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The New Fillmore Monthly: Alta Plaza Updates, St. Mary's Turns 45, Soko Hardware, More

The New Fillmore, the neighborhood newspaper covering the intersection of the Fillmore, Japantown and Pacific Heights since 1986, published its May issue last week. Here's a quick look at the top stories.


This Saturday marks Children's Day in Japan, and the neighborhood will be celebrating. Swing by the Japantown Peace Plaza between 11am and 4pm for live music, cultural arts and celebratory streamers. 

The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption at 1111 Gough St. is hosting its 45th anniversary this month. The uniquely-shaped church was built in the 1970s to replace an older church, which burned to the ground in the 1960s. But the cathedral brought with it a lot of controversy regarding its design—according to an article from the Chronicle, protesters picketed the site before construction even broke ground. Read all about the architects, site and controversy here

Soko Hardware, at 1698 Post St., is one of Japantown's oldest businesses, having been established in 1925. The store is an eclectic mix of nuts and bolts, but also cleaning and household items. Lesser known is the wide stock of Japanese seeds, products and books on topics such as how to build Shoji screens. Learn more about Phil Ashizawa's shop and its history here

Fun fact: Spice Ace at 1821 Steiner St. has a 'Pacific Heights' blend of spices for sale. The citrusy combination includes lemon, ginger, orange, coriander, garlic, aji amarillo, chives and cardamom, and it's recommended for chicken, fish and vegetables. Get the full story here

Pacific Heights' empty storefronts are growing in number, but almost all of them have potential leasers in the works. One of the reasons the turnover isn't faster is that these new leasers are formula retail, which require a lengthier process to get through Planning. But if all goes smoothly, Intermix, 45rpm and Space NK will all be moving into the neighborhood soon. 

Can Can Cleanse at 2864 California St. sells jars of freshly-made juices, almond milk and cold-brew coffee to the neighborhood in single-servings, or cleanse juice packs. But now it's seeing a new wave of customers—students from Drew High School, some of whom are going vegan, others who just like the taste.

Last but not least, improvements are coming to the neighborhood's hilly Alta Plaza Park. Recreation and Parks plans to repair pathways, replace aging furnishings, and plant new drought-resistant greenery. Hear from your neighbors and see the full plan here.

While The New Fillmore is fully available online for free (PDF), you can also get it in print if you live in its distribution area, or pay a small fee for a mail-order copy

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