Western Neighborhoods Project is dedicated to the history of San Francisco's Richmond, Sunset, OMI and West of Twin Peaks districts.   read more ...
 

Outside Lands Podcast Episode 505: Laura Macias and Nicole Smahlik

Ever wonder how the sausage gets made? We give you another peek behind the curtains as Nicole interviews key contributors, Laura Macias and Nicole Smahlik.
by Nicole Meldahl - Jun 10, 2023

Outside Lands Podcast Episode 505: Laura Macias and Nicole Smahlik Outside Lands Podcast Episode 505: Laura Macias and Nicole Smahlik

(above) Geary near 25th Ave, circa 1950

View northwest on Geary toward 26th Avenue. MUNI B-line #132 with wings livery passing Trad'r Sam (with 'Television' on awning), Hollywood Food Center, Gilbert's Bicycles, Frank's Ice Cream.


Podcast Transcription

WNP505 – Laura Macias and Nicole Smahlik

Nicole: [00:00:00] It's Outside Lands San Francisco, podcast of Western Neighborhoods Project. Your weekly dose of friendly neighborhood history.

And hello Outside Landers. I'm Nicole Meldahl, of course, and it's great to be with you again. This week's podcast is gonna be a fun one as we give you a peek behind the curtain, which no one asked for, and introduce you to two of the women who get the work done at WNP. That's Laura Macias and Nicole Smahlik. Welcome ladies.

Laura: Hi.

Nicole S: Hello.

Nicole: So, this is happening for two reasons. One it, it's a quick last minute request because we didn't have anything else planned. But also, which doesn't mean you aren't always number one in my heart, ladies. But, but the interview podcast take almost nothing to put [00:01:00] together. Very incredible. And, but also last week, I met Anne from the Treasure Island Museum for Happy Hour at Beach Chalet, and she said something really nice to me. Do you wanna know what she said?

Laura: Yes.

Nicole S: Yes.

Nicole: Thank you. Anne said that WNP has always had a presence. Like when you think about history groups in the city, like we've always been, we, people always know us. We've always been pretty front and center. And, and it's true. Like we really do punch above our weight class sometimes, which shocks me, but, and we do good work. That's definitely part of the reason. And we've adapted to new technology quickly, like the internet. We were one of the first nonprofits to have like a real website, still have that website from 1999. But we were also the first on Twitter. First doing, you know, videos. First to have a podcast. But I think the real secret to WNP's success is pretty simple actually. So, we're just friends who do history. [00:02:00] And you two are now some of my closest friends and we do history together. So, let's talk about that, shall we.

Nicole S: Let's.

Nicole: All right, so let's introduce our listeners to both of you. You know, like, let's get into it. Who were your parents? Where were you raised? Like, you know, like what, how are you here? All the things. Let's go back to the beginning of Laura.

Laura: Well back in 184-, no.

Nicole S: She was the youngest one of us.

Laura: I know. I usually like to throw out a joke when people are like, oh, in like 1994, blah, blah, blah. I'm like, oh, I wasn't even alive yet. Which isn’t true. I was alive, but it freaks everyone out a little bit, which I like to chuckle it. But yeah. I'm Laura Macias. I am from L.A. I grew up not that far away from where Nicole grew up, but we, L.A.'s big, so we've never met each other. So, came up here. I came to San [00:03:00] Francisco for undergrad. I went to USF for biology and fine art. Not history, but I like learning. I like all types of learning. That's, so, I've been in school for so long. And I also have a background as a science illustrator, and I also went back to USF for a graduate degree, a master's in museum studies. And that's where I met Nicole. Actually met Nicole, other Nicole. There's a lot of Nicoles.

Nicole S: Same with Nicole.

Laura: There's, I usually call her friend. She's my friend. But I have many friends, but it's an identifier. I met Nicole at a, it was like a open house.

Nicole S: Yeah.

Laura: Open house thing or whatever. And we started chatting. I was like, yeah, I like that girl. She seemed normal.

Nicole S: But I like to project.

Laura: Yeah, she seemed like a person. And I was really bummed when there was like an accepted students thing and she wasn't there. And I was like, oh no, the funny girl. The fun [00:04:00] girl wasn't there. Funny, like, funny, like good funny, not weird funny. And I was very bummed that you weren't there. But then I saw you on the first day of classes and I was like, yes.

Nicole S: I don't think they gave me an accepted students come to this thing. I don't remember that. I, this is the first I'm hearing of this, by the way. I didn't even know that was a thing.

Laura: That was a thing.

Nicole S: Okay.

Laura: You missed it, by the way. It was a few years ago.

Nicole S: I did.

Laura: Yes. Okay. Make up for it now.

Nicole: And then you brought other Nicole into our orbit as well.

Laura: Yes.

Nicole: You were looking for going to work?

Nicole S: Yes. She, we didn’t…

Laura: I'm sorry. No, I'm just kidding.

Nicole S: No, that's because my masters fell during Covid, we didn't have much of a, well, I didn't, Laura ended up having a good one. I didn't have much of an internship. You know, it was online and I was all that. And I still was looking for like, I'd really like to know more. Cause I didn't have a background in this at all. So, I was like, I wanted something more. And she goes, I'm, you know, working for the WNP, you should check it out. [00:05:00] And so, I was like, okay. And so, I like, called Nicole and then I was like, she was like yeah, yeah, I'll get back to you. Cause Nicole's a little busy. And so, it took a little while, but Nicole's a very busy person. And so, yeah, finally we got, you know, hooked up. And then the rest is history. I'm there all the time now.

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: Yeah. So…

Laura: God bless Nicole.

Nicole: Yes.

Laura: So glad it ended.

Nicole: Yes. I appreciate you so much, cause like, we touched space. And I was like, yeah, I'll get back to you. And then like four months went by and she was just like, hello, politely reminding you that we…

Nicole S: Yeah.

Nicole: Gonna talk about doing something. And I think again, I got on a Zoom with her and I was like yeah, yeah, we'll get you started. And then like totally forgot about her immediately. And she again was like, hello, I'm, no pressure. I'm still here though.

Nicole S: I'm like, I'm not a follow upper, but I'm following up. I'm like, we had the like quote unquote interview, like, yeah, I'd love to come, whatever you need, blah, blah, blah. And she's like, yeah, that sounds great. Amazing. We'll get you started. And then it was like, you know, three months later and I [00:06:00] was like, okay, yeah, I'm just gonna have to barrel in there and be like, here I am.

Nicole: Cool

Laura: Man. Just like, I'm here.

Nicole S: Yeah. Oh, you're gonna take my help. Oh, you're gonna take it.

Nicole: No, it's true, cause like, I'm just so scatterbrained and I'm not great at email. I'm like real bad at email. But like, Nicole let's get to know you before you ended up persistently determined to volunteer for us.

