Friday, October 10, 2014

Tuesday Tour Tidbits

Sometimes it's a bad idea to look at the highest end homes at the beginning of tour, they can make everything else seem a little less fabulous. I believe in "pattern language" though, so next Tuesday I'll look for these patterns (in this case "light on at least two sides" and "building edge") at lower price points. Good architecture can make spaces beautiful and livable at any price level. For today though, here's some high end glory.

Claudia taking in the view from one of many terraces of the beautifully updated 65 Montclair Terrace, on Russian Hill. Designed by Gardner Dailey, this place is so wonderfully organized to the light and views (!) and livability. Recently we've been discussing the kinds of properties that look incredible from the outside but inside can be dark or poorly laid out or cramped, vs. the kind that look a little boring or at least not epic from the outside but are bright and beautiful and livable on the inside. More on this later. This one isn't at all boring from the outside, but inside it's truly amazing, and my photo's really don't capture it fully.

Ok so it's staging, but how fun would this be! and to the immediate 
left are french doors to walk out terrace, and behind me the wonderful kitchen, and the views! Making the guest list in my mind...

This one is taken from 2680 Green St, another amazing remodel ("to the highest sustainability standards,"  in Pac Heights. Roof gardens always get me, and how about that view?

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 26, 2014

SF Building Boom and Beyond- Millennials Are So Smart

I recently attended a panel discussion San Francisco 
Building Boom and BeyondI actually came away inspired. 
As much bad news as there is regarding changes in affordability 
and diversity in our fair city, the good news is that new development
is focused, (as many of us idealistic greenies visualized 30 years ago
when downtown's were dying) around transit and walkable 
communities. I commend the perseverance of planners (including 
SF's heavily burdened Planning Departmentand placemakers, in 
the face of multiple very complex issues. 


One part of this that I found so inspiring is that the buildings with .5
or less parking spaces per unit sold out quicklyand continue to do
so. I know part of this is that people just need any place to live in 
San Francisco these days, but peak US driving was in 2006, and 
Americans have been driving less since then, even in this booming 
economy. This next generation is less car centric and is flocking to 
places where "your apartment is your bedroom and your community 
is your living room".  Small spaces are hip and design creativity is 
making more them pleasant to live in.  Life with a smaller carbon 
footprint can be fun!

As a Realtor I drive a lot, so I know I am a little hypocritical 
advocating transit, cycling and walking.  My bicycle commute 
was one of the best aspects of my previous work. Driving here 
can feel like a stressful and complex video game these days, 
and I'm sure I'm growing new neural pathways as more and 
more bicycles and pedestrians are on the roads, but these 
trends are here to stay. Hallelujah I say!

sfstreetsblog transbay terminal

Off work I get out of the car as often as possible, and always feel 
better for it. Transportation here is reaching peak usage. Walkers 
and cyclists take a lot of pressure off of existing transportation 
systems. Transportation infrastructure is phenomenally expensive, 
so this is one of the bigger challenges facing us as a city, but policy
is in place and we are moving the right direction on a number of

Call me a foolish optimist (I'm not the only one).  I know the 
problems we face are legion, and walk-ability, cycling and transit 
are not panaceas, but I feel more confident about the future as I 
watch the priorities of "kids these days" play out.

Happy Friday!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gloriously Eclectic Architecture

Arctic Garden Studio

Touring new listings this week with several agents, one new to town, the question arose - how do you tell Victorian from Edwardian? A memory trick I picked up somewhere is that Victoria was a woman, and the style is pretty fancy and curvy, while Edward was a man, and the style is simpler and more square.

Of course it's soooo much more complicated then that. Here's some wonderful video from the amazing James Dixon that gives a good overview of Victorian and Edwardian and San Francisco's multiple other architectural styles: When and Why Styles Changed. The short answer to why so many styles over time is the intersection of architectural fashions and cyclic economic booms.

Paragon Victorian Edwardian

If you like to read text and see still images, look here for Victorian and Edwardian periods. 

James Dixon Architect

The SF Department of Planning's Preservation Bulletin #18 (scroll down a bit for photos) also has lots of great photo's and details about the many styles and periods of San Francisco architecture.
and lest we forget the avenues out there in the fog, here's a link to your Doelger styles.

Curbed - Planning Sunset District Historic Resources

Information on more modern styles, from 1920 forward, can be found here.  So there you have it, now you can impress your friends.  

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


So I have had bloggers block for weeks now. This little flower fiend post is meant to end it. 

Yesterday I had a couple little wedges of time between real estate tasks and I needed a flower fix.  I stopped by Rare Device to see these amazing and enormous paper flowers, by Tiffanie Turner. They are glorious. 

A little later I walked with a friend in Golden Gate Park, through redwood groves to the rose garden. I have never seen such a blue blue delphinium, and the roses never disappoint. Happy Spring everyone!

Friday, April 25, 2014

"Walking Shed"

This cool coffee shop walking shed map from MIT (which you should check out) was the first place I saw the term "Walking shed" used, though I've certainly rambled on about Walkability, here here, and here.

Apparently Walking Shed is a thing already, also referred to as "ped shed" which makes sense, because duh, it just seems so obviously something we operate within. Though car dominated lifestyles have held sway during the past century, there is clearly a shift going on.


Until fairly recently in human history the draw for settlement orientation has been water, but now priorities are transportation, coffee, schools, restaurants, yoga studios... Where a property is within a walking shed has a huge effect on it's real estate value these days, with jobs,transportation portals, (including especially tech bus stops) at the top of the list right now.


and when you look objectively at how long it will take to walk vs. drive plus park...