Full disclosure: I have a large place in my heart for Noise Pop. They are my Mission neighbors; their offices are right in between the place where I work and the place where I live (which are very close to each other). The guy who does their marketing is super cool and I am always glad to run into him on the street, which, like I just said, is my street. So I might be a bit biased when I say Noise Pop’s 20th Street Block Party is going to be epic. But you should also note, I am not like the biggest proponent of all the gentrification-y changes on 20th Street, which I sometimes now call Expensive Sandwich Street because for four consecutive blocks by my house you can buy a $12 sandwich if that’s your thing. I miss Cafe Gratitude and their pay-what-you-can bowl. I sympathetically miss the parking. I miss the affordable rents which meant other people like me could be my neighbors. I miss that one shady convenience store which has now been turned into a hilariously ironically named restaurant, Local’s Corner, which serves oysters at prices that no one who was a local before 2012 could ever afford.
But hey, we can’t live in the past, right? And it’s pretty much certain that the 20th Street Block Party is going to make me fall in love with the neighborhood all over again! And probably make you, people who do not live in a four or five block radius of 20th and Bryant Streets in San Francisco, California, USA, fall in love with it too! Here’s why:
1. James and Evander
A few months back, KQED Pop had a big party at the Verdi Club and James and Evander played for us and they were not only great musicians, they were great guys. I can’t wait to see them again and sway to their perfectly sway-able music.
2. Lunch at flour + water
According to the party’s website, this is actually a thing that is happening. The swanky restaurant that started it all in terms of putting 20th Street on blogs where people talk about food that Steve Jobs likes and food that I can’t afford unless someone else is buying, is serving lunch! Fingers crossed HARD that they aren’t going with $12 sandwiches. Pizza maybe? A high class Grateful Bowl?
3. Radio Silence at Mutiny Radio
When I moved into the neighborhood seven years ago, everything was a little more punk rock. The Jay and Bee had a lady in the back who made amazing Mexican food, nobody took credit cards and Pirate Cat Radio was a little station run by a guy named Monkey. Now the Jay and Bee sells pizzas, everyone takes credit cards and Pirate Cat is Mutiny Radio…but it still feels pretty punk rock. On the day of the block party, you will want to swing by and check out Radio Silence curating performances and interviews with Quinn DeVeaux, DOE EYE and Will Sprott.
4. A Sweet After-Party
Mission Dispatch, the food truck spot where KQED employees like to get lunch in the sun, is hosting the after-party. In case I don’t get filled up on flour + water lunch, I plan on getting some delicious Pad See Ew from Phat Thai, which is always the correct answer to the questions: “What do I need to eat right now?” Either that or a bowl from Fuki Truck which is the other answer to that same question (this is a multiple choice test).
Bonus fifth thing! Keep your eyes peeled for Big Bird and some super cool KQED employees. Take pictures! Use #kqedpop on Instagram and your pictures will show up on our page! See you there!