A car honks, another one’s tire screeches, people scrambling past each other with groceries in hand, and a pigeon nosedives right past me.

It’s just another day in the Mission. This one is a little gloominous though; with its overcast sky and a blurry sun in the far distance.

I took a stroll down Mission Street and happened to count 10 vacancies – I didn’t include the ancient theatres lying idle, what’s up with that anyway?

But Mission Street being the epicenter for cell phones, payday loans, and food, of course it’s no surprise that two of these vacancies will soon be filled with urban, contemporary renditions of ethnic gastronomy: Japanese street/festival food to go and Mexican a la organic/vegan.

Nombe, located at 2491 Mission St. near 21st will be open for dinner as of Nov. 18th. In living up to it’s name – which in Japanese vernacular refers to someone who likes to drink – the restaurant will offer 70 different kinds of sake. The construction workers of the upcoming Gracias Madre on Mission Street near 19th were confident that this restaurant’s doors will open in the next four weeks.

It looks like small businesses, nationwide, are leading the way in revitalizing their local economies. According to the New York Times, the net profit of small businesses has increased 6.5 percent. That, and women are being recognized for their contributions as well. A report released by the Center for Women’s Business Research found that 28 percent of businesses are women-owned and create 16 percent of all jobs in industries like retail, health care, business services, and personal services.

On the personal services front, La Colectiva, a worker-run collective of immigrant women in San Francisco, recently launched a media campaign to improve the working conditions of household workers. Today at noon they will campaign and march to the Day Labor Program Offices on Cesar Chavez Street and begin their efforts to show that women’s work is an integral part of the economy.

And before I concluded my walk on Mission Street another pigeon sidelined me! A blessing in disguise because I came across the talking mural on 23rd Street at Mission. La Lucha or The Struggle Continues features 38 influential leaders and activists, whose voices you can hear through a phone system compliments of the Freedom Archives, which just so happens to be celebrating its 10th year anniversary tonight. It has amassed 8,000 hours of audio and videotapes documenting progressive movements since the 1960s.

That’s a good enough reason to party on a Wednesday.

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Housing, property, and space in general are prized commodities, especially in San Francisco. Nancy López gets to cover the stories that inevitably grow out of the cracks in the vacant storefronts, aging buildings and limited affordable housing - to name a few of the issues - found throughout the Mission District. She welcomes any story ideas readers may have.

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