Nicole S: Okay. I'm, I am born and raised in ‘94 when Laura talked about, I was well into my teens. I was born much more before that. Born and raised in Oakland. Family's still there, parents are still there. Moved to, I moved to San Francisco, God, 20 plus years ago. I moved, I lived on Geary and Stanyan right below USF, though I had not gone to USF at that point. And then I'm, I now live in SoMa Mission Bay, wherever I, right across the street from the ballpark. And I worked for my family's business for [00:07:00] years and years. And I just decided one day. I, I don't wanna do this anymore.  And I, and they were like…

Laura: I love you all, but…

Nicole S: Yeah, it took me 20 years, but I was like, I don't wanna do this anymore. And they were like, okay. And I'm like, I'm gonna go get my master's degree at USF. I had an undergrad in psychology. I ended up not doing anything with that, cause unlike Laura, I was not much of a learner in school. I became a learner after I got outta school. And went back to get my master's in museum studies back in 2019 and loved it. I've always loved museums. My parents used to take my brother and I everywhere. With our family business, we traveled with our family business. My parents would just bring us. And so, my dad loves history. He's a big history guy. So he would always take us to museums and all that kind of stuff. I've been to a lot of graveyards in my life that I did not sign up for. I'd be like, my dad be like, you wanna go to the beach? And it's like, yeah, dad. And then halfway there you're like, this isn't [00:08:00] the beach. We're not going to the beach old man, are we? And it's like, no, we're going to a graveyard first. Which is what every eight-year-old girl wants to do. Now I enjoy them. So, there's that. And then, yeah, so I went back to get my master's at USF. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. School for the first time in my life, school was fun and amazing. And I met Laura there and through Laura, obviously I met Nicole and everything fantastic. And yeah, so that's, yeah, that's, that's me.

Nicole: Got us all caught up. And museums, you know, are a great field to work in. Right? Just like super well paid and no toxic culture at all. So…

Nicole S: Oh wonderful. Nobody has issues with museums nowadays at all.

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: We got into that at the right time.

Nicole: Awesome. Time to work in museums. And Nicole, God bless you, you are at our office three days a week helping us with literally anything.

Nicole S: Anything. I'll do whatever.

Nicole: Do you do catering runs for events? Do you, have helped us clean out our [00:09:00] storage space like five times already?

Nicole S: Yeah. They don't teach this in museums.

Nicole: And she's…

Nicole S: You do whatever's needed.

Nicole: Actually cataloged stuff. You're actually helping us with a lot. I do a lot of collections management needs. And Laura what did we rope you into?

Laura: I’m being held against my will, my address? No, I'm just kidding. I help with the with the member magazine. So, I have a graphic design, amongst the many schooling years, what I do now also is as a graphic designer specifically for museum planning and exhibit design firm called Gyroscope. And I'm the main graphic designer there, and I guess I'm the main graphic designer-ish for Western Neighborhoods Project, at least for the magazine.

Nicole: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Nicole: Which we prey upon John Lindsay's kindness for any kind of graphic design that needs to be done for our exhibitions. And then one of our other board members, Vivian Tong, does like events related fundraising [00:10:00] related graphic design. But all of you are busy women. And like I still, I'm so grateful for all of your help, Laura. I can't believe you still work with us, cause like..

Laura: I can't believe, no I do it for you Nicole. If it wasn't for you, I don't think I would have helped for years now, but I believe in you. And I actually didn't even, I live three blocks away from WNP and had never, I went in there once, cause I dropped a USB card when I was coming back from the coffee shop and walked in and asked for, if anybody had seen it. And I really didn't know anything about it. And that was years ago. And I got connected through my neighbor Sharon, who knows Jamie O'Keefe. And then Jamie gave me your number and then that's how we got connected. But yeah, I love it. And I love you and that's the main reason to support, to, to support you and support the cause. And you [00:11:00] do really great work. And you and Chelsea, like you said, have become really great, great friends. I love all the lady power behind the scenes.

Nicole S: Yes. Same.

Nicole: Hard, hard lady power. Yeah definitely. Which is kind of rare for history groups, right? Like…

Nicole S: Yeah.

Nicole: Nicole knows most visitors to our office are older men of a certain age.

Nicole S: They are.

Nicole: Which we love.

Nicole S: We love them all. They have interesting stories and all that.

Nicole: And God bless, like now we have Chelsea in the office, but Nicole was like the one in there with me, like taking the hits.

Nicole S: Yeah. I love that Chelsea's there now too, like, like, all right, you too. Now I know you too.

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: Yeah. Oh, you're not going anywhere. You're listening with this. Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah, Chelsea’s the business end of Western Neighborhoods Project.

Nicole S: Yeah, for sure.

Nicole: Oh, she's gonna get mad at me when she listens to this.

Nicole S: She was like, oh, I'm gone for two weeks. I'm like, two weeks?

Nicole: I'm not gonna make it. Oh, she's managing me from afar. She made a [00:12:00] lot of jokes about her managing up because it's very true. And like when Laura was like theoretically walked in, we were, it was the pandemic, but like, oh, like I was trying to figure out how to put out a membership magazine. I like, I cannot stress enough how terrible I am at design. Like, cannot stress it enough. And she came in and I was like, oh, I'm just trying to do this, you know, like, maybe can you help me? And she was like, okay, what, like, tell me about what you've prepped so far. And I'm like, oh, well, nothing. Nothing.

Nicole S: Laura's a lifesaver. Laura does, Laura did that for me a few times during school as well. And for many people in our class, to be honest. Yeah.

Laura: I have that t-shirt made. I’m…

Nicole S: Yeah, she, yeah, what do you need? That's what it should say. What do you need? What do you need? What do I gotta do. Laura!

Nicole: And yeah. She was great. And now she, now Chelsea runs the membership magazine and she is a woman about order and rules and strategic guidelines. [00:13:00] So Laura's life gets a lot better now that she's in charge.

Laura: Yes. I also like rules and order and yes, I get along very well, when I was like, oh, you know, I really like Nicole. I don't know about this Chelsea person. I hadn't met her yet. And then I met her and I was like, oh yeah, you're my people too.

Nicole: We’re two…

Nicole S: You balance each other out perfectly. Nicole and Chelsea.

Nicole: Yeah, because Nicole and the Nicoles in the office are pure delightful chaos, if I may.

Laura: Oh yeah.

Nicole S: We're not gonna get back to you anytime soon. We're not gonna, we're not gonna get that mail you sent. We're not gonna. No way see them. The Lauras are like, oh, all.

Laura: Did you guys do that yet? Hey, have you friendly reminder.

Nicole: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. Friendly, friendly stops at the first time. Did you guys do this yet? Hey, I'm still waiting on this.

Nicole: Yep. Yeah, Chelsea sent me from, she's on vacation, she sent me an email that was just, that just said, read this. And it was a whole list of her like, you've gotta do these things while I'm gone. I'm gonna be [00:14:00] gone. But you gotta do these things. Did you read it?

Nicole S: Like, at first, I have to get to the email first to read that. When I get around to that, then we'll get out around to the things in it.

