City illustrator depicts the local places she's missed during the pandemic

It's Wednesday, August 25.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

During the shelter-in-place mandates last year, Civic Center-area resident Hannah Lienhard started to miss the storefronts that she walked by on her way to work and the local businesses that she once frequented. 

“Suddenly these large parts of my life were missing,” Lienhard told me in a conversation on Wednesday. “And I was wondering if other people were feeling that [too].” 

So, as a way to “visit the places that [she] missed while staying at home,” Lienhard found images online of some of her favorite local spots and turned them into illustrations. 

To date, Lienhard has recreated over 100 San Francisco storefronts, and now, the self-taught artist has started to illustrate the places other people have told her that they miss as well. She also likes to draw everyday businesses, like dry cleaners or fish markets, and stores that don’t have a major online presence. Lienhard said she worries that such places will be “out of sight, out of mind because you’re not seeing them every day and they’re not on Instagram, reminding you that they’re there.” 

The businesses she depicts have been “really kind,” Lienhard said, and “happy to see a place that they work so hard on exhibited in this way.” Some local spots have even commissioned her to illustrate their storefronts. And residents, ranging from hardcore foodies to neon restoration enthusiasts, have reached out to Lienhard to share their experiences and knowledge about the places she portrays. 

“It’s such a joy...that this project touches so many different kinds of people,” she said. 

Website: / Instagram: @hydratedhydrangeaart

And with that...onto some news… 

New York City has overtaken San Francisco as the most expensive rental market in the U.S., according to data released on Tuesday by the listings website Zumper, which showed that in August, the median rental price for a one-bedroom apartment was $10 higher in NYC than in SF. “This was unthinkable even two years ago,” the report said. “In early 2019, median one-bedroom rent in San Francisco was more than $800 more than New York’s.” 

Jeff Andrews, a data journalist for Zumper told the Chronicle: “With San Francisco being so dependent on the tech sector, it just hasn’t been able to lure residents back at the rate New York has.” 

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Quick bits: 

  • ☀️ San Francisco hasn’t reached 70 degrees in two months, the SFGATE reports, but this week, that should change. Temperatures are expected to be in the 70s from Thursday to Sunday, with a high of 76 degrees on Saturday. (SFGATE

  • 📚 The search is on to replace SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews, who’s set to retire at the end of this school year. The Board of Education’s first step, as addressed in Tuesday’s meetings: Find a firm that will help lead the recruitment process. (Here/Say

  • 💦 A ruptured water main, not Covid, has forced the Stern Grove Festival to cancel its final show of the summer, which was set to feature Oakland funk band Tower of Power and rapper Too $hort. As the Chronicle reports, “The leak spilled 700,000 gallons of drinking water, much of it pouring into the concert venue.” The show will not be rescheduled. (Chronicle

  • 🏙 The $100 million effort to shore up the downtown ​​Millennium Tower appears to have caused the highrise to sink even quicker since construction began in May, NBC Bay Area reported on Tuesday. Out of an “abundance of caution,” the Millennium Tower Association told its residents this week that the work has been temporarily halted while the situation is assessed. (NBC Bay Area

And finally… 

I’m jealous I didn’t think of doing this myself, but I’m glad the Chronicle’s Heather Knight did. 

On Tuesday, Knight wrote about her trip to the Design District where she visited APROE, the product manufacturing firm that’s scheduled to build the prototypes for San Francisco’s next trash cans. Yes, the ones that are expected to cost $12,000 each

“The real product is the process and the learning,” said APROE’s head of design and engineering, Andrew Damele. “The more money and time you spend up front, the better end result you’re going to get. It’s just the nature of manufacturing.”

To be fair, the city does have high expectations for these new cans. They are to be good-looking, long-lasting, and tamper-proof, and have a separate space for recycling, a component that makes them more easily picked up by garbage trucks, and a sensor that indicates to workers that they are getting full. 

“This is San Francisco, after all,” Knight wrote. “Even our trash cans must be bespoke.” 

After her visit to APROE, which counts Peloton, Facebook, and Blue Bottle Coffee as its clients, Knight said that $12,000 for a prototype “isn’t as nutty as it sounds. Taking several years to get new bins installed on our filthy sidewalks? Now that’s plain crazy.” 

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and I’ll see you back here tomorrow. Have a great night! - Nick B. 

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