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stories from cole valley

Having just moved away to college, I have lived my whole life in Cole Valley. It is truly the greatest place on earth. There is nothing better than playing basketball at Grattan or up the street at Upper Grattan or going right across the street and having a baseball catch with your Dad. NOTHING beats a hot summer night in Cole Valley. Wander up to Tank Hill in the evening and it will a sight unlike any other you've ever seen (Especially right after high school graduation). Walking out your doorsteps and down Cole Street on a foggy day. God there is nothing like San Francisco fog. I can't wait to be back and to raise my own kids in this neighborhood. It's the best.

College Boy

Cole Valley recently had its first annual "Drinking Progressive." An Evite was sent out to a few hundred of the neighborhood's younger/hipper residents, and the idea is that we all spend an hour or so at a house in the neighborhood drinking its "theme drink" before moving on to the next house together. Six houses were on the list, if I remember correctly.

I arrived with 4 or 5 of my friends and roommates. We weren't sure what to expect exactly, but I figured it would be a mildly entertaining function where we'd engage in small talk with a few neighbors.

The first house was serving some fruity/syrupy shots to everyone. Midori or something like that. There were about 20 people mingling, and it wasn't much cooler that I'd anticipated.

But by the end of the hour, the crowd had doubled. We moved on to the next house, and the crowd doubled again. Plus, we were all getting drunker.

We continued to progress in this fashion. I looked down the street at the shoppers in front of Cole Hardware and the wine place, wondering what their impression was of this now-horde of 100 or so people in their 20's, stumbling down the street in a drunken moving party. It felt good.

The last couple houses were insane. Music blaring, people jumping up and down and dancing. I boogied, dirty style, with a few girls I'd met 20 minutes before. Everyone was tanked.

After it all, I'd made a few new friends and talked to lots of really cool people. It was also really interesting to finally meet a lot of the people I see everyday waiting for the N Judah before work.

We've already signed up to be the "finale" house for next years Progressive. See you there.


Perhaps one of the most overlooked things about Cole Valley are the people who keep it going. Cole Valley is not about some snob's fantasy of what an evening could be, it's about the people who work everyday to make it a healthy, viable community. The Finnegan's bartenders, Rick at the Video Nook (and Cole Hardware), the ever-friendly Tully's kids, the Hardware gurus, the Val de Cole experts. Cheese nazis at Say Cheese, Reverie , Kezar, The Pharmaca girls, Jimmy (best Sandwich ever ) at Alpha. What I love about our small town is that everyone who works in it cares about it. They are always kind and they are loyal to the neigborhood. We should all remember that Cole Valley would be nothing without all the great folks who work there.

CV gal

a typical Saturday for me and my laser involves waking up around 10am to the sound of a distant lawnmower. We usually flip a coin to decide who is going to make a Tully's run. We sip our coffee (and soy chai) while watching the food network till around noon. Then we'll go for a long run / walk in Golden Gate Park. We ususally stop numerous times along the way to stare at weird people or watch the swing dancers or roller skaters.

It's flat out odd if I don't have to stop at Cole Hardware for something on the way back. As you all know stopping there means stopping at Say Cheese, Video Nook, Egg, and problably Alpha Market.

By this time I am usually pretty wet (by that I mean happy). To cap of the perfect day we like to go the Parnassus Lounge and hang out with our friends Natural and Nace. We like to play board games, eat cheese, and drink wine till our teeth our purple.



It took me three years and a Cole Valley address to finally be able call this city home. When I first moved to San Francisco, I lived in Pacific Heights. It is a beautiful neighborhood but there was just no sense of community. I rarely got a smile from neighbors. Never a hello. And it seemed social interaction with even the people working in the neighborhood was dependant on the brandname of my handbag. Eight months ago my boyfriend and I moved to Cole Valley. We love the Valley. Finally we have a neighborhood! We're still adjusting to the idea of friendly strangers. But we're re-learning that it's okay to feel at home, even in a big city.


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{ 15 April 2005: Posting has been discontinued. }