Come one. Come all

The Friends of Noe Valley invites you to an evening get together with three city representatives who will give us the low down on what is happening in the City, District 8, and Noe Valley in particular.

The meeting will be held at the Noe Valley Ministry on Monday, March 23rd from 7pm to 8:30pm. The Ministry is located at 1021 Sanchez Street between Elizabeth and 23rd streets. Mark your calendar.

Heading the agenda is Rafael Mandelman who represents District 8 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Mandelman chairs the Board’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee and is a member of the Budget and Finance, Budget and Appropriations, County Transportation and the Treasure Island Mobility Management Agency committees. Bring your questions. Bring your concerns.

Also attending is Jessica Closson the San Francisco Police Department Community Liaison for Crime Prevention and Safety for District 8. Jessica works closely with Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s office, SFPD, and other city groups to address crime and safety issues. Jessica is also a neighbor as she lives right here in Noe Valley. You can read all about her in the January 2020 Noe Valley Voice. Come meet Jessica and find out how she is ready to take on the challenges of District 8 and Noe Valley.

Rounding out the group is Paul Lupino from MONS – the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.  Paul is the liaison for community outreach and constituent services for Noe Valley (and  several other neighborhoods) focusing on helping residents address issues they face. Each month Paul will host office hours in a public space in Noe Valley. Come and learn where and when you can meet and chat with Paul each month.

Friends of Noe Valley is an organization of people who believe that knowing your neighbors creates community and that creating community is key to having a safe and vibrant neighborhood. Join us on Monday, March 23rd and connect to your neighborhood by connecting to its people.

Noe Valley Word Week March 14 through March 21

Word Week is Noe Valley’s literary festival, produced annually by the Friends of Noe Valley neighborhood association. Word Week 2020 starts Saturday March 14 with a poetry reading and ends Saturday, March 21 with the Chinese Wall Inscription poetry of Angel Island. Here’s the list of all eight events.

Saturday, March 14
Noe Poets/City Poems
5 pm to 6:30 pm

Lola San Francisco – 1250 Sanchez at Clipper

Five Noe Valley poets read poems about life in San Francisco, followed by an open mic. The featured poets are Susan Dambroff, Jeff Doleman, MaryLee McNeal, Kim Shuck and Dan Richman. 5 p.m. featured poets, 6 p.m. open mic. Free admission. Check it out on Facebook.

Sunday, March 15
Read It Yourself Shakespeare
4 pm to 6 pm
Olive This Olive That - 304 Vicksburg near 24th Street

We will read Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night (or What You Will),” a rollicking tale of deception, disguises, and mistaken identities. You can either participate by taking on one of the roles or by listening and participating in the ensuing discussion. Bring a copy of the play (printed or electronic). Light refreshments to be provided. Free admission.

Monday, March 16
In Conversation with Leah Garchik and Ruthe Stein: Favorite Times, Favorite Stories
6:30 pm to 8 pm

Umpqua Bank – 3938 24th Street

Enjoy two veteran San Francisco Chronicle columnists talking about their work at the paper, hobnobbing with the good and the great, the stars and wannabes. Both reporters worked at the Cron for over 40 years and have stories to tell.  Great times, great stories, great columns. Light refreshments will be served. Free admission.

Tuesday, March 17
You Don’t Have to Be Irish: A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
7 pm to 8:30 pm

Noe Valley Ministry – 1021 Sanchez

Readings from contemporary Irish authors by local Irish-American authors Richard May, MaryLee McNeal, and Genanne Walsh. Irish music by Autumn Rhodes on the button accordion and Tim Hill on the Irish bagpipe. Soda bread, Jameson’s Irish whiskey, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. $10 suggested donation at the door.

Wednesday, March 18
World War II: Women Facing History
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Folio Books – 3957 24th Street

Four distinguished authors will discuss their reasons for writing about WWII: novelists Cara Black (Three Hours in Paris), Barbara Ridley (When It’s Over), and E.R. Ramzipoor (The Ventriloquists); and journalist Mary Jo McConahay (The Tango War: The Struggle for the Hearts, Minds and Riches of Latin America During World War II). The panel will include author readings, discussion, and Q&A, followed by a book signing and refreshments. Free admission.

