This year’s Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday April 14-15 and April 21-22, 2012. All are welcome to join in the festivities as we celebrate Japanese and Japanese American culture in San Francisco’s Japantown! The festival will be held on Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Streets. There will be food booths, cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Program, and more. The Grand Parade will be held on April 22, beginning at City Hall and concluding in Japantown. The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is said to be the second largest festival outside of Washington, D.C. to celebrate the blooming of cherry blossoms; and held at one of three remaining Japantowns in the United States.
Dolores Park, on a nice day. Credit: Greg/dannebrog
The idea that the SFPD might try to remove one of the most charming aspects of Dolores Park — namely the rampant sale of mushroom chocolates, THC-laced candies, and everyones favorite truffle guy — should prompt a battle cry from all those who call the park their warm-afternoon home.
But its already happening! Uptown Almanac and Dolores Park Works report on the SFPDs stepped-up strategy for cleansing the park of everything that makes it marvelous, including the removal of all alcohol and drug sales the sad, emasculated Cold Beer Cold Water guy now only sells cold water.
Theyve been issuing citations, and sending in plain-clothed operators to make purchases from these small businesspeople, and they claim that theyve had to issue tickets for “keggers that get little bit out of control.” Keggers?Anyway, the only solace here is that they say they dont have the resources to actually crack down on all booze consumption right now, but as weve been sensationally proclaiming here at SFist for months now, the war on fun is most certainly stepping up.
There will come a day when cops are wandering around on the regular issuing tickets for your bottle of rosé, and that, dear friends, is an abomination against all things good and holy. What makes San Francisco great if not our laissez-faire attitude toward nudity, sado-masochism, and public drinking?!?
We ask you this.Fight for your rights, people.
[Uptown Almanac]PREVIOUSLY: Etiquette Week: How to Go to the Park
Kick Off Spring with These Three Art Shows
Katharina Wulff, Die Verbindung (The Connection), 2008; oil on canvas;
48 1/16 x 68 7/8 in. (122 x 175 cm); Olbricht Collection; © Katharina
The city’s museums now have their major exhibitions out and swinging (you’ve seen Foto Mexico and Gaultier; the ads plastered over town are maybe coaxing a return visit) and the gallery circuit is on the cusp of exploding into a big spring season. Our suggestion: take this weekend to explore some of the Bay’s slightly smaller, considerably less hyped, but no doubt equally fascinating museum shows. Here are three picks.
New Work: Katharina Wulff at SFMOMA
Katharina Wulff is unmistakably contemporary in how freely she channels the modern. Befitting for an institution that hangs the likes of Matisse and Dalí, Wulff’s whimsical and captivating paintings are at turns Fauvist, Surrealist and Dada. The whole of art history is the Moroccan-based artist’s playground.
Consisting of twenty works, this showing marks the artist’s first ever solo exhibition in the U.S., and, more importantly, her west coast debut. What can you expect? Much in the way of fantastical landscapes, confused perspective, bizarre-looking animals and still more bizarre-looking people. They brim with color and intrigue, never staying too long in any one place.
Katharina Wulff runs through September 4, 2012, at SFMOMA, 151 3rd Street
Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes at Oakland Museum of California
Don’t call them comic books. The twenty first century graphic novel has elevated the panel-illustrated narrative to unprecedented heights. It’s been a thrilling and lucrative progression, and Oakland’s own Daniel Clowes has been at the forefront from the beginning. Some accounts would place this remarkably gifted illustrator, who has over fifty publications under his belt as well as an academy award nomination for screenplay, as the genre’s reigning patriarch.
The OMCA’s sprawling, installation-based show marks the first major survey of Clowe’s work to date. Complete with original drawings, artifacts and an extensive full-color monograph, this form of recognition is long overdue.
Modern Cartoonist runs through August 24, 2012, at Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street
Femmescapes at Mills College Art Museum
A group of Mills College students were given a pretty amazing opportunity: to freely mine Lenore Pereira and Rich Niles’ marvelous collection of contemporary work by women artists. With names like Louise Bourgeois, Ann Hamilton and Francesca Woodman on the roster, this is a trove that many professional curators would probably kill for a chance to have at.
