Noe Valley Voice December-January 2007

Short Takes

Pamela Gerard's Art for Sale

Here's a great opportunity to shop locally for holiday gifts: For the first time ever, Noe Valley Voice photographer and artist Pamela Gerard will hold a Studio Sale in her home art studio on 25th Street. The two-day event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Although she sells fine art photography, the focus of Gerard's open studio is her handmade travel journals and notebooks, photo cards, food magnets, pocket calendars, letterpress gift tags, and vintage photo pieces. "I love to make beautiful, affordable things that people can use every day and enjoy," Gerard says.

Gerard's face may be familiar--she's lived in Noe Valley since 1975, and she often roams the neighborhood with her camera, photographing people and places for the Voice. But you may not know that she graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute--studying under teachers like Imogen Cunningham and Judy Dater--and has been creating beautiful, intricate art works for more than 30 years.

Many of Gerard's personal customers collect her journals and notebooks. "They use them for travel planning and trip journals, to record their dreams, copy favorite poems, for menus for dinners with friends, or as gardening journals and guest books. There are endless possibilities," says Gerard.

To see for yourself, visit Gerard's studio at 3936 25th Street between Vicksburg and Church. For more information call 821-7245 or e-mail Pamela.Gerard

Hanukkah Comes Before Santa

Chabad of Noe Valley and the gift store Just for Fun will host a "Grand Menorah Lighting" as part of their annual Hanukkah celebration on 24th Street, on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Everyone is invited to come hear music, spin dreidels, do arts and crafts, and enjoy latke pancakes, gelt (chocolate coins), and a one-foot-high solid chocolate menorah. The candles on the real menorah will be lit starting at 5 p.m., in front of Just for Fun, at 3982 24th Street near Noe Street.

Six days later, Old St. Nick, accompanied by his sidekick Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, will be flying into Noe Valley to visit with boys and girls in front of Zephyr Real Estate, 4040 24th Street between Noe and Castro streets. Santa will pose for photos, as well as read kids' letters and wish lists, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Parents, don't forget to bring your camera. Also, if you have a new toy or a can of soup or peanut butter, and you would like to donate it to a child or family in need, bring that, too. Zephyr has collection bins for the San Francisco Food Bank and the San Francisco Firefighters Toys for Tots program.

Ministry Recycles Cell Phones

Getting rid of your cell phone? Instead of tossing it out, you can give it to a good cause. The Noe Valley Ministry is sponsoring a cell phone recycling project. Just drop off your old cell phone, even if it doesn't work, in the box in building manager Marshal Cousins' office on the main floor of the church opposite the stairs. If he isn't there, just put the phone in his mail slot. Please include the internal battery but no other accessories.

The Ministry will mail the used phones to a recycling company, which will pay the church for them. The money raised will be used to help renovate the building at 1021 Sanchez Street near 23rd Street. Also, recycling a cell phone keeps it out of the landfill. For more information, call Cousins at 282-2317.

Magic and Mystics at the Marsh

This month, the Marsh offers holiday shows for all ages.

First, David Hirata and friends perform Dec. 9 through 30 in "Magic Holiday." The show features two magicians and a juggler performing sleight-of-hand and gravity-defying feats. Award-winning magician Hirata has been performing for 20 years at venues around the Bay Area. All performances are scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be held on Sunday, Dec. 9; Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16 and 17; Tuesday through Sunday, Dec. 18 to 23; and Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 27 to 30.

In addition, the Marsh Youth Theater will bring back its May 2007 production of Siddartha, the Bright Path, for the holiday season. Written by Emily Klion, Danny Duncan, and Lisa Quoresimo, and acted by a Bay Area kids-only cast, Siddartha sold out during its first run. The play tells two tales: the journey of the young man named Siddartha who later becomes Buddha, and the story of a young San Francisco girl named Chandra who is troubled by the poverty around her.

Evening performances are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 14 through Jan. 6; afternoon performances will be held on Sundays between those dates, plus on Wednesday, Dec. 26, and Thursdays, Dec. 20 and 27 and Jan. 3. Tickets are $18 to $35 for general admission, or $12 to $20 for children under 12 and seniors over 65.

