From a city built on gold dust and denim to one tenaciously rebuilt after an earthquake and fire, San Francisco has a history of saying, â€œFuck it dude, I’ll just do this shit myself.â€ DIY culture runs deep here. Whether talking about longshoremen striking in order to create their own labor laws in the 30s, or hippies liberating their minds with rock and LSD in the 60s, or the nerds inventing web 2.0 in the 90s, this city’s pride has always been in looking at the surrounding culture and deciding to do something different. And that spirit is as alive today as it ever was.
Just take the Indie Mart as an example. It started off in Kelly’s backyard because she wanted to sell the shit that she and her friends made. And now look where it is, it’s a god damn block party with over 100 venders and thousands of attendees. Or look at what’s happening in the Mission right now with all the food carts. A handful of people, fairly independent of each other, looked around and realized one day that San Francisco was severely lacking in street eats. Suddenly we have carts popping up all over the place selling everything from muffins to curry and from crÃ¨me brulee to cookies. And maybe none of those people would have thought of doing such a thing if the Tamale Lady hadn’t started her own DIY food trend nearly 15 years ago.
Yes, San Francisco is proud of her independent movers and thinkers, those who build, create and tinker. And I’m proud of them too. I got my start making itty bitty zines like the one you’re holding. I didn’t do it to make money, I just did it to make something. And in a way, what makes this city so special is not just that people set out to create things simply for the sake of creation. What makes it special is that the rest of the community sets out to support these creations. Without that, we wouldn’t have Burningman or the Indie Mart or Power to the Peaceful or even Pride for that matter.
So consider this a toast to San Francisco, to the independent spirit, to DIY ethics, and to all you freaks and weirdoes who consider this your home and make it so by both being creators and by supporting them. Now let’s have a drink.
The Indie Mart Street Festival: 2 Year Anniversary Party
Thee Parkside – 17th St. & all down Wisconsin
Sunday, June 21st, 12-6pm
$2 suggested admission benefits the Avon Cancer Walk and gets you a free Zine!