Posts Tagged ‘castro’

Pink Triangle Park and Memorial

June 4th, 2019

Pink Triangle Park and Memorial
Pink Triangle Park and Memorial Pink Triangle Park and Memorial
 

After delving into the potential futures of Harvey Milk Plaza yesterday, I thought I’d hop across the street and discuss one of the most overlooked public places in San Francisco hidden in plain sight.

Located on a small triangular piece of land between Market Street and 17th Street, Pink Triangle Park and Memorial — often simply referred to as Pink Triangle Park — commemorates the LGBT victims of the Nazi regime during WWII.

According to PinkTranglePark.org:

Being one of the earliest minority groups targeted, approximately 100,000 men were arrested during this time and as many as 15,000 were sentenced to work and death camps. Assumed feminine by nature, Homosexual men were tagged with Pink Triangles. Lesbians however, were not considered Homosexual but Asocial, they were given Black Triangles and forced into prostitution.

During the later part of the 20th century, the Pink Triangle transformed from a symbol of hatred to one of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer pride.

From Market and Castro there isn’t really a designated safe way to approach the park as Streetsblog SF pointed out last year. Unfortunately whatever plans were in the works to address this issue were never completed. Your best bet is to carefully walk from the 17th Street side, but be warned that for whatever reason motorists absolutely floor it down this tiny residential street! Still, at least it’s a one way, one lane street at this intersection.

So as memorials go it’s not the most serene place by any measure, with cars whizzing by on two of the park’s three sides. Still, at least the shape of the place is appropriate. The space is maintained by volunteers; if you’d like to help out visit PinkTranglePark.org for more info.

“Save Harvey Milk Plaza” written in dust

June 3rd, 2019

Save Harvey Milk Plaza
 

Yesterday while walking through Church Station I noticed the renovations there were winding down, and behind the semi-demolished storage area someone had written SaveHarveyMilkPlaza.org in the dust on the orange railing.

This is a reaction to proposed changes at Castro Station, the next station outbound from Church. The plaza on the south side of the station was dedicated to Harvey Milk back in 1985, and hasn’t changed much since. Muni intends to make some changes to the plaza to address ADA compliance issues, which somehow ballooned into a complete overhaul of the plaza. Two years after deciding to make big changes, the architectural firm they’ve hired still hasn’t settled on a final design.

The people behind the the aforementioned “save the plaza” website would prefer making minimal changes to the plaza, although even they have some ideas to improve it, like installing murals, AIDS memorials, and other historical links to the area. The groups who want to replace vs. restore Harvey Milk Plaza may have more common ground than they think; both want a nice subway entrance at Castro and Market, and both agree that some changes are necessary.

For my part I don’t have any particularly strong opinions about whether the plaza should be renovated vs. replaced, mainly because I don’t really like the idea of transit plazas in the first place. Just look at the 16th and Mission BART plaza or the Powell Station sunken plaza by the cable car turnaround — nobody would argue those are excellent uses of public space.

Fortunately Harvey Milk Plaza is significantly smaller and doesn’t suffer from the same problems, but it’s not perfect either. For my part I’d advocate for making the following changes.

First, the above ground portion of the plaza isn’t well integrated into the bus stop along Market Street. In part this is due to the geography of the area, but the bus stop is on a narrow part of the sidewalk and is located a ways back from the main plaza entrance. One way or another this should be addressed.

Second, the plaza’s maintenance is an embarrassment. The sunken garden part of the plaza was fenced off and abandoned long ago, the exposed concrete is dirty and covered in streaks of rust, etc. A new plaza alone isn’t going to address this issue — or could make matters worse if it’s designed without a maintenance plan and a budget to accompany it.

There is a certain irony of course in advocating against certain changes by scrawling in a thick layer of dust to reveal a 1970′s orange paint job. Then again, if they’d simply written “WASH ME” I might not have taken the time to write this blog post.

Bark bombing

August 22nd, 2012

Bark bombing

Remember yarn bombing? Yeah, that’s sooooo 2011. It’s played, man. Get with the times. Now it’s all about bark bombing.

Not enough trees in your area? Just wrap your favorite “no parking” sign post in a layer of eucalyptus bark. It adds a natural and outdoorsy essence to the corner.

(Spotted at 16th and Sharon)

Blue Oyster Van

April 28th, 2011

Blue Oyster Van

Come on baby
(Don’t fear the Reaper)
Baby get in my van
(Don’t fear the Reaper)
We’ll be able to drive
(Don’t fear the Reaper)
Baby it’s not a sedan

Spotted on 16th and Church

No No Name Sushi

March 17th, 2011

It’s official: No Name Sushi (aka Nippon Sushi) is gone. The recently-rebuilt space is now for rent.

No No Name Sushi

According to the agent’s website, the rent is a whopping $3,500 for the tiny 525 square foot space. It’s intended to be used as a restaurant, and word on the street is there are interested parties. But few types of restaurants could operate in such a tiny space.

Why is there an empty lot at 15th and Dolores?

December 17th, 2010

San Francisco
There’s been an empty lot at the corner of 15th and Dolores for well over a decade. Despite a sign promising condos to be built in “Fall 2010″ (oops!) the empty lot is only used once a year to sell Christmas trees.

So what used to be there? It turns out the lot was once home to the First Southern Baptist Church, aka the Dolores Street Baptist Church. According to their website, they were a very liberal Baptist church that accepted LGBT folks.

In 1993, the church received an angry letter from a member of the Aryan Brotherhood who disagreed with the church’s views. The next day, the church was burned to the ground by an arsonist. Coincidence? Probably not, but nobody knows for certain.

Since then the site has been an empty lot.

Oh, and what about the boarded-up house next to it that’s falling apart? That was the parsonage of the church, aka where the pastor would have lived. The building is partly fire damaged and is slated to be rebuilt eventually.

The church’s congregation finally disbanded last year, but the community center they spawned, Dolores Street Community Services, is still in operation.

Photo by METROSTUDIO

Signs of life in the old Mecca space?

April 19th, 2010

Something is afoot in the old Mecca space at 2029 Market…

Activity at the old Mecca space?

And what nice handwriting they have!