Monthly Archives: September 2011

Map of San Francisco Districts



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We Love Our Clients!!

Erika out to lunch with a happy client!

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The Safest City in California?

Our very own Belvedere! The FBI named this city by the Bay the Safest City in California for the third year running. Their violent crime rate in 2010 you ask? ZERO! Guess you can’t beat that.

The low crime rate in Belvedere is the norm for Marin, which consistently ranks among the state’s safest counties in federal and state crime indexes.

So when are we moving?

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Iphone 5 to Launch October 5th?!

Apple is adding fuel to the flame of a rumor that their newest model of the iPhone, the iPhone 5, will be released on October 5th by closing down one of it’s San Francisco retail stores with the promise of re-opening on that date.

Here are some of the popular speculations of the features Apple will add to the new iPhone 5:

  • iOS 5.0 was announced by Apple this June. The user interface is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi-touch gestures. It is expected to come with more than 200 new features that will include improved Notification System, News Stand and iMessage (think Blackberry Messenger).
  • Scratch proof and shatter proof screen.
  • iCloud, which is a new service for wireless remote access of music from all computers and mobile devices.
  • Sleeker body design.
  • A5 processor to power the iPhone 5 (technically the same chip that currently powers the ipad2). In non-tech speak this means that the iPhone5 can do twice the work at once.
  • Improved camera and video.
  • Not only higher screen resolution, but also a bigger screen (sources say that Apple is planning to increase the screen size from 3.5 to 4-inch).
  • Face recognition security.
  • Extended battery life.

The iPhone 5 event will be the first in Apple’s post-Jobs era, with the iconic CEO having resigned last month amid speculation regarding his ongoing health issues.

So how much do you think this bad boy is going to cost us?!

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Inner Sunset

Some of the Parks in the Sunset

This narrow little neighborhood squeezed between Golden Gate Park and Kirkham Avenue sprouted out of the sand.  From the eastern boundary of Stanyan Street, the Inner Sunset District runs along the four wide avenues of Lincoln, Irving, Judah and Kirkham and ends at 19th Avenue.  Once a wasteland of billowing dunes, the Inner Sunset is now a family neighborhood, chock full of outstanding restaurants, cafes and sandwich shops.  The N-Judah Muni rail line slices through the district, providing fast downtown access via the Judah Streetcar Tunnel.  Lincoln Way provides a quick outlet for cars headed in toward the Haight, or out toward the Outer Sunset and Ocean Beach.  The border with Golden Gate Park gives residents easy access to the wild green forests and man-made green fields of this San Francisco landmark.  Though Lincoln Way is the neighborhood’s main artery, the main commercial district runs along the length of Irving Street.  Blessed by a wave of Asian-American immigration in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the area boasts some of the city’s finest Asian restaurants, including the award winning Ebisu Sushi and the wonderful Marne Thai several doors down.  Dotted up and down this corridor are numerous restaurants, boutiques, shoe shops and novelty stores.  There is no shortage of sub shops, sandwich shops, creperies and coffee houses as well.  The area’s oldest waterhole, the Little Shamrock has been servicing locals since 1893.  Don’t overlook the charm and walk-ability of this little neighborhood hub.  Very convenient to UCSF and USF it lives up to it’s role of providing  housing to the residents and students who work and school there.  Close to park and a direct line to the beach –what’s not to love.

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The Presidio

Capping the northern-most tip of the San Francisco peninsula, the Presidio is 1500 acres of cypress, eucalyptus, and pine forests, grasslands, meadows, ocean bluffs, trails, beaches, a seal of wildflowers, the city’s last free-flowing creek, and what remains of a 220 years of military occupation.  There are hiking trails and vistas with outstanding views of the Bay and San Francisco beyond.  Now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the park possesses spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay.  Long abandoned as a fortification, the Presidio developed into an army administrative, then medical center. It’s still home to t area research institute, the century-old San Francisco Military Cemetery, and an 18-hole golf course.  Today Skywalker Ranch has relocated here – George Lucas; film operations and a sales office that leases and sells old homes to civilians.  Today’s visitors are drawn to Baker Beach and the pre-Civil War- era Fort Point, which both offer spectacular views of the big orange bridge.  At high tide, fantastic waves bash, crash and smash the seawall approach to Fort Point, a favorite destination for runners and dog walkers.  Surfers and windsurfers love the water under the bridge and off Crissy Field, which is a great old landing strip that offers miles of lawn, walking, beach and dog beach to its’ visitors.  Her you will find wind surfing and sailing competitions, a view of Alcatraz plus the tide pools of the bay. Home to families and individuals looking for a country feeling in the city, tinged with a little bit of history.  Marin county commuters would be happy to live so close to the GGB.