Thursday, March 19
Silicon Valley Stories: Tech High-Fliers Tell Fun Tales
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Folio Books – 3957 24th Street

Anna Yen (Sophia of Silicon Valley) and Jessica Powell (The Big Disruption) were both high-ranking executives in heavyweight Silicon Valley companies when they decided to do something different. Their novels tackle tech and what it’s like for women who aspire. Come hear them talk about their books–and the fun and not-so fun tales of the tech world–with interviewer Andrew Warner of Mixergy. Light refreshments will be served. Free admission.

Friday, March 20
Middle-Grade Graphic Novelist Judd Winick at Bookworms Book Club!
6 pm to 7 pm

Folio Books – 3957 24th Street

Bookworms favorite Judd Winick is back with the sixth installment of his zany graphic novel series, Hilo: All the Pieces Fit. The series is geared for readers ages 8-12, but all are welcome to find out where Hilo, robots, and the fate of the world stand! Join us for fun and free snacks. Free admission.

Saturday, March 21
Written on the Walls: Chinese Detainee Poetry at Angel Island
4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Sally Brunn/Noe Valley Library – 451 Jersey Street
Co-sponsored by the Noe Valley Library

Author Jeffrey Thomas Leong will read from his translation of Angel Island poetry in Wild Geese Sorrow: The Chinese Wall Inscriptions at Angel Island, winner of the Northern California Book Award for Translation in Poetry, and original poems about the detainee experience from Writ, his most recent book. He will also provide a visual tour of poems on the barrack walls and discuss the Chinese Exclusion Act, Asian immigration, and the challenges of translating Tang poetry. Free admission, tea, and Chinese sweets.

Friends of Noe Valley would like to acknowledge and thank Martha & Bros. Coffee Company as the official sponsor for Word Week.



Garden Tour THANK YOU!

Where to start!

The 2019 Noe Valley Garden Tour was THE BEST EVER! Yes, the sun was shining, the gardens were popping with color and life, there was art and there was music. It could not have been better! 300+ attendees strolled from garden to garden to admire what the neighborhood had on display.

First off, a great big special thanks goes to the ten generous garden hosts who willingly opened their gardens for us to enjoy on the tour. We know how hard they worked to make sure everything was in tip top shape. Ten colorful flower emojis to them!


    • Alison Lustbader
    • Barbara Brueckner & Michael Shpizner
    • Dale & Patty Fehringer
    • Dana & Michael Immerman
    • Frank & Kathleen Schlier
    • Grame and Irene Merry
    • Lawrence Kulig
    • Lisa Erdos & Barbara Howald – Noe Valley Library
    • Richard Anderson
    • Lisa Erdos & Green Mann - 30th Street Senior Center

For the artists who were on display in the gardens, eleven artist palette emojis all around. Their work enhanced the experience for visitors and made everything much more festive!


    • Jessica Levant
    • John Milestone
    • Michelle Echenique
    • Lawrence Kulig
    • David Auld
    • Debra Reabock
    • Kristine Mays
    • Talavera-Ballón
    • Richard Anderson
    • Julie Cohn
    • Randy Lee Odell

Musical note emojis go to the musicians who were a successful new addition to the Garden Tour this year.


    • Hans Kolbe and friends
    • Dave Johnson, Liberty Street Band

Next, we can’t thank our sponsors enough for their big hearted support of the Noe Valley community. It is so kind and generous of them to donate and help us put the tour together. Many of them are Garden Tour sponsors year after year after year. They are WONDERFUL! We would not be able to do it without them! Sixteen clapping hands emojis for the sponsors!


