The recent omicron surge has made for an inauspicious start to the new year, with many of us isolating and several businesses in the neighborhood temporarily closing due to illness.

But, with the long Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend fast approaching, there is still plenty going on in and around the Mission. Take a look at what’s happening in your neighborhood.

Business closures

A number of local businesses have been closing up shop recently for both Covid-19 and non-covid reasons. Here are the ones we have heard about. Please let us know of any other closures in the comments.

  • Arizmendi Bakery, the worker-owned pizzeria and bakery at 24th and Valencia streets, is closed until Jan. 19 due to staff shortages.
  • Boogaloos, the breakfast and lunch restaurant at 22nd and Valencia streets, is currently closed due to covid, but is planning to reopen on Friday, Jan. 14.
  • Xanath, the ice cream shop on Valencia Street, is closed due to the covid surge. It is planning to reopen on Jan. 31.
  • Craftsman & Wolves, the pâtisserie on Valencia Street, is temporarily closed for staff covid testing.
  • Flour & Water Pizzeria on Valencia Street is currently closed due to covid. It is planning to reopen on Monday, Jan. 17.
  • Café de Olla at 19th and Mission streets has reduced its hours, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., due to covid. Updates will be posted on its Instagram account.
  • Mau, the Vietnamese restaurant at Valencia and 18th streets, has closed and is moving to the East Cut some time early 2022. In the meantime, its food can be ordered online.
  • El Capitan Taqueria at 14th and Guerrero streets opened in early 2020. As of this week, it has permanently closed. The El Capitan Taqueria at 8th and Folsom streets is still open. 
  • ABC Locksmith at 18th and Mission streets is currently closed due to non-covid illness.

Covid resources

Image courtesy of DataSF. Map is available here.

Wait times at many San Francisco testing centers have increased, and there has been a spike in isolations due to omicron. With that in mind, here are some helpful resources for those who need a test or find themselves stuck at home.

Martin Luther King, Jr., celebrations

Despite the upsurge in omicron, there are still plenty of celebrations planned for the long weekend, including remote and outdoor events. Here are some highlights to look out for over the next few days.

‘Celebration of Freedom’ at the Herbst Theatre

Image courtesy of NorcalMLK.

The celebrations start tonight! At 7 p.m., the Herbst Theatre on Van Ness Avenue is hosting a new show: “The MLK Celebration of Freedom, Civil Rights, and Social Justice.” The show will feature music from gospel singer Lena Byrd Miles and soprano Hope Briggs, a spoken word performance from Shawn William, and an inspirational speech from City of Refuge Bishop Yvette Flunder, among other treats.

There are in-person, socially distanced spaces available at the show for 75 lucky attendees. You can register here, but bear in mind that vaccination status will be checked at the door.
If you do not manage to snag a ticket, never fear; the event is being live-streamed over Facebook, so you can still join.

The World House Documentary Film Festival

Image courtesy of the World House Project

From January 14 to 17, Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies is hosting a huge (and free!) virtual film festival to celebrate the legacy of MLK. Their program includes the documentaryI Am MLK Jr.,” 1960s activist film “Black Panther,” and 2010’s historical documentary “Freedom Riders.”

The multi-day festival will also feature musical performances, interviews and panel discussions. You can sign up to the event here to see a full program and learn how to access the webinars.

2022 King and Faith Symposium

Image courtesy of NorcalMLK

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15, a smörgåsbord of scholars will meet to discuss the theme of justice across different faiths and religious traditions. The panel will take questions from the public and talk about MLK’s legacy.

The event is going to be streamed virtually; sign up here to make sure you get the link. A full list of the scholars taking part can be found here.

The Black Comix Arts Festival

Image courtesy of NorcalMLK

Once voted one of the top ten art festivals in the US, The Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) is back this Sunday at 1 p.m. There will be a number of panels featuring comic book artists and writers streaming for free on the BCAF website.

A separate showcase from BCAF will be kicking off at 11 a.m. on Monday. You can subscribe for updates on their website to make sure you don’t miss any events.