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Vintage Show!

Amazing Vintage clothing and jewelry show at the San Francisco Concourse Sat and Sun Sept 17 and 18th.  Some of the country’s top vintage store owners and suppliers showed their wares including vintage couture clothing and jewelry. Think names like Schiaparelli and Chanel. From Vintage to Mod- they covered it all! Here is the place to channel Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn… or Kat Von D! We caught pics of San Francisco’s vintage fans and smiles everywhere. Erika picked up vintage jewelry re-purposed by Juniper Tree Vintage on Lakeshore in Oakland whose designer is incredibly talented! Plus an evening scarf bedazzled with sequins.

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Afternoon Tea at the Palace Hotel

Sedgwick law firm hosted an absolutely elegant San Francisco Women’s Forum Tea this Thursday. The afternoon began with passed appetizers, bubbly, and San Francisco’s powerful women mingling and networking.  After we were all seated and began nibbling on tea sandwiches and scones Regina Leeds spoke about organizing our work lives. She offers a unique week by week, month by month system to streamlining your environment and increase your productivity.

It was a delightful afternoon that we really enjoyed! Thank you Segwicks!!

Karen from Sedgwicks and our Speaker Regina

Palace Hotel in San Francisco

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Picasso at the De Young Museum

We spent a beautiful San Francisco day at the de Young Museum viewing their extraordinary exhibition of more than 100 masterpieces by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition comprises paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints drawn from every phase of the artist’s career. We recommend you check it out, but hurry it is only there until October 21st at which time it will return to Paris’ world-renowned Musee National Picasso.

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Potrero Hill

Portrero Hill Playground

This urban suburb perches high above the neighboring SoMa and Mission districts. Seemingly peering down on its noisier neighbors.  Screaming ambulances and endless freeway construction keep a pleasant distance from this hillside enclave, where residents take in admirable views of the Bay, the downtown skyline, and points south.  The southwest quadrant near Potrero and 23rd streets is dominated by the sprawling San Francisco General Hospital complex.  Low-income housing projects jut out above highway 280 on the Cesar Chavez (Army) Street side.  Parks, playgrounds and schools give way to amass of furniture stores, antique dealers, auto-body shops and design firms in the tangled blocks near 16tha and Division.  Local architecture varies from mod, brushed-aluminum condo towers to shocking-pink and line-green row houses, mid 70’s Bauhaus styles, and pastel Palm Springs stucco units.  A handful of mellow pubs, delicatessens, and sun-drenched cafes on 18th Street between Texas and Connecticut make up the neighborhood scene.  Favorites include Farley’s coffee shop, whose tables are filled with laptop toting prose poseurs, the fantastic Thai Thanya and Sallee restaurant, and Just For You servicing one of the city’s best brunches.  Not to mention whole Foods and Starbucks!  Lots of hip happenings in Potrero, one of the most recently gentrified, and developed neighborhoods in the City, with a mixture of old homes and new urban techno dwellers side by side.  Home to a Caltrain Station – this neighborhood is suitable for Silicon Valley commuters and first time home buyers seeking modern low to high end condominiums.

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Be in the Know….




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Decadent Luxury

Behind the shingled craftsman facade of this Noe Valley home is a sleek, contemporary three level residence. Wonderfully appointed and open this is a great home for entertaining. The main level consists of a living room, formal dining room and a less formal family/media room adjacent to the open kitchen and deck.

On the upper level there are three bedrooms and two baths- all with decks and a luxurious master bath and bedroom with fireplace and walk in closet. On the garden level is a large room for media or bedroom and a large spa like bathroom. There are many wonderful luxury touches like radiant heat floors and surround sound. Just to name a few!

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North Beach

North Beach is a food lover’s paradise, which is probably why Kristina chose to live there! The smell of garlic wafts across the streets.  For truly authentic Italian sandwiches, pasta, breads, wines and salads, head to Molinari’s Delicatessen on Columbus Avenue, which still makes its own cold cuts and pasta.  Or try Panelli Brothers on Stockton, owned and run by the Panelli family since 1934.   Another venerable establishment is Capp’s Corner on Powell Street west of Columbus, where the meals are served family style and atmosphere at the bar is anything but pretentious.  It’s a popular spot with older locals, families, and groups that come from Club Fugazi next door, hungry after a performance of the riotous Beach Blanket Babylon.  Further down Columbus, gold Spike is a classic, no-frills eatery where patrons of days past have adorned the walls and ceiling with hundreds of quirky collectibles and personal messages.  Another landmark is Firo d’Italia on Powell Street, which claims to be the oldest Italian Restaurant in the United States.  It was established in 1886 and continues to be an important gathering place for prominent members of the Italian community.

