“The Making Of…” was a recent KQED radio program featuring a collection of Bay Area makers and artists, who have produced a wide range of things ranging from the everyday (e.g., a woman making jam to remember her late French mother) to the truly unique (e.g., Filipino karaoke ice cream truck). As a follow-up to the broadcast, the producers of the show, Kitchen Sisters, staged a community event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA). Intrigued by the meshing of radio and real life, I decided to head up to the city and check it out (it also gave me an opportunity to have a quick workweek lunch with AK).
Even though it was a Friday, the event was packed! I realized after I arrived that this was the last weekend that SF MOMA would be open before closing for renovations until 2016, and the crowds were there because the museum’s final days were free to the public. The workshops were all interesting, covering the gamut from textiles to preserved fruits to outdoor gear (loved the camping gear from local outfit Alite Designs – got to check them out another time). I especially enjoyed observing the old Japanese lady hand sew a kimono.
The most unique display item was probably the miniature-sized pink vintage Cadillac (I call all old cars I cannot identify Cadillacs) for a company called “Homobiles” (tagline: “Moes Gettin’ Hoes Where They Needz to Goes”). As explained in the radio show, Homobiles is a non-commercial, volunteer-run 24/7 car service created for the LGBT community and others around San Francisco who need safe, dependable rides (suggested donation is $1 per minute, though completely voluntary). According to the founder, drag queens, sex workers, transgender and other members of the queer community often have trouble hailing cabs (drivers would complain about the excess glitter, for example), so the service provides a much needed relief from harassment and dangerous situations. It feels nice to be part of such an inclusive city!
A separate wing of the museum was dedicated to food for the duration of the event, and many of the hip San Francisco eateries were there selling food for charity – participants included Bar Tartine, Mission Chinese Food, Tacolicious, Wise Sons Deli, La Cocina and Stag Dining Group. There was even a very cool pasta-making demo from Thomas McNaughton, founder of flour + water, a restaurant whose popularity has prevented even my friend Ms. Lin from nabbing a reservation. The secret weapon for making quality pasta, according to the master, is the water spray bottle (along with exact measurements). I have to try that at home next time I muster up the mental willpower to make fresh pasta from scratch.
It was wonderful to see all the creativity, innovation and diversity of the people of the San Francisco Bay Area. It certainly makes me feel connected to the greater community and appreciate where I live.