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On Friday evening, 11/10 I parked in a lot on Valencia St., just past 14th Street. With the helpful direction of art associate, Hope Bryson, at Fouladi Projects Art Gallery at 1803 Market Street, I walked up the hidden bike path and crossed Octavia, drawn by the art in the window and ambient lighting. A handsome couple were headed in the same direction. This was an art reception with buzz. I could feel it already.
Sitting at a long farm table was tarot card reader and gallery assistant, Ginger Murray, offering free readings to those brave enough. A nice touch, since the theme for this opening featured an impressive body of work by artist, Russell Tyler aptly named “Fortune Teller”. This is his first solo show with Fouladi Projects running from November 9th through December 15th.
I sought out and chatted with Russell Tyler and his lovely wife, Trudy Benson, who both reside, have their studios and paint in Brooklyn, NY. “Trudy is an accomplished painter in her own right”, according to Holly Fouladi, Gallery owner, “Do you know they met at Pratt Institute when they were both in school.” What a charming story, 2 painters, man and wife, living their dream. This was a 4 day trip for them, to San Francisco for the opening; and we welcomed them with lovely weather that had just turned a little cooler that evening.
Splashed along the main gallery walls were Russells’ works of art in bright bold, pops of color and texture, almost comic booky. Not unlike himself, hip and handsome, cool, bespectacled & approachable. All of his art displayed were larger works demonstrating a mash-up feeling of pop art, abstract expressionism, with each evoking a definitive feeling or spirit. He paints in a raw state, eschewing brushes for use of paints directly onto the canvas. Russell said, “I connect the lines”, indicating his approach to the structure of the peice and said, “Sometimes I have a vision and sometimes I begin and find the vision”.
Which brings me to an important philosphy in life and art ? “Is life a circle or a line?” Or is a line a circle? An ongoing debate in my own art class!
The piece I liked most, I photographed. 2 hands reaching toward the world with a third eye, a spider web, a cloud, woven string through fingers, items flying. Vivid pastels and primary blues, chartreuse, yellows brightly intertwining. Rough and childlike with mature themes. There is definite intention in Russells’ work. I asked Russels if he paints in only this style and he stated, “I have many styles”, which has me wanting to see his prior work and watch him closely in the future to see where this patently talented artist takes us.
Most noticibly is Russell’s committment to his work.You can see the progression of the paintings in this series. I took a guess at which pieces came first and confirmed that I was right with his wife Trudy, who is Rusells’ greatest fan. The last two works in the series nearly lept off the wall with their confirmation of the fortune telling theme, evoking scenes from our dream life or the idea that perhaps we can take our own future and define it or in fact design it, much like Isabelle Allende does with words. With his final pieces in the series, it seems he reached a refinement and cleansing and completion of the theme, which is sure to take Russell to his bright future with his imagined “Fortune Teller” collection. Russell received his MFA from Pratt and has been widely exhibited on the Right Coast, Canada and now the ‘City by the Bay.’
Serving champagne and wine and a custom cake with a likeness of Russells’ painting, added an entertaining food and art twist to the reception. The back room featured Objects D’art and ‘one of’s’, of other signifigant painters as well as mixed media pieces and two life size leaning cartoon tigers reminding me of “Snagglepuss” of the 60’s.
Our gracious and beautiful hostess and gallery owner, Holly Fouladi was the co-owner of a gallery just a few blocks away for over 10 years when she decided to venture out on her own. Open just about 6 months, Fouladi Projects is new and already attracting an array of clientele, from San Francisco’s hip and artcentric, art enthusiasts & art bloggers like myself, collectors, young professionals, and of course, other artists!
Holly’s choice of gallery artists feature a mix of up and coming and known artists. I love that she is bringing artists from other areas to expose and share in the sophisticated San Francisco art scene. Holly said she chooses art that moves her keen eye and really gets to know the artists, whether emerging or known artists, it is the whole story behind the artist and their art that makes Hollys’ approach on point and current. Keep an eye on the experienced gallerist, Holly Foouladi, her warm, hip, happening and welcoming gallery and make sure you sign up for her email notifications for upcoming receptions at www.fouladiprojects.com. Hope to see you at the next opening, I’ll be there!
John Rahaim, our San Francisco City Planner spoke at Vanguard Properties to provide us with the state of San Francisco City Planning.
Here’s a re-cap of what is ongoing and planned for our City scape, and what you can expect when building or remodelling your home.
The City has the capacity for 70,000 housing units with the current land availability and capital availability. We are approving about 2500 projects per year and he believes that double that amount should be approved annually. To speed up the process he would like to see smaller projects and about 1/2 of new construction units not have to go before the planning commission.
