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Posted by Adam Brinklow

Five new rentals, from Forest Hill to the Financial District

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a regular column exploring what you can rent for a set dollar amount in different neighborhoods. Is one person's studio another person's townhouse? Today's price: $4,500.

↑ Congratulations to the landlord leasing this two-bed, three-and-a-half-bath, circa-1925 house in the Sunset for being the first person ever work the word “hobbit” into Curbed SF’s Comparisons listings. The claim that this oddly ornamented Oliver Rousseau-designed home on 29th Avenue features “hobbit house” doors will probably not pass muster with Tolkien scholars. However, those interested in renting it for the sum of $4,500/month may find its Gothic doors, barrel ceilings, and unexpected archways and interior columns sufficiently impressive even without Middle Earth certification. No mention of pets.

↑ Speaking of savvy landlords, the listing for this two-bed, two-bath apartment in a Queen Anne in Pacific Heights tells renters up front, “It is well known that San Francisco rents are high” yet takes pains to point out that, at $4,475/month, this offering qualifies as “median priced,” which is indeed technically true according to certain data samples. (For the record, the Craigslist median for two bedrooms in SF this week is $4,345/month). In this case the rent covers all of the utilities as well, and even clears the way for pets. The ritzy, old money look of the place and its swanky “club-style” living room is just a bonus.

↑ Down in SoMa near Mission Creek here’s another two-bed, two-bath apartment for almost the exact same price ($4,495/month) but with such a stark contrast in styles as to be almost proverbial: the smooth classiness of a Pacific Heights Vic versus the bold, open-spaced clarity of a tall-windowed SoMa loft. This one comes by way of the circa 1998 building (or 1997, the ad and the city records disagree) at 175 Bluxome with the bamboo garden in the courtyard. Note that the ad declines to call this a loft, referring to the upstairs as a “sleeping mezzanine.” Even SoMa’s got to put on a few airs these days. No word on pets.

↑ And speaking of stark contrasts, for two-bedroom, one-bath homes, one option is to go high with a townhouse in the Gateway Apartments building at the northern tip of the Financial District. Looking for $4,485/month, the apartment is located in a block of buildings triangulated between Sydney G Walton Park (one of the city’s most underrated green spaces), Ferry Park, Sue Bierman Park, and the Embarcadero. The space offers a private members club, but still no pets allowed.

↑ On the other hand, those who prefer to go low can keep things at ground-level in a detached two-bedroom, one-bath house for $4,500/month. This one markets itself as a “Golden Gate Heights classic,” which is perhaps a bit of a tough sell since it’s actually in Forest Hill, but at least the classic part still comes across with the tile roof and banks of bay windows. No pets allowed here either, though. Tough town.

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After discovering that his 'Instagram model' girlfriend was, in fact, using her account as a front for her secret escort service he decided to have a little fun.

After starting to suspect something was amiss in his relationship this resourceful guy decided to dig a little deeper to figure out what his girlfriend was doing while she was 'out with friends'. 

After discovering that his 'Instagram model' girlfriend was, in fact, using her account as a front for her secret escort service he decided to have a little fun. 

He contacted her pretending to be an interested customer and she took the bait.

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Posted by Brock Keeling

Detached single-family home doesn’t ask for/offer much

The last time this petit home in Mission Terrace sold, the year was 1975 and the final amount was $22,500. What a difference 42 years make.

Coming in at one bed, one bath, and a mere 528 square feet, the circa-1912 home at 82 Harrington is billed as a teardown, which also features a 2,495-square-foot lot ripe for additional growth.

While this asking isn’t as jaw-unhinging as other San Francisco teardown houses we’ve seen hit the market as of late—this Dolores Heights abode, for example, is asking $7 million—it’s still a good chunk of change. And it could very well fetch well above its initial price point.

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Posted by Adam Brinklow

San Francisco’s $1.5 billion route to Chinatown

Known as the city's most densely populated neighborhood and a destination for many packed bus lines, Chinatown has nonetheless been bypassed by San Francisco's ambitious rail projects throughout the area's 169-year history.

That will finally change with the completion of the long-planned and transformational but often contentious Central Subway. ISFMTA’s first subway extension in decades, the project will begin at Fourth and King and terminate at the new Chinatown Station currently in progress.

When finished, the route will forge a literal connection between two traditionally underserved communities: The southeastern neighborhoods that the city sees as the future of San Francisco, and Chinatown, one of San Francisco’s deepest wells of history and culture.

