Protesters have blocked traffic with street theater and chained themselves to Mission Police Station as part of an action
against officer-involved shootings in the city and in solidarity with
the Black Lives Matter movement. The roughly 100 activists began
arriving at about 7 a.m. to mark the one year anniversary of the police shooting of Alex Nieto. They were joined by Nieto’s parents and the youth rhythm and dance ensemble Loco Bloco.
of the protesters joined hands through tubing and chained themselves to
the Valencia street exit of the Mission Station parking lot. Public
Information Officer Albie Esparza said the action is not interfering
with their ability to respond to calls for service with the vehicles
they already have out and about. Esparza said the police do not
currently have plans to take action against protesters and are simply
monitoring their “First Amendment rights activity.”
San Francisco Police Department Blockade: March 23, 2015
Protesters blocked traffic and chained themselves to San Francisco’s Mission Police Station as part of an action that tied together
gentrification and officer-involved shootings. This short film shows
the action as it unfolded and includes interviews with family members of
those killed by the police.
Rail Services of the Bay Area, September 1937 by David Edmondson
David, who runs The Greater Marin blog, has created this absolutely superb modern transit diagram version of rail services in the Bay Area in 1937. He’s used a contemporaneous railway timetable as his main source of information, so it seem to be pretty accurate, although he’s still seeking final feedback about the map’s content before finishing the project up.
Stylistically, the map quite obviously borrows from Massimo Vignelli’s New York subway map, complete with black station dots. The addition of hollow “sometimes stops” dots somewhat dilutes Vignelli’s “no dot, no stop” mantra, but helpfully adds another layer of information. The use of the superbly legible Fira Sans typeface also helps to give the map a slightly friendlier, less minimalist look.
While the modern iteration of Vignelli’s subway map groups and colour-codes route lines by their common trunk line, this map color-codes them instead by the operating railroad company. This works wonderfully well and instantly shows how the routes were divided up geographically between all the competing companies. It’s interesting to note that the map appears to indicate that many trains terminate in San Francisco at Market Street (Image 2 above), which isn’t quite true. While the Bay Bridge had opened in 1936, rail service across its lower deck to the Transbay Terminal didn’t start until 1939. At this time, ferries — often scheduled to coincide with the arrival and departure of trains — crossed from the Ferry Building to gigantic railway wharves on the eastern side of the Bay. David mentions the ferry services in the legend to the map, but some visual indication that the journey requires a change of transportation mode at the wharves could be nice. Perhaps just a white square behind the black dots to indicate the “break” would work?
The use of thin lines to indicate services that only had one train a day works nicely, but it can lead to a bit of visual clutter when other route lines pass underneath the thinner lines. Look at the third image above and observe how the teal Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe (ATSF) route line passes underneath all of the other route lines it comes across. Where it meets a combination of thick and thin lines, there’s a little gap left between them that the ATSF line peeks through. Depending on the combination of thick and thin route lines, these gaps can appear in varying widths, so the overall effect can be a little messy.
In situations like this, I prefer to place the single route above the wider, multiple-track routes. I think it looks cleaner, and it also makes that single track easier to follow along its entire path. David’s actually already done this in a couple of places, and the difference is obvious to me — see the last image above, where the red D6 route drops south-east out of Tracy above the purple and yellow lines that it crosses. Much better!
Very minor things: I personally think the route designation discs could be a bit larger in relation to the label type to make them easier to read from a distance, and it also looks like some of the black station dots are not quite centred on their route line (see the main San Francisco - Market Street station, where they’re all slightly too far above and to the right of the routes). I’m also not crazy about the way some text in the legend encroaches into the gutter between the columns, but I can see that there’s limited space there for a lot of information!
Our rating: Painstakingly researched and beautifully realised: this is my kind of transit map! Four stars. David hopes to have prints of this map available by April 15 on his blog, so keep an eye out if you’d like a copy!
It’s been quite some time since I’ve updated or shared anything in this space. Funny enough, while the last couple of months were typically the time of year that I’m not doing any kind of gardening, I’ve done more gardening and garden learning between this past September and now than ever before. I would love to share what I’ve been up to with you.
As I shared with you in the past, I moved to San Francisco back in 2013. While I love living in this wonderful city and pursuing my career in design, I found myself missing the connection I had with the earth when I worked at the garden at my Oma and Opa’s house. I felt disconnected from the garden because I was only able to get back there there one or two weekends each month, which didn’t feel like enough. (In a weird way it felt like cheating - that I got to go to Opa’s Garden and enjoy and harvest the produce that I didn’t put the hard work into growing.)
Last spring one of my sweet friends who also lives in San Francisco sent me a link about a gardening and composting educator training course called Get Up! in the city. We debated whether or not we wanted to commit to a 3 month course that met all day every Saturday and every other Wednesday in the fall, but we both ended up applying and getting into the program.
The Get Up! course is taught through the Garden for the Environment in the Inner Sunset. (While one of my concerns going into the class was what a big commitment it was to be there every Saturday, I now can’t imagine not being there each weekend.) Each Saturday we learned basic gardening ideas and techniques and then practiced them directly in the garden. We went on field trips on a few of our Saturdays and visited a variety of sites ranging from Recology’s waste collection site for the city of San Francisco, to a number of farms and gardens around the Bay Area. By the end of the 3 months we had learned so much about gardening and urban agriculture, from the basics of composting, crop rotations, pruning, soil fertility and pest management, to the deeper stuff like urban agriculture policies in our city.
I can honestly say that taking Get Up! was one of the best life decisions I have ever made. I feel like the lessons I learned and the friends I made in that class reignited this spark of passion that I have in gardening and urban agriculture. And, while this may seem like a really deep statement, I feel like my participation in the course has also redirected my life. I think what I mean by this is that the course and my gardening peers have made me more conscious of who I want to be, what I want to do, and ultimately what is most important to me. (Whoa. That felt like a big thing to say. But I really mean it.)
The second part of the Get Up! course is that each of us has to complete 40 hours of community service in a garden related project in San Francisco this spring. I found that I loved my time at Garden for the Environment so much that I chose to be one of their spring Harvest! interns for my project. Since January, I have spent my Saturdays once again at GFE harvesting and prepping produce for our large, single CSA (community supported agriculture) box that we put together for the Larkin Street Youth Services G-House, which is home to approximately 20 homeless youth between the ages of 18-24, who are transitioning into stable housing. We love being able to send so much of the produce from GFE (like this gorgeous box below!) to a great home every week!
Lastly, on a very different note, you may have noticed that the design of my blog has changed. It felt like time for a refresh. While I loved the grid design I had going for the last 3 years, I wanted you to be able to see the images in a larger format to really enjoy them. This new single column design is also better for sharing text based posts. I hope to share more thoughts in addition to images of the garden with all of you in the future.
As always, thanks so much for following my gardening adventure in this small corner of the internet. I’m grateful for all of your likes, comments and support.
Let’s see where this new season takes us! Happy growing!