The resulting exhibition, Femmescapes, explores the various conceptual and metaphorical intertwinings of femininity and environment – nature as a woman, woman as land (lush, fertile, barren, etc.), body as landscape. Featuring about 40 works of painting, video, photography and sculpture, this is a unique glimpse not to be missed.
Femmescapes is on view Saturdays and Sundays only, through May 6, at 70 South Park
Dolores Park Playground Parents Now Want A Fence To Keep Out Gays & Dogs
We’ve discussed before our trepidation about the infringing upon gay space that happened when that new Dolores Park playground got renovated and drastically enlarged. Though most of the gay beach remains intact, there have been complaints that motorcycle cops have been making the scantily clad sunbathers feel uncomfortable lately — if there are too many reports like this, we don’t want to see how mad and in-your-face Anna Conda will get. Cops have also handcuffed and cited the cold-beer-cold-water dude, which is just sad, even if he is mean. And now Mission Local and Uptown Almanac report on some complaints from parents that with their ridiculously outsized new toddler terrarium they now think they need a fence to keep out the big scary dogs running around. COME ON. There has always been a playground, and there have always been dogs in the park. Basically you give San Francisco’s three dozen parents an inch and they want to take a mile!
Supervisor Scott Wiener says he’s gotten “several dozen” calls from concerned parents who want the playground fenced off, but he supports the original design which uses plants to form a natural barrier to discourage dogs from running in. Then again, Rec and Parks manager Eric Andersen is allegedly keeping the option open of adding a low fence at some point.
And yes, commenters, we know there are more than three dozen parents in this city, but not a lot more! As mentioned before, this is a city with an ever-dwindling number of children and families with children, and building a playground isn’t going to keep them here — improved schools and cheaper rents, however, might be a start. We prefer our parks full of adults, and unruly animals, and people selling booze and pot edibles.
PREVIOUSLY: Dolores Park To Be Half-Closed, Generally Unpleasant, For A Really Long Time
Contact the author of this article or email firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions, comments or tips.
S.F. Bay Guardian Announcement: Brugmann Stepping Down, Headquarters Sold For $6.5 Million
Guardian HQ, via Street View
In an official announcement today, San Francisco Bay Guardian Executive Editor Tim Redmond cleared up some of the the rumors swirling around the will-they/won’t-they hookup situation between the Guardian and the San Francisco Examiner. The biggest take aways: longtime publishers Bruce Brugmann and Jean Dibble will be stepping down from their day-to-day operations as they cash in on the sale of the paper’s Potrero Hill headquarters.
Helping out Boss Brugmann and his wife as they sunset their way to retirement, San Francisco real estate investment firm Union Property Capital has agreed to pay $6.5 million for the paper’s HQ on Mississippi Street. That price tag is just under $2 million more than Brugmann paid for the 27,000 square-foot building back in 2002 using Small Business loans to make the down payment. The deal was reportedly made off the market.
Although Examiner Publisher Todd Vogt was originally being coy about the sale, he explained to Redmond, “Bruce and Jean have created a legendary publication, and we are happy to be able to give it a new home and the chance to continue its mission.” The Ex and the SFBG will remain separate and distinct papers, but Vogt did point out that, “the potential synergies will be beneficial to readers and advertisers.”
Redmond also explained the paper’s plan for the future and his own expanded role:
This transition is connected to ongoing exclusive negotiations with a subsidiary of The SF Newspaper Company LLC to purchase all assets related to the the Guardian publishing operations. SFNalso owns and publishes the San Francisco Examiner. Both parties are optimistic that a final contract will be signed shortly, most likely in May.
There are no plans to change the editorial content or positions of the Guardian, which will remain the voice of progressive politics and alternative culture in San Francisco. Executive Editor Tim Redmond will stay on in the expanded role of executive editor and publisher.
Brugmann, meanwhile, will continue keeping up the Bruce Blog for the foreseeable future.
Previously: SF Examiner Just Bought SF Bay Guardian?
