Thursday, July 5, 2007

My Fourth

I wanted to shoot the Fourth of July in the Mission, the Latino district of San Francisco. Given the recent political fireworks over the immigration debate, I was interested in how this heavily immigrant community would mark the most nationalistic of holidays. So I just wandered around and photographed what I saw, trying to let the neighborhood be my guide rather than any preconcieved notion of what should be there.

Balmy alley, off 24th. I heard there is an impromptu block party here every year, but it was deserted except this motorcycle.

Back on mission street, an immigrant rights group called POWER were performing a play. It was planned as a celebration for the passage of the immigration act, which died in the Senate last week, but they went ahead with it anyway.

Then I walked down 25th to Garfield Park, a great community park where the neighborhood gathers to play soccer, ride bikes, and relax. Make no mistake, though, this is no casual pick up game. These guys had serious skills.

Overall, the mission district marked the Fourth just as you would expect -- by relaxing and doing what makes them happy. What could be more American?

Then I met some friends at a Mexican restaurant on South Van Ness, and eventually ended up in a park near my house, watching my neighbors light off fireworks and drinking beer out of a paper bag.

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