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Moscone Convention Center’s Renovation Cutting Back Visitors/Dollars

Imagine SF with 1 million fewer visitors. For some this may be a good thing for the atmosphere of our city streets this summer. But for many others who depend on tourism’s dollars in SF a drop of a million brings angst and hardship. That’s the projected shortfall in tourists (as calculated by hotel consultant Rick Swig) from now until 2018 when the newly renovated Moscone Center reopens its hospitality cornucopia.

Moscone Center’s makeover and expansion has been in the works for awhile, and is now really underway at a budget of $500 million. The project will increase the convention hospitality and entertainment space by 25%, from 614,839 square feet to 772,179 square feet. It’s planned to bring in more visitors to the city in years 2019 and beyond to expand hotel bookings and fill seats in restaurants while dollars flow into local businesses and for the tax treasury of the city.

In the meantime, businesses are psyching up for the shortfall as the renovation work goes on. Moscone West will remain open while Moscone North and South will close for the construction timetable.

A Cool Map Exploring SF’s History of Street Names

As you’re cruising around one of the most cruisable cities in the world – SF – among many pleasant thoughts could be: What is the history of that street I just passed or I’m driving down. History – interesting and scandalous – is embedded in asphalt and street names of our fair metropolis.

And for those of us with street-wise curiosity there’s an interactive map that satisfies most, if not all, of our street touring questions as to origins.

I, for one, was curious about Turk Street (also Boulevard) which I happened to be on a while ago. So, using the map’s zoom feature I zoomed in so I could click on Turk. And I found out that the street was named for Frank Turk, a local lawyer who was the deputy mayor of San Francisco in the 49er Gold Rush age of 1850, under Mayor John W. Geary. Wow, that’s interesting, and historic. Plus, I deduced that Geary Street is named after the aforementioned Geary, who was the very first mayor of San Francisco, then traveled on to become governor of Kansas Territory in the Wild West, and then governor of Pennsylvania.

Click here to enjoy the SF street names interactive map.

Where Can You Rent for $1500 in SF These Days

As the world’s most expensive city to rent in you’d think there are no more affordable places to rent from in SF, oceanside to bayside. After all the median rental in the city is over $3,000 a month. However, there are snug and sort-of-well appointed studios running for $1500 that sf.curbed.com explored in a recent column. They found that for that price you can live in the Tenderloin or Mission and a few other places in relative comfort and pretty darn cheap for SF.

Of course, one studio for that price doesn’t have a kitchen, but who needs a kitchen with a hundred restaurants and eateries right outside your door?  Two years ago these places went for $1300 so there is rental upswelling here. Over in Cow Hollow there’s a studio for $1500 that has more space, its own bathroom and a sink cupboard. Over in the Sunset District a nice cozy attic apartment sports 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, and a kitchen—all for $1500 a month. Then, there are a couple of in-law units over in the far, far Outer Mission neighborhood. Almost all of these have No Pets Allowed, so Lassie dog or Sally cat can’t take advantage of the cheaper SF rents.

Airbnb Launches New Restaurant Reservation App First In SF

For online restaurant reservations you can load up the OpenTable mobile app or website booking engine and snag a table for a certain date and time across a wide selection of dining establishments in the city. Just like you can with snagging a short term rental in SF with Airbnb. So Airbnb took the next logical step and rolled out for the first time (in San Francisco) its new table-booking tool under its flagship app. Just go to the For You area, and click on the Popular Tables in SF icon. Of course, you don’t have to be in SF to do this. And voila. A select number of fine or fun dining establishments roll up for getting a timely table. Airbnb partnered with Resy Network to create the new facet of its app—at a cost of $13 million.

The new app function is part of Airbnb’s expansion of services to clients to enhance their travel experience and convenience, and to build more revenue streams. Resy doesn’t charge a reservation fee as OpenTable does, and is also built into Uber’s app.

Pacific Heights Neighborhood Confirmed as Most Expensive in SF

A recent report stated what everybody (way past and present) figured in their heads: that Pacific Heights is currently the most expensive neighborhood in the city. The 2712 Broadway super-mansion in Pacific Heights had a price tag of $40 million and that made national news. The report, a joint project from NeighborhoodX and Curbed, did a detailed ranking of SF’s neighborhoods according to prices per square foot, and, indeed, PH is the big gorilla on the block. Actually, 3 blocks—as there is a 3-block stretch in PH known as the Gold Coast.

However, while really stratospheric prices are there to be admired, the really interesting knowledge of this story is what are the cheapest places to live in Pacific Heights. This is the tack that sfgate.com took in a recent story, sussing out the affordable hideaways in the Heights. For instance, a one bedroom / one bathroom top floor condo covering 623 square feet is listed at $649,000—only $1,000 per square foot. And it includes bay windows, 12-foot ceilings, crown molding and pocket doors. This one will probably go very fast.

Here’s the full article at SF.Gate.com.

Buy Local

Paragon Real Estate’s 2017 San Francisco Farmer’s Market Guide.

Best Indian Curry Houses in San Francisco

Indian restaurants are mushrooming (as in a good mushroom korma curry) in the city, along with a growing number of fast lunch spots and food truck street eats. SF has even imported some Indian curry brands from New York City. Ever thought of a tikka masala (which by the way is the most popular fast food in England) burrito. Maybe not. You’ll find it in our foodie-centric city.

So, the tandoori-burning oven question is: what are the best curry eateries here in SF? Sf.eater.com has done us the great favor of creating a numbered list of the best houses with an interactive map and tempting descriptions.

Number 1 is August 1 Five, a particularly non-Indian name, with a modern improv take on the traditions of Indian cuisine. Lunch and dinner at Van Ness. Comes out of the Rasika restaurant in Washington D.C.

Number 2 is Babu Ji which immigrated to us from Manhattan. Located on Valencia Street, this spot features gonzo curries, and some fusion food like naan and smoked salmon, and spicy cocktails if that’s your thing.

Enjoy the full article at the SF.Eater.com site.

Master Interior Decorators Set the 2017 Look in San Francisco

It’s an annual event that is much anticipated and applauded among SF watchers of all things home design—the Decorator Showcase, for 2017. This year’s showcase was staged in Pacific Heights at a Classical Revival mansion parked at 2698 Pacific Avenue. Last year’s was up on Telegraph Hill at the Villa de Martini. Last year’s Showcase was a pyrotechnic explosion of color and contemporary form. This year’s went for darker but more subdued palettes while filling out rooms with classical or modern stylings.

Among the featured designers are Jonathan Rachman, Elan Evans, Beth Martin, Jaimie Belew, Diane Rosenblum, Kristen Pena, and Dina Bandman, and others (see full article link below). The results are stunning improv in both old world style and especially in the contemporary looks brought to bedrooms or even the Zen treatment of the penthouse living room and bar. Many touches include hand tooled items, like origami birds or drapery cut and wrapped round a chandelier. A curio closet is made coppery magical from designer Krista Hoffman.

Read the full article at SF.Curbed.com.