Today –though many of the old restaurants remain, there are new cafes, boutiques and shops sprouting up and an influx of all ages groups and cultures living in North Beach, In the Center is Washington Park bordered by the Church as the oasis for this neighborhood.  Here you will find tourists among the locals sampling Stella pastries, or sitting at one of the sidewalk cafes for an Espresso.  The vendors still come out on the street beckoning you into their shops.  Just blocks from the City’s financial district, North Beach has a distinct flavor that’s hard to ignore.

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Noe Valley

“This place is great!  You can see for miles from here? And Sunny? Wow!” Jose de Jesus Noe, San Francisco’s last Mexican Mayor, liked the little valley so much he built his ranch there.  Noe Valley is roughly bordered to the north by 22nd Street, to the East by Dolores Street, Glen Park on the south and Glen Canyon Park & Market on the West.  Noe Valley is a true community, and a smart one, too.  It realizes gentrification is a dragon to slay—or at least to keep at bay.  Residents and merchants seem to have bonded here in a singular effort to keep life reasonable.  Even the neighborhood paper, “the Noe Valley Voice,” emanates from the Noe Valley Ministry, which serves as an informal community awareness center.  On 24th Street, the shopping area of this urban bohemia, there’s a mix of whole-foods stores, coffee houses, ethnic restaurants, clothing and furniture boutiques, new and used CD stores, all complemented by a couple of fine Irish pubs.  The success of 24th Street’s shops spills south down Church Street where cafes and specialty stores now predominate.  You will see families and new homeowners dotting the streets of this community in an effort to live in one of San Francisco’s most popular destination zip codes due to the sun and central location in the City.  Both hilly and flat – Noe offers views, shopping and sun!

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Food & Wine Events Around the Bay Area

If you love Food & Wine- then the Bay Area is your personal Mecca! We have compiled a list of our top picks for events, let us know if we forgot your favorite!

2011 Sonoma Valley Crush — Sept. 14-18. Sixteen wineries will participate in this hands-on harvest experience, which features a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during harvest, as well as grape sampling, Crush Pad tours and winemaker lunches and dinners. Tasting passes are $35 per person. Get details at

Food Truck Frenzy: Part Deux — 5-9 p.m. Sept. 16. Guests are invited to enjoy some of San Francisco’s most spectacular views of the bay and city skyline while sipping award-winning Rock Wall wines and noshing on delicious bites from local, gourmet food truck vendors. 2301 Monarch St., Suite 300, Alameda. $5-$10. Continue reading

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Rebuilt for the Modern Family

SOLD!! $1,850,000

4706 25th Street is completely rebuilt from the ground up for the modern family. This large view home in Noe Valley offers four bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths and panoramic views of Downtown & the East Bay.

It is equipped with an open floor plan, deck and rear yard: perfect for entertaining. Professional Thermador kitchen with modern CaesarStone counters and eat-in breakfast area. Hardwood floors throughout and built-in surround-sound ceiling speakers. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms (incl Master Suite with radiant heat) with great closet space, all on one upstairs floor. Fourth bedroom/Guest suite/Media room on lower level opens to level yard plus has independent access from side door. On top of this there is a two car side-by-side parking garage.


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San Francisco September 11th Memorial Events

Ceremony honoring Mark Bingham, Father Mychal Judge and others
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will deliver remarks at an event at Harvey Milk Plaza at 1 p.m. After, there will be an open mic opportunity for people to share their memories.

San Francisco Fire Department September 11th Remembrance Ceremony
Each year, on Sept. 11, the San Francisco Fire Department respectfully holds a remembrance ceremony for the Emergency Responders and civilians who perished in the tragic events of 9/11. The remembrance ceremony takes place at all 43 fire stations.

Members of the public wishing to observe the ceremony and honor the fallen of the World Trade Center, New York City, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia and the crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania are invited to go to their local Fire Station to do so beginning at 6:45 a.m.

Golden Gate Bridge March for Peace and Justice Calls for End to US Wars
On the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, hundreds of people affiliated with a coalition of 25 Bay Area peace and justice groups coordinated by CODEPINK Women for Peace will march across the Golden Gate Bridge in commemoration of the tragic loss of lives and will call for an end to the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The march commences at 11:30 a.m. from either side of the bridge and follows with a rally on the Marin side from 1-2 p.m.

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A Holiday Shopping Event – Dress for Success San Francisco!

