Answers are in line with the questions. Questions alone are here.
1. What was the original name of Monterey Boulevard? ANS: Sunnyside Avenue. It was changed in May 1920, after the extension portion passing through Westwood/St Francis Wood was built in 1917. The passed-down lore is that Sunnysiders strongly objected to the change at the time, but weren’t successful fighting City Hall and the Westwood developers.
2. When did Sunnyside Elementary School get its colorful tile mural? The mosaic on the Foerster Street side was installed in 2010 and paid for by the Sunnyside PTA, a Community Challenge Grant, and California Council for the Arts. Full of fun details, it’s worth a look up close if you haven’t seen it yet.
3. Was Big Joe’s ever owned by a man named Joe? ANS: No, no one named Joe has ever owned this Big Joe’s. There has been a coffee shop at this location for over 90 years, having various names, like Lucky Star, Seven-Seventeen, and Sunnyside Creamery. In 1982 it was bought by a man named John Wong, who’d owned Big Joe’s Broiler on Irving near 22nd Ave since 1971. He renamed his new place Big Joe’s Broiler No.2. The current owner, Peter, kept the name. (717 Monterey Blvd.)
4. What did the Interstate 280 Freeway replace when it was built in the 1960s? ANS: B. Railroad tracks. Nearest to Sunnyside, the old Southern Pacific Railroad tracks, little used by then, marked the route where I-280 was laid. But elsewhere, the other answers were also true – Islais Creek once ran where the Alemany portion of the freeway now goes; hundreds of new houses were demolished to make way in Mission Terrace; and everywhere along the route of I-280 open space that had been a part of the environment was removed.
a. A creek
b. A railroad
c. Several blocks of homes
d. Open space
5. What was the former name of Friends Bar? ANS: C. Joker Club Tavern, or The Joker. (558 Monterey Blvd.)
a. Cheers Bar
b. Hells Angels Clubhouse
c. Joker Club Tavern
d. Andy’s Place
6. When was the Balboa Reservoir used to store water? ANS: Never. This site had been planned for a reservoir since 1894, but wasn’t dug and paved until the late 1950s. Immediately, it was used for City College student parking, not water.
7. When was the current Safeway built? ANS: 1972. Where was the previous Safeway? ANS: There was a smaller store in the location of the current lower parking lot, built in 1942, which nonetheless was the biggest store in the neighborhood then. (625 Monterey Blvd.)
8. Where was the massive mud slide of 1942? ANS: Up the hill on Foerster Street above Teresita. Many houses were shifted off their foundations, and two people lost their lives. The recent El Niño winter and excavation on Mt Davidson were the causes.
9. What was the original name of Kwik and Convenient? ANS: C. Stop-n-Go Market, built in 1966, it replaced a gas station. (600 Monterey Blvd.)
c. Stop-n-Go Market
d. Bruno’s Quik Mart
10. Which local preschool was founded in 1952? ANS: Miraloma Cooperative Nursery School, which is located in a house at Joost and Foerster.
11. Who is the 1960s graphic illustrator whose work can still be seen on a Monterey Boulevard sign? ANS: C. The colorful psychedelic work of artist Peter Max can be seen on the 7UP sign in front of Big Joe’s on Monterey. I am told by the owner that it is one of only three signs like it in San Francisco.
a. Wes Wilson
b. Victor Moscoso
c. Peter Max
12. Which decade saw the last streetcar go down the tracks on Monterey Boulevard (replaced by buses)? ANS: C. 1940s. The photo attached to this post shows one of the White-Front cars on Monterey near Circular in 1942. They had operated on Monterey since the 1910s.
13. What were the old play structures in Sunnyside Playground made of? ANS: Installed in the early 1970s, they were simple forms made of concrete shapes and wooden logs. One single remnant of this original playground can be seen beside the walkway from the clubhouse to the new playground, looking a bit like an oversized footstool from George Jetson’s living room.
14. Name two restaurants formerly located where K’s Kitchen is today on Monterey Boulevard. Nonno’s Italian Restaurant and Regents Thai Restaurant (757 Monterey).
15. Where on Monterey did Bruno Cappa have his business, and what was it called? ANS: Bruno’s Creamery Fountain Restaurant was located in the site of the current pizza place at Foerster and Monterey for decades – from the 1930s to 1970s. Milkshakes, burgers, and comic books on the rack in the back. Bruno was well loved by all. He made curly fries before they were fashionable. Read more: http://www.outsidelands.org/cgi-bin/mboard/stories2/thread.cgi?1206,1#msgtitle .
16. Who was the environmentalist that the park on our northeast border is named for? ANS: The wild little park with great views at the very top of Baden Street is named for Dorothy Erskine, an early Bay Area activist. Read more about the organization she founded, the Greenbelt Alliance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenbelt_Alliance .
17. Before they were built, what could be found on the site of the current tennis courts on Havelock Street? ANS: C. Vegetables were grown here and the surrounding area on park land for decades. See this photo to see how extensive the farming was.
a. A deer park
b. The old Ingleside Police Station
c. Vegetable gardens
18. What was the original name of Ridgewood Avenue? ANS: A. Hamburg Street. In line with alphabetic streets Acadia-Baden-Congo and so on. Contrary to what many assume, the change to Ridgewood Ave (in mid-1927) wasn’t likely to have been sparked by WWI anti-German sentiment, which had largely faded by then, being many years after the war. Instead it was changed to match the fashionable “-wood” streets of the new Westwood Park and Westwood Highlands neighborhoods, the street now forming their eastern border.
a. Hamburg Street
b. Hampstead Street
c. Hanover Street
19. When was the Joost-Baden Mini-Park built? ANS: B. 1969, as part of a large program of converting many pieces of unused city property into enjoyable if tiny parks. The Joost-Baden Mini-Park is laid out on lots the city owns where major sewer pipes are located below.
20. Name two places to play pinball machines on Monterey Blvd in the 1970s. ANS: Bruno’s Creamery and King of Hearts Ice Cream (where Shanghai Dumpling is now) were just two places with machines. At King of Hearts they were in a back room out of view of the owner, so it was easier to tilt them (I have been told).
21. Name the motorcycle club that had its president living on Hearst Avenue in the 1980s. ANS: Hell’s Angels. I had a local old timer describe the Saturday rallies, where the street was filled with cycles, and the windows in your house rattled.
22. What chef and cookery book author had a cooking school on Monterey Blvd in the 1970s and 1980s? ANS: B. Jack Lirio had a cooking school at 747 Monterey in a now-demolished Victorian house. He wrote cookbooks as well, and he was featured in the Chronicle.
a. Judith Ets-Hokin
b. Jack Lirio
c. Perla Myers
d. Malcolm Herbert