Green Living in San Francisco, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Videos

Meet Curbie, San Francisco’s Newest Survivor Champion!

Comments Off on Meet Curbie, San Francisco’s Newest Survivor Champion! 15 March 2011

Just so you know, it’s not that I’ve been avoiding the topic of San Francisco real estate – in fact, there’s all sorts of action happening.  But I’ve been too swamped juggling offers, upcoming listings and escrows to effectively write about it.  I, and just about any other SF Realtor, can tell you things are picking up here in the SF market, but I’ll save that for another day.

Today, I wanted to share a little video with you and ask for your help.

We all know that rodents can be a nuisance.  They are destructive, cause property damage, and have inspired more than one cartoon where a woman jumps up on a table and screams.

And while you don’t want the little (or big) critters in your homes, rat poison is not the answer!!!!

Meet Curbie.  Curbie was found on the Curb (thus the name) after street sweeper one day.  Curbie didn’t look well.  He was docile.  Not like your average wild rat.  My boyfriend chased him across the street to some bushes so he’d at least have some cover – we live down in the Outer Sunset by Ocean Beach and there’s a hawk on just about every block down here, and they’re all competing for food with the neighborhood kitties.

A few days went by, and Curbie still wasn’t doing very well. He was still in the same spot where my boyfriend had left him.  And he wasn’t acting very wild.  He looked sick.

So, my boyfriend captured him, put him in a box and started to feed him hoping he’d get better.  After doing some research, it began to look pretty obvious that Curbie was poisoned.  Feeling bad for the critter, and not wanting to watch him suffer, we began looking for help, and found it at Wildcare an organization that works “to make sure all species can coexist– not just by treating sick or injured animals (over 3,000 of them a year), but also by teaching people how to live peacefully with wildlife and by advocating for better protection of wildlife and our remaining open spaces”.

Curbie, thanks to the friends at Wildcare, made it out ok. His release video is above, and if you don’t pay attention, you’ll miss him – he’s THAT fast, THAT fiesty, and THAT much better.

But there are other Curbies out there and the rat poison problem doesn’t lie so much with the rodents themselves (though, really, if you think it’s an acceptable to leave an animal to die slowly by internally bleeding for a week or more, you’re pretty much an A**hole), but lies in an even bigger problem – the fact that prey feed on the rodents and then they, too, get sick and die.

Information from Wildcare‘s site:

Every year WildCare admits predatory animals like hawks, owls and foxes that have eaten rodents poisoned with anti-coagulant rodenticides (rat poisons).

The rodenticides currently on the market are advertised as “strong enough to kill in one dose,” and they do kill rats (slowly and painfully of internal bleeding), but it can take up to seven days for the rodents to die.

In that time, a desperate rodent can enter the food chain and carry the deadly poison to any animal that picks him up as an easy meal.

That hawk or owl dies too unless proper treatment can be administered immediately.

So what can YOU do?

You can help in two ways.

First – STOP USING RAT POISON!  There are many humane options for removing rodents.  I prefer the humane trap and release traps.

And second – donate to Wildcare.  They do a lot more than just rescue wild animals like Curbie.  They offer an interactive experience where people can truly understand what it means to co-exist with wildlife around us, even here in San Francisco.

And Curbie?  Well, as you can see, he’s got a second chance at life.  And the singing at the end of the video?  Yeah, that’s me.  Let me know if you know anyone ready to cut me a record deal. 😉


San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Places

San Francisco Sunday Streets Schedule Announced for 2011!

Comments Off on San Francisco Sunday Streets Schedule Announced for 2011! 14 March 2011


Sunday Streets is back for 2011!  The kick off event is coming up THIS weekend and runs along the Embarcadero.  As of now, the outlook looks to be a little rainy, but really, if all you got it a little sprinkle, I know you’ll still have a good time!

And the events usually run till just about 2pm, so you still have plenty of time to visit all of those Open Houses in SF too! 😉

Visit Sunday Streets for more info!

