Mississippi Masala. Photo courtesy of the Roxie Theater.

In case you, like me, felt like the only person who couldn’t make it to the Soapbox Derby last weekend … well, it’s a hard one to get over, but we have plenty more events this coming weekend to soothe the FOMO. 

415 Day

Don’t you love it when holidays fall on a weekend? This Friday, April 15, is 415 day, and the neighborhood has some events to celebrate our favorite area code that you won’t want to miss. 

  • Treat Street Cocktails, at the old Blind Cat location at 24th and Treat, will have tacos from Fishin in the Mission, new items from Dying Breed, and music by DJ B1. And cocktails, of course. The festivities will kick off at 4 p.m. 
  • At District Six, near 11th and Bryant streets, Empire and FTC are hosting their own 415 day party, with performances by RBL Posse, Showbanga & Ronski, Prezi, and Stunnaman02. There will be lowriders, live screenprinting of local artists’ designs on 100 shirts, and food and drink vendors. The show starts at 2 p.m. and goes to 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here or at the door. 
  • At 1435 San Bruno Ave., next to La Raza park, Hella Paisa, Hyphy Iceez and others bring you the second annual Oowap Popup from 2 to 8 p.m. There will be live performances from local artists, including a danza Azteca ceremony, plus the chance to get all your Frisco gear from local vendors. 
  • There’s another party at City Station, at Valencia and 18th streets, in case you haven’t had enough. From 6 to 9 p.m. there will be rappers rapping, and the Vegan Hood Chefs slinging tasty treats. 

Salon reading 

Also on Friday is a kickoff reading in the Writers Grotto’s “Reading and Meeting” Salon series.

After the readings, stick around for a happy hour with refreshments, appetizers, and mingling. The event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Writers Grotto office at 1663 Mission St near Duboce Street. For details and to RSVP, click here.

Cherry Blossom Festival 

Even though the relentless cold, wind and rain might make it seem otherwise, it’s technically spring. Seeing the Japantown cherry blossoms in full bloom might make it feel a bit more real, and this weekend is the second and final weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival, hosted at and around the Japantown Peace Plaza, at Polk and Buchanan streets. 

For details on the festivities both Saturday and Sunday, click here

Bring Your Own Big Wheel race

It’s like the Soapbox Derby, but different! This Sunday, Bring Your Own Big Wheel is finally back for the first time since the pandemic. Judging by all the wipeout videos from last week’s races, I know you all love watching grown adults roll or tumble down a hill just as much as I do. So prepare your tricycle and head to Potrero Hill. 

The games begin at 20th and Vermont streets at 2 p.m. on April 17. If you want to take a spin yourself, get the details to sign up here. Kids will also have their own hour to get in on the fun. A $10 to $20 donation is suggested to ride. 

Hunky Jesus returns 

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are getting back to their old habits and resurrecting Easter in the park this Sunday, April 17, complete with Peaches Christ emceeing drag entertainment, an Easter Bonnet contest, and a Foxy Mary contest. 

The 43rd anniversary celebration at Dolores Park will culminate in a truly religious experience: the Hunky Jesus contest at 3 p.m. Anyone can dress up and compete in the contests. 

Earlier in the day, the sisters will host a kids’ Easter party with an Easter egg hunt and story time from 10 a.m. to noon. 

They promise miracles, but in case it rains, click here for updates and event details. Check out our video footage from a past Hunky Jesus contest here

Climate Action Month 

April is San Francisco’s Climate Action Month, and don’t worry if you missed the first half: The Department of the Environment has a whole slew of events for you to choose from over the next couple of weeks. 

  • If you’re a plant hoarder like me, you’ll want to check out the plant swap at the Sunset branch of the public library, at 18th Ave. and Irving Street. The idea is, you give some and you get some. Show up on Saturday, April 16, between 10:30 a.m. and noon. 
  • Wild Forest Exhibit opens April 16. 
  • Alemany Farms is hosting a native plant volunteer day on Sunday, April 17. Learn how to take care of California’s native species. For details, click here
  • Next week is Bike and Roll to school week. For details on school celebrations and the art contest, click here

Shuggie’s pizza

You may have noticed the bright green and yellow edifice sticking out like a sore thumb at 23rd and Bartlett streets, where Velvet Cantina used to be. The founders of Ugly Pickle Co. are bringing their pickle vibes and expertise in fighting food waste to the neighborhood with their latest venture: Shuggie’s Trash Pie & Natural Wine.

When the restaurant opens Tuesday after months of delays, Shuggie’s plans to use irregular or surplus produce, food manufacturing byproducts, and meat offcuts on their pizzas, in an effort to combat climate change. And what goes better with pizza than wine? The restaurant will also double as a wine bodega that will offer wine club memberships.

In line with their philosophy, the owners — a former chef with Whitechapel and Uchi, and a former CUESA employee hailing from farmer lineage — say they thrifted, repurposed or hand-built most of their “trashy glam” interior decor.

Osito 

Bear with me on this one: Osito has opened its doors at 2875 18th St. near Florida Street and is serving up plates at $295 a pop. They have reservations for their live fire tasting menu featuring California cuisine available for the next month. If you can afford it, let us know how it is. 

Voting by April 19

We like to vote a lot in San Francisco, and with this year’s lineup of ballots, you don’t want to miss anything. 

By Tuesday, April 19, be sure to mail in or drop off your ballots with your vote for the District 17 Assembly Race. This time we’re choosing between Supervisor Matt Haney and former Supervisor David Campos, one of whom will represent the east half of San Francisco in Sacramento. 

Mississippi Masala 

A new, 4K digital restoration of “Mississippi Masala” opens May 6 at the Roxie Theater at 16th Street near Valencia Street. The 1991 film, starring Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury and directed by Mira Nair, blends the cultures of India, Uganda and the American South, and explores the interracial dynamics of minority groups during the 1970s. 

This romance between an Indian refugee from Uganda and a Black carpet cleaner is the best kind of rom-com: Funny and sweet, but also takes on real-life issues.

Get your tickets for the first weekend of May here.

Job opportunities 

New Door Ventures is hiring 16-24 year olds who have faced employment barriers, have limited work history, and are low-income. The pay is $18 per hour for a part-time gig of 15 hours a week. The application deadline is coming up on May 4. Click here for details. 

Interested in tech? Applications are also open for Techtonica’s July, 2022, cohort. This is a full-time software engineering program offering free JavaScript training, stipends, laptops, and job placement. Low-income women and nonbinary adults are encouraged to apply. The deadline is April 18, click here for details. 

Art at the Drawing Room

On Friday, the Drawing Room, on Valencia Street between 18th and 19th streets, will host a dance party by the Fingersnaps Media Arts DJ studio from 7 to 10 p.m. Both the young and the young at heart are welcome. 

The Drawing Room’s last Artists in Conversation session will be on Tuesday, April 19 from 4 to 6:30pm. Speakers will include Andrea Bergen, Ana Rivero-Rossi, Harumo Sato, Ella Noe, Tammy Zo-Pollard, Virdell Vondalla, Kate Razo and founder Renée DeCarlo. 

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REPORTER. Eleni is our reporter focused on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim nearly 10 years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

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