Last Sunday I learned there is a specific Neighborhood in San Francisco with a big Hellenic Heritage. It's a part of SOMA where Greek immigrants settled in the early 1900's. I learned this by paying attention to the signs and plagues placed on the sides of the streets to remind people what has happened in the past. I happened to see the following sign at the corner of Third street & Folsom, which is at the south-east corner of the Moscone Convention center, right next to the Yearba Buena Ice skating & Bowling Center.
San Francisco Hellenic Heritage at Folsom & Third street
San Francisco's Hellenic Heritage
An Affirmation of the Promise of America
In tribute to the Greek immigrants who settled in the vicinity of Third and Folsom Streets in the early 1900s
And in Commemoration of their pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit, patriotism, faith and pride in their Hellenic Heritage.
We, the beneficiaries of their vision, recognize and acknowledge the significant and vital economic, social and political contributions Hellenes made to their beloved adopted city, San Francisco.
The Hellenic American Professional Society of California
Dedicated in the year 2001
Just two weeks ago, I listened how Dr. Mike presented at BlueGlassX how he liked to take pictures of local signs of historical events or things to remember about the history of a local neighborhood. I had never expected to learn so much new stuff about the area's in San Francisco. Opening up your eyes, and take pictures of the signs and plagues around the city can educate your kids about why there are a large number of Falafel and Mousaka restaurants around Folsom & 3rd street.
Another week, another technology conference. Just short of a week after the announcement of the iPhone 5 by Apple, is now SalesForce taking up the whole of the Moscone Center in San Francisco for their yearly Dreamforce conference.
The city of San Francisco is probably very happy right now with SalesForce. Not only do they bring a large number of people to The City for the conference, who all stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and go to dinner during the time they stay in San Francisco, I bet SalesForce has paid a large sum of money to get all the permits for the conference.
Howard street is closed off, and in the middel of the street, there are two large podiums built, with all kind facilities around these to make the conference guest happy.
With big names as speakers, the Dreamforce conference is drawing big crowds. And on top of it all, a free concert of the Red Hot Chili Peppers! I just would love to see Sir Richard Branson's keynote...
Wonderful for the city of San Francisco, however, Howard street and the streets around the Moscone Center are full with traffic all day long, and we get crazy of the horns of all the cars stuck in traffic just below our window of the office. Parking fees for the public parkings have doubled for this week, where the demand vs supply are controlling the prices and free market spirit of capitalism are winning!
Where can you get free publicity with a Flashmob? Right at an Apple launch event. So with the launch of the iPhone 5 this morning, here in San Francisco, Ustream organized a flashmog. I saw the group early on making preparations, so I kept my camera ready to film. Here are two video's of the Flashmob, where the news anchor mand did a really good job keeping his face straight!
Earlier this week, I posted some pictures of a classy Apple logo with a colorful background. It reminded me to the old Apple Logo, which I still love. Don'te get me wrong, I like the white style as well. Here are some more pictures of this morning...
Apple fans from around the world making pictures in front of the colorful Apple logo
Apple employees in green shorts right before the iPhone 5 launch event kicks off.
Full news studio's on the sidewalk for the press to broadcast live
iPads being used to make pictures. How convenient..
Ustream Flashmob in front of the Yerba Buena hall
Channel 2 Anchor watches the Flashmob, while he is waiting for his cue
News anchor man ready to go live, is actually be able to keep a straight face
Here in San Francisco, KRON4, the local TV station has a recurring item: People Behaving Badly with Stanley Roberts. It is a view how people in the city of San Francisco break the law, or just don't think about the consequences of their actions. All in all, people behaving badly towards the city, the environment and the people who live around them.
Littering is a big problem in and around San Francisco. If you drive on the highways around the City, you see plastic bags with building material and waste everywhere. Dumped by contractors who don't want to pay the fees for bringing the waste to the official dumping place. Especially paints, and other hazardous materials can be a great risk for the environment if these get into the water.
Today I was driving on Junipero Serra Boulevard in San Francisco, when I a large number of old paint buckets just dumped next to the road. This would be one of those items for Stanley to go after, and showcase what would happen if these paint buckets would split open, or taken by little kids.
These old paint buckets don't belong next to the road, these should be taken care of at a recycle centre and the owner should have paid for the recycling. This is just what Stanley is reporting on: People Behaving Badly dumping old paint next to the road...
