Glen Park’s Modern Past takes in a Valencia corridor refugee

Modern Past December 12, 2014 event, Noche de la Virgen. Mia Gonzalez seen among her many friends.

Modern Past December 12, 2014 event, Noche de la Virgen. Mia Gonzalez seen among her many friends. Photo by Ric Lopez.

Story and photos by Murray Schneider

Modern Past businessman Ric Lopez is using his store as an incubator.

The Chenery Street merchant, purveyor of mid-century modern furniture, isn’t interested in producing baby chicks, though.

Men's clothing created and manufactured in San Francisco by Scissors and Cloth.

Men’s clothing created and manufactured in San Francisco by Scissors and Cloth.

Surrounded by home furnishings that could double as interior set designs for “Vertigo,” the longtime retailer and president of the Glen Park Merchants Association, on a recent Friday, pointed to a line of clothing that looked nothing like James Stewart might have donned in the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

“They’re made by Scissors and Cloth,” he said, looking at men’s shirts that might be more at home along the hip Valencia Street corridor than in Glen Park’s homey village. “Scissors and Cloth needed a helping hand, so I’m letting them utilize space here.”

“Everyone needs a leg up,” he said. “Facilitating a custom clothiers move to storefront retail by allowing it to incubate here until it becomes established is how I can help.”

Pop-up stores aren’t a new phenomenon. Uniqlo, one of the largest clothing retailers in the world, began its enterprise in San Francisco as a Post Street pop-up store before moving to its Powell Street location several years ago.

Lopez is simply following the mega store’s lead and lending a helping hand at the same time.

Mia Gonzalez and Ric Lopez sitting in Modern Past.

Mia Gonzalez and Ric Lopez sitting in Modern Past.

Facing an extraordinary rent increase at her 20th and Valencia Streets store, after being in business for 16 years, Mia Gonzalez was more than happy to move to space in Lopez’s store.

“My rent more than tripled,” she said, standing next to Lopez and nodding at her product line of imported Mexican folk art, which now takes center stage on Lopez’s floor.

After Gonzalez fell victim to rising rents, Lopez opened his door to her on December 1, green lighting her to bring her south-of-the-border inventory to his store.

On December 12, Modern Past became a surrogate venue for a La Virgen de Guadalupe celebration, co-hosted by Gonzalez and Lopez. For the legions of Gonzalez’s poet, writer, film director, musician and artist friends, upset by her displacement, it was like a homecoming party.

“We’ll be a launching pad for her new gallery,” Lopez said. “I call Mia’s inventory ‘Miel,’ which means ‘honey.’”

Before she was priced out of Encantada Gallery, Gonzalez added seasoning and flavor to the Mission District.

“Encantada means ‘delightful’ or ‘charmed,” said Lopez, surveying Gonzalez’s wares, displayed only a few feet from Modern Past’s doorway.

“The tenor in San Francisco now is to move businesses out,” Gonzalez opined. “Ric is allowing me to stay here until January 31.”

Mia Gonzalez displaying a T-shirt mixing and matching a Day of the Dead mask with San Francisco Giants logo.

Mia Gonzalez displaying a T-shirt mixing and matching a Day of the Dead mask with San Francisco Giants logo.

Gonzalez’s entrepreneurial spirit isn’t confined to fine linens, Dia de los Muertos masks and Frida Kahlo ceramics.

“See this,” she said.

She lifted a T-shirt from a shelf. “I designed it after the Giants won their first San Francisco World Series in 2010.”

Bench imported from Mexico by Mia Gonzalez of Encantada Gallery, formerly on Valencia and 20th Streets.

Bench imported from Mexico by Mia Gonzalez of Encantada Gallery, formerly on Valencia and 20th Streets.

She stood behind a black and orange shirt. Dwarfing her, it was embossed with a Day of the Dead mask. The figure was topped with an iconic orange “SF” logo, and the word “Gigantes” was stitched above it.

“I want to continue working on projects such as this,” she said. “I want to stay in San Francisco.”

If Ric Lopez has his way, she will.

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Update on Glen Park Rec Center renovation plans

From Karen Mauney-Brodek of Rec & Park Department.

Recreation Center Renovation:

The detailed design is almost complete. This is based on the plans we have seen, which was presented here last July.  You can view them through the RPD webpage:

http://sfrecpark.org/project/glen-canyon-park-2012-bond/

We expect to bid and award the project to a contractor this spring, which would mean that the last season the recreation center would be open is spring, allowing for classes in the building through April and May of 2015.  At the end of May the recreation center will close for construction to begin in June.  The project is expected to take until Fall or Winter of 2016.  As with all construction, we will have to follow this closely and we will inform you in advance if there are any unexpected conditions which delay the project, once in construction.

During construction on the recreation center, we plan to keep these areas open for public use: The ballfields, playground and tennis courts.  Additionally, we will provide an ADA accessible portapotty like we did with the last phase.

The public will continue to have various points of park access including: the upper “Sussex” street stairs, the new trail from Elk street above the tennis courts, and the new ADA drop-off and entry constructed at Elk street.  The contractor will be using Bosworth for access, deliveries, etc, so we will need to manage that area closely.  During construction the areas that are expected to be closed to the public include the recreation center building itself and the lawn directly to the north “behind” the recreation center, where staging will occur.

Public Art Component of the Project: – Panel Selection this Friday

All projects of this kind require a public art component.

As many of you know, an artist and art proposal was not selected from the last round of proposals for art for the Rec Center Project Renovation, so there were four new proposals.

http://www.sfartscommission.org/pubartcollection/featured/2014/12/18/artwork-proposals-for-the-glen-park-recreation-center/ 

As you may see, this round of proposals is focused to the south of the auditorium space, where there is currently a planting and picnic area.  We will work to make sure that picnic areas are provided in the upcoming recreation center renovation.  In our current design, a new patio with picnic areas behind the renovated recreation center is included (near the lawn area to the north of the building) and we will work with the artists and others to find a good location to incorporate picnic near the playground as well, to the south of the building.

The artists will present their proposals to the artist selection panel on January 16, 2015, 10am – 2pm at 25 Van Ness Avenue, 8th floor conference room. At the meeting, the panel will select one proposal to recommend to the Arts Commission.  The meeting is open to the public and will include a dedicated time for public comment.http://www.sfartscommission.org/pubartcollection/category/public-meetings/artist-selection-panels/.

For more information about the public art project at Glen Canyon Park, please contact Zoe Taleporos at zoe.taleporos@sfgov.org, (415) 252-3215.

Tennis Court Repair

Tennis courts – The seal coat work is underway and striping work.  There are some required cure times and these items are weather dependant.  I will let folks know when they re-open, but it may be in a couple of weeks.

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Gas line replacement work continues in Glen Park

This is why traffic’s so bad. Photos from Jan. 14, 2015 by Lewison Lem.

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