Sunday Streets 2011 Season Schedule (subject to change):

  • March 20: kick off event along the Embarcadero from Fisherman’s Wharf to Mission Bay;
  • April 10: Great Highway and Golden Gate Park; ‘Penguins to Penguins’:
  • May 8: Mission route, including the popular route along 24th and Valencia Streets;
  • June 12: Bayview route, 3rd Street from Mission Bay, Dogpatch to the Bayview Opera House;
  • July 10: Great Highway route #2;
  • August 14: Civic Center/Tenderloin route;
  • September 11: Western Addition route, including North of Panhandle, Alamo Square and Fillmore and Japantown neighborhoods;
  • October TBD; Mission route #2

This year’s event calendar features monthly events from March 20 through October of 2011, with events occurring on the 2nd Sunday of each month starting in April.

Sunday Streets 2011 Season continues the tradition of visiting diverse communities throughout the City with a variety of routes in different neighborhoods. While returning to popular areas along established routes, 2011 events will extend into new neighborhoods and include more diverse program elements that highlight each neighborhood’s unique character and often overlooked community attractions and institutions.

Returning activities include the ever-popular bike programming: free bike rentals offered by Bike & Roll, Bay City Bike Rentals and Tours and Blazing Saddles, bike safety courses presented by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Presidio YMCA’s Y Bike Program, as well as bike maintenance programs and adult bike education. The CA Outdoor Rollersports Assoc and David Miles, aka ‘The Godfather of Skate’ will bring out a mobile roller disco with free skate rentals, and the YMCA of San Francisco will coordinate activities for children and families through local YMCA branches near each route.


San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

Reminder that San Francisco is Earthquake Territory Too….

Comments Off on Reminder that San Francisco is Earthquake Territory Too…. 11 March 2011

As we all know by now, a giant earthquake hit Japan and has causes some intense devastation, including Tsunami waves that made it all the way out to our very own coast (albeit it they were a foot and a half tall when they got here.)

So, now’s as good a time as any to take a quick look at whether or not you’re prepared for the next big one here. has all the deets, as well as info on where to get more info on being prepared, but a quick summary of what you’ll need in your earthquake preparedness kit can be found below.  And if you feel like you might want to go above and beyong the basic survival preparedness (think “how to cook a rat”), you might want to check out this post. And in the meantime, print out the list below and get your earthquake kit in order.

Your basic emergency kit should include:

Water – one gallon per person per day
Food – ready to eat or requiring minimal water
* Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
* Plates, utensils and other feeding supplies
First Aid kit & instructions
* A copy of important documents & phone numbers
* Warm clothes and rain gear for each family member.
* Heavy work gloves
* Disposable/digital camera
* Unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper for water purification
* Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
* Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows
* Tools such as a crowbar, hammer & nails, staple gun, adjustable wrench and bungee cords.
* Blanket or sleeping bag
* Large heavy duty plastic bags and a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation
* Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget water and supplies for your pets.

A component of your disaster kit is your Go-bag. Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

* Flashlight
* Radio – battery operated
* Batteries
* Whistle
* Dust mask
* Pocket knife
* Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
* Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
* Local map
* Some water and food
* Permanent marker, paper and tape
* Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
* List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
* List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
* Copy of health insurance and identification cards
* Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
* Prescription medications and first aid supplies
* Toothbrush and toothpaste
* Extra keys to your house and vehicle
* Any special-needs items for childrenseniors or people with disabilitiesDon’t forget to make a Go-bag for your pets.

And while you’re getting prepared, you might also want to help those struck by the tragedy in Japan, but if you do so, Mission Mission blog reminds you to do so responsibly.

Stay safe, San Francisco.


San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Places

It’s Fun to Stay at the YMCA! (And to Help Raise $$$!)

Comments Off on It’s Fun to Stay at the YMCA! (And to Help Raise $$$!) 09 March 2011


Click to expand

Well – it’s not so much at staying at the YMCA as it is raising money for the sake of the YMCA!