We have 45,000 units currently entitled. About 28,000 are in Park Merced and Hunters Point. 4,000 units are currently under construction with another 2,000 to be completed by the end of this year. This growth is primarily driven by the needs of the Tech Industry. In SOMA (South of Market) our office space vacancy is at 3%, we are nearly fully occupied. Already through planning, the 2nd Rincon Tower is planning to break ground in a Couple of weeks.
SF Overlook Development, LLC have completed their environmental review with pending planning approval to build a proposed 34 units on the hillside below Crestmont Dr. in San Franciscos’ Forest Knolls neighborhood.
Crestmont Preservation is an organized group of home owners and community members with the common cause of preserving the quiet and peaceful enjoyment that is their right as homeowners. Their primary concern is the additional 340 person trips, (136-170 car trips…based upon round trips per person for average of 5 residents per 2-3 bedroom unit per day), moving through this quiet, residential neighborhood of narrow, hilly streets along with the increased density this large development will bring to the end of this cul-de-sac, already the city’s longest.
SF Overlook states their 34 unit project is 44% less units than the max allowed by zoning. The mix of units are two and three bedroom family townhomes and one 11 unit building. This project will improve hillside stability through water management, new retaining walls and drainage improvements. They propose to add 51 off-street covered parking spaces and will apply for up to 68 parking spaces Continue reading
As a member of The San Francisco Luxury Marketing Council, I attended a presentation of “America’s Cup – Everything you need to know”, Hosted by Al Nucifora at The City Club at 155 Sansome tonite. Presenter, Napa Valley Vintners’ Association served an array of Napa Boutique Wines and and was introduced as the Official Wine of the America’s Cup. Napa wines will exclusively be served at the events. In Napa Valley, 95% of vineyards are family owned, 80% produce 10,000 cases and less. There are 45 acres of planted vineyards which is only 9% of the county. They will be partnering to offer promotion for visitors to visit Napa during their Bay Area holiday.
The America’s Cup is a series of regatta’s held in top venues around the world, sailing the AC45’s, the fastest catamarans with cutting edge wing sail technology. The marketing message is that this event is “Innovative and Revolutionary”. They have 28 Broadcast Partners, have recieved 5.8 million UTube Views and expect 370K spectators to take in the World Series of Racing. www.uTube.com/AmericasCup
Time to make your home a short term rental or if you are ready to sell, prepare in time for the quickly approaching race dates!
Pier 39 will be host to the America’s Cup Village and the Finish Line where you can get up close and personal with sailor and take in bands at theAmphitheater. Piers 27/29 Will be home to the International Broadcast and Media Center to coordinate and support more than 1,000 journalists.
When I was in the advertising business I attended Chamber of Commerce Sundowner’s. They were monthly cocktail mixers for networking with other business owners. Today I went to an orientation meeting for the Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, along with 30 or so other business owners and execs who were introduced to how the Chamber can help promote our business and how they work to improve San Francisco’s business community and support job development.
The meeting was held in spacious conference room of the Chamber on the 12th floor in the Lusk Building at 235 Montgomery Street in the financial district. Attendees included Zipcar, two professional business consultant Coach’s, a construction manager looking for job connections, the LGBT friendly paper-The Bay Area Reporter, The San Francisco Business Times, Orange-Events Photographers, a social media marketing expert from Fanpage Direct, a financial planner and A52 signs among about 25 more local business owners and entrepeneurs.
Some attendees had been in business for just a few months, others new to San Francisco and all looking for support from the local business community. one group, www.PrepareUsToday.com is a disaster Preparedness company providing readymade packages for sale along with a lifetime refill program to individuals and business. I’m a huge proponent of hyperlocal marketing. Getting to know who provides our services and goods on a personal level. These are the people that drive our economy and community development.
We were able to meet and greet after and network. Continue reading
San Franciscos’ One Hawthorne, a Luxury Highrise in the Middle of the Action – Affordable and Stylish
Downtown San Francisco is host to many new and newish high rise luxury buildings offering homeownership opportunities to the most discerning urban dwellers. Experience life with all of the amenities, like exercise rooms, valets, roof top gardens with outstanding world-class views and some buildings include concierge service.
Tonite I attended an invitational cocktail fete hosted by the sales team of One Hawthorne. Catty-corner to our new Vangaurd Office at 199 New Montgomery. One Hawthorne’s sales office is at the corner of Hawthorne and Howard with the building entrance around the corner on the quiet Hawthorne Street, not a thoroughfare, a calm street in the midst of the action.
Greeted by the sales team who offered wine and beautifully prepared nibbles, I was given the inside scoop on the upcoming offerings in this building. Sales have picked up, are brisk with available homes moving quickly.