Partiers Leave Behind Massive Fort Mason Mess
: Andrew Dalton/SFist
Happy Earth Day, everybody! Just when we thought our faith in the drunkards had been restored, we spotted this disaster area left behind after throngs of Marina District revelers took their overconsumption outdoors yesterday afternoon. After a brief stop at the Marina Dateway, where the neighborhood grocery store was experiencing a run on domestic beer and ladies were overheard discussing the caloric content of various vodkas, we found this scene on the grass at Fort Mason around 7 p.m. Saturday evening.
What looked something like this during the afternoon, by sunset looked like a good place to catch Hepatitis. That’s also when the seagulls started swooping in, probably looking for beer can rings to choke themselves to death with. (Because of how disappointed in humanity they were.)
Not to get all hippie-preachy or anything, but this is kind of an offensive amount of trash, right? Do normal and reasonable human beings not look at that mess and say, “…maybe we ought to like, I don’t know? Take some of this trash with us? To a trash can?” or “Maybe we should bring that coffee table back home?” We’ve seen our share of litter-y days in Dolores Park and some embarrassing trash pileups in Golden Gate Park, but leaving actual pieces of living room furniture is a whole new level of prickish park use.
“Those trash picker guys are going to be stoked about this!” was one justification we heard for the mess. We tried to get someone from the neighborhood recycling center on the phone to settle that bet, but they are unfortunately not open on Sundays, so we’ll have to follow up on that later.
Anyhow, much of the mess was still around this morning, even after the recyclers had picked it over. Which is disheartening in that “this is why we can’t have nice things” sort of way. Enjoying scenic vistas around every corner is one of the nicest parts about living in San Francisco. And Fort Mason has one hell of a Bridge view, so why would you just throw a piece of garbage in front of that, you know?
Anyhow, in the interest of fairness, if anyone took any similar photos in Dolores Park or any other public park this weekend, please do share. We’d love to find out which park has San Francisco’s messiest crowd.
Note: Misson Local has a look at the state of Dolores Park this morning. The Mission looks like it had its own share of litterbugs this weekend, but considering the huge crowds we saw at Dolores Park yesterday afternoon, we’re still calling this one for the Marina.
FAUX (FOX) NEWS UPDATE (April 24): Fox Nation picked up the trashy item, using it to fabricate an entire story to blame green activists.
What’s happening today: Saturday, April 21, 2012
There is a lot happening today.
Not your average stoner gathering, the Deep Green Fest focuses on the utility of hemp as an economic andenvironmental resource. Political activists take note: a full day’s worth of lectures on cannabis policy is on tap, as well as 215 smoking areas and tons of smoke- friendly live jams on the numerous stages. noon-midnight, $12–$25 festival-only; $60–$75 conference admission. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour, Richmond. (510) 735-1133, http://www.deepgreenfest.com
Cesar Chavez Festival– For too many of us, Cesar Chavez Day passes by in a blur of I’m-not-at-work (or dammit-I’m-at-work) chaos. We don’t really stop to celebrate the man, and that’s a shame because as you can tell from the way Rainbow Grocery shuts its door to celebrate him, he was a seminal figure in California history, Chicano history, and labor movement history. Luckily, we all get a hall pass this and every year if we didn’t observe the man on his state-sanctioned holiday. Today, the Mission will be marked by a parade in his honor, leading to a street fair on 24th Street with live music by Carlos Santana’s son Salvador, local hip-hop phenom Bang Data, and the Cuicacalli Youth Ballet Folklorico, among many other acts. 11am parade; noon-6pm fair, free Street fair: 24th St. between Bryant and Treat, SF (415) 621-2665, http://www.cesarchavezday.org
San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival Today, 220,000 Attendees expected.
The Naked and Famous
4th Annual Goat Festival
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
de Young Museum, San Francisco CA
Curran Theatre, San Francisco CA
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, San Francisco CA
Gay San Francisco Happenings Today Saturday 21, 2012
Saturday Apr 21, 2012 – 12AM to 4AM
National AIDS Memorial Grove
Saturday Apr 21, 2012 – 12:30AM to 3:30AM
Saturday Apr 21, 2012 – 8PM to 1AM
Madrone Art Bar
Saturday Apr 21, 2012 – 8PM to 1AM
Saturday Apr 21, 2012 – 9PM to 5AM
Saturday Apr 21, 2012 – 9PM to 1AM
Saturday Apr 21, 2012 – 9PM to 1AM
Saturday Apr 21, 2012 – 11PM to 6AM
This tour is a study in urban contrasts and an easy walk through the formerly semi-rural landscape of The Mission lands, along the banks of a former creek and vanished lake.
