It started after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake rendered the Central Freeway, which hovered over Hayes Valley, impassable. A few of the neighborhood’s merchants, like Zonal Home Interior’s Russell Pritchard, spent the next couple of years working with the city to tear down the crumbling highway ramps on Franklin, Gough, Oak, and, finally, in 2003, Fell streets. “There wasn’t much foot traffic, and there wasn’t any kind of town square,” says neighborhood association member Pritchard. “There wasn’t a reason for people to spend a lot of time here.”
The Giants’ Cody Ross has proven that timing is everything. The outfielder, who swings with his right hand and throws with his left, joined the team in late 2010 from the Florida Marlins and quickly proceeded to drop jaws with his batting skills. In the post-season, Ross rang up five home runs, five doubles, and ten RBIs. Considered the Giants’ greatest October hitter since Barry Bonds in 2002, Ross was named MVP for the National League Championship Series and helped his new team win the World Series for the first time since 1954. Ass-kicking aside, the sincerely modest Ross, who is signed to the end of the year for a handsome $6.3 million, hasn’t let success go to his head. He approaches the 2011 season with cautious optimism, realizing the team has to prove itself all over again—this time with reality TV cameras following them into the locker room.
From March 10 - 31, Patagonia wants to hear from you. Every year, the brand's 27 U.S. stores receive $5,000 to distribute among three local environmental groups of their choosing during the Voice Your Choice campaign. Everyone's a winner, and all you have to do is vote for your favorite. Bonus: you don't have to shell out a dime … unless you find yourself smitten with a ski jacket or climbing gear while you cast your vote in-store.
Napa's Bialla Vineyards makes only 500 cases of wine a year and they don't want to make more. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a part of a group of so-called "cult wines," meaning high-quality, limited-production varietals that sell out extremely quickly. The high price point of Bialla Cabernets ($125 a bottle) makes sense when you consider the care taken in producing the wine. Bialla hand-destems each grape, in what proprietor Vito Bialla calls "the ultimate in quality control and tradition." Bialla is one of the only vineyards in the valley who hand destems their grapes.