Sold in phases, the first phase has only 8 units left before the anticipated release of the upper floors 21 to 25 in the next several months. As the floors go up, so does the pricing. Jessica gave us the grand tour of the sleek, modern, impressive models of a junior one bedroom, the perfect pied a terre, a 1 bedroom at 800+ Square Feet and the 2 bedroom/2bath of over 1200 Square Feet. Continue reading
Pockets of Movement in the San Francisco Housing Market, Despite Lessening Inventory
The nice spring-like weather we have been experiencing has had some positive effects on the home buying public, as it has brought more buyers into the market. And with interest rates continuing to stand at a 60-year low, this has made homes more affordable and led to a wave of refinances that has increased disposable income for property owners. But despite these encouraging trends, the city’s inventory has tightened.
As inventory levels dropped in January by 32.9 percent, compared to January 2011, the number of homes under contract rose by 8.7 percent. But the low inventory seemed to also contribute to fewer completed sales, which is fairly normal market behavior for this time of year.
For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 47.3 percent to 1.6 months. For higher priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell by 38.9 percent to 2.4 months. These short time frames continue to indicate a seller’s market, where sellers have more leveraging power over buyers who are competing against a limited pool of properties.
With new construction on the rise and the current affordability of homes for the median income earner, consumer confidence is returning to the real estate market.
National Housing starts rose 1.5 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 from the revised December estimate of 689,000, and they were 9.9 percent above the January 2011 rate of 636,000, according to the latest figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. Housing starts for single-family homes fell 1 percent in January to 508,000, down from 513,000 in December.
San Francisco has been positioning itself for the America’s Cup race to be held here, with the hope that it brings scores of visitors to make this a tour de force event a cash cow for our economy. The City has been negotiating a deal to fix old worn out piers in exchange for development rights. The question is the draw of the event and whether it will deliver as the City expects.
Over the next 2 years, 58 days of racing will take place. The City would benefit by the influx of attendees’ to restaurants and hotels. Slow fundraising has been a concern for county supervisors who know that $52m is earmarked to spend on prepping for the event.
Analysis of the anticipated 8,800 jobs creation, and $1.4Billion in revenue were made from other America’s cup events held worldwide. As of now, only 3 of the 9 expected teams have signed on for the 2013 finals.
The America’s Cup organization stands behind its forecast, while some supervisors believe the projection is grossly overestimated. San Francisco has a world renown sailing tradition, multiple yacht clubs, visible weekly Regatta’s on the bay which will have us looking forward to seeing if this event brings the funds, crowds and participation anticipated or is a complicated way to repair a waterfront badly in need of attention….and it looks like, possible development.
President Obama has come to town, to visit, raise his campaign profile and to raise funds. We haven’t heard much from his camp, aside from today’s visit, about his campaign for the next term. Though I enjoyed Michelle’s’ (yes, we are on a first name basis, at least in my book), public announcements and TV appearances touting the humanity of our current present, his devotion to family and dog and his character as first and foremost, a man of ethics. She spoke clearly about the sacrifices that wife and children make to stand behind their man in the white house, and having said that – endorses him for another term out of her conviction that he will continue to be the right leader for our country or she and the kids would not be making this sacrifice again! Continue reading
Today I took out a client who wanted to tour luxury property in all neighborhoods of the City! That was a big bill to fill as luxury means something different to each person. In this case, it was in the form of at least a 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath home of over 1800 SqFt, with a price point of $1m-$2.3m and up.
Luckily that is easily achievable in our town. Though we are a great city, buyers often note, its’ diverse neighborhoods make it feel like a town. We began our tour in St. Francis Woods. Known as District 4, this neighborhood sports detached mansion like homes on larger parcels of property. I would call this “the country in the middle of the city”. Some of our oldest and most beautiful Mediterranean and Spanish style homes are in this neighborhood that exudes a charming elegance. They loved West Portal, the 3 block shopping district at the base of St. Francis woods and its’ boutiques, pubs, cafe’s and art cinema.
There is a special natural fabric of the city that is made by its’ open preserved space. Golden Gate Park, The Presidio, Fort Funston, Fort Mason, Stern Grove, Mountain Lake Park, and Lands’ End. These spaces provide leisure activity in the form of hiking, walking, biking, picnicking and more.
Take a approx. 3 mile round trip hike from near the Cliff House and Sutro Baths’ on a bay ridge trail with outstanding views to reach Lands end outlook bordering Sea Cliff neighborhood. Travel to the base of Presidio to find Crissy field, an old airstrip on the former Army base that serves as a greenbelt for a lengthy bayside trail that leads from the Marina District to the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio itself has multiple hiking trails where you can be among the trees and get away from it all, stretching from Crissy field all the way to Laurel Heights and the Richmond District.
