HBO's Looking filming at Willy's Barbershop, again.

The rainy day Afternoon Report at your service…

The gray, drizzly day provided mild, even light for the the crew of HBO’s Looking to shoot on what’s reportedly its last day in San Francisco. The show returned once more to Willy’s Barbershop, the real barbershop that serves as fictional workplace for the character Richie, played by the dreamy Raul Castillo.

Castillo and Jonathan Groff, who plays another of the show’s protagonists, Patrick, could be spotted on 22nd Street, entering and reentering Willy’s for what appeared like some sort of confrontation between their two characters. By Season 1’s end, the two met up, hooked up, and broke up. Who knows what twists their affair will take in the forthcoming season.

From a perch at Revolution Cafe, I watched extras walk back and forth over and over again and actual pedestrians walk through the shot obliviously. It felt a little melancholy. Remember the time Looking was at La Rondalla, or at Willy’s that other time? It’s the end of an era. (Full Disclosure: I also have a fleeting, tangential connection to the show.)

Hiding in the entranceway to Mission Local’s office, I also took this video of Groff as he gets himself ready to enter the scene. The glamour of Hollywood in full effect, folks:

lookingatwillys from Mission Local on Vimeo.

Dolores Delay

The Recreation and Park Commission will vote tomorrow on a contract amendment for the construction company tasked with the Dolores Park renovation, Alten Construction. If approved, the amendment will add $2.2 million to the project’s overall budget and four months to the time spent renovating the north half of the park.

According to a report by the Recreation and Park Department, the additional funding and delay has to do with excess ground water found underneath the park during construction.

“During the construction of the new restroom and maintenance building on the north side of the park, excessive ground water was discovered and needed to be extracted before the contractor could continue with construction,” states the report prepared by park department project manager Jake Gilchrist. “After the water extraction, the foundation soil had to be replaced in order to stabilize the ground.”

The stabilization and decontamination of the soil in the park’s northern half cost Alten Construction a reported $1.4 million, and the southern half is expected to cost an additional $400,000-$800,000.

If the budget increase is approved it would put the total cost of the project at more than $20 million. Originally slated to be complete by June 2015, the amendment would push the final completion date to October 2015.

The Park Commission votes tomorrow at 10 a.m.. You can see the full agenda here.

This has been your Afternoon Report—a new series we’re trying out in which we offer a quickie post-meridian rundown of some minor developments in the always-happening streets of the Mission District. Got ideas or suggestions? Let us know what you think by sending an email to

Daniel Hirsch

Daniel Hirsch is a freelance writer who has been living in the Mission since 2009. When he's not contributing to Mission Local, he's writing plays, working as an extra for HBO, and/or walking to the top...

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  1. I am surprised you saw any pedestrians walking by Willies. When I was walking down the street the staff was rather rudely pushing everyone of the sidewalk. I certainly hope this is the last of the filming — it is tiresome to be inconvenienced by these subsidized film shoots. Hollywood is extremely profitable, they should pay their “fair share” rather than demanding tax exemptions and subsidies from the cities and states where they shoot.

  2. I am surprised that the author saw people walking through the shoot. When I walked by the staff was rather brusquely shooing people off the sidewalk. I certainly hope this is the last of this. These subsidized film productions are a real inconvenience. Hollywood makes lots of money, there is no reason the City should be subsidizing film production. Given the inconvenience they cause, they can at least pay their “fair share”.

  3. What an unbelievable boondoggle. $20 million to “renovate” a perfectly functional park. Its so frustrating, and now its going to be closed for what 2 years???

    Parks & Rec is not able to manage renovations. Look what they did to Glen Park. It took years to “renovate” the playground tennis courts and they got the court measurements wrong so they’ve had to red-dig and re-do the entire tennis courts, at a cost of god knows what and another year of no tennis in Glen Park.

    Just leave the parks as is. They are working fine.

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