Excelsior Street Festival (San Francisco)

On Sunday, October 5, 2008, I drove to the city for a street festival in a neighborhood I'd never previously visited. As it turned out, the neighborhood was a pretty normal low-income SF neighborhood, filled mostly with Mexican and Chinese immigrants, though judging by the street names (e.g., France, Moscow, Geneva), the neighborhood must've been previously occupied by European immigrants. Sadly, the stores don't reflect this heritage.

The fair itself was tiny and dominated by political and community organizations. I saw many stands for candidates for local city government positions, a few for state positions, and some for various ballot measures. (I got practice saying I don't live or vote in the city.) There were also stands for city departments (building inspection, public works, police), for business groups (e.g., the local development association), and for local community groups (e.g., parks, schools, community center, YMCA).

As for things to see, there were ten stands selling kitsch like beads, cheap jewelry, and sunglasses. No art.

A decent jazz band played to an empty parking lot. Sad. That was the only musical stage I saw.

Next to the kids' zone (bouncy castle and all), was a mat where adults wearing big puffy suits wrestled. It looked like fun.

The one food booth sold hot dogs.

After the twenty minutes it took me to see everything, I left, grabbed food in the neighborhood, and headed home. Given the festival's size, it's no wonder the street fair people didn't bother to put together a web page for the festival this year.

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