Noe Valley Voice March 2011

Short Takes


Old Faces, New Digs

The Noe Valley Senior Center has moved to St. Philip’s Parish Hall, and the new home is a welcoming, comfortable place, says site coordinator Wendy Cohen of meal provider Project Open Hand.

“Father Tony and the people there have spread the menus [around town],” she says. “They are working together with us to make it a success.”

About two dozen over-60s now gather for a low-cost hot meal served at noon, Monday to Friday. Nearly half are St. Philip’s parishioners, including another social group called the Young At Hearts, which had already been meeting at the parish hall, Cohen says.

“They’re thrilled now that they don’t have bring their own lunch,” she says.

Some of the old crowd has fallen away, but stalwarts like Helen Yturriaga, who celebrated her 97th birthday at a Thursday lunch in February, remain. Yturriaga used to walk from her Chattanooga Street home to the lunches when they were held in the Noe Valley Ministry, a few blocks away on Sanchez. Now she gets a ride, Cohen says.

St. Philip’s Parish Hall is located at 725 Diamond at Elizabeth Street. Doors open at 11 a.m., and the socializing stops at 2 p.m. Fridays are game days, which usually means Scrabble.

Cohen says the center is open to all seniors, and will be serving corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. Suggested donation for lunches is $2. Call 415-648-1030 for more information.

—Heather World


A Tempest and a Temporary

Spring winds blow in a family-friendly The Tempest by William Shakespeare and a new temporary children’s librarian at the Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Library on Jersey Street.

On Saturday, April 9, at 2 p.m., professional actors with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will bring to life the magician Prospero, the sprite Ariel, the slave Caliban, the lovers Ferdinand and Miranda, and the clowns Stephano and Trinculo, using a real set, props, and recorded music. Afterwards the five actors will answer questions for an hour.

This Tempest is a 55-minute adaptation of the play, and though it is billed as an adult event, tweens and up might like it, says Branch Manager Alice McCloud.

McCloud is also expecting a new children’s librarian in March to replace Jeanne Sweeney, who is returning to her “home” branch of Presidio, which recently reopened.

Though she wishes it were otherwise, says McCloud, the new children’s librarian will also be on loan from a closed branch. A permanent replacement has not yet been made for Noe Valley’s Carol Small, who retired in 2009.

“The library is struggling with finances,” McCloud says. The department must staff all its branches before filling open positions for children’s librarians.

“Until they say she is put in this position permanently as your librarian, then she is borrowed,” she says.

—Heather World


Scott Wiener Addresses Demo Club

District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener will head a list of speakers at the next meeting of the Noe Valley Democratic Club at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16. The session will take place in the parish hall at St. Philip’s Church, 725 Diamond Street, between Elizabeth and 24th streets.

Wiener, elected to the Board of Supervisors in November, is a member of the supervisors’ Economic Development and Budget and Finance committees. He will update the club on the arsons in the Castro, the status of the new Mollie Stone’s on 18th Street and the Trader Joe’s coming to the Castro, and the proposed Noe Valley Town Square, among other issues.

Other speakers will be Vicki Rosen, president of Upper Noe Neighbors; Todd David of the Friends of Noe Valley; and Debra Niemann of the Noe Valley Association, the community benefit district along 24th Street.

For information, call Molly Fleisch­man, club vice president, at 415-641-5838.

—Noel Lieberman


Gourmet Menu for March

Omnivore Books on Food’s five programs in March feature a range of guests, from culinary stars who helped launch “California cuisine” to humble farmers who launched sustainable gardens.

On Sunday, March 13, from 3 to 5 p.m., sausage maker Bruce Aidells, restaurateur Joyce Goldstein, truffle maker Alice Medrich, and former Chez Panisse chef Victoria Wise will appear together on a panel moderated by food cartoonist John Harris. The event will be limited to 35 seats, and the $20 admission fee will be donated to Cobb Elementary School.

New York Times food writer Kim Severson will visit the store at 3885A Cesar Chavez Street on Thursday, March 3, 6 to 7 p.m. Then on Saturday, March 12, from 3 to 4 p.m. chef-owner Gabrielle Hamilton talks about Blood, Bones and Butter, which details life in his New York East Village restaurant Prune.

Two farmer authors—one city, one country—will talk about growing food and sustainability at two free events. Former Seattle chef Kurt Timmermeister, author of Growing a Farmer, will share how he turned a neglected property into a 13-acre farm, on Monday, March 7, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Then on Sunday, March 27, 3 to 4 p.m., Camille March will discuss the how-to’s of urban farming, including creating edible school gardens and landscapes. March has written a reader-friendly manual called Your Farm in the City.

For more details, call Omnivore’s Celia Sack at 415-821-3477.

—Heather World


Retirement Re-Thought

Meagan Brown of Edward Jones Investments will host a free hour-long educational presentation, “Retirement Has Changed—What’s Your Next Move?” at the Edward  Jones office, 4190 24th Street at Diamond Street. The event will take place Friday, March 18, at 10 a.m.

Brown points out that people approaching retirement often hope to pursue a second career working part-time, do volunteer work, or go back to school. At the seminar, she will discuss ways to organize and record financial assets, set realistic goals for retirement spending, and assess progress toward retirement goals.

For more information, visit or call 415-282-4079.

—Heather World