Last night was La Dia de Los Muertos here in San Francisco… An estimated 15,000 people took part in the procession, which started at 7pm in the outer mission.. I joined up with Max, Nancy and Pang there. Pang’s friend Siouxsie is one of the organizers of the event, and one of the neat things is that a lot of it sounds relatively organic… I didn’t really see any promotional things about it, it just kind of gets known through word of mouth, including a lot of the bands and people that attend the events..
The procession was an assorted group of people, about half of which were dressed in some sort of skeleton-like or ghoulish costume.. This was very much the opposite of the festivities in the Castro a few nights before.. No hordes of stupid drunk people at all.. kind of nice. Lots of people were holding lit candles, giving the procession a kind of somber, yet celebratory feel to it. Nobody seemed to really know the route that we were supposed to take, but eventually we happened upon Garfield park in the outer mission, where Siouxsie and her crew had set up a bunch of altars..
But.. before going to see the altars, we took a little detour and walked through Balmy Ave, which was right there.. I’ve lived here for eight years now and I’ve heard about the murals in the Mission, but I’ve never seen them.. They’re sooo cool. I’m sure seeing them at night is a completely different experience, but being lit only by the streetlights (and the headlights of a passing SFPD car) was kind of cool too.. Jet (who I still have a box of beignet mix from NOLA for) has a mural on the avenue, so we got to see that..
Anyway.. after wandering on Balmy for a bit, we did make our way back to Garfield park.
It was a cool, but not cold evening in SF with clouds looming in the sky (the weatherman predicted rain, but was wrong, thankfully.. aj thinks that SF weathermen are slackers, but that’s a whole other story). There were numerous altars set up all over the park with all sorts of different themes. Wandering around in the dark looking for art amongst costumed folks listening to drums in the distance evoked comparisons to burningman-like feelings, so that was kind of nice.. There was an altar made entirely of rusted guns (obvious political statement), another where you could dress up in macabre costumes and lie in a coffin, and then this really cool one under a huge tree with suitcases full of paper cranes and other assorted things..
I took a whole bunch of pictures, so look at them here, but keep in mind that it’s really dark, and I don’t like using the flash.