It’s that time of year again, when the Richmond District YMCA throws their annual silent auction/fundraiser event!

In case you didn’t know, I was a Richmond YMCA kid!  I spent my summers at YMCA Day Camp at Star of the Sea.   In fact, I knocked a front tooth out there while playing a game of cat and mouse (always check to make sure your shoes are tied, kids!)  I made my first homemade pizza there, and it was the YMCA that took me to my first Giants game at Candlestick Park.  I don’t remember the game, but I do remember the Carnation Chocolate Malts they used to sell.  (I guess you can see where my priorities were and frankly, still are.)

And speaking of priorities, this silent auction will feature food, drinks and lots of goodies for you to bid on!  I’ve gone home in the past with chocolate covered strawberries, Go-Kart Racing certificates and a certificate for a Facial from the Blue Turtle Spa.  And that’s just what I could carry out of there in one trip! 😉

The event invite:

You are cordially invited to the YMCA Richmond District 5th Annual Silent Auction!
Join us for amazing auction prizes, a raffle, live music, and of course delicious food and wine!

When: Thursday, April 7
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Where: Congregation Beth Sholom,
301 14th Ave., San Francisco 94118

Tickets are $25 presale and $30 at the door

Please purchase tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets!

Feel free to invite your friends, co-workers, family, clients, your significant other, whomever!

Buy tickets and then give them away at the door if you want! (It’ll earn you good kharma! :-))

Hope to see you there! And I’ll be there so stop by and say “hi!” if you come!

Get ready to spend some money and win some fun stuff for a good cause!  (Just don’t try to outbid me – I take my silent auctions seriously!) 😉

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Places

Second Annual “Tastes of Taraval” Coming to the Outer Sunset

Comments Off on Second Annual “Tastes of Taraval” Coming to the Outer Sunset 06 March 2011

Want more proof that there is life in the Western half of San Francisco?  Well, the restaurants in SF’s Parkside district are here to show you we KNOW how to eat.  From classic delicious Italian (waiters in tuxedos!) at Gold Mirror and Ristorante Marcello, fresh sushi at Ninki to Shepherd’s Pie and karaoke (Friday nights!) at Parkside Tavern – we Sunset/Parkside dwellers are never at a loss for yummy treats.

The Second Annual “Tastes of Taraval” will take place March 11 through 17. This is a wonderful opportunity to check out our neighborhood restaurants, many who will be offering discounts and raffle prizes to patrons who mention “Tastes of Taraval”.

Last year’s first “Tastes of Taraval” event was a surprising success, with over 200 new customers trying out restaurants on Taraval Street. This year there are eight participating restaurants, each offering a special deal. Not only do the customers get a discount offered by the restaurant, they also are given a raffle ticket to fill out for a grand prize given at the end of the week by each restaurant.

Participating restaurants include:

Gold Mirror
Parkside Tavern
Shimo II
Ninki Sushi
Tennessee Grill
Brown Owl Coffee
Eagle Pizzeria
Kingdom of Dumpling
Ristorante Marcello

“Tastes of Taraval” is sponsored by the Taraval Parkside Merchants Association. For more information, visit

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions

First, We Scored Walk-ability, Now We Score Transit-ability

Comments Off on First, We Scored Walk-ability, Now We Score Transit-ability 27 February 2011

SF Transit Map

Based on the pic above, you might think San Francisco has just gotten slimed.  (Yes, this is a bad reference to the 80’s, the Ghostbusters and even Nickelodeon’s Double Dare – yes, I’m probably dating myself, but if you knew what I was talking about, you really have no room to judge. ;-))

What you’re really looking at is a heat map that focuses on areas that are the most transit friendly.

Lucky for us San Franciscan’s, our transit situation is pretty bright, even WITH all of the drama that our lovely MUNI brings us on a daily basis – from crashes to late running buses to financial woes (visit the N-Judah Chronicles to get a good scoop on all things MUNI), we’re still probably one of the luckier cities in the nation.  (I mean, I’ve been in places that have NO public transportation on weekends at all!)