Nicole: But like, you know, which I hope listeners, you appreciate that we're just all a bunch of ladies who like hanging out together. And men, there are men involved in our organization.

Nicole S: True.

Nicole: A few of them. The first gentleman of Western Neighborhoods Project being Arnold Woods. But…

Nicole S: Gonna say, Arnold puts up with us when we go on the tangent.

Nicole: I think he’s, I think he's entertained. I…

Nicole S: Oh, he’s entertained. Then he go oh, alright. That Arnold look. Okay.

Nicole: But yeah, it's not like we set out to like revolutionize the way like nonprofit work is done. But like, but none of us are compensated adequately for our time. You two especially since you, you pay us for the pleasure.

Nicole S: You get what you pay for.  Thank you for nothing. So much.

Nicole: [00:15:00] Oh. Like if nonprofit work is so dehumanizing sometimes and it's, it is long hours and whatever, like at least we can make sure we're creating an environment where we're all having fun and we enjoy each other.

Nicole S: Agreed. I mean, I live over on the other side of town, so I gotta drive all the way over the other side of town and I do it happily and I enjoy it. And every time I go, I feel, go, you know, I'm already, you know, I always, I enjoy every time, every day I'm there. You know, like I, like for the past few months I was doing the project of accessioning that Sandlot City, which was 1300 slides, and I would tell my husband about it and he'd be like, that sounds awful. I'm like, it's amazing. You get to look at old slides every day from the ‘70s. You know, and he was like, oh God. And I was like, what? This is amazing. So, I'm like, I think I'm in the right line, because that was entertaining to me. And now I'm looking at more old pictures now doing what, you know, my latest project. So, it makes me happy. I enjoy it. [00:16:00] Something's right.

Nicole: It's like what I always loved about cataloging, I'm upset I can't do it anymore, cause I got other things I gotta do.

Nicole S: More important.

Nicole: But yeah. But like I love it because it's clear cut, right? There's a beginning, middle, and end.

Nicole S: Yes.

Nicole: It's satisfying. You're putting things in boxes, you're labeling things, you're like, I did a thing. It's done. There it is.

Nicole S: Totally. I look at those three boxes, they're sitting on our shelves and I look at those three boxes. It took me months to finish and I was like, that's all me. I did that. Yeah, you're totally right. You checked that off. I'm like, I finished all those boxes of slides from 1971. I did that. Yeah, it is. You're totally right. Yeah. It's like a chick. Yeah.

Nicole: And Laura, for when we do the magazine, like it finally comes together, the final push. Describe the evenings at your apartment in which you finally pull together the magazine so it gets mailed out to our members.

Laura: It is a very relaxing environment on a comfy couch. There's a sea of blankets and dogs and it's usually just a whole day of [00:17:00] movies. Mostly classic movies. Sometimes we sneak in the trashy movie. But they can also be classy trash, trashy movies. And yeah, Chelsea and I just sit on the couch and I just do things. I lay it out, hand it over to Chelsea. She’d tells me everything I did wrong in the most polite way. It's usually just catching, you know, edits and things that I didn't italicize. But no, it's a, it is a very fun, there's usually cocktails and snackies or takeout. And it is a very relaxed environment and not, it is not stressful at all. And I usually sound very sarcastic when I speak and I'm not being sarcastic. It is, I just, I can, I'm looking over at the sea of dogs and blankets on the couch and that's usually the vibe of this place though. I like to keep it calm and relaxed. But it's also just fun. I think we have a good hang of it and I like seeing [00:18:00] all the old pictures and looking back like, oh, I never, a lot of, it's a lot of discovery for me.

Nicole S: Yeah.

Laura: I've lived in this neighborhood, in the, in the inner Richmond, outer Richmond for like 14 years. And there's so many things that I still am discovering about the, about just the western neighborhoods, just, you know, did down the street. I'm like, oh, I didn't know this was what it looked like before. And we get excited every time get a new batch of stories and listening everyone, or reading everyone's personal history, the oral histories. And just looking at all the amazing photographs in the, in the collection and just seeing how this neighborhood has changed. The city has changed. It’s fun.

Nicole S: That is exciting when you're like, oh, I didn't have any clue about this. Which is a lot of stuff. Yeah.

Nicole: You're slowly becoming neighborhood historians yourself.

Nicole S: We are. Well, especially when that like, that [00:19:00] project I was working on Sandlot City and there would be pictures of houses and sometimes they'd have a description or the street and the number, and then I'd look at it, and then I'd go look at it on street view now. And you're like, looking at how it's changed. I would get so excited about that. Like, whoa, how does it change? What does it look like now? And then I'd, you know, look up the price of it, you know, this is what this house sold, and you think when this person built it in 1902, did they think it was gonna be selling for, you know, $2 million or, you know, whatever it is. And you just go, wow. It's, you know, it's like the history and the amount of families that have been through there and lived their lives. It's always like, it makes you think more about, you know, people and like, you know, that kind of thing.

Nicole: Totally. I just had a brilliant idea for a web series. The three of us just drink and we find, yep, so already on board.

Laura: That's it?

Nicole S: Yeah.

Nicole: The three of us just drink.

Nicole S: That's for sale. We're there. Yeah.

Nicole: And we pull up photos of houses [00:20:00] in our collection. We just do what Nicole described, but then, you know, it's like three women of a certain age, sorry ladies, being like oh, would you look at that?

Nicole S: Oh, did they do the bannisters? Oh, those look new. Is that a coffered ceiling. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Amazing.

Nicole: I've seen worse stuff on the internet, to be honest.

Nicole S: Very true. I'm one of those people who loves seeing the before and afters. I mean, I think everybody does that. There's some, and then like the, this is what it used to look like. This is what it looks like now. And you go back and forth. Or like people's faces. This is what the celebrity used to look like. This is what it is. But this is just the history version of that. What work this house had done.

Nicole: We do have a picture of Mickey Rooney in a in a life tube in Sutro Baths. So, we could do too.

Nicole S: No?

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: Really?

Nicole: Yeah. Mickey Rooney.

Nicole S: Yeah. Mickey Rooney.

Nicole: Yeah. Mickey Rooney.

Nicole S: I didn't see that one. That one's an interesting one.

Nicole: Yeah. Well, it looks like you're [00:21:00] gonna have to get on OpenSFHistory later. Do a little Mickey Rooney research.

Nicole S: I’ll do that a little.

Nicole: Do that.

Nicole S: I absolutely will.

Nicole: Well, what, like, I, we kind of heard a little bit from Nicole about like why you chose to go into museums, but like, like what do you think is the, is the draw of museums is the, or the draw of like cultural nonprofits like us? Like why do you think we exist? Don’t all answer it once.

Nicole S: Your turn Laura.

Laura: Well, just museums in, in general? Or specifically the WNP? Or I, because the work, so it's nice to then the work that I do, we mostly focus on children's museums and science centers, which I love very creative and we're coming up with all the fun exhibit ideas. I think the work that the WNP does is, you know, equally interesting. It's just, and it's also a nice change of pace for me personally. I just like the [00:22:00] localness, that's not a word. Chelsea will edit this thing.

