Third Street Stroll …

by Rochelle Metcalfe

Bayview Hunters Point is the LAST BASTION for Black folks! Progress moves on in one of the city’s best climates to live in. There’s so much housing construction taking place, now once an area no one wanted to move to, Bayview is THE place!

Rev.-Dr.-James-McCray-grandchildren-Easter-Sunday-at-Gussies-Restaurant-Fillmore-042014-by-Rochelle-Metcalfe-web, Third Street Stroll ..., Culture Currents
At Gussie’s Restaurant in the Fillmore, Rochelle happened upon the birthday celebrations of Dr. James McCray and his wife, Gail – 115 years combined, he said proudly – proud too of their grandchildren, Amina, left, Amira in his arms, and Keith. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

REMEMBER, Bayview Hunters Point is the LAST BASTION for Black folks to get a piece of the action! Housing in San Francisco has become a heated topic – GREED! Folks being EVICTED, landlords want to take advantage of the TECHIES and others buying up property, whatever the price, the opportunity to make MORE money! Some going as far as to PAY tenants to MOVE! Horrible what’s happening!

Mid April learned about the GRAND OPENING of HUNTERS VIEW Affordable Housing Complex. Block 4 opened about seven months ago, ceremony delayed until April 17. Take FAIRFAX Avenue, off Keith, to the top of the hill! IMPRESSED!

Good Friday afternoon, drove up the winding well paved infrastructure to view the area overlooking the old shipyard – BREATHLESS sweeping views of the City – skyscraper buildings, Bay Bridge. Residents have a front row seat! Believe 107 apartments, urban color coordinated. Hey, nothing takes the place of YOUR own home – comfortable!

Made a second trip, met DENISE FORE, property manager, Hunters View, and Mr. LATCHISON, a tenant and employee. Thanks to LOVINSKY CHEATUM, lead maintenance, Hunters View, for giving me a brief tour of the community room and Community Plaza – peaceful courtyard area where each apartment has private access. Transportation a must. Believe two Muni lines run up Evans.

Focusing on transportation, The THIRD STREET MUNI T-LINE plays a vital role through the Third Street corridor, from old BAYSHORE Boulevard Sunnydale station through the heart of the BLACK commercial business area, to King and Third, AT&T Park and the home of the San Francisco GIANTS! Continues to underground Embarcardero stop, where the line changes to K or M.

Southeast corridor of San Francisco is emerging BIG TIME! Must say, I definitely moved to the right side of town where the ACTION IS! SO EXCITED that the Golden State WARRIORS will be moving their operation and new stadium on THIRD and 16th Street in Mission Bay. JOBS in construction – flaggers, welders and more! Plans are to open 2018.

Harrison-Chastang-Rochelle-Metcalfe-Giants-Opening-Day-040814-by-Harrison-web, Third Street Stroll ..., Culture Currents
Harrison Chastang and Rochelle Metcalfe wouldn’t have missed Giants Opening Day April 8 for the world. – Photo: Harrison Chastang

The T-MUNI line will be in higher demand! During the GIANTS home games, the T-LINE is overwhelmed transporting thousands of people to and from AT&T Park – priority to get them out of the city fast! Most fans come into the city by CALTRAIN, Fourth and King, or BART from the Eastbay and Peninsula.

Game days can be frustrating for those taking the T-LINE after game play, trying to get home from work; families with children, or students, often “DUMPED” midway to their destination – Marin stop platform near Cesar Chavez, for one. REALLY! Imagine, in inclement weather or at night, forced to wait for the next train which could be longer than 10 minutes!

REALISTICALLY, low income folks do not attend games; the bulk of fans get off in Dogpatch area of Third.

Rarely do I take public transportation, but on several occasions experienced the interruption when coming home from a GIANTS game. The driver will announce over the intercom (speaker) the end of his route, another train is coming. REEEALLLY!

