-Scam artist women stealing money and jewelry in the Sunset from women promising them good fortune and protection from evil spirits.
-4 incidents in one month.
-There have been a number of reported thefts from older Chinese females involving jewelry and cash.
-Three suspects involved were described as 40 to 46 year-old Chinese women who speak Cantonese.
-In the first case…The first suspect saw the victim walking alone and had asked her if she knew of any herbal doctors. The second suspect approached them and said she knew of a herbal doctor and convinced the victim to come with them. The third suspect approached and told them that she is the daughter of the herbal doctor.
-The third suspect advised the victim that she was cursed, had a ghost attached to her and needed to be purified along with her valuables.
-She went home and to the bank to grab money and jewelry and place her valuables in a bag but told her not to look in it or the ritual would not work. They also told the victim to not tell anyone or else the ghost would attach to the other person.
-All that were left in the bag were cut up newspapers.
-In the second incident a woman is convinced to pay thousands of dollars for an alleged lucky bracelet that’s actually worth ten bucks.
Capitan Curtis Lum of Taraval Station – “They convince them, they befriend them,” said Lum. “You have one person telling you this, you have a second person coming and telling you this, and you have a third person coming and telling you this.”
“The person may not be very sophisticated, the victim, so they just fall for it.”
Last week I pitched in a baseball game for my semi-pro team, the Isotopes. The game was actually played at Moscone field located on Bay Street in North Beach, not in the Sunset. I did learn a lot more about my neighborhood in a conversation with one of my teammates who lives in the Sunset near the zoo.
After the game, six of the guys from our team celebrated (even though the game ended in a tie) by going to the Horseshoe Tavern located on Chestnut Street and just a walk around the corner from the game. We all hung out and talked about the game over a couple beers. I was talking with our first basemen, Lex Robins a little about the game. It was a really well played game, I pitched all 9 innings with 15 strikeouts and our team was hitting well, we just didn’t follow through in the late innings.
Our baseball conversation somehow turned into sort of an interview when he told me he lives in the Sunset. My eyes lit up for a second when he told me that because I knew I could get a good little blog out of it. I felt like I kept asking him questions about the Sunset, and it went on for a good half an hour. He told me all about what it’s like living there.
“I love the area because it’s just this little quiet neighborhood and the location is perfect.”
The area seems great for him because he is married and has two kids. Lex definitely acts younger then his age (36), that’s why I think he’s so awesome. He’s like a big bear, standing at 6’5” and weighing 250 lbs.
“What I also like about it is that its not just a bunch of old people,” Robins said. “There are also a lot of younger kids in their twenties.”
When I asked him about good bars in the neighborhood he seemed a little stumped; there aren’t too many bars I’ve learned.
“When I go out, which is hardly ever now that I have kids,” he laughed. “I take a taxi to this area (North Beach), personally I like this area much more then the downtown area and there’s not too much poppin’ in the Sunset.”
“If I could recommend any place in the Sunset it would be Java Beach Cafe. It’s a small little place but the food is dynamite and its one of my favorite places to go before work. I’ll have to take you there before one of our games.”
Last week a couple friends and I were kinda roaming the streets of the Sunset in search of a new place. We’ve been looking a lot on Craigslist for a place to live in the Sunset, hopeful to move in this summer. It was a good experience driving around and observing how different each neighborhood is.
I love the idea of living in the Sunset because its just in the perfect location for me. It’s close to the beach, 20 minutes from downtown, and just a half an hour from home. The only flaw living in the city is that the weather isn’t too great; I’m from the peninsula so I’m used to warmer and sunnier weather.
Inner Sunset is a really busy part of town and we weren’t really interested in it. The house we went to that I loved was this place on Pacheco and 31st. You walk outside and you have this beautiful view of the ocean; I’ve always wanted to live near the ocean. I also love that it’s more of a younger neighborhood, which makes it more social for us.
This semi-pro baseball team that I play on actually has some of its games played at Sacred Heart Cathedral High School which is in the Sunset and would make for a close commute for us.
We were getting pretty hungry so I suggested we go to a good local spot that we’ve never been to. We we’re craving burritos. I had Yelp help me out so I saw that the best burrito place in the area was El Burrito located on 26th Avenue and Taraval. Yelp did me well. The Bronco Pork super burrito that I had was one of the best burritos I’ve ever had, it was amazing. I go to this place near my house called Los Gallos all the time but this place might top my favorite burrito – that’s saying a lot – I’m a tough judge when it comes to burritos.
I’m really excited to potentially live in the Sunset. I think Chris, Mike and I could do some damage, it would be a lot of fun.
The weather damp and cold as usual in the Sunset today. The zoo looked almost as if it was closed today entering the long driveway. There were about 15 cars in the parking lot with 50 other spots open.
Coming into the interview I didn’t really know what to expect. Because I hadn’t been to the zoo since I was 5-years-old, I had no idea where I was going so I had to roam around a little bit. Even with a map in my hand I couldn’t figure out the place too easily. I finally came up to the animal resource center where my interviewee volunteers at.
I sat with Carol Magidson, 71, who is a volunteer for the children’s zoo, for about 30 minutes at her lunchtime table in the middle of the resource center. Carol is really awesome, we talked about a lot of interesting things from her past and what she does now for the zoo. She took me back to her early years when she was a flight attendant and told me everything about her volunteering.
After the long interview with Carol she showed me around her part of the zoo. I saw a bunch of animals I haven’t seen since I was a kid, it was pretty exciting. I saw an owl, tortoise, hedgehog, snake, possum. My favorite had to be the baby owl. I have never seen an owl with such big eyes, they were glowing.
It was a pretty cool experience. I was telling her I would maybe come back and do some volunteering myself because I like doing little things like that sometimes.