Nicole S: Locality.

Nicole: She has live edited me while I was talking before.

Laura: I guess it's just a focus on the local. I guess, cause I also, it's my local history and my living in the Richmond that I really appreciate. But I think for me, museums are about community building. And bringing different people together over a shared interest and also just being like, hey, look at this cool thing that you didn't know about before. So, I guess taking it back to learning and discovery. But I think it's nice when a you know, different people, you might not think you have a shared interest, but there's something about place. And focusing on place. And once again, personal for me, because I live in this place. But coming together and having that shared ense of discovery of like, oh, I didn't know this before, or there, or also just equally a [00:23:00] celebration of place. I think there's a lot of opportunities that the WNP allows for that to happen.

Nicole S: I, yeah, I agree. I, you know, especially something like the WNP. You know, I think a lot of people see those, you know, large museums or institutions and it's hard to relate to that. It's like such a vast, big thing. And then, you know, especially working myself, like working there and I see people like come in and they wanna give you their stuff and they're so excited to tell you about it. And it's this, you know, you know, these people have such a connection to the place. I mean, it's not even San Francisco. It's that area. And they've lived their whole life there. You know, we have one gentleman, Jack Norton, who's adorable. Jack Norton.

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: Brings us stuff. And he was a fireman here and he like used to ice skate. And he was a skating referee. What was he a skate…

Nicole: A guard.

Nicole S: Skate guard.

Nicole: Guard. Ice guard. Yeah.

Nicole S: Yeah. And you know, he watched him talk about it and, you know, his [00:24:00] life there and his history there. And you look at the pictures and it's just like, they're so excited to talk about it and tell you about their lives. And the fact that they have a place to do that I think is so important. And, you know, many people don't have that. And a lot of these stories, you know, just go untold, don't get passed on. You know, the amount of times I hear people say, oh, I wish I'd asked my grandparents more. And I wish I'd known more. I mean, I know I have that. And just the fact that these stories can go on and that they're out there and it adds to the city, it adds to the area, it adds to the people around them. And the fact that, you know, Jack Norton's firefighter yearbook or whatever won't go, you know, into some pile one day. And it's like somebody can see that and you know, hear the stories, cause he has crazy, crazy stories. And I, I always, I just find that so rare nowadays and unique and amazing that, you know, and just like the, you know, like I said, the smile and the look on their faces when they're telling you that just makes [00:25:00] it all worthwhile, you know, that, that, you know, you're there to hear it from them and pass it along.

Nicole: Yeah, for sure. And like, you know, at a large museum, you know, if, like, if San Francisco had a giant like formal history museum, like the Philadelphia Museum of Art or whatever. You know, like you couldn't just wander in and do that, right? The folks you would meet would be like severely underpaid front of house staff who are not allowed to actually take anything. They have no agency to like make decisions or even spend the time with folks, who wander in, to listen to those stories. And in that respect, like, I kind of hope WNP never grows too much. I mean, I would love to have better funding, but like, I hope I, I hope we're able to stay small in this kind of way. In that our time doesn't get railroaded, right? Like we're able to give these people that time and attention. It's already getting we can't do that. Which is horrible and why our office is [00:26:00] closed so much. But like, but yeah, cause that I love that too. Like, I love hearing people's story. We genuinely wanna hear them. We're not, we're not putting you on. When we sit there with our, like, hands on our, you know, ramp, you know, sitting on our desk like, oh please tell me more Jack. Like, we should really wanna hear it.

Nicole S: We do. I mean that's why we're in this quote unquote business, you know.

Nicole: It's true. Business.

Nicole S: Quote unquote business. We're here cause we like this stuff. I mean, I, we were, I was just in New York a couple months ago and we went to, I was visiting the in-laws and part of my in-laws are sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and their two kids who were 17 and 15, and we went to the Natural History Museum. And the 17-year-old West, he was all about it. But, you know, Mesa, the 15-year-old, she was, it was just going over her head and it didn't relate to her. She couldn't relate to it. It was just, you know, and, you know, natural history museums, I apologize if people, it's, that's somebody's [00:27:00] favorite, but it, I hadn't been there in years and it was like, it's a lot of dusty stuff in glass cases. And you could tell this 15-year-old girl could not relate to it and couldn't, like, she just, it she was bored to death. I'm gonna be, she was bored to death. And as a museum lover, I was barely there. And I'll look at anything in a museum and, and you go, oh, okay, this is where it kind of, goes astray is where some people, you know, it's like, I don't know what the answer is to that. I don't know what it, you do with all this stuff and, you know. But you go, oh, there's, she couldn't relate to it. She just doesn't, you know, it, she couldn't care about it. And I think the institutions like the WNP where you can relate and you can care and that there's, you know, a human being there and it's not just stuff behind a wall, you know, or behind glass. It's something different, you know.

Nicole: Yeah. Stuff literally just piled in, piles all around you.

Nicole S: It's true.

Nicole: Small space.

Nicole S: Some I found out are flammable, like highly flammable recently. [00:28:00]

Laura: How did you find that out friend?

Nicole: Zoom. Zoom.

Nicole S: Is that a Karen thing? Sorry.

Nicole: Those are getting moved off premises as we speak. I was like, what are those things? Those are being returned back to the collector. So…

Nicole S: Yeah, I was like, can we get those out of here?

Nicole: No problem here. I mean, even technically anything can catch on fire.

Nicole S: True.

Nicole: True.

Laura: If you try hard enough…

Nicole S: Yeah, Chelsea said it matter-of-factly like, oh, you know, I was like, oh, okay. Good to know. All right, I'll sit…

Nicole: Yeah, don't…

Nicole S: A little further away from them then. Don't have my cigarette next to it.

Nicole: Right. If this was 1950, we would all just be drinking a martini and…like our martini at noon with our Virginia Slim.

Nicole S: Like our martini at noon with our Virginia Slim, you know, I won't do that next to those. We’ll take a break.

Nicole: Yeah, no, absolutely. Well, well, yeah, this really is not to really, this is definitely a, a WNP PSA podcast. Just so our listeners know. I didn't tell them to say anything that they said today except for that one section where I told [00:29:00] 'em to say yes. But like, we really do, you know, we really are, are authentic in what we do in that like we care about the stories. We care about working together. We care about each other. We care about sharing things. And I just I think that there's a way for us to be a role model for all the horrible museums.

Nicole S: Look to us museums.

Nicole: Look to us. You know, like we, everyone, we can pay, we pay at the full same wage. We don't tolerate bad behavior in the organization anymore. If you're crazy or rude or mean, like you're gone. Like you just, we don't work with you anymore. We're really trying hard to cultivate good, happy history here. And you…

Nicole S: Happy history. I like that.

