Balmy Alley and 24th Streets. Photo by Mike Schuller.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! There’s a million and one ways to celebrate, and we have some ideas how. Vamanos!

Neighborhood Notes

First off is an old-school community discussion. The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts is hosting a community meeting with Supervisor Hillary Ronen on Wednesday, May 11, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Some of the city’s top officials in homelessness and public works, as well as District Attorney Chesa Boudin, will be in attendance to discuss street conditions. Make sure to grab a seat at 2868 Mission St., or tune in to the livestream on Facebook. Space is limited, so RSVP early!

Xanath Ice Cream on Valencia Street is not permanently closed, we repeat, not permanently closed. We called the owner, Juan San Mames, who confirmed that the shop aims to open by month’s end, or by the start of June. The store shuttered temporarily in January because of workers getting Covid-19, and promised to reopen by spring, a letter on the door states. But San Mames, who’s in his 70s, isn’t quite ready to invite workers in yet with the virus spreading around. 

826 Valencia, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching youth the joys of writing, turns 20! Next year, we’ll buy their staff a shot. To commemorate the big 2-0, 826 is featuring student work from the last two decades every Thursday. Check it out on their Instagram. I especially enjoyed Lucie’s poem “The Half-Truth.” If only someone would have edited my poems at 17…

FYI, Medi-Cal has opened enrollment for undocumented persons 50 or older. Contact the San Francisco Human Services Agency here to get more information.

And, permit rules are changing for vendors selling merchandise on the street. If you need help figuring out how to secure the right permits, contact the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District at (415) 658-7930.

What to do today

Cinco de Mayo

If you’re looking for some local Cinco de Mayo deals for today, I have a few that got some deals. Ready? Okay. And no, it’s not Mexican independence day. Al Pastor Papi, the food truck, has a great recap of the holiday’s significance on its Instagram for you history geeks. 

Dying Breed SF

Dying Breed SF, GIFT2GAB and GOALASO Brand dropped a dope new Mexico 1978 World Cup Away Jersey. It’s fully stocked, but has limited online preorders that open at 9 p.m. tonight. Set your alarms. 

Teeth SF

Gotta have some deals, no? For Cinco de Mayo, Teeth offers a $5 house tequila and $5 draft Tecate all day. Grab some Baja fish tacos, carne asada fries, and super nachos as well. Visit Teeth at 2323 Mission St., open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

New vax hours, who dis?

The Latino Task Force are changing hours for Covid-19 testing and vaccine sites, effective today. Grab your free tests at the Hub at 701 Alabama St. on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Excelsior site at 20 Norton St. on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and 24th and Capp streets Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. 

Free vaccines are at the Alabama Hub Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Excelsior site Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Fridays noon to 5:30 p.m., and at 24th and Capp Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Lookin’ to the weekend

Calle Limpia, Corazón Contento 

It’s just awesome that there’s been a giant party on 24th Street for the last few months, no? Well, this time the party is Calle Limpia, Corazón Contento, and it’s hosted by the usual suspects: Calle 24 Latino Cultural District and muralist Lucía González Ippolito.

Not only will there be vendors along Balmy Alley selling handmade art and goods, but Calle 24 will mobilize a trash cleanup. Some fan favorites who’ll be there include Hella Paisa, Mission Native, Emaculate Livin’, La Bahia Clothing and so much more! Check out micro-murals that will be painted all up and down 24th Street, and expect music and DJs on every corner. 

Join the party from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry Con 

Powerpuff poetry, raffles, queer dance parties??? That sounds like an absolute dream. Your fave queer and female owned comic store, Sour Cherry Comics, announces Sour Cherry Con. The two-day event on May 7 and 8 includes all the fun activities, as well as a scavenger hunt and a drag show held at Milk SF on Valencia Street. Talk about the ultimate crossover!

Check out Sour Cherry Comics for a play-by-play of the schedule. The store is located at 3187 16th St., and is open outside of Sour Cherry Con to sell you some cool comic books. 

Cuicacalli Festival

The annual Cuicacalli Festival is here this weekend, and promises another weekend full of music and dance. Watch “México Lindo y Querido,” a ballet folklórico that takes you though African, indigenous, and European beats and dance moves. Feels like I’m in México already! And, for an extra treat, live music will be performed by Mariachi Juvenil La Mision, a youth mariachi group run through Brava Theater. 

Come through to Brava Theater on 24th Street near York Street to watch. Buy tickets here for Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. or Saturday, March 7, at 7 p.m.

Know a young person who might want to learn mariachi? Have them enroll here.  

While we’re on the topic: If you’re looking for a job at Brava Theater, they hiring part-time event staff, including house managers, box office agents, and concessionaires. Visit the website for more info, and send a resume and brief statement of interest to Break a leg!

Mark your calendars

Got Pride? Call Milk SF.

For this year’s Pride Month, scoot on over to Milk SF and join the lovely crew for some queer programming. The cafe not only turns a year old soon (woo!), but will do so amid San Francisco’s long-awaited return to in-person Pride. Milk SF is searching for community events to host during June, and is taking submissions for pretty much anything: Singing, dancing, performance art. Queer people of color will be prioritized and, FYI, there will be no alcohol or other substances allowed. If interested, send a direct message to Milk SF on its Instagram

Until then, come see some shows, like the Nip Slip Comedy on May 15 and Queer Bedtime Stories on May 19. All ages welcome. 

‘Cabaret’ at the Roxie 

It’s like a pick-your-own adventure, but for cool, historic theaters. Roxie Theater is hosting a first-ever Roxie Members’ Movie Pick showing on May 14, and just in time for their 50th anniversary. The flick is … drum roll, please … “Cabaret,” starring the one and only Liza Minnelli. Grab your tickets here. Showing is at 6:40 p.m.; don’t be late!

The Roxie Theater is located at 3117 16th St., near Guerrero Street. Contact 415-863-1087 for more information. 

Get Involved

Polish that resume

Need an internship for this summer? (Or know a youth who wants one?) The Latino Task Force has opened applications for its internship program, which runs June 13 to Aug. 12. It’s open to young adults ages 18 to 24, and applicants must be fully vaccinated and prepared to work in person. Head to the link in the bio of the Latino Task Force’s Instagram page (here) to apply. 

Sunday Streets meets volunteers

Did you know that San Francisco is hosting “Sunday Streets,” where a certain street in a historic neighborhood “reclaims” one to four miles of street from the cars to host a fun lineup of community events and music? Valencia Street is going to have one on July 10, hell yeah! But to keep awesome programs, you need to work awesome programs, and this one needs some volunteers, A$AP, Rocky. You could be a route rabbit and fix barricades along the route, you can break down tents and tables, you can be a crossing guard, or you could have an “accessible mystery shift” to fill outreach at your own pace. Ah, the intrigue. 

Visit and click on the volunteer page if any of these catch your fancy. 

Follow Us

REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

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  1. Annika Hom: You did manage to comment on what Cinco de Mayo isn’t (Independence Day), but you never explained what it IS. If I treated your cultures celebrations as off hand and devil-may-care you would have a right to protest. CINCO de MAYO is an Anti-Imperialist Celebration, and if you don’t know that is, read up on it, and don’t forget it.