Bay Area Life

Life through the viewfinder

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46th Annual Cherry Blossom Queen Program

Cherry Blossom Queen 2013, Kelly Yuka Walton and her court.

Cherry Blossom Queen 2013, Kelly Yuka Walton and her court.

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival hosted its 46th program this past Saturday at the Sundance Kabuki Cinema. The theme for this year’s program was Back to Basics. Returning to the stage to emcee the event was Jana Katsuyama of KTVU and George Kiriyama of NBC Bay Area.

To honor and remember the earthquake and tsunami that occurred two years ago in Japan, the five queen candidates each wore teal ribbons and the festival’s 45th year pin to symbolize that their thoughts are still with the victims and survivors.

Queen candidates each presented their own speech, conducted an impromptu interview, and each one graced the stage with their creative expression presentation. For their creative expression segment, three candidates performed dance, one created and presented a short film, and one candidate drew using inspiration from the audience.

The results for this year’s program are as follows:

  • Cherry Blossom Queen Kelly Yuka Walton
  • First Princess Jamie Sachiko Martyn
  • Tomodachi Award Recipient Tiffany Sieu Okimura
  • Prince Kimberly Miya Sasaki
  • Prince Michiko Marie Maggi

 

Cherry Blossom Queen Kelly received a kimono and accessory set courtesy of Fujiyasu Kimono Company. She also received a trip to Japan courtesy of Japan Airlines and the Queen Award presented by Allen Okamoto.

Cherry Blossom Queen, Kelly Yuka Walton, along with her court will be a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival Grand Parade on Sunday, April 21st at 1pm.

Follow me on Twitter at @MJPhotographySF or Facebook at www.facebook.com/mjphotographysf 

Cherry Blossom 2012 Queen and court.

Cherry Blossom 2012 Queen and court.

The 2013 Cherry Blossom Queen’s Kimono created by Fujiyasu Kimono Company.

The 2013 Cherry Blossom Queen’s Kimono created by Fujiyasu Kimono Company.

The candidates display their kimonos during the opening routine.

The candidates display their kimonos during the opening routine.

Kimberly Miya Sasaki gives her individual speech.

Kimberly Miya Sasaki gives her individual speech.

Jamie Sachiko Martyn bows to the audience after her individual speech.

Jamie Sachiko Martyn bows to the audience after her individual speech.

Kelly Yuka Walton gives her individual speech.

Kelly Yuka Walton gives her individual speech.

Emcees Jana Katsuyama of KTVU and George Kiriyama of NBC Bay Area present candidates with questions to answer during the individual impromptu interviews.

Emcees Jana Katsuyama of KTVU and George Kiriyama of NBC Bay Area present candidates with questions to answer during the individual impromptu interviews.

Jamie Sachiko Martyn answers her question during the impromptu interview.

Jamie Sachiko Martyn answers her question during the impromptu interview.

Michiko Marie Maggi explains her film.

Michiko Marie Maggi explains her film.

Tiffany Sieu Okimura performs an Odori dance.

Tiffany Sieu Okimura performs an Odori dance.

Tiffany Sieu Okimura performs an Odori dance.

Another image of Tiffany Sieu Okimura’s Odori dance.

Jamie Sachiko Martyn freely draws using inspiration from the audience of what to draw.

Jamie Sachiko Martyn freely draws using inspiration from the audience of what to draw.

Jamie Sachiko Martyn is crowned the Cherry Blossom First Princess.

Jamie Sachiko Martyn is crowned the Cherry Blossom First Princess.

Kelly Yuka Walton is crowned as the 2013 Cherry Blossom Queen.

Kelly Yuka Walton is crowned as the 2013 Cherry Blossom Queen.

 

Kelly Yuka Walton is crowned and presented with the kimono from the Fujiyasu Kimono Company.

Kelly Yuka Walton is crowned and presented with the kimono from the Fujiyasu Kimono Company.