In one study, it was found that a good WalkScore added significant value to a property:

More than just a pleasant amenity, the walkability of cities translates directly into increases in home values. Homes located in more walkable neighborhoods—those with a mix of common daily shopping and social destinations within a short distance—command a price premium over otherwise similar homes in less walkable areas. Houses with the above-average levels of walkability command a premium of about $4,000 to $34,000 over houses with just average levels of walkability in the typical metropolitan
areas studied.

And being that a good WalkScore adds value, I can only surmise that a good TransitScore adds value as well. (In case it needs explanation, a good Transit Score judges how easily accessible public transportation is from a specific address.)

From Zillow’s Blog:

Transit Score provides a 0 -100 rating for more than 100 cities where public transit data is available. Ratings range from “Rider’s Paradise” that offer world-class bus and rail service, to areas with limited or no nearby public transportation.

How do they do it? A Transit Score is calculated by assigning a “usefulness” value to nearby transit routes based on the frequency, type of route (rail, bus, etc.), and distance to the nearest stop on the route. The “usefulness” of all nearby routes is summed and then it is normalized to a score between 0 – 100.

Now, while a good Walk Score has already proven to add value to a property, based on the frequency of buyer requests for locations near easy public transportation, I’d be willing to put my money on the fact that there’s a correlation between a good Transit Score and an increase in property value.

Either way, you can visit or their page for public transportation at to find out whether your home or the home you’re considering purchasing has the added bonuses of walk-ability and transit-ability. 🙂

And of course, if you’re looking to buy or sell a walkable, transitable, or for that matter, any home in San Francisco, give me a shout –  we’ll  see if we work well together to achieve your SF real estate goals. 😉

San Francisco Historical Photos, San Francisco History, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Photos

Snapshots of San Francisco’s Past: Fort Point

Comments Off on Snapshots of San Francisco’s Past: Fort Point 27 February 2011

Click to Expand

If you’re at Fort Point today, you’re probably a tourist or you’re wearing a wetsuit!

This photo from 1890 is from the Golden Gate Recreation area from Above Fort Point – but if you notice, something is missing.  It’s big, it’s red, and it’s being retrofitted right now!  (Yes, it’s the Golden Gate Bridge if you hadn’t guessed.)

Fort Point was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1853 and 1861 to prevent entrance of a hostile fleet into San Francisco Bay during the Civil War.  Between 1933 and 1937 the Fort was used as a base of operations for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Today, it’s not just a place to go and explore history, but it’s also one of the most unique surfing destinations in the world.

The photo is brought to us courtesy of Bennett Hall, and was hand-tinted by him as well.  It comes from his collection of San Francisco Images, the original photo is mostly like attributed to Taber/Watkins

This image is on display publicly at Momos Restaurant and in the US District Courts Exhibits at 450 Golden Gate Ave
US District Courts  San Francisco Bay Area • Community History exhibits, 2002-2011.

A little bit about the guy kind enough to provide us with such an awesome pic:

Bennett Hall, San Francisco native, photographer and design, operates a San Francisco studio dedicated to sustainable U.S. forested custom picture framing at lower prices for everyone.  Currently, Hall is selling his 30-year collection of framed and unframed San Francisco, and world historical photography, personal art photography and other collectible pieces at clearance prices.  Services for businesses are emphazed through Hall’s company Business Image Group, creating graphical environments that express the culture, history and marketing messages of his clients.

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

San Francisco Real Estate in Your Inbox

Comments Off on San Francisco Real Estate in Your Inbox 25 February 2011

San Francisco Real Estate Newsletter

If you were signed up for Zephyr Real Estate’s Market Tracker, you’d already have an awesome newsletter in your email inbox waiting for you to open it right now.

The newsletter would have the latest San Francisco home sales (sortable by neighborhood or property type), the latest SF property listings (also sortable by neighborhood and property type), and some interesting tidbits about the City too.

Don’t believe me?  Check out this week’s edition for yourself by clicking here.

