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The GrowSF Report: APEC arrives today, prepare for road closures
PLUS: Lowell could move back to a lottery
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of November 6, 2023:
- APEC arrives this week, prepare for road closures
- Lowell could move back to a lottery
- Supes Ronen and Melgar fly to Japan on taxpayer’s dime to… learn about math?
- UN Plaza skate park now open!
- Tyler Florence brings “Miller & Lux Provisions” to Union Square
- JooDang, a Soju-soaked Korean/Japanese restaurant, opens in the TL
APEC arrives today, prepare for road closures
You should avoid driving downtown or across the Bay Bridge until APEC is over. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ conference arrives in San Francisco today, Saturday November 11 and runs until Friday, November 17. Leaders from around the world are here, and security has been ratcheted *way* up around Moscone Center, the Exploratorium, and the Fairmont Hotel (see the helpful map).
Madilynne Medina at SF Gate has a super helpful list of all the closed roads, but in summary: avoid the 4th and 5th street exits of 80, and the Bay Bridge will be a mess because two lanes will be closed. And cyclists aren’t getting off any easier: bike lanes will be closed from 3rd to 5th & from Market to Harrison. Also, pedestrians entering the area will be asked to show identification and may be searched.
But hey, at least the BART and Muni tunnel will be operating normally!
Maybe we should all just work from home this week.
Lowell could move back to a lottery
Not even two years after proposed changes at Lowell High School’s admissions process sparked a lawsuit and a recall of school board members, SFUSD is once again attempting a change to admissions, and no one seems happy, according to Jill Tucker at The Chronicle.
Superintendent Matt Wayne is now proposing to base admission at Lowell on a minimum GPA followed by a lottery, eliminating the current system which uses a qualifying test, special application, and essay. This system seems to be a compromise between those who want a pure lottery for admission to Lowell versus those who want to keep the competitive process, and no one is happy about it.
SFUSD should keep Lowell as a magnet school for the highest performers and stop wasting time trying to mess with it. Instead, SFUSD should spend their time on improving outcomes at all of the other schools in the district. SFUSD should increase, not decrease, expectations, and improve education and outcomes for younger students, such that they can succeed irrespective of what high school they end up at.
Supes Ronen and Melgar fly to Japan on taxpayer’s dime to… learn about math?
There has been some backlash about a taxpayer-funded trip to Japan to study math. Supervisors Ronen and Melgar flew to Japan with the stated purpose of understanding methods for teaching math. But Supervisors don’t control school curriculum — instead, that falls to the Board of Education.
According to Josh Koehn at The Standard, Supervisor Melgar justified the trip by saying “We give [the school district] so much money with very little accountability, and I think this is one thing we can do to provide leadership.” But we fail to see how spending even more money to send people who can’t even implement any changes adds accountability or leadership to the process.
If, in fact, this is a valuable trip for our city’s top brass, shouldn’t the School Board commissioners be the ones who go, instead?
UN Plaza skate park now open!
As part of the City’s plan to activate the stretch between Market Street to City Hall, UN Plaza was reconceptualized. This week the Plaza re-opened, boasting a 13,000 square-foot-skate park along with other recreational activities.
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department managed the $2 million renovation with the intention of providing a community benefit as well as increasing public safety in an area which had become blighted by drug dealing and and fencing of stolen goods.
“We are incorporating best practices from Paris, from Barcelona, about how to transform challenging, difficult spaces into happy spaces,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of SF Rec & Park, writes Danielle Echeverria in The Chronicle.
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Recent & upcoming openings
A great city is constantly changing and growing, let’s celebrate what’s new!
Tyler Florence brings “Miller & Lux Provisions” to Union Square
Stop by to grab some picnic supplies and enjoy them while taking in the huge Christmas tree that just got lit in Union Square.