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58th Annual North Beach Festival

North Beach Festival 2012

The 58th Annual North Beach Festival took to the streets of historic North Beach, also known as “Little Italy”, this past weekend with Saturday being the extreme scorcher of the two day festival. The festival occupied the busiest streets of the district with Columbus Street, this year, completely closed off to through traffic from Broadway to Green Streets with the overflow of festival-goers inhabiting Washington Square to relax and enjoy the company of friends and the weather.

The festival enjoyed its greatest weather on Saturday with many people taking to the streets in shorts, skirts, dresses, and of course sunglasses. People enjoyed the festival while grabbing drinks at the many beer gardens scattered throughout the festival. The largest beer and wine garden was at the Green Street Stage where guests inhabited the normally parking lot by day location. Here guests mingled with each other while enjoying a beverage or two with live performances by upbeat bands. The Filbert Street Stage was a smaller scaled stage with a different calmer atmosphere with bands that played soothing jazz.

Similar to other street festivals in San Francisco, the streets were filled with arts and crafts booths, sponsor booths, food and drink booths, and live music. However, what sets this festival apart from the others in San Francisco is the street chalk artwork that takes place at Grant Ave. and Vallejo Street. This year five artists constructed chalk art with many onlookers watching the artwork being created on Saturday to the final finishing touches by the festival’s end on Sunday. Organizers of the festival also allowed the public to take part in chalk art on the sidewalk for a small nominal fee.

Also observed during the festival is the annual “Blessing of the Animals” held by the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi. Hundreds of people and their animals occupied the building over the course of two days with Fr. Gregory Coiro presiding over the animal blessings.

Having been to this festival several times, a trip to the North Beach would not be complete without having tried pizza from the area. I had some this year and it was good. I won’t tell you where, so you’ll have to discover it on your own. If you want some delicious pizza, come out to this district and try the different styles that this area has to offer. Pizza comes in all sorts, thin crust, cracker crust, thick crust, and also Sicilian styled pizza. I haven’t come across a deep dish pizza in the North Beach, but then again it’s not a traditional type of pizza originating from Italy. Deep dish is synonymous with Chicago and though there are some deep dish pizza joints in San Francisco, I think this district has yet to see one. There are rumors though that one will be coming soon.

Until next time, Ciao.

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North Beach Festival 2012 (1)

Festival booths line Columbus Street.

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The crowded Grant Avenue facing south.

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Looking north on Grant Avenue at the North Beach Festival.

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A crowded Washington Square.

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Quest brings his slacklining to the park and allows others to try the sport.

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The jam packed Green Street Stage on Saturday afternoon.

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Columbus Street facing the Transamerica Pyramid.

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One of many Italian flag painted poles in the North Beach.

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Customers compare their choice colored t-shirts.

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Chalk artists design artwork on the streets of North Beach.

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Amos Goldbaum captures the old Embarcadero Freeway on a t-shirt. Does anybody remember this freeway pre-1989 earthquake?

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Can you believe this is her real hair?

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North Beach Festival is enjoyed by all. He particularly enjoys the No Stopping signs on Columbus Avenue.

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Two lovely ladies enjoy their puppets.

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A trip to North Beach is not complete without taking home a pizza.

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Two people enjoy a game of chess outside of a cafe at the North Beach Festival.

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Father Gregory Coiro blesses animals inside the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi.

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SF Giants are represented at the North Beach Festival

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Two ladies enjoy gummy worms while selling hats at the North Beach Festival.

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Italian inspired clothing and tattoos.

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Jammin' on the electric guitar.

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Gettin' down with the music.

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Playin' jazz with Carol Doda in the background before she sings.

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The North Beach Festival is a family affair.

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The completed chalk artworks on Vallejo Street.

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35th Annual Haight-Ashbury Street Fair

Haight Street Fair 2012

Ever feel like a sardine in a can? Well that’s what it felt like to be at the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair. The ever so popular HASF had so many people that you couldn’t help not bumping into someone. The 35th annual street fair ran for several blocks from Stanyan St. to Masonic Ave. The weather that day was just perfect. Just another beautiful sunny summer day in San Francisco.

Walking down Haight Street was like walking through a time warp. There were a lot of people out in bright and colorful clothing, some tie-dyed shirts, and a few smoking that herbal plant. HASF’s crowd for the day was a mix of hipsters, hippies, young adults, with only a few families with children. Lined to the sides of the street were food vendors, art & crafts booths, information booths, and a few side show acts.

