SF Has More Parks Per Square Mile than Any Other U.S. City

The Trust For Public land, a non-profit dedicated to creating public parks, hailed San Francisco this month as the first U.S. city to achieve almost total recreation saturation, estimating two weeks ago that anywhere in San Francisco is within half a mile of one of the City’s roughly 220 parks.

Nationally, only Arlington, Virginia and Boston, Massachusetts come close to San Francisco’s perfect 100, both coming in at 98 percent according to a recent sf.curbed.com report. The Trust looked at the nation’s 100 largest cities when putting together these rankings.

The Trust also estimates that some 20 percent of the area of San Francisco altogether is now parkland. That’s enough to net San Francisco third place in the ParkScore report, behind Minneapolis and Saint Paul the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

Salesforce Tower: Good for the Skyline or Bad?

The Salesforce Tower reaches 61 stories high making it the second tallest building in California, and by far the tallest building in San Francisco. The tower should be fully enclosed by the end of July, and Salesforce employees should begin reporting to work there in October. 1 million of the 1.4 million square feet of office space has already been leased.

Even so, the question remains: Is it a good thing for the skyline, or a bad thing? Chronicle  Architecture Critic John King recently wrote a column on the topic. He doesn’t seem to offer an opinion one way or the other – saying that San Franciscans once vehemently opposed the Transamerica Pyramid, now an SF icon. He does, however, explain why the Salesforce Tower is so provocative.

He offers five reasons:

  1. It’s everywhere: It can be unexpectedly seen from neighborhoods throughout the City, even from Geary Boulevard in the Outer Richmond.
  2. Size matters: It’s big because the City wanted it that way. After Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects was selected, a new neighborhood plan specified that the tower “should be the tallest building on the city’s skyline,” with a height of at least 1,000 feet.
  3. Perpetual flux: From the moment it began to climb in January 2016, Salesforce Tower has put on a show, like some Erector Set on steroids.
  4. Design mysteries remain: There still are unanswered questions about how the tapered titan will touch the ground — including its half-acre plaza at Fremont and Mission streets, which will double as the main entrance to the Transbay Transit Center, set to open early next year.
  5. The shock of the new: The story of the Bay Area since the 1960s is defined by the tension between a region with global aspirations and one that doesn’t want to lose what made it special in the first place. Salesforce Tower raises the stakes, like other towers have before.

To read the entire column, click here.

This Week, San Francisco Is #1 Again

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Last week, we told you that San Francisco was ranked #16 among the best places to live in the country, well ahead of New York City at #80 and Los Angeles at #88. This week, good news, according to a report posted by sf.curbed.com, SF is ranked the #1 best city in the nation in which to live without a car.

Other cities making the list include New York City, Boston, and Washington D.C., placing second, third, and fourth, respectively. Oakland came in tenth place. These are cities where you can forgo having a car and still be able to get around town in a variety of ways; whether by foot, bike, or public transit.

The study looked at U.S. cities with populations greater than 300,000, and reviewed their composite Walk Score, Transit Score, and Bike Score rankings. San Francisco ranked #1 overall – simply a great place to live, and a place where it’s easy to get around without a car.

 

San Francisco: Sweet 16 According to a New Report

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U.S. News & World Report just named the 100 best places to live in the USA, and San Francisco ranked #16. To land near the top of the list, a city had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market, and a high quality of life.

Austin was ranked as the #1 best place to live in the country and we hear good things about that city, but still, it’s Texas we’re talking about. San Jose beat San Francisco out by being named the #3 best place to live. A nice city for sure, but absolutely no water views, so no thank you.

How did other big cities do? San Diego came in at #22, New York City at #80, Los Angeles at #88, and party town Miami was ranked #92.

Old Street Becomes a New Magnet for a Young Crowd

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160 years ago the street formed the western boundary of the City. More recently, the neighborhood was home to working people, and somewhat forgotten. But today, according to a just published SFGate.com feature, Divisadero Street between Geary Boulevard south to Haight Street is a magnet for a young, upscale crowd.

Chronicle columnist Carl Nolte says, “There are traditional corner grocery stores and, at Fell, the Bi-Rite Market, a grocery purveyor to the tech boom, where everything is sustainable, gluten-free and pricey. Auto repair shops are just up the street from the Mojo Bicycle Cafe, which offers coffee, beer and bike repairs, or the Vinyl Coffee and Wine Bar at Oak and Divisadero, where 14 of the 20 customers the other evening were tapping away on laptops.”

Alva Capia scouted San Francisco for a year to find what he considered the perfect spot for the City’s first kava bar. He says it wasn’t the Mission, Valencia Street, or Polk Street. Instead, he landed on Divisadero, which he described as “the San Franciscan’s street.”

To see Divisadero at its best, you have to go there at night, when you’ll find the bars and restaurants packed, the sidewalks full of people, and lines out the door at the Madrone Art Bar on weekend evenings.

Meet The Bay Area’s Wealthiest Residents.

cityview Hodgepodge Thursday

Yesterday, Forbes released an article detailing “The Wealthiest People in America”, where the top 400 billionaires and millionaires were revealed. As with previous years, Microsoft founder Bill Gates tops the polls with an impressive $81 billion.

Out of the top 20 wealthiest people in America, 14 reside in the Bay Area. It’s probably no surprise that Mark Zuckerberg comes out on top in the Bay Area, worth a whopping $55.5 billion! Right behind comes Larry Ellison of Oracle and Larry Page of Google.

SFist has used the Forbes list and published just the Bay Area top 14. Check it out here. 

Popular NYC Restaurant to Expand to SF

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That’s right, New York’s contemporary Indian restaurant Babu Ji is set to open in San Francisco sometime in the mid-fall. Having originally opened a location in Melbourne, Australia, owners Jessi and Jennifer Singh looked to New York where they opened in contemporary East Village.

After receiving rave reviews from both critics and the public alike in New York, the Singh’s have decided to broaden their horizons and expand to San Francisco.

Babu Ji will be located at 280 Valencia Street in the Mission, with Nostra Spaghetteria departing the premises. Eater describes the cuisine as “Momofuku-like, with a daring menu in a contemporary space. You can read more on this new opening here.