We will begin at the Golden Fire Hydrant and make our way through Dolores Park, which originally was a Jewish cemetery and now may be packed with hipsters, gay men, Latin American immigrants, dogs and their owners and well-to do families with strollers and children. We’ll head to the Mission Francisco De Asis, commonly known as The Mission Dolores. We will see the Mission Dolores Basilica which was dedicated by the Pope Pious in 1951. In 1984, while protestors chanted, Pope John Paul ll caused a scandal by hugging a child with AIDS. We will tour the Mission which is the oldest building in San Francisco,the original building was completedin 1776, several weeks before the Declaration Of Independence was signed. There is a small museum on site displaying artifacts from the decimated native population, a native garden and a graveyard filled with tombstones of mainly Irish immigrants is open to the public. Some 5000 Oholone were buried here as well. Admission to the Mission is incuded on this tour.
Missión San Francisco de Asís was originally built close to the banks of a creek that the Spanish called, Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, meaning “Our Lady of Sorrows Creek. The creek, now referred to as Mission Creek, in later years was buried under the city streets and acted as somewhat of a sewer system. We will roughly follow the path of the missing creek and will walk along the shores of a long lost lagoon, which appears on historic maps now as Lake Dolores.
We then will venture into the frenetic area of 16th and Valencia Streets and have a bite to eat at one of the areas many hip restaurants. Meal is included.
The creek continues toward the bay and eventually flows through the cavernous basement of the SF Armory. The Armory, built in 1914, is 200.000 square feet of Moorish castle in the heart of the Mission District. Built for the National Guard, it’s biggest claim to fame is that it was used to quell the depression era Lonshoreman riots and protected the troops from the strikers who were widely regarded as Communist insurgents. We too shall head towards the bay and will enter the Armory but will enter up the grand staircase through the front doors. You will be welcomed by the charming staff of Kink.com and will be given an unprecedented tour of the studios and production areas of Kink. The tour will not be conducted during operating hours.
We believe that you will find this tour as fascinating as we do and an unforgettable way to pass an afternoon. Please join us on this delightful journey. This tour sells our incredibly fast as does any tour that includes the Armory. Please book early and of course, this tour is only for adults.
Reservations Line: 800.595.4849 (24hrs)
Reservations Online: http://exploresanfrancisco.tix.com
More Information: 415.793.1104
If you’re one of the few people with money that goes to Beauty Bar, a new sign screwed to the wall outside the joint warns of red men thieving the contents of purses. Presumably, SFPD and the Entertainment Commission forced them to hang this after a string of recent thefts, as described by Yelp reviewer (argh) Issy V.:
Overall experience was just fine, although they seem to have a real problem with theft. Their solution was to remove the hooks under the bar counter, needless to say my bag got stolen right from under my feet. Although I was sitting on my stool the whole time. Don’t think I’ll go back there again.
Never go back? But what about Crazy Hip-Hop Mondays with The Kidz, Issy?
Is Mark Zuckerberg Trying to Rebrand Himself as a ‘MissionHipster’?
When Mark Zuckerberg started turning up at Mission bars such as El Rio, The Royal Cuckoo, and pseudo-dive bar Dolores Park, we kinda dismissed it because everyone goes to those places. Then he acquired Instagram, making us scratch our heads just a bit.
But last night, the 35th richest guy in the world was spotted slamming drinks at the notably cheap and filthy dive Phone Boothand making a 2:30am Farolito burrito run. Which begs the question: was Mark just trying out his billion dollar toy in its native habitat, or is he attempting to rebrand himself as just a regular ol’ Mission hipster?
See, he actually drove 45 minutes north from his fancy Palo Alto HQ to hang out at a bar known for its questionable indoor smoking policy and access to shitty last-call coke dealers. That’s not to say we don’t like The Phone Booth, because we do. But to claim the place is a “destination bar” for people coming from out of town is a bit of a stretch.
