Got about a million bucks and a plan to move?

One of my favorite features in the New York Times’s real estate section shows what properties at a certain price look like in a handful of different markets around the country. The current piece tells what $950,000 will get you in Philadelphia; Holland, Michigan; and Rio Verde, Arizona.

The place in Rio Verde is a 3,662 square foot home … for retirees. Call me crazy, but what on earth does a retiree need with such a big ol’ house? Just curious.

Got a gripe about a San Francisco park? Take it online

Welcome back from the Thanksgiving holiday!

Perhaps you’ve noticed that some of our city parks are in need of attention — maybe there’s graffiti, poop, dead plants, or a homeless encampment keeping you from enjoying the outdoors. Thanks to the Neighborhood Parks Council, a non-profit group dedicated to impoving SF’s parks, there’s now a central location to report a problem. Check out ParkScanSF.org to “report an observation,” as they say.

According to an article in today’s Examiner, the complaints are reviewed by city staff and used to set priorities for park maintenance. So next time you see something that needs attention in a park, send it in.

What's old is new

It’s a growing trend: reclaiming ancient timbers from buildings or other sources and reusing them in new construction. The old growth forests that still remain are off limits to logging (hallelujah), so when an old building is slated for demolition, the bidding for the timbers gets a little crazy. In the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, the old Esprit headquarters is being deconstructed (not demolished — the difference being that deconstruction preserves the wood) and the timbers will be sold for about $1 million. Check out the story in today’s Chronicle.

While most of the timbers from the Esprit headquarters are spoken for, if you have a hankering for furniture made from reclaimed wood, there’s a store in Potrero Hill called Meru Design that you should check out. They buy ancient teak from Indonesia, Thailand, and elsewhere from sugar mills, bridges, buildings, whatever, that are torn down, then make it into furniture.

Meet me at Whole Foods, Stanyan @ Haight, in 2010

Some are for it, some are against it. What is it? A Whole Foods Market at the site of the shuttered Cala Foods, across the street from Golden Gate Park, at Stanyan and Haight. Today’s Examiner reports that the owner of the site is planning 62 condos over a ground-floor Whole Foods Market.

It’ll take about four years after plans are approved to complete the environmental review and construction. See you in the produce section in 2010, or 2011, or 2012….

Get out and VOTE today!

For you political junkies out there

Just in case the past three months of political advertising, robo-calls and mudslinging haven’t been enough to satisfy the political junkie in you, there’s a post-election recap being offered on The Day After, otherwise known as Wednesday, November 8. SPUR is hosting the event, which will feature well-known San Francisco pollster David Binder. It’s at 12:30 on Wednesday at 312 Sutter, free for members, $5 for non-members.

Don’t forget to vote tomorrow!

Property taxes

Ugh. Yes, I said “taxes.” You’ve probably received your property tax bill for the 2006-2007 tax year by now, but if you haven’t, you can print it from the City Treasurer & Tax Collector’s web site. The first installment of taxes is due on Monday, December 11.

If you bought a home this year, the last owner’s name might still be in the city’s records. Even if the old owner’s name is on the bill, you’re on the hook for it. And even if you don’t get a bill in the mail, you’re still responsible for paying on time. (I have my hall monitor hat on today, can’t you tell?)

The second installment is due in April. Don’t worry — we’ll remind you.