And if you LOVE it (and how could you not?) sign up here. 🙂

It’ll pop up in your inbox every two weeks and it will complete your life.  And if it doesn’t (though I’m sure it will), you can quickly and safely unsubscribe. 🙂

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

San Francisco Natural Hazard Maps

Comments Off on San Francisco Natural Hazard Maps 24 February 2011

In light of the recent earthquake in New Zealand and the fact that in any given week, California land is shaking dozens of times, I thought this would be a good time to share these natural hazard maps with you again.  Looking at the USGS Map, just in the last day, the Cloverdale area, about an hour and a half north of San Francisco, has had dozens on little shakers.

And in case you don’t already know – San Francisco is kinda known as prime earthquake country.  But where you live has an impact on how an earthquake might affect you (and how much shaking your home will do.)

So I thought I’d throw a few maps up here for readers that are curious about the location of natural hazards in San Francisco.

Click on the map for a bigger view, and to be taken to the source of the map.

San Francisco Liquefaction Map
San Francisco Liquefaction Map

San Francisco Natural Hazards Map

San Francisco Natural Hazards Map

My personal favorite, which is sort of a hazard because building a house on water is never a good idea, is a map of all of the creeks, marshes and landfill throughout historical San Francisco. This map is from the 1890’s. As with the others, click to see the map full size, and to see the source.

San Francisco Historical Creek Map

San Francisco Historical Underground Water Location

And finally – if you’re curious about the last little rumble you felt – check out this map which will show you the size and magnitude of the most recent earthquake.

San Francisco Recent Earthquakes

Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco News and Events

Could the San Francisco Zoo be Getting a New Noble Resident?

Comments Off on Could the San Francisco Zoo be Getting a New Noble Resident? 23 February 2011

If you’ve been reading this San Francisco real estate blog since it’s creation in May of 2007 (sheesh, has it really been THAT long), you already know that I’m a HUGE fan of the San Francisco Zoo, and that I take great pride in the fact that a portion of the proceeds from every one of my transactions goes to the SF Zoo.

They have some of the most amazing animal keepers there that truly go above and beyond, not just to take care of the animals, but to educate the public about conservation efforts that can help make sure that these animals will be around and in the wild for future generations.

And so, I just have to say that I would find it very fitting if the rumors are true!

What rumors?

Well, Silent Knight, a sea lion shot in the face by some a**hole with a shotgun in Sausalito has been nursed back to health since his arrival at the Marine Mammal Center in December.  His injuries left him blind in both eyes, but remarkably, he’s otherwise recovered quite well from the ordeal.

(As an aside, a KTVU article reports that “The vet treating the sea lion said he’ll see at least ten sea lions shot each year. Last year, a Sacramento man spent a month in jail and was fined $50,000 for shooting a sea lion that stole his fish.”  Can I just say “WTF?” A mere month in jail for such a cruel act????  Really?  Probably better to rant about that on another forum, but seriously…. it’s time to get tougher about acts of animal cruelty!)

Anyhow…. now that Silent Knight is getting better, and the Marine Mammal Center has to find him a permanent home, there are rumors floating around that our very own SF Zoo will be the place where the noble guy can live out the rest of his years.

My fingers are tightly crossed that he does, indeed, end up there and can serve as a symbol of how regal these creatures are and, inadvertently, as a sad reminder of how cruel mankind can be and maybe, just maybe, can help prevent future animal cruelty from taking place.

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About the Blog

Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog was created to share insights about San Francisco Real Estate and about San Francisco living. Written by Luba Muzichenko, an "almost-native" San Franciscan and a local Realtor® with Zephyr Real Estate, Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog is meant to inform you about a variety of good things and happenings around SF and its unique neighborhoods, about buying and selling homes in the City and about the real estate market in general. If you like what you see, please tell a friend.

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Luba Muzichenko
Top Producer
Certified Residential Specialist®
Zephyr Real Estate
415-307-1392 (cell)
[email protected]
DRE License #01768716
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