Nicole: You two have a big part of that. So, thank you for being awesome and giving us your time, which is the most valuable thing that anyone can give.

Nicole S: Happy to do it. Makes us happy too.

Laura: Yes.

Nicole S: Yeah.

Nicole: [00:30:00] Well, I think that can culminate the podcast part of this podcast. And now we are going to move into what I have termed, confusingly to many people, one of whom thought Barbara Walters was actually on this podcast.

Nicole S: Oh.

Laura: Oh, she's not?

Nicole S: Okay.

Nicole: Yep.

Nicole S: Wow.

Nicole: The Barbara Walters section because we grill you with some extremely hard-hitting questions.

Nicole S: Don't make us cry, Nicole. Don't. Isn't that what she always did?

Nicole: Exactly. Ladies, are you ready for this section?

Nicole S: I think so.

Laura: I think so.

Nicole S: Yeah.

Nicole: Alright. Rapid fire, just whatever comes up, whatever feels right. Just answer quickly. And, you know, you don't have to put too much thought into this. Number one, what is the best meal you've ever eaten in San Francisco?

Nicole S: Anything Italian for me. A Mono in Hayes Valley. Beretta, Beretta in the Mission. I'm a big pasta fan. [00:31:00] I'm an Italian, so, and I think the city's got good Italian. I mean, obviously I think. I'm not gonna, I couldn't, I guess I can't narrow it down. Sorry. Okay.

Nicole: No, that’s fair. No, that was a good answer. Okay. Laura?

Laura: I'm gonna say Wako, which is a sushi restaurant on Clement and we gathered our pennies together, now it's a pretty, an expensive meal, but it was delicious and we ate way too much. My husband and I don't regret it. It was very, very good. Other than that, I would say my house, Thanksgiving, those are, I'm especially for Mexican food. I think my house is, I make the best food that I, at least Mexican food here in the city. Sorry everyone.

Nicole S: I don’t think I’ve ever had your Mexican food. Have you ever cooked me Mexican food?

Laura: No. You need to come over.

Nicole S: I was gonna say, we’ve known each other how long now? ou called me friend.

Laura: I made Nicole and Chelsea the potato, the potato tacos. Crispy potato [00:32:00] tacos.

Nicole S: I am offended right now that I haven't eaten your Mexican food. Four years, is that, how long we’ve known, four years, my god.

Laura: Four years. Okay. The next magazine, it's movie magazine-palooza, because it's a very long day that we just do the magazine and watch movies. We'll add another M and add the Mexican food part to it and Margaritas another M.

Nicole: Perfect.

Nicole S: Done and done.

Nicole: It's a miracle that, I mean, you two are professionals, but like if that were Nicole and I drinking and trying to put the magazine out, no, it would just be like…

Nicole S: It'll be drinking and eating.

Nicole: And like one half page article.

Nicole S: We were supposed to do something today. I know that something was supposed to, I don't remember what it is.

Nicole: The first time we all went out to dinner, I think it was at…

Laura: At Lokma.

Nicole: At Lokma. And be, this is a public service announcement for anybody who goes to dinner with these two ladies, we had [00:33:00] four bottles of wine?

Nicole S: Oh, right.

Laura: Start with like, oh, there's four of us, so four?

Nicole: True

Nicole S: Bottle of person. I forgot about that.

Nicole: Yeah, we all made home that night, but was not the night I…

Nicole S: Yeah, we did.

Nicole: Going out for…

Nicole S: That was good. Oh yeah. I forgot about that. That was good food too. That's another one.

Laura: Lokma’s very good, yes.

Nicole: Yeah. Shout out to Lokma.

Laura: Shout out to Lokma.

Nicole S: Shout out to Lokma.

Nicole: Okay. Question number two. What is your favorite place in San Francisco? Like the one place that you return to again and again?

Laura: I'm a big Fort Point fan gal. I just, it's so relaxing, especially, well one, don't run over people if you're driving. Cause everybody walks in the middle of the road. But just the view of the bridge and the water and you see the sea lions pop up and that's probably my favorite place in the city.

Nicole S: I'm [00:34:00] anywhere by the water. I live by the water. So, it's like I, I'll walk to the Ferry Building. That always makes me happy. Just anything by the water. I'm also a big Presidio person. I love the Presidio. It's so calm and it's just a calm place to me. I, it's something about it I just have always loved. But yeah, anything by the water just makes me happy.

Nicole: This podcast brought to you by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Laura: And dive bar. Any dive bar in this, in the neighborhood.

Nicole S: Oh, sure.

Laura: It's a place of comfort.

Nicole: It's true. Yet I always run into you at a fancy bar.

Laura: That’s true. Once in a while, you don't want like a shot of fernet and a beer. You want your fancy cocktail.

Nicole S: God fernet.

Nicole: Ooh, it's true. You know, you know, I run into her all the time. Well, not all the time, but more often than not at Violet’s on Clement, I just did some research into Ansel Adams and the first [00:35:00] photographer he worked for a man named Dittman, he had his first like photography studio in the neighborhood where Violet’s is today.

Laura: Oh, fun.

Nicole S: Oh wow.

Nicole: And I'm hoping to approach them with that information and try to barter something. I dunno what they're gonna want for.

Nicole S: I'll give you some information if you give me alcohol.

Nicole: I'll trade you a podcast for some martinis.

Nicole S: It’s an even trade sir.

Nicole: I think so, but you know, I'm biased, okay? A sort of related question number three, what's the one thing out of towners shouldn't miss? So, like, where do you take people when they visit?

Laura: Definitely Land’s End. I was gonna say the Cliff House, but not now.

Nicole: Wah-wah-wah.

Laura: We could still walk by the Cliff House, but I think Land’s End, cause it's all the way in our side of town that a lot of people don't get to. [00:36:00] And it's just so pretty and relaxing and you feel like at one with nature. And it's also less chaotic from what people usually come to in the city and like downtown or by the wharf. It just, it's a little calmer. And yeah, it's just a part of the city that people don't usually get to when they're visiting.

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: I, if people wanna be like, oh, you know, take me, not touristy, I guess, per se. I, and I'm sorry, this is not Western Neighborhoods, but…

Nicole: It's okay.

Nicole S: Very applicable, but it, I always go to the Mission, cause I just, I love the Mission and it's always good food and fun people and there's something going on and it's just kind of, it's just one of my favorite places to go and people always really enjoy that. Like, oh, I don't know if I would've come over, you know, people who have never been or rarely been or, and they don't wanna just see, you know, Lombard or something like that. I always go, oh, well, let's, you know, or I tell them to go to the [00:37:00] Mission or I'll take you to the Mission. I always enjoy that.

Nicole: You know, what's a tourist trap that actually pans out is, not for the food, sorry, but…

Laura: Cheesecake factory, on top of Macy’s?

Nicole: Have you…

Nicole S: Oh classic cheesecake.

Nicole: I mean, their menus give me anxiety. I'm like, I…

Laura: You don’t need a napkin. You just sit outside.