Here’s everything to know to be in the know about that long and winding road—or in this case, tunnel:

  • In 1998 the city calculated a 1.75-mile route from King Street all the way to Jackson, but the commonly cited estimate today pegs the length at 1.7 miles.
  • There will be one new street-level station at Fourth and Brannan (servicing Caltrain and rerouting the T-Third Street from its present Fourth and King stop) and three new underground stations: Yerba Buena/Moscone Station at Fourth and Folsom, Union Square Station at Stockton and Market, and Chinatown Station at Stockton and Washington.
  • Tunnel boring machines dug beyond Chinatown and into North Beach. Despite speculation that this is literal groundwork for future extensions, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that it was just the nearest spot with enough room to extract the machinery.
Removing part of Big Alma.
  • The San Francisco Board of Supervisors wanted to name Chinatown Station after late Chinatown lobbyist Rose Pak, in recognition of her support for the project and neighborhood, but SFMTA maintains that stations should be named for their locations.
  • The Central Subway is in phase two of a two-stage plan to expand light rail service into neighborhoods previously never undermined. Phase one was the T-Third Street line that opened in 2007, which will soon connect with the Central Subway to form a single route.
  • Upon completion, the light rail will extend from Visitacion Valley to Chinatown, but at various points over the years plans looked as far south as Caltrain’s Bayshore Station and as far north as Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • The subway line broke ground in February 2010, but the planning phase stretches back to the 1990s.
  • Tunnel boring took place between June 2013 and July 2014. The boring machines weigh roughly 750 tons each and are more than 100 yards from one end to the other.
  • The pair of titanic tunnelers bore the nicknames “Big Alma,” after San Francisco philanthropist Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, and “Mama Chung,” after Chinatown’s Margaret Chung, the first Chinese-American physician.
  • The Central Subway tunnels pass beneath BART and existing Muni tunnels at Market Street, with as little as seven feet between higher and lower passages at some points.
  • The city demolished the classic but decrepit Pagoda Palace Theater in 2013 to make an extraction point for the tunnelers. Beneath that circa 1909 building, crews discovered the foundations of the church built on that spot in 1888, another victim of the 1906 earthquake.
  • Originally scheduled for completion the day after Christmas 2018, the San Francisco Examiner reports that Central Subway now lags almost a year behind thanks to scheduling conflicts with contractors. The new projected finish: December 10, 2019.
  • On the bright side, delays have not yet put the Central Subway over its $1.57 billion dollar-plus budget.
  • Tutor Perini, the contractor at work on the delayed station builds, netted the $838 million work order in 2013, the largest contract SFMTA has ever handed out for construction.
  • The budget breakdown: $44 million-plus for planning and conceptual engineering, $113 million-plus for design engineering, $34 million-plus for securing right of way, and nearly $1.4 billion for actual construction, most of that for station building.
  • As critics of the project are fond of pointing out, the finances factor out to roughly $176,000 per foot of rail line.
  • Over $983 million of the funding comes the federal government, with extra $471 million-plus from the state, and nearly $124 million in sales tax revenue from Prop K.
  • SFMTA predicts that when finished the route will carry “nearly 73,000 passengers a day,” and anticipates that by 2030 it will be the busiest and most frequently used of all the city’s subway lines.
  • Artist Yumei Hou will create a pair of 30-by-35-foot “laser-cut metal artwork installations” for Chinatown Station depicting Chinese folk dancing and featuring “some of the dance’s most iconic folk heroes such as the Monkey King, the White Snake and the dragon mingled with scenes of country life,” according to the San Francisco Arts Commission.
Map of the Central Subway route. Map via SFMTA
Map of the Central Subway route.
  • New York-based artist Tomie Arai will illustrate the exterior of Chinatown Station with scenes of the history and contemporary life of the neighborhood via “large-scale images translated into architectural glass elements,” although SFAC is still waiting on specific designs that will make it more clear precisely what means.
  • And San Francisco’s Clare Rojas will create a 36-foot by 18-foot tile mural for Chinatown Station. But the largest of all of the pieces commissioned is Roxy Paine’s tentacle-like piece Node, which, at 110 feet, will be the city’s single tallest piece of public art, beating out the recently finished nine-story Venus off of Eighth Street.
  • San Francisco photographer Robert Pierce has chronicled the entire subway project via photos on the official Central Subway Flickr account, going all the way back to the groundbreaking. As of today there are 5,470 images to peruse.
  • No, the Central Subway will not intersect and stop at the Powell Street Station. The Union Square Station will be a block east of Powell.