    • Rachel Swann – The Agency – LEAD SPONSOR
    • David Pennebaker – Compass,
    • Dennis Otto – Compass
    • Dirty Hoe Landscaping
    • Duncan Wheeler-Compass
    • Droubi Team
    • Flora Grubb
    • Flowercraft
    • Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association
    • Reid Rankin Real Estate
    • Sloat Garden Centers
    • Stephanie Johnson – Pacific Union – Compass – RAFFLE DONOR
    • Terese Taylor, CMT
    • Umpqua
    • Urban Farmer
    • Zephyr Realty

Lastly, there would be NO Garden Tour without the dedicated, diligent, hardworking and FUN Garden Tour Committee! The Friends of Noe Valley would like to thank them, personally and publicly, for their attention to detail, hard work and for all the little and big ways they pitched in to get the job done. Everyone went above and beyond and was so thoughtful and generous in their gift of time to insure that the Garden Tour was so successful. A HUGE thanks to each of them for their supreme effort! Nine crown emojis for a job well done!


    • Adrian Bonifacio
    • Arete Nicholas
    • Jana King
    • Karin Levenberg
    • Linda Lockyer
    • Lisa Erdos
    • Mary Donovan
    • Michelle Echenique
    • Peggy Cling

Looking forward, if you would like to nominate your garden or the garden of a friend or neighbor, OR if your would like to join the very FUN Garden Tour Committee, OR if you would like to be a volunteer garden greeter in 2020, OR if you want to sponsor, OR if you are an artist or musician – do not pass GO!

Email Linda Lockyer immediately at:



Buy Tickets

Friends of Noe Valley is pleased to present the 14th annual Noe Valley Garden Tour on Saturday, May 4th. This year the 2019 tour has ten private gardens that will be open from 10am-4pm. With an earlier date and all the recent rain, the gardens should be amazing and the flowers plentiful!

Back by popular demand the Garden Tour theme is once again Art in the Garden. A variety of art including sculpture, painting and photography by local artists will be displayed in every garden.

  • The 2019 tour includes a beautiful backyard referred to by the owner as ‘Tuscanesia’ which is a blend of old-world style terraced stonework, tropical plants and ten trees, creating a calm and peaceful atmosphere for urban living. The photo art of Jessica Levant will be on display with ‘unexpected views of the ordinary and ordinary views of the unexpected’.
  • A terraced succulent garden challenges young and old with a “puzzle” to find various hidden animals and insects. Local artist John Milestone who created the wall murals in this garden will be present to discuss his style of creating murals, oil and acrylic paintings.
  • A very pleasant intimate garden perfect for reading, dining or entertaining features a  spectacular weeping cherry tree, wonderful Japanese maple, several very old native California trees and colorful flowers. This is where you will meet artist Michelle Echenique displaying her new series of mixed media vertical gardens. These one-of-a-kind creations incorporate live plants within a structure of reclaimed material creating distinctive and compact hanging gardens.
  • The late Manuel Fernandez created a garden over 40 years ago which showcases a collection of semi and tropical plants. Almost everything in the garden is a transplant and watering is done with recycled gray water from the laundry! It has proven to be quite successful in keeping the garden green and lush. Throughout the garden you will see the sculptures and paintings of homeowner/artist Lawrence Kulig.
  • A beautiful old cedar tree is the centerpiece of this garden. Under and around the tree is an array of local plants and trees selected for both their visual appeal and resilience. These plants, some in the ground, some in pots, and some arranged on handcrafted structures, create a naturalistic collection of eclectic colors, shapes and textures.  Painter David Auld will have his work displayed in this lovely garden. David’s focus is on the urban landscape and his inspiration comes from San Francisco and European cities.
  • Tucked behind the 1916 splendor of the restored Noe Valley Library is an inviting space that allows patrons to enjoy a western shade garden filled with azaleas & rhododendrons. A path of ferns and camellias leads the visitor to a large espaliered plum tree. The sunny garden is completed by a riot of color enhanced with California natives and a large lemon tree. The photo work of Debra Reabock who uses the camera as a “paintbrush” creating unique visual delights will be shown in the Library garden.
  • A hidden gem in Noe Valley, showcases a spacious garden bursting with color and surprises. You will find redwood, olive and fruit trees along with vegetable beds and bee hives. Two local artists, along with several Senior Center members, will be on display throughout the space.  Human form sculptures by Kristine Mays created from hundreds of individual pieces of wire and large size paintings which skillfully capture the essence of ordinary people’s lives by Talavera-Ballón will be exhibited.
  • Climb up and into an always evolving garden filled with Japanese maples, collections of Haworthias, Gasterias and other succulents, native live oaks, roses, flowering maples, ferns and bamboo. Places of rest and vistas dot the way! An intimate back yard features a Japanese maple canopy and a collection of Tillandias growing in a very old legacy climbing rose. The photographic work of Richard Anderson, resident gardener and artist, will be on display showcasing images from his garden and around the world.
  • A quiet and peaceful gem is located in the heart of Noe Valley where you will see mature trees and shrubs. An inviting terrace patio and a grassy landing with a cobble stone wall complete this lovely garden oasis.  The artwork of Julie Cohn, who is primarily recognized as a colorist and is praised for her powerful and energetic expression of watercolors, will be presented is this garden.
  • A poem describes the meandering pathway, living wall, Buddha and staircase sitting area of a sacred and serene garden space. A colorful mural by Randy Lee Odell is sure to delight you as you visit this garden. Randy is a San Francisco artist who evokes mood and magic through his custom fine art, murals, decorative painting and illustration.
    Secret place, sacred space
    Buddha greeting and blessing
    Great tree trunks lofting wind speaking leaves high
    This is our garden.

