Photo by Wally Gobetz
This post was included in our monthly newsletter for May 2023. Please subscribe (scroll down a little on that page)!
Hi there! How are you? I'm good. I've been good. Like, really good. Let me go back a little bit ...
Starting around January this year, a spark ignited somewhere in my psyche. Looking back, I think it was caused by several factors. Playing right into it was an opportunity to see so many bands I discovered in the '90s, bands that truly changed my life. I also had the chance to reconnect with folks from my life whom I hadn't seen in 20 or 30 years, people I'd lived with back in my formative days. The temptation to revel in nostalgia was strong, and we definitely acted upon it.
Dwelling in the past is as natural as anything else our brains do regularly. I found myself transported back to "simpler times," in both my life and the world around me.
But almost as soon as I realized what was happening, a second trigger went off—"don't get caught up in the past, Jeff," it insisted. "Take inspiration from this and use it to shape your present and your future." Damn, whatever part of me is speaking to me, you're right!
"What does this have to do with San Francisco?" you might ask. Good question! Like a lot of you, I've been thinking about what our city can be in this oh-so-obvious point of inflection. I've been here nearly 23 years, and my memories of the days of my arrival are almost all fond. I remember public art everywhere ... house parties ... art parties ... $3 burritos ... more fog in the avenues ... an upstart progressive campaign that almost unseated an heir apparent to the Mayor's Office ... the list goes on and on.
Today, as I ponder what I want this city to be moving forward, I am tempted to think back to those simpler times, the early aughts. But it would be a grave mistake to stay there too long. Times change, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
All this to say that these are some of the louder internal conversations I've been having lately. And it relates to something we've got in store for y'all.
Starting this August, after we've wrapped up Season 5 and got some much-needed rest and travel under our belts, we're hosting an art show at Mini Bar on Divisadero. We're still working on the exact name of the show, but the theme is: Rebirth.
For me, thinking about San Francisco and rebirth means tapping into the better elements of the past and applying what we've learned to help shape our vision of the future. To me, a city that uplifts all its residents, that celebrates the arts and all the diverse cultures and histories it comprises, that's a city reborn for the better.
We'll have many more details about our Mini Bar show over the coming weeks and months. But we wanna know from you: What do you imagine a renaissance in San Francisco to look like?
That's it for now. Thanks as always for reading and looking forward to your answers.