Good BBQ in NOPA

I love BBQ – and finding good BBQ in San Francisco is a surprising challenge. The latest contender is 4505 BBQ & Burgers (or Burgers and BBQ, depending on your priorities) which is along the Divisadero Corridor @ Grove, an area that is becoming the Divisadero Dining Destination (NOPA & Bi-Rite are both nearby,  not to mention Popeye’s Fried Foods!). Living in either Alamo Square or NOPA would put you within a very short walk of the 4505 BBQ joint.

I managed to snag lunch there last week – even at 11:30am there was a line (nothing like Ike’s). I had a lovely little spot to myself at one of the wooden picnic tables outside (they don’t have any inside seating except for a few bar stools – this definitely isn’t the place to come and eat when it’s raining, but since we are in a drought….) where I enjoyed an excellent pulled pork BBQ sandwich and fries.

The fries are fried in tallow, which definitely doesn’t taste like fries fried in canola oil. :-) They were excellent, freshly crisped up and not soggy at all.

The BBQ pork sandwich was also a keeper – it appears to have arrived with a mustard-based sauce, but I slathered it in their sweet BBQ sauce and the crisis was averted (I have a strong and completely irrational dislike for most condiments, including mustard, ketchup and mayo). The pork was flavorful and tender and moist – well cooked and seasoned!

Of all the BBQ I’ve had over the years in SF, I’d definitely have to put 4505 in the top 3, and I’d probably even have to give it the gold medal. So head on out to NOPA. Even if you don’t want to buy a house, you should treat yourself to an excellent burger or bite of BBQ.

32,000 vs 32?

We’ve written before about Masonic Ave. and possible changes to the street configuration.


A few days ago we got an email from a neighborhood resident. We’ve copied and pasted the full email below:

Our Nopa/Panhandle/Masonic/Haight neighborhood needs your help. Some neighbors gave me your contact info in hopes you could help support our fight. SFMTA is trying to remove hundreds of street parking spaces in every neighborhood under the guise of “pedestrian and bicycle safety”. Instead of working with neighborhoods to find a compromise with everyone…those who drive, bike, walk or take Muni, they instead have decided to push through their agenda even if hundreds and thousands of neighbors (majority of people living here!) believe their plan is not what the neighborhood needs and wants.
As a mother of 2 young daughters as well as a soccer coach/referee who carries around a lot of equipment, I need my car. Since they have taken away 100 parking spaces earlier this year in the Panhandle, I’m finding it at least twice as hard to find parking (now an average of 10-30 min). It’s a quality of life issue for my family and many others. We see our friends with kids moving out of the City in droves. Then we hear that at 13.4%, San Francisco has the lowest percentage of children of any major city in the U.S. All of this is not a coincidence. Organizations such as the SFMTA are pushing through policies that do not take into consideration how negatively it impacts families with kids, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
But, some neighborhoods are standing strong against MTA. For example, the residents and Polk St merchants are standing together through their neighborhood association and have been successful in making MTA listen to the neighborhood and stop them from taking 200 parking spaces on Polk St for their project to build raised bike only lanes .
Now Masonic neighbors are leading our own fight. MTA is trying to raise $18 million to take way 167 parking spaces and a rush hour lane from Masonic to build raised bike only lanes. They are doing this using scare tactics such as quoting 7 deaths on Masonic when that’s incorrect. They recently admitted the 7 deaths they keep referring to is in the “Masonic area” and not just Masonic Ave.
As a person who works to make San Francisco a more livable city and help people stay by finding their new home, please help us with this fight. Please sign our neighborhood petition to save Masonic Street:
The neighborhood has also put together a website with updates and more information. If you have any questions, let me know. Please forward the petition to others who may be interested in supporting us, too!
I have a lot of thoughts about all of this, but before I share mine, I’d love to hear your thoughts about Masonic Ave…

Divisadero Street – from Zero to Infinity

One of the things I love about San Francisco neighborhoods are how wildly they vary. Say what you will about San Francisco, our neighborhoods each have a unique character, charm, and style. And while The Marina might feel like it is a thousand miles away from the Western Addition, they both have Divisadero Street in common. I’ve been wanting to drive some San Francisco streets from start to finish (or finish to start) to give you a sense of how much things can change along one street in just a few blocks.

This morning I tackled Divisadero Street, which starts in the Buena Vista/Ashbury Heights neighborhood – that’s district 5F if you are playing along at home with a SFAR MLS map – and ends at Marina Boulevard in the Marina District.


Divisadero Street runs through or touches the border of all of the following neighborhoods (I’m going to go in the order you see in the video, which actually starts at the end of Divisadero and works back to the zero block). If you are curious about learning more about any of the neighborhoods, follow the link, I’ve made videos for many (but not all) of them:

I really enjoyed making this first video of a street in San Francisco from start to finish. What other streets would you be interested in seeing from beginning to end? I’ve definitely got Folsom street on the list, but I’m sure there are plenty of other streets that would make for a fun video. I hope you enjoy watching the video, feel free to leave your comments, critiques, and suggestions below.

Victorian Abuse

I’ve written about Victorian abuse before, and this morning I noticed another rather egregious example at the corner of Fell and Divisadero (NOPA, for those of you keeping track of such things).

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As you can see from the above photo slideshow, behind the scaffolding and with a fresh paint job, the Victorian at the corner of Fell and Divisadero was once a glorious structure that has suffered the ignominy of having a liquor store installed behind an industrial roll-up garage door on the ground floor.

And it’s wrong, I tell you, wrong! Victorian homes weren’t designed with garages (or liquor stores) in mind, but couldn’t we at least do something (even slightly) tasteful at the ground level? I’m not sure there is really a way to take a corner liquor store “high-class” but couldn’t we at least soften the harsh industrial ghetto vibe from roll-up garage door? Pretty please?