After GIANTS Opening Day game, boarded southbound train at King and Fourth. The ride was smooth UNTIL WILLIAMS Street. Driver announced end of line, another train was coming – of course packed! Lucky for me that was my stop. There were NO signs on the outer front of the train that indicated it would stop at Williams – should be a better way NOT to inconvenience folks!

Notice the TURNAROUND stop at Armstrong and Third. When necessary, trains will head back north – WHY continue to Sunnydale?!

To further add to the mood of Opening Day, midway, several young Black female students boarded, having a ball, being seen and heard, rapping loud profanity. Embarrassing! Wherever we are, we represent US! The train was filled with OTHER folks who already are uncomfortable – IF YOU GET MY DRIFT!

Zaccho-Dying-While-Black-and-Brown-rehearsal, Third Street Stroll ..., Culture Currents
Dancers laugh to ease the tension while rehearsing “Dying While Black and Brown,” commissioned by the Equal Justice Society to dramatize the death penalty’s disproportionate impact on men of color.

FINDING spots to enjoy in the Bayview! ZACCHO DANCE THEATRE and Studio, located in a large three-story brick building at 1777 Yosemite St., up from the former Monte Carlo Club – STILL INACTIVE! The performance of “Dying While Black and Brown” caught my attention. There I was in the mix, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, filled with a diverse group. WOW!

One had to walk up (huff and puff) to the third floor, no elevator – there is a freight elevator – delighted to walk into a large room, that reminded me of a gym, where the performance was held – a simple stage setting that represented a PRISON yard or cell. Impressed with the powerful piece about a true story of a man who spent 18 years of his life incarcerated, triumph in winning back his freedom. Stunning offering by the cast of several male dancers in interpretation of the story.

JOANNA HAIGOOD, is the artistic director of Zaccho Dance Theatre. For more info about upcoming works to be performed, and RENTAL opportunities, call 415-822-6744.

BACK ON 3-STREET – AUNTIE APRIL has my attention of late – like the breakfast menu; McDONALD’S – occasionally stop for a cup of coffee and read the Chronicle’s sports sheet. Often run into POPCORN, who come in after his AIRPORT gig for a smoothie.

CHECK it out – Popcorn is the LAST of the ALLIED SKYCAPS from those days when Blackmen held jobs as baggage handlers, made good tips! Times changed, as did Allied! NOW, still at the airport, Popcorn works for an airline. Remember in the late ‘50s when he started as a young man. At the time I was employed with FAA. This year Popcorn celebrated 41 years!

OK, MOVING OFF 3-STREET across the Bay – OAKLAND IS STILL THE PLACE – BLACK CULTURE THRIVES! During the month of April, drove over to downtown Oakland – end of Broadway to EVERETT & JONES Barbecue, to attend the Bay Area BLUES SOCIETY Fundraiser to benefit their annual production of the HAYWARD BLUES FESTIVAL, held in July, featuring many Blues artists from Texas, Memphis, the Delta and Bay Area.

Hung out with LIVING Legend – FILLMORE SLIM – sharp in suit, tie and hat, STILL A STAR! ALVON JOHNSON, Alabama Mike, Bobby Webb and Smooth Blues; Julian Vaught, BLUES DIVA ELLA PENNEWILL and more. The place was JUMPIN’ – folks chowing down on BIG BONE RIBS that could CAUSE a concussion IF HIT WITH ONE!

SPEAKING of the BLUES – recording artist, guitarist JOE LOUIS WALKER’s AWESOME performance at BISCUIT AND BLUES, downtown San Francisco, off the Richter Scale, backed by a stunning band – TOOO COLD! He performed cuts from his new CD, entitled “Hornets Nest.” It’s hot!

IN CLOSING, my sincere condolences to the family of DOROTHY ALLEY, age 94, wife of the late San Francisco iconic drummer, EDDY ALLEY, who passed at a rest home in San Francisco during the month of April. She leaves to mourn her passing, sons – PHILIP, S.F. longshoreman, Steven, Kenneth and daughter Lisa Alley. Dorothy was a committed community person before she took ill. RIP, MY LADY!


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