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San Francisco

A Bay View on why the Galeria de la Raza matters

Nov 20, 2018
Courtesy of Galeria de la Raza

We’re introducing a new semi-regular segment—Bay Views. It’s a chance for you—folks from our community of listeners and makers—to share your thoughts about our changing city and region. 

Georgia Simian

In the early '90s, San Francisco dance instructor and choreographer Micaya began producing hip-hop dance shows in the city’s Mission District. The shows originally featured local dance crews from throughout the Bay Area and by 1999 would grow to become the San Francisco International Hip Hop Dance Fest.

Bay Area Beats: Karl Digerness & Minna Choi

Nov 13, 2018
Courtesy of Karl Digerness

Songwriting can be a challenge. So when San Francisco musician Karl Digerness found himself battling writer’s block he started reading the texts from plays written by William Shakespeare for some lyrical inspiration.

Courtesy of Sephora Woldu

When self-taught San Francisco filmmaker, Sephora Woldu began production on her debut feature-length film Life Is Fare, she wanted to make what she describes as a “love letter” to the Tenderloin neighborhood she calls home.

Angela Johnston


What’s a piece of functioning San Francisco infrastructure that’s over a hundred years old? The Golden Gate Bridge? The sewer system? Nope! It’s the Embarcadero Seawall.

From mortuary to music venue: Is The Chapel haunted?

Oct 31, 2018
Nathan Bennett / Courtesy of The Chapel

In the late 1800s, San Francisco started to get crowded. To make more room, the city outlawed burials, and it moved all of its cemeteries south, to Colma. The business of funerals, however, stayed in San Francisco. The Southern Pacific Railroad cut through the Mission on its way to Colma and new mortuaries started opening up along Valencia Street. Including in the building that’s now The Chapel.

Hannah Kingsley-Ma

Over five million Syrians have fled their homes, seeking refuge from a brutal civil war that’s killed an estimated half a million people since 2011. It can be easy to get lost in the numbers and lose perspective on the individual people living admist the violence. So how can you connect with people living around the world? Try with a shipping container, a Skype account, and a little gold paint.

Jessica Christian / Courtesy SF Weekly

In San Francisco,  you can call 311 to file a complaint with many city departments, including Housing and Homeless Resources. So, for example, if you’re concerned about a homeless person or encampment in your neighborhood, you’d call 311. Each month around 4,000 complaints are filed about homelessness in the city.

Courtesy of

Ever since high school, people have pronounced Irma Herrera’s name wrong. When she'd correct their pronunciation, they'd ask where she was from, as if it was a foreign name. “I’m a fifth generation South Texan,” she’d say.

Bay Area Beats: Kumu Hulu Patrick Makuakāne

Oct 25, 2018
Courtesy of Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu

This year’s San Francisco Arts Commission Legacy Grant award recipient, Patrick Makuakāne began his journey with Hula dancing as a teenager while growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii. After moving to San Francisco in the eighties, Patrick founded Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu, an award-winning Hula Dance Company and school in the city where he’s been the Artistic Director for the past 33 years.

Janet Delaney // MACK Books

It’s been over 30 years since Janet Delaney walked around the SOMA with her view camera, photographing the businesses, people and daily life in the neighborhood before it drastically changed.

Marga Gomez on playing her father on stage

Oct 22, 2018
Fabian Echevarria

For writer, performer, and comedian Marga Gomez, becoming an entertainer was somewhat of a rite of passage. 

Ben Trefny

On Monday, October 15, at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, 13 of the 18 candidates running for the three available seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education sat down at a public forum.

Chris Ghazaleh

The Bay Area is known for its mural art. Vibrant colors, intricate details, and a variety of styles tell the stories of San Francisco’s diverse communities. This summer a new mural in San Francisco went up. It’s called “Humanity is Key” and tells the story of an artist’s homeland: Palestine. KALW’s Mira Nabulsi visited the mural and talked to the artist behind it.

"Faith", by Evan Howe, used under CC license/ resized and cropped

Should businesses be doing more to help with the housing shortage? Some San Francisco residents think so. 

How a Beatlemaniac busked her way into her own blues band

Sep 25, 2018
Yoko Arimichi

Yoko Arimichi and her Powell Street Blues Band are celebrating their 40th anniversary at The Saloon in North Beach.  The band formed when Yoko was busking around Powell and Market Streets in the late 70s.  

