Noe Valley Voice May 2007

Short Takes

By Erin O'Briant

The Fairest of Them All

The neighbors of Fair Oaks Street take to the sidewalks on Saturday, May 12, for their 32nd annual street fair to benefit the Jamestown Community Center. Fair Oaks Street residents from more than 100 homes will hold garage sales and sell homemade goodies to raise money for Jamestown, which serves more than 500 Mission District youth ages 8 to 18.

"Look for furniture large and small, antiques, kitchen equipment, clothing, kids' toys, and books, books, books," says co-organizer Blair Moser.

The food for sale will include a breakfast of homemade scones with strawberries and clotted cream at Holy Innocents Church in the 400 block of Fair Oaks, lemonade stands, hot dogs, burgers, and shish kebabs. Moser says a giant bake sale, complete with Starbucks Coffee, will be set up in the 100 block of Fair Oaks Street.

The fair begins bright and early at 9 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. If it rains, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, May 19.

Fair Oaks is the five-block Victorian-lined street that runs from 21st to 26th, between Dolores and Guerrero streets.

Chanting into Stillness

The non-profit Healing Yoga Foundation invites you to "experience stillness" at an Evening of Vedic Chanting with renowned yoga master T.K.V. Desikachar on Sunday, May 6, at the Noe Valley Ministry. Born in Chennai, India, Desikachar is the son of spiritual leader Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) and one of the world's most prominent teachers of hatha yoga, which emphasizes breathing and meditation. Chase Bossart and Kate Holcombe, of the Healing Yoga Foundation, will also participate.

"The concert will be mostly chanting by [Desikachar], with a few people joining him," explains organizer Lizzie Nichols. "We will try and get people involved with a call-and-response portion, too."

The Vedas are the sacred texts that form the basis of Hinduism, and the practice of Vedic chanting consists of repeating three notes to achieve concentration and peace of mind. A $20 donation is suggested, and all proceeds benefit the Healing Yoga Foundation. To reserve a space, e-mail Nichols at

The event takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the church, located at 1021 Sanchez Street between Elizabeth and 23rd streets.

Panel on Iraq War Veterans

The treatment and reintegration into society of wounded Iraq War veterans will be the topic of a panel discussion at this month's meeting of the Noe Valley Democratic Club, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, May 14.

Panelists will include Amy Fairweather, a lawyer representing the veterans' association Swords to Plowshares; Carol Fleischman, a substance abuse counselor who has worked with veterans for more than 10 years through the Veterans Administration; Romeo Horvath, a veteran and a counselor; Nicole Rivera, a veterans affairs expert from the San Francisco office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; and California National Guard Captain Antoine Brooks. Brooks was Horvath's platoon officer. Both served five months in Karbala and finished their year of service in Iraq at Abu Ghraib.

According to NVDC member Noel Lieberman, the Democratic Club program is an effort to study ways to improve medical care and social support for returning veterans in Northern California. The meeting, to be held at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street, is free and open to the public.

Third Harvest Fest Set for October

The folks who brought the neighborhood the second Harvest Festival a little more than six months ago have already set a date for the 2007 celebration: Saturday, Oct. 13. They're asking local residents and merchants to mark the date on the calendar and begin thinking about how to participate in the fair, which centers on 24th Street between Sanchez and Church streets.

Those who would like to volunteer should contact festival chair Norine Traci-Maloney at To find out about sponsorship, e-mail Friends of Noe Valley president Richard May at Applications and information for vendors are available from Forbeadin' shop owner Donna Davis at or Lisa Sherratt of Ladybug Ladybug at, and folks who would like to make prize donations should e-mail Liz Nash of Hot Headz salon at

The committee doesn't have entertainment lined up, but if you'd like to make a music suggestion, contact Glenn Nash at or Andrew Keeler at

Country Joe Channels Woody Guthrie

Sixties and folk music fans can reconnect with their roots at the Noe Valley Music Series this month, when rock legend Country Joe McDonald (of Country Joe & the Fish) presents a tribute performance to Woody Guthrie. According to series organizer Larry Kassin, this concert isn't just about music--Country Joe will do a bit of theater as well as songs and stories about Guthrie. Woody Guthrie, the famous folksinger and songwriter who performed from the 1930s to the '50s, died in 1967.

Country Joe's tribute is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street at 23rd Street. Doors open 30 minutes before the concert. Tickets are $23 in advance or $25 at the door and are available in the neighborhood at Streetlight Records, 3979 24th Street; 282-3550. Online tickets are available at To find out more about the Noe Valley Music Series, visit

Lick Musicians at Blue Bear

Members of the James Lick Middle School Band will perform with Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Booker T. Jones at a benefit for the Blue Bear School of Music.