Two main stages built on opposite ends of the fair, played music that fit the Haight psychedelic genre. At both stages crowds packed even more tightly towards the fronts of the stages with even crowds lined up on the sidewalk. In the Kids zone, a smaller stage was placed on a side street near the fair’s center that brought families together for entertainment surrounded by face painters, balloon artists, and many more.

Although this street fair was only for one day, it seems like everyone came to party. However, many fair-goers had to hide their booze in bags as this SF street fair was a “dry” event.

At the end of the day, the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair brought in people from all over to come check out where Peace, Love, and Happiness resides. Bringing together whoever and whomever, the HASF did a pretty good job of uniting people for this one day celebration.

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Haight Street Fair 2012 (1)

Two ladies sportin' the products from the Dirty Pigeon, SF Giants colors represent

Haight Street Fair 2012 (2)

Woman carries a well made monkey balloon

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Monkeybutts drummer sets the tone for the kids

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Lady gets a henna tattoo of an owl

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Vendor reaches out to pet dog

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Lovely couple spends the afternoon together

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Friends enjoying a wonderful sunny afternoon

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Jam packed street fair

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Peace

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Singing to a lively crowd on Haight and Stanyan Sts.

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ChalkedTees owner with his artwork

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Hittin' those keys

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Jammin' on the electric guitar

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Rockin' the bass

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Kid runs toward the bubbles or MJPhotography, you should too

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Sidewalk string quartet violinist

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Double the Peace

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Now I understand why Cookie Monster ate the way he did

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"Oh Kermie"

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The Fillmore Summerfest Kick-Off

Fillmore Summerfest

The Village Project and the Bayview YMCA presented The Fillmore Summerfest Kick-Off entitled “Grillin in the ‘Mo” on Saturday. Village Project founder, Adrian Williams, headed up this gathering at the Hamilton Rec Center Park. This event kick starts the summer of free festivals and events in the Fillmore Jazz District.

The mission statement of the Village Project is “To bring together resources and programs to enhance the economic, educational, social and cultural well being of children. We promote community unity, cultural awareness, connectedness, and engagement amongst diverse populations. Our target demographic resides in undeserved communities such as public and subsidized housing.”

Event activities included three jumper castles, live music entertainment, live DJ, game area for the kids, eating, dancing, and normal fun in the sun. Williams with the help of many sponsors and community partners was able to put together this event and was able to provide a cooked meal to the surrounding community all for free, but donations were encouraged to help with the children’s program. Also free treats for all in the Kids Area with snow cones, cotton candy, and buttered popcorn.

The menu for the grillin’ BBQ event consisted of green tossed salad, potato salad, fruit and veggies, scalloped potatoes, spaghetti, beef or BBQ chicken, and various drinks. For the children, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers were the main staple. Festivities began at Noon and lasted until 5pm. The Village Project would like to thank Episcopal Charities, IF/X Productions, and Kaiser Permanente for supporting the Village Project’s summer camp.

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Fillmore Summerfest (1)

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The Village Project founder dances to music and eats food with guests

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2012 Union Street Festival

Union Street Festival 2012

The Union Street Festival has come and gone just like the wind. Speaking of the wind, vendors spoke of tales of a chilly gloomy windy Saturday, but Sunday was purely beautiful. The Union Street Festival has been for the last two years much more tame. Gone are the beer gardens. Is it a good thing? Well, it all depends on how you look at it. Having the beer gardens brings in more revenue, employs more security, and overall people tend to spend much more money and eat more when they drink. On the flip-side, having the beer gardens give drunkards a reason to get wasted. Neighbors, business owners, and the authorities dislike having them because there always ends up being someone who’s had way too much and the typical aftermath of people throwing up and even relieving themselves all over the place is such a nuisance.

