First Monday Movies - Gilda - September 13th

Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is a rough-edged gambler who goes to work for Ballin Mundson, owner of an illegal gampling casino in Buenos Aires, after Ballin saves his life. He quickly becomes Ballin's right-hand man, but their close bond is fractured when Ballin unexpectedly marries. Johnny is assigned to guard Gilda (Rita Hayworth), the new Mrs. Mundson, a woman from Johnny's past. Though Farrell is unwavering in his loyalty to his employer, and he and Gilda treat each other with contempt, Mundson realizes that the torch never died for either of the former lovers. Directed by Charles Vidor (1946/110 mins)
Monday, September 13th - 6:30 p.m.

"What We Like"

La Pell Freda (Cold Skin) is the original work of a contemporary Catalan writer.

Albert Sánchez Piñol takes us to a journey to the pit of hell – the hell of our existential loneliness, our inherited resentment and hatred, our fear-born compulsion to destroy everything we do not understand – and back into an acceptance of our darkness and projections, through a redemption attained by means of a decision to accept those very different others beyond any attempt at comprehension, reaching into our need to live and honor the life of others.

The book grabbed me violently and mercilessly from its very first sentence : "Mai no som infinitament lluny d’aquells a qui odiem. Per la mateixa raó, doncs, podríem dir que mai no serem absolutament a prop d’aquells a qui estimem." (We are never infinitely far away from those we hate. For this same reason, therefore, we could believe we will never be absolutely near those we love.)
-Angelina Llongueras

"What We Like" features weekly recommendations from Excelsior staff and patrons for Library books, music, movies and audiobooks that we think you might like. If you have something you want to recommend, drop by and let us know!

Adult Summer Reading Party - August 25th

On August 25th, come celebrate the first Adult Summer Reading Program at the Excelsior Branch and meet fellow bibliophiles. Everyone who registered for the Adult Summer Reading Club at the Excelsior Library is invited to a wrap party and discussion at the Branch. Light refreshments will be served and prizes will be raffled.

Wednesday, August 25th - 7 - 8:30 p.m.

"What We Like"

Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast

If you have ever read Everyday Food, the magazine or watched the PBS show, then you know how fresh, simple and healthy these recipes are. A follow up to the very popular Everyday Food: Great Food Fast, this cookbook was worth the wait.

Organized into familiar categories, it is easy to use and is everything you’d expect from the Martha Stewart kitchens. The recipes focus on healthier versions of old favorites, tips for making use of one recipe for multiple meals, and ideas for making the most from your food dollar. These are the kind of recipes that you can make from what’s in your pantry and fridge and have on the table in under an hour.

"What We Like" offers recommendations from Excelsior staff and patrons for Library books, music, movies and audiobooks that we think you might like. If you have something you want to recommend, drop by and let us know!

"What We Like"

Truth, by Peter Temple

The mean streets of Melbourne. Drugs are rampant, life is cheap and there’s a stink of corporate and police corruption. Or is that the smell of the encroaching wildfires? Homicide chief Villani is a Marlowe with a back story, mainly a cold and superior father whom he can’t please. Peter Temple turns a phrase beautifully. Even when the slang was indecipherable, I kept on reading, happy with the rhythm and flow. A word to the wise – don’t wait until page 350 to discover the Glossary of Australian Terms on page 380.

"What We Like" features recommendations from Excelsior staff and patrons for Library books, music, movies and audiobooks that we think you might like. If you have something you want to recommend, drop by and let us know!

In the Neighborhood - Excelsior District Improvement Association (EDIA)

The Excelsior District Improvement Association (EDIA) is a community organization that has been dedicated to improving the quality of everyday life in the Excelsior District since 1942.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with EDIA President Jackie Cash, Secretary May Wong, and Board Member Robert Katz. They told me a little about their personal histories in the neighborhood – May Wong was born and raised here – her family had a laundry in the same block as the Library. They also explained EDIA’s goals and how they accomplish them.

EDIA’s current involvement in neighborhood concerns can be traced back to their response to a threat in 1959 to demolish 88 Excelsior district homes to provide off street parking. Former EDIA President John Consiglieri spearheaded the fight against this plan of mayoral candidate George Christopher. Consiglieri met with friends and neighbors to organize the opposition to the removal of homes. A petition to stop the demolition with more than 8000 signatures was taken to City Hall by EDIA and neighborhood organizations from West Portal, Sunset and Richmond (rumored to be "next" if Christopher's plan worked in the Excelsior District). The plan was defeated, and the Excelsior District Neighborhood Association was revitalized. John Consiglieri, at age 93, is the Sergeant at Arms, still leading the Pledge of Allegiance at EDIA's monthly meetings.

EDIA tries to be the voice for those with no voice, including victims of crimes. Sometimes EDIA is made aware of concerns when community members come to them. Sometimes they work on issues with other organizations, like EAG.

In 2008 there was a triple homicide in the neighborhood. EDIA members were dismayed by the inadequacy of the official response. They put together a forum with police and community leaders to discuss what was being done. EDIA printed up leaflets and distributed them throughout the neighborhood and more than 400 people came to Monroe School to share their concerns.

More recently, EDIA has been working on a program they call “Light Up the Night.” The beautiful trees which line Persia Street also make it very dark and susceptible to criminal activity. EDIA asked the police what they would do to address the problem, and they suggested improving the lighting.

EDIA identified a simple, short term solution while they worked toward something more permanent. They knocked on every door on Persia Street and asked the inhabitants to turn on their porch lights at night. They took Chinese and Spanish translators with them. PG&E donated lightbulbs which EDIA members gave to the homeowners. PG&E has agreed to ramp up the wattage on the streetlights and add cobra lights to the poles without lights. In the most recent monthly report from the Ingleside police captain, there was NO crime on Persia Street.

Next up – Russia Street!

In addition to crime, EDIA has worked on economic development issues, parking and pedestrian safety. Due to their efforts, a light was finally installed in the dangerous crosswalk on Santa Rosa Avenue near Central Drug.

EDIA welcomes new members. I can vouch for the fact that they are a fun group. They meet on the fourth Tuesday every month at 45 Santa Rosa Avenue at 7 p.m. There are volunteer opportunities for adults and teens, and teens with an interest in journalism, art or writing are especially encouraged to get in touch. Contact EDIA at:

Excelsior District Improvement Association (EDIA)
P.O. Box 12005
San Francisco, CA 94112-0005
(415) 294-0503

Check out this great Excelsior community organization!

In the Neighborhood features information about people and places in the Excelsior neighborhood that you may already know and love, or that might be new to you. Watch this space!