Ferris wheel in GGP for four more years / Vegan Mob to open in the Mission

It's Wednesday, March 3rd.

Good evening, San Francisco.

I’ve become a sucker for these hope-filled, call-to-action letters that have surfaced recently from writers in the city. Stuart Schuffman had one the other day that we highlighted. And on Wednesday, Mat Honan, an executive editor at BuzzFeed News and a 20-something-year resident of San Francisco, published a gem of his own

Here’s a bit from Mat: 

As we approach a long-awaited reopening, San Francisco has a decadent energy bordering on violence. The city feels edgy and small and like you — yes you — could maybe break something open… 

Everything seems up for grabs. We’re recalling the school board and renaming all the schools. (We’re gonna name ‘em all Karl.) We’re recalling the district attorney, too, because he’s too soft on crime and too hard on tech bros. Everyone’s moving to Miami. (But actually Oakland and Alameda.) The fires are out, for now, and the only smoke is coming from the exhaust of the ferris wheel.

Like I said. Things are changing. 

It’s worth reading the entire piece from Mat, which, like any good reflection on one’s time here in the city, includes memories from a Folsom Street Fair and a stickup that ended in him losing his It’s It bar. But more than that, I love the message Mat sends about change—that even here, in San Francisco, “we can start again.” 

The way he ends it (spoiler alert) really gets me fired up: 

Let’s end single family zoning. Let’s build a massive housing complex right next door. Let’s get people off the streets and into that housing. Let’s show that black lives matter. Let’s end anti-Asian violence. Let’s get treatment for those who need it. Let’s punish the motherfuckers who stole my neighbor’s shit and implement a strong policy of decarceration and restorative justice. Let’s get the vaccine. Right in the fucking arm. Two times. Let’s hug again. Fuck that: Let’s all make out. Let’s close the streets. Let’s open the schools. Let’s save ferris. Let’s do it. Let’s fucking go. Let’s go. The city is ours. Let’s take it. 


That’s what’s up here. Also I’m germinating some zucchini, which did really well for me last year. How are things with you?

And with that… onto some news. 

Speaking of saving Ferris wheels… On Wednesday, the Historic Preservation Commission unanimously voted to keep the 150-foot Ferris wheel inside Golden Gate Park for another four years. The ride, officially known as “The SkyStar Wheel,” was only meant to stay in the city for one year to celebrate Golden Gate Park’s 150th anniversary. But then came Covid, forcing it to sit mostly still. 

Those who opposed the wheel’s extension in the park said it created light pollution and its generator gave off a loud noise. Those who favored the SkyStar mostly viewed it as something fun to do at a time when fun should be especially welcomed. Mayor Breed made light of the situation at a press conference earlier this week: “You better hurry up and go ride the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park before the fun police shut it down.”

Recreation and Park Commissioner Larry Mazzola told the Examiner he hopes the Ferris wheel can help attract visitors to nearby museums, gardens, and local businesses. “Activating public spaces will also play a key role in our economic recovery,” Mazzola said. 

At noon on Thursday, the Ferris wheel will spin again. And starting in June, all graduating seniors from public high schools in the city will be able to ride the wheel for free. 

City supervisors are raising concerns over a recent tweet from San Francisco Police Commissioner John Hamasaki, who said it was an “uncomfortable truth” that “taking a gun from one kid may as likely stop violence as end up in that kid getting killed.” 

Supervisor Catherine Stefani said the comment sent the “absolute wrong message” and suggested the commissioner should “step aside.” Supervisor Myrna Melgar said “arguing that GUNS can keep teens safe is crap,” while Supervisor Ahsha Safai called on Hamasaki to “Resign NOW.” 

Others have supported Hamasaki’s comment, like San Francisco Republican Party Chairman John Dennis, who called it a “truism.” 

“Guns save lives too,” he said. 

Quick bits:

  • 🎨 This week, the Asian Art Museum, de Young Museum, and SFMOMA will reopen. All three will showcase new exhibits, including the de Young’s “Calder-Picasso,” which will be the first time it is shown in the U.S. (KQED

  • 🚗 Twin Peaks has been closed off to traffic since the start of the pandemic, but the SFMTA voted on Tuesday to open part of it back up to cars and tourist buses. One stretch, on the eastern side, will be kept car-free for walkers and bikers to enjoy. (Examiner

  • 🌋 The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, a minor league baseball team that helped develop San Francisco greats like Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, and Pablo Sandoval, recently lost its affiliation with the Giants. Now, the Volcanoes’ 23-year-old CEO, is trying to keep the franchise afloat. (SFGate

  • 🚭 Billboards on I-80 and U.S. 101 will no longer be able to promote weed companies, after a recent court ruling banned cannabis-related ads on highways that crossed state lines. (SF Weekly

  • 🍗 Vegan Mob, a popular vegan BBQ and soul food restaurant in Oakland, is set to open a food truck in San Francisco starting March 20th. It will be located on the corner of 18th and Valencia Street in the Mission. (SFGate

And finally…. Olton Rensch has brought specialty coffee to the Bayview District with the recent opening of Tallio’s Coffee. Rensch told Eater that he grew up in the Bayview and that every Saturday he used to walk with his friends to get coffee at the Ferry Building. Those treks, he said, helped inspire Tallio’s. 

“In the rich neighborhoods you’re going to see these upscale coffee shops,” Rensch said. “We were missing that in the Bayview.”

That’s all for today! Thanks as always for reading and we’ll see you tomorrow, maybe from atop the SkyStar. 😉 -Nick B.

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