If you are looking for local, handmade gifts to give this holiday season, shop at the 2nd annual Holiday Craft Fair at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts on Sunday December 11 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. There will be there a wonderful selection of unique gifts for all ages and interests. This a family event with activities for all ages: music, popcorn, interactive art demonstrations, and a holiday portrait photo booth. 

The event will feature local vendors; vendor acceptance will be juried by a panel that will determine the best fit of category and quality of merchandise. A vendor booth costs $50; tables are $5, chairs provided. If you are interested in hosting a vendor booth or table or selling your crafts, please submit your application and fees by November 20. Here is the link to the online application.

For more information about the event, please contact Robby Roller at 415-554-8742 or

The Opening Reception for Jay Blakesberg’s Light and Dark Show at the Photo Center is Thursday, November 9 from 5:30-9 p.m. As the Chronicle pointed out in their November 6 story, this is his first gallery show after spending the last 30 years documenting the Bay Area music scene.

The exhibition features more than 120 iconic images of blues legends (all now sadly deceased) Muddy Waters, BB King, James Cotton and Johnny Winter taken in 1979 –  two weeks after Blakesberg’s high School graduation. There are portraits of Tom waits, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Carlos Santana and many more that were shot on assignment for Rock Magazines such as Rolling Stone, Guitar Player, or BAM (Bay Area Music Magazine). 
Photographs of whirling dervishes shot at Grateful Dead concerts stand beside photographs of stage divers and at Festivals such as Lollapalooza. Blakesberg’s hyper sensitive personality is always scanning the scene looking for the unique and interesting photograph that will tell the story of that day! 

In 1978, at age 16, Jay Blakesberg’s father loaned him a Pentax camera to take pictures at a Grateful Dead concert in his home state of New Jersey. That was the beginning of a 40-year adventure photographing the rock and roll experience.
His first paid assignment came in September 1979 when the Aquarian Weekly paid Jay $15 to run two photographs in the free weekly. In November 1987, Jay landed his first assignment with Rolling Stone Magazine to photograph a free U2 concert in downtown San Francisco.

There is a slide show and lecture about Jay’s 39-year journey in rock and roll photography on Saturday, November 11 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Seating is limited and an RSVP is required, register hereThe show continues through January 6. There is also a selection of rock and roll photographs taken by Blakesberg on display at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park.

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day on Saturday, November 14, from 10 a.m.-noon. We will be putting in some new plants around the Scott Street Labyrinth as well as doing a general cleanup of that area. 

Despite warnings about poor air quality resulting from the Napa Valley fires on Saturday, October 14, Friends of Duboce Park still held their monthly volunteer day and weeded the planting circle near the Pierce Street steps and did a trash cleanup for the entire park.

20 volunteers refurbished the small planting bed between the basketball court and the playground with colorful pollinator plants the month before at the September Volunteer Day. A new tree was also planted there and that “triangle” will complement the other pollinator beds in the playground and Pierce Street planting circle. 

Contact or 415-255-8370 for more information or with any questions or comments. Our volunteer day is always the second Saturday of every month. 30 minutes or an hour of your time makes a big difference in the appearance of our park. Volunteers gave more than 187,000 hours of their time and energy to improving our 225 parks and recreation facilities in 2016.


An introduction to Encaustic Painting will be taught at the Harvey Milk Center from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, December 2. Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves adding colored pigments to heated beeswax. The word encaustic originates from the Greek word enkausticos, which means to burn in. 

This one-day class will cover a brief history of the medium, the diversity of encaustic painting, explanations of tools and materials, techniques used, visual references and a hands-on approach. Each student will complete two unique pieces of art. Students will need to bring collage materials including photographs and two-dimensional personal keepsakes (can be photocopied). All other materials will be provided. This workshop is open to all painting and art making skill levels. 

The complete catalogue of classes is available online  or you can pick it up in the lobbies of the Rec Center and Photo Center. Registration for Winter 2018 classes begins on Saturday, December 16. Recreation and Parks offers scholarships to eligible individuals and families. More than $1 million in scholarships in Rec and arks programs has been provided. Ongoing eligibility is dependent on attendance record. Please call Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator, at (415) 831-2717 for information on how to qualify.

There are many large brown spots, some down to bare dirt, in the grass in Duboce Park. Friends of Duboce Park asked Michelle Pallavicini, Park Services Manager, for an update on these and other conditions in Duboce Park. Her responses are below.
Fence in the Dog Play Area

"The fence will remain up for another month. If we were to take it down now, any new growth would be damaged by the heavy dog activity within an afternoon. The areas that are not growing are the areas that traditionally have always been a problem. I don't know if it’s something with the soil, the zones where dog owners always congregate, irrigation coverage, or a combination of issues. When we take the fence down, we will keep both of these small areas fenced until stronger growth occurs.”

When the fence on the west side is removed, Rec and Park will move it to the east end of the DPA and refurbish that area. I would need a gardener full time solely on this space to keep it at minimum level, something I just do not have the resources for at this time.”
Brown Areas on Eastern Edges of Knoll/Hill

“There is no irrigation in this area. When the park was renovated and that medial pathway was installed, the irrigation was not continued along the path resulting in a large dry patch every summer. This is the next project following the item below. We will need to extend the irrigation along the edge corner to install at least two more turf rotors. This is a large project that requires trenching and assistance from our plumbing shop.”
Brown Areas in People Only Area

“The area was already compromised prior to the meter change out and that heavy heat spell. Then we had a valve break on that station. So the area went beyond salvageable. The valve break has been repaired and fine-tuned to ensure proper irrigation coverage. This area is a priority.”