Scheduled for Saturday, May 12, at 8 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell Street, the evening will also feature Bonnie Hayes, Vicki Randle, Sista Monica, the Jazz Mafia Horns, and another youth group, the Woodside International School Band. Shantytown will perform a late-night set, and deejay Sterling James will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

The fundraiser also includes a silent auction with, among other items, guitars autographed by Ben Harper and the late James Brown. VIP tickets are $125 and general admission is $60. Currently enrolled Blue Bear students and anyone whose membership is current may purchase one general admission ticket for $45 by phone or in person at the school. Proceeds from the evening go to benefit the non-profit school's music programs for youth. To purchase tickets or find out more about Blue Bear, visit

Garden Tour Flowers June 9

The 2007 Noe Valley Garden Tour is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and tickets go on sale Saturday, May 12. According to co-organizer Richard May, proceeds from the tour will go toward landscaping James Lick Middle School, specifically the school's new peace garden on the Noe Street side. The June garden walk will include carefully selected gardens throughout the neighborhood, including the one cultivated by elders at the On Lok Senior Center on 30th Street.

Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. Several neighborhood merchants are selling tickets (at no extra charge), including Cover to Cover Booksellers, 1307 Castro Street near 24th Street; Curves at Church and 29th streets; Ladybug Ladybug at 3870 24th Street between Vicksburg and Sanchez streets; Lisa Violetto, 3932 24th Street between Sanchez and Noe streets; Noe Valley Bakery at 4073 24th Street near Castro Street; and Small Frys, 4066 24th Street, also near Castro Street.

If you'd prefer to order tickets by mail, make a check out to Friends of Noe Valley for $10, multiplied by the number of tickets you want, and mail it to P.O. Box 460953, San Francisco, CA 94146. Include your address or a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Tickets will also be available during the tour at all seven gardens. For more information, e-mail May at

A Better Place to Live

This month's meeting of the Friends of Noe Valley will focus on the question: How do we make this neighborhood even more livable? A panel discussion is scheduled for Thursday, May 10, 7:30 p.m., at 4128 24th Street between Castro and Diamond streets.

According to Friends president Richard May, panelists will include representatives of Mayor Gavin Newsom's SF Better Streets, a private San Francisco improvement organization called Livable City, Friends of the Urban Forest, and the Department of Public Works. They will each present ideas and alternatives for better streets and sidewalks. Also, DPW will explain utility undergrounding and the new rules on sidewalk strip planting.

May hopes the meeting will allow better coordination between local business groups and residents on the future look of Noe Valley. For more information, e-mail May at

Classical Musical on Mother's Day

Music-loving mothers (and non-mothers, too) will enjoy the Noe Valley Chamber Music gala and silent auction on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 13, at 4 p.m. A special reception for the classical series will feature wine, light appetizers, and dessert.

Noe Valley pianist and composer Jake Heggie will perform with vocalists Marnie Breckenridge, Catherine Cook, Nicolle Foland, and Ann Moss, as well as instrumentalists Julie McKenzie, flute; Leslie Tagorda, clarinet; David Henderson, saxophone; Laura Albers, violin; Emil Miland, cello; and Richard Worn, bass.

At the silent auction, participants can bid on items including wine, art, tickets to local performances, and gift certificates to restaurants and other local businesses. The program includes selections from Bach, Bernstein, and Heggie himself. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Noe Valley Chamber Music Series, launched 15 years ago.

Tickets are $40 general admission or $35 for subscribers. For tickets or more information, visit or call 648-5236.

Mission Studios Spring Open

This month, a new collaboration among Mission District artists will allow art lovers to see the work of more than 300 artists working close to Noe Valley. All the studios are within blocks of each other in the area bordered by 17th Street, 21st Street, Mission Street, and Potrero Avenue, and organizers say much of the artwork available is affordable.

A preview night is scheduled for Friday, May 11, from 7 to 11 p.m., when visitors can walk from venue to venue for a first look at the studios, including Project Artaud, Art Explosion, Blue Studio, Workspace, Root Division, and more. Then the artists' studios are open on both Saturday and Sunday, May 12 and 13, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Ground zero for the Mission Open Studios is Project Artaud, 499 Alabama Street, between 17th and Mariposa. For information, visit Spring2007.html. To see a map of the studios, go to studios/mos.php.

Beauty That Never Fades

Now's the time to show your support to one of the many groups that make Noe Valley beautiful. San Francisco Beautiful is seeking nominations for its annual Beautification Awards. This year, judges are giving special consideration to projects that reflect the 2007 theme "Lasting Urban Beauty: The Challenge of Keeping San Francisco Beautiful."

Community groups, local businesses, neighborhood associations, and city departments are all eligible for nomination--as long as they've taken on projects that beautify San Francisco. Projects can include landscaping and planting, neighborhood conservation, historic preservation, public art, litter and graffiti reduction, enhancement of an area's sense of place, open space improvements, and sustainable architectural design.

Nominations are due on Wednesday, May 9. To nominate a group, you'll need to provide photographs or illustrations, preferably digital, and explain how the project beautifies San Francisco. For details and an application, call 421-2608 or e-mail

Help Clean Up the District

Do your part to keep Noe Valley and environs beautiful during the District 8 Clean Sweep on Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. until noon. Volunteers will join in beautification projects including tree planting, litter pickup, and painting out graffiti in District 8 schools and parks.