Today Vanguard Properties, the well-known San Francisco real estate firm headed by Principal James Nunemacher for nearly 30 years, announced the “21 Club” Top Producers of Vanguard Properties for 2011, including Erika Burke.The achievements of these very hard working Realtors and Broker Associates are recognized yearly by the firm, in alphabetical order, are as follows:
“We are thrilled with all of our agents performance and this past year’s gain in what has been touted as a down national real estate market,” said Mr. Nunemacher.
The 2011 year end numbers for Vanguard Properties posted close to a 30% gain in sales over 2010. “We are thrilled with all of our agents performance and this past year’s gain in what has been touted as a down national real estate market,” said Mr. Nunemacher.
The firm is looking forward to yet another year of growth with the opening their new sales office in downtown San Francisco located at 199 New Montgomery Street.
I confess, I’m addicted. To San Francisco’s’ museums. It’s true. If you go to one, watch out, you will become addicted too, in a very good way. There are dozens to choose from, many centrally located and accessible by public transportation. Some are housed in architectural treasures, like the Palace of Legion of Honor on the Inner Richmond near Lands End. Before you even enter you are entranced by the sweeping stair, the lawns and fountains, and the breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge. They offer changing exhibitions from all corners of the earth, along with their impressive old masters collection. Last year I took in 2 exhibitions and saw a concert!
San Francisco has a tradition of fostering its’ artists and creative’s. Nowhere is this as evident as with the prolific amount of mural art exhibited on the exterior of buildings throughout the city! This art expresses local tradition, cultural expression and adds a dimension to the city that makes us unique.
Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visual Center at 2981 24th St., in the Inner Mission is home to a non-profit mural arts center, store and awareness program representing local mural art and artists. Visit their locale to purchase posters of the art and find out more about the locations and artists. Continue reading
Celebrating New Year’s, is kind of like a collective birthday, except there are no candles to blow out when you make your wish known as “The New Years’ Resolution”. I quizzed a dozen people at our annual office party and came up with a dozen different resolutions. “To get my teeth whitened, and work on smiling more”. I liked that one….it was easily achievable. How about, “learning to balance work and play, since I work all the time”. I’m still waiting for the answer to that one myself. “I’m going to be nicer to my ________”. If you fill in the blank with husband, then I say – good luck. There’s not a wife on the planet that has successfully fulfilled that one, in my opinion. Never to late to try though. Starting the year with the thought is as good as making it happen. Reasonable goal setting.
2011 was a tough year with the mortgage crisis, skyrocketing unemployment, vacillating stock market, natural disasters and a general level of uncertainty that pervaded. A chance to start afresh with renewed zeal is generally welcomed by all. So this holiday, replete with popping champagne bottles, fancy dress, galas and major promises to ourselves and others is a tradition that unites us globally in a promise for a brighter, better tomorrow. At least after we recover from the festivities!
Talking about Union Square for holiday shopping, take a seat on the parks’ steps or benches in the center and watch the passerby while you determine what world class shop to visit!
Weekends you may find art events, performances and in the winter an ice skating ring. A preserved plot of land that can never be built on due to a trust of its’ original owner. Around the square are some of the most famous stores in the world! This is luxury shopping and dining central, but know that a deal can still be had.
My favorite secret of the area is Maiden Lane. A 2 block side street between Geary and Post, featuring shops like Hermes, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Brittex Fabrics, a number of salons and charming little cafes with outdoor tables. During the day, the street is blocked to traffic for easy navigation and dining. These are the back door entrances to these highly touted shops, making your journey quaint. Take in their windows that change regularly for some high art window dressing. When the ballet season began last year, almost every vendor featured mannequins with authentic vintage ballet costumes.
San Francisco doesn’t get much media attention outside of the tech bubble. So I was very excited when Contagion — a star-studded action thriller about an international pandemic— filmed on our streets. (I kept walking my dog around Washington Square park hoping he would be asked to be an extra. no go.) The film was shot all of San Francisco with the intention of highlighting their location in the city.
Filming movies in San Francisco pumps pride into city residents, and money into the economy. Hopefully we will start to see more and more movies filming here! Up next is the HBO production “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” starring Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen.
What are some other famous films starring the City by the Bay? Here are some of the Estate’s Groups favorites:
MILK Sean Penn earned an Oscar when he portrayed gay activist Harvey Milk in the rally cry for equal rights. Follow the uber-talented supporting cast (Franco, Hirsch, Brolin) through the Castro in the ’70s, a.k.a. a pretty entertaining place to be.
Robin has a wonderful eye, and always consults at the beginning of our listing process to make sure she has the right vision for the space. She adds custom art (many of the pieces painted by Robin herself). Robin goes the extra mile – making sure her stages remain pristine throughout the showing process. I know that when Robin is called in to stage an Estates Group Listing not only will the job be done with no fuss or issues, but it will exceed our expectations. To see a sample of her work, visit our current listing at 450 San Bruno Ave., San Francisco, CA 94110.
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