Unless he was trying to score some blow…
Previously on Uptown Almanac
THE MISSION DISTRICT
Location: The principal thoroughfare of the Mission District of San Francisco is Mission Street. Its borders are U.S. Route 101 to the east which forms the boundary between the eastern portion of the district, known as “Inner Mission” and its eastern neighbor, Potrero Hill, while Sanchez Street separates the neighborhoods from Eureka Valley (also known as “The Castro”) and Noe Valley to the west. The part of the neighborhood from Valencia Street to Sanchez Street, north of 20th, is known as Mission Dolores. South of 20th towards 22nd, and between Valencia and Dolores Streets is a distinct sub-neighborhood known as Liberty Hill. Cesar Chavez Street (formerly Army Street) is the southern border which lies next to Bernal Heights, while to the north the neighborhood is separated fromSouth of Market roughly by Duboce Avenue and the elevated highway of the Central Freeway which runs above 13th Street. Also along Mission Street, further south-central are the Excelsior and Crocker-Amazon neighborhoods, sometimes referred to as the “Outer Mission” (not to be confused with the actual Outer Mission neighborhood). The Mission District is part of San Francisco’s supervisorial districts 6, 9 and 10.
The microclimates of San Francisco create a system by which each neighborhood can have radically different weather at any given time. The Mission’s geographical location insulates it from the fog and wind from the west. As a result, the Mission has a tendency to be warmer and sunnier than the rest of the city. This climatic phenomenon becomes apparent to visitors who walk downhill from 24th Street in the west from Noe Valley (where clouds from Twin Peaks in the west tend to accumulate on foggy days) towards Mission Street in the east, partly because Noe Valley is on higher ground whereas the Inner Mission is at a lower elevation.
History Prior to 1900
The Yelamu Indians inhabited the region that is now known as the Mission District for over 2,000 years. Spanish missionaries arrived in the area during the late 18th century. They found these people living in two villages on Mission Creek. It was here that a Spanish priest named Father Francisco Palóu founded Mission San Francisco de Asis on June 29, 1776. The Mission was moved from the shore of Laguna Dolores to its current location in 1783. Franciscan friars are reported to have used Ohlone slave labor to complete the Mission in 1791. This period marked the beginning of the end of the Yelamu culture. The Indian population
at Mission Dolores dropped from 400 to 50 between 1833 and 1841. Ranchos owned by Spanish-Mexican families such as the Valenciano, Guerrero, Dolores, Bernal, Noé and De Harocontinued in the area, separated from the town of Yerba Buena, later renamed San Francisco (centered around Portsmouth Square) by a two mile wooden plank road (later paved and renamed Mission Street).
The lands around the nearly abandoned mission church became a focal point of raffish attractions including bull and bear fighting, horse racing, baseball and dueling. A famous beer parlor resort known as The Willows was located along Mission Creek just south of 18th Street between Mission Street and San Carlos Street. From 1865 to 1891 a large conservatory and zoo known as Woodward’s Gardens was located along the west side of Mission Street between 13th and 15th Streets. In the decades after the Gold Rush, the town of San Francisco quickly expanded, and the Mission lands were developed and subdivided into housing plots for working class immigrants, largely German, Irish and Italian, and also for industrial uses.
As the city grew in the decades following the Gold Rush, the Mission District became home to the first professional baseball stadium in California, opened in 1868 and known asRecreation Grounds seating 17,000 people which was located at Folsom and 25th Streets, a portion of the grounds remain as present day Garfield Square. Also, in the 20th century, the Mission District was home to two other baseball stadiums, Recreation Park located at 14th and Valencia and Seals Stadium located at 16th and Bryant with both these stadiums being used by the baseball team named after the Mission District known as the Mission Reds and the San Francisco Seals.
