A Drama Talk & Drinks special: The future of SF nightlife

Ignoring The Space Between Windows
[file photo by Ariel]

As a passionate theater and event-goer, Brittany went to a forum on the future of SF’s nightlife amid recent closings due to economic and cultural shifts in the city, as well as neighbor complaints. Here’s her report:

Empty Sign
[file photo by Ariel]

People are moving into cities for a reason. We endure small apartments, high prices and the discomfort of living on top of each other to gain access to the inspiration and entertainment that comes with being surrounded by crazy creative people. Arts and culture are the lifeblood of what makes any city unique, particularly San Francisco.

I review theater here because I want to shine a light on one element of what makes our city so great (even if I don’t always love what I see). So when I heard CMAC (California Music and Culture Association) was hosting a “Supervisor Nightlife and Entertainment Forum” allowing Supervisor candidates to “discuss their visions for the future of nightlife and culture in San Francisco.” I wanted to hear what they had to say.

Something About The Elbo Room
[file photo by Ariel]

With the SF Bay Guardian closing announcement happening earlier in the day, the conversation about what will happen to SF if our arts and culture can’t make the rent seemed more urgent than ever. Which is why it was disconcerting that only three candidates — Supervisor Scott Weiner, Supervisor Jane Kim, and Juan-Antonio Carballo — out of six who were invited to participate even made it to the event.


Carnaval is in trouble

After 35 years of the annual celebration in the Mission, the neighborhood cultural institution is in danger of not happening this year.

[pic by Keoki Seu]

Carnaval Parade San Francisco 2010
[pic by David Yu]

We all know the Mission is changing. Rapidly. It’s annoying to talk about because it seems like it’s the only conversation we can have these days. We’re all part of the change in some way. I know I am, in more ways than one. As we build new traditions and landmarks, and find new ways to celebrate our various cultural heritages (I’m looking at you, midwesterner drinking a PBR in the park) I think it’s worth taking a little time to consider aspects that we love about this neighborhood that we may be losing. I moved to the Mission before I knew what it was, but I fought hard to stay here because of what I discovered. One element that made this neighborhood so desirable and infinitely adventurous to me is that it had such a varied history, and it carried pieces of all times with it. Looking around, block to block, building to building, I could see the marks left by all the different people to come through here. And I felt like there was room for me to leave my mark too.

Carnaval Parade San Francisco 2010
[pic by David Yu]

Cadillac de Carnival
[pic by Todd Lappin]

I could go on, but I’ll spare you this time. All this is just a way to say that for many people, myself included, Carnaval is the Mission. As are burritos. As is street art. As is whatever your favorite thing about the Mission happens to be. Carnaval is expensive to put on and it may not be able to happen anymore. El Tecolote has a good article about the recent struggles here. To learn more there is a community meeting tomorrow night (3/19) at Brava Theater.

UPDATE: The Examiner says it will happen this year.