Inside San Francisco - November 14th, 2019

Inside San Francisco (Nov 14th, 2019)

First Vaping-Related Death In Bay Area / Mole Tasting Contest / Thanksgiving Eat-Out, Take-Out Guide

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1. City Hall gave the thumbs up to a plan to redevelop UCSF’s Laurel Heights campus into a 10.27-acre development that will include 13 buildings and 744 homes. The project will also involve a “significant realignment of the streets,” and roughly 200 trees will be removed. The project includes 800,000 square feet of residential space, 54,000 square feet of retail, and about 50,000 feet of offices. Of the planned 744 homes, 186 will be set aside as low-income housing for seniors. Although there was pushback from groups like Save the Trees and neighbors, the city’s supervisors voted unanimously in favor of moving the project along. - CURBED SF

2. A Vacaville woman is the first person in the Bay Area to die from complications related to using e-cigarettes. The 45-year-old woman died at Novato Community Hospital last Friday, becoming the 40th person in the U.S. and the fourth person in California whose death was associated with e-cigarettes. "She had symptoms of a cold from the previous days, presented herself to the emergency department, rapidly progressed to acute respiratory distress syndrome, was placed on a breathing machine, sent to the ICU and succumbed within 24 hours," said Dr. Matt Willis, of the Department of Health and Human Services in Marin County. Health department officials are working with the California Department of Public Health and the CDC to analyze samples of products the woman was using to see what chemicals were in them. - ABC 7

3. Throwback Thursday: When The Castro Got Its Rainbow Crosswalks

The Castro wasn’t always bedazzled with rainbows, and it wasn’t until September 2014 that the finishing touches to the rainbow crosswalks at 18th and Castro streets were made. Earlier that year, over 4,500 voters and Castro-area residents got to choose between four designs: rainbow stripes, rainbow handkerchief paisley, a design inspired by the Castro Theatre foyer tiles, and another design inspired by the Muni overhead catenary wires. There was also talk about installing rainbow crosswalks at Castro and 19th streets and at Castro and Market streets as well. Four years later, Oakland got its first rainbow crosswalk, at Telegraph and 66th streets, right in front of White Horse Bar, the oldest gay bar in America.

4. Following the San Francisco International Airport commissioners’ decision in June to name SFO’s departures hall after the late Mayor Ed Lee, there was an official dedication ceremony yesterday. Lee’s family, including his newborn granddaughter, was joined by Mayor London Breed and others to commemorate Lee’s work as a civil servant. Airport officials unveiled a wood-panel wall that reads “Mayor Edwin M. Lee International Terminal Departures Hall,” and a bas-relief plaque, complete with a video link for passengers to learn more about San Francisco’s first Asian American mayor, will be installed by the end of 2020. - SFBAY

5. Events This Weekend: Mole Tasting, National Take a Hike Day, More

If you’re looking for things to do this weekend, check out these upcoming events.

  • Cinephile Movie Trivia: Head over to the Alamo Drafthouse to see just how much of a film nerd you are.
  • Mole To Die For: Come check out the 16th annual mole tasting contest at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.
  • Agave Spirits Tasting: Blindly taste your way through a selection of agave spirits at ABV.
  • Winterfest: It’s the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s biggest party of the year.
  • National Take a Hike Day: Get outside, get some fresh air, and get your steps in.

6. A new mural dedicated to victims of police shootings will be unveiled in the Mission on Sunday. The sprawling two-story mural, titled “Alto al Fuego en La Misón,” is located on the northeast corner of 24th and Capp streets, and it was spearheaded by Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth (HOMEY), a nonprofit serving youth in the neighborhood. - MISSION LOCAL

7. Thanksgiving is still a couple of weeks away, but if you’re planning to stick around San Francisco and don’t want to prepare a feast for yourself, your family, or your friends, you’re in luck. Here’s a roundup of restaurants where you can eat out (and eat well) on Turkey Day. There’s also this handy take-out guide if you’d rather eat at home and not have to do a thing in the kitchen. - EATER SF

8. Whether you’re a fan of Nepalese and Tibetan food or you’re looking to give it a first taste, here’s a roundup of five of the Bay Area’s must-visit Himalayan restaurants. As of 2015, there were roughly 5,000 Nepalese immigrants living in the Bay Area, and most of the Bay Area’s Himalayan restaurants got their starts because those communities — and those chefs — found that Nepalese and Tibetan food hadn’t yet taken off in the Bay Area. Today, the areas with the most Nepalese culinary representation are Bernal Heights, the Tenderloin, and Solano Avenue, over in Berkeley/Albany. - KQED

9. Here’s a wonderful story called “Faces of the Tenderloin,” which includes brief profiles and portraits of some of the neighborhood’s inhabitants. According to the story’s author (and photographer), the neighborhood has the highest crime rate in the city, and it’s 300 times denser than any other area in San Francisco. However, it’s still “a place where the fringe finds family,” a “political hotbed,” and a neighborhood that’s equally vibrant as it is misunderstood. - THE BOLD ITALIC

10. Today's SF in Pictures: Reddit user volkyl

Shane Downing is an award-winning journalist based in Oakland. As a freelance writer, he’s passionate about covering the LGBTQ+ community, at-risk youth and local news. He's a former Hoodline editor, and his work regularly appears in Oakland Magazine and The San Francisco Business Times. When he's not writing, Shane is an avid baker, gardener and tennis player.

This newsletter was edited by Bobby Cherry, senior editor at Inside and a Pittsburgh-based freelance journalist who also curates Inside Pittsburgh. Reach him at

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