Saturday, November 7, 2009

NOPA's Public Spaces, Not our Trees, Mark Our Seasons

Turkey, lamb and chicken burgers: the best at SF Grill

Fresh from Napa and Sonoma and grilled with loving attention

And a lush Grove Street spot for dining

We might not have many trees changing into bright fall colors in NOPA, but we can boast a year-round farmers' market to mark our seasons. Apples and pomegrantes, pumpkins, squashes and gourds complement all the earthy-hued vegetables ready for autumn displays and cold-weather meals.

It's interesting to see how street events can define a block. Before the Farmers' Market settled in here, Grove at Divisadero was just another pleasant NOPA block with the distinction of not having a street signal for crossing Divis. Now it's a Sunday morning destination, a social ritual among neighbors. Lyon Street between Hayes and Grove has become the neighborhood's favorite site for its block party each year. The same with Golden Gate between Lyon and Baker, the best place to start celebrating the Fourth of July. And a NOPA Halloween without the spooky garages and friendly neighbors of Grove between Baker and Lyon -- and this year an additional block west to Central -- just wouldn't be the same. (It's too soon to say whether this year's BIKE THE BLOCK party will join our local traditions).

Where else but these spaces do so many neighbors gather so regularly and keep our sense of community so strong?

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