Greg & Brian, The Castro District
"I am passionatte about public safety. It's been 14 years and a lot of work but I still enjoy it. Right now, I'm part of 4 non-profits working around COVID-19 and every week I send out 2 reports about the pandemic detailing information people should know about but is often overlooked."--Greg
"You know those household projects you never have time for? Well, I'm finally getting around to them: I got the outside lighting and smoke alarms taken care of and replaced the door locks. So now I can actually relax during my relaxation time."--Brian
Gordon & Lian - Grandview Park
"Simple family time away from the office with my wife and daughter. Even though I'm working just as much, I still get to see them throughout the day and that's an awesome highlight."--Gordon
"Staying in touch with friends virtually and sleeping in has been great."--Lian
Stephanie & Calvin, Sunset District
"So what's been good for you guys during quarantine?"
Nyna, The Fillmore
"I've been working twice the amount of hours and love my coworkers and customers--that interaction with people."
"There's way more overtime--wayyyyy more overtime. I gotta be careful though or I'll be jumping into another tax bracket and you know how that goes."
Vaughn, The Mission District
"I'm alive and it's clear that people appreciate life more overall--they used to just act and do things. Now I've see everyone making more of an effort to be more responsible."
Caroline, Starbucks/Safeway - South of Market
"Before all this I didn't call my mother often but now our connection has grown so much. I talk to her every day now and I've learned things about her that I never knew. She's in her 80s down in Los Angeles and I'm lucky to have her as a best friend too."
Nick, 22nd & Irving Market - The Outer Sunset
"Well, it's not about me--it's about my customers so I'm grateful to have them, still be open, and see all these new customers coming in too. Now we're closed on Sundays and I like that--I can relax and have time to watch my favorite Westerns."
Jayne, Teddy, & Stuart, Oracle Park - China Basin
"I've slept a lot and I usually don't sleep. All of a sudden I have time for these naps."
Eyasu, The Outer Sunset
"It's great to have work where I'm going around and just bringing positivity to people. I mean, people are juiced when they see me coming with their package that they ordered and have been thinking about for a few days and here I am bringing it right to them."
Deckel, Kristie, & Butter, Pacific Heights
"We met at the start of the year and it was going great but we really, really started hanging at the beginning of quarantine and it's great to have each other through this."-Deckel
"The fact that we now have a puppy and can raise it together has been amazing."--Kristie
Thomas, The Financial District
"I'm still out here working and I can get more done. No distractions and far less traffic on the freeway."
Thomas is a San Francisco native and has served the community with SF Public Works for years. Say hello if you run into him and be prepared for great conversation and a few laughs.
Marshall, Golden Gate Park
"Coming here in the morning to see the light changes slowly and watching the birds is wild, man."
Ray, North Beach
"I've literally had time to stop and smell the roses. To really take in how beatufiful everything is while maintaining distance and working outside."
Onyx, Alyssa, & Oakley, Lafayette Park West
"I've spent way more time talking to all of my friends and have meaningful conversations. That's what I've noticed about this overall...especially during that first week the world turned upside down: People have been more focused and intentional in talking with each other."--Alyssa
Onyx ("Little O") and Oakley ("Big O") were rescued right from the street--Onyx by Alyssa and Oakley by her good friend.
Leonard, The Sunset
"Stacking vacation hours for when this is all over. Working from home has been great--I got a new routine geting coffee early at Uncle Benny's and I like it."
Audrey, Lisa, Matthew, & Alex, Pacific Heights
"An actual bedtime routine with all of us--that I'm here and home instead of all the traveling. It's hard enough to raise and juggle two kids without quarantine. This has given us extra special time that we need."--Alex
"Yes, exactly--family time and being able to cook dinner together." --Audrey
Keefe, Walgreens, The Richmond
"I'm grateful that I can still take classes online and have a job. Less traveling time is also a plus."
Awadalla, SF Hole in the Wall Pizza
"People treat food more precious. They eat what they order and nothing gets thrown away. And I'm thankful for my guys here and that we can all still work."
Just off 19th Avenue nestled in the charm of the Central Sunset District on Irving Street, SF Hole In The Wall Pizza is known across San Francisco and beyond for their classic and unique pizzas, sandwiches, and assorted lunch and dinner plates. Check them out and say hello to owner Awadalla who--in between running the place--still finds time for his first love: making fine foods.
Erica & Sarah, Golden Gate Park
"Since I'm not rushing around anymore I have time to focus on what's really important -- like Facetiming family and friends, and reading. Just started on The Goldfinch. It's quite a daunting book - 800 pages - but I love diving in."
"Before all of this, I feel like we're all just rushing through our lives. We rush to work, rush home, rush to the gym, rush to dinner...we don't get the chance to reflect and think about what we really want to do with our lives. Work hard, play hard - who's to say we must live in a constant hustle to be happy? Now I simply enjoy not having to wear make-up everyday and having the time to make pasta from scratch. It's back to the basics."