Liza Veale / KALW News

Many advocates say the Bay Area needs to build a lot more housing to solve its affordability crisis. Of course, that’s easier said than done, and the high cost of labor is often cited as one of the obstacles. But construction trades workers also need to live in this expensive area and they say wages, though higher than elsewhere, still barely cut it.

Amber Miles / KALW News

SF’s housing crisis is complicated. Yes, there’s a shortage of housing, but also a shortage of skilled workers. CityBuild has a mission; train local San Franciscans to fill those lucrative and much needed positions.

Ben Trefny / KALW News

The Global Climate Action Summit will be hosted here in San Francisco. World leaders will evaluate how far we’ve come since the Paris Agreement. The three-day event is co-chaired Governor Jerry Brown.

The eyes of the environmental world are on San Francisco, this week, where global leaders are gathering to talk about climate change. It’s a few years after the Paris Climate Agreement, and a year since President Donald Trump said the U.S. would pull out of the accord.

Last Labor Day at the Lusty Lady

Sep 5, 2018

When the Lusty Lady peep show in North Beach closed on Labor Day weekend in 2013, it was the only unionized, worker-owned sex club in the United States. To mark the five-year anniversary of the Lusty Lady’s closing, we revisit its closing days with Princess Pandora Noir, the Lusty’s former CEO, and some of the Lusty’s last customers.

Lee Romney / KALW News

This is part of an ongoing series “Learning while black: The fight for equity in San Francisco schools.”    And this at the bottom: 

Teaching can be tough — especially for educators who work in schools where families are scraping by, lots of kids face challenges at home and in the community, and they often score low on standardized tests. Add to that isolation and high staff turnover and you’ve got a recipe for a revolving door. 

Ben Trefny / KALW News

Earlier this month, the man known as the federal homelessness czar visited the Bay Area. Matthew Dougherty met with San Francisco homeless programs director Jeff Kositsky and Mayor London Breed, discussing a nine-million dollar boost to grants provided for the city. The meeting drew media coverage, but as we know, money won’t necessarily bring lasting solutions. We know that in part because we read Street Spirit.

Buskers of San Francisco: Cordell

Aug 21, 2018
Photo by CC Flickr user Yutaka Seki, resized and recropped

If you wander around Bay Area cities, you know that street musicians are a dynamic part of the soundscape.

Lance Gardner spent some time meeting many of San Francisco's buskers, and he produced a series of profiles.

In this one, we meet Cordell, a bassist at the Powell street cable car turnaround.

Buskers of San Francisco: Larry

Aug 21, 2018
CC Flicker user Cristina Tosi, resized and recropped

If you wander around Bay Area cities, you know that street musicians are a dynamic part of the soundscape.

Lance Gardner spent some time meeting many of San Francisco's buskers, and he produced a series of profiles.

In this one, we meet Larry, a drummer performing at the corner of 3rd and Market.

by Pax Ahimsa Gethen, used under CC BY-SA 4.0 / cropped


London Breed took over the top office in San Francisco just over a month ago. The same election that made her mayor put a majority of political progressives on the Board of Supervisors. What does this all mean for the city and county, and how does it fit into a larger narrative about race, class, and politics?

Courtesy of Zen Hospice Project


For nearly three decades, the guest house of San Francisco’s Zen Hospice Project has helped the dying live out their last days with dignity. In a large, immaculately kept Victorian-style home, caregivers paid attention to patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs. It was known as a special place. But due to a lack of funds, the guesthouse closed in June. And unless a donor steps up, the closure could be permanent. As a way of remembering the guesthouse, we’re re-airing an interview with BJ Miller, former director of the Zen Hospice Project.

Courtesy of Glide Memorial Methodist Church


For months now, tensions have been brewing between Glide and the United Methodist Church. The two groups are entering talks to discuss next steps in their relationship. Reporter Marco Siler-Gonzales went to find out what that might mean for Glide.

Riding the California high-speed rail in virtual reality

Aug 12, 2018
Cropped and used with permission from TaylorHerring / Flickr / Creative Commons

People wanting to ride California's high-speed railroad have been stymied by many project setbacks. But people attending the August 11th opening of the Salesforce Transit Center got the next best thing — a virtual reality experience simulating a high-speed rail journey, complete with stylish stations and train car designs.

Courtesy of the International Congress of Youth Voices


The International Congress of Youth Voices is taking place this weekend in San Francisco. It’s the brainchild of author and educator Dave Eggers along with Amanda Uhle, bringing together 100 students to talk with famous writers, activists, and elected officials. Youth delegates are coming from Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Syria, Zambia and other countries around the world.