Dog Bites

Just a Freight Train Coming Your Way; On the Waterfront

Well, we figured we could expense the magazine -- plus, you know, we can always use another recipe for hollandaise sauce -- so we bought it and rushed right home. And it turned out that the new San Francisco is now virtually right outside our office door, or, as writer Jeff Phillips put it, "You can almost feel the city's center of gravity shifting south from Union Square and the financial district."

Of course, here in vibrant SOMA, where on almost every block neatly laser-printed paper signs taped to the doors of renovated office spaces announce the world headquarters of, say, brandnewstartup.com, Dog Bites is used to feeling behind the times -- we mean, how can Vamp lipstick be retro already? But the main focus of Sunset's story was a paean to the waterfront redevelopment exemplified by Pacific Bell Park, which Phillips describes as he strolls toward Fisherman's Wharf. "It's a short walk from the harbor north to the trendy Town's End Restaurant, which serves up the best breakfast along the waterfront," he writes. "After a heaping plate of potatoes and scrambled eggs with salmon, I continue north up the promenade, admiring viewscapes between the piers."

Boy, does that sound great. In fact, it sounds like exactly the kind of weekend morning Dog Bites always thinks we'll have, except that in the event we're always doing laundry or cleaning the bathroom or something instead. Still, we hope Sunset's readers make the drive up here from Atherton or wherever soon, because, well, in a couple more years there won't be many "viewscapes" to admire: Piers 30 and 32 are going to become a new cruise ship terminal/hotel/shopping center/office/time-share apartment complex, while the new Rincon Park, which Dog Bites had thought was supposed to be, um, a park, will now include two large restaurants and a 60-foot-high sculpture. "At one of these meetings I attended, a representative of the Port Commission said it would be more accurate to call [the park] 'landscaping for the restaurants,'" says the SOMA Residents' Association's Jim Meko.

Meanwhile, Dave Osgoode, a member of the Rincon Center Tenant's Association, is increasingly pessimistic. "We're losing the only two open spaces south of the Ferry Building," he says. "The city is clearly making it easy for [developers] to do whatever they want to do."

Hmph. Well, Dog Bites is, of course, completely shocked by the suggestion that Willie Brown would give away the entire waterfront -- especially since the citizens themselves voted to keep it accessible -- just to attract a few more businesses to town, as though he were some sort of small-town Chamber of Commerce president. Still, just to be on the safe side, we may take Sunset up on its predictable boosterism, and go for a walk today.

Tip Dog Bites -- especially if you're disgruntled. Phone 536-8139; fax 777-1839; e-mail dogbites@sfweekly.com.

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