Energy-Saving Home Upgrade Meeting

Learn How to Improve Home Comfort with Energy-Saving Upgrades

Only in San Francisco do our homes have more microclimates than our city. We’re here to help make your home more comfortable – and more energy efficient. Learn from your San Francisco Department of the Environment how our  Home Upgrade program helps homeowners along the way, from getting rebates (up to $6,800) to connecting you with a contractor you can trust. Please RSVP to join us Saturday, June 25th, 10:30 am at the Noe Valley Library.

Garden Tour – Saturday, May 21, 2016

Online ticket sales are now closed. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Noe Valley Farmers Market from 9am-1pm.

The Noe Valley Garden Tour 2016 is set and ready to go!

Friends of Noe Valley presents the 11th annual Noe Valley Garden Tour on Saturday, May 21st. The 2016 tour has nine private gardens that will be open from 10am-4pm. The gardens are all owner designed and the owners will be on hand to talk about their plants, show “before” pictures, and answer your questions. This year the gardens are clustered in the southern end of Noe Valley. Show-stopping gardens include:

• a very educational native plant garden with over 40 varieties of native plants,
• a spectacular Victorian English garden like those seen on Downton Abbey,
• a terraced garden on a slope with intricate stone work created by the owner,
• the 30th Street Senior Center volunteer garden with vegetables, trees and plants where you will be greeted by two local Master Gardeners who will talk about what they do,
• a modern Mediterranean garden with a water feature, numerous succulents, and contained bamboo,
• a well established sidewalk garden – one of Noe Valley’s very nicest,
• a south facing front yard garden with a variety of fruit trees, flowers and shrubs,
• two outdoor room gardens that extend indoor living space, are perfect for entertaining and each showing the owners individual flair.

In addition to viewing the nine gardens, Suzanne Bontempo of Our Water Our World will be talking about natural pest controls that keep our water system cleaner and safer. These practices can help to create a healthy, beautiful, vibrant yard while conserving water, reducing yard waste, and preventing pollution of our air and local rivers. Suzanne’s program will be held at the 30th Street Senior Center.

Your ticket comes with a map and guide. A donation from the proceeds of the tour is made each year to a neighborhood beautification project. This year the donation will be made to Fairmount Elementary School for soil, new vegetable starts, compost, potting soil, and class gardening materials to use in their school garden. Students attend outdoor science class and have many other opportunities to experience all the garden has to offer.

Tickets will be sold on Saturday mornings throughout the month of May, including the day of the Garden Tour, at the Noe Valley Farmers Market on 24th Street – just look for the friendly Friends of Noe Valley ticket agents. Merchants selling tickets include Cliché Noe Gifts, Just For Fun, Olive This Olive That, Omnivore Books on Food, Folio Books, and Small Frys. Tickets can also be purchased ONLINE at Ticket prices are $18 General, $15 Seniors, and Children are free.

In case you’re feeling lucky, raffle tickets will also be on sale. The lucky winner of the raffle will receive a $300 gift certificate to Sloat Garden Center with 4 man-hours of landscape labor by Manuel Franco Landscaping. A big thank you goes to Stephanie Johnson of Pacific Union Realty for generously donating this prize!  Raffle tickets are $5 each, 3 for $10 or 8 for $20. You do not need to attend the Garden Tour to purchase raffle tickets. Look for raffle tickets at the Farmers Market on Saturdays and at the merchants selling Tour tickets.

We are still looking for volunteers to be Garden Greeters on one of three shifts: 10am-12pm, 12pm-2pm, and 2pm-4pm. Garden Greeters welcome visitors, answer questions, check for tickets and sell tickets as need be. All Garden Greeters receive a FREE ticket. In addition, there is a Volunteer Reception for all Garden Greeters on Thursday, May 19th. Please reach out to Lisa Erdos at if you would like to be a volunteer Garden Greeter. She’s waiting to hear from you!

Friends of Noe Valley would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support:

Stephanie Johnson/Pacific Union
Umpqua Bank
Hill and Co
Sloat Garden Center
Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association
Droubi Team
Urban Farmer Store
Cliché Noe Gifts + Home
Flora Grubb
Duncan Wheeler/Vanguard Properties
Dennis Otto/Pacific Union
Zephyr Realty
Climb Real Estate

See you on May 21st!

Word Week 2016 – 10th Year Schedule

Word Week is Noe Valley’s literary festival, produced annually by Friends of Noe Valley, the neighborhood association.  2016 is the 10th year for Word Week.  This year, Word Week offers nine events over seven days, Sunday, March 20 through Saturday, March 26. Friends of Noe Valley would like to acknowledge and thank Martha & Bros. Coffee Company as the official sponsor for Word Week.