The morning of cleaning will begin at three kickoff sites: Mission Playground at 19th and Linda streets, the Glen Park BART Station, and Rooftop Alternative School at 443 Burnett Street.

Program assistant Naomi Lee says she'll be happy to help coordinate a site in Noe Valley and will provide brooms, bags, and dustpans. For more information or to volunteer, call her at 552-9201, ext. 10, e-mail, or visit

Free Opera in Dolores Park

Pack a picnic and get to Dolores Park at 18th and Dolores streets early for a free performance by the San Francisco Opera. Four thousand listeners turned out for last year's event, and organizers think this year's show will draw even more.

The concert is scheduled for Sunday, May 27, at 2 p.m. The opera will perform with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, conducted by the company's music director and principal conductor, Donald Runnicles.

This isn't the only free performance the opera is giving this year--it's scheduled a program on Saturday, July 29, at Yerba Buena Gardens and another at Stern Grove on Sunday, Aug. 19.

The group will also perform as part of the LGBT Pride Celebration in June. No tickets are required. For more information about the San Francisco Opera, visit

Kids Sink into Marsh Workshops

The Marsh Youth Theater, near Noe Valley at 1062 Valencia Street near 22nd Street, is offering a series of summer theater workshops for students in grades 1 through 9.

"Glitter and Razz" is a two-week workshop in which young performers create their own play and present it at the end of the session. It runs July 9 through 20, Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., with the final performance at 10:30 a.m. on July 21. The cost is $600.

Theater lovers in grades 4 through 9 get to participate in "Dancing in the Streets," a three-week session that begins July 30 and ends Aug. 17, Mondays through Fridays from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The workshop explores hip-hop dance, rap, gospel, murals, and more. Students rotate through classes of drama, music, dance, costume, and set construction taught by professional artists. The $800 session culminates in three public performances on Aug. 16 and 17.

Clowning around is entirely sanctioned at the "Circo! Circus and Clowning Workshop" for kids in grades 1 through 5. This session, scheduled from Monday, July 23, to Friday, July 27, from 1 to 4 p.m., introduces children to acrobatics, juggling, stilts, plate-spinning, and more. Participants will turn their favorite new skills into acts, which they will perform at 4 p.m. on July 27. The cost is $175. To enroll, call the Marsh at 826-5750, ext. 3, or visit

Korean Summer School Open to All

This summer, the Intercultural Institute of California is offering a Korean Language program designed to help students learn to speak Korean and understand Korean culture. Classes are offered at six levels, from beginning to advanced, during the evening. Participants may see a familiar face, since program coordinator Jee-Young Park lives near Noe Valley.

Instructors will guide students at each level through speaking, listening, reading, and writing Korean. Students may be eligible to take the classes for college credit, but anyone is welcome to learn Korean for personal enrichment.

Classes are held at the IIC, 1362 Post Street near Gough Street. The IIC charges a one-time registration fee of $70 for new students, and one class costs an additional $300. To register for the summer session, e-mail or call 441-1844.

Let Your Pride Flag Fly

Come join the Flag Corps of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band for the beginning of the group's 30th anniversary marching season. The organization is seeking committed people at all skill levels to join the corps, which performs with the band in all of its marching performances and in some concerts. Members learn routines with tall flags and perform together. The rehearsal schedule hasn't been announced, but most practice sessions will be on weekends.

The Flag Corps, which was formed in the early 1980s, gave its first major performance at the opening ceremony of the first-ever Gay Games, held in San Francisco in 1982. The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band is the official band of the City of San Francisco and was the first openly LGBTIQQ music organization in the world. To find out more about joining the Flag Corps, contact Ed Boeke at 415-412-0981 or, or Kim Boyd at 510-773-7468 or

Local 'Funny Girl' Gomez to Perform

The ninth annual "Funny Girlz: A Smorgasbord of Women Comedians" features Noe Valley resident and comedian Marga Gomez. She'll appear with Luenell (most recently featured in the film Borat), Sherry Glaser, Amy Boyd, and Lisa Geduldig at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue near McAllister Street on Saturday, May 19, at 8 p.m.

The evening is a benefit for GirlVentures, a Bay Area non-profit that works to empower adolescent girls. Advance tickets are $22.50 to $35, or $3 more at the door. They're available by calling City Box Office at 392-4400 or visiting To find out more about Funny Girlz, log on to

Honoring Soldiers Killed in Iraq

This year's San Francisco Memorial Day observances in the Presidio will honor two San Franciscans who were killed in Iraq in 2006: Cpl. Christopher D. Rose, age 21, and Pfc. Keith J. Moore, age 19. The parents of both soldiers will participate in the May 28 ceremony, and the event will be dedicated to all Americans whose lives have been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At 10:30 a.m., the Army's 91st Division Pipes and Drums will lead a parade from the Presidio Parade Ground at the Main Post to the Presidio's San Francisco National Cemetery. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude at noon, and the Pleasanton Community Concert Band will provide music.

The observance will end with a performance of "Amazing Grace," taps, a 21-gun salute, and an Army California National Guard fly-over. For more information, contact County Veterans Service Officer Wallace Levin at 982-3417.