Fostering A Family

  GSP students Zemaye Jacobs and Joel Martin-Dill  join GSP caseworker Melanie Ramirez-Carpio during a cooking class at the San Francisco Cooking School. Recently, the program added a few new events, like the Cooking Project Event to create student bonding. Lauren Saldana // Xpress Magazine Move-in day at San Francisco State University is always a chaotic time. Luggage and boxes are everywhere. Cars, filled to the brim, try to find the best parking spot. Emotional families help their young college students settle in. Among the new students this year is...

Readymade: Using Toilet Paper To Explore The Human Experience

Along the colorfully painted stairwell to Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco, audience members decide whether red or white wine will accompany them to their seats. They exchange dialogue in suspense before settling into metal folding chairs leveled perfectly to see the stage ahead. Across the back of the stage are three rolls of toilet paper stretched from right to left, drifting to the rhythm of the voices. “Are you sure you want to sit in the front row?” A mother asks her young daughter, whose blonde hair bounces as...

Twelve Rounds On Industrial Way — Boxers At Fire In The Ring Go The Distance

The inside of the boxing gym is a percussionist's dream. The sound of speed bags play the fills while jump ropes carry a constant beat against the matted floor. It’s a place dense with activity, from the chaotic buzzing-about of young kids, to the confident, purposeful movement of their coaches. One of two twenty-foot rings creaks under the combined weight of Laron Mitchell, a thirty-six-year-old heavyweight boxer on a 14-0 winning streak, and Oscar Avila, a volunteer, who holds mitts for a young boxer who is clearly new to the...

Home Is Where The Art Is — Homeless San Franciscan Creates His Living

Ronnie Goodman spends a lot of his time in the black-walled basement of the Redstone Building in San Francisco’s Mission District. Before he takes anyone down there, he makes sure to light an incense stick to somewhat mask the mugginess. He’s also sure to play some music in the background — most of the time it’s Billie Holiday. The room is lit with different festive ornaments: purple Halloween bat lights and white Christmas lights dangle haphazardly from the walls and ceiling. There are no windows. Goodman, about sixty years old,...

Breaking Points — Act I: Relationships

During a dimly lit dinner 800 ft above ground on the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower Restaurant, my partner and I discussed our future as we enjoyed the 360 degree view of the city. Some nights we preferred sleeping outdoors, so we would grab a couple bottles of wine and sleep on the beach underneath the starry night. My most treasured date was the adventure we embarked on when we woke up at five in the morning and hiked ten miles to a secluded bridge where we bungee jumped 140 ft....

Rare Frequency — Music In 2016 Is The Wild West

In 2016, artists and music lovers have grown accustomed to the idea of surprise albums. Every few weeks it feels like the internet loses its mind over another under-the-radar surprise release that people claim is the end all, be all of music. In 2013, Beyoncé, or “Queen Bey” as her notoriously rabid fan base “The Beyhive” call her, created a seismic shift in the music industry when she dropped her self-titled visual album, Beyoncé without notice. The album, which went on to be a colossal double-platinum hit, was instrumental in...

Growing and Knowing

As I watched media coverage of the neighborhoods filled with people who look like me — people of color — awaken from a restless slumber, I was mesmerized. The consciousness flowed through the protests in almost all of our cities, fierce, like electricity zapping through and animating frankenstein’s monster. The next step was clear: We need to be able to do everything for ourselves. The idea of depending on anybody for personal needs was bred into me as unacceptable, and yet somehow I found myself relying solely on outside sources...

Femininity As A Decisive Tool For Change

Do you ever wish you could handcraft your perfect presidential candidate, then convince the whole country voting for this candidate would ensure all their needs — political, social, environmental, and emotional — would be met? It’s the twenty-first century, why aren’t handcrafted candidates a thing? My perfect candidate would be empathetic down to her core, would act morally without an agenda, level with her potential voters, express herself freely, and use her femininity to help heal our country’s wounds, all the while appealing to voters on both sides of the...

The Peoples’ Choice — SFMTA Says Your Voice Matters

It’s ten in the morning on a Wednesday, and Jake Richard is packing his bag for the day ahead — double checking to make sure his jiu jitsu gi is clean and crisp. Richard heads out to the BART station for his hour commute from the East Bay city of Pittsburg to San Francisco Montgomery Street station for his Brazilian jiu jitsu class, preceding an eight-hour workday. “My daily commute into the city is about an hour long, and that is if my train isn’t delayed, which happens often,” Richard,...

Trouble In Paradise — The Day the Yerba Buena Island Community Faded

The day was September 14, 2015. It was breezy and partly-cloudy, an average San Francisco day for this time in September. But this was not a typical day. Byron Kaufman was in the process of moving out of his house on Yerba Buena Island — he had been for weeks. In fact, about a hundred other residents on the island were going through the same process. It was a day Kaufman knew would eventually come, but nothing could prepare him for what came next. A neighbor arrived at his house...

Lions and Tigers, Trump and Clinton, Oh My!

At the turn of the twentieth century, Americans were in a state of economic and political discontent. It sounds familiar, because it is familiar — there are tangible parallels in real time. When L. Frank Baum published The Wizard of Oz in 1900, he stated that he wrote the book to please children, and perhaps this was coming from a place of respite in his mind, an imaginary vacation from the stress their parental counterparts were enduring. However, in the historian Henry M. Littlefield’s 1964 essay analyzing Baum’s work, he...

Determined for Change — Reclaiming Hip-Hop Culture Through Self-Determination

“Now who wants to open for Rakim?” shouted Executive Director Khafre James repeatedly. He was energetically circling a group of about fifteen people, and from his tone it was more of a chant and call-to-action than it was a question. The group of individuals, called Hip-Hop For Change, was gathered for their weekly meeting at Qilombo, a radical community center located in an Oakland neighborhood that many people unfamiliar with the city would never think to enter. They were voting on an upcoming show they will host this fall featuring...