SOMA West Community Benefit District partnered with SOMA Pilipinas and the San Francisco Office of Workforce and Economic Development’s Shop and Dine in the 49 on December 1st to bring some holiday cheer to SOMA West!
We closed Russ Street between Folsom and Howard to through traffic for our first-ever holiday event and created a pedestrian-friendly event for the neighborhood. The choice for Russ Street as a location for the event was very intentional, as the site of the future SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Gateway Project. The cultural district is currently working with several Filpinx artists and designers to create their first permanent cultural marker in the SOMA to celebrate and pay tribute to Filipinx culture and the generations of Filipinx families in the South of Market neighborhood. The event was the first chance to see the reimagining of this section of Russ Street as a space for community, culture, and joy.
Something incredible happens when you close down a street and add music. It stops people in their tracks, entices them to stop and stay awhile. Add some string lights for ambiance, some hot cocoa to sweeten the deal, and suddenly, you have a space reimagined - a place for the community to come together and enjoy themselves.
The key to creating this great environment was the presence of the TNT Traysikel SideCareoke machine - a custom-built motorized tricycle, with a sidecar attached and a built-in karaoke machine, from the brilliant minds of Filipino-American artist Michael Arcega and filmmaker Paolo Asuncion. Fearless participants sang their hearts out, inspiring others to take the mic and do the same for the first half of the evening.
The second half of the event began with the arrival of the Holly Jolley Trolly, a historic cable car decked out in holiday decorations, carrying the local acapella group, Business Casual, who closed out the evening with their incredible renditions of holiday favorites.
Check out the video below to experience some of the sights and sounds from the evening.