November 2013 Newsletter

 Newsletter | November 2013

Did You Know?

Registration for the Youth Basketball League starts this month?

Rec center hours until Dec. 21:

9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.






(varies, depending






Late Fall is a Ball at Upper Noe

A Brazillion Reasons to Dance
Young Basketball Players Wanted
Twisting Awareness with Yoga
Winter Class Catalog Coming Soon
Get Your Kicks at Drop-in Futsal
Volleyball Requires Experience
Lose That Weight, Soldier!
Canine Corner
Newsletter Writer Needed
Volunteer Opportunities

A Brazillion Reasons to Dance

This month’s tot rock concert features the delayed appearance of vintage swing-noir specialists Erin Brazill & the Brazillionaires.

Brazill was forced to cancel her September show, but come Saturday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon her cabaret-singer voice will grace the Upper Noe stage.

BrazillionairesThe band’s eclectic, original music is a varying combination of jazz, pop, Americana and more, played on instruments ranging from drums and guitar to washboard and glockenspiel.

Hear clips of the music and see pictures of the band here.

Saturday tot concerts at Upper Noe are free, thanks to Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center. They are held on the playground in fair weather or inside the center’s auditorium if it’s too cold or wet.

Our music curator Richard Hildreth will likely take December and January off, but 2014 will have plenty more tot concerts, so stay tuned.

Young Basketball Players Wanted
Registration for Junior Warriors basketball starts Saturday, Nov. 9, at 10 a.m., and Upper Noe will host two teams to play in this city-wide co-ed league, run by the Recreation and Park Department.

Kindergarteners ages 4 to 6 practice will Wednesdays at 4 p.m., followed by first and second graders ages 6 to 8 practicing from 5 to 6 p.m. The season runs from the week of January 6 to March 15.

Junior Warriors teams play seven games on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at locations around the city. The $66 registration fee includes a uniform. (Children in grades three to eight have playoff games as well, so registration for these ages costs $77.)

Register in person at St. Mary’s Recreation Center at Murray Street and Justin Drive or online at To register online at you must have a Family Account. Click here to create a Family Account.

Existing teams can also join the league for games only by calling Cortez Espinoza at 415-695-5006.

Scholarships are available to eligible San Francisco residents through the Recreation Scholarship Fund. To find out if you are eligible, please email the department at or call (415) 831-6800 during business hours. For more information, visit the scholarship page of the department's website.

Mekki_yoga 2Twisting Awareness with Yoga

Nacera Mekki teaches yoga at Upper Noe, but she has also long been a student: she spent 200 hours learning how to teach yoga from renowned local instructor Les Leventhal. She holds Bachelor's degrees in biology and psychology. She is learning how to incorporate yoga into physical therapy by assisting a therapist.

Despite all this studying, Mekki is committed to down-to-earth teaching that makes yoga relevant in life outside the studio, too. The mat is a sort of mirror, she said. Holding a difficult pose might bring up all kinds of emotions, including frustration with the teacher: Why is she holding the pose for so long?!

“You get to see how you react in those moments,” she said. “Having that awareness helps you pause.”

Over time, that pause happens off the mat as well.

“A lot of time we’re five steps ahead of where the moment is,” she said. “This practice reminds us it’s okay to be here, and we don’t have to need anything outside of it.”

Class is not rigid, though. Mekki has fun with music, and uses it to set the pace of the poses. On Halloween, that pace included a yoga-pose dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

“I root for the class, but I’m also letting them know it’s okay not to do poses perfectly, and we can have fun with it,” she said. “We can fall if we need to fall.”

Mekki teaches private lessons, in yoga studios and at two Rec and Park classes, including Tuesdays at Upper Noe from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“I have to say it’s my favorite class,” she said. “The people are very open to what I have to offer, and there’s a lot of gratitude.”

Drop-in fee costs $10, or you can pay $42 for the whole term.

Winter Class Catalog Coming Soon
Registration for winter classes starts Saturday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m., and catalogs should be available online around Nov. 21 and in paper by the last week of November, says Facility Coordinator Cheryl Woltjen.

Futsal 2Get Your Kicks at Drop-in Futsal
Drop-in women’s futsal happens Friday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and there is room for more to join.

“The pace is fast---they’re getting a good workout,” said Facility Coordinator Cheryl Woltjen.

About eight women from their 20s to their 40s show up for the scrimmages, she said. The cost is $5.

Volleyball Requires Experience
Upper Noe’s drop-in volleyball on Wednesday nights is for intermediate and advanced players.

Want to learn? The Recreation and Parks Department offers classes for beginners at Sunset (women), St. Mary’s (men) and Eureka recreation centers. Please see for details.

Lose That Weight, Soldier!
The Saturday morning boot class needs students. Boot camp combines brisk running with outdoor strengthening challenges in a park cross-training adventure.

The class builds physical and psychological fitness for only $10 per drop-in class or $49 for the remainder of the term. (There is no class on Nov. 30.)

Register online at or in person at the rec center.

It's a Dog's Life, So Live It Up!
 by FNVRC's Chris Faust

Companions party in Joby's Run. There's always reason to celebrate at Upper Noe with good friends and great neighbors. Sasha (2nd from left at top) wanted more trees for her birthday. Will her wish come true?

Newsletter Writer Needed
Wanted: Witty, hardworking, supportive community member with a flare for journalism, dedication to the neighborhood and local park, and a great sense of humor. Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center needs someone to write the monthly newsletter, to submit the latest center schedule to the neighborhood newspaper and to maintain the FNVRC website. The job takes less than 10 hours a month. Interested? Please contact


Volunteers Needed

• Help advise the city on what classes should be offered at the Upper Noe Rec Center. Serve a term on the Upper Noe Recreation Center’s Community Recreation Council and help shape programming at the Center. A teen member is still needed! Please contact Cheryl Woltjen at 970-8061. The form is available on our website and at the center. Please either drop it off or mail it to: Cheryl Woltjen, UNRC, 295 Day Street, SF, 94131.

• Distribute our new Friends of NVRC postcard. This newsletter is distributed to nearly 1,000 “friends.” Make sure interested neighbors know about our group by helping distribute our informational postcard around the neighborhood. Please email molly (at) if you know of a good shop or cafe to distribute the postcards. Or you could help put them somewhere frequented by park users.

• Lead a new event. Are you interested in organizing a new event at the Center? Maybe a game night or movie night? Please contact us at info (at)

• Garden at the Park. Help keep the park beautiful by volunteering with the Ladybug Gardeners on the second Saturday of each quarter. The last date in 2013 is December 14. All ages welcome, no experience necessary, community service hours credited. Even an hour would be a big help! Please contact us at info (at)


Community Events


November 16
Free Saturday Tot Concert

10 a.m. to noon
Recreation Center grounds

Get the little ones swinging to the cabaret vocals and Americana instruments of Erin Brazill and the Brazillionaires.


November 20
Community Recreation Council

7 p.m.
Recreation Center kitchen

Help determine programming priorities at Upper Noe.


Outside the Center

November 13
Noe Courts Meeting

6 to 8 p.m.
St. Philip's Church
725 Diamond Street

Help decide the new design of Noe Courts, the neighborhood pocket park at 24th and Douglass streets.

Thanks for your interest and support of your park! Please contact us with any questions or suggestions. Let us know about any community events you are planning at the park so we can promote them. Please forward this newsletter to your friends and neighbors who use the Noe Valley Recreation Center. We want this newsletter to help build the park community -- please help us connect with members of the community.

Enjoy your Park!

Molly Sterkel (
Friends of the Noe Valley Recreation Center
Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center

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