So with a more relaxing atmosphere, slowly the attendees start to change with the times. Less and less are the attendance of frat boys and sorority girls, though the young adult crowd is still vibrant, they are just prohibited from drinking on the street publically. What’s new this year since the festival is a “dry” one? Well, the newest addition to the festival this year was a cooking demonstration program. The cooking demo stage on Gough Street featured four cooking sessions each day of the festival. Guests were able to taste test all the dishes once the chefs finished preparing them and everyone was able to watch from their seats and see exactly what went into the pots and pans with a downward angled mirror overlooking an awesome cooking countertop and range. Something I would love personally in my backyard. Also new to the festival was the addition of Eco-Urban vendors and awareness.

Highlight of the festival is the annual Waiters Race. Competitors are rounded up from the current week’s vendors and sponsors at the festival in teams of three. Each team had an equal chance at winning the $300 cash prize. There were several heats of racing, but it all came down to two teams. A team of firefighters and a foods vendor team given the nickname The Ragin’ Cajuns. After the heated battle up and down Webster Street, the SFFD firefighters came out victorious and took home $300.

The festival seemingly a smaller attended one this year, I found myself enjoying the weather and allowing myself to meet some of the vendors and took the time to check out some of the arts & crafts and gained some knowledge about the term shawarma, about bus trips to LA for $1, and other interesting factoids. I haven’t allowed myself to enjoy a festival in a long time. It’s actually pretty relaxing, when I’m not photographing all the time.

If you missed out on this festival, there is plenty more this Summer. The street festival season is just starting. Hope to see you on the Streets of San Francisco.

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Union Street Festival 2012 (1)

Waiters Race Preliminaries

Union Street Festival 2012 (2)

Service with a smile

Union Street Festival 2012 (3)

Two teams face off in the pursuit of the $300 cash prize in the Union Street Festival's Waiters Race

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Ready...Set...Go!!!

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Close competition

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Team Ragin' Cajun exchanges last relay in the Waiters Race Finals

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The winners of the Waiters Race (SFFD)

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The owner of this dog told a man that her dog was a mixed breed. The man then said, "With what...Cotton Candy?"

Union Street Festival 2012 (9)

Popcorn and Lemonade, a festival staple

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Yo-Yo artists entertain the crowd in the Kid's Area of the Union Street Festival

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A man just playing the banjo on the sidewalk

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Playing the guitar

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This drummer is boss!

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Sunny day for some ice cream

Union Street Festival 2012 (15)

Delicious Crab Garlic Fries

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Zesting a lemon

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Cooking demos on an awesome countertop and range

Union Street Festival 2012 (18)

This festival goer is a beast! Don't take away her turkey leg

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Friends enjoying a meal on a sunny day

Union Street Festival 2012 (20)

David Lozeau paints one of his masterpieces at the Union Street Festival

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Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012

Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012

The Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival is in its second year and took place in San Francisco at the Peace Plaza in Japantown. The festival a is fundraiser for the Nichi Bei Foundation, which publishes the Nichi Bei Weekly Japanese American newspaper. Several hundred gathered for this festival that focused on dishes made from tofu and/or soy products.

Emcees for the event were George Kiriyama (NBC Bay Area) and Jane Katsuyama (KTVU Channel 2). As emcees, both George and Jane introduced the live music and performances underneath the pagoda at Peace Plaza. They also interviewed the contestants and judges for the main event. Also present were Tofu Ninja and Tofu Panda who brought many smiles to both young and old.

The main event for the Tofu Festival was the final round in the Tofu Dessert Competition. The qualifying competition was held previous to this event and three final competitors fought to be the Tofu Dessert Champion. The three tofu dishes that were in the running was a tofu tiramisu dessert, a tofu mochi dessert, and macaroons made from tofu.

The judges for the competition were Eric Mar (SF District Supervisor), Minh Tsai (Hodo Soy Beanery), Asaki Osato (2012 Cherry Blossom Queen), Grace Keh (sffood.net), and Riko Majillo (Ozumo SF). The desserts were served by Miki Fukai, Chihiro Hirai, and Manami Kidera (Princesses of the 2012 Cherry Blossom Queen’s Program). After the judges tasted all three tofu desserts, they had come to a final decision with third place going to Justin Howard (Tofuramisu), second place going to Deanna Gin (Calamansi Macaroons), and first place tofu champion went to Kenji Shimodaira (Zunda Mochi Topped with Kinako).

