Stop! Ask. is a new Mission Loc@l feature that does exactly what it says. We stop when something looks particularly interesting and just ask what the heck is going on.
So I’m walking from home to the office, collecting photos for the Today’s Mission rail, and catch the OPEN sign on 22nd. It’s nice, red, and inside there’s a new coffee bar.
Actually, the Hidden Paradise Cafe isn’t completely new; it used to be tucked inside the Mission Market where no one could see it. Now it has a storefront.
A young man in his 20s stands behind a row of waiting coffee filters, so I start gathering the basics for a short post.
When did it open? Two weeks ago.
What’s your name? Josué.
Your last name? You ask a lot of questions.
Where are you from? Josué’s not happy with me.
I take out some cards, try to relax, and somehow we start talking about an accident he had in 2007. He was painting a sign on the west side of Dolores Park and fell off the ladder. His wrist snapped back against his forearm; it looked like one of those rulers that fold up. Doctors operated for four hours to repair the muscles, and Josue returned to Texas to recuperate.
He’s relaxing. I’m an artist, he says.
Mmmm, I think, the post is getting better. I could take some shots of his art.
Have you done any murals? Yes, but just a few small ones, one is on Hampshire and 24th.
I know that corner well, and now I’m thinking this could be amazing.
What does the mural look like?
He pulls up his arms, raises his elbows back like a bird arching its wings, getting ready to fly, and I see the skater.
“It’s a guy on a skateboard, yellow, black, it’s not really finished so I haven’t signed it,” he explains, but I’m already switching from the iPhone’s note-taker to the Mission history app and opening to a photo of his mural.
It’s one of my favorites. He looks at the photo of it on my phone and beams.