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Arts & Entertainment

The San Francisco Standard’s 2021 in pictures

Arts & Entertainment

The San Francisco Standard’s 2021 in pictures

We started 2021 as a very small team with a funny name, and we ended it with a fast-growing newsroom under a new banner, The San Francisco Standard. It was a weird COVID year, of course, and the city struggled in many ways. But we found plenty of joy too.

We dove deep into the Tenderloin District, covering the heated policy debates and their human impact.

Noah Tesfa, a man who survived on the streets for seven years with a severe drug addiction, stands in front of San Francisco City Hall in Feb. 2020. Tesfa was a promising student and athlete growing up in Santa Rosa, Calif. until he began abusing prescription opioids while in high school. | Photo by James Wyatt

COVID-19 was of course on our minds. Earlier in the pandemic, we took a look inside a ready-to-go makeshift hospital, which would have been used for patient overflow if the pandemic were to push other recovering patients out of their hospital beds. Thankfully, it was never needed. 

A hospital bed and sheets sit abandoned next to the murals intended to spread some joy inside the care site. | Photo by Camille Cohen

The word ‘recall’ was on many peoples’ minds, and we tracked the process of the school board recall from an attempted steal to ballot delivery.

David Thompson joined the recall effort as Gaybraham Lincoln, after witnessing his 10-year-old son "climb up the walls during zoom school," while the school board was "doing nothing about it." | Photo by Camille Cohen

With worries about crime soaring and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin facing a recall, we were ready with background on the staunchly progressive lawyer and some sharp analysis of what’s really going on with crime.   

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin attends a press conference in Potrero Hill on Nov. 23, 2021. | Photo by Camille Cohen

We tried to stay close to San Francisco’s many communities through this tumultuous year. From the Sunset, where residents grappled with affordable housing plans…. 

Sunset District community members line up before the town hall meeting inside the Wah Mei School on July 10, 2020. | Photo by Camille Cohen

…to the Fillmore, where Black leaders, including actor Danny Glover, are calling on the city to donate the Fillmore Heritage Center, where the Black Panthers’ meal program once lived.

Danny Glover gets emotional as he speaks at a press conference in front of the Fillmore Heritage Center on Nov. 15, 2021. | Photo by Camille Cohen

The Black Lives Matter mural there was repainted, alongside many other artistic tributes to George Floyd and the Black community. 

Bay Area Mural Program (B.A.M.F.) artists and volunteers repainted the Black Lives Matter street mural at the George Floyd Memorial event on May 25, 2021. | Photo by Camille Cohen

We documented the dancing when the Castro Street Fair returned, and discussions about surveillance, privacy and politics were fueled by a vote about security cameras in the Castro.

And we roamed the Mission, to document the return of the Dia de Los Muertos Celebration.

Alan and Montse of Las Tres Brujas, who create and customize Artesaías and flower crowns, pose on 24th Street in the Mission District of San Francisco on Nov. 2, 2021. | Photo by Camille Cohen

We also documented a Mission Victorian that doubles as a “sculpture garden,” created by a local dad who turned to art while separated from his children. 

Reggie Lichtner and his son, Kyle (5), sit in front of their lawn, discussing art and politics. “Don’t Shoot, Already Dead,” stands on the right. The provocative piece, created in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, was vandalized in Nov. 2021. | Photo by Camille Cohen

When thousands of San Franciscans marched for women’s rights, we watched from above and reported from the ground. 

The crowd marches towards Embarcadero Plaza and the Ferry Building on Oct. 2, 2021. | Photo by Joel Aguero

When five SF Walgreens locations shut, citing excessive shoplifting, our photographers documented how other local businesses dealt with retail crime. 

A Mission Street dollar store informs the public of their security measures. | Photo by Camille Cohen

When the “biggest game of the year” came to Oracle park, San Franciscan humans and bunnies alike shared their excitement.  

"Alex The Great" arrives in style to the Giants vs. Dodgers game on Oct. 14, 2021. | Photo by Camille Cohen

We gave our readers a sneak peek into San Francisco’s newest circus performance, Dear San Francisco, which is filling the big shoes of Beach Blanket Babylon at North Beach’s Club Fugazi. 

A woman on a stage in a black unitard practices a balancing act.
Junro Wang practices her balancing act during a mock performance of Dear San Francisco. | Photo by Camille Cohen | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

With a critical eye trained on city hall, we photographed Mayor London Breed — a lot. 

Mayor London Breed tours a new housing complex in Sunnydale on Oct. 14, 2021. | Photo by Camille Cohen

On the steps of our lawmakers’ offices, we documented press conferences, anti-vaccine mandate protests

A group of anti-vaccine mandate protestors gather to sing songs outside City Hall on Nov. 30, 2021. | Photo by Camille Cohen

…and once, a set of puppies. 

Simone (yellow) Aisha (purple) stand behind the speakers during the press conference at City Hall on Nov. 16, 2021 with their owner Dyne Biancardi, who is a Housing Attorney at Open Door Legal. | Photo by Camille Cohen

Inside that gold-draped building, we were on the floor (literally) for David Chiu’s inauguration as City Attorney.

David Chiu, his wife Candace Chen, and their 5-year-old son Lucas listen to a speech by the former City Attorney Dennis Herrera. In his acceptance speech, Chiu said, “Lucas doesn’t yet understand the work we all do in city hall, but Lucas understands that people should not be living in the streets in the rain, and that the color of sky should not be orange.” | Photo by Camille Cohen

In preparing our readers for the slew of elections coming to 2022, we spent time with each of the AD-17 race candidates, including David Campos, whose campaign buttons feature his pup’s face. 

David Campos walks outside his campaign office on Castro Street on Nov. 10, 2021. | Photo by Camille Cohen

The end of 2021 is just the beginning for us. We look forward to living up to our tagline and helping you to better “Know Your City” in 2022.

Camille Cohen contributed additional reporting for this story.