Noe Valley Voice July-August 2006

Letters to the Editor

Safeway Predates Little Bell on Castro


Regarding the Noe Valley History Quiz in the Rumors section of the April and May issues: The column is great, and the quiz was fun. You were right that Little Bell Market preceded the Walgreen's store in the former cablecar barn on Castro Street near Jersey. But here's an interesting footnote: Before Little Bell landed on Castro, the building was occupied by Safeway.

Hard to believe now.

Take care, and keep up the good work.

Lynn Thompson

Via e-mail

Awash in Surf Super Memories


On a whim I googled "Surf Super Market" and came up with your Noe Valley Voice quiz ["Rumors Behind the News," May 2006]. My grandparents, and later my parents and uncle, owned Surf for many years. It was at 4045 24th Street [where the Rite Aid is now], a couple of doors down from Hopwell's [now Le Zinc Bistro]. As kids, my sister and I were crazy about the Hopwell's dolls.

I am glad you also remember Surf. I think Reno the butcher bought the store from my parents. Then it became a Thrifty Jr. We were always competing for customers from the Big Bell and Little Bell, a losing battle for a mom and pop store. I recall the two Bell markets as being really close to each other.

One funny story was when coffee prices were skyrocketing and Surf Super was broken into. Burglars sawed through the roof, came in, and took only coffee and cigarettes. One year my dad put us out on the sidewalk during the 24th Street Fair selling candied apples. We could keep all the profit, he said. We sold a lot of apples.

Kristina Perez Krow

Via e-mail

Nina Says Farewell

Dear Friends in Noe Valley:

It's hard for me to believe that 37 years have gone by since the day the Noe Valley Nursery School opened its doors for the first time on Jan. 15, 1969. The doors have been open ever since, and what a glorious and varied river of people have flowed through them!

Each day at the school was for me an unknown: six parents and 24 children creating a small world of talking and singing, arguing and dancing, learning and teaching. And more, of course.

It was not always easy, but it was always alive, changing, and beautiful--a place in which people opened up to each other, children and parents and me, the director of this astonishing place for all these years.

Well, the school will continue for another 37 years, I am sure, but without me. The school has hired a new director, Susan Edwards, a person of intelligence, sensitivity, and humor, whose son was a kid at the school 29 years ago. So she knows what an amazing place it is, and is ready to add to its richness.

And I am ready to say goodbye to all the many good friends in the Noe Valley community that for 37 years have been so supportive--especially the Noe Valley Ministry, our extraordinary landlord. Together, the Ministry and the school have changed and grown, always heading in the same direction--towards better understanding, a loving community, and a better world for all people.

Nina Youkelson

Director, Noe Valley Nursery School

1021 Sanchez Street

Editor's Note: The Noe Valley Voice has had a small office located next to the Noe Valley Co-op Nursery School within the Noe Valley Ministry for 29 years, and throughout that time, the school and Nina Youkelson, its wise, warm, and wonderful director, have been our neighbor. Nina, we're going to miss seeing your smiling face. Enjoy your retirement and come back to visit!

Garden Guardians


Thank you for the wonderful article on the Noe Valley Garden Tour ["A Glimpse into Noe Valley's Secret Gardens," June 2006]. My garden was one of those featured.

I wanted to point out, however, that the article listed Jonica Brooks as the owner of the garden. I am only a renter of the space. The owner of the property is Theodore Scalione. He is the real hero keeping the garden space open!

Thank you for having such a wonderful newspaper. I read every edition.

Jonica Brooks

23rd Street

Creeping Magnolias


Congratulations to the Noe Valley Voice--you are always great! Congratulations especially to the Friends of the Urban Forest ["The Seeds of a Neighborhood Tree Planting," March 2006]. The article about them was so interesting, particularly the line "Magnolias and olive trees are two of the many species that have thrived here in the past."

What a lovely gesture of friendship to the state of Mississippi. Yes, magnolias are the state tree and flower of Mississippi. Perhaps we can name San Francisco Mississippi West? Or have a cultural exchange? Friends of the Urban Forest could visit and get some ideas on what to plant in San Francisco. Just be sure not to plant anything native to California. Not exotic enough, of course.

Name withheld by request

24th Street

Any Lunnys Out There?


I stumbled onto your article about turning the Lunny House into a retail/condominium complex ["City Approves 'Lunny House' Development," September 2003]. All Lunnys, the surname for an old Irish clan, are related if you go back far enough. I had never heard of a Robert Lunny living in Noe Valley. For that matter, I had never heard of Noe Valley.

Are there any Lunnys still living in your neck of the woods?

There are a fair number of Lunnys in Florida (all Catholic) and in South Carolina and North Carolina (all Baptist--my South Carolina uncle "converted"). We've heard of a few Lunnys in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. But California is a new branch of the family. Interestingly, the main restaurant in the Cosmos Hotel in Moscow is called Lunny--so a few Lunnys have traveled afar.

I'd love to hear from the Noe Lunnys. My e-mail is

Don Lunny

Jacksonville, Fla.


THE VOICE welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, 1021 Sanchez Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. Or e-mail editor@noevalley Please include your name, address, and phone number. (Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication.) Be aware that letters may be edited for brevity or clarity. We look forward to hearing from you.