22 August 2012

Guerrero Street Landscaping

Guerrero Street for decades had a simple narrow concrete median. It still does between 20th Street and Market.

Several years ago, through the community organizing (and financing?) of the San Jose/Guerrero Coalition started the Greening Guerrero project. Guerrero Street's median was landscaped with drought resistant trees and plants between 2005 and 2007.... except for one block. Between 22nd and 23rd, the concrete remained, presumably due to property owners unwilling or unable to pay for street beautification.

Jump to now and it appears the lonely block sans plantings may be landscaped yet. As shown in the photo, it appears the concrete has been ripped out and replaced with dirt. No sign of when the trees are coming.

According to the web site, "the developer of the condos in the middle of the block will do the work [of landscaping the median] as part of an agreement with the city." No date has been set for planting.

Greening Guerrero History Map. Image: San Jose/Guerrero Coalition

15 August 2012

Mr. Allen Comes to Town

Woody Allen has made most of his films in New York City. In recent years, European capitals have taken center stage. (Barcelona is a capital city, of Catalan.) Well he's decided to come back to America, and is filming in San Francisco in addition to New York City.

His latest film is shooting in different neighborhoods of San Francisco including Downtown, but also parts of Marin. The Mission District seems include several shot locations including 24th Street, South Van Ness at 14th Street, and within a stone's throw of Urban Life Signs' headquarters. We recently "spent time" at the shooting location on the southeast corner of 20th Street and Lexington Street. After nearly 2 hours of waiting, Mr. Allen and Kate Blanchett were seen leaving the house above Force of Habit Record Store, a former punk music store.

Mr. Allen famously says he only films in cities he could bear to live in. We're thrilled he thinks San Francisco is livable. The only other actor we spotted was Bobby Cavanale. Other folks noted for being in the film include Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, and Louis C. K.

Note that Urban Life Signs' photography budget does not include purchase of a high quality zoom lense. Although we're generally satisfied with our Canon PowerShot A710A's 6X zoom, the images didn't quite make it into focus. Maybe it was the 8pm twilight more than the camera.

Note that the cops were "in force" in the less zoomed image below. After the break, you can see more photos of the location.

 The crowds watching were rather light, roughly 10-20 people, many just passerbyers noticing the activity. In the last 2 shots, there may be an image including Cate Blanchett. She could be the woman to the left of the van with her arms crossed. Or it could be the woman on the right of the van. She's entering the van and wearing a white puffy jacket.