Tickets for the Garden Tour will be sold at the Farmers Market in the Town Square on Saturdays April 13th, April 20th and April 27th and on the day of the tour May 4th. You may also purchase tickets on 24th Street at Folio Books, Just for Fun, and Umpqua Bank. Olive This, Olive That on Vicksburg Street and Omnivore Books on Cesar Chavez at Church will be selling tickets as well.

Tickets can also be purchased right here online! Prices are $20 for adults and $16 for seniors 65+. Children under 12 are free.

If you are feeling lucky, raffle tickets will be sold for a garden makeover, donated by Stephanie Johnson – Compass Realty. The grand prize includes a $300 gift certificate to Sloat Garden Center along with 4 hours of garden labor! Additional prizes from Terese Taylor CMT, Flora Grubb Gardens and Flowercraft will be awarded to lucky winners. Raffle tickets can be purchased at the same locations as the Garden Tour tickets and at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. Tickets are 1 for $5, 3 for $10 and 10 for $20.

The proceeds from the Garden Tour will be returned to the community through a donation to a beautification project in the neighborhood. The Friends of Noe Valley would like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals and businesses for their sponsorship and continued support for this wonderful Noe Valley event. We could not do it without their generosity!

Rachel Swann-The Agency, LEAD SPONSOR
Umpqua Bank
Dennis Otto-Compass
Sloat Garden Center
Zephyr Realty
Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals
Duncan Wheeler-Compass
BJ Droubi Team
David Pennebaker-Compass
Urban Farmer Store
Reid Rankin Real Estate
Stephanie Johnson-Compass Pacific Union
Flora Grubb
Terese Taylor, CMT


Noe Valley Word Week 2019

Word Week 2019 starts Friday, March 8 with a celebration of International Women’s Day and ends Saturday, March 16 with San Francisco Shakespeare. Here’s the list of all nine events. To RSVP or learn more, go to each event page.

Friday, March 8
International Women’s Day
“Thelma and Louise-Back Behind the Wheel”
Would they still have to drive off a cliff?

Remember this iconic road movie directed by Ridley Scott in 1991 about two friends on a heady weekend trip that turns crazy as they become desperados in a high-speed flight from the law? Would Thelma and Louise have more options today? How far have women come 25 years on? Indeed, have things really changed for women? 7pm, Folio Books San Francisco with San Francisco Chronicle film Ruthe Stein, documentary filmmaker Wendy Slick, law professor Susan Rutberg, and moderator Maxine Einhorn. Free admission.