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Posted by Adam Brinklow

New vehicles will be quieter and more comfortable for passengers

BART announced on Monday that its long awaited and much hyped fleet of new trains will enter regular service in September. According to the transit agency’s blog:

The goal is to have the new cars carrying passengers beginning in late September. The 10 pilot cars had already completed 42 weeks of testing on the main tracks since last November during non-business hours.

That was preceded by months of runs along test tracks at our Hayward Maintenance Facility that began after the first pilot car arrived in April 2016.

The original 2016 schedule called for some of the new, Bombardier Transportation Company-designed vehicles to carry passengers by the end of that year, but none made the cut in time.

The revised schedule called for 60 new cars by the end of 2017. Now that number is down to just 35 this year.

“It’s time consuming, but you have to make sure it’s all right,” said New Revenue Vehicle Group Manager John Garnham.

BART still hopes to replace all of its present train stock with 774 of the 70-foot long, 65,500 pound, $2 million Bombardier vehicles by 2021 and then add another 300-plus later, although the latter will require additional funding on top of the present $2.6 billion.

The agency’s blog claims that all of the testing has identified 3,000 fixes necessary before putting the new stuff on the tracks, mostly software bugs.

Among the new new features: micro-plug doors to help seal out noise; better cooling systems that “will distribute air directly from the ceilings, making it more comfortable for standees on hot days”; padded seats with lumbar support; wipeable fabric; and next stop information that “will be readily available via automated announcements and digital screens.”

Watching the Aurora From Orbit

Jul. 25th, 2017 10:49 am
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Expedition 52 Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA shared photos and time-lapse video of a glowing green aurora seen from his vantage point 250 miles up, aboard the International Space Station. This aurora photo was taken on June 26, 2017.

181 Fremont Residences

Jul. 25th, 2017 06:00 am
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Posted by Nelle Plotkin

55 Signature Residences and Penthouses*
with Interiors Designed by Orlando Diaz-Azcuy*
181residences.com • 415.282.0888*
Exclusively Represented by The Mark Company


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Posted by Josh

Ads by Project Wonderful! Your ad could be here, right now.

Mary Worth, 7/25/17

It’s not a secret than the world of newspaper comics is small and getting smaller, and that I’m the only person who’s written about newspaper comics every day for the last 13 years, so obviously I’m on the radar of a lot of comics creators. And sometimes they let me know that they’ve taken notice of me, by means ranging from outright hostility in the comic itself to sending me free stuff in the mail in a successful attempt to get me to promote their branded products. So whenever someone who looks kinda like me pops up in a strip, I think, “Hmm, is this someone who looks kind of like me … supposed to be me?” Generally things are made more ambiguous by the fact that my look isn’t exactly the least common around. Anyway, if this redheaded goateed doctor is in fact supposed to be my in-strip avatar, I take that as a compliment, as he seems supportive of his colleagues, a quality I admire and aspire to. Also the artists have noticed that I started wearing glasses last year, nice job!

One thing I (or my alter ego) won’t have to worry about is being the object of Dawn’s moon-eyed affections, which is I assume where this plot is going, since the Dawn plots always seem to involve her sad romantic life in some way, whether it involves her slapping people she was actually dating when she discovered them two-timing her or prolonging weird, sexually charged friendships with various amputees and adjunct community college faculty members. Our beardy doctor is clearly just passing through this plot to establish the awesome diagnostic prowess of the handsome Ned, who can swiftly identify rare and obscure maladies but also grows his hair long enough to cover his ears, because he doesn’t care what The Man thinks. Just the sort of fella to catch a young girl’s fancy, if you know what I mean, and you will definitely know what I mean after Dawn mopily falls in love with him for the next six to eleven weeks.

Family Circus, 7/25/17

Aww, Billy was going to feed that human finger to one of the tigers and make its whole day. Why you gotta be such a narc, Dolly?

Beetle Bailey, 7/25/17

You know, I had a post all planned out today about Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, and how the decade-wide time discontinuity between them is increasingly irritating — I even had some reference data about the average price of movie tickets over the years! — but then I realized that I was failing on my stated intention to not actually care about that, at all. They’re getting inside my head, man! So instead, here’s today’s Beetle Bailey, which is about how Otto the dog hates cat beatniks but sure wants to fuck sexy lady dogs. Also, this sexy lady dog may be a prostitute.

Ads by Project Wonderful! Your ad here, right now: $0

A Hybrid Solar Eclipse over Kenya

Jul. 25th, 2017 04:10 am
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Chasing solar eclipses can cause you to go to the most interesting places and meet the most interesting people. Chasing solar eclipses can cause you to go to the most interesting places and meet the most interesting people.


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