Nicole S: Yep.

Laura: Get some avocado egg rolls.

Nicole S: Yeah. Some spinach artichoke dip. Keep 'em coming.

Nicole: I can't tell you the last time I was in a Cheesecake Factory.

Nicole S: I made Mark go last week. But Mark's not fun, cause Mark doesn't eat fun food. He's like the Debbie Downer of food. So, we got like light egg rolls and I'm like…

Nicole: Light egg rolls?

Nicole S: Yeah, light. They were like on the light menu, egg rolls. And I was like, not egg rolls, sorry. Hot stickers. And I'm like, you've ruined this for me. Never coming here with you again. I'm only going [00:38:00] with fun people like Nicole.

Nicole: Heads up, significant others of WNP. We just talk about you all the time.

Nicole S: All the time. Oh, I'll say it to his face. I'm like, you have destroyed this trip to Cheesecake Factory. You don't get a book of food and then get light egg rolls or light hot stickers. You get nachos piled, you get tacos or what? I don't know. A burrito size of a baby’s arm.

Laura: Poor decisions.

Nicole S: Yeah. Poor decisions. Yes. Thank you.

Laura: Poor decisions that you are making like, yeah, willingly, knowingly.

Nicole S: I want a doctor to tsk tsk me, like you know, no, that kind of thing. Sorry.

Nicole: You should go to my doctor. God bless. Sorry. That's Hannah. But yeah, you should go to Cheesecake Factory, order all the wrong things and a lemon drop or some other horrible…

Nicole S: There you go.

Nicole: Flavored drink and then pull up OpenSFHistory. I'm sorry, I gotta do this. The business of this pull open OpenSFHistory and see all the photographs of Union Square and how it's changed over time. Boom. It's a history activity.

Nicole S: We're right back [00:39:00] around. Big circle. Nice job.

Nicole: I can turn any drinking event into some sort of historical, educational moment.

Nicole S: Very nice.

Nicole: Even if it's just going up to someone in a bar unprovoked and being like, you wanna know something cool about this place?

Nicole S: No, ma'am. I do not, but…

Nicole: Yeah, well, you're gonna hear it anyways.

Nicole S: Yeah.

Nicole: Every first date I've ever been on. Okay, question number four. What's one San Francisco thing you would bring back if you could, that could be a sports team or an ingredient, or a place or a person, or who, whomever, whatever.

Laura: The Cliff House.

Nicole S: Yeah.

Nicole: I liked sitting like by the windows. It wasn't even the restaurant part. I just liked the little part where you can like order drinks and sit by the window and the pelicans would fly by. Just some, once again, drinking by the water, drinking plus nature. That's kind of my vibe.

Nicole S: I have a friend who gave me a birthday card once and it said, I'm outdoorsy in the [00:40:00] sense that I like to get drunk on porches. It's like, it's on my, it's been on my refrigerator for like years and I'm like, that is, that's, that is us. I'm, I'll drink outside. Is that okay?

Nicole: I, I describe myself as indoorsy.

Nicole S: Oh, ditto

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: Indoorsy.

Nicole: But I do like looking at nature. I think nature's great philosophically.

Nicole S: Got it.

Nicole: And physically in a remote way.

Laura: From a window with the cocktail.

Nicole S: Yeah. From a window with an alcoholic beverage.

Nicole: Exactly.

Nicole S: Mine, because I grew up in Oakland, we used to come to the, like, coming to the city was like a big thing. And one of the things we used to do, which it's not gone per se, but we would go to, like, if we'd go out to dinner in North Beach and then we'd go to like, Ghirardelli Square, but like the old Ghirardelli, do you guys remember? Like, like if you go to Ghirardelli Square now and you go to Ghirardelli, there's like this, like self-serve, like they, you order up front and you go sit in like a plastic booth. But it used to be like, I think that's how it is, it used to be like you know, wood and like tiled floors and my dad [00:41:00] would order like the Emperor Norton. Which brings it back to history, cause when I started working at the WNP is the first time I saw a picture of Emperor Norton and I was like, oh. And like that kind of thing. I just, that like, now it's kind of, you know, it's not the same. And then, like when you would go shopping at Union Square and like all the shops and all the people and now it's just kind of, it's sad and not the same as it used to be. So, it's like, you know, we were, I was just over there the other day and it's just like, oh, it's not like, kind of what it used to be. It's very sad.

Nicole: Yeah, I agree with that.

Nicole S: Yeah.

Nicole: I agree with that. I'm so glad that we could content, we could contextualize your ice cream childhood moments.

Nicole S: Thank you, right? That's a little bit of history, cause I'm…

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: Of the age when they'd have the old tiny soda shop. That's what I just did.

Nicole: Oh man, I would kill for an old, you know, I've often joked that WNP should like take over a bar or an ice cream [00:42:00] shop or something. So, you come in, cause people come in. That's what I realize at the Cliff House when we were up there, people will walk up to a bar and tell bartenders and historians the same relevant stories. You know?

Nicole S: Right.

Nicole: Like, there's just something about putting your elbows on a bar and being like, ah, I'm gonna tell you some stuff now.

Nicole S: You have nowhere to go. You're gonna have to listen to this.

Nicole: Or a young lady that…

Laura: As a person who bartended for nine years, yes.

Nicole S: Oh yeah.

Laura: That happened, that happened at me.

Nicole: Yes. Another thing Laura does for us is when I call her in a panic and I'm like, you gotta help me run a bar at an event we're doing. She does and she annihilates it, but she is, she is all business back there. So, you don't mess with Laura.

Nicole S: No.

Laura: Get out of the way. I'm doing, I'm handling this. Also because everyone's like, I dunno what to do. And like, you just pour the wine and then hand it to the person and that's the end of the transaction.

Nicole: Yeah. You and, Jim Jenkins is another dear [00:43:00] volunteer with us and he's a bartender. So, like when you, the you two are on, like, I'm like, we're good. It's, it's when we have other well-meaning folks who can't keep up with the pace with you two that we get in trouble, including my boyfriend who was like, I don't wanna work with her ever again. She’s real mean. Because you were like, Harvey. Harvey.

Nicole S: Get it together.

Nicole: You pull a drink out. Yeah. Put one in, you pull one out, you put one in ice.

Nicole S: That's, you're gonna work here.

Laura: Yeah, exactly. He was like, get with the system buddies.

Nicole S: That's awesome.

Nicole: Too official. All right, final question. Number five. Why is history important? Laura, you already kind of answered this earlier, but…

Laura: Does that mean Nicole answers?

Nicole: Oh.

