Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 31st in the Mission: A Sunny San Francisco Afternoon

We spent the day wandering around the Mission district on Halloween afternoon, looking at the festivities preceding tomorrow’s Dia de los Muertos (November 2)

What a day to find inspiration for new projects! The colors, sights, sounds and smells were spectacular.

At the heart of the Mission, I bought marigolds (for my offrenda/ancestor altar), looked at the many tables of calaveras (the skeleton sculptures), papel picado (colorful paper cutouts hung around altars), and listened to some incredible, joyful samba music. What a blissful afternoon!

(above): marigolds (flor de muerta, flamenquilla, among other names. I was told by Mia of Encantada Gallery that it was also called Semper Seche (sp?), but I have yet to find this in my internet researches – still trying, though). The stone bowl is full of burning copal incense, sacred to ancestor altars. Once you serve a celebration feast to honor your ancestors, you burn copal incense which takes your prayers and words up to the stars to them. To the right of the copal are sugar skulls, offered to ancestors with prayers written in foil on their foreheads

Fantastic band – Being a djembe player, I’m always blissed out over a great conga or samba…and these guys started the day off right! More fabulous music was heard when we went to the Mission Cultural Center for the Dia de los Muertos exhibit.

Here are some pictures from the exhibit at the Mission Cultural Center:

An altar to those who died trying to get into America (illegally or not). It was a powerfully symbolic altar – with jars of milk and honey alongside dirty glasses (the land of milk and honey definitely not what was expected), rusty keys and the Madonna on top of dirty pots and pans.
A beautiful sculpture of a South American death goddess, Opening herself to accept new souls.

Loved this.

Afterwards, we went to tackle more of the “100 things to eat and drink in SF before you die’ list, by having Margherita Pizza at Delfina Pizzeria, and before we headed home we had fresh, warm bread from Tartine Bakery with Brillat-Savarin cheese from Bi-Rite Deli…and yes, a cup of salted caramel ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery. Ahhh, decadence prevailed.

Many more pictures, but I'm very tired today, so will close with a wish that you had a good weekend. :)