Tag Archives festivals

San Francisco’s Dia de los Muertos 2014

Dia de Los Muertos Skull San Francisco 2014 | The Girl Next Door is BlackSan Francisco loves a good celebration and any excuse to dress in costume. Sunday’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration proved no exception. The holiday, which originated in Mexico, honors both the dead and the living – an appreciation of the cycle of life. For a few hours last night, hundreds of people converged in the Mission district – the neighborhood often at the center of San Francisco’s gentrification tensions – for the festivities.

Celebrants erected elaborate altars in remembrance of deceased loved ones. Aztec dancers and musicians in ornate costumes and striking makeup led a procession through the streets. Bay Area residents lined sidewalks to watch the parade. Some enjoyed front row seats from the comfort of their apartments, while others opted to follow along with the roving entertainment.

A sea of bodies of various colors and ages, with faces painted like sugar skullswearing marigold headpieces, dressed as resurrected brides, carrying parasols and candles, many clothed in black and white, ambled down the streets to the sound of rhythmic percussion beats. A comment I overheard aptly sums up the evening: “This is definitely better than Halloween!”

 

Rainbows, Rainbows and More Rainbows: San Francisco Pride 2013

femaleflagSan Francisco Pride weekend was crazy, insane, high-spirited, free-spirited and fun.  I’ve been to pride parades and events in Los Angeles multiple years, but I’d never made it up to San Francisco for the events. As I’ve quickly learned since moving here less than 10 months ago, any occasion in San Francisco seems to call for wearing a costume of some sort. So, you can imagine that the locals (and visitors) were all very eager to amp up their personal decoration for the pride parade.

The very, very diverse crowd on parade Sunday did not disappoint. I saw lots of boobs, big ones and little ones, some penii, big ones and little ones; many bottoms, round ones and pancakes. Lots of rainbows. Rainbow flags, rainbow booties, rainbow shorts, rainbow tutus, rainbow hats. Tattoos, piercings, spiky hair, purple wigs.  I was offered pills, smackers, weed, hash, beer, vodka, jello shots, beads…We danced, we cheered, we smiled at happy couples. It was festive, it was jubilant and it was joyful. The weather could not have been better for the pride weekend right after the dissolution of DOMA and rejection of Prop 8. San Francisco is known for its cold summers, but pride Sunday was comfortably in the 70s for most of the day, surely encouraging less clothing.

Photos I captured of the event.

The crowd waiting for the parade to start.
The crowd waiting for the parade to start.

With my younger sister (right). This was her very first Pride parade and she loved it. I’m glad I was able to share the experience with her.

The festivities continued City Hall (site of the several same-sex weddings held in 2004 that spurred the legalization of same-sex marriage in CA before Prop 8 overturned it) with food booths, music stages, beer & wine gardens and street dancing. It was a blast!