During European settlement of the City in the 19th and 20th century, large numbers of Irish and German immigrant workers moved into the area. Development and settlement intensified after the 1906 earthquake, as many displaced businesses and residents moved into the area, making Mission Street a major commercial thoroughfare. In 1926, the Polish Community of San Francisco converted a church on 22nd Street and Shotwell Street and opened its doors as the Polish Club of San Francisco, referred to today as the “Dom Polski”, or Polish Home. The Irish American community made their mark during this time, with notable people like etymologist Peter Tamony calling the Mission home. During the 1940-1960s, large numbers ofMexican immigrants moved into the area, initiating white flight, giving the Mission the Latin character it is known for today. During the 1980s and into the 1990s, the neighborhood received a higher influx of immigrants and refugees from Central and South America fleeing civil wars and political instability at the time. These immigrants brought in many Central American banks and companies which would set up branches, offices, and regional headquarters on Mission Street.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Valencia Street corridor had a lively punk night life with several clubs including The Offensive, The Deaf Club and Valencia Tool & Die and the former fire station on 16th Street, called the Compound, sported what was commonly referred to as “the punk mall”, an establishment that catered to punk style and culture. On South Van Ness, Target Video and Damage Magazine were located in a three-story warehouse. The neighborhood was dubbed “the New Bohemia” by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1995.
Since at least the 1980s, a wave of gang affiliation appeared in the Mission. Branches of the Sureño and Norteño gangs settled in and engaged in criminal activities and open violence over territorial boundaries in the neighborhood, northwest and southeast respectively. Also, the notorious international gang MS-13 who was originated in LA,become active at the time. Although during the late 1990s and into the 2000s gang prevention programs, including a 2007 injunction, have attempted to reduce the associated violence from these gangs, these kind of activities still continue to be a persistent problem for the neighborhood, resulting in uncomfortable socio-economic overlaps of a neighborhood in transition.
Following that decade in the late 1990s and into the 2010s, and especially during the dot-com boom, young urban professionals, to twentysomethings and thirtysomethings living thehipster lifestyle moved into the area, initiating gentrification, and raising rent and housing prices, with a number of Latino middle-class families as well as artists moving to the Outer Mission area, or out of the city entirely to the suburbs of East Bay and South Bay area. Despite rising rent and housing prices, many Mexican and Central American immigrants continue to reside in the Mission, although the neighborhood’s high rents and home prices have led to the Latino population dropping by 20% over the last decade. Most recently, the Mission has a reputation of being edgy and artsy.
Landmarks and Features
Street Murals and paintings of Latin American culture by local artists are a common feature and attraction.
There are even a couple very coveted works by Banksy in the Mission valued in the tens of thousands.
Murals of some size adorn almost every block in The Mission. Usually the murals are not tagged by local graffiti artists.
The Mission District’s annual Day of the Dead celebration is not to be missed, Garfield Square. This nighttime parade and celebration now attracts thousands, if not tens of thousands of participants.
The “hot-spot” to be right now in the ‘Mish’ is Dolores Park where mostly young hipsters and members of the gay community congregate to enjoy this beautiful Park. People here are socially and culturally expressing themselves creatively in different ways through clothing, sexuality, politics, music, art, bikes, hair, even shoes. Some of the “hot” things in right now in Dolores are…..
On a beautiful day in Dolores, musicians come together to jam on the bongos and guitar. Local bands sometimes set up their sets and rock out for people to enjoy. Up on “Gay Beach” where most of the gay community likes to congregate, DJ’s set up tables where they spin house and electronic music, getting everyone in the party groove. Down on “Hipster Hill” the Capoeiera Brazilian Martial Arts crew is usually playing their instruments while players kick, jump, and pull out cool break-dancing moves.
Most hipsters in Dolores are avid listeners and blog followers of Indie-Rock bands and the latest hype around Electronic music. Here is some of the music that people here enjoy-
-The Morning Benders
-Kings of Leon
The Mission’s nightlife is alive and full of an eclectic mix of music and local IPA brews. Some of the most popular bars to hit up while visiting are the Elbo Room, Beauty Bar, Thieves Tavern, Delerium, El Rio, The Knockout-real hipsters out here…Some other classic Mission bars-
Mission Hipster Fashion
Here are some of the most popular fashions that are alive in The Mission-
-Skinny and tight jean
-Scruffy hairdues and long mustaches on guys
-Girls with edgy bangs, hair usually long and dark or bleach blonde, very ‘Mod’
-Chrome messenger bag
Although gentrification during the 1990s and 2000s shifted the demographics and culture of the neighborhood, to account for a large younger, more White American, the Mission remains the cultural nexus and epicenter of San Francisco’s, and to a lesser extent, the Bay Area’s Latino, Chicano, Nicaraguan Salvadorian and Guatemalan community. While Mexican, Salvadorian, and other Latin American businesses are pervasive throughout the neighborhood, residences are not evenly distributed. Most of the neighborhood’s Hispanic residents live on the eastern and southern sides. The western and northern sides of the neighborhood are more affluent and less diverse.