Following the Tofu Dessert Competition, entertainment on the stage resumed and vendors continued to allow festival goers a chance to taste various foods made with tofu or soy products. For those that fear eating tofu in it’s white curd state or fermented soybeans (natto) there were alternative food trucks on Post Street that served up delicious tasting Asian foods. The two food trucks that I found to be ones that I will be following are Chairman Bao and KoJa Kitchen. Both serve up two unique culinary Asian foods and probably will be the forerunners in those dishes until another competitor joins the market.

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Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012 (1)

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Guest judges Riko Majillo, Minh Tsai, Eric Mar, Asaki Osato, and Grace Keh (from left to right)

Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012 (12)

Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012 (13)

Justin Howard's Tofuramisu

Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012 (14)

Kenji Shimodaira's Zunda Mochi Topped with Kinako.

Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012 (15)

Deanna Gin's Calamansi Macaroons

Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012 (16)

Kenji Shimodaira wins the Tofu Dessert Competition with his Zunda Mochi Topped with Kinako.

Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012 (17)

A kid in the crowd spots the Tofu Ninja, but can you spot the other ninja in the crowd?

Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012 (18)

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Northern California Soy & Tofu Festival 2012 (20)

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Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Celebration

Golden Gate Bridge 75

The Golden Gate Bridge celebrated 75 years on May 27th. A bridge that was said can never be built because of various circumstances started construction in the early 1930s and opened on May 27, 1937. The bridge is seen as one of the “Wonders of the World” and is painted with a coat of International Orange paint to help preserve the steel cables and structure from corrosion.

The festival for the bridge was similar to that of a street festival, but held at Marina Green and Crissy Field. Unlike the 50th Anniversary where people were allowed to walk on the bridge, the 75th Anniversary prohibited vehicle lane closures on the bridge for pedestrian use. It was reported that the bridge actually dropped 6ft due to the excess weight. For the bridge to keep its structural integrity it was said that bridge walks of that size and magnitude will no longer occur. Instead the alternative was to hold a festival in the bridge’s honor instead. This year the festival was full of music, food, bridge history and education, corporate vendors, an amazing fireworks show, and much more.

One of the most educational and touching displays that had the most impact on me was one that displayed shoes and chalk outlined shoe prints. The display was to encourage awareness of “jumpers” and to petition for putting up a net under the bridge to prevent jumpers from jumping and to catch them as a safety net. Volunteers and some family members of victims for this educational display wore black T-shirts that displayed the number 1558. That number is the number of victims that came to the bridge as to find a way out of life. Of the 1558 jumping victims, a little over 30 survived the fall. Each pair of shoes represented a jumper. Of the pairs of shoes, some were actual pairs of shoes given to display as a remembrance by the victim’s loved ones and the other remaining shoes were just purely symbolic. The chalk outlined foot prints represented those that jumped and their remains were never recovered.

The representation of the “1558″ display reminded me of a 2006 documentary that was filmed and written by Eric Steel entitled “The Bridge”. Where he interviews family and friends of the victims and even captures footage of such a tragedy. The bridge has been seen to be a magnet for people to come, but I would never recommend to take the easy way out. There’s always help and someone that can help with your pain. All I can say is, “Don’t do it. There’s so much to live for, even though things may not be clear for you in your exact moment of trouble or suffering.” Help is always just around the corner, you just have to look.

On a much happier note, two main stages, one at Marina Green and the other at Crissy Field, booked musical artists that entertained guests from 11am to 9:30pm, with a break for fireworks and the Mickey Hart Band to finish off the festival at 10pm at the Crissy Field Stage. Food vendors were located throughout the festival. Lines were extremely long for hot food items; therefore, patience is a virtue.

The fireworks show was one of the best shows that I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime. One thing, however, that I disliked about the show was that integrity of the show was not concentrated in one location on the water. I, along with other media, assumed that the show would be contained at the bridge and under the bridge. Little did we know was that the show would spread out along the waterfront. What a horrible decision to do that because it makes it much more difficult to capture the show on camera and video camera because no one ever wants to reposition a camera back and forth and adjust camera settings throughout the show.

