – Purple
Park – Green
Museum/Auditorium – Blue

Blue line on map is the route for the Powell-Hyde cable car & red line is the California cable car route.

Note: Items are not in any particular order.

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Links are provided to the right of the screen, thanks! : )