The Mission district is also famous and influential for its restaurants. Dozens of Taquerías are located throughout the neighborhood, showcasing a localized styling of Mexican food and is the original home of the San Francisco burrito.There are also a high concentration of Salvadorean, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, restaurants there as well as a large number of street food vendors. In the last couple decades a number of high caliber of multi-ethnic specialty restaurants have gained national attention, most notably the Michelin two-star rated French restaurant Sai’son on Folsom Street. A large number of other restaurants are also popular, including: Mission Chinese Food and Foreign Cinema on Mission Street, Delfina on 18th and Alma, the Slated Door and Luna Park on Valencia.
Due to the existing cultural attractions, less expensive housing and commercial space, and the high density of restaurants and drinking establishments, the Mission is a magnet for young people. An independent arts community also arose and, since the 1990s, the area has been home to the Mission School art movement. Many studios, galleries, performance spaces, and public art projects are located in the Mission, including the Project Artaud, First Exposures, Southern Exposure, Art Explosion Studios, Artist Xchange, Artists’ Television Access, and the oldest, alternative, not-for profit art space in the city of San Francisco, Intersection for the Arts. The Roxie Theater, the oldest continuously-operating movie theater in San Francisco, is host to repertory and independent films as well as local film festivals. Poets, musicians, emcees, and other artists sometimes gather on the southwest corner of the 16th & Mission intersection to perform.
Numerous Latino artistic and cultural institutions are based in the Mission. The Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts, established by Latino artists and activists, is an art space. The local bilingual newspaper, El Tecolote, was founded in 1970. The Mission’s Galería de la Raza, founded by local artists active in el Movimiento (the Chicano civil rights moment), is a nationally recognized arts organization. Late May, the city’s annual Carnaval festival and parade marches down Mission Street. Meant to mimic the festival in Rio de Janeiro, it is held in late May instead of the traditional late February to take advantage of better weather.
Some well-known artists associated with the Mission District include:
- Ricardo Gouveia (a.k.a. “Rigo 23”, painter, sculptor, and muralist)
- Chris Johanson (painter and street artist)
- Xiani Yngojo-Wang (painter, sculptor, and visionary)
- Eth-Noh-Tec, Kinetic Story Theater Eth-Noh-Tec (storytelling kinetic theater)
- Margaret Kilgallen (painter, printmaker, and graffiti artist)
- Barry McGee (a.k.a. “Twist”, painter and graffiti artist)
- Ruby Neri (painter, sculptor, and graffiti artist)
- Michael V. Rios (painter, designer, and muralist)
- Xavier Viramontes (printmaker)
- Scott Williams
- Craig Baldwin (filmmaker, archivist, curator)
- Dori Seda (cartoonist, painter)
- Laurie Toby Edison (photographer)
- Dan Plasma (muralist)
- Whittles Graham (curator and street performer)
- The Hooks (Rock’n’Roll Group)
- Carlos Loarca (painter, muralist)
- Pico Sanchez (painter, printmaker)
The Mission is rich in musical groups and performances. Roving Mariachi bands play in restaurants throughout the district, especially in the restaurants congregated around Valencia and Mission in the northeast portion of the district. Carlos Santanaspent his teenage years in the Mission, graduating from Mission High School in 1965. He has often returned to the neighborhood, including for a live concert with his band Santana that was recorded in 1969, and for the KQEDdocumentary “The Mission” filmed in 1994.
Classical music is heard in the concert hall of the Community Music Center on Capp Street.
Elbo Room, a bar/live music venue on Valencia Street, is home to Dub Mission, a weekly reggae/dub party started in 1996 byDJ Sep and over the years has brought many luminaries of reggae and dub music to perform there.