Although constantly changing camera position/direction and settings bothered me greatly, I’ve seen some amazing video and photos of others on the internet, but even they had the opportunity to only capture a small number of money shots. I, particularly, had a hard time because the one thing that I feared most to happen had happened. My camera battery died right at the beginning of the show and I had to put in a replacement. The next thing that I found to be extremely difficult was to juggle between two cameras to do videography and photography at the same time. This is a no-no. Never do this. I was so excited for this fireworks show that I wanted to capture every single moment by myself. It’s just way too complicated to do two things at the same time. Lesson learned.

Overall the fireworks and light show was phenominal. The weather sure cooperated as there was no heavy fog and it was windy enough to blow the smoke away. This show allowed for me to experience for the first time the bridge lights turned completely off, with the exception of the red aerial lights atop the towers and cables sections. Several other features of the show seemed to amaze me, like seeing a downward stream of falling fireworks that created a wall of fire underneath the center span of the bridge to the water. The colored spot lights moving all around on the bridge and on a couple of boats added more drama to the show. Lastly, the traditional fireworks display was spectacular with so much color and various variety of shapes. I love pyrotechnics.

Many congratulations to the Golden Gate Bridge as it celebrated it’s 75th Anniversary. If you thought that this festival was amazing, I wonder how much more grand the 100th anniversary will be. Hope to see you all there in 25 years.

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Golden Gate Bridge 75 (1)

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San Francisco Carnaval Grand Parade 2012

Carnaval Grand Parade

The Carnaval Grand Parade has to got to be one of the most colorful vibrant parades out there. This lively festival of colors took to the streets on Sunday. The weather for the day was overcast, but thank goodness that the rain stayed away and the harsh sun was behind those clouds. Temperature was warm, yet breezy and chilly. Those of you that are from San Francisco know what I mean.

The parade started off promptly at 9:30am and lasted for almost three hours. The streets were crowded and full of people eagerly waiting for the festivities. People brought their video cameras and photo cameras to capture this momentous occasion. Children lined the front-lines of the crowds and surprisingly the onlookers were tame with no pushing and shoving.

The parade had units representing countries from all over. Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean islands, and even Africa showed off their culture with song and dance. Streets were lined up with children in ethnic costumes and men and women practically stole the show with elaborate costumes as well. Crazy as it may seem other than the Bay to Breakers, women were practically half naked with boas, feathers, hats, and thongs. This is one of a couple of festivals that display a lot of skin, conservatively speaking.

Highlights of the parade would have to be seeing the entertainers and participants just loving what they were doing and smiling. It’s always a true inspiration to have something in this city that promotes such laughter and joy. Must be something in our water.

Following the parade, the procession led the crowd followers near to the Carnaval festival site that was on Harrison Street. If you missed out on the parade, be sure to check it out next year as it’s always a great time.

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Carnaval Grand Parade (1)

Carnaval Grand Parade (2)

Grand Marshall for the parade was a singer from Beach Blanket Babylon

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The Grand Marshall Float

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2012 King Roberto & Queen Ashlee

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The famous Leonard Oats Cable Car Ringing Champion of many years

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SF Carnaval 2012

Carnaval SF 2012

I had an opportunity to check out Carnaval in the Mission District. This festival of culture arts and traditional celebrations have people come to this flat land part of San Francisco to enjoy a flurry of culture. The festival portion of Carnaval took place on Harrison Street where people came to enjoy music, food, arts & crafts, and other various forms of entertainment (ie. dancing, basketball dunking, games, children’s play area)

As a part of the tradition of Carnaval the countries that participate in the festivities are Mexico, Central America, South America, and islands of the Caribbean. Two main stages on opposite ends had bands play Latin music that entertained people and enough energy to get people to get their feet moving to the groove. There were also a few other stages and areas where music was played that got people in the mood for dancing.

This year NBA Nation sponsored by Sprint brought in various fun activities for all ages. The program entertained and educated. Darryl Dawkins made a special appearance and greeted fans. He was courteous to autograph and take pictures with a smile.

