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Archive for December, 2009

Lasting Impression

Wow, I can’t believe this is it. My very last blog about the Richmond. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the 38 Geary contemplating the first one.
But what an experience it has been. When I first started reporting I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know anything about the neighborhood; I had never really spent any time there.

Fast Forward almost four months to today and I can say that has all changed. The once unfamiliar neighborhood is now familiar. That in itself seems like an accomplishment considering the overall size of the neighborhood.

So what can I say about my time spent in the Richmond this semester? Well, I learned a lot about a neighborhood that I had known nothing about, I met many fascinating people, I saw a lot of cool places, and I ate some AMAZING food. I think that was one of my favorite parts-having an excuse to eat (what can I say, I’ll do anything for school).

But really, I am so happy I had this opportunity to learn about an area of San Francisco I probably would have otherwise continued to overlook. I can honestly say that I believe the Richmond District encompasses many of the qualities that people love most about San Francisco. It is truly diverse with its own unique cultural identity and it has a rich history.

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A look at how Richmond is getting in the holiday spirit.




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MUNI Service Changes

Due to a more than $120 million deficit in SFMTA’s budget this year nearly 60 percent of MUNI’s lines are set to undergo some change beginning this Saturday, December 5.
Changes will affect MUNI lines all over the city, including much of the Richmond District. Here is a quick overview of some of the changes that will directly affect the neighborhood.
  • 1 California: Service hours will be reduced and segments South of Sacremento St. on Howard, Davis, Main, Beale and Drumm Streets will be eliminated
  • 2 Clement: Service between 14th and 33rd Ave. will be eliminated. The 2 Clement will also now go to Ferry Plaza daily, including weekends.
  • 5 Fulton: Frequency will increase during peak periods and service will extend to the Transbay Terminal. Owl service will also begin earlier.
  • 18 46th Ave. : Service hours will be reduced and the bus will be re-routed along some areas. Segments will also be eliminated along Geary Blvd. and Point Lobos Ave.
  • 29 Sunset: Service will be reduced and segments north of Baker Beach in the Presidio will be eliminated
  • 30 Balboa: Frequency and service hours will be reduced
  • 38 Geary: Segments of the 38 Geary and the 38 Geary Owl will be eliminated near Ocean Beach. The 38L Geary Limited however, will increase frequency and expand hours
For a complete list of all the service changes and alternatives, see MUNI’s letter to customers and details by route. Also, don’t forget that fastpasses will go up to $70 per month beginning in January.

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Green Apple Books

Another one of my absolute favorite places I have discovered in covering the Richmond District- I can’t believe it has taken me this long to write a blog about it.

Green Apple Books is just yet another example of one of those unique Richmond Institutions that has been in the neighborhood for generations. Located on Clement St. at 6th Ave., in the heart of Richmond’s “New Chinatown”, Green Apple Books is a prime example of the independent bookstore at its best.

I could easily spend hours in this place browsing the impressive selection of new and used books on virtually any subject imaginable. Seriously, even the most choosey readers could find any number of books to interest them in this place.

And if books aren’t your thing, or you’re just looking for something different, they have another location a couple doors down that specializes in new and used music and movies including DVD’s, CD’s and even vinyls.

Like I said, I don’t know what there is not to like about this place. Not only can you buy new and used books, music and movies but you can sell them as well. Green Apples Books offers both cash and store credit for your items. And they even have a free box outside the store full of books they are unable to buy but still wish to offer to anyone who is interested. Try finding that at your local chain bookstore!

The store also keeps a blog, updated weekly, that explores any number of book-related subjects and is definitely worth a read.

For example, while some independent bookstores in San Francisco are refusing to sell Sarah Palin’s new book, Going Rogue, Green Apple Books prefers to take a different approach.

Because, according to a post on their blog,”for a general-interest bookstore to edit a book out because they disagree with the contents seems like a slippery slope”. So, not only is Green Apple Books stocking the book but they are donating 100% of the profits from the sale of the book to the Alaskan Wildlife Alliance.

Seriously, I’ll say it again, how can you not love this place?

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Haig’s Delicacies

I know I mentioned Haig’s in my earlier blog about ethnic markets and delis in Richmond but I love this place so much I knew I had to do a whole post on it in order to do it justice.
So just a quick recap- Haig’s Delicacies, located at 642 Clement St., is a small market and deli that specializes in Mediterranean food and products. Haig, an Armenian immigrant from Istambul who opened the store in 1956, no longer owns the store but it is still run by members of his family.
And I am so glad they do because this is one of my favorite places in Richmond. The market section alone is impressive. Imported candy, drinks, spices, coffee, tea and specialty products from around the Middle East and Mediterranean. They even sell some Asian products. But my favorite part about Haig’s is their food. I can’t get enough of it!
Now, full disclosure here, I come from a Greek family and grew up eating Mediterranean food. Whether that makes me biased toward a place like this, I can’t say for sure. What I can say is that in my 3 years of living in San Francisco I have yet to find Mediterranean food that even comes close to how amazing this place is for the price.
This is the dolma sandwich- pita bread filled with fresh dolmas, lettuce, feta cheese and tomatoes. Their dolmas (or dolmathes if you’re Greek) are some of the best I’ve had. (Dolmas are grape leaves stuffed with rice and spices).
This is their Mediterranean plate on the left- it comes with dolmas, pita and hummus, olives, feta cheese, tabouli salad, and falafels with tahini sauce. On the right is spankopita- spinach pie made with filo dough.
And if you don’t want to just take my word for it, check them out on yelp. Yelpers love this place too!

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