Nicole S: Okay. Because what happens years ago affects generations and generations to come. You can learn how to change things for the better. You can see how things didn't go well and you know, if you can figure out how, maybe we could do it a little better this time. I mean, [00:44:00] who thought, I, you know, like the 1918 pandemic, I mean, that was a blip, you know, World War II took over and nobody remembers that. And then you know, well, it came back, you know, something came back, something similar happened. And we're all looking to the past to see what happened then, and how, and, you know, I'm sure we also, show photos of people with masks on in 1918, and, you know, we're doing the same thing today. You know, it, I mean, it's the old saying, it's just gonna happen again. You know, what happens in the past will occur again. And I just think it, you're, it's kind of ridiculous not to look at the past. And, and, you know, like I'm a huge ancient Rome, I love an, I read all kinds of books and it's just like there's a giant society, one of the biggest we've ever had, and it ended. And, you know, that can happen and why does it happen and how, you know, it's to me it's just fascinating and yeah, I think, I think you have to, or you're just doomed to repeat it as they say. [00:45:00]

Nicole: Yep. It's funny, the pandemic photographs, like most people talk about knowing the past to understand the present. Experiencing the pandemic helped me understand the accounts that I read. You know, I've, we've studied the pandemic and I've seen photos over time, but like living through it really helped me understand what those people went through in San Francisco in 1918. So, I felt even more connected to some of these sometimes stiff photos, you know, black and white photos that you see in our archive. I was like oh. Oh, they're like trying to go to a theater and they're wearing gauze on their face and they're grumpy looking and they don't like it. And yeah, I'm here for that.

Nicole S: Yeah, there was that one I, it was floating around the internet with like a family, and then they also had the mask on their cat and I…

Laura: Oh yeah, I remember that.

Nicole S: And it was like, they did stuff like, I mean, we shoved one on our cats, you know, it's like, well, let's see how much they hate this. You know, it's like, stuff like that. We go, you’re just like us, you know? And yeah, it helps you contextualize it more, and I don't know. I…

Nicole: It's [00:46:00] true. It helps everyone understand everything better.

Nicole S: It does. Agreed.

Nicole: The tagline, history has failed to market itself with, but we're gonna, we're gonna rebrand history at Western Neighborhoods Project. All three of us ladies.

Nicole S: Starts here.

Nicole: It's true. One of my favorite things, when I tell people what I do, I'm like, oh, I'm a historian. I run a non-profit. And they're like, some, a lot of people will be like, oh, that's interesting. I'm like, why? Does, do I not look like a historian? And they're always like, no. You could lie.

Nicole S: What does a historian look like? Jesus. Like an old man?

Nicole: Yes.

Nicole S: Like with some kind of spinal problem. Hunched over.

Nicole: Spinal problem.

Nicole S: I dunno. You know, it's like…

Nicole: Carrying heavy books.

Nicole S: Yeah, heavy books. Never cut his hair.

Nicole: No. They always say we're older. They always expect us to be older. And yeah, a lot of them will straight up to my face be like, and. you know, men. [00:47:00] Like, oh, well, well not in this house, y’all.

Nicole S: Not now, sir. Yeah.

Nicole: We also work with a lot of men and they're great. So, this isn't like the men are so bad seminar.

Nicole S: They are, They're the good ones.

Nicole: We welcome everyone.

Nicole S: They're the good ones.

Nicole: But only good ones.

Nicole S: Only the good ones. Only the good ones.

Nicole: Only the good women too. Like this is…

Nicole S: Yeah.

Nicole: Only good vibes.

Nicole S: Yes.

Nicole: At WNP. So ladies, so this isn't a four hour podcast. I do wanna move this into listener mail. And you have two choices. One, you can stick around while I muscle my way through, just reading all this stuff.

Laura: Do we get to heckle you, or?

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: You can heckle.

Nicole: Yes.

Nicole S: Yes.

Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole S: Awesome.

Nicole: You can bounce either way.

Nicole S: I'm always here for a heckle.

Nicole: No, excellent.

Nicole S: I know Laura is.

Nicole: Alright, we're [00:48:00] gonna move on with a peanut gallery. Excellent. This should go great. Because now it's time for listener mail. I can see you laughing at me. Okay, so first of all, it's very easy to send us listener mail dear listeners. You just email us podcast@outsidelands.org. Or if you mess up and put an S on the word podcast, it will still come to us. We thought of that in advance. Or you can also take advantage of our social media presence because we are cutting edge. We are on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can comment on posts there and we will also see it and perhaps read it on air.

For example, Lloyd emailed us after listening to episode number 489 on Boudin Bakery and said, and I quote, “I stumbled across the episode and really enjoyed it. I [00:49:00] went to Washington High School in the mid-1970s and used to wait for the Muni bus at Geary and Tenth right near the Boudin location that Mike Giraudo mentioned. Thanks for a great podcast that I am now following on Apple Podcasts, and I'm following you on Instagram.” End quote. So, thank you, Lloyd, for doing all the things we always ask you to do on this podcast and sending us a lovely email. He also asked us to put him in contact with Mike so they could talk sourdough. That's a direct quote, which is extremely adorable. And I will remind listeners, we don't give out contact information, but we always forward the emails. Although I am just now remembering I did forget to forward Lloyd's email to Mike. But I'm gonna make a note in my notebook.

Nicole S: That tracks.

Nicole: I'm gonna get to it Lloyd, I promise. So yes, always free. Feel free to reach out and we're happy to connect you. Like if you're like, I gotta get ahold of that, Laura or Nicole, I will [00:50:00] send them your email and then they will choose whether or not they feel comfortable to respond to you. Sometimes they might. And so be sure to email us or you can send us old-fashioned mail as well. We did get a couple of that as, from time to time. 1617 Balboa Street, 94121.

And now I'm gonna tell you all about the benefits of membership and donating. So, if you clickety, clickety, clack the big orange button on the top of any page on our websites, that's two full websites outsidelands.org and OpenSFHistory.org, you get the quarterly membership magazine that Laura pours her heart and soul into.

Laura: Lovingly crafts. Yes.

Nicole: With cocktails.

Laura: Yes.

Nicole: You also get discounts on events, which Nicole helps us cater all the time. God bless her.

Nicole S: I’m get some Costco muffins, everybody. I’m getting ‘em.

Nicole: Still eating those [00:51:00] muffins, Nicole.

Nicole S: Eat them some giant bags of Doritos.

Nicole: You also get other exclusive perks. Like who knows what we'll come up with next that will be a perk of membership. But of course, your membership supports all the great work we do and make available for free, like this podcast that we force you to listen to this week. But also, the OpenSFHistory Archive, which I don't know if you've noticed, we finally figured out how to upload photos to again. So, Arnold is uploading photos and our trusty team of volunteers are correcting all the mistakes we made in the original captions. And it's fantastic. It's happening y'all. We've got the Cliff House collection, it's care and exhibition, which is a much, much more intense task than I think even us seasoned collections managers knew we, what we were getting into. I don't know about you all, but I never saw an eviction notice for that totem pole coming.

Nicole S: Anybody want a totem pole? Anybody?

Nicole: The [00:52:00] answer is no. No one wants it. But we're working it out, the National Park Service and we are working it out. And so many other things. All the fun things that we do, you know, your membership literally support us and you get the feel good satisfaction of being part of the team. Also, you can just give us money and not take the membership. I don't know why you wouldn't take things for free. But you can just donate to us and feel great about furthering the cause. So go to any website and donate today.

