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The 15th Season of Sunday Streets Kicks Off in the Bayview District

Published May 23, 2023 • 12:51pm
San Francisco Parks and Rec provided a climbing wall for attendees at Sunday Streets Bayview on May 21, 2023 | Vita Hewitt

The 2023 Sunday Streets season got underway this weekend with Sunday Streets Bayview, showcasing the culture of Bayview-Hunters Point as well as a rock-climbing wall that took kids to new heights.

The annual San Francisco tradition of Sunday Streets is now celebrating its 15th season of transforming streets into car-free community spaces, one neighborhood block party at a time. 

And the honor of kicking off the Sunday Streets was again bestowed on the Bayview District on Sunday, as several blocks went car-free and were packed with activities, vendors, community organizations and live music.

Sunday was a foggy day across most of San Francisco, yet there was nothing but sunny skies in the Bayview for Sunday Streets. 

“We always have the best weather in San Francisco,” the district’s supervisor, Shamann Walton, said. “I’m definitely pleased to see all the young people out, all the families out, and the music is wonderful.”

Sunday Streets is organized by the nonprofit Livable City, which is dedicated to improving San Francisco neighborhoods for walking, biking and transit. 

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“We’re so happy to be in Bayview today celebrating community,” said Livable City Deputy Director Amy Lin. “The Bayview really holds a very special place in our heart as a directly impacted neighborhood that has time and time again really showed its resilience, community, and collaborative spirit.

“That’s the attitude we want to move forward with in our 15th season,” she added.

Sunday Streets Bayview featured several stages with live music, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department provided a rock-climbing wall for kids, the SF Public Library Bookmobile was on hand with free books and prizes as part of its Summer Stride program, and the folks from KMEL-FM had a giant Connect 4 game and cornhole boards for kids of all ages to play.

But this being the Bayview District, the neighborhood’s food was of course a feature. 

“We got garlic noodles which are the best in the country,” according to Arelious “Riz” Jones of the Bayview-based pop-up Cajun O' Cajun. “Our garlic shrimp is seasoned to perfection in our signature garlic butter sauce, topped with a little parsley and Parmesan cheese.”

Free vaccine shots were also on the menu at Sunday Streets Bayview, courtesy of the mobile medical services of Visit Health

“We serve all underserved areas,” said Visit Health office manager Kristina Trent. “We provide all vaccines—Covid booster, flu and MPX.”

A big hit with kids was the booth jam-packed with a temporary tattoo station, a make-your-own Play-Doh station and chalk art, all provided by the Bayview and Western Addition-serving education and family support organization FacesSF. But FacesSF is up to more than just kid’s stuff.

“We run the Visitacion Valley Job Center” at 1099 Sunnydale Ave., pointed out Susan Murphy, FacesSF senior director of community partnership and workforce development. “We have multiple events for job fairs,” 

This year’s Sunday Streets Bayview looked a little different than previous years. 

“We narrowed it down to about four blocks, which worked out better here because the streets over here are wider,” said Toya Wynn, production coordinator for the outdoor event company Into the Streets. “So there’s a lot more space for kids and vendors—and exhibitors.”

Walton added that the hours were different this year, too. “The community wanted to push the hours back differently and make the hours from 12 to 5. Sometimes folks want to go to church,” Walton said. “And that seemed to work well.”

And an event of this scale always relies on a good set of volunteers. “The Bayview Opera House helped sponsor certain things, as well as providing volunteers,” Wynn pointed out.

If you missed Sunday Streets Bayview, or want to be one of those volunteers, you have another opportunity coming right up with Sunday Streets Tenderloin.

“It’s in two weeks in Tenderloin,” said Livable City’s Lin. “For Tenderloin, we’ll be collaborating with AAPI Cultural Center, the United States of Asian American Art Festival.” 

That block party will rock from noon to 5 p.m. on June 4.