Saturday, March 9 
Noe Valley Authors Festival

The 5th Noe Valley Authors Festival will feature local authors like best-selling novelist Cara Black, award-winning historian and war correspondent Mary Jo McConahay, children’s book author Emma Smith, poets Susan Dambroff and Eveline Kanes, and memoirist & novelist Ramon Sender. Book exhibits and readings run from 3pm to 5pm, Saturday, March 9 at Umpqua Bank Noe Valley, 3938 24th St. Free admission and free refreshments.
To apply for exhibit space, email

Sunday, March 10 
“Classical Mediterranean Poetry”
Greek, Roman, Hebrew, and New Kingdom Egyptian

Local poets and authors read from Classic Mediterranean poetry on Sunday, March 10, 4pm to 5pm at Olive This Olive That, 304 Vicksburg St., just off 24th St. in Noe Valley. Erika Atkinson reads from Roman poetry, Marylee Mcneal from Greek, Wayne Goodman Hebrew, and San Francisco poet laureate Kim Shuck New Kingdom Egyptian. Readings will be in English, with snippets in the original languages. Free admission and free refreshments.

Monday, March 11
“Ridin’, Ropin’, and Writin’ Western Novels”
Odd Mondays at Word Week

The long history of writing novels about the West ranges from Zane Grey to Louis L’Amour to Bill Vlach, David Watts, and Bill Yenne–the three authors reading at “Ridin’, Ropin’, and Writin’ Western Novels,” the Odd Mondays for March 11, 7pm at Folio Books San Francisco, 3957 24th St. in Noe Valley. Free admission and free refreshments. A book signing follows the discussion.

Tuesday, March 12
“Tangled Paths: True Stories from Latin America”
Nonfiction Night

Join us for an evening with local nonfiction authors Mary Jo McConahay and Chris Feliciano Arnold, spanning World War II to the modern Amazon basin, Tuesday, March 12 in the ground floor meeting room of the Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Library, 451 Jersey St., between Castro and Diamond Streets. Moderated by Brandon Brown. Free admission and free wine reception at 6:30pm. The readings and discussion begin at 7pm.

Wednesday, March 13
Small Publishers Night
Manic D, Nomadic, Two Lines, and Why There Are Words presses

At Word Week’s Small Publishers Night, we feature four of the best Bay Area small presses: Manic D Press, Nomadic Press, Two Lines Press, and Why There Are Words Press. Join us at 7pm, Wednesday, March 13, at Umpqua Bank Noe Valley, 3938 24th St., for an exhibition of books from these excellent publishers and readings by a few of their authors. Free admission and free refreshments provided by Umpqua Bank Noe Valley.

Thursday, March 14
“Cara Black Takes Us to Paris”
Tour the 13th Arrondisement with the best-selling mystery author 

Cara Black has set her novels in 18 of the 20 Paris arrondisements, or, en anglais, districts. Her latest book, Murder on the Left Bank, takes place in the 13th Arrondisement, which, as Cara tells it, is not all Left Bank coffee houses and famous bookstores. On Thursday, March 14, Cara takes us on a tour of the 13th in words and photos. The 60-minute tour starts at 7pm at La Boulangerie, 3898 24th St. Admission to the reading is free, but La Boulangerie de San Francisco is staying open late for us, so come early and buy yourself une café and a dessert before we fasten our seatbelts and we’re off to Paris!

Friday, March 15
Word For Word Reads “The Widow Dreams”

Members of the Charter Group of Word for Word, a program of Z Space will present a reading of “The Widow Dreams,” a narrative of transformation, at 7pm on Friday, March 15 at Folio Books San Francisco, 3957 24th St. in Noe Valley. In women’s voices, the piece chronicles the author’s journey through loss, grief, and anger, to the restoration of wholeness, creativity, and new life. The dreams will be read by Sheila Balter and Jeri Lynn Cohen, along with the author, Nancy Selby. Admission is free.