And now I have some announcements. And that announcement is I am literally working as fast as I can to get our office presentable. It is not now, that's why it's closed. It is a crazy hoarder hole of all kinds of weird things. But we are trying to get a new OpenSFHistory gallery up and running with a series of exhibitions, curated by myself, inspired by Ansel Adams and the de Young's current exhibition of his work. And here's the cool thing that we're announcing [00:53:00] probably for the first time. We'll be piloting curated sets of OpenSFHistory prints for purchase through a fulfillment company. Although you'll never know, it'll all be branded WNP. So, your dreams of being able to get our historic photos printed on a mug or a pillow, not kidding, you can get a WNP photo on a pillow. You know, it just might be right around the corner. I have to figure some things out still, but that's what I'm working on.

And if you're like, ah, I wish I could go see an exhibition right now at WNP, I have great news for you. You can stop by the office. The door will likely be locked, but that doesn't matter because we have an incredible exhibition on the windmills of Golden Gate Park, created by WNP Board member Lindsey Hanson in the front windows of the WNP Clubhouse. That's at 1617 Balboa Street near 17th Avenue. You can't miss us. We painted the building a really dark shade of green and orange. [00:54:00] But go to the liquor store next door, grab yourself a road beer, stand out front and learn some history. It's fun.

Nicole S: It's a good idea actually.

Nicole: Yeah, unless that's illegal, in which case I didn't just tell you to do that. But it's so cool. Lindsey did such a great job. This was her culminating project, cause she also is finishing her or just finished her master's degree from S.F. State in museum studies. Things are moving. There's art from a local sunset district artist named Thomas Beutel. Come on by and see it anytime. It's always there for you. Although it might be dark at night, cause we can't afford to actually properly light it. But, you know, heads up, you've been warned. And also, if you're into windmills, ladies, are you into windmills?

Laura: Yes. Who isn't?

Nicole S: Yeah, who isn’t?

Nicole: They go round and round and they're in the park. They're so awesome.

Nicole S: Yeah. The Netherlands tulips.

Nicole: It's true. Yeah. Stroopwafels.

Nicole S: Stroopwafels. [00:55:00] A really good one.

Nicole: Maybe buys some and go over there and eat. Well, ladies, I have got a great, I got great news for you. Our next event at the 4 Star Theater is on June 15th, and we're screening Charlie Chaplin's short, The Jitney Elopement from 1915, which prominently in one small section features the windmills.

Nicole S: So it counts. Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah, it counts. We're counting it.

Nicole S: Yeah, it’s in.

Nicole: And Lindsey's pulled together a stacked panel that will explore efforts to restore and landmark these Golden Gate Park sentinels. So, I'll be moderating in a discussion between Lindsey, Rose Marie Cleese, who's the granddaughter of former San Francisco Mayor Angelo Rossi, and a niece of Eleanor Rossi Crabtree, who's known as the windmill lady for her efforts to restore Old Dutch, and Don Propstra, whose Dutch heritage inspired him to help with the restoration efforts of the wind, with the Murphy Windmill. Don't miss this. It's $15 for WNP [00:56:00] members, $25 for non-members. And remember, half the proceeds go to us, but the other half support CinemaS. Which, you know, Adam Bergeron and his team run the Balboa. They're on 4 Star and they run the Vogue Theater. So, I mean, you just feel great about where your money's going when you do an event with us there.

And then on Saturday, June 17th, the good folks of Heart and Soul SF are hosting a Balboa Block party and WNP will be there. So, join us from 12 to 5:00 PM at 45th and Balboa for this free community event with live music, a book swap, food artists, and of course your favorite neighborhood history group. If we find volunteers to help us staff the table.

Laura: Why did you…

Nicole S: I say, why you looking at us?

Laura: Yeah. Stern look.

Nicole: No, I didn't include you guys on that email, but didn't hear back from anybody on that email, except one person who can't come. So, email us if you wanna volunteer at the table, [00:57:00] And that same day, the reason why I won't be there is that same day at the same time, unfortunately, Boardside is celebrating the release of its fifth zine with a backyard party at 45th and Moraga. So just, you know, just the opposite part of the Park, across the Park. Again, you'll find art, music and me, because my story Trad’r Sam and the Sea is the centerfold for this issue. And I about died when Thomas Beutel handed me a proof and was like, you are the centerfold.

Nicole S: Are you gonna be on people's walls and garage, garages?

Nicole: It's a beautiful illustration that Thorsten Sideboard did of Trad’r Sam from one of our historic photos. And then I wrote sort of a creative, a creative prose piece about Trad’r Sam and how all of us old timey, all of us deep dive bar lovers are just like barnacles in the sea.

Nicole S: Oh, very nice.

Nicole: And oh boy, you know what? We have a ton more events. I'm not gonna run through them all here [00:58:00] because you can find them yourselves. I believe in you listeners. You just go to our website outsidelands.org or you can be sure to join over, the over 350 followers we have on WNP'S Eventbrite. And you can also join our monthly email list so that you're always in the know, right? You don't have to wait for a weekly podcast. If you follow us on Eventbrite, you get an email as soon as we put something, and by we, I mean Chelsea, up on Eventbrite. So that brings us to the end of our program. Ladies can't believe we made it through an entire podcast sober.

Laura: I didn't, I have my drink out there.

Nicole: Two outta three ain't bad.

Nicole S: Yeah, it's pretty darn good.

Nicole: Well, it's time for the preview for next week, and I'm happy to report that my trusty co-host has been researching a huge counterculture event in the desert that actually started on the [00:59:00] West side. So, until next time, I'm Nicole Meldahl, and this has been another episode of Outside Lands San Francisco. Thank you so much, Laura and Nicole.

Laura: Thank you.

Nicole S: Thank you.

Nicole: And thank you too history friends. We'll see you next time.

Nicole S: Bye.

Nicole: Bye.

Ian: Outside Lands San Francisco is recorded by Ian Hadley. Content creation and media production at ihadley.com.

Nicole: To learn more about the Western Neighborhoods Project and more on San Francisco history, go to Outsidelands.org. You can also find us on social media at Facebook, which is outsidelands with an S, at Twitter, which is outsidelandz with a Z, and on Instagram, which is outsidelandz, also with a Z. And check out our historic San Francisco images website at OpenSFHistory.org.

More Podcasts
  • Podcast # 136: Playland at the Beach

    The long-gone, much-missed amusement park where the sand meets the sea in the Richmond District. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Aug 23, 2015)
  • Podcast # 503: Michael Jang

    We sit down with photographer Michael Jang before a live podcast audience to talk his career, life in the Richmond District, and wheat paste. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast May 20, 2023)
All Podcasts...

The Outside Lands San Francisco podcast is also available as a subscription via iTunes and by RSS feed.

Save SF History