Dress for Success truly puts on an elegant show and knows how to entertain us while we loosen our purse strings, bid on the auction items, pick up a few holiday gifts while giving to a good cause.
The Lovely Ms. Rodriguez, having benefited from the programs tutelage, was our guest speaker, letting us all know how DFS helped her define her career goals, spurned her to “get in shape” and has made her want to give back in her own life!  Truly inspirational. Continue reading
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Mortgage Rates at Record Low

For the second time in a month, fixed and adjustable-rate mortgage rates set new record lows this week, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. The previous record lows were set Aug. 18.

Take a look at the rates:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.12 this week, down from last week’s 4.22 percent. The 30-year rates’ previous low was 4.15 percent, set on Aug. 18.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.33 percent this week, down from last week’s 3.39 percent average. Its previous record low was 3.36 percent.

5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.96 percent, holding steady at the same record low it set last week.

1-year ARMs: averaged 2.84 percent this week, down from last week’s 2.89 percent average. Its previous record low was 2.86 percent.

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the House you want to call Home

Located along a one way tree lined street, the graciousness of this home starts the second you set eyes on the spectacular brick entry courtyard and surrounding lush greenery and flowering gardens.

formal dining room opens to the front patio

Beautifully remodeled, this phenomenal home offers spa-like bathrooms, Ebony stained hardwood floors, large picture windows, beamed ceilings, recessed lighting and custom hardware. The main floor features an inviting formal entry, library with City views, living room with French paned windows and a wood burning fireplace, remolded powder room, dining room, and custom eat-in kitchen with the sweetest breakfast nook.

kitchen and breakfast nook

The second floor is home to 4 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms. Two of the rooms are connected with french doors, perfect for siblings.  The third bedroom has its own bathroom. And finally the piece de resistance- the master suite complete with large bathroom, walk in closet and shoe closet. Heaven!

While the lower floor on most houses usually just offer one giant media room and room for extra storage- the lower floor in this home upholds the graneur feeling of the rest of the home. In addition to a media room, there is a play room/exercise room, mechanical closet, storage room, wine cellar, bedroom-en suite, and bathroom. PLUS access to a large walk-out deck and the backyard.

backyard deck

This bright and airy home boasts the best in indoor/outdoor living and wonderful privacy. One can not help but picture what life here would be like- fabulous.


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Get Ready to Break Ground!!

Develop 2 Units Over Garage. Includes: All Approved Demolition and Building Plans and Permits. Currently, small vanilla box warehouse and garage on site for Demo. Ready to Build!!

for more information please visit:


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Obama Expected to Unveil Plan to Revive Housing

The Obama administration is expected to announce a new mortgage relief program next week to help struggling home owners stay in their home and reduce the number of foreclosures, Reuters reports.

While the exact details of the proposal are still unknown, analysts are speculating that President Barack Obama is likely to announce a plan that would help more borrowers to refinance loans, allowing them to lower their monthly payments and ward off possible foreclosure.

The refinancing plan will reportedly apply to loans backed by government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or the Federal Housing Administration, allowing more home owners who have been unable to refinance due to poor credit, owing too much above their home’s current value, or unemployment, to take advantage of current low interest rates.

Other lawmakers who have pushed for such a move have argued that by lowering home owners’ monthly payments, it would free up cash for other spending, which will help stimulate the overall economy.

Source: “White House Could Unveil Mortgage Plan Next Week,” Reuters (Aug. 31, 2011)

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Market Street to Become a No Car Zone?

More than 20 transit lines run down the street…. So, should San Francisco close off Market Street to private vehicles? “We’ve had this debate for 20 years,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. “We need to do it in a comprehensive way.” A number of mayoral candidates at a Monday forum agreed that closing Market to private cars would speed transit and make bicycling safer. I am not a fan of driving on market street as it is- the second I turn on it I immediately regret it- but then I can’t make a left turn to get off of it!

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Erika Burke is a Certified Residential Specialist…So What?

Team Leader and Estates Group Founder, Erika Burke is a Certified Residential Specialist.

The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is the highest Designation awarded to sales associates in the residential sales field. The CRS Designation recognizes professional accomplishments in both experience and education.

Since 1977 the Council of Residential Specialists has been conferring the CRS Designation on agents who meet its stringent requirements. Currently, there are more than 30,000 active CRS Designees.

Erika qualified to become a CRS after 5 years in the business and over $25M in sales and then followed up by taking and passing advanced graduate level real estate courses, along with continuing education to keep her memeber ship active.

Erika uses her CRS membership to connect with other top flite Realtors throughout the country to give and receive referrals to better serve her clientele who are relocating to or from San Francisco and the Bay area.

Learn more about Erika as a CRS and the organization by visiting:

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