Three different perspectives of downtown San Francisco. Shot from Twin Peaks (with a great view all the way down Market Street), Mount Davidson (the highest point in the city) and of course Grand View Park.
Continuing myseries of local coronavirus hikes, Mount Davidson is the highest peak in San Francisco and this three mile hike takes you there from West Portal. Take Ulloa to Kensington and then cross Portola on the footbridge. Juanita takes you to one of the Mount Davidson trails and up to the top. You can come back the same way, or follow Kensington all the way over to Taraval.
The cross at the top is a memorial to the Armenian Genocide and while most of Mount Davidson is a San Francisco park the area at the top is owned by the Council of Armenian-American Organizations of Northern California (due to a church/state separation lawsuit). It's a great spot to look (slightly) down on the Twin Peaks set who just think they've reached the top of San Francisco.
I got a Rent Board Fee Annual Notice for the first time this year which says:
"The owner of each residential unit in San Francisco, as specified in Administrative Code Chapter 37A, shall pay annually to the City and County of San Francisco a Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board fee."
Which sounds like they really want you to pay. They go on to say that from the 2021-2022 tax year the Rent Board has to collect directly from the property owner rather than being bundled on the property tax bill.
This seems crazy. Not that I'm advocating kicking off another recall election but it must be a monumental waste of resources. Suddenly you're sending me letters and wasting my time as well as paying extra credit card / check processing fees all for $59 which is a pretty trivial fraction of my property tax.
It turns out that I don't even need to pay - owner occupied units are exempt. This made me wonder if I have been inadvertently subsidizing the Rent Board for years but as far as I can tell this has never been included with my property taxes. It certainly isn't broken out like other special fees (and San Francisco feels like it needs to let me know that 0.05% of my tax is going toward restoring the bay). You can opt out of the tax on a sumptuous new Rent Board portal, which can't have been cheap to build.
So what gives? I haven't seen any press on this. Please let me know if I missed something. My best guess is that whatever records were used to add the tax to the property bill were thought to be incomplete and so the Rent Board is trying to expand its tax base to all of the undeclared in-law units and casually rented rooms in the city. Less charitably they might be hoping that a lot of property owners pay the new bill without checking the details. Regardless, if we need a Rent Board can it not just be paid for out of city funds instead of wasting trees and time and money on an elaborate separate payment system?
An experiment in creating a timelapse from a week of walking around San Francisco. Not sure how long I'll keep this up for and only managed four sequences this week: three different views from Grand View park (I go there a lot) and one of the penguin sculpture at Lake Merced.
Shot on a Sony A7C with the 20mm 1.8 G and a Ronin SC. This is the first time I've used the Ronin SC for timelapse and it sucks. Works great for video, can't pan 180 degrees in timelapse mode without introducing shake though. Processed using LTTimelapse, Lightroom, DaVinci Resolve (with a lot of stabilization to fix the Ronin issues) and Filmstro Pro. The finished product is 4K, 60fps. Filmed December 30, 2021 (I usually do something on New Year's Eve but the clouds looked more promising the day before this year).
San Francisco is apparently going to hell with criminals free to do as they please with no fear of consequences. I decided to take a look at the data.
The video above shows a timelapse of SFPD incidents from 2003 through yesterday. Each frame is a day and shows incidents from the previous seven days. The top left corner of the video shows the date and the seven day count of incidents.
I grouped the reported categories into a few colors. Red is used for murder and rape. Orange for arson and kidnapping. Yellow for thefts and assaults. Purple for sex and drugs. Grey for anything else. I excluded some categories from the data (recovered vehicle, traffic collision, case closure and non-criminal).
SFPD reports the location of incidents as the closest intersection. To keep everything visible I move the location randomly within a tenth of a mile where there is a specific location reported. For crimes without a location I use a random spot within half a mile of the center of the police district (or the center of San Francisco if the district is missing - this is unusual).
The volume of incidents changes a bit during the ~18 years shown in the video, but the only real outlier is the dip following the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2000. Crime picks back up after this but so far hasn't returned to the level it was at before the pandemic.
I have previously described Twin Peaks as not much of a hike, which is absolutely true if you drive there. When I first moved to San Francisco I lived in Noe Valley and used to cycle up to Twin Peaks and then try to get home without pedalling. For many years after that I'd take visitors up to the top and developed a somewhat weird tradition of taking each new child there soon after they were released from the hospital.
Post lockdown I'm up there most weeks. This is my five mile loop which starts heading up Ulloa from West Portal to Portola. Portola breaks the climb briefly as you pass the striking herchurch and controversial Twin Peaks gas station before heading up Twin Peaks Boulevard to the 922 foot summits. For a while Twin Peaks Boulevard was entirely closed to traffic (although you really had to keep an eye out for high speed skateboarders). Unfortunately it's now open all the way to Christmas Tree Point. Head down the north side to Clarendon and follow this all the way down to Forest Hill and then back to West Portal.