2016 schedule of events with detailed descriptions below.

Sunday, March 20
Word Wit comedy night – 7 pm at Caskhouse, 3853 24th St.

Monday, March 21
Word Week at Odd Mondays, with Dr. Brandon R. Brown, Noe Valley resident, author and physics professor at the University of San Francisco – 7pm at Folio Books, 3957 24th St.

Tuesday, March 22
Women in Their Own Write, with Burnita Bluitt, Janis Cooke Newman, and Ruth Galm – 7 pm at Folio Books, 3957 24th St.

Wednesday, March 23

  • Stories, Stickers, and Scribbles, interactive storytime for kids with Author-illustrator Corey M.P - 10am at Folio Books, 3957 24th St.
  • In Translation, a cooperative venture with the Goethe-Institut San Francisco featuring German author Christopher Kloeble – 5:30pm at Folio Books, 3957 24th St.
  • Noir at the Bar, fiction in the noir style with Cara Black, Alejandro Murguia, Kelli Stanley,  Domenic Stansberry and Lia Volz – 7pm at The Peaks bar, 1316 Castro St.

Thursday, March 24
How to Get Your Book Published, a literary agent, a publisher and three authors give tips on getting your book published - 7pm at Umpqua Bank, 3938 24th St.

Friday, March 25
Queer Words: LGBT Authors, prize winning writers Wilfredo Pascual, Anne Raeff and Roberto F. Santiago read from their work - 7pm at Cliché Noe Gifts + Home, 4175 24th St.

Saturday, March 26
Does Your Cat Love You? with Dr. Tony Buffington- 4pm at Folio Books, 3957 24th St.

The Details

Word Wit comedy night is set for Sunday, March 20, 7 p.m. at Caskhouse, 3853 24th St. Comedians Nicole Calasich, Mike Capozzola, Joe Nguyen, and Liz Stone appear frequently at Punchline, Cobb’s and other comedy clubs in the Bay Area.  Calasich, Capozzola, and Stone all live in Noe Valley.  As a result, organizer Wayne Goodman promises, “There’ll be plenty of jokes and funny stories about life in Stroller Valley.”  Calasich describes her comedy as “big words smartcool.”  Capozzola and Stone both moonlight at other jobs, Capozzola as a cartoonist and actor, Stone as an attorney.  She claims she does standup to show off her shoe collection.  There is no cover charge for Word Wit.

Odd Mondays, the long-running reading series organized by Noe Valley’s Judy Levy-Sender and Ramon Sender, is always part of the festival.  This year, Judy and Ramon present Dr. Brandon R. Brown, Noe Valley resident, physics professor at the University of San Francisco, and the author of Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War.  German physicist Max Planck’s discoveries in energy quanta paved the way for Albert Einstein’s quantum theory and modern quantum physics.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1918.  Planck objected to Nazi policies, and one of his sons was killed in an assassination attempt against Hitler.  Word Week at Odd Mondays is March 21, 7 p.m. at Folio Books, 3957 24th St.

Women in Their Own Write is the Tuesday Word Week event, March 22, 7 p.m. at Folio Books.  Burnita Bluitt, Janis Cooke Newman, and Ruth Galm will read from their work and discuss why and how they write.  Bluitt’s romantic suspense novel Quiver of the Pure Heart starts in 1948 San Francisco.  Its subject is gentrification and urban displacement, specifically redevelopment of the Fillmore District.  Newman’s novel A Master Plan for Rescue is set in 1942 New York and Berlin and was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015.  Into the Valley by Noe resident Galm opens in July 1967 when the character B. decides to pass her first counterfeit check and flee San Francisco for the Central Valley.  Booklist, in its starred review, says that Into the Valley “is a natural for anyone who loves Joan Didion’s work.”

Wednesday is Word Week’s busiest day.  First up, at 10 a.m., is Word Week’s children’s event, Stories, Stickers, and Scribbles, at Folio Books.  Author-illustrator Corey M.P. from Noe Valley will do an interactive storytime with two of her picture books, Mr. Dinosaur Is Hiding and Green Bird Loves to Count.  Both books are half picture book, half coloring book.  Kids attending get stickers of Mr. Dinosaur and Green Bird, coloring sheets, and crayons to use at the store.

From 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., also at Folio Books, is In Translation, a cooperative venture of the Goethe-Institut San Francisco and the bookstore.  German author Christopher Kloeble will read from the English translation of his second novel, Almost Everything Very Fast (in German, Meistens alles sehr schnell), translated by Aaron Kerner.