The Mission District is also very popular for its influencing Hip-Hop/Rap music scene. Record labels like Black N Brown/ Thizz Latin and Hometeam Ent. help put Mission District rappers, like Goldtoes, mousie, Gangsta Flea, Mr. Kee, Friscasso, 10sion, The Goodfelonz, and Don Louis & Colicious, get exposure through various compilations such as 17 Reasons, 18 Wit A Bullet, Organized Crime, Filthy Livin’ In The Mission, The Daily Grind ‘Fillmoe 2 Da Mission,’ and many others. There is a new generation of young and upcoming rappers who are emerging from this neighborhood such as G-One (R.I.P.), Los Da Rockstar, DJ Blaze, Rob Baysicc, Loco C, Young Mix and Yung Dunn to name a few.
Some other prominent musicians and musical personalities include:
- Luscious Jackson (alternative rock)
- Los Mocosos (cutting-edge salsa)
- Faith No More (alternative rock)
- Cesar Ascarrunz (Salsa pianist, impresario, politician, owner of the late Cesar’s Latin Palace dance club)
- The Looters
- Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express (alternative rock)
- Beck (alternative rock)
- Jawbreaker (alternative rock)
Festivals, Parades and Street Fairs
- Carnival The major event of the year occurring each Memorial Day weekend is the Mission’s Carnaval celebration.
- 24th Street Fair In March of each year a street fair is held along the 24th Street corridor.
- San Francisco Food Fair Annually, for several years recently, food trucks and vendor booths have sold food to tens of thousands of people along Folsom Street adjacent to La Cochina on the third weekend in September.
- Cesar Chavez Holiday Parade The second weekend of April is marked by a parade and celebration along 24th Street in honor of Cesar Chavez.
- Transgender and Dyke Marches. On the Fridays and Saturdays of the fourth weekend of June there are major celebrations of the Transgender and Dyke communities located at Dolores Park, followed by a march in the evenings along 18th Streets and Valencia Streets.
- Sunday Streets Twice each year, typically in May and October, Valencia, Harrision and 24th Streets are closed to automobile traffic and opened to pedestrians and bicyclists on Sunday as part of the Sunday Streets program.
- Day of the Dead Each year on November 2, a memorial procession and celebration of the dead occurs on Harrison and 24th Street with a gathering of memorials in Garfield Square.
- First Friday Monthly on the evening of the first Friday, a food and art crawl including a procession of low rider car clubs and samba dancers occurs along 24th Street from Potrero to Mission Streets.
- Open Studios On the first weekend of October, the ArtSpan organization arranges a district wide exhibit of Mission District artists studios.
- Hunky Jesus Contest Annually for 32 years on Easter Sunday the Sister’s of Perpetual Indulgence hold an Easter Sunday celebration including a Hunky Jesus Contest in Dolores Park.
- Rock Make Street Festival Annually for four years the Rock Make organization sponsors a music and arts festival in September on Treat and 18th Streets in the Mission.
- LitCrawl Annually on the third Saturday of October as part of the LitQuake, a literature festival, hundreds of book and poetry readings are held at bars and bookstores throughout the Mission.
- Party on Block 18 The Woman’s Building organization annually, typically in August, has held a street party on 18th Street between Valencia and Guerrero streets.
- Clarion Alley Block Party Eleven years annually, a block party on the Clarion mural alley, fourth weekend in October.
- Remembering 1906 Annually for 105 years there has been a gathering and ceremonial gold repainting ceremony of the fire hydrant located at Church and 20th streets in honor of the only working fire hydrant that allowed the cessation of the fire following the 1906 earth quake.
The neighborhood is served by the BART rail system with stations on Mission Street at 16th Street and 24th Street, by Munibus numbers 9, 12, 14, 14L, 22, 27, 33, 48, 49, 67, and along the western edge by the J Church Muni Metro line, which runs down Church Street and San Jose Avenue.
- 826 Valencia
- Intersection for the Arts
- Southern Exposure (art space)
- Precita Eyes – Mission Mural Project
- Garfield Square – Popular soccer field, swimming pool, playground and annual Day of the Dead shrines.
- Tartine – local bakery
- The Deaf Club
- San Francisco Burrito
- The Redstone Building
- Dolores Park (includes list of neighborhood associations)