The festival lasted two days with the highlight of the festival being the Grand Parade on Sunday morning. The parade will bring in the majority of people to this festive occasion.

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Darryl Dawkins

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8th Asian Heritage Street Celebration

8th Asian Heritage Street Celebration

The Asian Heritage Street Celebration occurs every Third Saturday in May. This year it was held again in the Little Saigon District and Civic Center of San Francisco. The Street Fair brings awareness to visitors about Asian culture, food, entertainment, and even brings health awareness and prevention to those that don’t know about such health programs.

The festival started off with a Thai Blessing ceremony (Wat Buddapradeem Temple). Next up was the Faces of Asia procession that had participants from numerous Asian ethnicities. Throughout the street fair there were live entertainers, musicians, marital artists, and cooking demonstrations live on four stages.

All day events at the fair were the food booths/truck vendors serving delicious food, wine tastings, arts and crafts booths, an import/exotic car exhibition, a kids zone, a healthy living pavilion, and the Asian Art Museum open to the public sponsored by Target.

New to the street fair this year was the cooking demonstrations that took place at the cooking demo stage on Larkin and Eddy Streets. (There was no Muay Thai Exhibition and Tournament this year.) Special guest chef, Martin Yan, began his program at 2:30pm. He created a delicious noodle dish and entertained the crowd with his humor and his quick knife cutting skills. He also brought along with him his sidekick noodle chef who stretched out fresh dough while dancing. He used the noodle dough as if it were a lasso, spinning and twisting and turning it in the air.

I had the privilege in eating Martin Yan’s noodle dish and I can say that it was delicious, it is not just a show that he puts on, but he can sure cook. The noodles were fresh and delicious (silky smooth), chicken and shrimp were cooked to perfection, and all the vegetables provided great texture and aromas to complement the dish. Chef Martin Yan even fed me shrimp, which I think is pretty unique. I don’t think he’s ever fed anyone else other than his family. I guess I’m that special. He did this in front of a crowd which photographed me, I felt a little funny, but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I just went with it.

Other chefs demonstrations were presented by Kayne Raymond,Andrea Nguyen, Mari Takahashi, Charles Phan, and Steve Cortez.

At the end of the day, the whole event was a great success. I think this was the most foot traffic at the festival that I’ve ever experienced in its 8th year. Hopefully, next year will bring more people and much more activities and culture. Until next year AHSC.

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Faces of Asia procession down Larkin Street

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Korean Culture

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Indonesian Culture

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Johnny Hi-Fi

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Martial Arts Demo

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Larkin Street looking north

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A volunteer pours wine at the Wine Tasting Tent

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Joel Del Rosario

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Guest Chefs at the 8th Asian Heritage Street Celebration

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Martin Yan tells the audience how to quickly remove the seeds from a red bell pepper

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Martin Yan fillets a red bell pepper, and then continues to fillet the skin twice more.

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Martin Yan shows the audience how to quickly julienne vegetables

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Master noodle chef from China, literally whips his noodle around.

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Martin Yan shows off his Asian noodle dish

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Martin Yan feeds me some delicious shrimp

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Car exhibition

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Volunteers at the Hep B Testing Tent

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Collectors wine glass at the 8th Asian Heritage Street Celebration

Other featured performers include: Arianna Tolentino, Chloe Yu, Johnny Hi-Fi, One Hunned, The Seshen, DJ Mike Nice, Native Elements, Beach Blanket Babylon, Kenneth Ronquillo, Sheryl Ann Padre, Brian Lee, Celeste Ignacio, DJ ToneDef, Rocky Rivera, US Wing Chun, Parangal Dance Company, Francis Wong Unit (Asian Improv aRts), Joel Del Rosario, GenRyu Arts, Au Co Vietnamese Cultural Center, Burmese Youth Association, CARA’s Cambodian American Dance Troupe, Richmond Temple Music Group,Traditional Performing Ensemble from Thailand, Mari Watanabe “San Francisco Sailor Moon”, Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music, GoldenVardo Tribal Bellydance, Ms. Margot Lederer Prado’s Dance Group (Indonesian Consulate), and Diwa Kulintang Circle.

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