Jim, The Sunset District
"Nothing's changed--I'm retired. But I still can get out there and walk every day and that's good."
A former San Francisco Unified School District teacher with decades of service and a San Francisco native, Jim walks over four miles a day and is exemplary by any standard of good fitness. Lately, his lovely wife Donna has been going along and together they have found continued solace in active, healthy lifestyles.
Christian, The Outer Sunset
"I have more time to spend with my partner--dedicated, quality time that's somehow more meaningful and I'm extremely grateful for that."
As a current San Francisco elementary school teacher, Christian has paved the way for education in the face the global pandemic. He brings his unique and acclaimed leadership style out of the classroom introducing a virtual model of learning to The City's students.
Claire, Walgreens, The Richmond
"I just moved here from Colorado and it was weird not being able to explore at first. On the other hand, I have extra time to study for GRE now. I'm applying to grad school majoring in Sociology."
Brian & Silvia, Ocean Beach
"I've spent a lot of time reconnecting with old friends--friends that I've known for decades -- on video calls and even just hours and hours on the phone finally catching up." -- Silvia
"Spending time walking while maintaining distance and rediscovering places in The City we hadn't been to in a while. 41st Avenue's closed and so's Page Street. Just walking the length of them without traffic was special." --Brian
Elliott, Great Highway
"Well, it's really cut down on my commute. I mean, it went from over thirty minutes to Alameda to thirty seconds downstairs."
Oscar, SF Hole in the Wall Pizza
"I'm really getting to know my family again and just spend all this time with them. I don't know when else I would ever have time for this and it's definitely a bless."
Elayne, Ocean Beach
"I've had more time to get into baking again and then going all out and redecorating my apartment. I realized that if I'm gonna be spending nearly all of my time...indefinite amount of time, I want to be in a place I love."
Sherwin, Walgreens - The Sunset
"We close earlier now and I get to see my wife and daughter more. That's been real."
Ben, Ocean Beach
"Two of my best friends just moved a block away from me and even though we've had to be socially distant it's great knowing they're there. Somehow, paradoxically we've been closer through all this."
Cossette, Ocean Beach
"The beach has always been my sanity and I'm happy we can still come here. But more than anything spending time with my kids--one who had to come home from college--so that's been just great."
Kali, The Outer Sunset
"It's made the world and everyone just--slow. down. Our world definitely needs it and to take this as a gift."
Rad, Ocean Beach
"Every year I have a specific word that I want to work on for myself. Just one word and this year, on January first, I chose grounded and well--here I am. I used to travel a lot and but that's not happening and I'm right here where I want to be--at piece and getting to know the community."
Rad is a freelance designer who often works with photographers so we spent a fair amount of time shooting the breeze. She also just also moved here in January as a freelancer--check out her work on Instagram @soradiculous
Yihan, The Embarcadero
“I’m so grateful to still have the chance to run outside. Work has still been pretty intense and it helps to get out here and exercise and keep things in perspective.”
Brenda, SF General Hospital
“Staying healthy. Glad to still be working and helping out here while staying healthy and then at home, making sure my family has what they need.”
Larry, Walgreens - The Sunset District
“Not much has changed since this is essential work but I’m fortunate to still have my job and stay working.”
Mosese, Outer Sunset
“I see more parents with their kids and just seeing that out here puts me in a good mood.”
Dan, The Mission
“Working on the garden. I’d be out here anyway but now I have much more time to really work on it.”
Dan’s garden is one of the best in San Francisco where his neighborhood sees a lot of bright days. All that lush, hearty bougainvillea (as pictured) thrives in the sun, wrapping around his house and the corner. His work even extends to the sidewalk space next to the curb where sunflowers will soon bloom. If you happen to see him, say hello—he’s got great advice for all your home and garden needs.
Felicia, 24th Street
“Focusing, staying creative, and being able to do my art whenever I can. It’s also made me more grateful for everything I already have.”
On our way back from SF General Hospital, we saw her from a block away in the late afternoon light. She was working away with that bright, vibrant palette and absolutely killing it in that paint dripped onesie, so of course we ran over with love and support. Felicia Gabaldon is an Oakland based fine artist hailing from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited domestically and internationally and can be seen right now at this now completed mural, “El Coyote,” in the heart of The Mission on 24th Street at Folsom. Check out all of her work on her site and follow along on Instagram for the latest @FeliciaGabaldonArt.
Josef, Cole & Haight on the N bus (converted from the train in the time of COVID-19)
“I can cross the street without getting run over. Oh, and people are talking WITH each other not just AT each other--even if it’s at a distance.”
Frederic, Walgreens - The Sunset District
“It’s been busier than before here so there are more people and I like helping our customers with what they need.”