The Marsh is located at 1062 Valencia Street between 21st and 22nd streets. To purchase tickets for Marsh performances, visit or call 800-838-3006. For more information, call the Marsh at 826-5750.

St. Anthony's Curbside Donations

You can make the winter warmer for a poor or homeless person by donating clothing and other items to the St. Anthony Foundation. The foundation's curbside service allows you to donate without leaving your car, and your donations will be given free to those who need them.

Volunteers will be ready to greet donors at the 20th Annual Curbside Donation event, which is scheduled for Dec. 15 to 18 and Dec. 22 to 25. Just stop by 121 Golden Gate Avenue weekdays from 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The foundation is particularly in need of shopping bags, men's clothing, underwear, socks, hats, shoes, new toiletries, and baby clothes. Needed housewares include working microwave ovens, forks, knives, spoons, plates, cereal bowls, pots and pans, toaster ovens, and crockpots. Strollers, high chairs, and new kids toys would be especially welcome, too.

If you'd like to donate but can't bring your own donation, or if you have questions about what to give, call 241-8300 or visit

Register for Rec & Park Classes Online

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has posted its winter program offerings online at, and registration is already under way. Lots of classes are available for kids and adults, including arts and crafts, a book club, dominoes, music, photography, dance, golf, baseball and other sports. Rec and Park also has after-school programs for kids, and the Project Insight division oversees recreation programs for people with disabilities.

The Rec and Park programs are moderately priced, but scholarships are available to San Francisco families that earn up to $38,343 annually. To find out if you are eligible and to participate in the scholarship program or to register for programs, call 831-6800.

Affordable Art and Eco-Clothing

If you'd love to buy original artwork but don't want to fork over a few grand, visit the City Art Cooperative Gallery this month. The gallery's new show, "Affordable Art for the Holidays," begins on Wednesday, Dec. 5, and continues through Thursday, Jan. 31. The artist-owned collective has turned its back room into a showcase for art priced at $200 or less, including photography, etchings, paintings, and digital imagery.

The gallery will be open seven days a week from noon to 9 p.m. through Dec. 23. After Dec. 25, the gallery will be open the same hours Wednesdays through Sundays. A reception will be held on Friday, Dec. 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. City Art is located at 828 Valencia Street between 19th and 20th streets. To learn more, go to or call 970-9900.

A holiday sale of a different sort, but also representing artist/activists, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8, right here in Noe Valley. Spring Pilates and Yoga, at 1414 Castro Street near Jersey Street, will host a Holiday Trunk Sale featuring wares from, an online "eco-fashion" store. For sale will be fair-trade yoga and pilates pants, environmental and political T-shirts, purses, wallets, jewelry, and Japanese kimono robes, among other gift items. The event is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. For information about the sale, go to

Rats Twist the Nutcracker's Tale

The beloved Dance-Along Nutcracker takes a new twist this year, when the classic story's rats seize the stage and tell their side of the story. The 2007 Dance-Along Nutcracker: Ratified! opens on Saturday, Dec. 8, with a 2:30 p.m. show and a 7 p.m. gala reception, starring City Swing with Joyce Grant. The rats roam again on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The show's music will be performed by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band as part of its 30th anniversary season, and is the band's first performance conducted by new Artistic Director Roberto-Juan Gonzalez. The star of Ratified! is San Francisco drag performer Trauma Flintstone, who trades her wig for ears and a tail to play Ratavinci.

All performances will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street near Fourth Street. Tickets are $50 for the gala reception performance; for all other shows, general admission is $24 and children and seniors get in for $16. Visit the box office online at or call 978-ARTS.

Free Energy-Saver Lights

In an effort to encourage a "greener" holiday season, Pacific Gas and Electric is offering free strands of LED holiday lights this December. Just come to the Noe Valley Farmers' Market on Saturday, Dec. 8, to pick yours up while supplies last.

The market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on 24th Street between Sanchez and Vicksburg streets. According to PG&E, LED holiday lights use 90 percent less energy than standard lights but look and feel much the same.

For those who aren't decorating with holiday lights, PG&E is offering free energy-efficient light bulbs at Macy's Union Square on Level 6, also known as Holiday Lane. Get yours by bringing up to five standard incandescent light bulbs to exchange for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). To find out more, visit

This month's Short Takes were compiled and written by Erin O'Briant.