Mel’s Drive In, What is American food?


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2014 “HeART of Market” Outdoor Dance Festival


Alonzo King Lines Dance Center organized 3rd annual outdoor dance event at Mint Plaza on last Saturday. The event aimed gaining more interests in various dance from the public and showing dance students’ talent to the public. According to Annette Muller, marketing manager of Alonzo King Lines Ballet and Katherine Naumak, dance center director of Alonzo King Lines Dance Center, this event became an opportunity for performers and a chance of gathering from a dance community in Bay Area. They explained there are many community partners working with their center and teaching program in their studio as well as at public school. The students’ age group was various from middle school 4th grades to college students.





“It was great community experience. There were all different ages’ of performers and audiences. It was wonderful opportunity to encourage younger ages,” said Cora Cliburn of New Mexico, 17, one of the ballet performers. Clliburn came to San Francisco from New Mexico to achieve her dream; becoming professional dancer.

16 groups of performers participated, and the genre was diverse from ballet, modern, contemporary to hip hop. There were about 60 audiences enjoying the performance.






“I haven’t seen groups of dancers before. It was great performance,” said Tim Lloyd, 58. He did not know about the event, but he said he couldn’t help but stopping by after coming across the event on the way. “I was highly impressed from contemporary dance,” he added.

Rebecca Mezzocchi, dance teacher in Presidio Middle School, said “It is wonderful. I love letting students interact with other performers and seeing professional dancers. It is inspirational.” She explained she used to work with Alonzo King Lines Dance Center. Presidio Middle School has partnership with the center. Dance program in Presidio Middle School is elective class so that every students can access, and they sometimes go field trip to the center’s studio.



Mint Plaza became a good outdoor stage for the young enthusiastic performers and also for the audiences. In the middle of busy city, people could take a break from busy day and enjoy the performance. In the end, the event made a small fun time with audience, teaching simple dance move and dance together. Even though it was a small event, it was fun and interesting enough to bring every audience attention on dance.

Third Place- Yerba Buena Gardens

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In between tall buildings, there is a hidden gem, Yerba Buena Garden. This garden has became a peaceful resting spot for the people working in Financial district during their lunch time, mom and kids after school, and even grocery shoppers (there is Target right next to the garden). Surrounded by hustle bustle busy area, the garden takes a role of a oasis that we need during our congested city life.

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Since the garden is in the middle of towels, it has a interesting features that is very distinctive from any other parks and gardens; harmony of man-made and nature view. Who said only nature can make a beautiful landscape? For us who are used to be in the middle of skyscraper jungles, man-made structures are also aesthetic. (They sometimes make me feel like I’m a moth uncontrollably attracted by dazzling city light.) The garden has lively green-green grass on first floor, and if you go second floor by the stairs that is located next to memorial waterfall, you can see the buildings surrounding the garden in one sight. If you would like to have a cup of tea like noble classic lady or gentleman, I highly recommend Samovar Tea Lounge in the garden. They have a small bites, brunches and various kinds of tea that make you feel healthier. They got 96 score from EPA on last year November and 4.3 stars out of 5 on Google+.

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First Impression

I moved to San Francisco about two years. When I first heard about SoMa, it reminded me of SoHo in New York- as most of people do, I believe. SoMa was a just run-down area which located right under the downtown. North of Market street was the downtown where the famous union square is, and SoMa was I don’t know what they have there. warehouse?

Some people I met in Dolores Park last week gave me their impression about SoMa. Sunset district resident, Kyle Brown and Max Jackson said about SoMa: ‘sports bar,’ ‘let’s go big!,’ and ‘cool, hip but little bit sketchy.’

I wondered about how people in SoMa actually feel about their neighbourhood.




According to Mark who is native San Francisco has been work in Korean market located in SoMa. He started his short interview with “it certainly has changed over the years…” He grew up in San Francisco, but he didn’t go down to SoMa too often when he was a kid, but since he was growing up, he started to go out to the clubs or bars with his friends in SoMa. And about these days SoMa, since 90’s, he mentioned there are good foods and many construction. He also talked about horrible traffic and a lot of accidents. “about just the other week, when i was coming back to the city around 8:30 to 8:45, there was a dead man lying down on the street hit by car… it’s part of having a highway…”

It is true that many people worries about the many car accidents happening in SoMa. Safety in SoMa is a great issue for many business owner in SoMa area. It has cost many traffic accidents and issues with the bikers and pedestrians.



According to Darrel whom i interview with at the same Korean market also mentioned about the car accidents in SoMa. He explained that there are many people looking at their phone screen when they cross the road, and while they’re just walking down the street, they don’t pay attention on the road, and that causing more congestion in the roads and the sidewalks.

Other than the safety issue in SoMa, Darrel also talked about how SoMa has been changed over the years. There was big Filipino community in SoMa, and later train station was built in SoMa and it brought many African American community around the station. So, it was mostly an area for residents who are immigrants. After, there were manufacturing company started to have their locations in SoMa, and it created more blue-collar jobs such as ship repair and coals and many printing company gave many jobs to Filipino community. However, these days, many tech companies started to locate their headquarters to SoMa, and they started to buy a lot of properties in the area, and they just rent out the place and kind of left around 2007, and they started to migrate back to SoMa in 2010 to make it more permanent location for them rather than a temporary growth opportunity for their company.  With them making SoMa to permanent place for them, the price of residential properties is continually increasing due to high demand of housing. Therefore, this tech favored changes in SoMa constantly is kicking the original resident out from their house because of high rent, and this industry is too competitive for them.



Donald J. Dewsnup who is a realtor of Vanguard Properties mentioned that during past about ten years, rent has been increasing by 10 percent every year because of high demand of the tech companies who want to have their business in SoMa, which is ‘in the city’ and have nightlife and more things to do. He mentioned about Wall street Journal article written in 2010 about how San Francisco is now another capital of Silicon Valley. “The capital of new economy.. Yelp over here, Link in, Twitters , very interesting how the big major main brands of social media are now originally startups here in SoMa.”