“Also note, the park irrigation was designed in such a way as to flood the facility. As city mandates required severe cut backs in our irrigation outputs, we were required to adjust the system to avoid any flooding or runoff on the pathways. The irrigation heads are not in the correct positioning to achieve edge coverage without flooding the pathways. Ideally there should be irrigation along the edge. So now we need to find the perfect balance between runoff and edge coverage.”

Four new lights were installed in the alley on the north side of the Recreation Center and that area is now illuminated at night. However, one of the three lights at the western end of the Youth Play Area is burnt out and the light from another fixture is blocked by a tree, resulting in that area being dark at night. Also, the decorative lights in the front of the Rec Center are out. 

“The lights at this facility have been a constant headache the last few years -- bad photo cells, damaged wires from vandalism, broken timers, tripped breakers, etc. I'm still trying to get the light turned off adjacent to the DPA that hasn't been shut off in more than two years and the light turned on at the Noe entrance. The work orders are in for all items and the electricians are aware of the issues. Again, our shops are inundated with work order requests and getting to them as soon as they are able. All shops are extremely short staffed and many of the work order issues are not easy fixes.”

There are four new photography classes starting at the Photo Center in December, all on Saturdays. 
There are two two-week courses. Create a Photostyle is on December 9 and 16, noon-5 p.m., will teach students how to enhance their personal photographic approach, vision, and style. The instructor will emphasize the importance of the frame and how to be selective when photographing. 

Digital Workflow & Archiving Workshop is on the same Saturdays, but from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  Students will use Epson scanners to learn the process of digitizing analog photography. The instructor will go over the step by step procedure of using Epson scanners to create digital files that are the correct file color profile, image size, and file type. Once the students are comfortable with scanning, they will move into file management. 

There are also two one-day workshops: Portfolio and Critique Workshop on December 9 from noon-4 p.m. and Wet Plate Collection Photography Workshop on December 16 from 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

These are the last courses being offered as part of the 2017 schedule. The 2018 Winter Activities catalogue is due to be published any day and the complete class schedule and description of all of the courses offered at the Photo Center will be listed. You can always check out the class offerings online at Don’t hesitate to call the Photo Center at (415) 554-9522 with any questions. 

Violent incidents in Dolores Park have prompted the city to spend $250,000 to install security cameras, which will be installed in the coming weeks. Two full-time park rangers have also been assigned to the park, which has reduced trash and vandalism, according to Robert Brust, chair of the steering committee for Dolores Park Works. "Trash and vandalism is down, order is increasing with regular SFPD patrols," and "there is now [a] team of two Rec and Park Rangers assigned full-time to Dolores."
San Francisco’s first bike park, McLaren Bike Park, had its Grand Opening on October 21. The brand-new park is located within McLaren Park at 2050 Sunnydale Avenue next to Gleneagles Golf Course. The event featured a ribbon cutting, pump-style bike competition, kids’ races, food, raffles, vendor giveaways, and bike demos.  The $1.1 million project features a beginner bikes skills trail, youth BMX and mountain biking pump park, and multi-use plaza and lawn. The park is now open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for fall and winter and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the spring and summer.
The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink at Union Square returned on November 1 to celebrate its tenth anniversary. To commemorate the anniversary and thank the community for its continued support, the ice rink will showcase a San Francisco-based nonprofit partner each week throughout the rink’s ten-week season. Additionally, a portion of this year’s proceeds will benefit the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. The ice rink will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Ticket prices for regular admission are $18 and $13 for children eight years old and under, with figure skate or hockey skate rental included in the cost of admission. Advance tickets are on sale at 


Annual Membership dues for a Supporting Member are $25 per person and entitle you to voting privileges and participation in the governance of the organization. Your dues help cover the few costs we have, such as our website, newsletter, movie nights, and insurance. Membership dues paid in November and December are good through the end of 2018.

Your tax-deductible membership is gratefully accepted and should be sent to Friends of Duboce Park, 79 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. Friends of Duboce Park are a 501(c)(3) organization. General Membership is still available at no cost but does not carry any voting privileges. Another way to show your support is by getting involved. If you are interested, please contact President Doug Woo at

Our Mission Statement includes the following: "to organize and represent the collective interests regarding Duboce Park; to beautify and promote safety within Duboce Park; and, to initiate and/or support beneficial neighborhood projects on behalf of Duboce Park."


Thursday, November 9, 5:30-9 p.m. Photo Show Opening: Jay Blakesberg Light and Dark. Photo Center. Visit

Saturday, November 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at or 415-255-8370. 

Saturday, December 9, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at or 415-255-8370. 

Sunday, December 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Holiday Craft Fair. Harvey Milk Center for the Arts. Contact Robbie Roller at or 415-554-8742.

Saturday, December 16, 10 a.m. Winter 2018 Class Registration begins. Visit or call 415-831-2700.
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