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Polk Street

Polk Street is a street in San Francisco, that travels northward from Market Street to Beach Street and is one of the main thoroughfares of the Polk Gulch neighborhood traversing through the Tenderloin, Nob Hill, Russian Hill neighborhoods. The street takes its name from former U. S. President James K. Polk; the street has bike lanes, which were approved in 2002. San Francisco bike route 25 runs along Polk Street, is the only North-South route suitable for casual bicycle travel within at least a mile in either direction. There is an ongoing debate on. Polk Street is named for James Knox Polk the 11th President of the United States. During the Mexican–American War, after the Texas annexation, Polk turned his attention to California, hoping to acquire the territory from Mexico before any European nation; the main interest was San Francisco Bay as an access point for trade with Asia. The street is sometimes still referred to by its German name Polkstrasse or Polk Strasse, dating back to the time when it was the main commercial street for San Francisco's German immigrants.

In 1912, the German community built California Hall on the corner of Polk and Turk Street, a building resembling a German-style town hall. Polk Gulch is the neighborhood around a section of Polk Street, its immediate vicinity, that runs through the Nob Hill and Russian Hill neighborhoods from Geary Street to Union Street; the name, somewhat humorous, arises because the street runs over an old stream at the bottom of a gently-sloped valley. Polk Gulch was San Francisco's main gay neighborhood from the 1950s until the early 1980s, although around 1970 many gays began to move to The Castro and SOMA because many large Victorian houses were available for low rent or could be purchased with low down payments. Several gay and transgender bars and clubs remain in the area; as the original center of the city's LGBT community, it has remained one of the core centers along with The Castro and the South of Market. On New Year's Day 1965, police raided a gay fundraising party for the newly founded Council on Religion and the Homosexual in California Hall on Polk Street, an incident that, according to some, marked the beginning of a more formally organized gay rights movement in San Francisco.

In 1972, Polk Street was the location of the first official San Francisco Gay Pride Parade. In the 1950s through the 1970s Halloween on Polk Street became a major attraction for tourists and locals. In the 1990s and 2000s the neighborhood started to gentrify, it remains prominent for its nightlife. The San Francisco Police Department Northern Station serves Polk Gulch; the street remains a busy business district with many restaurants and numerous bars. Today, the Academy of Art University owns a building on the street for academic purposes. Frank Norris's 1899 novel McTeague is about a dentist. In 2008, McTeague Saloon, located at 1237, opened in his honor. Media related to Polk Street at Wikimedia Commons

John T. Raymond

John T. Raymond, whose original name was John O'Brien, was an American stage actor, born in Buffalo, New York, on August 5, 1836, his first appearance was made on June 27, 1853, at a theatre in Rochester, New York, under the management of Messrs. Carr and Henry Warren, as Lopez, in "The Honeymoon." Afterwards, he went to Philadelphia, Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans. In 1858 he had his early success with Sothern in Tom Taylor's Our American Cousin, in which he appeared in London and in Paris. Raymond first became known in New York in 1861, when he appeared at Laura Keene's Theatre, succeeding Joseph Jefferson in low comedy parts, at that time he acted Asa Trenchard in "Our American Cousin." His greatest popular hit was as Col. Mulberry Sellers in a dramatization of Mark Twain's Gilded Age', a character that became identified with his own breezy optimism. Raymond's professional career extended over a period of thirty-two years, in the course of which he acted in all the parts that fall to the lot of a low comedian.

Raymond was twice married, first to actress Marie E. Gordon, known on the stage after 1864, their marriage was unhappy and they were separated. His second wife was a daughter of Rose Eytinge. At the time of his second marriage he obtained legal authority for the change of his name from John O'Brien to John T. Raymond. In 1887 his body was brought to New York, buried in the Actors' Plot, in Evergreen Cemetery, Long Island, his grave is marked by a stone bearing an epitaph written by William Winter. Matthews and Hutton and Actresses of Great Britain and the United States McKay and Wingate, Famous American Actors of To-Day The Wallet of Time This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.. New International Encyclopedia. New York: Dodd, Mead. Sarony cabinet card

Nicole Cutler

Nicole Cutler is a professional ballroom dancer and former World Amateur Latin-American champion. She was born Nicole Westdyk in Durban, South Africa and after taking up ballet at the age of four, first tried out ballroom and Latin-American dancing at the age of twelve. In South Africa she danced competitively with Andrew Magin and Warren Smith before moving to the UK in 1990. In 1994 she teamed up with British dancer Matthew Cutler and they were married in 1996, they divorced in 2003, but have been dancing non-competitively once again, still using her married name. In 1999 they formed the principal couple in the stage show Burn the Floor. Jay Park was her professional partner from November 2003 to June 2004, they came first in the Professional Latin All England Championship in May 2004. Nicole partnered Robin Sewell from June 2005 to June 2006, they were ranked second in England. She twice received the Carl Alan Award for "outstanding contributions to dance", she has appeared as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing.

In series two, she partnered Diarmuid Gavin took a break from the show. However, she returned in series four to partner Nicholas Owen, John Barnes in series five. All England Professional Champion 2004 World, Open British, International and UK Professional Latin finalist, 2000–2003 UK Closed Professional Latin Champion, 2000, 2002 World Masters Professional Latin Champion, 2000 UK Open Amateur Champion 2000 Open British Amateur Champions 1997, 1999 World, European & International Amateur Champion 1999 Closed British Amateur Champions 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999 Closed UK Amateur Champions 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Dutch Open Amateur Latin Champions 1998, 1999 South African Open Amateur Champions 1990, 1994 Nicole Cutler - official page