I’ve been visiting my neighborhood at least once a week and I’ve had some trouble but I’ve also met some good people along the way. Today maybe wasn’t the best day to explore the beachy side of Sunset because of the dramatic change in the weather since last week. Today was the coldest and windiest day in the neighborhood in a while.
As I was driving back and forth through the parking lot – literally trying to find anyone I could – the wind and hard rain was shifting my car in directions I couldn’t control. I found hope as I saw a woman walking down the crackly sidewalk of the beach. She seemed pretty frightened as I calmly approached her in the wet windy mist that she was walking through. I tried talking to her but she wasn’t interested.
My plans of talking to someone in the upper half of Ocean Beach did fail but I wasn’t giving up. I took a trip up to the beach parking lot on Sloat Boulevard to see if I could find anyone interesting.
As I sat in my car trying to figure out a plan, I see a man in his car peacefully enjoying the sounds of the ocean and reading his book.
Today I met a Ruben Espinoza, 37, resident of Daly City and a part-time teamster. He travels from city to city working with big-rigs. Jobs come and go for Ruben and most of his gigs are in the city.
“I do the trade shows at the Moscone convention shows,” said Espinoza. “A lot of my work comes and goes.”
I talked to Ruben for about 10 minutes as he sat in his car and me in the pouring rain. I then asked why he was there in his car by himself.
“I come here from time to time. This is when I come – when it’s windy, I like to see the waves. Sometimes I like to watch the guys surfing. Yesterday I came out here and there we’re two guys wind gliding. It was pretty nice watching them yesterday, it was pretty good.”
It’s interesting for me to see why people are out there. Some people are pretty deep about it and then there are some who just come for the pure pleasure of watching the waves.
It’s been an interesting three weeks running around a town I hardly knew anything about; my first time in the neighborhood was when I started the project. I will honestly say that it has been difficult – but at times easy.
The real difficulties I’m having are getting people to talk to me. For some reason I had more success with people in the first couple weeks then the third week into it. I think it depends on which neighborhood of the Sunset you actually are in. I found that people we’re much nicer in the beachy part then people that were in Golden Gate Park.
Maybe the beach neighborhood is the section I should just keep on researching for my project. I think the beach has a more calm feeling to it and it just brings out a good vibe in people. It seems like people are busier at Golden Gate Park and aren’t too open to talking to a stranger.
Once a week I’ve been hanging out at the Sloat entrance beach parking lot just observing the atmosphere and the people while eating lunch. As I sit there on the ledge bench I see all sorts of different people.
I was surprised to see so many people on a Wednesday afternoon at the beach. It was a gorgeous day, bright sun and temperature at about 60. A lot of people love to just come and wistfully sit and stare at the roaring waves of the ocean – it’s very relaxing.
There are big families – some that look like they could be visiting. I see people taking their afternoon run on The Great Highway. I see surfers making their way out to the six foot waves – wetsuit and board in hand.
It’s just a great place to relax. Sometimes you have to stop and take a look at what’s around you.
I had a lot of good experiences last week. It was the first time I had really explored Golden Gate Park since I was about 10-years-old. I also went to Inner Sunset and went to a library I’ve never been to before and met an interesting person who gave me good information.
I was driving aimlessly around Martin Luther King Drive and those roads that go through the park and the first thing I found was a huge duck pond called Spreckels Lake. I saw a group of older men with remote controls in their hands and was curious to what they were doing; they were racing model boats.
I went up to the first person I saw and luckily he was the right guy to talk to; he was the co-founder of the San Francisco Model Yacht Club. He gave me a lot of great background info about the Sunset and some interesting history on the Yacht Club – the club is one of the oldest standing organizations in the United States.
As I walked up to him he was walking back to the clubhouse and as we walked he was nice enough to give me a tour of the boathouse where he keeps all the boats. In the boathouse were dozens of different kinds of boats, all very beautiful.
Another portion of the Sunset I explored on my day out was the Inner Sunset and I landed at the public library on 18th avenue. I was hoping I would run into someone who would be open-minded and would talk about the Sunset for a bit and I ran into a student named Julio Deras. It was a little awkward to go up to him at first because he was reading, but you just have to be gutsy sometimes.
He gave me a lot of good info about the culture in the district and even told me what his favorite restaurant was, I haven’t tried it yet but I’ll get there. He has only lived in The Sunset for a year but he seems to already know the town pretty well.
It was a solid 3 hour day in The Sunset, I think next time I will go to different parts of the Park like the Chinese Tea Garden.
My first trip out to the Sunset District last week was a lot more successful than I thought it would be. I met seven people in about two hours of exploring the spread-out neighborhood.
The first place that was on my mind was of course Ocean Beach. All I did was take my Iphone recorder and just sort of walk around and find someone who seemed like they would be willing to share some information about the town.
I noticed a couple walking their dog, seeming like they had no agenda for the day. I talked to them for about 10 minutes and they gave me a lot of interesting quotes.
The second place I ended up at was this surf shop located on Sloat Boulevard. This guy was sort of hard to talk to because I asked him questions and he only gave me short answers that weren’t too helpful.
I noticed the zoo was across the street so that was my next stop. I ran into an employee working the entrance gate and he gave me a lot insight on the Tiger mauling story that happened in 2007.
I looked at some of the notes I gathered in class and saw Golden Gate Park. I was driving along Martin Luther King Dr. and noticed people were racing boats. I went after the first person I saw and he happened to be the one running the races. As I was asking him questions he told me to walk with him to the boat house where I learned about boat races.
Overall it went a lot better than I ever expected. I learned that it’s not that easy just going up to some random person and asking questions. When people don’t have a lot to say that’s when it can get a little awkward because you need to think of questions fast