How Keen Was My Valley

Due to the seemingly interminable Octavia Boulevard project, Hayes Valley has been what can only be described as a gigantic, confusing, ever-changing mess for months now.

It was amazing and wonderful to see the Central Freeway off-ramp come down, and though the same can't be said for watching work crews tear up Octavia Street and denude it of all greenery whatsoever, the excitement of what was to come made the mess somewhat more bearable.

But that was many moons (and bulldozers, jackhammers, dump trucks, traffic cones, mud pits, chain-link fences, and ripped-out curbs) ago. The war zone that is the center of our neighborhood has grown seriously tiring, especially after copious winter rains that turned the street into five blocks of brown puddles, litter, and dirt.

It's just possible, however, that things are finally starting to move. Workers have casted (or whatever one does in concrete) the fixtures that will be the center of what (hypothetically) will be Hayes Green. It seems like everything that needs to go either under or in the street--pipes, drains, cables, and so forth--has been put in place, which means (hypothetically) that final grading and paving can't be too far off. And it's been claimed that at least part of the project is scheduled to be completed by the time the UN conference comes to town in June, so there's at least a touch of flame under at least an ass or two.

So though I've more or less grown used to living among some degree of constant chaos, neighborhood-wise, I'm seriously thrilled that there's an end in sight. Soon enough, we'll have some actual green space, the traffic on Hayes Street will abate somewhat (I hope), the Linden terminus will cease to be an open garbage pit, and I'll have somewhere to sit while I sip the artful and extraordinarily good lattes I plan to get from the new Blue Bottle Coffee Company kiosk on a far-too-regular basis.

Things are looking up.

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