Saturday, March 16
San Francisco Shakespeare
“Did Shakespeare Really Write That?”

William Shakespeare used 31,000 different words, and some had hidden meanings. He also invented over 30 new words now in our vocabulary. Join Word Week 2019 as the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival players act out 400 of his most famous words for us Saturday, March 16 from 1:30pm-2:30pm in the ground floor community room of the Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Library, 451 Jersey St. Adults and children are welcome. Free admission.


Garden Tour Thank You



Saturday, May 19th started off windy and a bit chilly but soon enough the sun broke through and the nine gardens showcased at the 13th annual Noe Valley Garden Tour were just spectacular! Flowers, plants, shrubs and trees were in full bloom. And to add to all this loveliness each garden highlighted local artists whose work was beautifully displayed.


There were 225+ attendees this year and many commented that they LOVED the addition of Art in the Gardens. Friends of Noe Valley has decided that this theme deserves a repeat. So for 2019 there will be Art in the Garden - once again.

The Friends of Noe Valley would like to thank everyone who helped make the Garden Tour so successful, and fun, this year.

To begin, a great big thank you goes to the nine amazing hosts who opened up their gardens for this year’s tour. Dorothee Noyon, Michelle Echenique, Jana King, Arete Nicholas, Bonnie McGregor, Terry Baum, Jason and Christy Friedrichs, Heather Solway, and the 30th Street Senior Center you are the best. We LOVE you!

Another group we would like to thank are the artists who made the Garden Tour so special. Hector Saba, Brennan Wenck, SA Kushina, Heather Solway, Jane Wilson, Brion Charles, Michelle Echenique, Henry Sultan, Jenny Badger, Robert Windle, Pickles, Kit Cameron, Sylvie Guillot, and Tachina Rudman-Young we cannot thank you enough! Really. We can’t. 

The Noe Valley Garden Tour absolutely could not happen each year without the generosity of local individuals and businesses. We’d like to especially thank this year’s sponsors who have all participated year after year after year after year. Without a doubt these are the people and businesses who go beyond just working in the neighborhood. They are the people who contribute and show their care for the Noe Valley community. Big hugs all around to our sponsor friends.

  • The Swann Group/The Agency – Lead Sponsor for 2018!
  • BJ Droubi Team
  • Dennis Otto at Compass
  • Dirty Hoe Landscaping
  • Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association
  • Sloat Garden Centers
  • Umpqua Bank
  • Duncan Wheeler at Compass
  • Zephyr Realty
  • Raffle sponsor - Stephanie Johnson Pacific Union Realty
  • Flora Grubb – gift certificate
  • Flowercraft – gift certificate

We’d also like to especially thank Umpqua Bank who not only sponsors the Garden Tour, but also hosts and staffs (at their expense) the lovely Volunteer Party each year. We ️love you Umpqua Bank! Oh yes we do!

And to the dedicated planning committee led by Linda Lockyer with Jana King, Lisa Erdos, Karin Levenberg, Michelle Echenique, Arete Nicholas, and Adrian Bonifacio whose countless hours make the Garden Tour come together each year - besos y abrazos!

We would also like to add a big shout out to the volunteer garden greeters.  Many are past Garden Tour hosts and others have been supporting the tour since its inception.  This group keeps the day running smoothly and we couldn’t do it without their help. You make us so very happy!

Proceeds from the 2018 Garden Tour will be donated to the Noe Valley Association to plant a new 35 gallon gingko tree and to install new plants and soil in the planter boxes along the 24th Street commercial corridor and to the 30th Street Senior Center for new plantings in their garden.

Finally, if you have a garden that you would like to be considered for the 2019 Garden Tour,
OR if you are an artist and would like to participate,
OR if you would like to help plan the 2019 Garden Tour,
OR if you would like to be a sponsor for the Garden Tour,
please email your contact information to:

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