SF low on vaccine doses / Local muralist says 'art renaissance' happening in the city

It's Tuesday, February 16th

Good evening, San Francisco. 

Happy Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday. Indulge in anything yet today? I had a kale salad for lunch in my attempt to shed some pandemic pounds. Maybe dinner will be a little more exciting! 

Speaking of food, with all that pizza talk last week, I did try out Pink Onion on Friday and it was good! The pizza itself wasn’t fancy (no Neapolitan crust, or anything like that). But it was cheesy and greasy and really, truly satisfying. The Magic Mushroom with truffle oil was 👌. 

Annnd now I’m hungry again. But first, some news: 

City officials have temporarily paused operations at the Moscone Center vaccination site due to a shortage of available doses, Mayor Breed announced on Sunday. The site, which had been open for just over a week, played a key role in helping San Francisco inch closer towards its goal of administering 10,000 doses per day. Last week, the city averaged 7,400 per day. Breed said no existing appointments were canceled and that enough supply had been held to ensure second doses would be available to people on time. 

“I'm frustrated because we've shown that SF can administer shots as soon as they come in,” Breed said on Twitter. “The only thing holding us back is a lack of supply, and I'm hoping that will change soon.” 

Similar shortages have caused mass sites in Los Angeles, including Dodger Stadium, to close down as well. Meanwhile, the Oakland Coliseum site, which the federal government is running, opened on Tuesday. That site was supposed to be open to anyone in Phases 1A and 1B, including teachers and food industry workers, regardless of where they live. Early reports on Twitter, however, indicate that San Franciscans in 1B are still unable to book appointments at the Coliseum. Supervisor Matt Haney said that’s because the San Francisco Department of Public Health “isn't allowing people in 1B tier 1 to be vaccinated yet, anywhere, until 2/24.”  

When San Francisco’s public schools reopen, students might not return to their typical, Monday through Friday schedules. The Chronicle reported last week that the San Francisco teachers’ union has proposed students initially come back to the classroom for just two mornings per week. 

The union and school district are still negotiating the finalized schedule. Meanwhile, the timeline for exactly when students will return is still up-in-the-air. The district and union reached a tentative agreement earlier this month to reopen schools when new cases in the county declined and teachers were eligible to receive the vaccine. But Mayor Breed has been critical of the plan and said the two sides should simply agree upon a return date. 

The school board was expected to vote on the tentative agreement for reopening on Tuesday, though that has been delayed a week. Instead, the board will have a closed session tonight to discuss “a legal issue, reportedly related to the renaming of 44 schools,” Chronicle reporter Jill Tucker said on Twitter. “It's unclear why the board can't do both.”

A series of shootings shook San Francisco this weekend. Two people were shot near the Embarcadero on Friday. Six people were shot in the Bayview on Saturday night. And three people were shot in the Tenderloin early Sunday morning. Only one of the nine victims faced life-threatening injuries, according to the Chronicle.

A police spokesperson said “it has not been determined” whether the shootings were connected. On Twitter, Supervisor Matt Haney, whose district includes the Tenderloin, said, “the street drug trade on Turk & Hyde clearly contributing to violence & death. Dangerous & entirely unacceptable.” 

Quick bits:

  • 🐲 The Willie "Woo Woo" Wong Playground in Chinatown reopened last Friday after a multi-million dollar renovation that took over two years to complete. Here are some photos of the new, dragon-themed playground equipment. (SFist

  • 🚴 Right now, you can bike half-way across the Bay Bridge (from Oakland to Treasure Island). But a plan to build a bike lane that spans the entire bridge (from Oakland to San Francisco) is gaining new momentum. (SF Gate

  • 📈 Rent prices in San Francisco may have bottomed out. According to data from the rental site Zumper, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city rose 0.8% in January—the first time prices increased since the pandemic started last year. (Public Comment)

  • 🍤 Lazy Susan, a new takeout restaurant in Hayes Valley, wants to be the Domino’s of Chinese-American food. It starts serving its take on General Tso’s chicken and chow mein starting on Wednesday. (Eater)  

  • 😔 Sadly, the oldest person in San Francisco (and in California) died on Friday. Lucy Mirigian was 114 years old. (Stuart

And finally… in conversation with local muralist Nicole Hayden last week, she told me she felt like there was an “art renaissance” happening in the city. 

“Before the pandemic happened I was almost feeling like, ‘Where are all the artists in San Francisco?’” Hayden said. “Suddenly, just kind of being on the streets and painting, I got to meet so many artists. It really feels like an art renaissance in San Francisco.” 

Hayden, if you remember, painted the mural of poet Amanda Gorman in Hayes Valley. 

We talked about all the press she received for that painting, her growth as a street artist, and more. Here’s a link to that conversation

I hope to have more of these kinds of talks with local people (business owners, politicians, reporters, etc.) in an audio series I’m conveniently calling, SF Talks. I’ll make sure to post these conversations in the newsletter so you can tune in if you’d like! 

That’s all for today! Go eat something good and we’ll see you tomorrow!

- Nick B. 

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