Castro District News

What to do? Homelessness is Still a Problem in the Castro District

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By Brittany Doohan


[Photo: Castro Biscuit]

You may have noticed that we have a bit of a problem in the Castro District when it comes to homelessness. There as been an influx of homeless people camping in popular Castro areas, especially Harvey Milk and Jane Warner Plazas. Earlier last year, Supervisor Scott Weiner decided to make a change. A piece of legislation presented at a San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting was proposed to curtail what people are permitted to do at this Castro and Market Street intersection.

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Do It Yourself: Castro District Walking Tour

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By Brittany Doohan

We’ve got your afternoon planned: Lace up those sneaks and get ready to soak up some sun as we take you on a walking tour through the heart of San Francisco’s LGBTQ community. With this step-by-step guide, you can learn about the history of Castro, San Francisco while getting an afternoon of leisurely exploration. (Plus, you’ll burn a bunch of calories so you can feast at all the famous Castro District restaurants!)

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New Pedestrian-Friendly Whole Foods Coming to Dolores and Market in the Castro District

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By Brittany Doohan

In early March, a plan to add pedestrian safety improvements and a mini plaza at Market and Dolores streets in that Castro District was approved by the San Francisco Planning Commission, according to SF Streets Blog. This project will include new sidewalks as wide as 14 feet, refuges, greenery, benches and pavement treatments to highlight the crosswalks on Dolores Street between Market and 14th Streets.

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Landry: The Bayou Album Castro Loves

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Born in France, raised in Cameroon, and educated in the Midwestern United States, Jazz singer Landry recently moved to the San Francisco bay area to live an authentic life after 30+ years of living in the closet both as a gay man and as a singer. Inspired by his inner struggles to constantly deny/fix/repair the gay in him, Landry created an album made up of songs that were his refuge and his sanctuary when the rest of the world would seem unfriendly. “As a gay man, I have a very vivid imagination. I constantly need to create in my mind a place where I can be myself. I call that place The Bayou, thus the title of my first album. It’s a world where I can live all my dreams, where the folks are fine, and the world is mine at last.” - Landry

Landry went on to dedicate his first album, The Bayou, to the LGBT community with the intention to provide healing and empowerment to the millions of gay people throughout the world that are still in the trenches. The album artwork was designed accordingly to provide  a powerful symbol of gay love: a love that is childish, pure, authentic, uncontrollable, and international.

“Those of us who live in the West and now enjoy the freedom of being gay have the responsibility to demonstrate and spread that freedom to the rest of the world. That’s exactly my mission with this album. I want to turn this first project into a commercial success that will take me places in the world where I can be an ambassador for gay love through my music and my authenticity.” - Landry

Do We Need Another Starbucks in the Castro District?

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By Brittany Doohan

Controversy has ensued! Should we let Starbucks have another piece of us, Castro District? Don’t get me wrong — I love me some Starbucks Coffee. But, I also can appreciate the fact that Castro, San Francisco is special because of its small, unique businesses.

On May 9th, there will be a public hearing to determine whether Starbucks will open a store at the corner of Market and Sanchez (2201 Market Street, what used to be Industrialists Furniture Shop). If this was the first, or even second Starbucks in the Castro, I’d be all for it — but this would be the fourth. Shaky territory.

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Gay Pride Costumes: Where To Get All Things Glittery, Rainbow and Leather in Castro, San Francisco

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By Brittany Doohan


[Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzales]

It’s that time again, San Francisco! The LGBT Pride Parade, the gayest time of year. If you’re like me, you have been thinking about what you’re going to wear for this momentous occasion since New Year’s. After pinning ideas to your Pinterest board and cutting out pictures from magazines — at some point, you have to actually go out and get this stuff. Here’s a list of the best places in the Castro District (and one outside of it) to get all of your gear for the 2013 LGBT Pride Parade.

It’s time to get all sorts of glittery and rainbow-ed.

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Cliff’s Variety: Castro, San Francisco’s Favorite Store for Almost Anything

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By Brittany Doohan


[Photo: Flickr/homeboodle]

Where else can you buy a pot to boil some noodles, a paper lantern for your outdoor patio, fur fabric for your bed and a rainbow tulle skirt all in one place? Cliff’s Variety, which is known for its, well, variety, is the Castro District’s one-stop shop for housewares, crafts and gifts. (Warning: You may be overwhelmed with the sheer amount of amazing-ness and adventure that you will experience when stepping foot in this store).

The first store opened in 1936 at 545 Castro Street by Hilario DeBaca, a former merchant and schoolteacher from New Mexico. He named the store after his youngest son, Clifford and pretty much ran the shop himself, with the occasional help of his granddaughter, Lorraine. The store sold everything: magazines, smokes, greeting cards, sewing goods, toys, and candy.

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