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North Beach First Friday Art Walk Relaunches Tonight w/Safety Precautions

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Here’s something to be excited about: an outdoor, socially distanced, art walk is going down in North Beach tonight (9/4)! Working with the City, the folks from North Beach First Fridays have secured permits to partially close Grant Avenue and Green Street for tonight’s event from 5pm-9pm.

As Romalyn Schmaltz, one of the coordinators, told me over email, “This is far beyond a traditional gallery stroll now. We are partnering with more and more local retail and dining merchants to responsibly (in pandemic times) increase foot traffic and business for all our small business neighbors and artists. Most activities will be partially or completely outdoors.”

Here’s what the press release has to say:

While originally conceived of as an art event, North Beach First Fridays is expanding to incorporate local retail and restaurant merchants into its activities, to the mutual benefit of all business owners, artists, and neighbors. Most restaurants now offer expanded outdoor dining, and many retail merchants will stay open later—with specials for First Fridays offered by these businesses.

Activities will include art exhibitions in galleries, live music, projected video art on building exteriors, poetry and spoken word, craft demonstrations, fashion shows, and circus performers, among other attractions. The schedule changes monthly and will be up at and updated before each event.

This Friday, September 4th we are especially pleased to welcome back stalwart North Beach Gallery Live Worms! at 1345 Grant Ave. Its newest incarnation is brought to us by artist Elizabeth Ashcroft, and their current exhibition features 38 local artists, hung salon-style in a kind of neighborhood retrospective.

Local artists are also taking over Kerouac Alley on the 200 block of Columbus Street to showcase artwork there: Jack Kerouac Alley @ Columbus and Grant, Avenues, between Vesuvio & City Lights Books. 12-noon to 6pm, open to the general public.

Macchiarini Creative Design @ 1544 Grant Ave will continue with its spoken-word “Tales of North Beach“ series featuring the 1930s “Story of the Black Cat Bar and Restaurant” as told from their outdoor sculpture garden venue! 7:00.

At dusk, Collective Genus, a “super-collective” of artists, will project video on buildings at Local Maker Mart (580 Green St.) and near Macchiarini Creative Design (1544 Grant Ave.).

The concept is that of a pedestrian plaza on each block so that people can more safely peruse our art galleries, retail, and restaurants because of the considerably expanded space. More space means more access, room to spread out, and increased business/ patron traffic during required pandemic-related social physical distancing. Masks, gloves (in galleries) and hand sanitizer will be encouraged and offered by volunteer monitors
for free.

Barricades at the beginnings and ends of intersections will be modular and monitored by volunteers for instant emergency vehicle access.

For more information check out their website right here.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.