We first met former South City resident, Phyllis McArthur, when . As part of our weekly feature of Patch users, we spoke with McArthur about her experiences in South City and her love for all things Patch.
Where in South City did you live?
When we were in South City we lived up on Hillside Boulevard, near Sunshine Gardens. Our neighbors were a tight-knit group, and we knew we could depend on each other for help if we needed it. I miss them a lot.
How long had you lived in South City and what brought you here?
We lived in South City for about seven years, and moved there because it was so close to my husband Dennis’ job. It was pretty nice because he sometimes came home for lunch. It was also closer to my father-in-law’s home in Daly City. His health was failing, so we could take a drive on the spur of the moment to check in on him. Sadly he has since passed away. I still miss him.
When and why did you move to Foster City?
We moved to the Bay Vista area of Foster City about five years ago because most of my clients were further down the Peninsula, and it was still close to the freeway for Dennis’ commute to be not horrible. We also wanted to be close to the dog park. Who would have thought that South San Francisco now has an amazing new dog park too?
How long have you been married?
Dennis and I got married on the spur of the moment, June 1, 1974. We took a ride up to South Lake Tahoe, and on the way, decided to just do it. He, looking very handsome, wore a Hawaiian shirt and jeans, and I wore a bell-bottom and halter-top outfit with a short blouse (I was a lot thinner then and got away with it.) We just took a ride over the hill to Gardnerville, Nevada and tied the knot. On the way home (listening to Stevie Wonder and Cat Stevens on our eight-track player) we kept saying, “I can’t believe we just got married!” When we called our parents, we were relieved to hear that they were very happy about it. My mom was thrilled; she adored Dennis. When my dad first met Dennis he said, “I like him, sweetheart, he’s smart and knows how to work on cars!” Who would have thought that 38 years later he’d still be my best friend?
I see on your Patch profile that you're in real estate and have won a number of awards. Tell us about that.
I started my real estate career January 2001, and most of my clients were in South San Francisco and the North Peninsula area. For some reason, even as a rookie, I did well from the start. I think it was because I loved my new career, and attitude is everything. The Peninsula is where I do most of my business. Lately the cities where my sales have been are South San Francisco, Foster City, Hillsborough, Belmont, Millbrae, Pacifica, San Mateo and San Bruno. After working for a number of big companies, I’ve made Girouard Properties in San Mateo my home base. This small office has been in the same location for over 30 years. It’s perfect for me because it’s a small office with only a few seasoned agents, and we have a great working broker, Jerry Girouard.
What did you love about South San Francisco?
The best thing about South City is the downtown area. I know that most of the businesses are family-owned, and we loved supporting them. It still has that old timey feel to it. There was a shop that had Hawaiian shirts in the window, and I loved browsing. I’m not sure if it’s still there, but I hope so.
What was your favorite South City restaurant?
Coming from a big Italian family, I was always in search of the perfect pizza. still has the best pizza (in my humble opinion). The ingredients are absolutely the freshest. The sauces are to die for. Did I mention they accepted an un-dated gift certificate that was 8 years old?
What was your favorite local shop?
I must say that was my favorite because they have the best Italian cannoli this side of New York City. With that said, any family-owned business in South City should be supported. I don’t mind larger companies to come into the area because they create jobs, but I love the “home grown” small businesses.
What do you miss about South San Francisco?
I miss the people and my neighbors from Sunshine Gardens mostly. I also keep in touch with my first clients, who, 10 years ago, trusted a “rookie realtor” to help them find a home. What brings me back are those and Italian food from .
How did you hear about Patch?
The first time I heard about Patch was by accident while searching the internet, I think it was last October. I was drawn to the site because of its localism. I first went to my community and read everything, then discovered South San Francisco and San Bruno and I was hooked. I usually e-mail some articles from Patch and recommend them on my Facebook account. Many of my friends know about Patch and love it. I even have a cousin in Massachusetts who is active on Patch in that state…Hi Eric Capolupo!
What has kept you coming back to Patch for more?
Reading the newspaper in the morning with my coffee has become reading the news online. Patch has breaking news that can save you from traffic back-up on the way to work. The news is fresh, and stories about local people are a nice change from reading about strangers. The city council information is always interesting in your individual community as well.
Have you learned anything from Patch about local goings-on that you weren't already aware of?
Absolutely. I’ve learned about grand openings, local businesses moving to larger locations, and about a few issues regarding new ordinances in my community. Seeing favorite businesses featured on this site is also very fun and a welcome reminder. I learned which Foster City Council member abstained from voting on the three-dog limit at our dog park, and the reasons why. He made some excellent points.
What types of stories get you commenting?
Some of the issues that I comment on are about the kids who are featured on Patch for their accomplishments. Giving them additional recognition is something they deserve. is always fun to read. Most recently I was horrified that young Really? Saggy pants? The story became more outrageously embellished as it was told. I commented about that and hoped our District Attorney would drop all charges, and thankfully he did.
What's your favorite subject or feature on Patch?
My favorite subject is real estate; I just cannot get enough info. Larry Rosen is very good and House Hunt is informative. Running a very close second is “Pet of the week.” Last year my terrier Betty was one of the featured pets, and I was thrilled. My support for Peninsula Humane Society and Pets in Need is unwavering. PHS’s “Mutt Strut” is this weekend, and yes, we are supporting our favorite beagle Winnie Lum’s “Cooper.”
If you could make one improvement for Patch, what would it be?
The only improvement to Patch that I would (kindly) suggest is to have more interviews with city leaders. Maybe have coupons too, I’m so addicted.