Today it’s about all things segregated…but not really.
Case in point: The first time I walked down Clarion Alley from Valencia and stepped into the ripe frenzy of Mission Street, where the demographic completely changes, I felt I had traveled through a time portal.
This is what intrigues me about the Mission District: two worlds juxtaposed.
And maybe it’s the easy access into both that’s most interesting – you can see me meandering between both streets. That, and the art so readily visible wherever you look.
I found myself at Ritual Coffee shop on Valencia Street, enjoying the free internet – but where are the outlets?! – and the photos on display along the walls. A must see! The images show collectives of women in all their colors from countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The photos are courtesy of the International Development Exchange, a San Francisco based non profit that offers grants and resources to grassroots organizations in these locations.
For more eye candy, tonight, Artillery Apparel and Gallery on Mission Street will host an art reception where I imagine more human portraits will be showcased alongside blue and red roses. The featured artists will be Kelli Ryan, Garrett Robinson, Carlos Michael Finn, Amelia Lewis, and Sergio Lopez. And in the spirit of conservation, a community workshop titled “The Paper Rose Project” will also take place promoting a reduce, reuse, recycle logic.
While artists continue to blur the lines in their portrayal of humanity – revealing how boundless we truly are – an estimated 9 million people in the United States identified themselves as being of mixed race. Blended Nation: Portraits and Interviews of Mixed-Race America, a recently published book, tells the story of mixed-race individuals and their experiences living outside the black and white box of American society.
And to show that it’s against our nature to compartmentalize or be compartmentalized, read Justin Juul’s story on how two perceived polar opposites – sports and art – can actually be manifestations of one another.
On an entirely different note and because the foreclosure crisis isn’t yesterday’s news just yet, Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored housing agency, will allow homeowners to rent their foreclosed homes at market rate for a year, which could ameliorate some of the side-effects of this convoluted situation.