JooDang, a Soju-soaked Korean/Japanese restaurant, opens in the TL
Chef Jose Claudio (Barnzu, Sushi Sato, and Suragan) will be bringing a Korean/Japanese mashup to Hyde & Eddy in the Tenderloin alongside soju cocktails starting this Tuesday, November 14 from 5pm to 11pm. Check out Dianne de Guzman’s preview at SF Eater.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
GrowSF November Happy Hour
WHEN: Tuesday, November 14th, 6-8pm
WHERE: The Orbit Room, 1900 Market St
It’s that time again - join GrowSF and our amazing volunteers for a drink at the Orbit Room!
Summit to Sunset bike ride
WHEN: Friday, November 17 at 3pm
WHERE: Starting at Conservatory of Flowers, ending at Judah & Great Highway
Join District 4 (Sunset) Supervisor Joel Engardio, some APEC officials and staff, and your family & friends for a family-friendly bike parade! It starts at the Conservatory of Flowers at 3pm SHARP! By 4pm you’ll have biked to Judah & Great Highway Park for a happy hour, live music, sunset views (sunset is at 4:57pm!), and small bits form Sunset restaurants.
Scott Wiener’s Beer Bash is Back
WHEN: Wednesday, November 29th from 6:00-8:00 pm
WHERE: Barebottle Brewing, 1525 Cortland Ave
Come support Senator Scott Wiener's Re-election campaign for State Senate in 2024. This is Scott’s annual event Beer Bash event, which is alway fun! Plus, Barebottle has some of the finest brews in the city (and the first beer’s on Scott!)
The Spirit of San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city and the Bay Area. Here’s what makes it great. Brought to you by The Bold Italic.
What we’re doing this week
Superfine Art Fair
Superfine is the art fair that puts a new age of art collectors in touch with hundreds of cutting-edge works by the world's top emerging artists and their champions. They’ve got a great lineup of shows, parties, and family-friendly activities in affordable tickets that start beneath $15.
WHEN: Nov. 16 through the 19th at various hours
WHERE: Gallery 308 @ Fort Mason. Center 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco CA 94109
Legends Awards at The Academy San Francisco
The Academy in Castro created its Legends Archive to recognize those people who are profoundly shaping the LGBTQ+ community that we live in. Each year, The Academy selects one individual who has truly become a legend. This year they’re honoring Legends Archive inductee, Peter Berlin, as well as community honorees at the Legends Awards, which will be hosted by Sister Roma.
Tickets begin at $50 for non-members.
WHEN: Today, November 11th beginning at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Swedish American Hall, with pre- and post-award festivities at The Academy on the same street. The address for Swedish American Hall: 2174 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114
What we’re writing about
Why I love Nob Hill
San Francisco: a city of sirens and foghorns; cable cars and church bells. Few places take it all in more than the summit of Nob Hill. Hillsides, towers, incoming fog banks, hidden parks, history, technicolor apartment buildings changing from block to block like ribbons of film alongside each other — Nob Hill may frown at some of San Francisco’s edgier traits, but it contains many of its best.
Can this new huge rooftop restaurant thrive in San Francisco?
It’s succeeded in London, Toronto, Miami and Doha, Qatar, but can Chotto Matte work in San Francisco?
Our city suffers from a lot of bad juju of late, from stories about crime and drug problems to restaurant closures. And while all that’s happening, here comes Chotto Matte, a big dream with a behemoth floor plan; IKEA-sized dining has arrived in San Francisco.
Chotto Matte is likely among the few chains in the world serving Nikkei cuisine — Japanese-Peruvian fusion, drawing on Japanese immigrant’s culinary innovations within the mountainous South American country. Walking into a Chotto Matte finds you in a moodily dark futurism setting with Restoration Hardware-esque furnishings and alluring scents.
San Francisco’s delicious local pie this holiday season
Holidays are that special time of year when families call in their sworn blood oaths, beckoning us back to our childhood homes so we can share hot takes on religion and politics at a table that’s covered in turkey stuffing. For those who remain in the city, San Francisco becomes a winter wonderland of ice skating, pumpkin spice lattes, shopping, hot chocolate, and pies. It is the best time to don a head-to-toe buffalo plaid outfit and drench yourself in sugar — seriously. Here are some spots we recommend.
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