Good News SF - May 26, 2023

Happy Friday and Happy 45th Annual Carnaval Weekend, San Francisco!
May 26, 2023

Carnaval is here in all it’s vibrance this weekend, come out and celebrate with us! Carnaval San Francisco is the largest multicultural festival in the West Coast, bringing together San Francisco's Latino, Caribbean and African Diasporic traditions. The event takes place Saturday through Sunday, during this Memorial Day weekend and this event marks San Francisco Carnaval’s 45th Anniversary!

This weekend two very popular and internationally renowned bands will play as headliners, La Sonora Dinamita and Los Van Van. The free, two–day Festival covers 17 blocks in the Mission District, with five main stages, 50 local performing artists, and 400 vendors. The festival includes international food, dancing, sampling sites and entertainment for families, couples and friends of all ethnic, social and economic backgrounds.

The Grand Parade boasts a 60–contingent lineup, with over 3,000 artists representing the cultural heritages of Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Cuba, Peru, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala, El Salvador, and more to participate, televised by CBS. The Grand Parade covers 20 blocks in San Francisco’s historic Latino Cultural District in the Mission.

There are over 40 participating businesses and many more vendors and artisans to patronize. Support the Mission District's small businesses throughout the festivities! #ShopDineSF

Some details for the festival and parade:

  • Festival: Saturday & Sunday, May 27-28, 2023 | 10 am to 6 pm

  • Grand Parade: Sunday, May 28, 2023 | 9:30 am to 2:30pm– starts at 24th & Bryant
    Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets
    FREE, but donations accepted

  • Find out more about Carnaval

Mayor Breed’s May Progress Update on the Roadmap for Economic Recovery. ICYMI - Mayor Breed announced her quarterly update on the Roadmap for Downtown’s Economic Recovery this week at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s CityBeat Breakfast. As part of the Roadmap update she shared the many milestones that have been made on public safety, zoning legislation, programs to help small businesses in San Francisco and more as we set the foundation for a strong economic recovery. You can see what the SF Standard had to say here.

In addition to providing an update on the highlights, every strategy or initiative that has had any progress since the Roadmap to Downtown San Francisco’s Future was announced by the Mayor in her State of the City back in February has been updated throughout the Roadmap’s website, so please take a look!

See our May Progress

San Francisco, evolving from Innovation Capital to AI Capital of the World. Earlier this week, some of the greatest tech leaders who have now become the leaders on AI gathered together downtown at the Palace Hotel for an AI Conference and seemingly agreed on one thing - San Francisco is “the best place to stat an AI company.”

From Sam Altman, formerly of Y Combinator and now CEO of Open AI, to Bill Gates the billionaire Microsoft software co-founder, Ron Conway the organizer of the event and a local Silicon Valley angel investor in cutting edge technology, and Greg Brockman, Open AI’s President who helped lead the way for Chat GPT, these leaders all agreed that San Francisco seemingly made sense for energy, talent, VC dollars, and location. You can read more about this event and what folks had to say by checking out the Chronicle article here.

The Silver Lining for San Francisco’s Downtown - The Arts! Many people have been quick to say San Francisco’s Downtown is going into a Doomloop spiral, but what they don’t recognize is the creative energy, passion, and die hard love this city has for itself — especially among the arts communities who are becoming the city’s true heroes as we pull downtown into a new renaissance.

The SF Standard noted all of this in their story this week on the arts’ role as San Francisco downtown’s silver lining, outlining how the arts and policy makers are enabling the arts to play a key role in economic recovery efforts for downtown. Those include:

  • Transforming Downtown into a platform for art events as a “stage” of sorts. Creating areas like the upcoming pilot area, the “Landing at Leidesdorff,” which is located at the intersection of Leidesdorff and Commercial streets along the alleyways leading to Transamerica Park. The area will host happy hours and picnics and bring together local restaurants with live music, art and a rotating cast of SF makers and vendors. 

  • Bringing Burning Man Downtown through co-op living in one of the empty high rises. Ho would they do this? They would “create co-ops where artists would work in creative commercial businesses on the ground floor of the buildings—think bookstores, galleries, coffee shops—and live in the spaces above while paying affordable rent.”

  • Play up Pop-Ups and Cultural Districts using the blueprint of past successful events like the Undiscovered night markets, the SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Cultural Heritage District and the new up and coming Bhangra and Beats Night Market Festival, activists would like to see events like these replicated to add life and culture to Downtown.

  • Bringing Outsidelands Downtown. Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin suggested that this wildly successful festival be replicated and brought to the “interlands” as well to liven up FiDi and our waterfront. Could be fun!

The Public Realm Action Plan proposes transforming the intersection of Leidesdorff and Commercial streets into an arts-focused space. / Image courtesy of Downtown Partnership

The Dawn Club reopens and comes back to life decades after closing, breathing new life and music into Downtown. This week, decades after it previously held court in the 1930s for Jazz greats like the Lu Watters Yerba Buena Jazz Band and provided a space for great music and cocktails during prohibition era before becoming Jeffrey’s Toystore (another SF classic), the Dawn Club re-emerged in her restored state thanks to Future Bars owner Brian Sheehy.

Inside the new Dawn Club, customers — who must make a reservation and pay a ticket fee — will find an intimately lit environment where musicians still play swing, bebop and other jazz styles onstage for a capacity crowd of 125. The drinks are a mix of old fashioned cocktails of the time period the Dawn was originally around, as well as some influences from today. Read more about the opening of the Dawn Club and the owner’s outlook on Downtown nightlife for bar owners such as himself as reported on by the Chronicle here.

The hottest new hotel in America is right here in SF. Yep, you read that right! LUMA Hotel, based in Mission Bay between Chase Center and Oracle Park with a design forward but grounded approach was named the best hotel in the US by Trip Advisor for 2023.

LUMA invites you to experience San Francisco “like a local,” declaring Mission Bay the “safest neighborhood” and encouraging visitors to frequent the new Central Subway that will take them to Union Square, Chinatown and the Convention Center.

In their reporting, SFGate noted that TripAdvisor “evaluated 1.5 million hotels with above and beyond reviews and opinions on its website in 2022. The hotel must also pass Tripadvisor’s rigorous trust and safety standards, and the website awards less than 1% of its hotel listings with these accolades.” How lucky are we to have a hotel that meets all of these criteria and is #1 in our city??