The big finish to Wednesday is Noir at the Bar, fiction in the noir style, at The Peaks bar, 1316 Castro St., at 7 p.m.  Come have a 1940’s cocktail and listen to five writers read from the seamy side of life.  $1 off drinks for everyone wearing 1940’s attire!  Readers include Cara Black, Noe author of the bestselling Aimee Leduc mysteries set in Paris; Alejandro Murguia, San Francisco’s Poet Laureate and author of the noir short story The Other Barrio and many books; Kelli Stanley, Macavity Award winning creator of the Miranda Corbie noir novels set in 1940s San Francisco; Domenic Stansberry, award-winning author of the North Beach Mystery Series crime novels; and Lia Volz, who has just finished her first novel.  Books will be available at The Peaks for purchase and signing, thanks to Folio Books.

Thursday, Word Week brings back one of its most popular programs, How to Get Your Book Published. Publishing insiders Christine Carswell, publisher, Chronicle Books and Andy Ross, literary agent, will give you tips on making it more likely your book will be seen and considered, and the three authors on the panel will tell you how they got published. Scott Hutchins, author of A Working Theory of Love, published his first novel with Penguin Press, one of the world’s largest publishers. Genanne Walsh just published her first novel Twister with small publisher Black Lawrence Press.  Wayne Goodman has three self-published novels to his credit, including the recent The Seed of Immortality. Hear them all Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m. at Umpqua Bank, 3938 24th St.  Books by all three authors will be available for purchase and signing.  Refreshments will be served.

Three award-winning authors read Friday, March 25, 7 p.m. at Cliché Noe Gifts + Home, 4175 24th St. during Queer Words: LGBT Authors. Wilfredo Pascual’s essays won the 2015 Curt Johnson Prize for creative nonfiction, Anne Raeff’s short story collection The Jungle Around Us won the 2015 Flannery O’Connor Award (to be published this fall), and Roberto F. Santiago won the Alfred C. Carey Poetry Prize.  Pascual will read from an essay collection in progress, Raeff from her forthcoming short story collection, and Santiago from his debut book of poetry, Angel Park.  Prosecco, prosciutto, and Italian cheeses will be served and door prizes awarded.

Dr. Tony Buffington appears at Folio Books to discuss Does Your Cat Love You? on Saturday, March 26, 4 p.m., the final 2016 Word Week event.  The Animal Company will supply treats for pets and humans.  Dr. Buffington’s new online book, Cat Mastery, presents the latest research on who cats are, what the world looks like to them, and things their humans can do to help them thrive indoors.

All Word Week events are FREE and open to the public.  If you’d like to participate in Word Week 2017, contact the organizers at  Work begins in September.



Once again the Friends of Noe Valley has been invited to attend the SF Symphony’s All San Francisco Concert. This is a special program for service and neighborhood organizations. You will not find it on the Symphony calendar.

We have the opportunity to purchase a LIMITED number of tickets at $10 each. If you would like to attend please email and let us know how many tickets you would like. Your request MUST be received by June 30th. Requests will be processed first-come, first-served until we have filled our allotment. Make sure to include your name and a good phone number so we can contact you to get the tickets to you.

Date:Thursday, August 20th
Program: Pianist Yuja Wang with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Orchestra

Thank You Sponsors!

The Friends of Noe Valley would like to give a standing ovation to the the following individuals and businesses who very generously sponsored the 2015 Garden Tour! We could not have done it without their help!

Hill & Co as our lead sponsor!

Dani Sheehan-Meyer from Cliché Noe
Dennis Otto from Pacific Union
Duncan Wheeler from Vanguard Properties
Mel Murphy from Murphy and O’Brien Real Estate
Stephanie Johnson from Zephyr Real Estate
Vince Hogan from the Valley Tavern

BJ Droubi Real Estate
Dirty Hoe Landscaping
Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals
Sloat Garden Center
The Urban Farmer
Umpqua Bank
Zephyr Real Estate

Garden Tour Volunteers Needed!

The Garden Tour needs YOU!

Volunteer to be a Garden Greeter on one of three shifts: 9:30am-12pm, 12pm-2pm, and 2pm-4pm. You will have plenty of time to see all of the gardens before or after your shift. It’s a fun way to give back to the community and support neighborhood beautification!

Garden Greeters welcome visitors, answer questions, check for tickets and sell tickets as need be. All Garden Greeters receive a FREE ticket. In addition, there is a Volunteer Reception for all Garden Greeters on Thursday, June 11th. Please reach out to Michelle Echenique at if you would like to be a volunteer Garden Greeter. She’s waiting to hear from you!

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