Postponed MLK events

Unfortunately, the MLK march and parade, set to take place on Monday, Jan. 17, has been postponed in light of omicron. It will be held next year instead.

The MLK Music Festival at Yerba Buena Gardens has also been postponed, and is now planned to take place next year.

For a more comprehensive list of MLK weekend events (and to keep an eye on potential cancellations), take a look at NorcalMLK’s events page.

Art in the Mission and nearby

‘There You Go, Wherever You Are’

Image courtesy 111 Minna Gallery

Today at 5 p.m., artist Emily Fromm will be unveiling her new solo exhibition at 111 Minna Gallery. Her artwork will feature spots around San Francisco rendered in her distinctive style, inspired by traditional sign-painting techniques and cartoons.

The show will also include 40 earlier artworks depicting a number of other cities, and postcards and zines featuring Fromm’s previous work will be available to purchase. The exhibition will be open until Feb. 17.

The event is both in person and online. Register here to stream.

IROT showcase at Rossi

Artwork by IROT.

On Friday, a new series of artworks by Native American street artist IROT will be unveiled at Rossi, the gallery and apparel store on 19th and Valencia St. No booking is required.

Ian Robertson-Salt’s ‘Nine To Five’

“Check Engine Light” by Ian Roberston-Salt. Image courtesy Voss Gallery.

Voss Gallery, at 24th and Bartlett streets, kicked off 2022 in style with a new exhibition from painter, muralist and tattooist Ian Robertson-Salt. The exhibition features the contemporary urban landscape and explores the relationship between society and nature.

The exhibition is on display until Feb. 5. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, or by special appointment.

More events and goings-on

Speed limits lowered in SF business corridors

Today, the Mayor‘s Office announced that speed limits are being reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph in a number of San Francisco business corridors.

Signs will be put up at the effected corridors starting this week, and implementation of the change will happen over the next few months. They are:

  • 24th Street, from Diamond Street to Chattanooga Street and from Valencia Street to San Bruno Avenue
  • Fillmore Street, from Chestnut Street to Union Street and from Jackson Street to McAllister Street.
  • Haight Street, from Stanyan Street to Central Avenue and from Webster Street to Steiner Street.
  • Polk Street, from Filbert Street to Sutter Street.
  • Ocean Avenue, from Geneva Avenue to Victoria Street and from Junipero Serra Boulevard to 19th Avenue.
  • San Bruno Avenue, from Silver Avenue to Paul Avenue.
  • Valencia Street, from Cesar Chavez Street to Market Street.

Speed reductions in further corridors are likely to be discussed this spring.

San Francisco bike bus

Image courtesy of KidSafeJFK.

The group Kid Safe SF has organized a “bike bus” to travel around the city this Friday, starting from Golden Gate Park. The idea is for children and families to ride their bikes together on their way into school while having fun and keeping healthy.

If you would like to take part, you can fill out your information here to allow the organizers to figure out routes and timings.

Grow your own food workshop

Image courtesy of Garden for the Environment.

Now that the sun is shining again, you may well be itching to get back into the great, green outdoors. This Saturday at 10 a.m., horticulturist Carey Craddock hosts a workshop all about growing your own food. There will be an emphasis on soil fertility, weed management and cool-season crops.

Tickets range from $25 to $50 and can be purchased here. The workshop is outdoors and a mask is required for admittance.

School board recall discussion at Manny’s

Image courtesy of Manny’s.

With the school board recall election, scheduled for Feb. 15, heating up, Manny’s is hosting a discussion about the recall at its community space at 16th and Valencia streets.

Commissioner Faauuga Moliga, Vice President of the School Board and one of members on the ballot, and Autumn Looijen, the co-lead of the recall campaign, will both attend. Questions for either attendee can be emailed to tomas@welcometomannys.com in advance.

The event is on Wednesday, Jan. 19. In-person admission is $10, and access via Zoom is available for $5; you can sign up here. For people unable to join due to lack of funds, complimentary tickets are available.

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Will was born in the UK and studied English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism in New York. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

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