From Contra-Costa.Ca.US website:
What is the County currently doing about Illegal Dumping
Sites used for illegal dumping vary but may include abandoned industrial, residential, or commercial buildings; vacant lots on public or private property; and infrequently used alleys or roadways. Because of their accessibility and poor lighting, areas along rural roads and railways are particularly vulnerable. Illegal dumping can occur at any time of day but is more common at night or in the early morning hours during warmer months. If not addressed illegal dumps often attract more waste, potentially hazardous wastes such as asbestos, household chemicals and paints, automotive fluids, and commercial or industrial wastes.
Offenders can include: construction, demolition, remodeling, roofing, or landscaping contractors, general hauling contractors, operators of junkyards, automobile repair or tire shops, scrap collectors, local residents and "do-it-yourselfers". A resident may dump wastes that did not get picked up by local waste haulers, such as bulky items, carpeting, or household hazardous wastes. Dump sites serve as magnets for additional dumping and other criminal activities. In many cases, illegal dumpers are breaking other laws relating to vehicle licensing, insurance, drug possession or theft.
The costs to local government and industry associated with continuous clearing of illegally dumped wastes are significant. In recent years the County has spent up to one million dollars per year on cleanup, hauling, and disposal associated with illegal dumping. Without adequate revenue, the funding available to establish and maintain effective illegal dumping prevention programs is limited. These costs may be passed along to residents in the form of higher service fees or property taxes.
For detailed information regarding activities the County has undertaken to combat illegal dumping, please see the below Illegal Dumping Task Force Report to the Board of Supervisors and related attachments.
Most people would not do what I just did during a power outage, making pictures of the blackout block of houses. For just 45 minutes the power was out in the Inner Richmond district in San Francisco. I checked with the neighbors, just to make sure it was not me owing the PG&E some outrageous bill. Nope, the whole block was without power. And while we have sufficient number of flashlights, I was more interested in making pictures of the blacked-out block of houses in our street. An opportunity I couldn't resist...!
Here is the first picture of our block of houses completely in the dark without any power, while the block further down the street has regular electricity!
While it was all dark, I took a couple more pictures in Black & White, to give the whole experience a more interesting look.
Just one more week, and the kids will go house to house to pick up some candy. It's Halloween time. I just got in time to secure a great costume, which I'm afraid of being really popular this year: Angry Birds Costume...I just bought this Yellow Angry Birds costume last Friday, just in time for delivery this week. The pictures of Halloween at the Geeknet office will follow, as I intend to wear my full outfit not only in the office, but also going to work with the Muni.
If you are still looking for a costume this week, you are almost too late to secure the savings buying online. You rather go to the store to pick up a costume, but who knows if they would sell the Red Angry Bird Costume in the Wallgreens...Otherwise you might be walking in this...:
Buy quickly an Angry Bird Costume for yourself, or a cute Blue Angry Birds Costume for kids...
You know the feeling. You run to your car, because you know there is street cleaning today. Unfortunately you are already too late, and there is a parking ticket on your car... $50 wasted. Well at least the city can put that money to work... Yeah Right!
But how funny is it that these little parking police cars will park anywhere, even when there is a sign they can't!
Everybody hates it, getting a parking ticket. And yes, I hate it too! Last week, when I had to take the family out for a short while, and intended to WFH, Work From Home, I totally missed the window for the street cleaning. Monday morning, I thought street cleaning was from 9-11! But nope, it was from 11-2. And I ignored to look at the signs as I was over confident that I was right to park there. And boy was I happy to have the parking place. Normally the street is packed with cars from other neighborhoods, now I could find a parking spot just in front of my house, sweet!
Paying your ticket in San Francisco is quite easy. Coming from Europe I have always been surprised that people still pay with checks here in the US. But I've never seen a smooth payment system for parking tickets in The Netherlands, as I've seen here in San Francisco. And trust me, I've had more parking tickets than I would have wanted!
First of all, you can easily check if you have gotten a parking ticket at the SFgov site. Just type in your license plate and you will see all the open tickets that you still need to pay for your car.
The overview gives you the full list of all the open citation tickets you still have to pay.
The total will give you the overview the amount of money you will be down. Always painful, but better pay off these tickets, as the amount will go up if you don't pay!
Unfortunately you cannot pay with Paypal, but paying with the Paypal plugin is a possibility as you will be able to pay with credit card. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes, maybe not even two!
And just print out the confirmation, and you are ready again.
Sweet processing & payment process. Not so sweet that I'm $50 down again!