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40 The Noe Valley Voice • December 2013 / January 2014


of Seeing, a series of essays on “transforming law, politics, and culture,” at Folio Books (3957 24th) on Monday, Dec. 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. “I am excited to be the first in what I hope will be a long series of authors reading their work at Folio and helping to build our sense of public life in Noe Valley,” says Gabel. Not coincidentally, that is the central theme in his essays. “When people get together hoping to do good things, it generates a ricocheting spirit of community that can often make those hopes reality,” says Gabel. “A good example is what we did to create the Noe Valley Farmers Market 10 years ago. That was just a collective burst of good intention.” He points out that the essays, written over 10 years, are a follow-up to his original The Bank Teller and Other Essays on the Politics of Meaning, published in 2000. Gabel, who has lived on Elizabeth Street since the 1970s, has authored many articles about politics and social change and is currently editor-at-large of Tikkun magazine as well as president of the Arlene Francis Center for Spirit, Art, and Politics, which is located in Santa Rosa, Calif. Most of you who’ve read this far into the paper already know that Gabel is on the board of the Noe Valley Farmers Market, and has been out there on 24th Street as one of the greeters at the market almost every Saturday for the past 10 years, rain or shine. One of the best blurbs for his new book came from former Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West: “Peter Gabel is one of the grand prophetic voices in our day. He also is a long-distance runner in the struggle for

justice. Don’t miss this book!” By the way, Folio participated in “Indies First” on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30, a national event that encouraged authors to volunteer at their local bookstore. Local resident Elizabeth Crane, contributor to an anthology titled The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage, was one of those who offered to get behind the counter and do the “guest book-selling.” Works by our Noe Valley authors have a special section in the bookstore. For example, Bill Yenne’s just-released western The Fire of Greed, the second in his Bladen Cole: Bounty Hunter series, is available there. Noe Valleon and music wiz Ben FongTorres says he also is very excited about Folio opening in the neighborhood (in Phoenix’s old spot). He plans to give the store a signed copy of his just-released book Willin’: The Story of Little Feat, which tells the saga of the legendary rock band Little Feat, formed in 1969 from the remnants of the Mothers of Invention.  SHORT SHRIFTS: Starbucks closed at

10 a.m. on Nov. 17 for an interior renovation, and after nine days of refurbishing, reopened Nov. 26 at 5 a.m. The coffee shop has “brand-new everything from the floor to the furnishings,” says Starbucks’ project manager Karen Lee. The flowery wallpaper may be the biggest surprise.... Across 24th Street (at Noe), Just for Fun has decorated the parklet in front of its store with seven Christmas trees, which, combined with the two on the sidewalk and another at the store entrance, contain over 15,000 lights. According to Just for Funner David Eiland, all of the lights are plugged into two new circuit boxes he installed for the extra electrical load. Thank you, David, for the illumination.... Congrats go out to Downtown Noe Valley’s Easy Breezy, which was awarded the Swirl of Honor, the top award in a survey

of frozen yogurts by the International Frozen Yogurt Association. The fro-yo parlor, located at 4028 24th, a “three swirls” (excellent) rating in all categories in the competition.... A big welcome home for the holidays to Clareen Ward, a Noe Valleon who has been attending Loyola University in New Orleans, specifically the School of Mass Communication. Ward reports that a class in public relations has kept her busy doing media blitzes for a nonprofit called the Recirculating Farms Coalition. “A recirculating farm is a closed-loop facility that uses constantly recirculating water to grow plants, fish, or a combination of both,” writes Ward, who grew up on Castro and Cesar Chavez streets, attended elementary school at St. Philip’s, and occasionally works part-time at Small Frys during vacations. The farm may be a solution for New Orleans’ “food deserts,” she says, and could the idea can get a mention in the Voice? Done. It sounds like a good cause. Just remember to bring home the plans for that fish and vegetable farm.  YULE HAVE FUN: It’s time for music and partying in Downtown Noe Valley, at the many venues for “24 HoliDAYS on 24th Street.” The event is always popular, especially the reindeer (Dec. 17, 3:30 to 7 p.m., at the parklet in front of Just for Fun). Always ready to party is Noe Valley’s own Sheila Ash, the flamboyant hostess of the bed-and-breakfast Noe’s Nest. Corrie Anders wrote a feature in the March Voice describing the unique “panache of Sheila Ash.” Ash is ready for the myriad charity events she will be attending this holiday season. Her headdress has 89 strands of pearls (with 62 pearls per strand), plus hundreds more on the cap. It weighs about 35 pounds, says Ash. The pearly extravaganza was created by Noe Valley jeweler Gilbertina Guarini, who owns the shop Qoio on 24th Street. The freshwater pearls were sewn onto

Typhoon Relief at Mitchell’s


itchell’s Ice Cream at 688 San Jose Ave. has raised $5,000 in donations to send to UNICEF to help support victims of the Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan. They raised the money on Sunday, Nov. 24, when customers were told that 50 percent of any funds from ice cream purchases would be donated to UNICEF to help victims of the typhoon. The $5,000 included about $400 that people put into a jar on the counter at the ice cream shop. Linda Mitchell and her brother, Brian Mitchell, are co-producers at the shop, which was begun by their father, Larry Mitchell, with his late brother, Jack Mitchell. Linda said the idea of raising money for typhoon relief was Brian’s. Mitchell’s feels a connection to the Philippines since many of the fruits used for their ice cream comes from the Philippines, said Linda Mitchell. —Jan Goben

each of the strands one by one, according to Guarini. “There was no knotting or glue used,” she says, “and it took about six or seven weeks to complete, including the silk hat.” Ash says she wore her ensemble last month to the Napa Film Festival and the Burning Man Ball, and she plans to wear it to several other events this month. Headdress or not, if you need to get away from it all this season, take a walk through the garden in back of Qoio (4068 24th). It’s always a pleasure and should give you a sense of tranquility. That’s all, you all. I look forward to seeing you at the many festive events on 24th Street this month. And I am looking forward to seeing Tom and Jerry’s famous Christmas house on the 21st Street hill, where there will be substantially more than 15,000 lights. Happy Merry to all.

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Noe Valley Voice December 2013 - January 2014  
Noe Valley Voice December 2013 - January 2014