Friday, January 24, 2014

Bayview holidays spirited

Whether you saw the bell-shaped lights along part of 3rd Street, attended a "Winter Wonderland" event on Mendell Plaza and at the Bayview Opera House, joined a community organization sharing its own holiday expression, or just hung out with residents who took the time to dress themselves, their homes and their blocks for the season ... Bayview was showing its spirit throughout the holiday season.

The Winter Wonderland event at the end of 2013 on Mendell Plaza and at the Bayview Opera House was a rollicking good time. 

After years of attempts, Winter Wonderland emerged as the first City-supported event in the neighborhood that drew a real crowd. It had some folks talking about Bayview's "tipping points." It had others who might have talked about such things just having fun for a change.

Stalwart public officials, long-committed to the Bayview neighborhood's transformation, were thrilled. They had thrown a lot of parties over the years, and sometimes wondered why they bothered since the neighborhood so often failed to show up.

Local businesses vended their wares both inside the Bayview Opera House and in a tent on Mendell Plaza. Entrepreneurs have been connecting through efforts that go by various names and that "pop-up" at various locations.

Bayview Mercantile, Market on Third, Bayview Underground Food Scene, International African Marketplace, Andrea Baker Consulting, Bayview Merchants Association ... whatever the name, it's probably the same folks finding a fresh focus and reshaping the neighborhood's business network.

Congratulations to all the organizers!

Broader Bayview expressed the spirit, too! Signs of the holidays could be spotted far from 3rd Street. Silver Terrace neighbors decorated their homes together, and children made a holiday tree out of the fig tree in the Quesada Garden.

Youth services providers gathered at the Southeast Community Facility for a pot luck holiday gathering. BMagic brought them together, as the organization has done in all sorts of ways for years, to support justice causes and the neighborhood's commitment to children, youth and their families.

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