'Orange Skies Day' remembered / Major skyscraper to break ground next year

It's Thursday, September 9.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

One year ago today, the sky was orange across the city. Do you remember what it was like? 

I had gotten up early that morning to paddle around at Ocean Beach and didn’t realize that something was odd until I was out of the water. I guess I had thought the sun was just taking its time to rise. A strange day among these strange times, indeed. 

DoTheBay posted some good photos to remember the day. 

The Chronicle did as well. And I liked its title: “The orange skies have faded. But Orange Skies Day is forever.” 

With that…onto some news… 

San Francisco’s next skyscraper will begin construction in the first quarter of 2022, its developers announced on Thursday. The 61-story tower, located downtown at 550 Howard Street, will include 250,000 square feet of office space, 170 condos, and a 180-room Rosewood luxury hotel. At 800 feet, it’s slated to be the city’s fourth-tallest tower, and developers say it’ll take two-and-a-half years to build. 

As the Chronicle’s J.K. Dineen notes, “The commitment to start construction is especially bold considering the tenant that originally committed to the office space, Salesforce, backed out of the deal because of increased remote work brought on by the pandemic.” 

Speaking of remote work, the city’s chief economist Ted Egan told the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday that the work-from-home trend amongst tech employees is “the biggest issue related to technology going forward,” especially if those employees are working from another Bay Area city. 

As the Examiner’s Jeff Elder explains, “Remote workers who live in surrounding cities don’t support The City through employment taxes, don’t support merchants and restaurants around their workplaces and don’t fill offices in hard-hit neighborhoods like South of Market, the Civic Center and the Financial District.” 

And to add to the economist Egan’s concerns, on Thursday, Yelp announced that it will move its headquarters from a 162,000 square-foot space on New Montgomery Street to a 54,000 square-foot office a few blocks away at 350 Mission Street. Yelp said the downsize came after “evaluating our real estate footprint as we look to best accommodate our now remote-first workforce.” 

Quick bits: 

  • 🏓 On the city block where the temporary Transbay Terminal once stood, on Beale Street between Howard and Folsom, San Francisco’s “largest pop-up” is set to open on Friday. Dubbed “The Crossing at East Cut,” the space will include a beer garden, food trucks, artificial turfed soccer fields, and two pickle-ball courts. The site will operate as a pop-up for at least three years. (Chronicle

  • ⛴ Have you seen that big boat off of Ocean Beach over the last couple of weeks? Apparently, it’s a 375-foot dredge ship that’s moving thousands of tons of sand from the ocean floor to the south end of Ocean Beach. There, a 3,000-foot-long and 30-foot-tall sand berm is being formed to protect the coastal stretch from erosion. (Chronicle

  • 🌉 “The Matrix Resurrections” dropped its first trailer on Thursday, and a lot of San Francisco made it in there. (Datebook

  • 🏈 According to the 49ers’ unofficial depth chart, Jimmy Garoppolo will start as quarterback on Sunday against the Detroit Lions over rookie Trey Lance. "I told you guys a long time ago, I had a pretty good feeling about it,” Garoppolo said. (NFL

What else I’m reading: 

The strange and terrible saga of the Willie Brown deck

Outside of Disneyland, this remodeled SF bar may be the best 'Star Wars' cantina in California

​​SF could expand program that pays drug users to stay clean

And finally…

On a Haight Street sidewalk outside a vintage store, a full-on youth does a standing backflip for his GoPro and yells into the camera as another teen scrolls through their phone and sips a coffee. 

This would not have been possible here just a few months ago because Coffee OutThere, and its owner Erica Ash, had not yet been operating a pop-up business out of the recycled clothing store, Indigo Vintage

“I am the barista, the roaster, the packaging, the marketing,” Ash said. “It can be hard to manage at times. But I want to be able to have a full grasp on everything.”

When Ash was burnt out working in commercial real estate in New York, she remedied herself by buying a little at-home roaster. When she came to San Francisco and needed work, she found it as a barista at Cafe Réveille. She moved to Paris to keep things moving.

“I was young, I fell in love and said ‘Why not?’” Ash said of her time in France. 

She began Coffee OutThere in early April of 2020, at the start of the pandemic. Ash was ready to pitch her coffee to local grocery stores, but few were looking for more items at the time. Eventually, she met the owner of Indigo Vintage, who loved her coffee, and “it’s kind of taken off from there,” she said. 

Out of her window, she’s selling coffee and pastries. Expect goodies from Starter Bakery in Berkeley most every day, and on Sundays, donuts from Dynamo. As for the caffeine, please, try the Indigo Latte. It’s vanilla, it’s lavender, and you can get it hot or iced.

“It tastes like Fruity Pebbles,” Ash said. “I’ve never seen anything else like it.”

Piece by Paolo Bicchieri

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and hope you have a wonderful night. See you tomorrow! - Nick B.

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Good Shepherd Gracenter is a recovery center for women without resources. It has served the San Francisco community entirely through private donations since 1961, and it's celebrating the milestone with an online auction and fundraising event this month.

Visit https://e.givesmart.com/events/lO6/ to donate or to learn more about the program that has helped over 1500 women find housing and support. 

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