Jen & John, The Embarcadero
“Slowing down. No airports or cars really and more walking. Keeping distance and walking.” -John
“Hearing from friends more and making the effort to reach out to other friends and just talk more.” -Jen
Elmer, 24th Street
“Nothin’s slowing me down, no traffic, and nobody’s out here bothering me. It’s great. I can just do my job and if I do see someone I say hello and wish them the best.”
Favian, M.D. - SF General Hospital
“To see people working together as a community and keeping infection rates low. In just three days we’ve seen a significant decrease. It’s been great to be here and a part of that."
In August of 2018 I fractured my ankle skateboarding and got the best, supportive care from the emergency room to surgery at this extraordinary hospital campus. Dr. Favian is an integral part of the ortho department and coincidentally works alongside Dr. Sachin who first reset my ankle in the ER and was also on the physician team in surgery. In addition to their medical expertise, they both shared a kind and personable manner -- something I experienced on every visit with the nurses, administration, and beyond. This hospital is a big part of my life and I was excited to be back here with a positive project during this unprecedented time in our city. Shoutout to Mark Zuckerberg, Dr. Priscilla Chan, and anyone who’s ever given back—financially or through volunteerism—for their generous support.
Bella & John, Outer Sunset
“It’s becoming more rare that we get to spend time with our kids as they get older so we really, really appreciate that. Learning how to cook Little Bastard Singapore Noodles has also been a highlight.”
Khaled, Outer Sunset
“There’s just been this community outpouring of support. People have been SO much more grateful of our work and I think it’s given society perspective on anyone who might’ve been considered or referred to as low-skilled workers.”
The Sunrise Deli has been a San Francisco staple since 1984 when Khaled's father, Khaldoun Ramadan, opened this first location at 2115 Irving Street. With strong emphasis on quality, their food quickly became and remains an institution with locals and a destination for the most discerning connoisseurs. They have been voted "the best falafel in town" time and again paving the way for a Financial District location on 2nd Street and a Sunrise Deli food truck. The Irving Street location remains open with a full menu for delivery and to-go orders. Free delivery during the shutdown.
Hilary, The Sunset District
“I've come to terms with the fact that I can’t control what’s going on out there, but I can control what’s going on with me. I have a workout pole in my room and I can really go ham with training.”
Drew & Jared, The Castro
“We became runners so that’s a thing now and we ran here from Bernal.” --Drew (left)
“Also, we’ve been catching up on shows and just finished Tiger King just like everyone else and it’s as great as everyone’s saying.” --Jared
Yvonne, Civic Center
“I try not to think about all that. I have my job, I like it, and I just keep moving forward. On my days off, I like cooking.”
Michelle, Civic Center Station - 7th & Market North Entrance
“The environment. I was with my auntie at Lake Merced and noticed the air quality’s a lot better. Everyone needs do their part so it can stay like this”
Soma, The Outer Sunset
“I’m typically more of a realist but ultimately do believe in altruism. I just lost my employment, but I remain positive--it's refreshing to see people being so much nicer which each other. Feels like Christmas, but better! I hope it sticks and appreciate the conversation. The frequency of social interactions with new people is few these days.”
B, Stephanie & Teddy, The Sunset District
“The simple fact that we get to spend so much time with Teddy.”
Teddy is their first dog.
“Having time to chill out and keep staying healthy. I have four jobs and now it’s down to one and it’s great.”
Vais, Walgreens - The Castro District
“Spending time with family playing games.”
“Are you good?”
Dick, Walgreens - The Castro District
“Well, this interview is wonderful. I love talking to you two.”
Dick had a radio show in Midtown Manhattan (an old favorite neighborhood) for seven years and just so happened to interview Sidney Lumet who was an early inspiration for me in the visual arts. My father had taken his “Making Movies” audiobook out from the Cambridge Public Library (cassette style, I’m ancient) and we listened to it on a road trip through America, passing through Manhattan--where Lumet often worked and I spent a lot of time--along the way. It’s a fond memory that I hadn’t thought of in a long time and I thank Dick a million times over for bringing me back.
Paige, Civic Center
“Well, I do taxes so I’m grateful that work’s going really well for me with the whole stimulus check thing and people I haven’t heard from in a while are coming out of the woodwork.”
Andrew, Davies Symphony Hall - Sculpture by Henry Moore, 1973 (Bronze)
“It slows me down for all the things I’ve taken for granted...like this, just talking to people more. And I’ve been appreciative of friends reaching out to me.”
Max, Underdogs, The Sunset
"People are helluva lot nicer to each other and there's a big sense of community. I mean--people go for walks now, like, what is this...the '20s?"
If you already don't know, RUN to Underdogs for their fresh--AND healthy--famous Nick's tacos and San Francisco burritos. Ask Max for a joke or two while there...always family friendly, wicked punny, and terribly awesome.