Photo of Clarissa Dyas by RJ Muna

The library returns

In case you missed the story: The public library’s Mission branch will launch to-go service on Saturday out of the Bartlett Street entrance, and a bookmobile parked out front will offer a curated supply of books to browse, courtesy of the Mission Branch team. It’s the first weekend library service the Mission has had in 19 months! 

Changes to South Van Ness 

A virtual open house and public hearing for the South Van Ness lane removal and quickbuild began Wednesday and will continue through Oct. 27. Take a look at the proposed changes on South Van Ness between 14th Street and Cesar Chavez and, if you feel so inclined, provide your feedback. To get started, click here

Mission block party

The first block party we have for you this weekend is Noise Pop’s 20th Street Block Party on Saturday. 

Non-profit marketplace La Cocina will be curating the food, and will bring in delicacies from some of the city’s favorite restaurants, including Mexican, Vietnamese and Nepali cuisine. There will be music from Y La Bamba, Con Brio, L.A. Witch and more, and various vendors will sell their wares. 

Entry is free with an RSVP. The event will be held on 19th and 20th streets between Bryant and Harrison streets. For details, click here

Citywide block parties and cross-city bike route

If you don’t get enough on Saturday, fear not; the city is rising again, like a Phoenix from its ashes. This Sunday is Phoenix Day, a city-wide block party from noon to 5 p.m., hosted by Sunday Streets. 

A few neighborhoods will have an open, car-free thoroughfare with live music, activities, and dance performances. In the Mission, it’s on Valencia Street between 16th and 24th streets. The Valencia corridor block party will be co-hosted by Carnaval San Francisco and will include health, biking, and transit resources. Get the details here

There will also be a couple dozen smaller “neighbor-hosted” block parties going on concurrently: In the Mission, StorefrontLab art gallery is hosting one on Shotwell Street between 17th and 18th streets. Dance performances and classes will be hosted by ODC, La Scuola International School will provide kids’ activities, and there will be a paper-making experience courtesy of Shotwell Paper Mill. If you’d like to help out, get involved here

And if that’s still not enough, you can ride the Cross City Connector Bike Route to visit the block parties around the city, taking the Slow Streets network, car-free Great Highway, and car-free JFK Drive. Take the 20-mile route using the self-guided map, or take a slow ride with company; a group will meet at In Chan Kajaal Park at noon before setting out. For details, click here.  

Moctezuma exhibit

Alley Cat Gallery opened a Moctezuma exhibition on Monday that includes paintings, masks, engravings, Aztec dance, and altars for “los muertos.” The exhibit will extend through Nov. 17, but the opening night event is this Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Public art performance

“Meet Us Quickly With Your Mercy” is the second in a trilogy of public art performances addressing the effects of mass incarceration. Through aerial dance, the series calls for Black and Jewish solidarity to address racism by connecting American slavery and the prison system, antisemitism throughout the 20th century, and white nationalism.  

The free performances will be held outside of the CounterPulse art center at 80 Turk St., with a handful of shows from Thursday through Sunday. Afterward, viewers are welcome to go inside and see a visual art exhibit by artists imprisoned at San Quentin. 

For details on the showing schedule, click here

Neighborhood cleanup 

If you’re looking for a chance to give back to the community and meet some of your neighbors, Manny’s at 16th and Valencia streets is hosting a trash pickup on Sunday morning from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. They will provide all the necessary equipment. Let them know you’ll be coming by signing up here

Not so dead after all

As the arguably best holiday of the year approaches, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) has opened its 35th annual Day of the Dead exhibit, “Ni Tanto Ni Tan Muertos (Neither So Much, Nor So Dead).” 

The exhibit hopes to highlight the feelings of mourning — for those lost during the pandemic and general human fragility — and gratitude for our resilience. There will be altars dedicated to those who passed recently, including visual artist Hung Liu, dancer Anna Halprin, poet Jack Hirschman and visual artist Yolanda Lopez

Manos Creativas, a group of local artists and craftsmen, curated the main altar for the exhibit. They use handcrafting techniques traditionally used in Mexican folk art and apply them to an array of materials.

Check out the exhibit at 2868 Mission St. through Nov. 19. Proof of vaccination will be required to attend. 

Gardeners wanted

You’ve probably heard of Tito’s Vodka, but did you know about their national Block to Block program planting gardens and increasing accessibility to fresh food? 

In San Francisco, they’ve partnered with environmental foundation Urban Sprouts to expand the existing Cleo Nelson Garden and build out two new ones within the city’s largest public housing community in Sunnydale. 

There’s plenty of time to get involved and help out this weekend. Just sign up here, then show up at 1654 Sunnydale Ave. Open slots are from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.  

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Eleni Balakrishnan

Eleni is our reporter focused on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim over eight years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

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